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Old 01-09-2016, 10:39   #1
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Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

Okay guys, time to give it to me straight (please). I may purchase a svelte 40' multihull up in Quebec with a friend in the very near future. And if so, she would need bringing down to warmer latitudes before Fall/Winter is fully upon us.
However, I'm not exactly familiar with the weather patterns that far North on the E. Coast in say mid-October & later. Obviously were it a monohull, I'd just write a check, & have the thing delivered via 18-wheeler. But... at 24' of beam, that's not an option. And her connectives are wood, so I can't cut easily cut her apart for transport as if she were a foam/glass boat.

So, I'm wondering how loco it is to contemplate bringing a 40' multi south on her own bottom in Oct/Nov? And yeah, I know that Summer would be a much better plan. But it makes zero sense to buy the boat if she can't be moved to somewhere where she can be enjoyed after signing that big check for her.

I'm thinking of a crew of about 3 total. And while I'm a tiny bit rusty, doing & skippering such types of voyages are old hat for me. With the exception of the weather along said coast. And, yep, I know that there will be a lot of last minute purchases to make, on top of fitting her out/tuning her up. And, obviously, testing & inspecting all of her key systems first. Thrice over if required.

So were it you, what would you use for weather resources? What route would you take? What areas would you avoid, when, & why? Would you want any special gear onboard, & if so, what & why? And that includes everything from sunscreen to safety gear. Or 1/2 of the Defender catalog, needs be. Especially including gear to download weather info in real time, offshore. Ditto on comms beyond a VHF.

Thanks in advance.


PS: It will help me geometrically more to understand you replies, & to heed them, the better you explain the thoughts which you had that stirred your comments.
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Old 04-09-2016, 05:56   #2
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

Where in Quebec? If anywhere West of Three Rivers I would consider dropping the mast getting into the Hudson via Lake Champlain and coming out at NYC. Will save you many hundreds of miles and avoiding sailing around Nova Scotia. 24 ft beam should fit the locks.

NYC to NC would be a nice Coastal with the option of the Chesapeake.
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Old 04-09-2016, 06:13   #3
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

FYI, the Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially end until November 30th. Something to consider....
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Old 04-09-2016, 08:06   #4
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

Taking the canals to the Hudson River sound like sound advice to me. That way your only exposure to the open Atlantic is the run from Sandy Hook, NY, to Cape May, NJ.

Cold fronts come off the Mid-Atlantic East Coast about every 4-5 days that time of year, and the further north you are, the stronger the winds, in general. The good news is that the strongest winds will be W/NW/N/NE, so you'll be on a screaming reach, broad reach, or run. If you sail not terribly far offshore, the seas won't have enough fetch to become enormous.
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Old 04-09-2016, 19:08   #5
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

The Chambly Canal (St Lawrence and Richelieu rivers to Lake Champlain) closes October 10. Probably much the same for marinas along Gaspe and in the Maritime Provinces, though the mostly small commercial harbours will be available.
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Old 04-09-2016, 21:38   #6
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Taking the canals to the Hudson River sound like sound advice to me. That way your only exposure to the open Atlantic is the run from Sandy Hook, NY, to Cape May, NJ.

Cold fronts come off the Mid-Atlantic East Coast about every 4-5 days that time of year, and the further north you are, the stronger the winds, in general. The good news is that the strongest winds will be W/NW/N/NE, so you'll be on a screaming reach, broad reach, or run. If you sail not terribly far offshore, the seas won't have enough fetch to become enormous.
NOooo You don't want to be out in the open ocean when it's NE. That's called a northeaster! If it's got an "E" in it, and it's October or November you don't want to be out in open North Atlantic ocean.

I'm going to repost something I saved - written by someone else on another board years ago. His instructions start from western Long Island Sound. If you come down the Hudson, NYC is your common denominator.

ICW South
Fastest most comfortable way south from Branford for me has
Posted By: Al Hatch <Send E-Mail>
Date: 10/23/08 8:54p.m.


Leave City Island with the tide for Hell Gate. You will have a hour or two of foul current but once past LaGuadia right around Rikers the current will go fair and you'll be flushed down the east river.

If the wind is still easterly, anchor off the north shore of Cony Island and wait for the cold front passage, as soon as the wind goes NW, even at 2 am get underway. You will have a fair broad reach down the Jersey coast and can be in Cape May in 24 hours or if the NW'ly holds enter the Chesapeake in less than 48hours and then go to Annopolis.

I go down the ICW to Beaufort and then I like to head out across Onslow Bay around Cape Fear and then make a bee line for St. Marys Inlet on the Florida Georgia Border. Usually this takes 3-4 days from Norfolk to Beaufort and 3 days from Beaufort to St. Mary's . By the time you reach Beaufort days will be pleasent, nights cool. You'll likely be just behind the majority of Folks on the ICW at this point so anchorages and dockage won't be any problem and no line at the Goverment Locks at Great Bridge.

You'll catch up to a lot of cruisers if you jump out at Beaufort or at the Cape Fear River entrance, miss the shallow spots in S Carolina and Georgia and miss all the long days of winding back and forth on the Georgia rivers.

I go out again at St. Mary's and in 48 hours you can be in Fort Lauderdale. GOing down the ICW in Florida is an exercise in waiting on one bridge after another and will take an easy 10 days. Going outside you can stop in Port Canaveral (not much there for a yacht), Lake Worth inlet (all weather inlet for Palm Beach) and in good weather several other inlets.

How long to warm weather depends on when you leave and how fast you are willing to travel. I've done Branford to Fort Lauderdale in 15 and 18 days, only ICW was Norfolk to Beaufort and left Conn with a rainy cold fair easterly wind.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:51   #7
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
NOooo You don't want to be out in the open ocean when it's NE. That's called a northeaster! If it's got an "E" in it, and it's October or November you don't want to be out in open North Atlantic ocean...
In my experience, I've found it to be no big deal. And I'm talking about the typical cold fronts that come through in October and November, not the winter Nor'easters that are the big Lows moving up the coast later in the season. I wouldn't be out in one of those on a bet, but they rarely occur in Oct/Nov, and are forecasted well in advance.

As I pointed out, in a frontal passage offshore the strongest winds will be clocking abaft the beam, so the ride's not bad at all, and can be rather exhilarating. I recall surfing down 24' swells at 11 knots in my IP 380, which has a hull speed of 7.5, in Force 9 conditions. The ride was great!

Waiting for the weather at Sandy Hook is prudent, but if you get caught by a cold front, it's really not that bad.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:10   #8
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Re: Quebec to Carolinas in Oct. on a Multihull

Atlantic Canada norEasters in the fall-not uncommon-one per mo. minimum & these sometimes last for 2-3 days. 25- 60kts.

25 kt of cold,heavy 40 F wind is much more powerful than 25 kt of tropical warm light air.

Fall wx can be nice-cool,but you can dress in float/deck suits (not Survial Gumby suits) You will need a serious heater-but a QC boat should have one.

You will be exposed to 3000+ nm of Atl. Ocean from Gaspe to Cape Cod.
How many days is that?

Most marinas are closed not long after Labour Day,but there are many "fishing" harbours. Haulout,if required,could be a problem.

I hate to sound negative. Just pointing out some things to plan around.
It could be an excellent trip.

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