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Crossing to the Bahamas in a small baot

Old 06-15-2014, 04:48 PM
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Default Crossing to the Bahamas in a small baot

I know that it can be done and has been done many times before but all the threads that are popping up show 30+' boats with twin OBs on back or bigger. On another forum a group crossed on jet skies.

I would like to cross in a 21" CC. I know that weather has everything to do with the crossing but was wondering just crossing the Gulfstream in a smaller boat what it is like. And also try to cross with another boat. On an average day I have about 220 mile range.

If you were crossing in the small boat where would you leave from and where would you want your first stop to be? And from there how much farther is Bimini?

I would be trailing the boat from GA down to FL.
Old 06-15-2014, 05:00 PM
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Buy the Steve Dodge cruising guide. It is your best reference at this stage.
Old 06-15-2014, 06:45 PM
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:53 PM
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Once the weather is good, running over in a 20ft boat is fine. Leave out of port everglades and head straight over to Bimini its only 60 miles
Old 06-15-2014, 06:58 PM
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I would leave from West Palm and head to West End. Stay at Old Bahama bay or Blue Marlin Cove. 56 mile run. If the weather is fine it's no big deal.
Old 06-15-2014, 07:01 PM
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Weather! Cake
Old 06-15-2014, 07:05 PM
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A 21 CC is not a big boat but it's not small... Are you dual engined?!... As for setting out, I'd set out from Haulover... It's roughly 45 miles to Bimini... If you can sustain 30 knots you'll be there in an hour and a half...

Having said that, if the weather is good it will be a breeze... However, if the weather turns on you or you develop engine problems you'd better be prepared (float plan, VHF, PLB and/or EPIRB, life jackets, water)...
Old 06-15-2014, 07:24 PM
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Do a little research in this forum by scrolling down thru other posts for 3 or 4 pages and you will find a wealth of questions and answers and information already posted by boaters such as yourself crossing for their first time. Everyong on your boat will oc course need passports going and coming back.

As for your jet ski statement - FYI, those jet ski's crossed in perfect weather with several large boats accompanying them.

Also - check with your insurance company as most will not cover a boat going to the Bahamas that is (1)under 26 ft, or (2)has only only engine - this may or may not bother you if you have a problem and can self insure.
Old 06-15-2014, 07:24 PM
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Ricky, anything can happen he'll I almost ran overn some dumb A$$ on the way home, he was mowing and pushed his mower right out into the street, why he felt he need to mow the concrete no one will ever know.

I plan on making my first trip on July 18th, if been reading and studying for over a year there is not a thread or forum I have not seen and I'm still not ready, but I think I'm well prepared.

There is guys that have done it and do it in 18 foot boats, at the same time I've seen guys in 50 yachts say they would not make the crossing.

This is 2014, the only thing that can get lost is an airplane full of people and that ill never understand!!!!

I just bought a hand held GPS that can sends text messages (from anywhere in the world) and with every message the exact lat and long. Makes it really hard to get lost.

Study read and prepare your self you'll be ok, find a buddy boat safety in numbers.

I'm taking a 25 foor boat with 56 gallons of fuel, if that doesn't get me there and I'm not found, well it was just my time and I'm ok with that.

Good luck think safe and be safe
Old 06-15-2014, 07:31 PM
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25 ft with 56 gallons???? What kind of 25 footer are you in? My 26 carries 200 and I won't head across without topping it off first. Not that I'll ever use all that getting there, but I can damn sure burn more than 56 if the weather gets knarly.
Old 06-15-2014, 08:15 PM
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Fuel is not my worry crossing as long as I can fuel up over there. Boat carries 75 gallons and the longest trip I have made was about 150 miles to the fishing ground and back. That was done on 48 gallons of fuel. I have a back-up mounted gps on the boat, chart plotter, hand held GPS, personal EPRIB, VHF, hand held VHF and if I do the trip I will get a hand held VHF with the built in GPS and built in DSC.

The most important thing (besides weather) is having a couple other boats making the crossing with you. The only question that I have about that is the bigger boats might be able to run 30 knots where I might only be able to run 25 knots. But my feeling on that is if i can not run that speed I am not sure that I want to try to cross.

Also, if the weather turns $hitty while over there, how safe is it to leave your boat there until you can return?
Old 06-15-2014, 08:46 PM
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That last comment was not aimed at you, rather the gentleman that said he was headed across with 56 gallons of gasoline. That just seems silly to me.
At any rate, as far as your concerns about speed, just strike an agreement with whoever you cross with before you leave. There is no hurry since the islands will still be there when you arrive. A group of boats should only travel as fast as the slowest guy. Who knows, the other/faster boat may break and need you to tow him. Just make sure it's verbally agreed upon ahead of time.
Old 06-15-2014, 08:56 PM
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ProblemChild23, when I used to ride motorcycles for long distance trips, the lead bike was never out of sight of the last bike. I would hope/like it to be that way on any boat trip. Can be a little more spread out because of the VHFs communications but could anyone should be able to get to any boat with in minutes.
Old 06-15-2014, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sailfish18 View Post
I would leave from West Palm and head to West End. Stay at Old Bahama bay or Blue Marlin Cove. 56 mile run. If the weather is fine it's no big deal.
Did that twice MANY years ago in a 22'er single I/O ~~ Old enough now to wonder why~~~
Old 06-15-2014, 09:08 PM
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A long as you have a reliable engine its no problem. I cross in my 21 Grady from Coral Gables to bimini in less than 1.5 hours in good weather.
Old 06-15-2014, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickyfr View Post
ProblemChild23, when I used to ride motorcycles for long distance trips, the lead bike was never out of sight of the last bike. I would hope/like it to be that way on any boat trip. Can be a little more spread out because of the VHFs communications but could anyone should be able to get to any boat with in minutes.
Seconds rather. If a boat can cruise 30 knots, then it can cruise 25. There's no reason your buddy boat should get that far away. And if he does, then he should stop and wait. That's how we do it anyways.
Old 06-15-2014, 09:49 PM
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I've just recently joined the hull. I have no idea how to post. Please help, step by step. Thank you.
Old 06-15-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 1dunphy View Post
I've just recently joined the hull. I have no idea how to post. Please help, step by step. Thank you.
Looks like you got it pretty well figured out.
Old 06-15-2014, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dawgmode View Post
Once the weather is good, running over in a 20ft boat is fine. Leave out of port everglades and head straight over to Bimini its only 60 miles
Wherever you got that distance it's incorrect, and if you "head straight over" without taking into account the north flow of the stream your going to end up too far north of the island.
Old 06-15-2014, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SplashFL View Post
Wherever you got that distance it's incorrect, and if you "head straight over" without taking into account the north flow of the stream your going to end up too far north of the island.

Oh, I apologize all mighty one....It is 56 miles not 60. Im sooooo sorry for being so far off with my distances and as for your little"north flow of the stream"comment...unless your doing trawler speeds your not going to notice it. I live in Nassau and make runs to and from Lauderdale all the time with the stream being flat calm and also battling with 15 footers from a north wind.

Rickyfr,

Dont let these guys intimidate you buddy. Once your boat and engine are in good shape, you have the proper safety gear and nav equipment, pick a good weather window and go for it buddy. You will have a blast.

Last edited by dawgmode; 06-15-2014 at 11:57 PM.

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