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Old 25-05-2020, 05:28   #1
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Ahoy There

I have dreamed about owning a good size sail boat and sail the east coast of the US. As an adolescent living in Connecticut I had many a day to watch the boats on Long Island Sound from shore. Sailing school during summer vacation was fun and I spend a few times in the water being too aggressive and competitive. Not once, however, did I loose the dream.


Coastal New England, for all of you that have not experienced tha part of the world has a mix of 300 year old villages and towns with new and fresh areas to keep you interested. The coast has a road (Interstate 1) that will bedazzle you hour after hour. No two the same and yet seam familiar from CT to Maine.



Now I live and retired in the Texas Houston area. Still have the itch I what to scratch for sailing. This brings me to the question and your advise.


An opportunity to purchase a 2020 Jeanneau 54'. Shoal Keel and ready to go. A few pieces of equipment such as a water maker, Single Side Band Radio, charts, and personal Items for my wife and I to take a year and make this happen.


My question (I have asked the sales people, and other personals that have a stake in the game) now I am looking for real sailors that have made part opt all of the trip.


What is your opinion of the Jeanneau 54?
What is your opinion of the sailing routs tp have the most experiences along the coast, i.e anchorages for entertainment, replenishment and coastal scenery?
Where are the areas to avoid, and are not safe?
I have two doge, a Shepard and Chihuahua, I would hate to put them in a kennel for a year, so please tell me of your experiences of sailing the sea dogs (Sea Dogs LOL)?


Although I would like to make the voyage this year, COVID-19 is a no go factor, therefore, I plan to hire a sailing school and a captain to refresh my skills and spend this year in the Gulf learning and practicing to become and Old Salt. By the way I have the "Old" part down pat.



Last but not least, what electronics, and equipment did you find invaluable, and what was non-essential?



Thank you.
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Old 25-05-2020, 05:32   #2
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Re: Ahoy There

Ola! I can't help with much of that, but if you reach the Florida east coast, avoid everywhere except Fort Lauderdale and St. Augustine, both of which were nice. (I skipped Jacksonville though, so not sure about there).
All the best
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Old 25-05-2020, 05:45   #3
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Re: Ahoy There

Good morning! I crewed on a Jeanneau 45 last fall, straight shot from NH to Florida. A very solid (and super comfortable) boat. The ICW will not be an option for you due to mast height so be prepared for some longer legs. (think fuel) Great that you have a water maker, AIS/radar very helpful, whisker pole, generator. And I agree with Captn Black, St Augustine is very nice.
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Old 25-05-2020, 07:09   #4
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Re: Ahoy There

Hi JohnB1 and welcome to the forum.

First regarding the boat. Can't comment on the 54 specifically but Jeanneaus in general have a very good reputation. Shoal draft can be useful in some areas like west coast of Florida, parts of the ICW on the east coast and the Bahamas.

As far as traveling the US coast there is of course just one route but lots of stops. I have not been west of Panama City FL but have traveled all the rest of the ICW and coast to Cape Cod. Still haven't made it to Maine but that's on the list.

Off the top of my head I can't think of anywhere that is dangerous, at least in regard to crime, other than the usual issues one might find in any big city. Places to stop are almost unlimited with very few restrictions. I found a few sections of the ICW in central east coast FL limited in places to anchor just due to long sections where you will be in a dredged channel with no room to pull off. Otherwise I usually had no problems finding a quiet place to spend the night. If you stay in a marina they can be expensive close to large cities and pretty much anywhere in the NE and New England. But if you're looking at a new Jeanneau a couple hundred for a night at a dock may not be a concern.

For stops, either stock up, maybe go out to eat or a cool spot to visit, lots of options. A few following your route: PC. Tampa/St Pete, Ft Meyers, Dry Tortugas (highly recommended), Key West, Miami/Ft Lauderdale, St Augustine, Charleston SC, Beaufort NC, NYC (anchor behind the Statue of Liberty for a night for an amazing view) and then you have all of New England.
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Old 25-05-2020, 08:12   #5
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Re: Ahoy There

To echo djousset, your air draft can be an issue with fixed bridges all along the Gulf Coast as well as the East Coast of the US, and the default bridge height for non-commercial waterways is 65'. You might take a close look at a chart of the local cruising areas in Texas/Louisiana to see if where you might keep her vs. the local bridges might be an issue. You won't have any problem with big commercial waterways, but most folks like to avoid those when out cruising


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Old 25-05-2020, 09:05   #6
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Re: Ahoy There

I recommend you check into Windward SeaVenture in Kemah for ASA classes. Within a month after each class, with just you and your crew, you should replicate what was learned.

There aren't a lot of destinations out of Kemah/Houston. Of course, there is Galveston Bay sailing. Offatts Bayou is a nice weekend destination that could allow sailing down the Houston Ship Channel. Due to proximity, Freeport and Corpus Christi are the most common destinations in the Gulf of Mexico. If you are working your way along the Gulf Coast heading east, for the ICW, you will need to compare bridge clearances and your mast height. If you have particular ports of call in mind, then you can go out and come back in. Places like New Orleans or Mobile either have plenty of water at least in the channels; you'll need to study coastal maps for other places of interest. Or, just cross directly to Florida.

I don't know Jeanneau's, but this make of boat has participated in World Arc rallies. I would think that's some kind of endorsement for toughness and seaworthiness.
We don't have pets on board. But, we have several friends that do. It seems to be preferable to take dogs ashore whenever possible. Otherwise, they have trained their dogs to use a small designated area on the boat (consisting of real or artificial turf).

Vital electronics: Chartplotter, radar, VHF radio, depth finder, wind speed and direction indicator, autopilot.
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Old 25-05-2020, 17:51   #7
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Re: Ahoy There

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
To echo djousset, your air draft can be an issue with fixed bridges all along the Gulf Coast as well as the East Coast of the US, and the default bridge height for non-commercial waterways is 65'. You might take a close look at a chart of the local cruising areas in Texas/Louisiana to see if where you might keep her vs. the local bridges might be an issue. You won't have any problem with big commercial waterways, but most folks like to avoid those when out cruising


Hartley
Did not even think about the air draft. With a boat that size you will be very, very limited and the whole trip will be outside from one inlet to the next. Also many inlets will be bracketed with bridges that will further limit you to a smallish area near the inlet which will then limit potential docks and anchorages significantly.
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Old 25-05-2020, 18:16   #8
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Re: Ahoy There

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Ola! I can't help with much of that, but if you reach the Florida east coast, avoid everywhere except Fort Lauderdale and St. Augustine, both of which were nice. (I skipped Jacksonville though, so not sure about there).
All the best

Don't listen to this guy JohnB1. You have money to spend so the world is your oyster. Much to do on the East Coast of Florida. Enjoy The Palm Beaches. Stop by Bethesda by The Sea for a Sunday service. Spend a few days or at least Grab a bite at Sailfish Marina and feed the pompano. From there you can take the dingy over to Peanut Island with it's unique history. Worth Avenue is worth doing. Bridges and dredging in this area of the ICW are designed and maintained with yachtsmen of your mileau in mind.

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Old 25-05-2020, 18:55   #9
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Re: Ahoy There

pardon me: MILIEU


the shame


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Old 26-05-2020, 02:02   #10
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Re: Ahoy There

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Originally Posted by Kimo_Kai View Post
Don't listen to this guy JohnB1. You have money to spend so the world is your oyster. Much to do on the East Coast of Florida. Enjoy The Palm Beaches. Stop by Bethesda by The Sea for a Sunday service. Spend a few days or at least Grab a bite at Sailfish Marina and feed the pompano. From there you can take the dingy over to Peanut Island with it's unique history. Worth Avenue is worth doing. Bridges and dredging in this area of the ICW are designed and maintained with yachtsmen of your mileau in mind.

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Old 26-05-2020, 03:32   #11
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Re: Ahoy There

OP- please pause and think about air draft. That’s a really big boat for a couple. Sounds great but being unable to do ICW and inlets with fixed bridges is a shame.
In my mind it sounds like what you are passionate about is coastal exploration rather than offshore passagemaking. On East Coast bridge clearance of 65 feet or less makes a big difference in where you go
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Old 26-05-2020, 03:37   #12
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Re: Ahoy There

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Originally Posted by malbert73 View Post
OP- please pause and think about air draft. That’s a really big boat for a couple. Sounds great but being unable to do ICW and inlets with fixed bridges is a shame.
In my mind it sounds like what you are passionate about is coastal exploration rather than offshore passagemaking. On East Coast bridge clearance of 65 feet or less makes a big difference in where you go
Your advice in their case is probably good. Although personally I hate the ICW and would rather travel at sea between ports. If heading south they can avoid the Gulf Stream by sticking to the coast or heading farther out to sea. Although the latter is preferable to avoid shoals. It varies from place to place, but at about 80-150nm out the current is negligible.
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Old 26-05-2020, 09:59   #13
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Re: Ahoy There

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Old 27-05-2020, 05:44   #14
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Re: Ahoy There

Thank you all very much. I appreciate your wisdom and help.
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