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Old 25-06-2018, 07:41   #1
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22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

So I have been rebuilding a boat that I got for free from Craigslist. I haven't been able to find the exact model online but it is extremely similar to a Catalina 22. While I continue to make my YouTube videos of getting this thing sailing again, I have been wondering how far I can go with it. I haven't sailed much at all so I plan to start practicing on the local lake but would it be crazy to think I could sail it to the Keys or even the Bahamas?


The more I read about it the more I see "it is possible" and "it has been done on smaller". But I would like more of an opinion based answer than technical. What do you all think? I am sure safety and comfort are the big players in something like this right?


Obviously I am not going to drop it in the water and head out to the Bahamas day 1 but instead get the feel of the boat, practice and build my confidence. But I like looking ahead and wondering if I need to start looking for something bigger for the bigger trips.
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Old 25-06-2018, 07:53   #2
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Easily done both for the Keys and the Bahamas. Work your way down Biscayne Bay and cross to Bimini from Key Largo, easier than bashing into the Stream from Lauderdale or Miami.

Pick a night when the wind is south or west.
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Old 25-06-2018, 08:02   #3
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amremington View Post
So I have been rebuilding a boat that I got for free from Craigslist. I haven't been able to find the exact model online but it is extremely similar to a Catalina 22. While I continue to make my YouTube videos of getting this thing sailing again, I have been wondering how far I can go with it. I haven't sailed much at all so I plan to start practicing on the local lake but would it be crazy to think I could sail it to the Keys or even the Bahamas?

The more I read about it the more I see "it is possible" and "it has been done on smaller". But I would like more of an opinion based answer than technical. What do you all think? I am sure safety and comfort are the big players in something like this right?

Obviously I am not going to drop it in the water and head out to the Bahamas day 1 but instead get the feel of the boat, practice and build my confidence. But I like looking ahead and wondering if I need to start looking for something bigger for the bigger trips.

I've crossed 2 Great Lakes in a 19' sailboat, so hell yeah - when you've got her all fixed up and have a season or two under your belt, you should be able to tackle the Keys or the Bahamas.


One of the cool things about smaller boats is that you can trailer down as far as you want; you don't have to endure a 2 week slog down the ICW if you don't want to.


Best wishes and enjoy your boat!
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Old 25-06-2018, 08:04   #4
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Not sure where you're coming from but the Keys is an excellent goal. If you're coming from the west side I wouldn't cross the Gulf but with a boat that small, assuming you have the draft of a Catalina 22, you can hug the coast. The water between Panama City & Tarpon Springs is very shallow along the coast but it's really beautiful with many really neat places to explore. Make sure everything is in good condition including the mast & rigging. If you have a centerboard replace the pennant. Also very important that you have a good reliable outboard and lots of fuel. If you're coming down the east coast you'll be travelling the ICW the whole way so a lot of motoring.

The Bahamas is technically possible but I don't recommend it in a boat that size without an epirb.
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Old 25-06-2018, 08:24   #5
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Sounds like a great time. Go for it.
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Old 25-06-2018, 09:14   #6
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Met a 70-year old ex-priest and his 13-year-old son in the Bahamas who crossed in a Tanzer 22.



Their outboard had the bottom of the cowling sealed with silicone and a couple of feet of 2 inch ABS pipe straight out the top to serve as an air intake snorkel for when the motor submerged between waves.



They made it, but as another wrote, choose your crossing carefully.
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Old 25-06-2018, 09:31   #7
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

I made the crossing numerous times on a Spirit 23 from West Palm to West End.
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Old 25-06-2018, 09:36   #8
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

22 foot yacht and a few years in the Bahamas or a few years working for a larger yacht in a job you don't particularly enjoy? Go for it. You spend more time usually out of the yacht than in it. Just pack accordingly
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Old 25-06-2018, 09:48   #9
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Yup, can be done for sure and you will have a ball, albeit an uncomfortable one :-)

Swing keel or fixed?
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Old 25-06-2018, 10:07   #10
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

In the 1970's and 80's in the Bahamas, it wasn't unusual to run into a young couple with a dog and maybe one or two children on sailboats under 30-35 feet who sailed from Europe, usually England.

Most planned to sail the Carib then the rest of the way around the planet. Most looked at the Pacific and often stayed. Englishmen usually stayed in the commonwealth countries and french in their colonies.

I have a friend who single handed a 27 footer from England to the Bahamas. I once ran into two Sweds who bought a 14ft inflatable in Miami and camped the Bahamas.

Buy a Cruisers guide. April-July is the best time. Go for it.
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Old 25-06-2018, 10:15   #11
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

See this thread (I posted comment #3 and #7) for some tips on Sailing from South Florida to Bimini:
Southern Florida to Bimini, Bahamas, passage, anchorages etc.
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One of CF's members, SUMNER, has done extensive travel and sailing with trailer sailor boats and he also has a Endeavour 37 too. I very much enjoyed reading his excellent and very helpful written and well illustrated logs he has published online. See the links below for these. I think many new sailors who are considering buying any kind of trailer sailor boat would learn a lot from Sumner's experiences and his nicely written and organized information.

So, even if you don't plan on buying a Mac26S, you can learn from his experience. I enjoyed reading about his Bahama Voyage (2015) and noted many of his observations would be helpful to me when I make a similar voyage in the future. He has done an outstanding job of writing, photographing, and assembling lots of information that is helpful. In short: Highly Recommended Reading!

Sumner's Bahama Trip MENU Page
http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...Main-Menu.html

Sumner's Things Before Heading to the Bahamas
This page has very good insights into preparing your boat and yourself for the trip to the Bahamas in a small boat.
http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...onsider-1.html

Sumner's Bahamas 2015 Voyage INDEX page
This page has links to each leg of his voyage. Each leg is written in detail with many very good photos illustrating his trip. http://1fatgmc.com/boat/mac-1/2015%2...p%20Index.html

Sumner's Other Trips in a MacGregor 26S
Lake sailing in the American West, Lake Powell, Canada, Florida, etc.
Macgregor Trips-1 Index

Sumner's MacGregor 26S MENU Page
This page has links to many articles which illustrate and describe Sumner's modifications and updates to his MacGregor 26S boat. I enjoyed viewing these articles to see how he had prepared and customized his boat for travel and Voyaging and comfort. Well worth visiting if you are a trailer sailor even if your boat is not a Mac 26S. Lots of ideas illustrated.
Macgregor 26S Index

Sumner's Links Trailer Sailor Page
This is a very extensive page of links to many sites that will interest trailer sailors. Especially noted are the many trailer sailor groups or associations around the USA. While many of the links are to MacGregor boat groups, many are not. There are also links to exemplary blogs by trailer sailors. And links to sources of parts etc. So, there is a long list of sites and blogs which can help a trailer sailor learn. Well worth seeing and bookmarking for future reference.
Macgregor - Venture Sailboat Links

Finally, if you learn something from him or enjoy his writing, drop him a "Thank You" to show his many hours of writing were appreciated. Good Karma!
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Old 25-06-2018, 10:22   #12
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
Not sure where you're coming from but the Keys is an excellent goal. If you're coming from the west side I wouldn't cross the Gulf but with a boat that small, assuming you have the draft of a Catalina 22, you can hug the coast. The water between Panama City & Tarpon Springs is very shallow along the coast but it's really beautiful with many really neat places to explore. Make sure everything is in good condition including the mast & rigging. If you have a centerboard replace the pennant. Also very important that you have a good reliable outboard and lots of fuel. If you're coming down the east coast you'll be travelling the ICW the whole way so a lot of motoring.

The Bahamas is technically possible but I don't recommend it in a boat that size without an epirb.
Ditto
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Old 25-06-2018, 10:23   #13
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Yep it's doable, numerous people have circumnavigated in boats under 28ft. I personally new a guy in the UK who not only sailed all round the Irish sea but lived aboard a 19 footer. Her's the BUT. The smaller the boat the more carefully it needs to be set up and the more experienced the skipper needs to be. Look up some info from people who have soloed small boats (try 'Jester'). You don't need to think in terms of major long distances but small boats travel more slowly so the risk of a change in weather is higher and it takes less to stop them. It is unlikely you would be able to make progress to windward in anything above 20kn which is not 'bad weather' offshore, just a brisk day. You do need to be able to batten down and ride it out safely and that means the boat being OK to take waves sweeping the deck and for you to be safe below deck. In such a small boat I would strongly recommend an AIS transponder. Hove to in a 3m swell I doubt anyone will see you either by eyeball or Radar and a decent radar reflector is a seriously large item to put up your mast (ignore the little tube things they are toys!). Have fun
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Old 25-06-2018, 10:33   #14
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

Did it ages ago in a 19’ keel boat and a couple of years later in a 28’ Bahamian ketch both out of Miami in good weather to Bimini. Would like to do it again but running out of time!
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Old 25-06-2018, 11:01   #15
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Re: 22ft Bahamas Trip? Or not a good idea?

I sailed to Hawaii, 4 trips, in a Islander 24, full keel and a Cal 25 fin keel. MY self, I would not do it in a swing keel. Just don't like them. I also circumnavigated in a Cascade 29 also fin keel. I met a guy in the Pacific that sailed from Japan to Australia in a Mac 26s. So the Bahamas are doable in a 22 foot.
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