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Old 03-09-2013, 15:00   #1
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Crossing the Biscay in November?

Good evening,

I expect to close a deal on a JEANNEAU 50DS in Portugal within the next 30-45 days..

Since I have no experience in passage making and crossing the Biscay myself, I intend to get an experienced crew to deliver her to me here in Scandinavia.

I see two options:

1. Cross the Biscay Mid November (tentatively) or

2. Leave her in Portugal during the winter and sail her home when spring comes.

Obviously I would prefer option 1 , but I am not sure whether crossing the Biscay in November is really such a good idea.

On the other hand in case of option 2 I have to consider mooring for the winter in Portugal.

Any advice would be much appreciated

Regards
Steen
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Old 03-09-2013, 15:08   #2
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

At least in general the Portuguese Trades have died down . Ive sailed across Biscay in November, its not a pretty sight and getting a 3-4 day weather window can be difficult. Then as you go further north and up the channel as winter progresss, well you need a lot of time.

With a good crew and some time, It can be done.
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Old 03-09-2013, 15:43   #3
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

I do 3 Biscays crossings in winter, January and December, yes is posible, waiting for the right window and checking the isobar maps carefully you can get a decent trip.. Bayona is a good stop to wait for weather, dont be tempted to sail close to the shelf if the weather is unknown , better be in deep waters, and one thing we learn from weather reports, if the met say 2 days, is one day, be patient with the Reports and pick a good window.. Fair winds!!!!
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Old 03-09-2013, 15:58   #4
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

I did it last January from Bordeaux to Lisbon but we waited for a good weather window - We got a three day calm and motored but there are no guarantees once the winter gale season has started, or at least that was what the guys at the Lagoon factory in Bordeaux said.
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Old 03-09-2013, 23:02   #5
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

as others have said it is not impossible,but lenthy delays due to weather can be expected.

as far as mooring costs go i delivered a 43ft benateau to lagos,and the yearly fees were iro 9-10k euros for the year,so expect to pay about 1000 euro a month in the algarve,further north it gets a lot cheaper in spanish marinas ie baiona or la coruna.

pm me if you want a quote for the delivery
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:07   #6
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

Hi Steen,

as you can see I live at the Baltic, and so Im familiar with "our" weather.
Even the Biscay conditions may be fair, you have to turn a long way thru Channel, North Sea and the Baltic. Gales in November could destroy your dream in few houres.
I delivered a cat in Sep. from Kiel to Faro, it was the last chance that year.
Thereafter the window has closed.

Where is the the boat now? maybe its better to stay there for winter.

fair winds
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:23   #7
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

I just bought a boat in England and sailed across the Bay this July. My first thought was to sail it across in December, and continue across the atlantic. After further reading I strongly swayed against this option as the Bay of Biscay can be very dangerous waters.

The best site that address all the information I was seeking I found here.

Crossing Biscay - A Weatherman's Perspective/ Franks-Weather | The Weather Window

As others have said, while more dangerous it is not impossible; although I would strongly recommend against it unless you like to torture yourself, as others have said as well.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:23   #8
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pirate Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

I would second moving the boat at least as far as Fig da Foz or further if your keeping her here till next year.
As for a delivery.. as has been stated... run up to Baiona then sit and wait for a W-SW'ly to come through and run N with that for the Channel.. then its coastal sailing with plenty of hidey holes if needed.
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Old 04-09-2013, 13:29   #9
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

Thanks to all for valuable advice.
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Old 20-10-2013, 06:32   #10
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Re: Crossing the Biscay in November?

Hi we did Vivero in northern spain to camaret in 60 hrs in our Colvic Watson 32 M/S in October last year got a bit hairy going off the shelf buy apart from that quite a good sail. But at one point we got hit by 61 knots of wind for about 5 hrs but we managed and I mean managed. We meet a chap who dropped his boat at Vivero and had her trucked to St MAlo about 1000.
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