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Old 24-08-2011, 10:54   #1
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Gulf of Mexico Passage

dear skippers I'm preparing for my first passage trough the gulf of Mexico from Galveston to fort Meyers Florida ,I'm planing on a straight shot on a bennetaou 32 s5 I'm equipping the boat with autopilot ,wind indicator ,chart plotter and I have a doubt about getting a radar ,on your opinion you think I can do with out it?
all advise is welcome .
thank you in advanced
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Old 24-08-2011, 11:04   #2
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Re: gulf of mexico passage

you will have fun. is gorgeous. dont hit any man made stuffies .... watch your weather....do troll for fishies.
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Old 24-08-2011, 13:35   #3
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

I lot of the problems you can face are discussed in the thread "Gulf of Mexico"
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Old 24-08-2011, 13:52   #4
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

How's the watch schedule? Are you single handing?
Erika

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Crossed a dozen times never with radar but ALWAYS with proper watch, tons of stuff to hit out there even far from land.
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Old 24-08-2011, 13:55   #5
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

Also, :-),
When are you leaving? Waiting for November/December?
Erika
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Old 24-08-2011, 21:05   #6
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

I'd rather have a radar than a chart plotter.
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Old 24-08-2011, 21:39   #7
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

we sailed it in all seasons-- have you thought of going icw to ponchartrain and across then out rigolets and bourne lake into mississippi sound? ye miss a lot of stuff to hit and delta muck.
be prepared to be able to check weather frequently--the radio weather on vhf is not enough. is a fun place to sail.
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Old 31-08-2011, 10:29   #8
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

if you are single handing i would use radar. but if you have at least one other person aboard, rotate watches and keep a good lookout all the time. be prepared for anything to happen and enjoy the trip.
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Old 29-09-2011, 16:54   #9
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

I have two radar systems on my boat and wouldn't leave the dock without them.
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Old 18-10-2011, 08:18   #10
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

Any updates, what is the link to Gulf of Mexico crossing? The boat I am looking at is a 27 footer. Too Small? I would be looking for near perfect weather even if I had to wait a year.
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Old 23-10-2011, 14:52   #11
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

27' is not too small if it is built good and is a good offshore boat. most cruising couples that are on a modest income cruise on boats from 23' to 31'. just under 31' seems to be the "ideal" affordable cruising boat. it all depends on the size of your wallet and "your ideal living comforts" . like the "PARDEY'S" always say "go small , go simple, but go now" because like i say " if you dont live your dream, someone else will" . i have looked and looked and i cannot find an affordable cruising sailboat that i like so the cheapest and most desirable way for me is to build one. i enjoy working with wood and i like the classic wooden yachts so that is the best way for me. but for someone else it might not be the best way. by building the boat myself i know how strong it is and i have the skills to make any repairs and to maintain the boat myself so that alone will save me alot of money.
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:03   #12
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

just watch weather-- folks have done itin smaller boats--i know some--- just watch weather--not just listen--look online for passage weather-- good for 3 days in gom. watch sky for front change clouds-- it WILL change--and find out what noaa thinks is coming--is severe or extreme-- go to a good hidey hole. it WILL blow hard. severe is over 50 kts and extreme is 80-100kts. we ran in from that one 2010 april 21...... we got hurt. we were in 37 ft. so check weather and be safe. you can do it.
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Old 23-10-2011, 16:06   #13
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

If you are leaving from Galveston then you will be nose onto prevailing winds going to Ft Myers. Also you will be in the oil patch for half of the trip. If you were to leave from Corpus Christi and go southeast you will see few platforms and be out of them for the most part on the second day. The Gulf has the potential to be a pain to cross. The seas like to get confused because of the Gulf Stream. Eddy’s break off of the stream and spin like tops. Also I think it is 70% of the inland steams in the United States dump in to the Gulf adding to the confused seas. Throw in the Northerns that build in intensity with winter and it can get bumpy. Take a look at an AIS ship tracker website. You will find out that the Gulf is a busy place.
If I had a crew and radar I would stay in the oil patch because as much as people complain about platforms you are a lot closer to help if you ever needed it. If I am alone then I get out of the oil patch as quick as I can and into open waters. I did a solo crossing this past April. Originally I was headed to Ft Myers but due to time constraints on my 8th day I turned north and headed to Gulfport. You can read about this crossing at http://kaldenbach.us/sailing/aloneingulf.html on my website. Given the amount of platforms in the Gulf I would recommend a radar. Along with radar I have AIS transponder. I was able to watch the radar and AIS from my berth on the settee. Also keep in mind that used radars are for sale all over the net and can be had cheap.
The weather forecast you get before you leave is only good for about three days. After that you need to keep an eye out and make your own forecast unless you have a way of getting a weather report. I have a SSB transceiver that I got reports daily but if you don’t have the money to set your boat up with one then buy a Grundig or similar radio to get forecast. You can even download weather charts using a lap top and a cheap 10 dollar cord from Radio Shack. You will need an external antenna and software you can download free online.
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Old 23-10-2011, 16:10   #14
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

is a nice inner waterway sail from galveston bay to rigolets via icw. then out rigolets, cross mississippi sound then into gulf-- then down to fla is a good way--no rigs whatsoever from louisiana side of gulf of mexico. only in teejass...... and the fishing is great.....
had a ball and there is so much to see---

this way ye can be out of sight of land and still miss gulf stream.
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Old 24-10-2011, 08:20   #15
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Re: Gulf of Mexico Passage

Quote:
Originally Posted by cd30ketch View Post
You can even download weather charts using a lap top and a cheap 10 dollar cord from Radio Shack. You will need an external antenna and software you can download free online.
More info please.

Plus ditto on the oil patforms, I have used them as a shield when fishing in extreme weather. They block lightening, hailstones, and most of the wind. And in an emergency they can get help, some people have even been brought aboard after fishing boat sank. But long hual at night weaving in between the smaller ones can get spooky, lots of pipes not all of them lit, good fishing though.
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