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Old 09-21-2016, 06:08 AM   #21
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There are a number of cruising boats that can easily be towed by the owner.

The U would be simple at 75mph across fly over country.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:42 AM   #22
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There are a number of cruising boats that can easily be towed by the owner.

The U would be simple at 75mph across fly over country.
Which would, of course, defeat the whole purpose and eliminate the pleasure.
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:22 AM   #23
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"Which would, of course, defeat the whole purpose and eliminate the pleasure. "

Going North from the big ditch in Panama has never been on most folks "good ride" list.

A long slog to windward is more a hardship than an adventure .
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:43 PM   #24
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"Which would, of course, defeat the whole purpose and eliminate the pleasure. "

Going North from the big ditch in Panama has never been on most folks "good ride" list.

A long slog to windward is more a hardship than an adventure .
Have you ever made the trip you're speaking so disparagingly toward? We have.

North from Panama City you find Bocas del Toro and it is one of the favorite places we have been. Beautiful. Very remote. La Ceiba Honduras, Roaton, Fantasy Island, which is on Roaton. All nice. Some like Guatemala and Puertos Barrios Izabel but we didn't go there. Then Belize City, followed by Puertos Aventuras, Mexico and the beautiful reefs of Cozumel, then Playa del Carmen. Then the final area on that coast with Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Incredible trip, then a short run across to Key West or you can continue along the coast and take the long route.

You refer to everything that you don't think you'd like disparagingly. One of the great beauties of the world, a masterpiece that is so amazing Bill Gates took his family there on vacation to spend time looking at how the locks themselves work and all that is done behind the scenes, yet you call it a "big ditch." Have you seen it up close and studied the history? Then you talk about "a long slog windward" and not being a "good ride". Admittedly doing the big U isn't on the list of what most people plan on doing, but then they wouldn't be interested perhaps in this thread. This thread isn't about towing a boat cross country, it's about cruising the Big U and if that doesn't appeal to you or you know nothing about it then why do you feel the necessity to talk about towing a boat at 75 mph?

This isn't about trucking either or about flying. It's about doing the Big U and for those of you who don't understand the pleasure in doing it, then that's ok, but don't then disparage it.
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:44 AM   #25
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When I went to the Canal the first time it was to an Air Force base.

The AF treats visiting Navy pilots better than the Navy does.

They provide a ride from the parked aircraft to base operations.

On the way in the driver passed back a list.

"Here is the list of Off Limits spots , the good ones are underlined".

The Canal is a great engineering experience , the new one will be as interesting, when complete.

My up the left coast experience is limited to sail , not power , and due to the winds many folks will go 1/2 way to Hawaii, to avoid the slog.

Big power boat , good speed , big fuel tanks , may well be a great adventure, instead of a wet slog..
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:03 AM   #26
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When I went to the Canal the first time it was to an Air Force base.

The AF treats visiting Navy pilots better than the Navy does.

They provide a ride from the parked aircraft to base operations.

On the way in the driver passed back a list.

"Here is the list of Off Limits spots , the good ones are underlined".

The Canal is a great engineering experience , the new one will be as interesting, when complete.

My up the left coast experience is limited to sail , not power , and due to the winds many folks will go 1/2 way to Hawaii, to avoid the slog.

Big power boat , good speed , big fuel tanks , may well be a great adventure, instead of a wet slog..
And, we weren't discussing sail here. As to the left coast even better than the right coast. Costa Rica, where we enjoyed Golfito, Quepos, Puntaneras and Liberia. Chinendega, Nicaragua was perhaps the biggest surprise of our trip, beautiful resort there. Costa Del Sol, El Salvador and Quetzal, Guatemala. Huatulco, Acapulco, Ixtapa, Navidad, Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada although today we would never go to Acapulco. Then on up the coast. We loved the entire way.

Now, admittedly, our experience and information was this century.

The expansion opened on June 26.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:55 PM   #27
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Many of us couldn't get from the east coast to the west coast in our boats because they are too small to make the trip safely. Also, it would be a pretty expensive trip.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:34 PM   #28
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Many of us couldn't get from the east coast to the west coast in our boats because they are too small to make the trip safely. Also, it would be a pretty expensive trip.
Now both of those points are very true. I would say though at least half the boats here could make that trip. Some would have to be more aware of range than others. Technically, most of it is coastal cruising. As to expensive, yes it can be. Then so is the Great Loop for most who do it. Even Capt John makes that point that one needs to recognize up front it's not cheap. He's just in his personal pursuit of the cheapest possible but not how most do it. If you're taking a 50' boat on the Loop or from East to West then the primary differences in cost will be the Panama Canal, Customs fees at each country, and higher fuel prices, plus it's a much longer distance. However, then to get the boat home, you're talking spending the same amount or a sizable amount again where with the Loop you are home at the end.

I think the biggest reason you don't have more Big U'ers is that you have to get back home so double the pleasure, double the fun, double the time, double the cost.

The place the big U really does come in is for those seeking a longer adventure, willing to spend years doing it, but who don't want to, or don't have the boats to, do trans-ocean cruising. If you do the Big U at the same pace as the Loop, then the annual cost would be very little more, just a lot more years involved. Not for everyone, but neither is the Loop. Still, the Big U is quite an adventure and I highly recommend the book even for those not inclined to make the trip.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:54 PM   #29
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Would be interesting to see how many smaller trawlers have made the whole or part of the trip.

expense, other than the canal passage shouldn't be any more than those that have traveled that far cruising just doing multiple loops or continuous snowbird trips. Real rough guess of somewhere around 6000 miles is what I have done in the last 3 years just snowbird trips and not that much more than a loop. costs in some of those countries might offset some of the canal costs. That 6000 is from around Hatteras to San Francisco. I guess double it if going Maine to Alaska.

Other than some long Pacific legs beating to weather as FF pointed out in less than 50 foot stabilized trawlers might be uncomfortable, but many 36 or 40 something footers here could do it if you wanted to bad enough.

I could see doing the Caribbean side through the canal and up into Costa Rica. N ot sure I would want to slog in a 40 footer all the way to Puget Sound before finding shorter legs.

Time would also play in for smaller boats...but some even may be able to trade some range for speed if one wanted to and could afford the increase in fuel cost....just like a loop or any cruise.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:27 PM   #30
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I have gone from Virginia to Alaska to Virginia in 2012. We liked it much better than the great lakes loop, but we would rather be on the hook than on a dock.

Were looking at doing it again in 2017, but still need to do some research on California and what BS i will have to deal with there. Florida is getting to be a pain in the butt also as i went around them a few months ago.

We have done the panama canal 6 times now and would love to see the work they have done.
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:34 PM   #31
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Would be interesting to see how many smaller trawlers have made the whole or part of the trip.

expense, other than the canal passage shouldn't be any more than those that have traveled that far cruising just doing multiple loops or continuous snowbird trips. Real rough guess of somewhere around 6000 miles is what I have done in the last 3 years just snowbird trips and not that much more than a loop. costs in some of those countries might offset some of the canal costs. That 6000 is from around Hatteras to San Francisco. I guess double it if going Maine to Alaska.

Other than some long Pacific legs beating to weather as FF pointed out in less than 50 foot stabilized trawlers might be uncomfortable, but many 36 or 40 something footers here could do it if you wanted to bad enough.

I could see doing the Caribbean side through the canal and up into Costa Rica. N ot sure I would want to slog in a 40 footer all the way to Puget Sound before finding shorter legs.

Time would also play in for smaller boats...but some even may be able to trade some range for speed if one wanted to and could afford the increase in fuel cost....just like a loop or any cruise.
We saw many smaller boats including in the Canal. The typical boat owned and used in those areas is smaller. We chartered fishing and typical was 30-35', often Bertram.

There are few long legs. We saw one Silverton going through the canal that I think was 28'. They had left Fort Myers three years earlier. They intended to sell it after they saw Alaska. Their plan though was just to go as far as health would allow, then fly home and sell it where it was. There were two couples aboard, both in their late 60's, early 70's. They had retired, done the loop, and now this.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:16 AM   #32
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.............. The place the big U really does come in is for those seeking a longer adventure, willing to spend years doing it, but who don't want to, or don't have the boats to, do trans-ocean cruising. If you do the Big U at the same pace as the Loop, then the annual cost would be very little more, just a lot more years involved. Not for everyone, but neither is the Loop. Still, the Big U is quite an adventure and I highly recommend the book even for those not inclined to make the trip.
I think cost is a big issue here. Not just the cost of the trip, but the cost of the boat capable of safely making the trip. The hard fact is, many folks, perhaps most folks just don't have the financial resources to make this trip. And of course many folks don't have the time to make this trip unless they are retired.

The Great Loop also take a lot of time and money but it's easier to leave your boat and return later to continue. Or, just do part of it and turn around and come home.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:34 PM   #33
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Have you ever made the trip you're speaking so disparagingly toward? We have.

North from Panama City you find Bocas del Toro and it is one of the favorite places we have been. Beautiful. Very remote. La Ceiba Honduras, Roaton, Fantasy Island, which is on Roaton. All nice. Some like Guatemala and Puertos Barrios Izabel but we didn't go there. Then Belize City, followed by Puertos Aventuras, Mexico and the beautiful reefs of Cozumel, then Playa del Carmen. Then the final area on that coast with Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Incredible trip, then a short run across to Key West or you can continue along the coast and take the long route.
YES! So having been to most of the areas of the loop AND the U, just not all via boat, I think I can say with some confidence that the U would offer a significant improvement in scenery, diversity of culture and just general level of adventure. All things I like .

I met an older sailor, a widower, waiting for a water taxi in Rio Dulce Guatemala a couple of years ago, he was just moving his boat towards panama every time his visa expired, he was on year 5 since florida. He had some great stories and sounded like an epic journey.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:40 PM   #34
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The Great Loop also take a lot of time and money but it's easier to leave your boat and return later to continue. Or, just do part of it and turn around and come home.
I think you can do this with the U too..not sure why more difficult? Maybe harder to find a secure trustworthy slip? Coming back occasionally is a given for me even on if the loop, I have to return back to home base about every 2 months or so to take care of business.

Certainly more expensive, I get that.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #35
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I think the biggest reason you don't have more Big U'ers is that you have to get back home so double the pleasure, double the fun, double the time, double the cost.
Unless.. of course... you were planning on relocating from one coast to the other.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:57 PM   #36
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YES! So having been to most of the areas of the loop AND the U, just not all via boat, I think I can say with some confidence that the U would offer a significant improvement in scenery, diversity of culture and just general level of adventure. All things I like .

I met an older sailor, a widower, waiting for a water taxi in Rio Dulce Guatemala a couple of years ago, he was just moving his boat towards panama every time his visa expired, he was on year 5 since florida. He had some great stories and sounded like an epic journey.
I think some would like one better and some the other from a viewpoint of scenery and culture. Since we started cruising, we've visited so many places we'd never been. We weren't the experienced air and land travelers many here are. My travel hadn't been sightseeing but had been on business trips. A long list of cities I'd technically been to but only to change planes in the airport. Certainly, more people can do the loop, than the Big U. More can do the Big U than can circumnavigate. Most of us still travel virtually to other parts of the world. I'm joining "virtually only" Bill on his trip now to Cuba.

I'm convinced that when the time comes we just can't do it anymore we will still have had an open list of plans and places we wanted to see. Prior to late 2013, I'd never been to the West Coast or Alaska except I spent a month one week in Portland on business (no fault of the city I saw it that way) and I flew through the LA airport twice. I'd also never traveled to Mexico or Central America except for a business trip to Guatemala City and going to Juarez one evening with a group for Chinese food. Prior to the loop trip, I'd never been to the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Erie Canal, Toronto, Buffalo, Cleveland, any of those areas between NYC and Chicago and I'd only flown through Chicago. Prior to 2012, I'd never been along the Gulf Coast except a fishing charter years ago from Port St. Joe and I'd never been to the Bahamas. I'd also never been to Savannah (driven through but not stopped), Hilton Head, Charleston, Annapolis, Baltimore and most of New England beyond NYC. Now there are still places to go and everywhere I've been in the last four years, I want to go again. Reading recently about someone here on the Columbia River, we did go slightly beyond Portland, but next time we're there (might be 10 or 20 years) I want to go further, as far as we can, just like I want to boat on the Cumberland, Tennessee (have once), Mississippi, Missouri and the Ohio.

Everyone doesn't have to cover great distances to enjoy boating, but the next port past where you normally go might just hold some pleasant surprises. And, to those who talk about going by land or shipping the boat, that's fine if it works for you. The joy for us is doing it all by water. Don't ask us to explain it either. We can't. It's something we feel and you either feel it or you don't.

However, the Big U is a great trip and it's possible for many here and there may be a few who decide to do it one day.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:52 PM   #37
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Not sure why one trip is easier to leave your boat other than another.

Yes there was that fiasco a few years back with US boats being left in Mexico and being seized...I believe that was worked out.

It may become an insurance issue for some...check that out but others have solved it.

Boating in general can cost all over the map for every boat model and miles travelled. Some do it for pennies per mile while others it is a luxury cruise....depends...no one but you can make the numbers work for you.

Again.. I would guess the single biggest singular expense would be the canal fees and expenses.

Sure some may not make the trip without upgrading and buying every expensive toy under the sun, others are a little more relaxed about it.

If people think cruising is expensive...they really need to read Joshua Slocum's voyage round the world and temper it with real time bartering techniques and methods.

You can often get buy with lots less than what others think you need or want.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:38 PM   #38
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Again.. I would guess the single biggest singular expense would be the canal fees and expenses.
1-2K vs a year of groceries and 10K in fuel??? Why does a single fee matter?
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:08 PM   #39
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Interesting Thread. There may be another option in the younger members lifetime which would be the proposed canal through Nicaragua. This route has been discussed for years, actually before the Panama Canal location was selected. Lake Managua into and through the Southern Autonomous Region then out somewhere near Bluefields. A Chinese Corp. has been looking at construction, surveys, agreements, etc.. complete funding is, as always a problem. I visited the area and the S.A.R. (Southern Autonomus Region) is what I would have imagined Louisiana to have been 200 years ago.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:09 PM   #40
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1-2K vs a year of groceries and 10K in fuel??? Why does a single fee matter?
Well...the average person is going to eat whether cruising or not....I don't consider groceries in a cruising budget...only eating out beyond what I would do at home.

Fuel is a factor of usage/mileage. My boat fuel bill is only about 3X higher than my truck usage when at home. Subtract out vehicle usage from boat usage to get a real humber. EVEN if 20X higher than just the canal fees...well? What did you expect? Sure cruising costs fuel money...I don't see it as a one time fee but rather as the one pretty predictable cost is you can guesstimate the fuel prices for the trip.

Compared to most cruising...other than a singular mechanical failure costing that much...everything else is household expenses....

The biggest single cost might be marinas if that is where you stop....it is for me and snowbirding.
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