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Old 07-01-2011, 15:12   #1
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Just Bought a Sailboat - Looking Towards Cruising to Warmer Climes

Greetings!

My wife and I just purchased sailboat with hope of eventually sailing to the Bahamas during the winter. We are small boat sailers, so the idea of sailing offshore seems daunting. I hope that we can learn from you all.
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Old 07-01-2011, 15:42   #2
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Welcome to the forum - Exciting times - new boat! I must say that this is a great group and I have learned a lot.
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Old 07-01-2011, 15:51   #3
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Thanks Ed Sail,

We're not really sure where to start...
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterasche
Thanks Ed Sail,

We're not really sure where to start...
If you're aiming for the Bahamas, I wouldn't start from there.
Actually, where are you in relation to the Bahamas?
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:22   #5
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We live in Wiscasset, Maine...on a tidal part of the Sheepscot river.
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:24   #6
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Welcome to the forum. What kind of boat did you buy?

Maje
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterasche
We live in Wiscasset, Maine...on a tidal part of the Sheepscot river.
Well you're on the right side for the Bahamas. Unfortunately that's about all the navagational help I can give you as I've yet to cross the pond! If you're after fine weather, I'd stick with Plan A. The English Channel is rather cold and the wind usually blows the wrong way.
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:36   #8
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Thanks, someone asked...we've bought a Shannon 28'
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:38   #9
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also new to internet forums, so please forgive any awkwardness
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterasche
also new to internet forums, so please forgive any awkwardness
I should think this forum is like a giant international yacht club bar which is always open. What you want is to find someone with a bit of local knowledge of the U.S. East coast - not some grumpy English yachty. Actually I'm not really that grumpy and do wish you the best of luck on your voyage to the Bahamas. All I'd say is "get to know your boat and get started - don't put off your dream"
Make it happen!
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Old 07-01-2011, 16:57   #11
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Don't know if you desire offshore sailing to the bahamas or want to run the ditch down peeking outside when it's nice. There's the gulf stream to deal with against you so generally you stay inside and close or cross it and stay out and of course it can kick up and be nasty with weather. The offshore route is substantial and requires good planning. Seas start to build in the fall in the atlantic as hurricane season goes away. But the trip is wonderful! Start by watching forecasts of wind and wave height as well as gulf stream info on Passage Weather (.com) and studying the Pilot Charts for the area. They are a compilation of information gathered over a long time and show all kinds of averages by month-wave height, wind direction and speed, frequency of gales, paths and frequency of tropical storms, current etc. Downloadable free out there in internet land.
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Old 07-01-2011, 17:41   #12
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I'm down Freeport way. Just had a friend jump to Bermuda from VA and then down to the Carribean. Best take away from that trip-don't do it in November. The two of them rebuilt their boat (learned more than I'll ever know) then went down the ICW until opposite, then across, recovered, and south. Very stormy, they tell me. Best to do it earlier in the year. I love where you live. And I love cruising Maine. Try it here for a summer before you take the leap? Or not. Best of Luck.
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Old 07-01-2011, 17:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterasche View Post

We're not really sure where to start...
Don't worry. Soon you'll be asking "where do I stop?"

Welcome.
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Old 07-01-2011, 19:04   #14
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........-don't do it in November. ........... Best to do it earlier in the year. ......
I got held up in Bermuda for Saryna and then Tomas was lurking down thataway....Left Nantucket Oct 20. Conventional wisdom says leave later, not earlier. "After thanksgiving" to be "safe" from those twisty ones acording to many oldtimers. Cold-yes. Bigger seas- yes, Higher chance of gales-yes...but way less chance of the whirling dervishes! Check out those pilot charts.

Of course going all the way down in the ditch and then crossing only requires one overnight (or less but being able to see lights can be helpful) to cross but hurricanes wouldn't be too much fun near land iether.
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Old 07-01-2011, 19:08   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jatkins View Post
I should think this forum is like a giant international yacht club bar which is always open. What you want is to find someone with a bit of local knowledge of the U.S. East coast - not some grumpy English yachty. Actually I'm not really that grumpy and do wish you the best of luck on your voyage to the Bahamas. All I'd say is "get to know your boat and get started - don't put off your dream"
Make it happen!

And yes just like a bar, don't always listen to the guy who talks the loudest. All the advice is worth the amount you are paying for it. So take it learn some from it and keep learning from other sources too.

Welcome aboard and enjoy the future trip
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