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Old 02-26-2019, 06:12 AM   #1
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Cross over to Bahamas with winds out of the south

I'm getting ready to cross over to the Bahamas this coming Monday.

I've done several crossings but they have always been in the sumer time. I know not to cross when the winds are out of the north but what wind speeds would be considered comfortable with winds out of the south?

For example, Windy shows winds out of the south at 15kts building to 20kts by the time I'm in the stream. Waves are forecasted at 3' with a 5 second period.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:30 AM   #2
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It usually pays to go early before the winds kick up.
I have crossed the stream 60 times with the wind from all quadrants: South can be ok if you are not pointing South of East, then it can be a bit lumpy.
You should be ok with a 42’ Sea Ray, I crossed in smaller boats, last weekend in my Albin 28, about 3 hours each way, had SE winds crossing East and East winds crossing West.
Where are you crossing from?
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:33 AM   #3
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Heading out of Stuart to the Abacos via White Sand Ridge.

We will be either pulling a 19' boat behind us and going at 8kts or jumping up to speed, running each boat seperately until we get on the banks.

The plan is to leave Stuart around 0530-0600.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:34 AM   #4
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There are many people on TF who have far more crossing to the Bahamas experience than I. So with that as a primary caveat, here are my thoughts:
I looked at Windy also, the ECMWF. I see your winds you mentioned, 12 kts building to 18 kts.
I looked at the wind wave forecast. My experience is that the wave forecast is usually so wrong that i don't look at it for my planning.

I have also found that off shore winds are often 25% to 50% stronger than forecast and virtually never significantly lighter than forecast.

Sunday night the winds are already 12+ knots. That means for me that the sea will already be building thru Monday night.

Five years ago, when I returned in February, the winds were southerly at 18 to 22 knots. This built seas at 6 to 8 feet. I did not have the paravanes at the time, so I could not maintain my desired course of 270 degrees without rolling to death, so I had to go 310 and ended up at Ft. Lauderdale.

My guess at this point is that my Monday afternoon, winds will actually be 15 to 20 knots, with seas, 4 to 6, with occasional 8 footers.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:13 AM   #5
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MON looks fine; the winds are in a bit of a transition. Late TUES thru end of week are trouble.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:38 AM   #6
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I'd look hard at leaving a few days early if possible. Monday looks like it may be OK with the transitioning that DD mentioned but, if you were to get stuck or have a problem you are gonna get smoked shortly there after. However, It's still a little far out for accurate weather forecasting and decision making. I'd either go early or be prepared to postpone.

And to your question, a winter crossing is no different than a summer crossing, just colder wind and water! Winter weather makes a miserable crossing, that much more miserable! But, the other side is still just as nice! Either way, safe travels and we'll see ya there!
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:04 AM   #7
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I would not want to tow that 19 or even run it solo unless you have good conditions. The 42 will be a little bumpy. The 19 will get beat.

Monday does not look too good for this plan, looks better earlier. Fri and Sat look pretty good, maybe tues. Still pretty far out weather wise to make solid plans. I was looking at Windy.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:22 AM   #8
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Iím prepared to delay if I have to. Iíd rather leave the boat in Stuart and come back than push out and lose the boat all together.

Passage and windy seem to contradict each other right now.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:43 AM   #9
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This is valuable for the FL southbound coastal passage.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:55 AM   #10
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We were very surprised to see how much the big boat knocked down the sea for the tender. We towed our 23' Bay Boat and the seas were more than forecast. Called for 2-4 with 10-15 out of the SE. Turned out to be more like 3-5 with 15-20 out of the ESE. But, it wasn't a problem. The big boat made a pad for the tender to ride on. Still a little rough for the tender but, nothing like we thought it would be...…. HoneyBaby just camped out on the couch!
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:16 AM   #11
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Thatís what we encountered in July when we crossed and took Bluewater over the bow of the big boat. The 16 foot boat that we were pulling just floated right along.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:45 AM   #12
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I'm sure U guys will have a fine tow; And, I'll be doing a lot of towing with a 17' behind. One of the things I consider is CSSC. Chloride Stainless Steel Corrosion. and/or SS crevice corrosion. The typical bow ring is 316, which is not a great alloy for CSSC. As the towed boat increases in size, and the tow increases in speed, the sportfish guys change out that eye for a reinforced tow eye, I believe a weldment with a number of attach bolts on both sides. These guys are towing 35' CC boats at 30 knts.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:22 PM   #13
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Cross over to Bahamas with winds out of the south

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Started the first let off right! Too bad itís not the crossing !
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:51 AM   #14
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Nice!
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:40 AM   #15
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So did you cross or not? Sure is nice out there, where ever it is!!
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:48 AM   #16
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Not yet. Just started day 2 headed down the west coast of Florida.

Tomorrow and Sunday we will cross the Okeechobee.

Looks like the weather is even more confusing now.

Monday showing 3-4 with 15kts from the south

Tuesday showing 1-2 with 10kts from the north.

Not sure which is worse!

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Old 03-01-2019, 07:06 AM   #17
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Greetings,
Mr. k9. Stay out of the Gulf Stream during ANY winds with a north vector! WNW to ENE. Perhaps I'm over cautious but...
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:09 AM   #18
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Agreed. Thatís what I have always been told.
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:23 AM   #19
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There is a cold front approaching in the mon-tues-wed time frame and it is pretty normal to get a S before the arrival, then a strong N after. Not so much confusing, but rather dynamic. The timing of the front arrival becomes rather critical.

I never like trying to time a weather window when conditions are rapidly changing.

Monday and Tues don't look too bad for a crossing according to Windy, but it goes strong north after that for a number of days. Don't get caught in that!
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:30 AM   #20
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Yep. Monday is the plan. Any later than that and Iíll push it back a week.
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