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Old 08-07-2018, 11:06 AM   #1
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Going WAY Outside

I am currently in the final stages of a long purchase process for a DeFever POC that will primarily be used for costal cruising and as a second home near work. If the survey goes as I anticipate, (the buy inspection was very positive) I will very soon find myself needing to move the vessel to her new home, about 650 miles away.

The question I have is this. Were the late-80s DeFever POCs designed or ever intended for open-ocean passages? I come from an offshore sailing background and have done numerous passages in and around the Atlantic. I have raced to Bermuda, delivered sailboats from the Caribbean, and moved up and through the Gulf Stream many times. I also have reliable and dedicated crew that have done most of these adventures with me. I am extremely confident in the experience level I can bring to the delivery, but I'm curious if a straight shot from south Florida to Norfolk is within the original design brief of the POC.

Do people commonly "ditch the ditch" and hitch the Gulf Stream when headed north?
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Old 08-07-2018, 11:36 AM   #2
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While I don't have a clue what a POC is, I think that most trawlers could make the passage you are considering, safely. Just check the weather every day and have a bail out inlet/port in mind for the far offshore segments of the passage.


If you take the rhumb route then you will be about 200 SM offshore at the farthest point. You can make it to shore in 24 hours if the forecast goes south. But if you follow the stream, it will be even shorter to shore.


Most Defevers and similar boats have semi-displacement hulls with little or no ballast and windows that won't stand up in a real storm. But I think you can easily stay away from a real storm.


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Old 08-07-2018, 11:43 AM   #3
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I would not take any "new to me" boat on an extended offshore cruise until I had at least a few hundred miles of close-in cruising experience with the boat. The issue is you do not know what you do not know about your "new" boat.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:05 PM   #4
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Will the boat have the "legs" to do that run given tankage and burn?
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:43 PM   #5
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You can still take advantage of the Gulfstream without being that far offshore for FL, GA, SC. Staying closer won't add that much to the voyage. As others have mentioned, that's quite a distance offshore for your first major cruise with a new to you boat.

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Old 08-07-2018, 02:01 PM   #6
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Agree with the don't take a new boat to me on an adventure club sentiments ....plus....doesn't that line take you across the stream 2X? I agree that closer to shore won't add that much distance...but do the chart work and see.

If not ....no matter. Then sure, most trawlers with enough fuel range could do it, you just want to be dang sure about your weather window, good insurance and an EPIRB plus backup.

Me, I prefer to stay within 100 miles of the coast because I know the strengths and weaknesses of USCG helos.
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:15 PM   #7
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The POC stands for Performance Offshore Cruiser. Having said that I am not sure I would undertake that route especially if the boat was new to me. Some of the POCs have large fuel tanks, saw one with optional tanks with 2000 gallons.
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:16 PM   #8
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I would hang close to FL until around St Aug or so before going far offshore. But first I’d :
Bet darn sure what was in all fuel tanks by inspection.
Have long range comm.
Look for any water in vital fluids while still close to shore.

This is just the stuff beyond a good initial survey
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:34 PM   #9
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Count me as being in the stay closer to shore with an unfamiliar boat group. There's not that much advantage to taking a straight line shot. And, no, northbound travelers don't often "ditch the ditch". You can ride the gulf stream and take advantage of the current boost without being 200 nm off the coast. Ditto all the cautions about a "new to you" boat. 200 mi. offshore is not the place you want to be discovering all those little problems that are sure to show up in the first week of operation.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:36 PM   #10
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gsholz View Post
I would not take any "new to me" boat on an extended offshore cruise until I had at least a few hundred miles of close-in cruising experience with the boat. The issue is you do not know what you do not know about your "new" boat.
Yeah. That.
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Old 08-07-2018, 05:46 PM   #12
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Sorry that my visual shorthand led folks to believe I would do anything other than stay right in the middle of the Gulf Stream (assuming no northerly wind systems of course). As a sailor I am intimately familiar with the idea that the shortest line isn’t necessarily the fastest path. I was just too lazy to draw a curved line, but wanted to make sure the forum understood I wasn’t talking about taking short hops outside between inlets—something that is obviously an option.

My real question for others with experience with these 53 POC hulls is if they were ever envisioned for this scale of passage. Logistics (like life raft, EPIRB, sat phone, fuel blivets, etc) are all solvable problems, but trying to use the wrong tool for a job is hard to overcome.

Obviously I will need to get some familiarity with the boat before I embark on any trip. I’m not sure how delivery captains are willing to just get the keys, slip the lines, and head out to the unknown. I think it might be why they all have such great sea stories....
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:20 PM   #13
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With a boat new to me, I would have a towing membership and stay within their range for at least the first couple of days. Running up the coast on the outside is really simple up to NC. You can monitor weather and quickly get to safety if you need to. You can take a shorter cut once you reach northern Florida if you wish.

On the NC coast you then face a decision of going around Hatteras vs. taking the Virginia Cut. As much as we love running offshore instead of the ICW, we go from Beaufort to Norfolk on the inside at least 70% of the time. The first reason won't likely apply to you but we prefer to run daytime and only 10-12 hours maximum when cruising. We're not making delivery runs. However, for a boat the speed you're talking, the Virginia Cut really doesn't take any more time than running outside and the area outside of Hatteras can be rough and can become so rather quickly. Plus, depending on your destination, going outside there can add time on the "Norfolk" end.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:00 PM   #14
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I would not take any "new to me" boat on an extended offshore cruise until I had at least a few hundred miles of close-in cruising experience with the boat. The issue is you do not know what you do not know about your "new" boat.
This is very good advice, you’d best heed it. Ive had my boat for 10 years now and am still learning about the many things that can mess you up. Good luck with the new boat.
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:02 PM   #15
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:42 PM   #16
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Funny no one mentioned stabilizers. I have a DeFever 49’ CMY with out stabilizing, you bet I would not go outside without stabilizing. On all other counts the vessel is quite capable. But as everyone else has said stay reasonably close to the coast. The route from Beaufort to Norfolk Is actually prettty Interesting. Make sure your tanks are clean and have fun.
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:43 AM   #17
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...The route from Beaufort to Norfolk Is actually prettty Interesting.
Apart from the A&P canal!!
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:26 AM   #18
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Apart from the A&P canal!!

Man, you really have an aversion to that, don't you?
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Old 08-08-2018, 09:31 AM   #19
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On the NC coast you then face a decision of going around Hatteras vs. taking the Virginia Cut. As much as we love running offshore instead of the ICW, we go from Beaufort to Norfolk on the inside at least 70% of the time.

I'd agree with this. Not to mention, the sea-state going around Hatteras is pretty unpredictable (the words: Graveyard of the Atlantic come to mind). Run inside to Beaufort, then make the jump.
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Old 08-08-2018, 10:08 AM   #20
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My fear with a new to me boat is fuel tank mung. You won’t know if or how bad unless you do an inspection or put in some hours in rough conditions. One other thing is an inventory of spares. I would want water pump impellers and fuel filters to reach safe harbor if things went wrong.
Plot out waypoints along the western edge of the stream.
Don’t forget a mask and snorkel.
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