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Old 02-02-2014, 15:10   #1
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Reality Check: Novice sailing through the Canal.

Hello Community!

This is my first post on this site! Just spent about 2 hour reading post after post.

As luck would have it, several factors in my life have lined up for me to start living aboard a boat. I'm looking at buying a Jeanneau 373 in Texas, with the expectation that I will EVENTUALLY sail it to Seattle via the Panama Canal.

I will be living aboard in Texas for about a year before I start making the trek to Washington State. During that time I'll be getting my skills up to snuff for a trip of that magnitude. I feel very comfortable with navigation, I've been a helicopter pilot in the military for the last 10 years. The systems of the boat are different then what I'm used to, but nothing a detailed and deliberate study won't fix. I'll be sailing in locally as often as I can and gradually expanding my comfort zone.

The only thing I'm worried about is what I don't know about! I'm trying to get a good idea of how long this trip could take. I know that a tough one, as I have to compromise seeing the sites with making head way to Seattle. Also I'm trying to figure the cost of making this trip.

Does the community at large have any recommendations for me? Books or journals of people who have made this trip before? Personally experiences?

I'd appreciate any advice.

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Old 02-02-2014, 15:17   #2
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pirate Re: Reality Check: Novice sailing through the Canal.

Hi Blau.. Welcome to CF.
Pretty sure there'll be a ton of info coming your way shortly..

Born To Be Wild
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Old 02-02-2014, 15:19   #3
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Re: Reality Check: Novice sailing through the Canal.

If this is a delivery type trip, i.e. you aren't taking years to do it, then you'll need a strong motor. The Canal is a pretty straight forward. The trip N from the Canal to Mexico is long and typically light winds and lots of motoring. With a few areas and seasons where winds can be strong. The haul from San Francisco to Straits of Juan de Fuca is a tough haul. Some leave the Canal and head to Hawaii, as this way you get to sail. But that's some long passages to make.
Paul L
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