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Old 04-30-2017, 12:22 AM   #21
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One place we did stop, but I'd bypass now as it's much less safe than when we were there is Acapulco.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:47 PM   #22
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I had to recheck the GPH - it is in fact 6.2 knots at 0.87gph. I assume a new engine will improve with time on fuel burn (diesel). This was achieved on a lake with no current and minimal wave action.

I had a Volkswagen TDi engine that certainly improved a lot in fuel burn after a certain amount of time. I could literally get it to 50+mpg on the highway.

However, yesterday I had the boat out on the Puget Sound and fuel burn was not as good and I was in 2-2.5 foot waves at times. Went to Blake Island and moored for a while then headed back to the Duwamish River. Major swells as entering the river.

Also, notice the orangish huge log I was about to hit in this picture - avoided at the last moment. The Puget Sound has a lot of wood in the water.

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Your mileage starts to sound too good to be true, but
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:15 PM   #23
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Helmsman

Very interested in your travel decision from WA. to FL. My wife and I are traveling to WA. in late June to look at the Helmsman and Bracewell. We were considering doing the same thing as you.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:44 PM   #24
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Very interested in your travel decision from WA. to FL. My wife and I are traveling to WA. in late June to look at the Helmsman and Bracewell. We were considering doing the same thing as you.
Here are my questions to anyone debating the trip.

1. Do you expect to get to the west coast again?

2. Do you have somewhat unlimited time to make the trip. It can include flights to and from home, but can you make it at a pace to truly enjoy the areas you visit. If you're going to do it like a delivery run then no reason to do it. Just ship the boat, but if this is your chance to see some great places, then do it.

In our case, we'd never spent time on the West Coast. So, it was all new and exciting from Alaska to Washington to Portland to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego. We left Washington the final time on September 30 and didn't leave San Diego until January 8.

Then from there we spent time as follows. Not showing our travel times as those would vary widely between boats. But these are the places we spent time.

Ensenada-2 Days
Cabo San Lucas-4
La Paz-3
Mazatlan-3
Puerto Mallarta-4
Acapulco-2 (Definitely not recommended today)
Huatulco-1
Quetzal, Guatemala-3
Costa Del Sol, El Salvador-2
Chinendega, Nicaragua-3
Liberia, Costa Rica-1
Puntaneris, Costa Rica-1
Quepos, Costa Rica-1
Golfito, Costa Rica-2
Panama City, Panama-4
Christobal, Panama-3
Bocas Del Toro, Panama-4
Now a bit of a detour
Cayman Islands-7
Port Antonio, Jamaica-5
Now back to the coastal cruise
Bocas Del Toro, Panama-3
Belize City, Belize-6
Puerto Aventuras, Mexico-4
Cancun, Mexico-6
We did cross from Cancun to Key West, but had we not already cruised the gulf coast often, we wouldn't have short cut that.

You very well may make more stops than we did and stay longer times. Just no calendar. Be free to stay longer due to weather or just desire to enjoy more. Just don't rush through it.

When I was in the corporate world, I traveled a lot of places in the world, but never saw them. Retired, I make a point to see them all.

Corporate life was funny in that respect. I had cities that all I'd ever seen was the airport-Los Angeles, Buffalo, Denver, Houston, Manchester, UK. When I retired, I guess I could say I'd traveled the world, but seen virtually none of it. I could count a great list of places I'd been. Lots of places for one day meetings.

So, only make this trip if you truly plan on seeing all the places along the way.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:24 PM   #25
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Great advice BandB, but I am a bit of an odd person is that I would enjoy the trip even if it was done as a delivery run. However, I enjoy a road trip even if all I am doing is going from point A to point B as fast as possible. (I may boat slow, but I tend to drive fast)
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:43 PM   #26
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Great advice BandB, but I am a bit of an odd person is that I would enjoy the trip even if it was done as a delivery run. However, I enjoy a road trip even if all I am doing is going from point A to point B as fast as possible. (I may boat slow, but I tend to drive fast)
But if it's the trip of a lifetime, you do want to see more. Even if you aren't able to. We boat faster than others but it only allows us to see more.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:38 AM   #27
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I presume you did your journey on your Helmsman. How did it handle? If things work out, we will be purchasing our boat in WA. and plan to spend considerable time around Puget Sound and then boat south along the coast, eventually ending at our residence in Florida. We will be looking at the Helmsman and Bracewell and curious about your evaluation of the boat.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:16 AM   #28
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I presume you did your journey on your Helmsman. How did it handle? .
Who?
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:54 PM   #29
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Maybe I have the wrong person. Someone posted about taking a Helmsman 31 from Canada down the West Coast and around to Florida. I was hoping to inquire how the Helmsman trawler handled the trip
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:54 PM   #30
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That was not us, but here is a link to a thread where a member posted about the trip on a 34' CHP.

How far have you been in your Coastal Cruiser?

Others may know the person who did it in a Helmsman.

We did it in a larger boat.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:17 PM   #31
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Thank you
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:56 AM   #32
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I've found out this trip is called the Big U. There is an organization that documents these trips and there are different levels of completion. Seattle to Florida I think is the Silver level.

I'm not sure which is more impressive- Big U or Great Loop. But I'm thinking that there will be bragging rights that will be hard to top if you you leave from Seattle!

I'm personally leaning toward shipping the boat because mine is too small for such a long journey without undue fatigue.

But I am also known for sucking things up and just doing something anyway after I've tormented myself with all the reasons I shouldn't.

My main rule will be NEVER challenge the weather. And I will have to do short runs to not force errors from being tired and weakened as a result.



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I presume you did your journey on your Helmsman. How did it handle? If things work out, we will be purchasing our boat in WA. and plan to spend considerable time around Puget Sound and then boat south along the coast, eventually ending at our residence in Florida. We will be looking at the Helmsman and Bracewell and curious about your evaluation of the boat.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:17 AM   #33
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you could always ship it to Minneapolis and head down the Mississippi from there instead of shipping it all the way to FL.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:23 AM   #34
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I have never heard of the Big-U. My wife and I are going to Seattle end of June to look at the Bracewell and Helmsman. Thats what caught my original attention was your Helmsman. We were also considering boating down the coast then shipping from San Diego to the Gulf to complete our Journey to Florida. We're still in the fact finding stage since she has 18 months until she retires. Very anxious to hear your decision.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:03 PM   #35
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I have never heard of the Big-U. My wife and I are going to Seattle end of June to look at the Bracewell and Helmsman. Thats what caught my original attention was your Helmsman. We were also considering boating down the coast then shipping from San Diego to the Gulf to complete our Journey to Florida. We're still in the fact finding stage since she has 18 months until she retires. Very anxious to hear your decision.
Frank
There is a book, available from Amazon on Kindle, on the Big U. Very much underappreciated option. We took what I'd call a Super U as we went to Alaska before starting down. We did stop at Fort Lauderdale but other times have done the East Coast. We have only one section we still feel is needed to complete it and that is from Boston, to Maine and then up and around and down the St. Lawrence to Montreal and on to Lake Ontario.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:17 PM   #36
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Comparing Big U to Great Loop.

Inland cruising vs offshore cruising. The boating on the Great Loop is much easier and the trip is shorter.

Great Loop you get to see all of the Eastern US and all the beauty and diversity. Big U you get the West Coast. From Washington to San Diego has incredible cities we loved seeing, but from a cruising standpoint doesn't compare to the East Coast.

However, on the Big U, you get to experience more of the world, more countries, more unique environments and cultures. As different as areas of the Great Loop are, picture a continuum of some sort and the Great Loop has 1-7 but all of 8-10 are also available on the Big U. There are experiences available on the Big U that just aren't there on the Great Loop.

The Big U can be challenging boating wise in that it may require some overnight cruising. It also becomes expensive as you pay for the Panama Canal and you pay to clear into each country. There are boats I'd do the Great Loop in that I wouldn't try the Big U in. On the other hand, many boats on the Big U can't do the Loop.

Some of the adventure of either depends on where you've traveled before. For the Great Loop, we'd traveled the East Coast, we'd traveled the gulf coast, even had been on the TN River once, but we'd never been to any of the Great Lakes or the Mississippi or even the Erie or to Niagara Falls or Toronto.

Now, for the Big U, we'd never been anywhere on the West Coast, never had traveled to Mexico or any of the other countries we hit so that was all new. And when I say traveled, we hadn't been to those places by land or water.

Thing is there is so much to see and so little time. You just choose what fits your style and desire.

Also depends on number of people. If there were only two of us aboard, the Great Loop is far more conducive to a nice pleasurable trip than the Big U is. We had the benefit of extra crew on the Big U that makes a huge difference.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:32 PM   #37
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you could always ship it to Minneapolis and head down the Mississippi from there instead of shipping it all the way to FL.
That isn't half a bad idea. Though I don't recall Minneapolis having a facility to launch a trawler. St Paul has at least one IIRC.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:35 PM   #38
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That isn't half a bad idea. Though I don't recall Minneapolis having a facility to launch a trawler. St Paul has at least one IIRC.
And I don't understand quite what that would be accomplishing. Certainly no great pleasure in coming down the Mississippi. Perhaps ship to Chicago or Ohio and then go Great Lakes to Erie Canal and down. What is your air draft? What is your East Coast target? By shipping it only half or 2/3 the way you will not save as much as you might think.
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