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Old 12-04-2016, 10:43   #1
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second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Hey,

Looking for a second opinion on the weather for this week/weekend for an offshore passage from Ft. Pierce FL to Charleston SC. We would be departing Ft. Pierce around 4pm on Thursday (14th) with a strait through haul for Charleston with a penciled in arrival of Sunday (17th)

The crew is made up of 3 males all in good shape with some intermediate offshore experience and one with some offshore race boat experience along with overnight passages.

The boat is a 42' Whitbycutter ketch in excellent shape with autopilot, radar, and two chart plotters.

Thank you for all opinions and any suggestions.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:16   #2
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

If you are willing to pay a small amount contact a commercial weather router like Commander's Weather as ask for a phone opinion. Terrific value from a known reliable source . How good is any weather opinion on this forum? Enjoy the trip!


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Old 12-04-2016, 11:26   #3
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by tstilp View Post
Hey,

Looking for a second opinion on the weather for this week/weekend for an offshore passage from Ft. Pierce FL to Charleston SC. We would be departing Ft. Pierce around 4pm on Thursday (14th) with a strait through haul for Charleston with a penciled in arrival of Sunday (17th)

The crew is made up of 3 males all in good shape with some intermediate offshore experience and one with some offshore race boat experience along with overnight passages.

The boat is a 42' Whitbycutter ketch in excellent shape with autopilot, radar, and two chart plotters.

Thank you for all opinions and any suggestions.
===

The GFS forecast model is not promising, mostly northeasterly winds at 20+, 8 to 10 ft seas, and sporadic rain. I'd either run it inside on the ICW or wait for a better window if it was me.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:31   #4
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Looking quickly at the Passage Weather site, I wouldn't do it. Not this week and not until, maybe, next Tuesday.

NE winds, strong, will make the Gulf Stream very very rough.

IMHO,

Bill
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:42   #5
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Just looking at the NOAA forecast charts for the next few days, a front is expected to drop into N. Florida late on Wednesday and weak low form on it just off-shore on Thursday. This front should move south of Florida by Friday morning, but there will still be a trough line just off shore of Georgia that day.

Doing no more research than that, I would say you will have a wet and not all that comfortable trip in head winds Thursday and Friday. As long as you stay well west of the GS, nothing threatening to a well found boat and a competent crew, but not necessarily a fun trip. If it were I, and I didn't need to make this trip right now, I'd check the weather each day, but probably plan my departure for Sunday. Probably head winds then as well.

BTW, what was the source of your first opinion, and what was that sources prognosis?

John
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:50   #6
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Good advice from Bill. Leaving Ft Pierce in winds from NE to NW the Gulf Stream could be "uncomfortable".

Personally I would consider starting north up the ICW for the first leg. Further north and a day or three later you can reevaluate the weather. Also if you go outside further north and hug the coast you will be inside the main axis of the Gulf Stream and not such a concern with wind opposing the current and the resulting steep waves.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:50   #7
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

My first source was my own with a combination of checking passage weather and noaa. I came up with the same prognosis for the most part as yours being that it will be a ruff wet ride but still be safe. The deal is that I am trying to move the boat between Thursday and Sunday with the option of adding Monday to the schedule due to work. If it takes a turn for the worse I dont mind checking into a marina along the way and finishing the move in a few weeks when I get some more time off.
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Old 12-04-2016, 12:15   #8
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

"If it takes a turn for the worse I dont mind checking into a marina along the way and finishing the move in a few weeks when I get some more time off."

In that case I would take Skipmac's advice and move the boat up the AICW to Fernandina beach this week. If the weather looks good at St. Augustine, St. John or Fernandina jump out and go for it. Otherwise leave the boat in Fernandina, and reschedule the rest of the trip. Fernandina to Charleston is about 30 hours in a Whitby (or a Pearson 424) with no head winds.

John
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Old 13-04-2016, 08:57   #9
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

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"If it takes a turn for the worse I dont mind checking into a marina along the way and finishing the move in a few weeks when I get some more time off."

In that case I would take Skipmac's advice and move the boat up the AICW to Fernandina beach this week. If the weather looks good at St. Augustine, St. John or Fernandina jump out and go for it. Otherwise leave the boat in Fernandina, and reschedule the rest of the trip. Fernandina to Charleston is about 30 hours in a Whitby (or a Pearson 424) with no head winds.

John
Another consideration, heading north up the ICW from Ft Pierce you are past the worst of the bridges and congestion you would get going the other way so should be able to make reasonable time. I guess you could even run all night although I wouldn't generally recommend the ICW after dark. Too many unlit markers, narrow channels and other hazards for me to feel comfortable.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:01   #10
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

I hate dealing with the bridge trolls but ICW is the way to go until Jacksonville
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:06   #11
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

As of now the plan is to run the ICW Thursday afternoon as far as we can make it before dark then will reevaluate the weather and conditions early Friday morning and decide whether to continue up the ICW or try and run the coast line to get out of the traffic some.

Thanks everyone for the input!
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Old 13-04-2016, 12:38   #12
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

sailing on a tight time schedule is uncomfortable 90% of the time and 40% of that 90 is dangerous. Is life limb and boat worth It? Find a place to put the boat till you have the time and weather to do it RIGHT. To be a mariner takes a certain mind set, of which patients is the strongest attribute.

PEACE LUV & HAPPINESS
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Old 13-04-2016, 12:57   #13
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

The most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule. I'd go inside as well.
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Old 13-04-2016, 13:02   #14
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

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Originally Posted by tinkrman69 View Post
To be a mariner takes a certain mind set, of which patients is the strongest attribute.
So true said the good doctor.
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Old 13-04-2016, 13:47   #15
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Re: second opinion on passage weather FL - SC

Re: Passage North from Fla....PLEASE PLEASE HEED THE BEST ADVICE GIVEN...A SCHEDULE IS DANGEROUS WITH OUR CURRENT WEATHER PATTERN AND REALLY AT ANY TIME... NO JOY WITH THE SAIL TO DEATH TO YOU AND YOUR BOAT IS A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY.... GO WHEN YOU CAN DO SO SAFELY AND WITH THE TIME TO ENJOY AND.RELAX AND.SEE WHAT THERE IS TO SEE ..
BECOME PART OF THE CRUISING FAMILY...OUT THERE LIVING THE DREAM ....NOT THE NIGHTMARE!!!!
BEEN THERE..DONE IT...
TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS
CAPT. CARROLE
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