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Old February 26th 08, 05:17 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

I will be moving to Freeport, Grand Bahama this summer and I'm
thinking of purchasing a 32-34 feet / 600 HP, twin engine powerboat
cruiser. I have sailing experience (39-45 feet monohulls and cats) and
used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but I'm not that
experienced on powerboats that size and the passage from Florida to
Grand Bahama. I know the Gulf Stream can have a big impact on
sailboats but how about a 34 feet powerboat cruiser with a cruising
speed of 30-40 knts? Is it fairly safe to make this trip? How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours?

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Old February 26th 08, 05:36 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

On Feb 26, 12:17*pm, AGrigorof wrote:
I will be moving to Freeport, Grand Bahama this summer and I'm
thinking of purchasing a 32-34 feet / 600 HP, twin engine powerboat
cruiser. I have sailing experience (39-45 feet monohulls and cats) and
used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but I'm not that
experienced on powerboats that size and the passage from Florida to
Grand Bahama. I know the Gulf Stream can have a big impact on
sailboats but how about a 34 feet powerboat cruiser with a cruising
speed of 30-40 knts? Is it fairly safe to make this trip? How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours?


It shouldn't be a difficult trip, but you do need to watch the
weather. I know people that make the trip in a 23 foot center console
with twin 150's, they just wait for a good forcast. Just give that
boat a few local "shake down" trips first, just to work the bugs out.
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Old February 26th 08, 06:53 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

On Feb 26, 7:17 am, AGrigorof wrote:
I... used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but...
How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours? ...


At some point in your Merchant Marine training they taught you that
Time = Distance / Speed. NOAA should have a downloadable chart of the
area though I've lost the link. Can anyone help with that?

Good luck,

-- Tom.

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Old February 26th 08, 06:53 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

AGrigorof wrote:

I will be moving to Freeport, Grand Bahama this summer and I'm
thinking of purchasing a 32-34 feet / 600 HP, twin engine powerboat
cruiser. I have sailing experience (39-45 feet monohulls and cats) and
used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but I'm not that
experienced on powerboats that size and the passage from Florida to
Grand Bahama. I know the Gulf Stream can have a big impact on
sailboats but how about a 34 feet powerboat cruiser with a cruising
speed of 30-40 knts? Is it fairly safe to make this trip? How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours?


It's fairly safe although you should be aware of the weather and not
try to go when there is a north wind.

My SIL goes from Miami to the Bahamas all the time in a small fishing
boat. He currently has a catamaran about 27 feet with two big engines
(250s?). He took the family from Miami to Grand Bahama and then the
second day went to the Abacos for a week. On the way back, they did
it all in one day.

I've seen people on little fishing boats go across when the Gulf
Stream was really rough and not think anything of it. And that's what
the folks in the DEA etc use.

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Old February 26th 08, 07:33 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

On Feb 26, 1:53*pm, " wrote:
On Feb 26, 7:17 am, AGrigorof wrote:

I... used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but...
How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours? ...


At some point in your Merchant Marine training they taught you that
Time = Distance / Speed. *NOAA should have a downloadable chart of the
area though I've lost the link. *Can anyone help with that?

Good luck,

-- Tom.


I'm not sure what is a typical cruising speed in this waters. On a
flat lake it would be easy to tell how long it takes to go from point
A to point B but crossing the Gulf Stream is different. In straight
line, from Freeport to West Palm Beach there are approx. 90 miles so
with a 30 mph cruising speed (I don't know why all the boat vendors
give the crusing speed in mph instead of knots... maybe because lots
of people don't know the difference between an international mile and
a nautical mile) it means that I can make it in approx. 3 hours. But
can I achieve that crusing speed in typical Gulf Stream waters with a
32-34 feet boat?


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Old February 26th 08, 09:35 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 11:33:41 -0800 (PST), AdisonGrio
wrote:

I'm not sure what is a typical cruising speed in this waters. On a
flat lake it would be easy to tell how long it takes to go from point
A to point B but crossing the Gulf Stream is different. In straight
line, from Freeport to West Palm Beach there are approx. 90 miles so
with a 30 mph cruising speed (I don't know why all the boat vendors
give the crusing speed in mph instead of knots... maybe because lots
of people don't know the difference between an international mile and
a nautical mile) it means that I can make it in approx. 3 hours. But
can I achieve that crusing speed in typical Gulf Stream waters with a
32-34 feet boat?


Some days yes, many days no. Most people try to leave early in the
morning at sunrise to try and get a head start before the thermals
kick in.

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Old February 26th 08, 10:26 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

On Feb 26, 9:33 am, AdisonGrio wrote:
... In straight
line, from Freeport to West Palm Beach there are approx. 90 miles so
with a 30 mph cruising speed...


Are you sure? I think it's more like 75 nautical miles.

I don't know why all the boat vendors
give the crusing speed in mph instead of knots...


'Cause they're shorter. Sometimes I think some vendors "confuse"
kilometers with miles too.

I don't have any local knowledge of the area. FWIW, the route is in
the area of variables so you ought to be able to find a chunk of light
wind to make the crossing if you are willing to wait a bit. If the
wind is blowing against the stream don't go. Generally thermal
breezes are lightest just before dawn, so an early start going and a
very early start returning might be worth considering.

-- Tom.
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Old February 27th 08, 07:11 AM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

The winds in the Gulf Stream generally clock around clockwise and you want to
leave optimally when they are out of the south east to west. Otherwise you will

have a wind in opposition to the strong current causing very steep and
uncomfortable
waves. There are many summer days when the stream is flat as a pancake, but you

cannot count on that. Having a power boat is an advantage as your crossing time
is
much faster than most sail boats. Be sure to allow for the northerly set of the
stream
in your navigation. It's about a 50 mile crossing from Florida to Bimini, and
at 35 knots, you should make it there in less than 2 hours. You can either make
a stop in
Bimini or pass to the north of it straight through to Freeport. Top up your
water and
fuel, which is very expensive in the Bahamas.

Sherwin

AGrigorof wrote:

I will be moving to Freeport, Grand Bahama this summer and I'm
thinking of purchasing a 32-34 feet / 600 HP, twin engine powerboat
cruiser. I have sailing experience (39-45 feet monohulls and cats) and
used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but I'm not that
experienced on powerboats that size and the passage from Florida to
Grand Bahama. I know the Gulf Stream can have a big impact on
sailboats but how about a 34 feet powerboat cruiser with a cruising
speed of 30-40 knts? Is it fairly safe to make this trip? How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours?


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Old February 27th 08, 01:11 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

sherwindu wrote:

The winds in the Gulf Stream generally clock around clockwise and you want to
leave optimally when they are out of the south east to west. Otherwise you will

have a wind in opposition to the strong current causing very steep and
uncomfortable
waves. There are many summer days when the stream is flat as a pancake, but you

cannot count on that. Having a power boat is an advantage as your crossing time
is
much faster than most sail boats. Be sure to allow for the northerly set of the
stream
in your navigation. It's about a 50 mile crossing from Florida to Bimini, and
at 35 knots, you should make it there in less than 2 hours. You can either make
a stop in
Bimini or pass to the north of it straight through to Freeport. Top up your
water and
fuel, which is very expensive in the Bahamas.

Sherwin


All good advice.

If you start from West Palm/Lake Worth, you will be going against the
stream to get to Grand Bahama. Sailboats do this and even from Ft.
Pierce, but starting from south of Miami is easier IMHO.

There is a current in the channel between Grand Bahama and the north
end of Bimini which is going out toward the Gulf Stream. There is
also a counter current to that current along the edges, just like in
the Gulf Stream.

A couple of other things. Freeport is not a place for small boats of
any kind. The place where one usually goes is Lucaya.

There are two marinas in Lucaya. The one on the left as you enter has
mostly power boats, can be noisy and is in the heart of the action.
The one on the right has most of the sailboats and is quieter at
night. There's a water taxi to the other side (free I think), and
you can walk out to the road and get a jitney bus into Freeport for
about $1.00.

They require that you pay for water as part of your dockage fee. But
this is mostly water for washing the boat. Check the water before you
put it into tanks for drinking. In Nassau the dock water is brackish
and tastes like swimming pool water..

AGrigorof wrote:

I will be moving to Freeport, Grand Bahama this summer and I'm
thinking of purchasing a 32-34 feet / 600 HP, twin engine powerboat
cruiser. I have sailing experience (39-45 feet monohulls and cats) and
used to be a deck officer in the merchant marine but I'm not that
experienced on powerboats that size and the passage from Florida to
Grand Bahama. I know the Gulf Stream can have a big impact on
sailboats but how about a 34 feet powerboat cruiser with a cruising
speed of 30-40 knts? Is it fairly safe to make this trip? How long
does it take for example from West Palm Beach (or from somewhere in
the area) to Freeport? 4-5 hours?

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Old February 27th 08, 04:29 PM posted to rec.boats.cruising
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Default Powerboat trip from Grand Bahama to Florida

Thank you all for the good advice. It is clear now that such a trip
has to be started early and it may take half a day, depending on the
weather. And of course, you need a boat that you can trust! As I
mentioned, I will be living in Freeport (actually Lucaya) and I know
about the marinas there - some are state of the art, some are let's
say... affordable. We are a family of 5 and we're thinking that a
powerboat is a much better alternative to reach Florida instead of a
regular airflight (not sure if it's cheaper, we'll have to see how
much gasoline is used to go back and forth). Of course, we will use to
boat to get to the other islands as well (and maybe further down
south).

Adrian


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