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Old 26-04-2010, 07:24   #1
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Straits of Magellan

Just courious, has anyone, or has some one known someone, who has cruised on a
sailboat thru the Straights of Magellan from East to West.
Thanks, Dennis
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Old 26-04-2010, 11:53   #2
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Old 26-04-2010, 13:14   #3
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Old 26-04-2010, 13:42   #4
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Originally Posted by Gailwind View Post
Just courious, has anyone, or has some one known someone, who has cruised on a
sailboat thru the Straights of Magellan from East to West.
Thanks, Dennis
Yes, we know a freedom cat ketch (Fyne Spirit) who went that way. It can be windy, and there is a pretty decent current, but it can be done. However, pretty much everyone (including Fyne Spirit) who has been down there any time thinks the Beagle canal is a better choice.
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Old 26-04-2010, 22:55   #5
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As usual, you come up with very interesting observations. Why the Beagle Canal? I researched all three ways- Drake, Magellan and Beagle- from the paper point of view Magellan has something to offer (protected passage) and Drake has sailing area. But why the Beagle?
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:02   #6
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I'm looking at this route too. "World Cruising Routes" gives a little info, but not much. I get the impression it's a route where I'd like a fair bit of info: Magellan, Beagle, met etc etc etc.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:41   #7
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Hi Gailwinds,

Now you're talking cruising!

I've sailed part of the Straights but cannot call myself an expert. We joined Skip Novak's Pelagic Australis in Punta Arenas and did a short hop South and then into Canal Magdalena and Canal Cockburn to pop into the Pacific for about 15 minutes before turning South again.

There are a number of Bibles for the area:

Patagonia & Tierra Del Fuego Nautical Guide by Mariolina Rolfo and Giorgio Ardrizzi is what our captain used mostly. I just checked her book now, yep, can be done, but she says the "weather is severe".
Also on board was the cruising guide for the area by the Royal Cruising Association or Cruising Association (not too sure what they call themselves).

The Beagle is prettier though.

All I can say is, just GO.

The whole Patagonia is stunning. If I could go cruising tomorrow, that is where I will go.
The isolation, no contact with the outside world, the harshness of the weather, the windswept landscape, the vegetation at 45 degrees...........

In Puerto Williams and Ushuaia we saw the most amazing collection of small sailboats cruising that area, nothing fancy. All had big anchors, lots of warps, sheltered cockpits and cabin heaters.

Lets us know how things work out.

Regards,
Banjo.
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Old 02-05-2010, 15:53   #8
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Thanks Banjo ... seems like quite a tome!
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Old 08-05-2010, 20:36   #9
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About a year ago, I went with agroup of friends we chartered in Ushuiai and sailied the Beagle channel and around Cape Horn. He's a link of photos:
S/V Otro Cuba Libre Photo Gallery - S/V Otro Cuba Libre
We sailed (motorsailed) east to west, briefly in the Pacific and rounded Cape Horn on a somewhat calm day, 12kts. of wind. This allowed us to stop at the Armada Base and get our passports stamped!
Good luck,
MArc
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:40   #10
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As usual, you come up with very interesting observations. Why the Beagle Canal? I researched all three ways- Drake, Magellan and Beagle- from the paper point of view Magellan has something to offer (protected passage) and Drake has sailing area. But why the Beagle?
The conditions in the beagle are both easier and prettier than the Magellan. There are many fine anchorages and two good town harbours in the Beagle (puerto Williams and Ushuaia), unlike the Magellan where the protection is marginal (Punta Arenas is miserable).
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:14   #11
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I can't praise the Patagonia & Tierra Del Fuego Nautical Guide highly enough. You can cruise the canals with just this book and the required charts. (Note that the paper charts in some form are required by both Navies in the area.) Aside from beefing the boat up and having a really big anchor and rode, radar is IMHO essential because despite the requirements for charts, things are not well surveyed down there. With electronic charts, it's my view that C Map are probably the best but others may differ. You will definitely need some form of heating, a diesel stove is probably the best way of ensuring you always have access to fuel.

Many of the anchorages require taking a stern line ashore. A beefy floating line or lines, perhaps on reels make life easier and safer when taking these lines ashore. When anchoring, look at the vegetaion and never drop the pick near a hilside that is bare or the trees are growing almost horizontal to the slope, the willywaws are ferocious.

I'd concur with the other posters, the Magellan is a poor third to the Beagle and the Drake. The Magellan can act as a wind funnel and has some really vicious weather.

P.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:16   #12
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Thank you. The above saved me from doing just that mistake (wrong channel) that I would have done my first time down there. Plan on going down in a couple of years. Gotta get my boat from Washington to the Caribbean and I have always wanted to see Chile and Argentina...
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Old 10-05-2010, 15:14   #13
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Question for those of you who've been there: what do you think are the minimum boat and equipment requirements for a trip to Patagonia and the Horn? That sort of cruise is, at minimum, a few years off for me. However, I often wonder whether I could pull it off on my current 33' boat or whether I'd need a larger boat and (need or really want) a metal hull.
Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2010, 16:10   #14
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Question for those of you who've been there: what do you think are the minimum boat and equipment requirements for a trip to Patagonia and the Horn? That sort of cruise is, at minimum, a few years off for me. However, I often wonder whether I could pull it off on my current 33' boat or whether I'd need a larger boat and (need or really want) a metal hull.
Thanks!

Go on U Tube and look at some of the films that people have made down
thru there. Some are interesting
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Old 10-05-2010, 18:51   #15
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Go on U Tube and look at some of the films that people have made down
thru there. Some are interesting
Any in particular? I looked at a few and the scenery was interesting -- stunning actually -- but I didn't see any that were particularly revealing of the boats and their outfitting.
Thanks.
-M
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