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Old 17-01-2013, 22:00   #1
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Greetings to all...

Hello all!! I am and old "new boater". What I mean is that I am 48 years old and a side from my Searay 28 that I have had for 1 year (to boot around lake Ontario).

My (and my wife's) intentions are to take every marine, navigation, and captain's course in the next 18 months in order to gain valuable experience and knowledge in preparation for our ultimate goal....a 20 month great loop starting from Toronto Ontario and weaving through the great lakes to the
Tenn-Tom route and then going to the Miami area. from there we would like to move west to Bimini and through the Bahamas, then to Cuba and eventually to Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula in order to check out the Mayan ruins. From there; We would boogie across the Gulf of Mexico to the Keys, up to Miami again and finally through the ICW, Dismal Swamp, New York and St. Lawrence Canal and finally back home to Lake Ontario.

The vessel we would like to use for this trip is from an N37 Grand Banks trawler(7 knots top speed) or equivalent in respect to space and safety. Our Ideal vessel is one that has about the same size living space as an N37 GB trawler but can do 14 - 28 knots at full tilt and have a draft of 48" or less and dual screws.

Aside from that (which we have over 18 months to get) my biggest fear is the Tenn-Tom route and the "wing damns". I fear running aground. and from what I have read; the wing damns can change from week to week. I have basically been told to simply stay in the center of the river (and between the day markers...if they are even there) and we should be OK.

Any advice would be awesome.

Captain Cyber

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Old 17-01-2013, 22:05   #2
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Re: Greetings to all...

One other thing...I have a total of 3 years experience sailing(in my late teens and early 20s) and 1 year using power boats before I got my Searay. My wife has just received her safe boaters certification and will be taking ALL the additional courses I will be taking the the next 12 - 18 months from the CPSS (Canadian Power and Sail Squadron).

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Old 18-01-2013, 02:11   #3
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Re: Greetings to all...

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Tantrix.
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Old 18-01-2013, 03:19   #4
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Re: Greetings to all...

Tantrix, A suggestion! As a retired airline pilot / instructor / check pilot, who has been studying his whole life, flying for 55 years and sailing for 40 years, I would like to suggest a good initial course in each separate discipline (sailing / navigation / etc) to get the basics down, then consider good instructional books and sailing as often as you can, especially with those more knowledgable and experienced than yourself to build on and enhance your knowledge. This course of action will not be nearly as expensive as trying to enroll in every course in sight in the hopes that someone will impart the knowledge to you. Additionally, you will benefit far more by being an interactive participant in your education. Just my two cents worth!
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Old 18-01-2013, 05:43   #5
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Re: Greetings to all...

Welcome aboard, Capt. Cyber! The width of the channel between the wing dams is considerable...designed to accommodate tugs with several barges often two abreast, so, as long as you stay in the channel, you should be fine. Pay careful attention though when barges are coming the other way!

You will want to develop some navigating skills, but, in reality, it's the skipper who pays attention (navigation, vessel, conditions, other vessels, crew, etc...) who has the least problems. Hope to see you on the water soon!
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Old 18-01-2013, 06:04   #6
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Re: Greetings to all...

Ahoy and welcome from Southern California
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Old 18-01-2013, 06:09   #7
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Re: Greetings to all...

Hi Captain Cyber and welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have a pretty good plan in place. You probably already have this in mind but in addition to taking courses, read everything boating you can get your hands on. I have spent hours reading old threads and discussions just on this forum.

Otherwise I only have one suggestion. If you plan to go to Bimini from Miami you might want to head east instead of west. If you go west I'm pretty sure you will end up in the middle of a swamp.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 18-01-2013, 07:23   #8
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Re: Greetings to all...

Thanks for all the kind welcomes I made a few mistakes in my original post so here are the corrections. My ideal vessel is a Great Harbor (not grand banks) N37 or something equivalent in size and draft. The GH N37 - speed wise - tops out at just under 8 knots (which is a great speed for the ICW); If the N37 had a top speed of between 12 - 16 knots it would be the perfect live aboard for me and my wife. And yes we would head EAST not west to

I have been reading up online on cruising and such for almost a year now and as I mentioned am planning on taking some courses with my wife primarily on advanced navigation, advanced chart reading, boat maintenance, how to read weather systems and we are both getting our VHF certification.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:06   #9
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Re: Greetings to all...

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you posting here.
kind regards,

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