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Old 24-01-2020, 13:30   #1
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Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Hi,
I am about to purchase a 38-foot catamaran in the Caribbean (BVI, Guadeloupe..etc). I want to bring it back to Champlain Lake, NY around June. What is the best scenario? How long can it take from USVI or Puerto Rico to NY? Any advice?
Thanks!
Nick
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Old 25-01-2020, 10:39   #2
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickBee View Post
Hi,
I am about to purchase a 38-foot catamaran in the Caribbean (BVI, Guadeloupe..etc). I want to bring it back to Champlain Lake, NY around June. What is the best scenario? How long can it take from USVI or Puerto Rico to NY? Any advice?
Thanks!
Nick
Wow a lot to consider.
First of all maybe you could tell us how much time you have and what experience you have sailing offshore?
Also considerable difference in time and miles in "BVI/Guadeloupe etc"
Would suggest having time to actually enjoy the islands since you are already there. Maybe you should think about keeping the boat there for awhile.
Of course you could just get in the boat and head north from PR, hop in the stream with the next port being New York Harbor if time is an issue. Then there is the weather thing that could very well influence your decision making process.
I assume you are buying a boat out of charter which means you need to go over it very carefully before heading out in the open seas.
Finding one that has been lived on by a private seller would be my first choice since those boats have theoretically been taken better care of.
Anyway there are many scenarios to your question. So a little about yourself may help readers of this post be more helpful.
Good luck in your pursuit. Sounds exciting.
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Old 25-01-2020, 15:32   #3
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Hi,
I have experience on a boat since I am young but never have a sailboat before..just motorboat. I took all my sailing classes during the last 2 years' navigation and also sailing. I will be conveying with experienced sailors for years.. at least 2 and maybe another. Will probably leaving from Sainte Croix USVI. The Catamaran is well equipped and has a liveaboard history, with a circumnavigation trip in blue water a couple of years ago. I am a little short on schedule and want to move it to Champlain lake for the summer and will winterize after and leave for a long trip the year after... and then I will have plenty of time to visit all these beautiful islands!

Thanks!
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Old 25-01-2020, 19:40   #4
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

We sailed from Tortola to Bermuda and then Long Island Sound on a 38’ sloop with a crew of six. Each leg took 3-4 days, so it might be reasonable to figure at least a week to ten days on a new-to-you, short-handed catamaran. Allow for good weather windows, so add a few days for that too. You do NOT want the Gulf Stream to be in a bad mood. Another time we set out from Bermuda and hove-to for a day to let a front pass while other “tough guys” pushed on. Some of their crews ended up injured and had to be helicoptered off. Make sure to arrange for pulling the mast ahead of time so you don’t get stuck waiting to head up the canal to Lake Champlain. Say Hi to Champ for us when you get there!

Champlain Canal:
The minimum clearances of overhead structures (bridges, guard gates, and utilities) range from 15.5' to 21' for different sections along the canal; so sailboats need to de-mast prior to entering the system. Sailors looking to cruise within the canal system, as opposed to transiting through, may not want their masts and rigging with them (in order to conserve deck space), and so may leave them at select facilities. Below is a list of marinas that perform mast stepping, and additionally which ones store masts.
Hudson River – East end of Erie Canal / South end of Champlain Canal
Riverview Marine Services, Inc., Leaving NYS Canal's Website Catskill, NY (518) 943-5311, Mast storage.
Hop-O-Nose Marina, Leaving NYS Canal's Website Catskill, NY (518) 943-4640, Mast storage.
Castleton Boat Club, Leaving NYS Canal's Website Castleton-on-Hudson, NY (518) 732-7077, Self-serve gin pole.

Lake Champlain – North end of Champlain Canal
Chipman Point Marina, Orwell, VT (802) 558-4574, Mast storage.
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Old 25-01-2020, 21:56   #5
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

When are you planning the passage. You'll have to plan around the N Atlantic fall,winter,spring storms and the summer hurricane season.
You need to cover about 1,400 miles. Figure 130-160 mile days and you get 10-12 days offshore.

That's a long haul for your first offshore passage in a new to you boat. As PSK said you can split the trip up by stopping in Bermuda and wait for weather. If you want to avoid the long offshores and you have the time you can make your way through the Bahamas and then up the East Coast. It'll take longer, but you can break the trip up and have places to leave the boat.
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Old 26-01-2020, 06:05   #6
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Thanks a lot and I will surely say hi to Champie @psk125...I use to sail there when I was a young kid (the 90s) and I remember saying to my dad that I saw it...(like Santa!).

We are planning to do this in Spring.. around June. And will probably cut this in two as you proposed. Bermuda is a good option, with 2 legs of 3-4 days. And Its a good advise planning the unmast before...

What kind of weather I need to look for (or avoid). I know that wind coming from the north (against the Gulf Stream) will create a rough sea.. other precious advice?

Nick
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Old 26-01-2020, 11:56   #7
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Might want to check with your insurance company. They have different policies regarding being in the hurricane zone during the season. Most seem to say June 1 to November 1 so may need to move your date up a little.


Also, some say no insurance at all if in the "box", others say increased deductible, etc. Need to check each prospective insurance company for what their policies say.


Enjoy the trip.
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Old 26-01-2020, 12:04   #8
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

More 2 cents.


Regarding weather, check out the various apps that are available. I tend to use Windy, Predict Wind and Passage Weather. Good cell and wifi in the islands so easy to moniter before heading offshore. Follow for a while beforehand and get a feel for the patterns / cycles that are occurring along your route.



There are various ways to get WX offshore. Iridium Go is a pretty good system. I also like the wx prediction capabilty of the InReach transponders. Bit of a pain but were the most accurate during a trip from VA to BVI's last fall when the wx was very strange.



If you can get email offshore (Sat phone, Iridium Go or via Ham radio there are professional weather routers that will aid in route planning. Chris Parker is very popular among the east coast cruisers. Can reach him at Marine Weather Center (MWXC.com).




One maxim I follow is "When the going is good, the good get going." Conversely, don't go if the wx is bad.
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Old 26-01-2020, 12:07   #9
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

3-4 days St Croix to Bermuda is overly optimistic. 5 to 7 is far more likely based on my experience coming in the other direction in late Spring. Insurance may turn out to be an issue in that, at least in one case, an insurer wanted to charge a 20% premium increase for taking the boat more than 200 miles off shore. I view that as preposterous because almost all of the hazards along the Atlantic seaboard occur WITHIN 200 miles from shore. Even in a shallow draft multihull, I would avoid the Bahamas and near coastal waters and set the course directly to Bermuda and from Bermuda to New York
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:56   #10
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Join the Salty Dawg Sailing Association Spring Rally.

All the help and advice , together with social activities and weather routing.

VI to Norfolk Va and beyond.

See their web site
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Old 27-01-2020, 08:05   #11
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Re: Sailing from BVI-USVI to New-York

Newport-Bermuda racers could make space tight there and increase costs, depending on your arrival dates. Though it is a great party scene.
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