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Old 12-17-2016, 09:27 AM   #21
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We will be there for the entire month of May. If I can help in anyway please let me know. We will be staying in Hopetown/.

Mike
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Old 12-17-2016, 09:39 AM   #22
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I have made dozens of trips to the Abacos in various size boats and can't remember catching flat sea condition on both ends of the trip.
So what are your thoughts on early June in a 31' cabin cruiser? Even with the changes in weather you have experienced?
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:04 AM   #23
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Oh to be young again!
I have made dozens of trips to the Abacos in various size boats and can't remember catching flat sea condition on both ends of the trip. Numerous trips I just wanted to click my heels and be back in ''Kansas".

This is one of those ideas that sounds great on paper and around the table at the bar but the reality can be quite different.
Good luck and keep this thread updated, would love to follow along...on the web!
Will do. I made the trip 2 years ago on my Yamaha ski, at one point we had 7-8ft seas and 25+ winds. I lost count of how many times I blew chunks that trip. Of course, we had the brilliant idea to go in the middle of January, so the spray made it even worse.
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Old 12-17-2016, 01:42 PM   #24
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So what are your thoughts on early June in a 31' cabin cruiser? Even with the changes in weather you have experienced?
The fronts from up north generally subside in May so that concern can be set aside. As with any crossing of the Gulf Stream having a flexible departure/return date can allow you to cross in comfort.

When seas kick up over 4' with a short period you are pretty much gonna feel it any vessel under say 40 plus feet. On our return trip from the Abacos last July we encountered a 3 foot slop in the Sea of Abaco that you just couldn't get comfortable in no matter the speed, trim or amount of tab used.

Once we hit the Gulf Stream the seas were still 3 plus but at least had some rythm to them so we could adjust the boat accordingly.

The old adage is if the wind has an "N'' in the direction and is over say 10kts you are probably going to experience some level of discomfort. The later in the summer the better the weather for crossing.

Leave early in the AM as seas tend to be a bit more stable in the morning until the sun warms things up.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:08 PM   #25
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FWIW, there is a company the schedules trips/flotillas for up to 30 boats with the minimum size being 22'.
http://www.bahamas.com/summer-boating-flings
http://www.saltwatersportsman.com/#page-2

We have contemplated making the trip, but not sure it would be $$$$ feasible for us to trailer down, make the crossing and have to trailer all the way back.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:58 AM   #26
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The fronts from up north generally subside in May so that concern can be set aside. As with any crossing of the Gulf Stream having a flexible departure/return date can allow you to cross in comfort.

When seas kick up over 4' with a short period you are pretty much gonna feel it any vessel under say 40 plus feet. On our return trip from the Abacos last July we encountered a 3 foot slop in the Sea of Abaco that you just couldn't get comfortable in no matter the speed, trim or amount of tab used.

Once we hit the Gulf Stream the seas were still 3 plus but at least had some rythm to them so we could adjust the boat accordingly.

The old adage is if the wind has an "N'' in the direction and is over say 10kts you are probably going to experience some level of discomfort. The later in the summer the better the weather for crossing.

Leave early in the AM as seas tend to be a bit more stable in the morning until the sun warms things up.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Great info. But I'd suggest you lengthen your recommendation for a boat comfortable in >4' with a short period to about 60'. LOL
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:01 AM   #27
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So what are your thoughts on early June in a 31' cabin cruiser? Even with the changes in weather you have experienced?
What's a "cabin cruiser?" Everyone has their own level of comfort. I've arrived in West End before only to be met by a lady on a mega yacht who was incredulous that we crossed and who was waiting for better weather. You can always have a week of 30kn winds but in June it is more often 15kn with a 1-2' wave height.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:04 AM   #28
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Don't forget about those summer thunderstorms that build up between Mangrove Cay and Fox Town. I've seen them make grown men cry.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:12 AM   #29
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Don't forget about those summer thunderstorms that build up between Mangrove Cay and Fox Town. I've seen them make grown men cry.
There is nothing in the world scarier than being surrounded by black sky and dark blue water and bolts of lightning coming down all around you. I send everyone into the cabin, put on shoes, set the auto, and sit on the bridge as far away from any metal as possible and try not to touch anything. I think I have come off the seat a good twelve inches a few times. Gives me chills just thinking about it but sometimes there is no where to go.
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:35 AM   #30
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Great info. But I'd suggest you lengthen your recommendation for a boat comfortable in >4' with a short period to about 60'. LOL
Truth.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:23 AM   #31
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Don't forget about those summer thunderstorms that build up between Mangrove Cay and Fox Town. I've seen them make grown men cry.
Don't they generally tend to show up well after lunch?

We are planning on leaving Harbour Towne at first daylight and that will put us in West End around 10. Clearing customs and refueling should allow us to leave around 11 but that puts us out there well into the afternoon.
We may overnight in West End and leave at first daylight the next morning.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #32
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Don't they generally tend to show up well after lunch?

We are planning on leaving Harbour Towne at first daylight and that will put us in West End around 10. Clearing customs and refueling should allow us to leave around 11 but that puts us out there well into the afternoon.
We may overnight in West End and leave at first daylight the next morning.
Usually, but not always. Just keep a close watch on the weather. If you have Sirius or XM weather on your plotter (I recommend it) you can almost always see them developing and comeing from far away.
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #33
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They can be out there at any time of the day. The XM radar on your plotter only covers as far as Mangrove Cay. I usually use my cell phone radar apps (Storm) to determine what's going on between Mangrove and Fox Town. Before you leave West End check the radar and if you are coming from Abaco you can use the cell tower at Fox Town to check it.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:15 PM   #34
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They can be out there at any time of the day. The XM radar on your plotter only covers as far as Mangrove Cay. I usually use my cell phone radar apps (Storm) to determine what's going on between Mangrove and Fox Town. Before you leave West End check the radar and if you are coming from Abaco you can use the cell tower at Fox Town to check it.
I get good Sirius radar coverage all the way out past the eastern abacos. In fact, last spring it was accurate even in the canyons NE ff Elbow Cay. In fact, one day I remember watching storms come off Elbow and we went in after they passed south of us. I do loose weather radar coverage east of Nassau though. However, Sirius will download NOAA's marine weather forecast for the Bahamas no matter where you are and that helps plan your day as well. Not sure about XM; I think I had it on my last boat boat I really can't remember.

I would never rely on cell coverage for any marine activities, but that's just me. In fact, I turn off cellular data as soon as I leave West Palm and don't turn it back on until we get back to the states. If you do plan on using your phone be sure you have AT&T.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:33 PM   #35
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I get good Sirius radar coverage.... Not sure about XM.
Aren't they the same?
It is installed on my boat, but not activated (not needed while on the lake).
Not sure how to use it if it were activated.
Reading the manual on my Garmin 545S it shouldn't be that complicated to use it. I guess I will activate it prior to our trip.
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:43 PM   #36
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Aren't they the same?
It is installed on my boat, but not activated (not needed while on the lake).
Not sure how to use it if it were activated.
The manual on my Garmin 545S isn't very helpful either.
There has to be someone who can comment on that; I am not sure but I think there are subtle differences. I believe the issue with the weather radar is that it uses the North American radar from the states and it only reaches out so far. Maybe that reach is somewhat variable too but again I am sure someone else knows better than I. All I know for certain is that I have had good weather radar coverage throughout the Abacos, down through Nassau, and down to Fresh Creek.

If you have onboard radar don't forget to pan out with that too as that will give you a real time idea of what is coming.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:01 PM   #37
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No radar. If I were offshore regularly, definitely something I would get.
But we're mostly on inland lakes, FL pan handle a few times per year, and once, maybe twice (if the bonus is good... LOL) to the Bahamas.
It's a 10hr tow (permitted oversized load) to Harbour Towne, and work gets in the way of all the time off I would need....
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:58 PM   #38
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I have the XM coastal mariner package on my boat, so I am not familiar with how the Sirius weather radar works. We live in Freeport, so using the data feature on our cell phones is not a problem as we already have BTC. Also it only takes us less than an hour to get from Mangrove to Fox Town, so if we check the radar on our way out to Mangrove Cay and if it is a clear run we don't have to worry about getting caught out there.
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Old 12-18-2016, 02:41 PM   #39
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I have the XM coastal mariner package on my boat, so I am not familiar with how the Sirius weather radar works. We live in Freeport, so using the data feature on our cell phones is not a problem as we already have BTC. Also it only takes us less than an hour to get from Mangrove to Fox Town, so if we check the radar on our way out to Mangrove Cay and if it is a clear run we don't have to worry about getting caught out there.
This. I don't advocate taking preparation for going to the Bahamas too lightly, but I honestly think some people way over think it. Prepare ahead of time, use some common sense, and have fun!
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Old 12-18-2016, 08:12 PM   #40
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By next summer, doppler radar will cover most of central and northern Bahamas. Nothing scarier than lightning in a unbonded boat.
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