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Old 28-12-2014, 05:04   #1
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Question New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

Hi there,
I'm in the process of buying a 40 foot sailboat and sail her from the Boston area to the UK in 2015. We are going to live on her and will be doing some cruising, 2 adults and 2 kids and a dog.

My question:

What is the best time to leave Boston to sail over to the UK? And should I go via the Azores or skip 'em?

I'm working on provisions, boat got 100 gallons of water. But it will be a solo crossing

Thankful for any advice.

Ps. Been sailing since I was like 5 years old
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Old 28-12-2014, 05:13   #2
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

May to June is generally considered the best time, but July can work as well.

Azores? Depends on how long you want to spend at sea alone. We made the trip last summer and really enjoyed the Azores, if I did it again I would make sure to allow more time to go cruising there.
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Old 28-12-2014, 05:15   #3
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GA.
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Old 28-12-2014, 05:21   #4
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Thumbs up Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

Thanks, shortest time, want to cruise with the family. If I had the dough, I would have her shipped to Europe, but that cost more than the boat itself nowadays
Been doing some research and seeing that going close by Canada has many challenges, shallow water, risk of big waves and many offshore rigs too.
Amazingly they are tons of things crossing east to west, but nothing west to east. I know how people must feel and not wanting to return to Europe, lol. But some people must have done it......right?
I heard this year 2014 Boston had snow into April.
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:02   #5
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

Yes, last year was a very bad winter in the northern hemisphere and as a result, ice in the Labrador Current last summer was at a thirty year high and extended past the maximum limits shown on the pilot charts well into July.

Have to say, I feel like I am hearing alarm bells going off right now.

New to you boat, single handing, wanting to take the shortest route, sounds to me like you have a schedule. I know you say you have been sailing since five, have you ever crossed an ocean before?
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:29   #6
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pirate Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

Head down the ICW sorting teething problems as you go.. When you get to Cape Lookout/Moorehead City jump out and across to Bermuda then on to the Azores.. from there its 850 odd miles to Lisbon where your family can fly out and join you,,,
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:36   #7
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

No schedule' wanting the easiest and safest route to Europe.
I'm in no hurry and what's the difference in new or old boat? Lol.
No I haven't done a passage yet, there is a first time for everything!
I appreciate your concern, why do you think I'm asking for advice?
Timing is the most important key for me. Too early and I have ice bergs and massive waves to deal with, too late and then we have hurricane season. Looks like west to east is a bit more challenging, then Canary Islands to Carebean.
What time did it get warm this year on the east coast?
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:40   #8
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

This is a serious passage and not to be undertaken lightly.
You need to leave the USA at the start of the hurricane season, May-June. It is lightly that you will experience at least one big blow during your crossing.

If you are single handing I would recommend coming via Bermuda and the Azores. Allow yourself time to do repairs and recuperate at each stopover. You will need to!

The approach to the UK can be testing with testing lows and steep seas.

Be safe.
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:42   #9
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

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Head down the ICW sorting teething problems as you go.. When you get to Cape Lookout/Moorehead City jump out and across to Bermuda then on to the Azores.. from there its 850 odd miles to Lisbon where your family can fly out and join you,,,
Was contemplating that way, only problem, I have to pickup rest of my gear and folks in the UK.
Trust me, I rather stay clear of the UK, been here for 3 years and can't take the weather anymore
Have to use a 3.5/5mm wetsuit in summer for windsurfing in summer here!
Time for a laditude change.....

Also bit worried the trades will be against me from the Azores to the UK
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:47   #10
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

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This is a serious passage and not to be undertaken lightly.
You need to leave the USA at the start of the hurricane season, May-June. It is lightly that you will experience at least one big blow during your crossing.

If you are single handing I would recommend coming via Bermuda and the Azores. Allow yourself time to do repairs and recuperate at each stopover. You will need to!

The approach to the UK can be testing with testing lows and steep seas.

Be safe.
Thanks.
Aren't then trade winds going southerly from the Azores?
Looking at previous weather data, looks nearly south along the Portugal in June/July?!
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:49   #11
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Originally Posted by GermanAmerican View Post
Was contemplating that way, only problem, I have to pickup rest of my gear and folks in the UK.
Trust me, I rather stay clear of the UK, been here for 3 years and can't take the weather anymore
Have to use a 3.5/5mm wetsuit in summer for windsurfing in summer here!
Time for a laditude change.....

Also bit worried the trades will be against me from the Azores to the UK
In that case follow the route to the Azores.. then head for Baiona/La Coruna in N Spain.. take a day or two off and then ride a SW'ly from there to Falmouth or points further E.. 450miles roughly to Falmouth..
You can take the direct route but its around 1400 miles and can get a lot of calms in the S Approaches that time of year.. so carry extra fuel if you choose that route
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Old 28-12-2014, 06:54   #12
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In that case follow the route to the Azores.. then head for Baiona/La Coruna in N Spain.. take a day or two off and then ride a SW'ly from there to Falmouth or points further E.. 450miles roughly to Falmouth..
You can take the direct route but its around 1400 miles and a lot of calms in the S Approaches so carry extra fuel if you choose that route
Oh I like that approach. Was thinking for EU to stop at La Coruna anyway before heading northeast.

That's where I'm most worried is heading into the English Channel, so much traffic.

I do like that idea very much though
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Old 28-12-2014, 07:05   #13
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

"Shortest route, want to cruise with family" or "no schedule, want safest route"? Confusing.

New boat old boat what does it matter? Well, either way it's a new to YOU boat which means you have no experience with it. Lot's of little details.

Agree wth boatman that some kind of pre-crossing trip would give you a chance to sort things out.

Do you have an unlimited budget and are buying a perfectly maintained boat that has circumnavigated recently, or are you on a budget buying a boat that is a dock queen? I don't know. I imagine it would matter.

Never crossed an ocean. Hey that's fine with me. Personally I chose to make my first crossing with someone who had done it before, but to each his own. It's a big ocean. Best of luck.
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Old 28-12-2014, 07:17   #14
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pirate Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

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Oh I like that approach. Was thinking for EU to stop at La Coruna anyway before heading northeast.

That's where I'm most worried is heading into the English Channel, so much traffic.

I do like that idea very much though
Don't over think the traffic.. its not that bad between Ushant and Falmouth.. its further E it gets really dense as it heads for the bottle necks.. and watch for coastal traffic heading for Plymouth if you head for there.. gets busy after sunset..lol.
If you want somewhere like S'hampton or further E make the UK coast 1st before turning E.. more hidey holes that are 'All tide states' than Brittany if there's a sudden screecher.. which can happen..
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Old 28-12-2014, 07:49   #15
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Re: New and wanting to cross the Atlantic west to east

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Don't over think the traffic.. its not that bad between Ushant and Falmouth.. its further E it gets really dense as it heads for the bottle necks.. and watch for coastal traffic heading for Plymouth if you head for there.. gets busy after sunset..lol.
If you want somewhere like S'hampton or further E make the UK coast 1st before turning E.. more hidey holes that are 'All tide states' than Brittany if there's a sudden screecher.. which can happen..

Portsmouth is where I need to go. I know Southampton traffic, from car ferries to Hoover craft.
It's the tankers and cargo ships that I can see on AIS in the shipping lanes. Going to try stay clear of the shipping lanes, even thinking of going around east of Isle of Wight to avoid, traffic, current and the sand banks past the Needles.
Staying close the coast isn't a bad idea either. I know from flying, the most likely accidents are within 5 miles of your home airport (Too confident and too familiar).
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