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Old 15-03-2008, 17:48   #1
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The canal or around the cape

How to get to the west coast.

I was talking with some mono-hull sailors and they were talking about going from the east coast to the west coast and how they would go. A few said they would not want to spend the thousands that it would cost to go thru the canal and all the requirements. the others said they would not go around the cape. I added the multi hull option and they said they would certainly go thru the canal. What would you or have you done.. How do you get to the west coast..
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Old 15-03-2008, 20:34   #2
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Unless cruising South America is part of your dream, go via the canal. There are reasons why all the commercial guys go that route, the 3 most notable being Speed, Weather, Security.
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Old 15-03-2008, 22:11   #3
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Randall,

Jill and I went around the Horn last year (NOT in our boat). It was an education!
At one point we were in winds about 5 to 10 Kts. Within 10 min (NO kidding!) the wind was peaking over 70 Kts!!! We surveyed all the boats in Ushuaia, about 10 or so, not one had ANYTHING on deck that did not need to be there!!!


We just had friends go through the panama Canal. It is NOT that expensive. As for us, GO THE CANAL!


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Old 16-03-2008, 03:55   #4
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May I suggest, that you listen more to people who actually have done the trip rather than those who just talk about it.

"Thousands" for the canal transit? Says who? And what kind of budget do these people assume for equipment wear and tear and outright failure in the high latitudes of the southern hemisphere?

If you want to sail around the Horn for the adventure of it, by all means do so. But to imagine that it will be cheaper or easier or in any way more convienient than a canal passage is just a delusion.

I have no idea why the "multihull option" should affect the decision one way or the other.
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Old 16-03-2008, 05:25   #5
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A few said they would not want to spend the thousands that it would cost to go thru the canal and all the requirements.
P.T. Barnum was right.

Dave
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Old 16-03-2008, 10:05   #6
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this is the current cost i have found and i asume they said that about multi hulls becuse as usual they dont know about them. I like to listen to every thing. this is from another site and part of some one elses thread.

So, the cost to us was $1254.00, which included our transit fee, agent fee, immigration, emigration, cruising permit, Zarpe, one line handler with 4 lines and 6 tyres for fenders, two visas and an overtime fee of $20.00 as we arrived on Monday which was declared a public holiday to celebrate the start of work on the new deep-water locking system they want to complete by 2014. We did not pay a deposit of $850 which a cruiser would pay if they were doing all the running around themselves.
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Old 16-03-2008, 10:17   #7
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A few things I see are: 1) $1254 does not qualify as a plural of $1000. 2) Agent Fee's I've read about are about $500 and can be reduced bydoing it yourself. 3)crusing permit and Zarpe are not really costs of going thru the canal if you had a desire to cruise Panama. One torn beyond repair sail will cost more than $1200 on my boat anyway. Not to mention the fees incurred by stopping at all the different countries on the way to and around Cape Horn.
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Old 16-03-2008, 10:23   #8
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Quote:
I asume they said that about multi hulls becuse as usual they dont know about them.
It's pretty hard to assume what people don't know. Given the going around trip is about 9,500 nautical miles, what do you think it would cost you to sail that far?

I'm not clear if you think that the cost is too much or too inaccurate?
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Old 16-03-2008, 13:43   #9
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And, if you want to visit the Furious Fifties, sailing west is not the way to do it anyway. I don't think anyone had ever sailed a cruising sailboat around the Horn east to west until the 1980s. I'd be surprised if more than a dozen cruisers have done it. The Pardeys did it in 2003.
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Old 16-03-2008, 15:05   #10
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Randall-
If you havce to sail around South America...exactly how fast do you think you can make the trip, even if the weather gods co-operate all the way? What's the cost of food and fuel and wear and tear on that little detour? And how do you feel about chancing the weather around Cape Horn, and having all of Chile as a lee shore?

""Thousands" for the canal transit? Says who? " The canal company DOES have their own web site with price information on it. You have to add up bits and pieces to get a total...but for a boat in the 35-40 foot range, two thousand dollars might be very realistic. There are charges for line handlers, unless you have enough crew. And you have to wait until you are called, private yachts may be left waiting (mooring or dock fees) indefinitely if commercial traffic needs to go through.
The cost will assuredly be over a thousand dollars, and could easily climb to two thousand although with some luck, it might not. Check out the "a la carte" pricing on the Canal's web site, and see what you come up with.

Unlike the old US approach (oh, look at the nice boats, give 'em a break) the Chinese are being totally capitalistic about running the Canal. Costs money to pump water and close locks, and they're gonna make sure someone pays it.
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Old 16-03-2008, 15:27   #11
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Like most things in life there's the easy way and the hard way, will you take the elevator or use the stairs to get the top floor? For me it's a no-brainer.
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Old 16-03-2008, 17:05   #12
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I don't think anyone had ever sailed a cruising sailboat around the Horn east to west until the 1980s. I'd be surprised if more than a dozen cruisers have done it.
Add 1 to that estimate.

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Old 16-03-2008, 17:52   #13
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I did some research and it seems that a solo cruiser named Hanson rounded the Horn east to west in 1934. However, his boat was wrecked in Chile shortly thereafter. As far as I'm concerned he gets full credit, but evidently some people don't see it that way. It was almost 50 years before a cruiser named John Kershmere finally did it successfully in the '80s (and Yes - I'm so damn old that I remember reading about it at the time).

There is a strange definition of 'rounding the Horn' that requires you to sail from 40 degrees south in the Pacific/Atlantic around the Cape to 40 degrees south in the Atlantic/Pacific. I don't understand that either. If I sail around the world at 56 degrees South, I would expect credit for '"rounding the Horrn." But I have no idea why a "cruiser" would want to do that.

You don't have to round Cape Horn. You can use the Magellan Straits or the Beagle Channel. But no matter - if you go the 'wrong' way, it is a rare and dangerous adventure. This is something that a sailboat cruiser would do for the same (and only the same) reason that you might sail the Northwest Passage or climb Everest - not because you think you can save money getting to the West Coast.
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Old 19-03-2008, 22:32   #14
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I have seen some really sobering video clips taken in the Strait of Magellan, though, on Youtube.com. It wouldn't be a cakewalk. And of course, I have read a few voyaging stories about sailing there, as well, starting with Joshua Slocom's. Here's a link to get you in the mood:
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Old 19-03-2008, 23:23   #15
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We took a 58 foot boat through the Canal in Oct. We were in a hurry so we hired a 'fixer' but even with that expense and the greater boat length we were still under $2000.
There is a an extra $350 for boats over 50 feet, under 50 the price if $500.It is hard to tell if the 'fixer' greased wheels or not - all I can say is that we only had to wait 36 hours to get a date for transit and dockside moorage was waiting for us on both ends of the canal. (Though we got the boot on the Pacific side because we were not cosmetically up to snuff)
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