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Old 03-08-2014, 08:01   #61
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
Can we stop arguing about the boat and more thoroughly define and advise the OP about the weather window he needs to make this crossing? The majority agrees the boat can do it.

I'll start. South winds. Any wind direction with a lot of S in it will really make this crossing easier.

Next...

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No argument here. That would be the direction I would be looking for if I sailed my brick **** house across....

BZT
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:04   #62
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

Hey bzt, You forgot about the most important reason little boats shouldn't sail out there. IT'S in the Devils Triangle. Thar be sea monsters out thar that eat little boats like popcorn. By the way windsurfers have done it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:12   #63
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
Ignore chicken little, insofar as the boat being competent to cross to Bimini. Kidding, BZT, I think your intentions are good. This is a short, easy passage in proper conditions, and the potter is suitable. Not ideal, but all of us compromise in our boat designs, your's being very portable - but light.

I sailed a potter as my first boat, but moved up as I took it offshore more and more. Had some great adventures, and could drift out to sea in the tiniest little inlets that no other boats used. I also used the mothership for oystering, now I have to use the inflatable - which is suboptimal.

One week is not likely to get you there and back. Just have a backup in the keys, or the everglades if it's blowing. Lots of good cruising over there, but most of us in bigger boats would time that short crossing carefully too.

Plan it out, even if just an exercise for a future passage to Bimini when you have more time, at a better time of year. And plan a fallback, so that you can use your boat somewhere in S Florida when the right weather window does not present. Having to sail back in marginal conditions would be a nightmare, even in my boat it could become vomit city. As long as you respect the design limitations of the boat, you'll be fine. There is so much fun you can have in that little boat, I miss having one for the mountain lakes around my house.
Chicken Little! I'm crushed. I don't think I will ever recover. Btw, you did get it right, particularly your last sentence.

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Old 03-08-2014, 08:18   #64
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Originally Posted by s/vfootloose View Post
Hey bzt, You forgot about the most important reason little boats shouldn't sail out there. IT'S in the Devils Triangle. Thar be sea monsters out thar that eat little boats like popcorn. By the way windsurfers have done it.
Devil's Triangle! OMG, you mean Murphy's play ground.

BZT
Btw, the last windsurfer to venture off shore and make the news in Florida was eaten by sharks. Poor reference wouldn't you say?
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:26   #65
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
Serious question. What is the better time of year? I thought most of the cruising fleet crossed during December and January.

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Yes I think most cruisers are crossing that time of year because it is after storm season, and they are sailing south to warmer climes for the winter, to stay. It is not an ideal time, with many people getting stuck waiting for a window in years the fronts are stacked up.

For a down and back over the period of a week, June is good. Not always, but generally speaking, a better chance for some stable weather before storm season ramps up. Just my opinion, but I think you will find that many Floridians also make out and back trips to the Bahamas in June.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:30   #66
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

Shucks, It seems to a couple of weeks ago a girl was bitten by a shark right here in the intracoastal. I guess saltwater just isn't safe. No wait, a month or so ago a girl was swimming in a lake and a bacteria went up her nose and ate her brain. Don't leave land Water is dangerous!!!
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:38   #67
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Shucks, It seems to a couple of weeks ago a girl was bitten by a shark right here in the intracoastal. I guess saltwater just isn't safe. No wait, a month or so ago a girl was swimming in a lake and a bacteria went up her nose and ate her brain. Don't leave land Water is dangerous!!!
Water IS dangerous. Wow, what insight. The rest of your rant is irrelevant.

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Old 03-08-2014, 09:32   #68
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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This is really the issue, not the boat. I wouldn't want to sail over to the Bahamas on any sort of boat with only a week available for the trip. The chances of getting good weather for the crossing over and then the crossing back in a seven day period is just too small.

Given no time constraints, the WWP would be a fine boat for the trip.
Exactly. Especially mid winter the odds of a one week weather window coinciding exactly with anyone's one week vacation is approaching zero. May be some law of nature or a true example of Murphy's Law in operation.

The other mentions of Murphy posted on this thread were more like poor planning and preparation.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:40   #69
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
Serious question. What is the better time of year? I thought most of the cruising fleet crossed during December and January.

Thanks
All the boaters crossing in Dec/Jan is more related to going south to escape winter than too this being the best time for crossing to the Bahamas. Winter can be a great time to cross if you have time to wait for a break between fronts. You might get lucky and get good weather the first day or you might have to wait for weeks. Varies a lot from year to year as well. Some winters I have seen a non stop parade of cold fronts blowing through. As soon as one passes another is right there. Other years most of the fronts stall out further north and never even make it to S Florida.

Summer typically has milder winds, sometimes none at all. Later in the summer of course you have to be watching for tropical weather.

But really, there's no bad time to go.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:42   #70
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

A rant? Sorry, I thought I was making farfetched joking post. I figured you would know what I was doing.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:22   #71
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

First, my opinion. The WWP 19 is a bit more than just your ordinary daysailer. I think of it as a minimalist pocket cruiser for a solo sailor, though arguably it is optimized for coastal work. With due respect for the Gulf Stream, a crossing to the Bahamas isn't such a great leap from coastal cruising. If hull, fittings, hatches, rigging, etc are all sound, the boat is quite capable of absorbing incredible punishment and surviving the experience. That's not to say that the skipper will enjoy it. Or get through bad weather without a lot of cuts and bruises or worse. So while the boat is capable, the sailor is vulnerable and subject to extreme discomfort. And I do mean extreme. As long as the weather is good, piece of cake. In almost anything that will float and make some headway and can be steered.

So with the others I will pipe in with the importance of having a schedule that allows waiting for a favorable forecast, both ways. In other words, no set schedule at all. The OP's time frame, to me, is the one single factor that precludes planning to go to the Bahamas in the manner he contemplates. I would figure on cruising the keys instead, and going for it some other time, with a full month to budget for weather, both crossings, and a few days to putter in the Potter. Remembering of course that 5kt is about the best you could ever expect from a 19 foot boat like this, and that would be on a good sailing day.

OP, if you go through with this, I do hope you wear your harness and stay clipped in at all times. But the keys would be delightful in a WWP. You can shelter in snug little coves when the northers blow, and with the board up you can sneak around in some pretty skinny water. Take bug repellant. Even in winter you can find a few hungry skeeters and gnats in the mangroves. If you like crabs, carry a dip net and some chicken necks, cause they are all over the place. Lots of good fishing, so a telescoping rod and reel would be a nice way to amuse yourself when you have a couple of hours to kill.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck. Be safe. Have fun.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:25   #72
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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A rant? Sorry, I thought I was making farfetched joking post. I figured you would know what I was doing.
How silly of me. When are you going to take that windsurfer across?

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:01   #73
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

Tom, how are you getting your Potter to Florida? a WEEK vacation is the problem. Schedules are the cause of most sailing problems. If you had the time You could go to the Bahamas, NOT a week trip. Just because someone has a BIG boat does not make up for the lack of sailing skills so have a good time in the KEYS, even then a week is not enough to get even a small taste of the KEYS.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:08   #74
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

Now that I have read all the posts, the only other advice I might offer is "BZT just sit on your boat at the dock forever" much safer that way.
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Old 03-08-2014, 13:08   #75
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Re: Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

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Now that I have read all the posts, the only other advice I might offer is "BZT just sit on your boat at the dock forever" much safer that way.
Capt I think you need to re-read the posts. Because I am cautious doesn't mean I play it safe and stay at the dock. To the contrary, my Slocum which is about as stout as they come will just about handle anything that comes her way.

Her sailing characteristics was best described by one who sailed Rafiki's (essentially the same boat) as; a Rafiki 37 is to an Eagle as a Westsail is to a sparrow. Now when you consider a Westsail survived the Perfect Storm (without crew), why would I ever be afraid of leaving the dock?

BZT
PS Can you say that about your boat?
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