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Old 02-25-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Travel Time

Anyone have a good idea of how long it would take in a 7-10 knot trawler to travel from California via the Canal to New England, without stopping for very long in any one place, except to stock up and wait for weather?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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A long time.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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If you go over to the T&T list back about 5 or 6 years, there was a guy in a 40ft Nordhavn named Scott Bulger who did this very trip at those speeds. Really a nice fellow who I got to know cyberly and on the VHF. Why on earth would you not stop along the way and savor the cruising delights along the way?
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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A month or three...

The answer is as vague as "some place in California" to "some place in New England" at a boat speed somewhere's between 7-10 knots (almost a 50% difference between the two).....
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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We forgot the 5 children.

All estimates will be doubled.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:37 PM   #6
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Hey guys... This is obviously a real person. If you want to believe they are not as described, fine. Please move onto the next thread.

The posts have been removed.

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Old 02-26-2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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As George said, this is a trip that most of us dream about. Why would you want to do it quickly?
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:05 AM   #8
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Galaxy Girl, I'd really like to help. You have a lot of questions, but, as was pointed out, a lot of these are open-ended questions. In my day job, the answer very often is "It depends."

I also teach basic boating and navigation classes, and I heartily suggest you take some. Another option is to get a copy of Chapmans and read it cover to cover, or at least use it as a reference.

That said, the problem you pose is simple math. Everyone has been on a family car trip with the kids asking "are we there yet." Going through the driver's mind is a simple time/speed/distance problem. If I have to go X miles, at Y miles per hour, when will I get there?

The formula is:
D=SxT, where D is distance, S is speed and T is time

So, if you have to go 8,000 miles at 8 knots:

8000 = 8 x T

8000 / 8 = T

1000 hours is your answer.

I'm not saying your trip is 8,000 miles, but you can look at a map (better yet, charts) and figure that out. And you can throw in some "what if" scenerios like time ashore for the 5 kids, or weather, or how long you think you can be underway each day, or whatever.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:07 AM   #9
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On a "new" (to you) boat the time will vary.

The boats mechanical condition , including fuel tanks is unknown.

How much time dead , replacing filters , and attempting to get underway is unknown.

The electrical system might be a problem too.

The suggestion to measure the miles then figure 6 nm per hour would be a start.

Unknowables like delays at the Canal, will have to be guessed at.

My guess 4-5 months if done as a delivery ,and everything keeps working and there are few mechanical delays.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #10
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Don't follow us, It's taken us over 4 years since we passed through San Diego and we're only in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.

Seriously, contact Captain Pat Rains. She has over 100K miles on Central American Coasts doing delivers (mostly power boats) with 30 plus canal transits. Her book details the stops, seasons, etc.


Cruising Ports: the Central American Route New 6.5 edition,

If you want to email her, she frequents the Southbound Group on Yahoo. It's free to join.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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As CaptTom pointed out, you need to do the math yourself. Find the distance and then find the time for that distance at various speeds.

Of course, that will be the absolute minimum time. Obviously, you'll have to stop for fuel, wtaer, food, and supplies. These are not optional stops.

Really though, I think you would regret not stopping along the way to visit new places and see the sights. Most of us would look at this trip as the trip of a lifetime and probably spend a year or more. Some folks would cruise for a month, leave the boat in a marina, then fly home for a month, then return to the boat for a month, etc.

If you do take the trip, take lots of photos and write a few paragraphs each day on what you did and what you saw. Compile it and you'll have a memory long after the trip is over. Also, something to show your friends.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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In response to a private message that I recieved, and some of your thread replies:

I'm sorry that my questions are viewed as offensive and troll like to some. Many of you that have been talking to me both here and on Cruisers know my history from the beginning so I didn't feel the need to introduce and explain.

I know that my situation is very unique and possibly one of kind, which will make it not believable to many, but that's fine. My life is very unique and if you knew me personally, I'm sure that none of what I say here would seem at all out of the ordinary. You would also know from my life history, that my boat purchase is not "all talk", it WILL get done. I may have to sort out a few things, but that's ok. That being said, this is a public forum. I figured that if one does not like my threads, or questions he/she could ignore them. My name is posted as the author, if you think I'm a troll or full of crap, then bi-pass my threads. No one is making anyone here open, read, or respond. If the owners/moderators do not like what I post it is their choice to inform me of such and/or close my account. Neither of which has been done yet, so my posts must not violate any rules.

Just because a situation seems out of the ordinary to you, doesn't make it wrong. Just because something is not being done the way that you think it should be done, doesn't make it wrong. Just because someone asks questions that you think are stupid or inexperienced questions, doesn't mean that they can't ask them.

The reason that I was asking about the trip form California to New England, as some of you know, is because I am seriously considering the purchase of an Asian boat. I was trying to realistically figure a delivery time without stopping to sight see because I wanted to accompany and some of my kids want to come along also, so I was trying to figure out if I could get it done over the summer months while they are out of school or if I would have to fly home with them part way or how to start thinking about the planning. I am aware that I could calculate distance, but I was hoping that in between all of the "your crazy", "your a troll" type comments, someone who has done a delivery similar to this would chime in with a realistic time estimation based on experience and scenarios that I may not be able to calculate.

I do get a lot of undesirable replies to my questions, but I also get some VERY good information. It is obvious to me, that not everyone, but some have real life experience and are willing to offer good advice to someone like me. I have to sift through replies and extract the good stuff, but it's worth it. I ignore the unhelpful feedback and focus on the folks who really now what they are are talking about.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
................The reason that I was asking about the trip form California to New England, as some of you know, is because I am seriously considering the purchase of an Asian boat. I was trying to realistically figure a delivery time without stopping to sight see because I wanted to accompany and some of my kids want to come along also, so I was trying to figure out if I could get it done over the summer months while they are out of school or if I would have to fly home with them part way or how to start thinking about the planning.............
You will find that to be a very expensive and time consuming trip. Be sure to factor this into your purchase decision. You may find buying a boat locally to be a better choice.

Also, consider having your Asian boat shipped (on a big ship) to your home location. This may be less expensive that moving it under its own power and there will not be the wear and tear on the boat that moving it under its own power would involve.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:26 AM   #14
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I have a friend that took a sailboat from NYC through the canals and the Trent Severn to get to Chicago then shipped her boat to Portland. She had her mast down and mounted on her deck. Not sure on the height restrictions.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:31 AM   #15
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When I want to get a fairly close estimate of distance to travel, I use Google earth with the ruler tool. That being said, you have to ask questions like, Are we going to cruse 24/7? Do we have enough qualified crew to set up that kind of rotation? How much fuel and water as well as food storage will determine how long you can cruse between ports. On a trip that long I would think you would need to plan several over nights in port not only to refuel but to give the crew a chance to relax a bit. I would think that that kind if intensive 24/7 cruising requires a high level of constant concentration to keep clear of large traffic, watch for weather and monitor the mechanical condition of the vessel. I would think this level of passage requires much thought and planning. This would require the vessel to be in top notch condition. Even in near perfect condition, you would want a well thought out store of spare parts on board along with the mechanical knowledge to make repairs potentially while underway. These are just a few of the consideration that need to be made. I hope this post is helpful.

David Hoover.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by dhoover View Post
When I want to get a fairly close estimate of distance to travel, I use Google earth with the ruler tool.
Yep... We do this too. OR, we use this cool tool: GeoGarage - Route Preparation

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:50 AM   #17
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Figure somewhere in the region of $15K for fuel, at least $50K for a captain and mate (you need at least 2 experienced crew) and about 3-4 months as previously stated. Since you are presumably considering shipping from Asia to US why not ship all the way to the East Coast. Miami to Rhode Island is a 7 day 24x7 trip at about 7Kt in a bee line offshore, if the weather is decent.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:41 AM   #18
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....if I could get it done over the summer months while they are out of school or if I would have to fly home with them part way or how to start thinking about the planning...
Hurricane season on the Pacific Coast, Manzanillo MX to Cabo and the Caribbean is June 1 to Nov. 1 (officially). These are the dates the insurance companies typically use. The danger months (95%) are around August 1 to mid October. Heading down the Pacific Coast is pretty easy spring or fall. The winter is OK but you need some patience. The Caribbean, the best time to travel is from Nov 1 till the Christmas winds/trades start around mid-December. The winds start to die off around late March/April. Someone else on the forum changed there plans to head south from Florida recently do to the winter winds. I'm not saying you can't do it in the winter, we're doing it, you just have to be patient for an appropriate weather window.

For my 2 cents, if you're short on time, do it in steps. There are places to leave the boat. It's a great trip and experiance. Not many people do it more than once.

Here's some weather for next week for Central America and Panama.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:47 AM   #19
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Good point about the insurance during hurricane season!! Here on the east Coast same dates apply and you would need to be north of Georgia by June 1 to get coverage at "normal" rates. Incidentally, GG should check out availability and cost of insurance for a boat this size for somebody with little/no experience. It may be very hard to buy or extremely expensive.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
Just because a situation seems out of the ordinary to you, doesn't make it wrong. Just because something is not being done the way that you think it should be done, doesn't make it wrong. Just because someone asks questions that you think are stupid or inexperienced questions, doesn't mean that they can't ask them.
Of course, you are absolutely correct!
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