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Old 02-06-2009, 19:16   #1
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Pardon These Dumb Questions -

Hey guys,

I have some questions and I'm sure there are most likely really easy places to get the answers, but still figured I'd ask:

1. If I'm planning a trip from point A to point B, how do I find out where the various spots are along the way I can stop for fuel, water, etc?

Are there the marine equivalents of road atlases with services listed?

2. What is the best bet when choosing your route. For instance going from say NY or MD to FL, do you go offshore or stay close to the coast, or use the ICW? How exactly would you go about deciding this (like what all do you need to take into account)?

I know this is pretty vague and all, but when you've never done it before it's a bit confusing...
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Old 02-06-2009, 20:00   #2
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Hi Drew,

Rules of the forum allow every member at least three dumb questions so you have one left before your are completely ostracized by every other member for the rest of eternity.

Dumb answers

1. Yes there are guide books (like road atlases) for just about every cruising area in the world, US coastal (east and west), Keys, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mediterranean, etc, etc.

2. A little more complicated. Some factors to consider: time of year and weather, your boat, your experience, your crew, how much time you have or don't have, currents that help or hinder progress.
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Old 02-06-2009, 20:17   #3
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Hi Drew,
There are a veritable plethora of sailing guides for up and down the east coast. The Coast Pilot is always a good place to start with regards to voyage planning. I suspect if you were to run a search in Amazon, you would find a lot of resources available to you, of course there is always google.
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Old 02-06-2009, 20:50   #4
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Quote:
1. If I'm planning a trip from point A to point B, how do I find out where the various spots are along the way I can stop for fuel, water, etc?
Sounds like a smart question to me. Sorry you still get one more really dumb question. There is a large radius from where where you are planning as well as beyond in case you don't go as planned. It happens. Cruising guides become a great resource since they impart local knowledge. Sure there is a marina near you course but do they have fuel? Guide books are invaluable once you master the charts as far as actually getting there. Being there requires more information not on the charts.
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Old 02-06-2009, 20:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew.ward View Post

2. What is the best bet when choosing your route. For instance going from say NY or MD to FL, do you go offshore or stay close to the coast, or use the ICW? How exactly would you go about deciding this (like what all do you need to take into account)?
This is a great question too. So between Paul and myself, the great and powerful moderators (LOL) you get two dumb questions back.

As to the answer, skipmac has it right. Lot's of factors to consider.

Mostly it depends on the weather, which often depends on the time of year.

It also depends on what kind of passage you want to make. There are lots of folks here that have made that passage numerous times (I haven't) but for me it would depend if I want to "make passage" or stop and see sights along the way.

I personally would do the inshore route at least once to explore the coast and have easy options to lay up if necessary.

It can also depend on the boat and the Skipper and crew's experience level.
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Old 02-06-2009, 21:04   #6
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Quote:
2. A little more complicated. Some factors to consider: time of year and weather, your boat, your experience, your crew, how much time you have or don't have, currents that help or hinder progress.
Given you have no crew, boat, experience, or specific situation this is a hard question. Who can say the limits of what you don't know? You work from what you know against what you don't know. Sometimes you don't known things until you really don't know after thinking you did know. This would be what is known as a screw up. That is clearly not a dumb question, but more the impossible answer.

Sorry, you still have a dumb question coming. Preparation needs to consider doubt and imprecise assumptions. It's not about what if you are wrong but what if something changes. Changes are the demon you need to consider. When something changes then it is the trigger to know you need a new plan. Needing is not the same as getting but warning increases the odds of winging it or being lucky. Planning to take advantage of luck is the ultimate skill. Too often the serious plan is not if you are wrong but what if you are right! Opportunity is luck meeting the experience to see it.
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Old 02-06-2009, 21:22   #7
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Thanks for the input guys (plans future tactics for retrieved dumb question allowance)...

My situation is likely to be something like this:

Has enough money to buy project boat.

Has project boat checked out locally to make sure it's mechanically sound for the trip to FL.

Brings enough money for the journey plus 2-3 grand extra for when whatever was actually broken in the first place inevitably breaks.

Crew -- most likely some friend who will have some image in his brain of whiling away the days on an elegant yacht (completely ignoring the years of work and elbow grease the acquired will likely require) and who will be pretty overall worthless aside from basic help.

So I'd be looking to get back to FL as directly as possible without overly stressing the boat and without being too terribly far from land if something goes wrong.

Since I don't have the boat yet (will likely be a classic motor yacht) I can't give any more specifics. But, I need to figure such a trip into any purchase plan at least as an approximate figure.
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Old 02-06-2009, 21:24   #8
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Oh yeah, my experience very little, but just enough to know to ask for advice first
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:36   #9
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Quote:
Has enough money to buy project boat.

Has project boat checked out locally to make sure it's mechanically sound for the trip to FL.

Brings enough money for the journey plus 2-3 grand extra for when whatever was actually broken in the first place inevitably breaks.
Project boats are defined as "won't sail back to any place any time soon". You still need the $2-3K after you get it all fixed up plus traveling money for expenses you expect. With inexperience a project boat is not the better way to go. You won't save money and you clearly won't be sailing. Get less boat and live with fewer long distance sailing options. Limiting trips to coastal water opens up a million places you could go and dramatically reduces your boat costs. Make the money work and you end up with something that sails sooner. A project boat would be more like $30K to fix it up assuming the engine ran and it wasn't leaking.

At only $2-3K reserve it's a pretty darn good boat to begin with and should need nothing (except the $2-3K worth of things you never found out in the survey).
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:22   #10
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Great notes above - I'm hoping you have different idea of a "project boat" than I.

Another answer for question #2:

Having done the Texas coast a few times, and having grown up on the east coast (NJ & FL), the answer here really depends upon the boat. If the boat and CREW are offshore capable, it's the most expedient way to get from point A to point B. GENERALLY less stressful too (assuming a decent weather window).

Running the ICW from dawn to dusk is like driving the NJ Turnpike at rush hour, at 75. It takes a bit of concentration and is not all that forgiving. With plenty of time, it's a great trip.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:48   #11
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Get a copy of the local boating magazine - usually free -

New England - Points East Magazine
Annapolis - Spin Sheet

These are available at most boating locations.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:17   #12
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There is a great service called Active Captain that can help while you have a connection. It is a chart format with little numbers you can click on to get info and reports on marinas, anchorages, fuel etc. It is free. Great planning tool even if you dont have a link on the boat. Go to Active Captain and then "on the water"
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:11   #13
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Some "general" answers that you will have to apply specifics to.

If you are buying a "project boat", that implies to me that the boat may have some questionable seaworthiness. If this is the case you may need easy access to marinas and/or good anchorages along the way as additional "projects" occur. Therefore, I would start with the good and inexpensive Skipper Bob guides. Get the Guide to ICW anchorages and the Guide to Marinas. I would also suggest sticking to the ICW from the Chesapeake to Florida so you don't have to navigate the cuts from the Atlantic into the ICW should you need access to a marina/anchorage in a hurry.

Of course, the ICW may take longer since you typically will only travel during daylight and will have to negotiate bridge openings/favorable currents/groundings etc.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:18   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew.ward View Post

1. If I'm planning a trip from point A to point B, how do I find out where the various spots are along the way I can stop for fuel, water, etc?

Are there the marine equivalents of road atlases with services listed?
I don't think you can do much better than Active Captian in this regard
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:13   #15
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Scottie thanks for the link on the active captain.
Bob
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