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Old 27-03-2014, 16:38   #1
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Puerto Rico to Long Island

A buddy of mine is looking for a crew to sail his boat from San Jaun, Puerto Rico to Long Island, New York. Trying to get a general idea of what this will be like. We would be setting sail in early May aboard a 53 ft jenneau. we would a have a total of captain and 2 crew and don't plan on making any stops as we will be offshore. I have done several overnights sails but we always anchored. Also, what is the weather typically like along the east coast that time of year? Just want to know what I would be getting my self in to.

I am very comfortable sailing and racing lightnings and other dinghys in the DC area and hold a provisional USCG 6 pack that I got when working at a summer sailing camp (camp sea gull)and understand that this trip would be challenging. Or would it be? All opinions, thoughts, and advice are welcome. Perhaps I am overthinking this.

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Patrick
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Old 27-03-2014, 16:48   #2
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Assuming the boat is in good shape and the captain is knowledgeable, you should learn a lot. Make sure you have weather gear">foul weather gear and a safety harness, and your passport. You can hit some strong fronts in early May, but the boat should be able to handle them
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Old 27-03-2014, 17:03   #3
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Thanks for the thought. Are you referring to fronts more to the northern end or southern end of the trip. The boat is only 2 years old and he has told me that it's got state of the art systems. He has been the captain of this specific boat for aprox 2 years and has sailed this route and other longer routes several times. I guess I'd like to know if this is a common route to take this time of year. I'm guessing many people do in order to get there boats north for insurance purposes.
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Old 27-03-2014, 18:20   #4
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

May or June is generally a good time to do that passage. As donradcliffe said, there's a possibility of seeing some bad weather in May.

I did the passage from St Thomas to the Bahamas, then up around Hatteras to the Chesapeake in May 2005, and had no weather issues whatsoever. A friend did it a week later in a 70 footer. He got hammered off South Carolina and limped into Charleston for repairs. Another friend was hove to for three days off Georgia, taking knock-downs while maintaining hourly comms via sat phone with the Coast Guard until it abated. He limped into Wiynah Bay, SC, with a shredded main and dicey engine. Three other yachts were lost and some crew died off Hatteras in that storm (May, 2002). I don't mean to spook you, because the bad storms are the exception in May, and you'll likely have a great sail, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

If you're not up on weather forecasting you might want to consider engaging a weather routing service to give you an initial forecast and then daily updates via SSB email or by sat phone. The risky zone is usually from off the Georgia coast and north. You can ride the Gulf Stream and gain 3 knots or so, but watch the weather because the Stream intensifies whatever comes off the coast.
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Old 27-03-2014, 20:08   #5
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Its the correct time of the year to do it.

Before passing Cape Hatteras check the weather. If you are going to hit a Northerly you can duck into Beaufort North Carolina for a few days.
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Old 28-03-2014, 05:58   #6
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

You always have the option of the ICW from Beaufort to Norfolk
And not going around Hatteras. The northern half of your trip is going to be cold
I did the same trip going South two years ago aboard a Jenneau 45
And had no issues boat wise, actually it was pretty sweet.
Why only 3 aboard? I would make life easier and bring more crew.
The boat can swallow more. Does everyone want their own stateroom?
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Old 28-03-2014, 06:02   #7
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Trayb09.
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Old 28-03-2014, 14:11   #8
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

It depends on what part of May are you leaving. During Early May the weather around here is sunny, warm, and dry, but if you are leaving during Late May it will be sunny, hot, and you might bump into a rare tropical storm in the Caribbean. Hurricanes usually come out in June, and July.........
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Old 29-03-2014, 01:02   #9
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Thanks for the responses. I'm going to do it, seems to good of an opportunity to pass up. The captain has a good amount of experice and the boat is only two years old. At the end of the day, I've always wanted to do something like this. Weather as always will be a big thing to take into consideration but I am confident we can make intelligent decisions.
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Old 29-03-2014, 12:51   #10
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trayb09 View Post
----hold a provisional USCG 6 pack ----
Patrick - What's a "provisional" 6 pack license?
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Old 29-03-2014, 13:12   #11
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

So what I meant by provisional was that technically that license can only be used when I am working with the YMCA. I believe the official title is OVUP 6 pack which means I can transport up to 6 paying customers under power. I got it while working at the sailing camp. Since the kids are technically paying customers, i was one of several staff members that that needed to have a coast guard license. Still had to have the correct amount of sea days (inshore). had to go through the application process, get the TWIC card and take the class, etc.
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Old 29-03-2014, 19:30   #12
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Weather can be nasty going through the 'stream. We've had crossings with three waterspouts in sight at the same time, and others with 500 mile fronts leading to more "gung ho" boats getting injured crew helicoptered off. I once had green water almost wash me off the foredeck. Waves can be unpredictable sometimes. With just three of you, be sure to get PLENTY of sleep before you go aboard. Who's responsible for cooking? It should probably take four or five days, and you're likely to get hungry. Cargo traffic around NYC can be very confusing, even if you're on the radio. Be careful out there.
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Old 29-03-2014, 20:06   #13
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

The boat should be prepared for a stop in Bermuda--if the cold fronts are still active during your passage its a lot easier to time your passage across the gulf stream on the 650 mile passage from Bermuda--besides, its a nice place to visit.
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Old 31-03-2014, 14:36   #14
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

Moved a Beneteau 411 May 2013 from Tortola to Annapolis. The most important thing is to have a flexible schedule, so you can wait out bad weather. We sat out weather for 2 days in Freeport waiting for the Gulf Stream to lay down.
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Old 31-03-2014, 16:07   #15
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Re: Puerto Rico to Long Island

San Juan to NYC in May is very doable. Probably it would be better to go in late May, as you may have better wind slants going up the Jersey coast.

Main thing is to pick the route. One strategy is to go up thru the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas where there are lots of places to stop if necessary.

Passing East of the Abacos, you'll probably want to join the Gulf Stream as soon as possible, provided that the winds are NOT from a northerly quadrant. You don't want to be in the Gulf Stream in a north wind, even in a 53-footer.

Otherwise, the Stream can give you a big boost in the daily runs, which for that boat should top 170 mpd without the Steam.

Give Hatteras a wide berth.

Watch the weather carefully. Listen to the offshore forecasts daily several times from the USCG and from several ham nets, including the 14300 Maritime Mobile Net (WX on the half-hour) and the 7268 Waterway Net (0745 EDT daily). Main thing I'd listen for is any appreciable North wind; if you hear that prediction, get out of the Gulf Stream.

FWIW,

Bill
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