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Old 05-11-2012, 05:55   #16
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

Hi Stephen,

From your plans and comments I am not sure you have looked at the basic requirements of this trip. I have made the trip from FL to PR and the Virgin Islands several times and it may be much more of a trip than you realize. Also, I know you only want advise on the route and not the boat but I cannot go without saying the MacGregor is really not the best boat for the job.

First the distance is over 1000 miles. Think just a little less than the distance from Miami to New York City. The fuel tank on a MacGregor is only 24 gallons. A 15 kts you will suck that down pretty fast. Not sure what the fuel consumption is at that speed but lets just guess you might get 100 miles on a tank. In parts of the Bahamas places to buy fuel are few and far between, much more than 100 miles so motoring at 15 kts all the way is very, very unlikely. Loading that small a boat down with lots of extra gas in jugs would be a very bad idea for many reasons, weight, stability and fire risk being the top.

If you could find or carry fuel for the trip and you had perfect weather you might make it in 10 days of motoring. But winter in the Bahamas the odds of winds and seas calm enough for safety for a 26' MacGregor is just about zero. You would likely spend many more days in harbor waiting for a good travel day than you would spend traveling.

More on the boat, beefing up the rig would be just a small part of making that boat suitable for the trip. Filling the salon with lead could be quite dangerous. If you get hit with a large wave and the boat is knocked sideways you could have chunks of lead flying all over the boat with the potential for damage and injury.

If you are bound and determined then you can make the trip in the MacGregor but you should be prepared to take a couple of months to get there and spend days or weeks waiting for a calm day to make the next hope. Regarding the route, the only one I would consider for the boat is island hopping through the Bahamas. There are a number of options for which route but one common one:

FL to Bimini, Berry Islands, Nassau, Exuma Islands, down the Exumas to Georgetown, to Long Island. Past Long Island is when it gets trickier. It has been a few years so there may be places to stop that weren't there on my last trip but I found no fuel between Long Island the the Turks and Caicos Islands, about 200 miles. Alternate here, Long Island to Great Inagua. Similar distance and still no fuel stops.

From either route the next stop is Dominican Republic 100-150 miles depending on the route. From there you just run coastal to PR.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:02   #17
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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Originally Posted by elskede View Post
............ if i leave out of the keys....and motors upail... would that work? ..............................
Please clarify this question. As for the times required, it will be best for you to apply the time = distance/speed formula when planing each leg of your trip with various projected speeds. This kind of preplanning study complies with the recommendations of Rakuflames. I would include in the plan for each passage, what decision you would make if you are not making successful headway. Also, be sure to look at the pervasive currents and what adjustments to your course would be required due to these current vectors.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:39   #18
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
By the way, the Gulfstream, which you cannot completely avoid, is a strong southerly current.
Hi Rakuflames,

I think you meant to say a strong northerly current.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:19   #19
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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Hi Rakuflames,

I think you meant to say a strong northerly current.
That's right. A wind is named for from where it blows; a current to where it flows. Confusing, but that's the way it is.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:20   #20
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

Dockhead is so fast! I will stand with him regarding the description of the Gulfstream current. Although it is traditional to identify wind currents by the direction that they are headed. Ocean currents have a standard of being identified by direction of their source.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:09   #21
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

whoever is maintaining the negativity in my valid question. please understand. im here asking simple. valid question.
have a nice day. and for you....
let me ask you this....a bottle is made of glass....people find them washed up at shore 100 years after a note is placed in them......do you think they fell out of a spaceship or went over the niagra falls to get there......
wow...look at me..now im engrossed in this groups drama what a nightmare...you guys wouldn't get off the couch to make nachos let alone sail anything....especially in blue water!!!
also. we've had a thousand tons of stuff wash ashore on the west coast of the us from japan after the earthquake.....did that fall out of the sky or come from niagra falls!!! ha ha ha
what a joke...
take care...
put your laptop where your mouth is and go sail in blue water...it's a lot safer than close to shore in a lot of different circumstances....
you do crack me up...
thank you.
stephen k r
ha ha ha....
ps. please don't reply to my posts unless you have experience with what im interested in. that is my premier audience.
these are valid questions. i don't want to waste the time of the moderator and myself listenting to your invalid retoric.
i just want to know. where in florida do i leave from and what is the safest and best route to get to puerto rico. and let's just say im taking a jet ski...that's fine...if you have info. please let me know.
thx again.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:12   #22
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

thank you skipmac. good info.
take care.
this is a refreshing tone.
have a nice day.
i appreciate everyones input. that's postive.
and respectful. such as you and other's.
stephen
elskede
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:19   #23
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

skipmac...in the meantime.
i found out there is a mac26 dealer in p.r. so thereya go...
i asked a simple question because i chose to buy an m 26 and 'have' in p.r. and all of a sudden i got bombarded by negative stuff from people.
that's how it is in life i guess.
end of story and enjoy your day.
i sailed.......i've always sailed.
it's what i do.....
it's my hobby. just like someone drives a car to work everyday...
i sail.....
once im done with my macgregor...
i will buy another vessel and maybe ill buy 10 while i own her..fix em up and sell em for a living...which is what i do...then...who know's
i may by a world renowned 'wetsnail' then post something about asking a question about sailing her to austrailia....
then.....i'll deal with persons who have no actual 'hands on experience like we do'
and these people will talk negativity about that vessell.....................'all over again...'
what a group....you guys are nice and informational......some of you.......other's just want to rain on my parade.....but guess what?? i got an umbrella.....and it will happen regardless....i will sail in p.r. on a mac26. regardless.
no problem.
just do me a favor and don't take out your mindlessness on your wife or kids.
audios.
stephen k r
i'll check in from p.r. from my mac26 within a year...my plan is to be there in 3 months.
doesn't bother me a bit..you know why...cause i got a boat right now at the marina and i'll be sailing this weekend...knowing that within 3 months i'll be retired....'semi' of course and sailing in p.r. aboard an m26 and feeling good about it.
i wish you all the best. go sailing youll feel better....smile....once in awhile.
and remember. i do appreciate your input. thank you.
the best to the group.....one thing.....though..
get off the computer. make those nachos'
and go sailing!
sincerely;
stephen k ronning
i'll check in from p.r.
thank you
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:33   #24
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

kapm force. thank you.
i found out i can purchase one (a macgregor) in p.r. so that takes the sail out of the equation. i do wanna enjoy sailing while im there in the caribbean. but now i don't have to make the bluewater route. i appreciate you and everyone's input. and the people who put down a certain boat...i wish you the best too...a bathtub...if your havin fun, corking around, is better than sittin around putting other people down...kapm bligh...made the longest trip in a lifeboat ever....just remember that.....i think that record holds till this day? but anyways. i just wanted to recognize you sir.
stephen k r
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:57   #25
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

Some of what may be perceived as negative comes from the prudent caution of experienced cruisers. There is a great amount of debris floating about and arriving from distant shores and the "corks" are often undamaged. Here is the remnant of a lifeboat that we found washed up on Lynyard Cay in the Abacos. Admittedly, it is more often the arrival at shore that is the greatest risk.




Sharing our concerns and the choices we would make that may be more conservative than your's should not be thought of as an attack, just the decisions of those that crusie in a manner with less risk.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:41   #26
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by elskede View Post
kapm force. thank you.
i found out i can purchase one (a macgregor) in p.r. so that takes the sail out of the equation. i do wanna enjoy sailing while im there in the caribbean. but now i don't have to make the bluewater route. i appreciate you and everyone's input. and the people who put down a certain boat...i wish you the best too...a bathtub...if your havin fun, corking around, is better than sittin around putting other people down...kapm bligh...made the longest trip in a lifeboat ever....just remember that.....i think that record holds till this day? but anyways. i just wanted to recognize you sir.
stephen k r
I understand Elskede's frustration about the answers here, he didn't asked for an opinion about his "bathtub" he just asked for route information.

With what we now know about the stability of Joshua's S. Spray then a MacGregor is an ocean going vessel. BTW what answers would you had given when Joshua S. asked advice about his trip fro Brazil to the States????

CeesH
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:52   #27
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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I understand Elskede's frustration about the answers here, he didn't asked for an opinion about his "bathtub" he just asked for route information.

With what we now know about the stability of Joshua's S. Spray then a MacGregor is an ocean going vessel. BTW what answers would you had given when Joshua S. asked advice about his trip fro Brazil to the States????

CeesH
And I understand your point, but Elskede is asking for free advise on a public forum and in that situation you don't get to tell people what they can and cannot say. Also, there are a lot of members on this forum with many years and many miles of experience, and when they see a plan that may incur risk to the questioner they feel some moral obligation to offer a warning to a fellow human being.

Maybe an extreme example but if you saw a blind person getting ready to step out onto a busy street would you not try to offer assistance or advise, even if they had not asked for your help or advise?
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:11   #28
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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That's right. A wind is named for from where it blows; a current to where it flows. Confusing, but that's the way it is.
Haven't heard the rhyme before. I like it.

I'm pretty sure that this convention was devised a hundred years ago by sailors to intentionally annoy and confuse the land lubbers.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:56   #29
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

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Haven't heard the rhyme before. I like it.

I'm pretty sure that this convention was devised a hundred years ago by sailors to intentionally annoy and confuse the land lubbers.
LOL. It's a yacht master exam mnemonic. I can't claim credit
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:01   #30
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Re: Sailing From Jax Florida To Puerto Rico Please Respond. Any Input Appreciated

Based on your comments to this point, my only advice is going to be direct and probably not much to your liking:

  • The advice you've gotten here is very sound, from people who seem to have good and relevant experience and your best interests in mind. The more you discount what these people have said, the less capable you seem. You say you want help and then you reject it. Not a good way to engender more help or sympathy from the community.
  • The routes from FL to PR via the Bahamas are all uphill, against the trades in stout winds (typically around 20 - 30 knots every day) and substantial waves (3 feet and up in open water passages). And coral heads and shoal waters everywhere else.
  • I haven't done the trip to the east from FL in some time, as it's generally much easier from farther north.
  • I haven't done it in a 26 foot boat of any breed, as the trip is a major offshore passage that doesn't really promise much comfort in a 26 footer.
  • And I haven't done it in a near-shore coastal cruiser that needs major mods and weight additions to be beefed up enough to handle the service - which is likely to materially reduce it's (already limited) performance potential. (And isn't going to be a good choice for sailing in PR when - if - you get there.)
  • You should budget six months for the trip through the Bahamas, although it can sometimes be done faster.
  • I did make the passage west from the BVI to Jacksonville last year, via PR and the Bahamas. Downhill the trip's pretty much a cakewalk. Uphill, through the Bahamas, it's widely known as the "thorny path" for good reason. If you feel you must, get a copy of:
The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South, 7th ed. ISBN 0-944428-31-2 Bruce Van Sant & Cruising Guide Publications, Inc. P.O. Box 1017, Dunedin, Fl. 34697-1017. (727) 733-5322.

  • The typical offshore route is to sail east from Norfolk, VA or Morehead City, NC to Bermuda, and then south to the islands. Typically the fastest route and the one with the best chance - with proper planning - of staying out of brutal weather. (East coast sailors often take the Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk to Morehead City to avoid Cape Hattaras. It's known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic for good reason - as we were all reminded by the recent loss of the Bounty.)
  • A start farther north runs a greater chance of a sudden nor'easter. Or a major cold front. And after the end of hurricane season, it's normally colder than anyone wants - often a LOT colder. It's a longer route and you're exposed to more risk of bad weather as a result.
  • Farther south is generally slow and often dead downwind in light winds. A cold front can sometimes drop down on your route faster than you can run away from it. It's better than a northern route, but not the optimum.
  • If you're in a hurry, you can cut the corner out of Norfolk/Morehead City (sailing a course of around 120 True, winds permitting), not go quite that far east and come down the longitude of the east coast of PR; that could save you two, maybe three days. If you turn south any earlier you may run onto the Caicos Bank. That would not be a good thing.
  • You have to watch the weather and time your departure to have a reasonable chance of SW winds for the first half of the trip. Allow about three weeks or more for the passage in a 26 foot boat.
  • If I were to face your situation, I would give serious thought to shopping for a boat in the Virgin Islands. There are lot of boats there for sale, including some quite good boats on offer by anxious sellers. My trip last year was to bring home a boat I bought in Tortola in a "distress sale" because of the economy. I got a very good boat in very good condition at an astonishingly good price.
  • I dealt with BVI Yacht Sales Ltd. (St. Thomas,, Virgin Islands (US)) and had a very good experience with them. You can also try Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com for a broader look. Getting to PR from the BVI or USVI is a two day day-sail or an easy overnight.
The premise of your original post has led to a lot of reaction by obviously knowledgeable people. You should listen.
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