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Old 21-07-2020, 06:25   #46
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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Originally Posted by Paul Howard View Post
I did Toronto, Canada, on the Great Lakes down to Panama and then north as far as Glacier Bay, Alaska, and back to Toronto on my 39ft. sailing catamaran.

Great Trip! Spent three years doing it, Lots of guide books to reference.
But if you are doing it to save money on the purchase of the boat, you should re-check time/fuel/maintenance/trucking costs.
This sounds like a journey of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 24-07-2020, 07:09   #47
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

I have made 3 passages thru the Panama Canal. Two Pacific to Atlantic and one Atlantic to Pacific. I have cruised both coasts of Mexico, Central America, the US and Canada, stopping at most of the ports, except the Bay of Campeche.

My last trip was from Puerto Rico to San Diego in 30 days and one stop to top off fuel only in Acapulco. (I transited the canal the morning after I checked in--the boat was already admeasured, I had crew lined up, and picked them up in Cristabol and let them off in Balboa. I had a 2500 mile range in the motor sailor--it was in May, so the weather was relatively settled, but I had to beat the hurricane window. My average speed was 6.5 knots.

There are long distances without fuel. Even 40 foot trawlers struggle unless they have a large fuel tank. The passage up the West Coast from Baja, especially can be very rough (I have made trips from Mexico to the PNW several times, and although I have done it in a 30' sailboat (long hard slog to weather), I would not recommend a 30' trawler, unless you have unlimited time to wait for good weather.

There can be some dangerous places along the way--and the most recent information is essential. I would not consider this a trip for a novice boater in a small boat.
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Old 24-07-2020, 08:00   #48
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

I have made That trip twice.

Miami to Panama, good trip although the sw Caribbean can be rough. From panama to SFO there are two ways to do it. A. The only practical way to sail it is a passage from Panama to HI. One of the longest in the world, but a fairly doable one. B. The other is coastal. It will be a mix of motor sailing and sailing. But mostly motor sailing. And some times motor bashing into 25 kts plus.

It your concern is just get it point to point, ship it. But if you want some good cruising, both A. and B. are quite viable and worthy adventures.
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Old 24-07-2020, 14:21   #49
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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The main reason that this is not such a popular route is the bash up the west coast against the current and wind. A lot of people who do the Baja Haha have a difficult time finding crew for the return voyage up to California and that's not near as far as Panama to San Francisco. The trip is apparently so bad that many people just head to Hawaii from Panama and then north until they find favorable wind conditions to reach Seattle where they can catch the favorable current and wind south down the west coast. It's a loooong trip.
This.

It's looong. And maybe longer than you think. When I sailed to Hawaii, there was another boater who had sailed from Panama and it took 72 days with lots of doldrums. Then from Hawaii to Seattle will add another 30 days at best. I would honestly book a year for a trip from Miami to Seattle, including a couple of months boat prep prior to setting sail, more repairs enroute, and a bit of time enjoying the locales.
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Old 24-07-2020, 15:09   #50
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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I have made 3 passages thru the Panama Canal. Two Pacific to Atlantic and one Atlantic to Pacific. I have cruised both coasts of Mexico, Central America, the US and Canada, stopping at most of the ports, except the Bay of Campeche.

My last trip was from Puerto Rico to San Diego in 30 days and one stop to top off fuel only in Acapulco. (I transited the canal the morning after I checked in--the boat was already admeasured, I had crew lined up, and picked them up in Cristabol and let them off in Balboa. I had a 2500 mile range in the motor sailor--it was in May, so the weather was relatively settled, but I had to beat the hurricane window. My average speed was 6.5 knots.

There are long distances without fuel. Even 40 foot trawlers struggle unless they have a large fuel tank. The passage up the West Coast from Baja, especially can be very rough (I have made trips from Mexico to the PNW several times, and although I have done it in a 30' sailboat (long hard slog to weather), I would not recommend a 30' trawler, unless you have unlimited time to wait for good weather.

There can be some dangerous places along the way--and the most recent information is essential. I would not consider this a trip for a novice boater in a small boat.
I think that's outstanding advice for an absolutely new "solo skipper". Much appreciated.
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Old 24-07-2020, 16:10   #51
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

Sounds mostly fun. I think there are only 2 passages that could be tough. Having a motor boat would make them both much easier. The trip from Roatan to San Andres would be the most difficult and the longest run for fuel. The trip from Cabo to San Fran has a ton of stops. Florida to MX via Cuba can be a piece of cake, not much of a concern in the scheme of things.
You would need at least 500 miles of fuel. A couple of 50 gal drums of fuel could be nice.
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Old 24-07-2020, 17:52   #52
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

30 foot!

Safest route and mostly fun. Rest boring but safe.

Mississippi to Missouri to to Sioux City IA.

Truck to Livingstone MT. (850 miles) Using an independent "hot shot" maybe as low as a buck a mile.

https://photos.smugmug.com/My-First-...hot%20shot.jpg


Sail down hill to Portland

Sail down hill to SF.

A magazine article should pay for fuel.
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Old 24-07-2020, 18:59   #53
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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Truck to Livingstone MT. (850 miles) Using an independent "hot shot" maybe as low as a buck a mile.
https://photos.smugmug.com/My-First-...hot%20shot.jpg

Sail down hill to Portland
Please tell me how you sail downhill from Livingstone MT (on the Yellowstone River) to Portland (I assume you mean Oregon) You're on the wrong side of the divide. Wouldn't you have to go to Spokane or somewhere you could put into the Columbia river to sail downhill to Portland, and how are you going to portage around the dams?

Anyway Like OLEMAN, I too sailed from Maine (Portland, Maine) around through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast to Port Angeles Wa. It was on a 327 ft Coast Guard ship and it was a great trip, despite a few mechanical issues in Florida. We stopped in Miami, Panama City, Acapulco, San Diego, and finally Port Angeles. However I can't imagine doing it in a 30 foot boat. I think I would want something quite a bit bigger, especially for the West Coast portion.
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Old 24-07-2020, 21:00   #54
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

Apologies if this has already been canvased, but as a non-US boater I'm curious....how far west can you get by boat inland..???

I understand the Great Loop follows the Mississippi, but is it possible to get further west on the Missouri or any other river that might then make the truck shipping less costly than all the way from FLA..???

Just curious.....
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Old 24-07-2020, 21:55   #55
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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Originally Posted by Buzzman View Post
Apologies if this has already been canvased, but as a non-US boater I'm curious....how far west can you get by boat inland..???

I understand the Great Loop follows the Mississippi, but is it possible to get further west on the Missouri or any other river that might then make the truck shipping less costly than all the way from FLA..???

Just curious.....
By going around Florida, then up the Mississippi and Missouri River to Sioux City Iowa you will be motoring, mostly upriver 1550 miles. Then loading on a truck (dismasting) and trucking west, over the Rockies, to, I don't know, Portland probably (1600 miles) , or maybe up river somewhere, where you will relaunch, re-rig, and head down the coast (or rivers to Portland then down the coast), to San Francisco, 650 miles, or San Diego, another 450 miles.

If you make it this far, and yes, it will be a very good adventure story, you will have quite a tale to tell.

On the other hand, put a boat on a truck in Miami and re-launch it in California a week later, and you will be soon sailing in the pacific Ocean. Trust me, it will be far cheaper and infinitely more likely to be successful.
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Old 24-07-2020, 22:16   #56
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

Interesting thread to read. It would have to be a special boat to move it from east to west coast by water or truck, apparently. If I purchased a boat I would be inclined to build a cradle and put it on a freighter all things considered. I doubt you could save money purchasing a boat from the other coast.
Also, what is surprising to me is the amount of time it takes.
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Old 25-07-2020, 06:44   #57
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

The north west passage through Canada is also an option. It's closed this year because of the virus, but maybe next year.
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Old 25-07-2020, 06:51   #58
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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The north west passage through Canada is also an option. It's closed this year because of the virus, but maybe next year.
Maybe one day the polar ice cap will be gone enough.
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Old 25-07-2020, 13:44   #59
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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Maybe one day the polar ice cap will be gone enough.
It already has. It's been open about 10 years now. Private boats, cruise ships, and even an occasional freighter use it.
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Old 27-07-2020, 00:23   #60
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Re: Nobody cruises from San Francisco to Miami

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Originally Posted by Buzzman View Post
Apologies if this has already been canvased, but as a non-US boater I'm curious....how far west can you get by boat inland..???

I understand the Great Loop follows the Mississippi, but is it possible to get further west on the Missouri or any other river that might then make the truck shipping less costly than all the way from FLA..???

Just curious.....
We met a Swiss boat in Mexico a few years ago. They’d sailed from Europe to Caribbean, then in US north then west thru Great Lakes to Chicago. Shipped the boat from there to Seattle, then down west coast. We met them in La Paz, and they raved about what a great trip it had been.
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