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Old 31-01-2016, 15:32   #1
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Smile How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Ok so we are seriously looking at a used Jeanneau 51, presently lying in the BVI's. We live in the pacific northwest and would need to bring her home. This presents an opportunity for a great voyage! I have never done this route or a canal transit, and it sounds like a chance to explore a bit, but primarily is a delivery. I have an idea of when and how I would route the trip, but wondered if there would be anyone willing to share their ideas?
I am wondering when you would undertake this and where you would go? The obvious challenges are hurricanes in the gulf and then getting north against the current and weather vs. Going west offshore and then back to the coast.
I know this forum includes many folks who have experience in this area and I appreciate your thoughts!
Cheers, Brad
Ps. Anyone switched a 220 volt generator to 110??
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Old 31-01-2016, 15:43   #2
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Lots of options all depending on your time money and desires. BVI to Panama is a pretty good downwind sail. You can take your time and go down E Carib islands then to Bonaire. A stop in Cartagena then the San Blas and to the Canal. Or you could route yourself on a lot shorter path direct to Panama. The Canal crossing is a great experience. Then you've got a big decision to make. Uphill on the coast or out to Hawaii and back. Check the distance from Panama to Hawaii- it doesn't get much longer. Alternately you could cruise up the Central Am coast and Pacific Mexico. Then consider taking the boat to Ensenada and deck loading to ship it to Vancouver. If you can drag this over multiple seasons then there are places to haul the boat for the hurricane season on both coasts.
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Old 31-01-2016, 17:46   #3
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Find something better much closer to home.
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Old 31-01-2016, 17:56   #4
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

I would purchase something closer to home. Even if it is more expensive, it will be cheaper in the long run. Yacht deliveries are a lot of work and less fun for my purposes.
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Old 31-01-2016, 17:58   #5
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Thumbs up Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Thanks Paul. Everything you suggest as far as Panama sounds like fun. The Pacific part not so much, if you are just trying to get the miles done! Does two off-shore legs with a stop over in Southern California or Baja make sense? If the North Pacific high is parked off of the west coast I guess you pretty much have to go around it or coastal hop. Although that does not leave many options north of central California.
As one trip I think July - Sept for the Pacific leg?
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:04   #6
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

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I would purchase something closer to home. Even if it is more expensive, it will be cheaper in the long run. Yacht deliveries are a lot of work and less fun for my purposes.
I agree. Now, if both you and your wife have the time, it would be worthwhile, but alone...

In addition, sounds like it's a 220v boat. That is another whole bunch of issues that will end of being far more work than initially thought.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:07   #7
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Thanks guys. I have looked at a lot of closer boats! One aspect of a Carribean purchase is an excellent trip home! Future cruising from B. C. Would likely be southwest towards the South Pacific and beyond, so may not see Carribean and Gulf cruising again. Unless of course you just keep going west! Limited number of boats and much more expensive on the west coast.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:15   #8
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Dauntlessny,
I would expect some cruising together when possible, and some legs with friends or single handed. Have done all three before and would enjoy them all!
The boat is 12volt DC, and has a 220volt diesel generator. Would a 110 volt conversion involve re-wiring the generator out-put and re-using the existing wiring within the boat but changing receptacles and a new AC panel?
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:21   #9
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Mexico to southern California is called the Baja Bash or the Baja Dash. Either beat your a$$ off in the first or harbor hop in the second (see Cruising World article of the same name). Sailing from MX to the USA has been covered in great detail here on this forum.

Hundreds of boats from No. California sail to So. California every year and back. Brian Fagan wrote a good book.

From San Francisco north to the PNW is an issue. Google George Benson, he wrote a book, too.

Could be a great trip if you don't make a delivery out of it.

Good luck.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:22   #10
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

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...One aspect of a Carribean purchase is an excellent trip home!...
No, it isn't. It's a long bash to weather up the entire west coast.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:30   #11
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

As a fellow denizen of the PNW, just remember the type of stuff you need up here, like a furnace, real foulies.....ect. You will likely need to stop to refit a pretty long list of stuff to bring the boat north. That should affect the plan. If you could get as far as San Diego you could put her on a truck home and refit at the yard of your choice.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:47   #12
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

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Originally Posted by Lunita View Post
Thanks Paul. Everything you suggest as far as Panama sounds like fun. The Pacific part not so much, if you are just trying to get the miles done! Does two off-shore legs with a stop over in Southern California or Baja make sense? If the North Pacific high is parked off of the west coast I guess you pretty much have to go around it or coastal hop. Although that does not leave many options north of central California.
As one trip I think July - Sept for the Pacific leg?
The hurricane season in the eastern pacific is June to Dec. So you would need to work around that. You could get as far north as El Salvador and then leave the boat till you are ready to go further. As far as 2 legs is concerned, that is what you get when you go to Hawaii. I met one guy who single handed Panama direct to Port Angeles. It was a very slow offshore trip.
How much time do you have to make the trip?
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:49   #13
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Idorakeeper,
Excellent point regarding trucking from San Diego. Not sure how a 16' beam works on the road though. I do recall some discussions here about trucking north from Texas. Anyone actually tried this?
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:52   #14
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

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Idorakeeper,
Excellent point regarding trucking from San Diego. Not sure how a 16' beam works on the road though. I do recall some discussions here about trucking north from Texas. Anyone actually tried this?
Probably more practical to do the deck load from Ensenada to Vancouver shipping.
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Old 31-01-2016, 19:42   #15
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Re: How would you go Bvi to pnw?

Ok, has anyone here actually shipped a boat Ensenada to Vancouver area? Wondering how that works / costs.
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