Originally Posted by lillypad
I will not have radar I believe I can do the trip safely without it. I do have a radar reflector.
weather info will be gathered with my Furuno
NAVTEX weather receiver. And VHF while in range. charts are on the laptop
but I have paper ones as well.
I dont have a cruising guide, any suggestions ?
I am concerned about the commercial
traffic.That and the fact that my boat doesnt have a stove in the galley. I have a magna grill
on the stern rail but none inside.
You can make this run fine w no RADAR, and I have, but I prefer to have RADAR. Rig your reflector and just leave it up all the time. Also, be sure you have a good means of making sound signals and know what signals to make... Ive crossed ships along the coast there w just VHF and sound signals in near zero vis.
Areas of most big traffic are NOLA, Mobile, and Tampa.
You can do this entire route
w only one overnight run...the rest you can do as day trips...so IMHO dont go overboard
on the "offshore" saftey gear...this is at most a short near coastal run. Be safe though of course.
Do keep in mind that the GOM can be a hazardous body of water
due not only to commercial traffic and the oil
patch, but also due to locally variable weather (sometimes very intense) and currents. Respect it.
Not to worry about limited galley on this route
...lots of great eats on the Gulf Coast
. However, you might pick up a small camp or back packing stove...much better for making coffee or boiling water
than a grill.
Given that you have AIS
you can at least track the big boys, but the shrimpers I doubt run AIS (most of my time on the GOM was pre small boat AIS). Remember they drag long trawls behind them and have right of way so stay well clear. RADAR is most useful at night or when vis goes to crap which it can along this area due to heavy rain or heavy fog
(infrequent but watch for it in the forecast).
Learn basic commercial vessel nav lights...larger vessels, towing (potentially very dangerous), and trawling. If you dont know what it is then just stay well clear (like 2nm minimum).
Learn how to negotiate bridge openings (another reason to have VHF at the helm or at least a good hand held). And locks if you plan to transit waterways around NOLA.
Re cruising guides. Get the ICW guide (Waterway Guide) and Clayborne Youngs guide for FL. I dont know of any for the N GOM coast, but others might.