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Miami to Grenada

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Freebird, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Took it out of Boat Tree where it had been recently purchased by a couple I had met at a Hatteras owner's rendezvouz in Orange Beach, AL a couple of years ago. It was a 43' Hatteras named Tucandu. Nice boat that had been repowered with 3126 Cats (same as in this Sea Ray, but detuned) that had made the loop. Owners bought a 54' Hatt to replace it. Can't recall the name now.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    That's because you lack experience as to why the seas picked up west of Cuba. They are always considerably rougher once you pass the tip of Cuba because of the strong current running through between Mexico and Cuba in the Yucatan straights. That had nothing to do with wind. Same thing as being West of the Gulf Stream or in the Gulf Stream on the East Coast.

    The reason on most yachts leave key west at dusk and do 8 knots through the night is to increase your fuel range, then in the morning you dump the drums and run at cruise so that you can safely make it into Cancun or Isla during daylight hours in the afternoon. It's 345NM from Key West to Isla Mujeras and most yachts don't have that kind of range or speed to leave Key West at Sunup and get into Cancun before dark. Also, if you were doing a safe speed of 8-10knots at night, you NEVER would've made it to the tip of Cuba from Key West by Sunrise. I've done the trip several times.

    On another note, the Tradewinds in the Mona Passage consistently pick up quite a bit in the afternoon and you have 4 different currents that meet there and it can become very nasty. So that being said, you hit it first thing in the morning when the winds have died down overnight and run like a banshee across before it picks up in the afternoon.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    On the swim platform/tnt lift without a tender is about the only place. Otherwise, you block engine room access usually. You can put one inside the transom door, one on the port side in the same location. On a Searay you're going to have to pick your stops, or do a lot of the trip at 7.5 knots. I took a 45' Searay SB from Ft. Laud to St. Croix once, we took 3 drums did most of the trip at 7.5 knots to keep price/fuel burn down with a crew of 3.
  4. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Great info Capt J. No doubt the night running I talked about would be slow and be a fuel saving measure as well. We may have no other choice but to run at hull speed to get the range we need. The owner ran this thing down from the Great Lakes as I understand it, but he didn't provide any numbers other than cruise. No doubt I'll verify numbers before heading out, but it would be nice to have a general idea as to whether or not this is even plausible without taking additional fuel or being able to come in the DR. Either of those are going to require additional time from a planning standpoint.
  5. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Looks like we were typing at the same time, but that's more good info. I've run a 420/440DA before, but it had 3208TA's. That running was on the Tennessee River and was a long time ago. I believe the owner says this thing has a RIB which would have to be on the platform. I can't remember if the aft seating on this one folds flat or not, so placing some bladders in the cockpit against the transom might be an option.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can skip green turtle marina on the northeast end of Provo, and there is a marina on the east/southeast side of the providenciales you can get into, and that will put you much closer to PR (can't remember the name/town), while skipping the DR. However, that will put you into more of a sea as it's generally rougher on that route to PR as you're running into where all of the currents meet above the Mona, rather than stopping in the DR and shooting across the Mona Passage which is around 70 something NM if I remember correctly.

    There are plenty of boat tests online for Searays and should have fuel burn at cruise online to look up. Or find a similar boat and test with the same engines and get the GPH and then divide it by the actual speed on the Searay you're running.
  7. Freebird

    Freebird Member

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    Again, thanks for the additional input. As for looking at online tests for Sea Ray, this one is a different animal seeing as how it's an early 90's model that was repowered with 3126 Cat's. The owner says it got 1MPG at 23 knots and 2,500 RPM. I guess I could look at Cat's fuel burn numbers for that engine and come up with some rough numbers. If it does in fact get 1MPG at that RPM, I would expect it get close to double that at hull speed. The numbers on that 43 Hatt with the same power (though detuned to around 300 HP) changed dramatically at cruise, but that's a whole other animal too.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The 45' Searay I ran, had 3126's and at 7.5 knots, we were getting 2nmpg. I cannot remember cruise figures though or rpm's at 7.5 knots. Just pull up a newer late 90's searay with 3126's and fuel burn (gph) should be very very close at cruise RPM.
  9. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    Looking at data for other boats and trying to figure out what yours will do is a huge mistake.
    You have to do fuel burn measurements on the boat you will be taking down south. The only way to accurately do this is to fill up the tanks, go out and run it, and fill the tanks again.
    Then you have to build in a fudge factor for what will happen to consumption figures if you hit lumpy seas and have to slow down. And, running at displacement speeds will help, but what happens if you are slogging into a head sea burning up fuel and not making great progress.
    Without really knowing the boat well, I would be doing voyage planning with a very significant part of the capacity held in reserve.
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    An engine does not know what boat it is installed in. For example, a 3126 at 80% load is going to burn virtually the same GPH (give or take 5%), whether it is installed in a searay, a hatteras, or on a generator. It will get you a close estimate to find the burn rate, then compare it to your actual speed on the yacht you are on, and do your figures, confirm that at the first fuel stop (if you're running at cruise constantly), and you'll be close. You should always plan on having a 20% reserve minimum, but this method will get you pretty close, instead of having no idea at all, until you've run the boat long enough to confirm it anyways.
  11. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Member

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    A couple of thoughts on fuel:

    First is location of the fuel fill. On most Sea Ray's it's on the weather deck which makes replenishing the main fuel tanks problematic in heavy seas. Plumbing the bladders into the fuel system is probably a better option, but has its own drawbacks.

    The second point is to verify the actual useable fuel on this model. My SR has a fuel capacity of 700 gallons, but the owner's manual warns that only 590 gallons are useable. I have never verified this on my boat, but there is a huge difference (16%) between 90% of 700 gallons and 90% of 590. This could be very meaningful on a trip like yours.

    Hope this helps.
  12. CaptPKilbride

    CaptPKilbride Senior Member

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    And you don't know how the boat is wheeled, what the condition of the bottom is, how much of the fuel tanks are actually usable, until you have done an actual run as I have described.
  13. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    And, you still wouldn't know how much fuel is usable. But figuring 90% is usable........and using only 80% would give you a safety margin. Any Captain worth his salt, would have the bottom cleaned prior to a trip like this. You can get close without wasting a $1,000 in fuel and time to do a several hour trial run.
  14. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    To start with I would try very hard to get the insurance rider for the DR. Because without it, I would no longer consider that trip to be a "combination island hopping/sightseeing tour while overnighting in marinas whenever possible." type of trip. :)

    Then I would use a weather router service like Commander's: http://www.commandersweather.com/

    "You can skip green turtle marina on the northeast end of Provo, and there is a marina on the east/southeast side of the providenciales you can get into"

    It's Turtle Cove Marina on the north side of Provo. (I call it Green Turtle from time to time too. :)) And the marina on the south side is call South Side Marina, go figure. The other marina on the south side is Caicos Marina and Shipyard.
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree also try to get into the DR, and get an insurance rider.

    Thank You for the corrections on the marina's in Provo......I forgot also The Turtle Cove is actually on the NW side of the Island. It's a shame Nikki Beach burned down, it was a much easier in and out then going into Sellier's cut.
  16. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Last time I was there the marina at Nikki Beach was closed down but not burnt down. In fact if you owned a unit in the main building you could still get in to the building to use it was my understanding.

    When did it burn down?
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Another Captain told me that when he tried to go there the last time. I don't know for sure, thats what I was told about Nikki Beach.
  18. sagharborskip

    sagharborskip Senior Member

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    No Way!

    Ship the **** thing! You'll be operating at the limit of the boat's range and sea keeping abilities the whole time.

    That is not a sight seeing tour either. Although, after getting the sh*t kicked out of you on every leg, you might just decide to spend a few days at every stop to rest up...
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Actually I think Dockwise and Yachtpath both ship from Ft. Laud to St. Thomas. It would be an easy trip from there to run it the rest of the way.

    As for the not a sight seeing tour comment. Most people have to just find that out for themselves. You don't know how many guys I've seen pull up in Cancun after doing 350NM's from Key West with nothing in between, and kissed the dock they stood on for the entire day......LOL
  20. sagharborskip

    sagharborskip Senior Member

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    @CaptJ

    I agree the trip down from St. Thomas would work...AFTER getting to St. Martin. But at least at that point he'd be able to hang out and enjoy the BVI while waiting for a good window...

    That 90 miles or so to St. Martin can suck...in fact, I think it sucks 9 out of 10 times!