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Old 09-05-2014, 17:22   #16
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Don't turn "right" (east) out of Panama on a north bound passage. 300 foot tuna boats unload their helicopters in Panama for the trip from Colon to canneries in USVI because the 'copters sometimes get washed off the flight decks!
Instead of 10 to 12 or 15 foot on the beam, you will be punching into those seas right on the nose. 11 foot seas at 6 second interval is no fun at all.
Avoid the "Christmas Winds" when the trades are fully developed, summer might be better but then you are in hurricane season once you get about 15 degrees north.
If you want to cruise the Caribbean, start from Florida and go clockwise to avoid too much beating into head seas.
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Old 09-05-2014, 19:20   #17
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

To explore the shallowest areas, a shoal draft or keel-centerboard would have some benefit. But for making that trip, and for a better sailing boat overall, I'd want the deep draft keel with the bigger rig and sailplan.
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Old 10-05-2014, 22:10   #18
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

These photos were taken last month at an anchorage just south of the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Perhaps this will give you ideas of the types of boats used.



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Old 11-05-2014, 15:31   #19
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

I Kno one can sail just about anything to Panama down wind but I also know by word of mouth one needs to be at Isla Maras in Mexico by March to make the jump to the Keys.
When a front pushes south it forces the trade winds to move south. Supposedly one can make the jump in these conditions in around two days but I need more detail to figure out if I want to do it.
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