Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-06-2016, 12:24   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Boat: Amel Maramu 46
Posts: 19
Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Would like to move my boat from Georgia to Pensacola, Florida. Deep draft (6.5 feet) and tall mast (55 feet) makes transiting the Okeechobee waterway a bad idea. So looking at sailing down to Miami, along the keys, then open water Gulf of Mexico straight to Pensacola. Does anyone have any suggestion as to the best time of year to make that trip to get the best winds? I know they can be good in the summer, but I'm not interested in gambling with hurricanes.
__________________

__________________
hyperope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2016, 08:56   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,650
Images: 5
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Anytime from now on would be good. i wouldn't worry about hurricanes, you will have ample weather warning and lots of places to duck into, with the possible exception of the panhandle area.
The northers are over with until winter. Afternoon/evening thunderstorms are about the worst weather you'll see.
You can cut through the 7 mile bridge (Moser Channel) if you don't want to go to Key West, and sail up the coast. Just keep an eye out for lobster and crab traps.
__________________

__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2016, 12:19   #3
RTB
Registered User
 
RTB's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Home port Kemah, TX Currently in Brunswick Georgia
Boat: Hunter 36
Posts: 1,460
Images: 2
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

I'm with Mike. You don't have to do it in one shot. We've done Pensacola to Marathon in Dec/Jan twice, but you have to play the cold fronts. Last time, going back to Texas, we did Marathon to Pensacola in April. It was an easy leg, with almost no thunderstorm activity to be concerned with. Mostly good offshore winds now, but T-storms are a worry.

Ralph
RTB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 10:47   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Spartanburg SC
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to yawstick
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

I have a similar question... crossing from Galveston area sailing more or less directly to Ft Meyers
__________________
yawstick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2016, 11:56   #5
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 14,801
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

I've crossed the Gulf a few times from PC to Marathon, Key West, etc. in the Summer.
I have found that the middle of Summer seems to be windless, or at least when I'm out it is, the "middle grounds" is where wind goes to die, I'm sure of it, so have plenty of Diesel on board.
I was nervous as a cat with 5' draft coming out of Marathon, but if you wait to Key West, draft is not an issue, may as well go see the Dry Tortugas if you have time.

Real good fishing in the middle grounds though, last month I got a 5 ft Wahoo there, didn't fish anymore on the trip, big Wahoo will take up a lot of freezer space and they are a fun fish to catch, when one hits, you know where it got it's name

I like to break it up, KW, DT to Tampa Bay or Clearwater or Tarpon Springs, then to Pensacola
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2016, 18:48   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 5
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Yes I am "in the same boat" as Yawstick (post #4). What's the best way to get from Galveston to the Florida Atlantic coast? I'm in no hurry, but I don't want the trip to take a year either.

The main issue is the wind - it blows the WRONG WAY most of the time - out of the SE, which is where I need to go! And the chop out in the middle of the Gulf can be wretched.

Which brings us to the ICW. Like I said, I'm in no hurry, and don't mind burning a little diesel, if that's what it takes, but... there are two problems with the ICW:

#1. Low bridges. There are several, but all it takes is ONE and my 55 ft mast is an issue. SO, I could lay the mast down, and once I get to Ft. Lauderdale, find somebody with a crane to help me get it back up. But ...

#2. The ICW is not contiguous. It fizzles out from Carrabelle to Clearwater, necessitating a 130 nm trip across the open Gulf. OK, I suppose I could wait for a good weather window and sail it, but... my mast is down (see #1 above), and for gosh sakes I don't want to dismount & remount the stick TWICE!!

I suppose another option would be to leave the mast up and sail around the Keys, but again we're talking about one harsh slog to windward for an awfully long distance.

Or should I plan on motoring it from Carrabelle to Clearwater? Doable, I suppose, but gosh darn it I bought a SAIL boat, not a power boat!! (And even motoring it requires a decent weather window.)

I'm stuck. Ideas, anyone?
__________________
dmw0214 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2016, 19:07   #7
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: galveston tx.
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 3,281
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw0214 View Post
Yes I am "in the same boat" as Yawstick (post #4). What's the best way to get from Galveston to the Florida Atlantic coast? I'm in no hurry, but I don't want the trip to take a year either.

The main issue is the wind - it blows the WRONG WAY most of the time - out of the SE, which is where I need to go! And the chop out in the middle of the Gulf can be wretched.

Which brings us to the ICW. Like I said, I'm in no hurry, and don't mind burning a little diesel, if that's what it takes, but... there are two problems with the ICW:

#1. Low bridges. There are several, but all it takes is ONE and my 55 ft mast is an issue. SO, I could lay the mast down, and once I get to Ft. Lauderdale, find somebody with a crane to help me get it back up. But ...

#2. The ICW is not contiguous. It fizzles out from Carrabelle to Clearwater, necessitating a 130 nm trip across the open Gulf. OK, I suppose I could wait for a good weather window and sail it, but... my mast is down (see #1 above), and for gosh sakes I don't want to dismount & remount the stick TWICE!!

I suppose another option would be to leave the mast up and sail around the Keys, but again we're talking about one harsh slog to windward for an awfully long distance.

Or should I plan on motoring it from Carrabelle to Clearwater? Doable, I suppose, but gosh darn it I bought a SAIL boat, not a power boat!! (And even motoring it requires a decent weather window.)

I'm stuck. Ideas, anyone?

Is your mast 55' tall, or do you have 55' between water and mast top? If your mast is 65'+ of the waterline you may have a problem, if less then you may have a few restrictions but very few.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
smj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2016, 19:22   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Boat: Amel Maramu 46
Posts: 19
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

My mast (with antenna) is also 55. Low bridges are not a big problem on the east coast, only the Gulf Coast. My draft and mast height prevent an Okeechobee transit. And with their curren algae bloom problem, it might not be pleasant, anyway. We will sail to Miami in February. Leave the boat there then go around the keys and straight across the Gulf next April or may.

I'm not a Gulf weather pattern expert. But you may be able to take advantage of winter northerlies across the Gulf. I don't know how predictable they are. I will avoid those as we will be headed North north west to Pensacola and don't wish to do a 5 or 6 day slog across the Gulf.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
hyperope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-07-2016, 20:19   #9
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: galveston tx.
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 3,281
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperope View Post
My mast (with antenna) is also 55. Low bridges are not a big problem on the east coast, only the Gulf Coast. My draft and mast height prevent an Okeechobee transit. And with their curren algae bloom problem, it might not be pleasant, anyway. We will sail to Miami in February. Leave the boat there then go around the keys and straight across the Gulf next April or may.

I'm not a Gulf weather pattern expert. But you may be able to take advantage of winter northerlies across the Gulf. I don't know how predictable they are. I will avoid those as we will be headed North north west to Pensacola and don't wish to do a 5 or 6 day slog across the Gulf.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

As you say you won't be able to transit the Okeechobee, but the only place on the gulf coast you will have a problem with mast clearance would be Port St. Joe to Pensacola.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
smj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2016, 03:48   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 30,690
Images: 240
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, yawstick.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-07-2016, 04:27   #11
cruiser

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 285
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

The short bridges in the Panhandle, west to east:

--Pensacola Beach (Bob Sikes) rumoured at 63', charted at 65'. I've hit my masthead antenna @61' on the central light, I'd go with the rumor
--Navarre @50'
--Ft Walton (Brooks) @50'
--Destin @49' (if you stay in the ICW you wouldn't use that one)
--Dupont (Panama City) @50'
__________________
AD28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2016, 20:44   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,435
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmw0214 View Post
Yes I am "in the same boat" as Yawstick (post #4). What's the best way to get from Galveston to the Florida Atlantic coast? I'm in no hurry, but I don't want the trip to take a year either.

The main issue is the wind - it blows the WRONG WAY most of the time - out of the SE, which is where I need to go! And the chop out in the middle of the Gulf can be wretched.

Which brings us to the ICW. Like I said, I'm in no hurry, and don't mind burning a little diesel, if that's what it takes, but... there are two problems with the ICW:

#1. Low bridges. There are several, but all it takes is ONE and my 55 ft mast is an issue. SO, I could lay the mast down, and once I get to Ft. Lauderdale, find somebody with a crane to help me get it back up. But ...

#2. The ICW is not contiguous. It fizzles out from Carrabelle to Clearwater, necessitating a 130 nm trip across the open Gulf. OK, I suppose I could wait for a good weather window and sail it, but... my mast is down (see #1 above), and for gosh sakes I don't want to dismount & remount the stick TWICE!!

I suppose another option would be to leave the mast up and sail around the Keys, but again we're talking about one harsh slog to windward for an awfully long distance.

Or should I plan on motoring it from Carrabelle to Clearwater? Doable, I suppose, but gosh darn it I bought a SAIL boat, not a power boat!! (And even motoring it requires a decent weather window.)

I'm stuck. Ideas, anyone?

Beeline to the foot of Louisiana, point toward Tampa until you pass the adverse currents, (passageweather.com), point south to Marathon. Grand Isle, Pensacola, Port Saint Joe...lots of good places to rest or duck the weather.

Set your AP, read, cook, play music, stare at the night sky. Pick a comfortable heading and speed. Reef at night w/ a preventer on the boom. Enjoy the sail.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2016, 07:47   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

Hello everyone,

I'm new here and stumbled upon this forum while looking for some answers on travel time. A friend of mine is bidding on a 42' boat. He wants to sail it back from south Florida to Pensacola. I was wondering how long, on average, it would take to undertake such an adventure. if he wins, he wants to do it during the late winter/early spring of 2017. he's self employed and has time. I still work and have limited time hence my hesitation to committing to this venture (among other things-time is not my only question mark).

any help would be greatly appreciated. As my one of my commanding officers use to say "in God we trust, all others-bring me data."

I'm squarely in the "bring me data group" :-)
__________________
papalos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2016, 08:30   #14
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Boat: Amel Maramu 46
Posts: 19
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

From what I understand, late winter, you might be bucking northerlies the whole way. Could be uncomfortable if you are out in that. I'm looking towards late may or early June if I make the trip.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
hyperope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-08-2016, 08:37   #15
Registered User
 
four winds's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wandering the US Gulf Coast
Boat: 78 Pearson323 Four Winds
Posts: 2,046
Re: Crossing Gulf of Mexico

papalos, welcome to the forum.

There are so many variables, and no certainties when trip planning. Not to mention south Florida is a big area.

But a rough estimate, from 7 mile bridge to Pensacola Pass is about 490nm. At a 5 knot average that's 4 days, and at 7 knot average it's 3 days.

Will you be able to flexibly schedule time off for the trip. Weather makes the schedule, not your work schedule.

But if you can schedule a week off at short notice it may work out.

Probably not the best idea to buy a boat and immediately take off on this trip though. Hopefuly the new owner can take some time to sail and motor around the local area for a few weeks to sort out the surprises that pop up in a boat purchase.
__________________

__________________
Life begins at the waters edge.
four winds is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gulf of mexico, Mexico

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gulf of Mexico crossing. TallCotton Rules of the Road, Regulations & Red Tape 7 01-01-2016 10:57
Crew Wanted: Gulf of Mexico Crossing Autumns Wind Crew Archives 2 30-08-2013 21:57
Crossing Gulf of Mexico Late December to January? mickinetic Atlantic & the Caribbean 10 25-08-2011 13:57
Crossing the Gulf Of Mexico from The Florida Keys linabu Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 21-02-2011 08:45


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.