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Old 29-05-2021, 09:46   #1
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Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

I am looking to findout if anyone is headed to key west from Galviston on or around 6/3/2021. Me and my wife are sailing down on our new boat with the kids. Being as we just purchased the boat we would feel more comfortable going with a buddy boat on the first crossing.
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Old 29-05-2021, 14:27   #2
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Not going that way. But it’s kinda short notice. Hope you have decent sailing experience of this type of cruise and have good knowledge of your boat.

Do you plan on cutting across the gulf or staying close to shore?

How long do you expect the trip to take?

Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 29-05-2021, 15:19   #3
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Cutting straight across. We are on a Tayana 52 too tall for the icw. And trying to avoid as many of the oil rigs as possible.
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Old 29-05-2021, 16:08   #4
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

If your rig is less that 73í you could do the ICW through Louisiana and all the way to Petit Bois in Mississippi. At that point itís easy daysails offshore to Key West except from Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs.
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Old 29-05-2021, 17:58   #5
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

My mast is 67. Draft is 6 1/2 . im also going straight across to sail it and conserve a little fuel.
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Old 29-05-2021, 18:14   #6
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Sounds like a good reason, but why the buddy boat for a 700 mile crossing? Last thing I want to see are nav lights at night, and last thing I want to do is adjust my speeds to remain within contact of another vessel.
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Old 29-05-2021, 18:28   #7
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Its a new to me boat. Stuff happens. Plus it just unfamiliar waters. We would like to buddy boat just to have a little extra security on the first trip. Make no mistake if i dont find a buddy boat by then im going anyway.
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Old 30-05-2021, 09:17   #8
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

There is cell coverage much of the time on petronet and many crew boats to help if necessary. You can route via Port Eads if necessary.
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Old 30-05-2021, 10:28   #9
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

How do you do that on a regular cell phone
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Old 30-05-2021, 10:48   #10
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

I hope you realize that the GOM represents some of the worst sailing conditions. From Galveston until past the Mississippi Delta has short steep seas coming from all directions almost never a swell. Lots of rigs, including those not lit, along with heavy oil field boat traffic and ships

You are also going against the prevailing SE breeze so you will be close hauled.

Crappy way to introduce your family to sailing offshore.
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Old 30-05-2021, 12:13   #11
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

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Originally Posted by KadeyKrogen38 View Post
I hope you realize that the GOM represents some of the worst sailing conditions. From Galveston until past the Mississippi Delta has short steep seas coming from all directions almost never a swell. Lots of rigs, including those not lit, along with heavy oil field boat traffic and ships

You are also going against the prevailing SE breeze so you will be close hauled.

Crappy way to introduce your family to sailing offshore.
Funny, I have sailed many miles on many oceans, and the half dozen or so crossings between Galveston and the Dry Tortugas or Key west were some of the easiest. I did see a number of rigs, all well lit and easy to see and avoid. Hardly any traffic and no bad sea conditions, couple of squalls but they were over quickly.

No unlit rigs... that appears to be a myth because none of the rig tender drivers I have spoken to and asked about say they do not know of any. Do you have personal experience with unlit rigs?

One thing I would do though, hold a bit more east for a day after leaving Galveston Bay and you will see fewer rigs.

Have a good trip, and consider stopping at the Tortugas for a day or so.

M
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Old 30-05-2021, 12:51   #12
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Unlit rigs are a hazard. On the Harvest Moon race in October 2019 we encountered around ten. During the black early morning hours we almost plowed into one large rig. Learned my lesson, I run radar constantly when offshore at night. I have sailed, raced and cruised in the GOM a lot and have seldom seen swells, manly cross chop from short steep waves bouncing off the Texas and LA coasts coming from several directions at once.

I have crossed the Gulf many times from Florida to Galveston and these trips have been some of the worst. Manly between the MS Delta and Galveston. Before the delta from FL coming from FL is good and after the Delta coming from Galveston is good. Itís just more crap sailing than good sailing in the GOM.
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Old 30-05-2021, 13:22   #13
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

Quote:
Originally Posted by KadeyKrogen38 View Post
I hope you realize that the GOM represents some of the worst sailing conditions. From Galveston until past the Mississippi Delta has short steep seas coming from all directions almost never a swell. Lots of rigs, including those not lit, along with heavy oil field boat traffic and ships

You are also going against the prevailing SE breeze so you will be close hauled.

Crappy way to introduce your family to sailing offshore.

Amen to all of that!!

Crew boat availability for help is good in a emergency but that comes at a price of more traffic and the reason they are out there is because they are servicing rigs which are fixed structures (some not very visible). If the rigs are exploration rigs there might not be any good way to predict their location because they are there one month and 6 weeks later gone.
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Old 31-05-2021, 04:09   #14
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

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If the rigs are exploration rigs there might not be any good way to predict their location because they are there one month and 6 weeks later gone.
While their locations may not be charted, any active drill rigs will be lit up like the Empire State Building, so not difficult to avoid.

Any abandoned / unlit oilfield structures are going to be in shallower water closer to shore, so stick to the fairway heading SE out of Galveston a bit longer before turning east, and youíre unlikely to encounter anything unlit. Watch your radar at night anyway as an extra precaution.
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Old 31-05-2021, 10:56   #15
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Re: Buddy boating from Galviston to key west

People keep saying rigs. You will not find any unlit drilling rigs. They have people on them, and at least lit up for their safety. What we have found unlit is wellhead platforms no longer in use, typically only one wellhead. Awaiting removal but not functionung.

Have also come across larger platforms that were being installed but construction boat not there at the moment. One installation of three wellheads, and two other single wellheads nearby. Not lit and thatll scare the crap outta you at night. Coming from Grand Isle to Galveston in June 2016.

Other big hazard is gulf shrimpers. They have never answered our calls, they choose their own path, and they make sudden course changes. Have also had them shine a search light on us which wipes out your night vision. Usually in groups working a hot area.
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