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Old 16-10-2010, 06:41   #16
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Congrats! We did the trip you're describing last year. Loved Charleston, SC and St Augustine, FL the best along the US coast down. Fantastic experience! More details on our trip are in my blog (www.HometownAnnapolis.com - The Capital) Toggle and look at Sept 2009 - Dec 2009.

BTW, we're in Annapolis right now, send me a PM if you'd like to get together one evening next week to talk more about the trip.
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Old 16-10-2010, 08:10   #17
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The major issue in going off shore is experience. If you go alone without experienced crew you must climb a very steep learning curve before something bad happens that you are ill equipped to deal with because....you are inexperienced. So, one option is to put your pride in your pocket and search out experienced crew. If you go on the Carib 1500 (or some other organized rally) they can provide a list of good people who want to crew but cannot do a round trip. Another option is to make your departure at the same time on the same course as a rally. That way you will have lots of other boats just over the horizon and on a parallel course to your own. Chat with them on the SSB and derive comfort from the security of being in a group. With experience comes confidence. And confidence drives out fear. Even if you come through that first trip without a hitch you may have been living every day stressed out and none to eager to continue the adventure. Nothing insurmountable can happen if you keep the water on the right side of the hull.
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Old 16-10-2010, 08:17   #18
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Uh ... the OP is going to the Bahamas, not sure why several people have recommened getting into the 1500 - which goes to the Virgin Islands? And BTW, the 1500 doesn't like boats less than about 40 feet, the OP has a 31' I'd also add that their "offshore" may be more like "parallel to the coast, on the outside instead of the ICW" and for almost all of it they'll be easily well within VHF range of the US/Bahamian Coast Guard.

Going from Annapolis to the Bahamas can be done in a series of dayhops, one overnight crossing the Gulf Stream from Florida or anchoring overnight on the Bahamas banks. So, never need to go on a bad-weather day, or travel outside of the range of weather forecasts.
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Old 16-10-2010, 08:56   #19
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The course of the 1500 is 090 from Hampton to cross the Gulf Stream quickly. From there it is a rumb line to Tortola. The minimum size boat is 40 feet. That is for two reasons.

First, they want all the boats to arrive more or less together after a 7 to 10 day passage. Smaller boats, having a lower hull speed, tend to take longer. The crew misses the parties.

Second, the 1500 organizers are very strong on safety (as they should be) and packing all of that is required to pass the pre-departure inspection would be hard to do on a smaller boat.

Lastly, if you scheduled your route to coincide with a rally you could derive cumfort from their proximity. Sailors are a helpful lot and are always happy to blather on about the best way to do this or that. If you try a port-to-port trip going down the coast you will have to make many landfalls while you are alone. Some of these may have to be at night where the lighted channel bouys can be lost in the shore side light clutter. Is your navigation up to the task? Are your nerves up to it? Better to learn the sailor's craft off shore in good company and make your first landfall with a mimimum of stress. You will have plenty of time for stress later on.
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Old 17-10-2010, 17:57   #20
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not are cup of tea

we are more the type to go it on our own and not be tied to a schedual. we like taking our time. thanks for all the info you guys and gals are great. any idea how long it might take us to hit the bahamas if we jump off at beaufort s.c. thanks
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Old 17-10-2010, 20:06   #21
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congrats on moving aboard.

your question about how long the Beaufort-Bahamas leg will take might get more attention in other forums than the liveaboard forum. Feel free to post the question elsewhere.

I have never done that passage myself, but I can tell you that the first thing you'll have to do is come up with a realistic, somewhat conservative planning figure for how many miles you will usually travel in a day FOR YOUR BOAT while under sail. Don't rely on someone else's numbers if they are using a different boat. On my boat, I could easily make that passage in three days under sail. But if your boat is 31 feet LOA and mine is 46, guess what....

You're talking about a 400 nm passage, depending upon your intended port of call. Can your boat reliably give you 100 nm per day under sail? If so, the math becomes fairly easy.
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