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Old 13-09-2009, 06:56   #1
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First Trip - Would Love Advice

Im taking my first trip next weekend. I purchased a boat last weekend and need to move it 115-120 nm, to my hope port.
Although I do have sailing experience, I have never been on a boat more then 8-9 hours, and never left from one place to go to another. I did a shake down run yesterday, and every thing went well. But I am a little nervous, its going to be very diffrent then any hting I Have done.
So any advice you more experienced guys can offer I would love to hear it. Btw my journey is marathon fl to miami.
Thanks In Advance
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Old 13-09-2009, 07:15   #2
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Some people here reckon if you are 16 years old you can do it by yourself, but perhaps you could see if you can take a friend who can sail a bit better than you. Its lots of fun that way too

How big is the boat? Is the engine big enough and stable enough to motor all the way?

I don't know where Marathon is... down the other side of the pointy bit or up near the Space Station? Either way 120 miles is a 24 hour trip first up...

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 13-09-2009, 07:22   #3
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Wait for a decent weather window! You don't want to be learning the boat or trying to find where things are in foul weather.
have a great trip!
Mark, Marathon is near the pointy end.
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Old 13-09-2009, 07:22   #4
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IMO, it would be better to make 1 (or 2) stops if possible (I don't the area) been this is a first.
I second MJ, take a mate, especially if you have one that has sailed before.

New (to you) boats have a habit of breaking things at just the wrong time.

DON'T BE ON SCHEDULE. Not shouting, just emphasis.
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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Old 13-09-2009, 07:24   #5
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You should definitely take someone, preferably with some "watch" experience. I was fortunate enough to have three friends--one of whom I have had extensive offshore experience with (3 Bermuda to NY trips) and two who wanted the experience--help me move from Baltimore, MD to Long Island, NY.

It made for a good trip, and the extra hands helped as we ended up in part of a Nor'Easter on Delaware Bay in April.

Good luck with the move and smooth sailing.
"People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it's more fun to go slow than it is to go fast." -Dick Newick
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Old 13-09-2009, 08:20   #6
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you're in S Fl. Leave at first light. More than likely winds will be calm to >10 kts. They will fill in as the day goes along. Motorsail there will be thunderstorms in the afternoon so be prepared for them Dont worry it's just a daysail but your not going back to where you started. Have fun it's an easy straight foreward trip Keep an eye out for traps lots of them around
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Old 13-09-2009, 09:30   #7
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First thing I would do is spend some time looking at things & trying to hear any thing that might sound "off" -everywhere- closely- check the fuel filters make sure there clean, I would even get a light and look into the fuel tank if you can-check the Battery Term. bidgle pumps. check all the hoses /check all clamps and clamps- wireing , battery termanls any of the easy stuff I would put my hands everything wile running in gear and feel -move- things, its the only way your gonna know if somethings is weak-change filters - you could spend hours doing this sort of thing before you leave the dock- drop your anchor right there at the dock let all the chain out , make sure its tied on the boat somewhere and that it has wire in the shakels, and bring it back in
its likely you will find things that need help before you move
Good luck - And 120 miles is too long to try and make on your first run, half that is a long shot!
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Old 13-09-2009, 09:43   #8
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Practice putting in a reef on the main sail before you need it. If you have 2 or more reef points set a reef in each at least once. Make sure all reefing lines are rigged.
Practice furling jib to 90%, or if hank on sails, putting on smaller jib.
Better to know its all there and working even if you don't have to use it.
Sounds like fun. Good luck.
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Old 13-09-2009, 09:43   #9
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I would break the trip up into two or even three days. 120 miles is a very long day of motorsailing. 60 miles can feel like a long day too. I don't know about you but I don't like sitting in the car for 12 hours at a time. Same type of feeling.
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Old 13-09-2009, 10:03   #10
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First I'd plan on motoring up the ICW and give yourself a few days. The ICW is far more forgiving if trouble pops up. There has been precious little wind here in the past few weeks. Though seas have been 2' or less for a few months I'd be hesitant to take out to sea with the Gulf stream in a new to me boat without running the engines for awhile to make sure they will be there when you need them. Tides can be swift getting in and without the help of the engine I'd want to know my boat better before I tried it. There are a few marinas along the way. It's alot easier to dingy in from the ICW and catch a cab to the nearest one if you need parts or whatever. Of course your draft is important. Bridges are 65' or opening. Julia Tuttle bridge is a fixed 56' depending how far north in Miami you are palnning to go. Bring lots of Deet this time of year.
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Old 13-09-2009, 10:11   #11
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Im planing on a 3 day weekend to make the trip leaving marathon friday morning and ending in dinner key sunday And plan on overnighting at marinas. No intentsions of rushing and stopping nightly before sun set. Will have the wife with me, more for moral support and take the helm If I have to hit the head but her sailing experience is limited to hobie cats, the sea trials while we shopping and the 2 shake downs on the boat we purchased. I had planned on bringing a freind whom sails, but he ended up having emergency knee surgery last week so he wont be sailing. Went the boat pretty thoughly yesterday doing an inventory and inspection. Only big item I found was the fuel level guage doesnt work, Its not even hooked up, boat has a new fuel tank and no one wired it up so thats high on my list to fix.
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Old 20-09-2009, 11:03   #12
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Trip completed............Well kinda,we ended up with a slip in islamorada.
We made the trip from marathon to islamorada yesterday.

You can read here if you like.
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Old 20-09-2009, 12:03   #13
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Get the charts, get the gps, get to know how to use them, get the weather window. Go.

PS make sure if there are any anchorages / ports that you can use along the way, you know where they are and if / in what conditions you can use them.

If you can go with an experienced friend, do so.

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