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Old 28-07-2014, 09:29   #1
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Advisability Sailing to Bimini in December on a Potter

Hello

I have sailed a Ericson 32 from Antigua to Florida in the early spring.

I have also taken my West Wight potter 19 around Galveston twice in 25 - 30 knot winds, but on Sunny days.

So I have already scheduled vacation in December and want to be some place warm.

I have read of people who have sailed this trip from Miami to Bimini. The stories I read were about potter 15's and I have a 19.

So what about it. If I have a week, would I get a good weather window, should one appear? What about legal concerns since I'd find it hard sailing to any other island to check in.

Should I plan on leaving from key largo, and returning to west palm beach or maybe somewhere further north?

Thanks
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Old 28-07-2014, 09:46   #2
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

Good plan, take advantage of the gulf stream by starting in key largo. Your big problem will be weather. Winter north winds can blow for days and screw up your schedule.
The good news is that you will only pay $150 to check in; in your ericsson 32 it would have been $300.

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Old 28-07-2014, 09:50   #3
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

Can it be done yes. Do I know guys who have taken crazy small boats across the Gulf Stream, yes.

My benchmark is always, "If I have to ask if it can be done, I'm not ready to do it."

Not being rude, just sharing the mantra that has allowed me to have some bully adventures and live to tell about them.
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Old 28-07-2014, 09:50   #4
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

I would not confine myself to a week. Once you get to Bimini in a good weather window, you may wait weeks for another to get back to Florida.
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Old 28-07-2014, 09:50   #5
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

Would you get a good weather window ? Who Knows ? You need two good crossings !
Since you want warm weather then the Keys might be a better choice !
For Bimini in a smaller boat I would leave as far south as reasonable and for the return West palm if seas are down but be prepared to go as far north as necessary .
I would take the Keys cause a week ain't very long especially when you consider all the hours wasted trying to find someone to clear ya in and clear ya out and then clear ya back in to the home country .
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Old 28-07-2014, 09:50   #6
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Good plan, take advantage of the gulf stream by starting in key largo. Your big problem will be weather. Winter north winds can blow for days and screw up your schedule.
That's the problem. I have waited in south FL for weeks during the winter waiting for a decent day to cross to the Bahamas. Also, once you get there if the window shuts you could be stuck there.

Go with a plan B to cruise the Keys if the Gulf Stream is too rough.
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Old 28-07-2014, 10:59   #7
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

Marathon and Everglades can be nice in December. Plenty of fish off Naples...
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Old 28-07-2014, 11:24   #8
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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That's the problem. I have waited in south FL for weeks during the winter waiting for a decent day to cross to the Bahamas. Also, once you get there if the window shuts you could be stuck there.

Go with a plan B to cruise the Keys if the Gulf Stream is too rough.
Come to think of it, we once waited in north palm beach for two weeks and finally gave up...

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Old 28-07-2014, 21:58   #9
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by tbodine88 View Post
Hello

I have sailed a Ericson 32 from Antigua to Florida in the early spring.

I have also taken my West Wight potter 19 around Galveston twice in 25 - 30 knot winds, but on Sunny days.

So I have already scheduled vacation in December and want to be some place warm.

I have read of people who have sailed this trip from Miami to Bimini. The stories I read were about potter 15's and I have a 19.

So what about it. If I have a week, would I get a good weather window, should one appear? What about legal concerns since I'd find it hard sailing to any other island to check in.

Should I plan on leaving from key largo, and returning to west palm beach or maybe somewhere further north?

Thanks
Your profile says Senior Cruiser. I would expect this kind of stunt from a broke ass teenager who couldn't afford a decent boat.

Listen to Snore. He is the only one making sense.

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PS Murphy is taking notes......
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Old 28-07-2014, 22:08   #10
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
Your profile says Senior Cruiser. I would expect this kind of stunt from a broke ass teenager who couldn't afford a decent boat.

Listen to Snore. He is the only one making sense.

BZT
PS Murphy is taking notes......
Stunt? The WWPotter is a solid little boat. It's not the size of the boat, it's how it's made and how it's managed by the captain and crew.

If I could tolerate the small space I wouldn't hesitate to take one not just to Bimini but anywhere in the Bahamas, just not in a raging storm. Crossing the Gulf Stream is only 50 miles and it's not like sailing around Cape Horn.

Just like any boat, sail in conditions appropriate for the boat.

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Murphy plays no favorites and is just as likely to happen on any boat large or small, even a Slocum 37
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Old 28-07-2014, 22:46   #11
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Stunt? The WWPotter is a solid little boat. It's not the size of the boat, it's how it's made and how it's managed by the captain and crew.

If I could tolerate the small space I wouldn't hesitate to take one not just to Bimini but anywhere in the Bahamas, just not in a raging storm. Crossing the Gulf Stream is only 50 miles and it's not like sailing around Cape Horn.

Just like any boat, sail in conditions appropriate for the boat.

PS
Murphy plays no favorites and is just as likely to happen on any boat large or small, even a Slocum 37
Another Senior Cruiser with no respect for the sea? Not a stunt, but a stupid stunt in a toy boat made for lake sailing, the kind of stunt that puts others in jeopardy if they have to respond to his Mayday!

I have a solution. The guy who wants to go Blue Water in a 13’ Guppy and the one in the 19’ Potter should hook up and cross the stream together. That will give Murphy a two-for and maybe distract his attention away from serious sailors…

BZT
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Old 29-07-2014, 00:02   #12
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
Your profile says Senior Cruiser. I would expect this kind of stunt from a broke ass teenager who couldn't afford a decent boat.

Listen to Snore. He is the only one making sense.

BZT
PS Murphy is taking notes......
I think the focus of this thread, that being the questions posed in the op, is about the weather window in which he will need to cross and if that can be expected to happen within the week of his vacation. And a second weather window for the crossing back.

That answer is... not likely.

But this post has made me curious, what is the minimum boat you would take on this trip?

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Old 29-07-2014, 06:16   #13
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
I think the focus of this thread, that being the questions posed in the op, is about the weather window in which he will need to cross and if that can be expected to happen within the week of his vacation. And a second weather window for the crossing back.

That answer is... not likely.

But this post has made me curious, what is the minimum boat you would take on this trip?

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That is a whole different conversation, which has been discussed numerous times on this site. Anyone who intends to sail the waters off Florida, an area that is known to swallow well found boats should have respect for the sea and should reconsider putting his life and others in harms way.

My biggest gripe is not with the OP; it is with experienced sailors giving poor advice, particularly those individuals who are of the mindset, “Just GO for IT”.

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Old 29-07-2014, 06:35   #14
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

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Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
Another Senior Cruiser with no respect for the sea?
Actually I have a very healthy respect for the power of the sea based on 40 years boating, thousands of miles at sea, several years liveaboard and cruising, owning a dozen or so boats including ski-boats, speedboats, sportfishermen and sailboats from 32 to 65' and have lost count of the Gulf Stream crossings. I have been in gales off Hatteras and hurricanes in the Caribbean. Believe me I have a tremendous respect for the sea.

You're talking about a 10 hour trip across the Gulf Stream. Maybe from your perspective this is a huge, serious dangerous trip but real world experience would indicate otherwise.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
Not a stunt, but a stupid stunt in a toy boat made for lake sailing,
No, stunts are the kids that cross the Stream on jet skis and Hobie Cats and I assure you a West Wight Potter is not a toy boat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
the kind of stunt that puts others in jeopardy if they have to respond to his Mayday!

I have a solution. The guy who wants to go Blue Water in a 13’ Guppy and the one in the 19’ Potter should hook up and cross the stream together.
Pick the weather and the odds of the OP calling in a Mayday is about zero and 13' Guppy is not the same at all as a 19' WWP.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BZT54 View Post
That will give Murphy a two-for and maybe distract his attention away from serious sailors…
So anyone that doesn't own a boat like yours isn't a serious sailor? At what size does one become serious as opposed to a stunt sailor? Is it 20' or 23' or 27' or does it have to be 37'? Just what are your personal rules for the rest of the boaters to be considered serious?
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Old 29-07-2014, 06:53   #15
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Re: Advisability sailing to bimini in december on a potter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
I think the focus of this thread, that being the questions posed in the op, is about the weather window in which he will need to cross and if that can be expected to happen within the week of his vacation. And a second weather window for the crossing back.

That answer is... not likely.
Exactly and I agree the odds are low to have good weather to get there and back.


Quote:
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But this post has made me curious, what is the minimum boat you would take on this trip?
I've done it in a 25' speedboat but it took just over an hour to cross. Smallest sailboat was 32'. Much smaller than about 30' I started feeling cramped but wouldn't feel at risk in something smaller. Bottom line it's not the size of the boat but which boat and the captain that matter the most. That implies a captain that knows the limitations of the boat and makes appropriate decisions on weather and destination.
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