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Old 01-23-2016, 12:52 PM   #41
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Plus as a boating instructor, I was speaking about the average boater...not from my shoes where very little should be difficult.


Just fear mongering that persists on boating forums.


The minute some experienced boaters think they can lecture to a novice...boating becomes death defying.

Well..yes for sailing around the world ...a little caution is warranted...

The ICW to Florida is about as benign boating as you can get. Even shakedown cruises I see as OK but not all that necessary. Every day isn't much more than a day cruise around your homeport...and in many instances...your breakdown might be in a place better suited for repairs than where you are homeported...

Safety is a state of mind and a reasonably seasoned boater can do the trip safely by blending a little time, a little experience, a little caution and like I said...a credit card.

How do I know this so well....I have heard plenty more success stories than failures...and believe me I have access to both.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:10 PM   #42
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I lived and boated 30+ years almost year round from Down-East through Chesapeake bay. The trip at that time of year is doable particularly if there is time to take the inside route if weather is even slightly iffy. The main danger is the inlets if they kick up. If $ is an issue it is easy to anchor out inside in gunk holes and rivers and sometimes just off the fairway. The depths and bottom make anchoring easy. All the advise about proofing your new to you old boat should be taken seriously for it will probably be your biggest challenge on a first time long haul. If it were possible to travel with a buddy boat even better, short of that somebody aboard who has ICW and inlet experience would be very helpful. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:37 PM   #43
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Plus as a boating instructor, I was speaking about the average boater...not from my shoes where very little should be difficult.


Just fear mongering that persists on boating forums.


The minute some experienced boaters think they can lecture to a novice...boating becomes death defying.

Well..yes for sailing around the world ...a little caution is warranted...

:
Sailing forums you see the opposite encouraging first timers to sail around the world.

Where it really surprises me is this forum. When we're talking a trawler type boat or otherwise sizable boat on the ICW it is very difficult to make that life threatening. You're never far from land.

Then I'm amazed at the seas I would consider benign, that so many experienced trawler people will not go out in.

You get a little training and head down the ICW and really just try to stay in the traffic lane, otherwise known as the channel. Have tow coverage (much much better service than AAA will ever give you on land), ask questions and enjoy.

One other thing is if you have trouble docking, don't be embarrassed. Keep practicing. Everyone watching you was a beginner once. The decent ones won't laugh but will offer help and advice.

In some ways, the ICW is like boating with trainer wheels. Yes, there's the risk of running aground, but go slow as most here do, and it's generally soft. Then get a tow service to remove you. If it results in damage to your boat, that's why you carry insurance.

Learn something new every day you boat and one day you'll be amazed how far you've come. Just don't be scared to ever try. In fact, use that fear positively to remind you of what to do along the way and how best to avoid problems.

Anyone remember learning to drive a car or the first time you took the car on your own? Well, you never would have admitted it then, but you lacked experience and skill compared to now. You didn't let that stop you.

Let's be sure we keep boating with minor risk separate from off shore cruising which can be life threatening. I'm not going to advise a novice boater to go around Hatteras on his way south. But unless he doesn't pay attention and runs into a bridge, the Virginia Cut route will be a joy.

When we answer, we need to try to know the boater, the boat, and the area and answer for that circumstance. Now, I'll say to newcomers, give us information when asking your question. Tell us your experience, where you are, what you're trying to do, how much time you have to do it, what you'd like to do along the way, whether you prefer to anchor or dock at marinas. Answers can only be as good as the questions.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:01 PM   #44
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BandB the separation point between safe and easy comes when a boat goes outside the ICW and then has to reenter. No problem in flat water big problem for slow trawler with inexperienced skipper if tide wind churn things up.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:04 PM   #45
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BandB the separation point between safe and easy comes when a boat goes outside the ICW and then has to reenter. No problem in flat water big problem for slow trawler with inexperienced skipper if tide wind churn things up.
I agree, but many boats never go outside the ICW. Certainly, that isn't a requirement and they can wait until the perfect day.
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Old 01-23-2016, 04:18 PM   #46
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To be fair...a big chunk of the OP's journey will take him on big water.


The Delaware, Chesapeake, Albemarle, Pamilco and Neuse can all kick your butt if you are dumb enough to go out in them in greater than 25 knot winds...just like the ocean. None of them should ever be thought of "protected" versus coastal waters under some conditions.


BUT...there is enough weather info and so many places to seek shelter...even with help if it gets THAT bad...that RI to FL is within the capabilities of all but the totally unknowing. Seasoned skippers that don't use their head and skippers of band new boats manage to get themselves into trouble regularly. It's not just experience and a "new/well maintained boat" that makes the trip relatively safe. Notice my use of relatively. They do help though

Probably a bigger issue is how many, including me, run in the fog and hope for the best. You can be the best, have the latest in gear, post many on watch, etc...etc....still. Fog can get you probably faster than any other hazard in subtle ways. So yes..travel in fog and roll the dice...but don't travel in fog, only travel in daylight and winds under 25 and I think that boat in reasonable shape with a half way decent skipper not pushing it is pretty well on the safe side of things.
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Old 01-23-2016, 06:12 PM   #47
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Seems to me that starting June 1st would make most of this easier and more pleasant.

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:14 PM   #48
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OK now your scaring me. There must be a guide to fallow? What's a good one? Yes I have plenty of time.
Don't let people scare you off this trip with a bunch of hyperbole.

Yes you need to make sure your boat is in good shape. Yes you need to do some studying and planning. And yes you need to keep a very good eye on the weather and err on the side of caution in all your decisions.

But people less prepared than hopefully you will be manage to make the trip every year from what I've seen. And very few seem to fall off the edge of the world.
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Old 01-23-2016, 09:35 PM   #49
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And very few seem to fall off the edge of the world.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:06 AM   #50
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Well let's see here ... We have a Drinkenbuddy, that buys a 34 year old boat in Massachusetts, that has a cruise speed of 8 mph best. Drinkenbuddy says he wants to move his boat down to Florida "as soon as the marina unfreezes". He also adds that he asked a guy how to get to Miami and this guy tells him basically to turn right after he leaves Fairhaven and to just keep going. The guy he asked does have enough sense to at least warn Drinkenbuddy to stay in the ICW after Norfolk, although Drinkenbuddy suggests that he thinks there may be a better route. So he asks us.

Add to that, that our friend's finances are an issue to the point that Drinkenbuddy cannot really do a real sea trial of his new "old boat" because he can not afford the slip fees up north once the boat is placed in the water.

One of the first suggestions to our friend was that the direct offshore runs are the fastest. "Such as Montauk to Cape May (200 miles), Cape May to the mouth of the Chesapeake (150 miles), around Hatteras to Wilmington (200 miles), then just leapfrog as long or as short as u like." My friends, this is a Marine Trader! I owned a very well equipped and (after a couple years) a well tested and proven Marine Trader cruiser. I cruised the waters from RI to Cape May continually for several years in warm and cold weather. These waters are not the ICW. A 20,000 lb. semi-displacement, 12 foot beam, Marine Trader does not belong off the coast from Montauk to Cape May on a 25 hour over-nighter. Not even in August, let alone just after the marina unfreezes! And, as far as being not far from land? It doesn't matter how close to Cape Hatteras you are, if you are twenty feet under, you are in trouble. Yeah, right. It has never happened before.

And to suggest that he just carefully check the weather? Has anyone ever heard of a NOAA weather report that was not accurate? Ever hear of one that was? And for those of us who boat in these waters, trying to figure out weather and tide patterns is a skill that takes years of experience. You can bet that in May on LI Sound, off the coast of NJ and some of the other bodies of water that have any fetch at all, are going to get pretty ugly pretty regularly. Drinkenbuddy does not seem to me to be accomplished in the area of weather forecasting. Come on! What else might go wrong on this adventure?

It is very easy to say that in 50 years of boating we have heard of far more people who have traveled these waters that didn't get in trouble (compared to the stories from those who got in trouble). Well, those who got in trouble have some pretty frightening stories to tell. I don't think we should mislead Drinkenbuddy. Yes, if you get in trouble you can call SeaTow or BoatUS. But, that doesn't sound to me like a sound financial gamble for our friend.

So, fear mongering? I am not suggesting that Drinkenbuddy cannot complete this trip. But we should not mislead him. Hell, he may not even be able to get his boat in the water and commissioned before the end of May in Fairhaven. My advise is to pay the extra month on the hard until near the end of June. Take it up into Narragansett Bay and anchor out for whatever time it takes to know that all the systems work. Then, plan 50 mile/8 hour days of travel and study potential ports along your route where you can pull into if things do hit the fan. If you have to schedule, plan for one day in port for bad weather for every day of travel. If you get ahead of that "schedule" all the better. Buy both a SeaTow and BoatUS insurance and get the unlimited towing. Take at least one, if not two other knowledgeable boaters with you for every leg, at least until you get into the ICW.

I am not trying to discourage you from making the trip. You bought the boat and you have to get it home. Just try to stack the odds more in your favor.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:10 AM   #51
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I am not trying to discourage you from making the trip. You bought the boat and you have to get it home. Just try to stack the odds more in your favor.
Having never figured out if he needed to go quickly or slowly and, if slowly, how slowly, nor what he knows about this boat (was it surveyed and sea trialed), I have no idea as to what is going on.

I didn't read anyone suggesting he go outside at Hatteras, just from Beaufort to Wilmington. But I think that was before realizing exactly what boat and other factors. I say stay as close to land as possible, inside as much as possible, move only in the best of conditions and forecasts and have tow coverage.

I didn't grasp the extent of what he could afford. He did buy this boat while still having his other. If he can't afford a shakedown cruise and a couple of weeks more where he is, then he's likely in trouble as it will need some work along the way in all likelihood. Also, insurance never came up. Hope he has it.

Is he going to anchor? If so, what kind of equipment does he have on the boat.

I guess that's my biggest issue is worrying he's thinking of just jumping in and taking off and doing no real preparation or checking out the boat. We know nothing of the boat's history.

Maybe there's a lot we don't know, but based on what he has shared I would be shocked if he made the entire trip without having to stop for some major service along the way. And he keeps talking cheep, well it's not likely to be cheap.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #52
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"A 20,000 lb. semi-displacement, 12 foot beam, Marine Trader does not belong off the coast from Montauk to Cape May on a 25 hour over-nighter."

Oh baloney!

Perhaps not in most of May. But with a good weather window, a reasonably well sorted out vessel and a competent crew of course it can make that run.

But if I'm wrong, what exactly is the proper type of vessel and its minimum size necessary to make such an arduous voyage?
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:41 AM   #53
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Wifey B: Are you saying the earth isn't flat?
I can't say for sure. Never having found the edge yet. But the majority of the evidence points to it being roundish.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:48 AM   #54
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Seems to me that starting June 1st would make most of this easier and more pleasant.

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Old 01-24-2016, 10:11 AM   #55
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"A 20,000 lb. semi-displacement, 12 foot beam, Marine Trader does not belong off the coast from Montauk to Cape May on a 25 hour over-nighter."

Oh baloney!

Perhaps not in most of May. But with a good weather window, a reasonably well sorted out vessel and a competent crew of course it can make that run.

But if I'm wrong, what exactly is the proper type of vessel and its minimum size necessary to make such an arduous voyage?


Something a lot of recreational boaters don't get either...OK ...so one blows interpreting the weather perfectly.

There is a huge difference between sloppy, uncomfy weather and dangerous weather.

But the OP seems to HAVE boating experience as he mentioned and Ski pointed out clearly..... just not in the route he is asking about.

Running over to the Bahamas requires picking a weather window just as carefully as the run from up north....yes...yes...an Island Packet sailboat is more seaworthy...but as Capt Bill says...where is the line drawn between care and fear?????

Again...waters north of Hatteras (including ICW) in May demand respect both in the ability to kick up and temperature.....but risk managing those isn't that big of a deal.

If the OP even needs it...he could have all the necessary experience to make many here look like newbies (we don't have that info yet)....he just wants some routing info and possible fun stops.
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Old 01-24-2016, 01:19 PM   #56
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[QUOTE=Capt.Bill11;407616]"A 20,000 lb. semi-displacement, 12 foot beam, Marine Trader does not belong off the coast from Montauk to Cape May on a 25 hour over-nighter."

Oh baloney!

Perhaps not in most of May. But with a good weather window, a reasonably well sorted out vessel and a competent crew of course it can make that run.



You are right. This is exactly the type of boating that this vessel was built to do. Montauk to Cape May. Start out into the Atlantic on a course that will take you 60 miles off shore and require a 24 hour overnight cruise. If SeaTow won't respond in an emergency (they are only 5 hours away) you can call the Coasties.

The weather patterns in this area do not fit into convenient three day windows. You have weather changing in a matter of hours. Fog developing in a matter of minutes. And your points are accurate. IF you have a well sorted out vessel. Does anything that the OP has offered convince you that this vessel has been "sorted out"? It has been up on land. He has a broker's and past owner's word that everything is working. What could possibly go wrong? And have you also been convinced that Drinkinbuddy is competent to make this voyage? He is asking us how to get to Miami from Rhode Island, as if he believes he can take a couple notes and then commission his new boat as soon as the marina unfreezes and leave the next day.

If you are looking for adventure, ask him if you can join him. That would definitely improve the experience level. But, if I were going along, which I wouldn't in all honesty, I'd take my credit card and a dry suit, and my own life raft, an epirb, .... well you get the idea.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:02 PM   #57
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I agree, but many boats never go outside the ICW. Certainly, that isn't a requirement and they can wait until the perfect day.
The trip from Down East to Florida does call for at least one mandatory outside run with entry into Manasquan inlet. The inlet can be glass or nasty and from seaward the danger is not always apparent. A hint if there are boats milling around outside the breakers waiting for the right wave or crowds on the breakwater beware they are there to see if you can make it in. While I have entered many times with little thought or worry I did once hit bottom between two crests and I have broached once in Barnegat inlet and I consider myself fairly experienced. While the average boater should not be frightened off caution(particularly in a slow boat) should be used particularly by anybody not familiar with the nature of these east coast inlets. Now that I boat in the PNW I have exchanged the inlets for rapids which have their own fickle personalities and need similar caution.
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Old 01-24-2016, 03:33 PM   #58
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The OP just got back from 3mo in the Bahamas on a 38footer. Does not sound too much like a novice to me.
From some of the boaters I've seen over there, I would be very slow to make that assumption.

The Waterway Guide North is highly recommended.

Again, if time isn't a factor, exploring the Massachusetts and RI islands, Long island sound, the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina and so on for the summer is boater's bliss, in our opinion.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:01 PM   #59
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[QUOTE=Cuttyhunk47;407680]
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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
"A 20,000 lb. semi-displacement, 12 foot beam, Marine Trader does not belong off the coast from Montauk to Cape May on a 25 hour over-nighter."

Oh baloney!

Perhaps not in most of May. But with a good weather window, a reasonably well sorted out vessel and a competent crew of course it can make that run.



You are right. This is exactly the type of boating that this vessel was built to do. Montauk to Cape May. Start out into the Atlantic on a course that will take you 60 miles off shore and require a 24 hour overnight cruise. If SeaTow won't respond in an emergency (they are only 5 hours away) you can call the Coasties.

The weather patterns in this area do not fit into convenient three day windows. You have weather changing in a matter of hours. Fog developing in a matter of minutes. And your points are accurate. IF you have a well sorted out vessel. Does anything that the OP has offered convince you that this vessel has been "sorted out"? It has been up on land. He has a broker's and past owner's word that everything is working. What could possibly go wrong? And have you also been convinced that Drinkinbuddy is competent to make this voyage? He is asking us how to get to Miami from Rhode Island, as if he believes he can take a ccouple notes and then commission his new boat as soon as the marina unfreezes and leave the next day.

If you are looking for adventure, ask him if you can join him. That would definitely improve the experience level. But, if I were going along, which I wouldn't in all honesty, I'd take my credit card and a dry suit, and my own life raft, an epirb, .... well you get the idea.
I think those things were suggested to be taken along already.

No one is saying it is as safe as sitting at a desk typing...and if enjoying the scenery is important, and you don't have to get over a weather hump...true...why go offshore?

But From one who knows the Jersey coast like the back of his hand and it's weather patterns which you are grossly overexagerating....just realize that most agree with you that going direct offshore isn't guaranteed, but certainly not out of the equation as you are insinuating.
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Old 01-24-2016, 04:40 PM   #60
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I have 52 years of boating experience. I have a well sorted out boat in fine condition. I watch the weather carefully on NOAA and various websites and Chris Parker. Ive made the trip from CT to FL 6 times in each direction.

Let's be real.

I had great weather reports for 4 days and a continuing trend. Left Fernandina for Hilton Head offshore on glassy seas and calm winds. 3 hours out to sea and the weather turned to crap with high winds and wild confused seas. So bad that I headed back into the ICW at Sapello Sound which is not a good inlet. We basically had the crap kicked out of us. Thank goodness my fuel tanks were clean and a filter(s) didn't clog.

I've had rough experiences off the Jersey coast, on Delaware Bay and on numerous Sounds such as the Albemarle and St. Andrews. The reality is that Murphy is always aboard just waiting for an opportunity. I would never take a new to me boat into big water until I was damn sure it was sorted out and I was experienced with it. Check the weather, yes, but be aware it could be wrong a good percentage of the time.

In the OP's case, I would advise a good shake down cruise locally and then staying inside as much as possible for the first trip south. Depending on an assistance boat as salvation is not very comforting when/if something goes wrong and the wind has you broadside to a breaking sea. STAY SAFE.
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