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Old 04-27-2017, 08:36 PM   #1
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31' Semi-Displacement Trawler from Seattle to Florida

Anyone ever heard of (or done themselves) a coastal trip from Seattle the East Coast via the Panama Canal in a semi-displacement coastal cruiser?

Is this fun or suicide?
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:22 PM   #2
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I think it could be a bit of both (suicide and fun). What I might suggest is to take the boat to southern CA on the water, then have it trucked to the Gulf of Mexico, then make the rest of the trip on its bottom. I helped take a 58' boat from Seattle to Stockton, CA a few years ago in June. 9 days, including weather delays, and a great trip.


San Diego to Corpus Christi by truck would probably cost less than the fuel and costs associated with a Panama Canal trip and would save a LOT of time.


From Corpus Christi, cut across (or along the shoreline) to the Keys, then head north.


What a great trip that would be.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:42 PM   #3
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FUN! I think it would be a hoot to do the trip on your own bottom, provided you had the time to run in good weather. It would be a fantastic adventure, and you have a great boat for it. Just add an air conditioner if you have not already.

When you are laying in your nursing home bed, hopefully MANY years from now, will you reflect upon a grand adventure, or be happy you shipped it?

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Old 04-28-2017, 12:51 AM   #4
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Would this be in your helmsman? What sort of range does it have? I think that would be the first hurdle. There are some relatively long stretches involved in the proposed route, and range might be a show stopper.

Coast and time wise, I expect trucking would be the fastest and cheapest. But if you are looking for adventure, by water would be much more fun.
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:06 AM   #5
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150 gallons of fuel. About .9 Goheen at 6.7 knots. I haven't mapped out waypoints with my range yet.


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Would this be in your helmsman? What sort of range does it have? I think that would be the first hurdle. There are some relatively long stretches involved in the proposed route, and range might be a show stopper.

Coast and time wise, I expect trucking would be the fastest and cheapest. But if you are looking for adventure, by water would be much more fun.
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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A very good friend did just that trip in a 47' Selene- only he went all the way to Maine!

He wrote a book about it-
https://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Big-.../dp/B004XJ4ZLE
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:01 PM   #7
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The complications of doing this trip entirely by water which must be weighed against trucking are the Pacific trip south of Southern California to the Panama Canal. It is not a pleasant trip for well founded boats. The Panama Canal is not only expensive but can be time consuming as pleasure boats do not have priority. I have heard tales of waiting for days/weeks for an opening. The current price for a canal passage is not inexpensive.
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great trip! The journey via Panama may be more expensive and time consuming, but if you have the money and the time - why not? You can organise a broker to handle all the paperwork, and speed up the process.

I'm not familiar with the regional sea conditions, but I'd possibly consider the option of adding paravanes to make it more comfortable in rough conditions.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:39 PM   #9
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Yes I'm sure you could do it.

You will have to be prepared to wait longer for a weather window than a larger, or more comfortable in rougher weather boat.

But is that so bad??? Being stuck for a week or two, or even a month in a place you've never been?

The only thing that really concerns me about the trip is the politics and or safety in just a couple countries along the way. Nicaragua is scary to me, but maybe it's just me.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:33 PM   #10
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If you never made it past the Sea of Cortez that'd still leave 5 years of gunkholing to look forward to. I'm still thinking of buying a houseboat down there and retiring early.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:49 PM   #11
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The only thing that really concerns me about the trip is the politics and or safety in just a couple countries along the way.
But you'll be fine once you get to Mexico.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:43 AM   #12
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An S47 is a full displacement hull. In fact I am next to one right now. That is a huge boat.

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Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
A very good friend did just that trip in a 47' Selene- only he went all the way to Maine!

He wrote a book about it-
https://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Big-.../dp/B004XJ4ZLE
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:47 AM   #13
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I've read if you do the transit yourself thru the Panama Canal that it costs $800. I don't know if the lines and tires cost more to rent.

I do not believe it is necessary to use a broker, etc

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Sounds like a great trip! The journey via Panama may be more expensive and time consuming, but if you have the money and the time - why not? You can organise a broker to handle all the paperwork, and speed up the process.

I'm not familiar with the regional sea conditions, but I'd possibly consider the option of adding paravanes to make it more comfortable in rough conditions.
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:57 PM   #14
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As a reference point for fuel range, the San Diego to La Paz rally requires that you have a minimum range of 450 miles. So that's a data point, but only for that segment. That would probably get you down the US west coast as well, I imagine. I'm not sure about south of MX, and through the Carribean and Gulf. Also, my inderstanding is that the run from the canal to next landfall is a rough ride with wind and seas on your nose. A friend recently did it in a Nordhavn 55 and said it wasn't fun.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pau Hana View Post
A very good friend did just that trip in a 47' Selene- only he went all the way to Maine!

He wrote a book about it-
https://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Big-.../dp/B004XJ4ZLE
Great Book. We read it before we made the trip.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:41 PM   #16
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Yes I'm sure you could do it.

You will have to be prepared to wait longer for a weather window than a larger, or more comfortable in rougher weather boat.

But is that so bad??? Being stuck for a week or two, or even a month in a place you've never been?

The only thing that really concerns me about the trip is the politics and or safety in just a couple countries along the way. Nicaragua is scary to me, but maybe it's just me.
Nicaragua actually has a great resort and marina and as insecure as much of the country is, that area is not problematic. Now, I wouldn't leave the grounds there without a local driver and I still wouldn't go far internally nor would I be out at night. Still Nicaragua was an incredibly nice surprise as the people there went so out of their way to serve us and were so appreciative of us being there.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:42 PM   #17
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150 gallons of fuel. About .9 Goheen at 6.7 knots. I haven't mapped out waypoints with my range yet.
Translation of Goheen please?
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:43 PM   #18
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I've read if you do the transit yourself thru the Panama Canal that it costs $800. I don't know if the lines and tires cost more to rent.

I do not believe it is necessary to use a broker, etc
Not necessary but sure simplifies things using an agent as they arrange for everything you need.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Translation of Goheen please?


Oops, spell check whack. Goheen = GPH
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Old 04-30-2017, 12:10 AM   #20
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Oops, spell check whack. Goheen = GPH
You mileage starts to sound too good to be true, but I'll grant perhaps you're accurate, I just wouldn't trust achieving that in all conditions. Still, even a range of 1000 nm would be plenty and you'd seem to have that safely covered. I'd just double and triple check with some runs in varying seas.

Now, as to the boat. It's a make-able trip but it would be a very long trip to be done slowly and willing to spend time along the way if conditions are poor. Still, it's coastal cruising. Just there are some likely overnight runs and some areas you'd be rather exposed if you had to seek refuge or anchor. Definitely read the book referenced but keep in mind a much different boat.

Still, the roughest conditions we encountered were the coast of Washington. Like most areas of cruising, given the size and nature of your boat, you wouldn't always be taking the shortest route but sometimes a little additional coastal cruising. I'd want to feel comfortable devoting 18-24 months to do it. We spent an elapsed time of 9 months but we cruised on average about 18 knots. Now we did take a couple of breaks on the way. That made it a more agreeable cruise.

There are so many special experiences to be had along the way. As to it being cheaper to ship your boat, that's universally true and misses the whole point of cruising and boating.

We found it to be just an incredible adventure.
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