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North thru the Bahamas

Discussion in 'Marinas & Waypoints' started by Wireless, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    I'm in the planning process for moving my owners 70' motoryacht north from St Thomas USVI for a family cruise on the ICW this spring.
    I am limited in range by fuel. I plan on stopping in the DR and then fueling again in Provo. From there next stop is Nassau which is just barely within my comfort range. I don't want to stray too far from the rhumb line but also want to consider comfort and to minimize time spent conning through the shallows. I am considering crossing from Exuma Sound to the Tongue of the Ocean at Galliot Cut (23 55.6N 76 16.5W). Is there any good argument in continuing on to Sail Rock to cross the bank or even skipping Exuma Sound altogether and crossing the Ragged Islands directly into the Tongue?
    I draw 5'!0" and although its a delivery, not a cruise, I still have enough time to make the trip as painless as possible...

    Thanks in advance for experienced advise.
  2. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Well, there is fuel in the Exumas if ya run low. (Georgetown, Staniel)

    There is also the drums tied to the railings..;)
  3. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    Staniel Cay looks like a good crossing point.
    I like that there is fuel though I won't be desperate by then. The "jugs on the rail" gotta be big ones to make much difference. My most economical range is at about 40-42 gallons per hour. Plus the generator.
    Have you crossed the Exuma Bank there? With what draft?
  4. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    You can get fuel before Georgetown at Flying Fish Marina on Long Island. As with most marinas in the Bahamas it's best to call ahead and make sure they have fuel. You can sometimes even pay in advance to make sure they hold it for you.

    http://www.flyingfish-marina.com/

    What's the draft of the boat? I've cruised around those areas with 6+ and not had a problem.

    If you go to Staniel for fuel mind the shallow spot out in front of their docks and the tidal current that can rip through there.

    Where will you be stopping in the DR?
  5. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    Thanks for the second perspective.
    One of my crew members has connections close to Luperon DR but I'll probably stop in Puerto Plata instead. In either case I could manage Georgetown without having to stop at Provo which might have some attraction.
    I good for about four hundred miles with 15% reserve.

    Thinking now that Staniel Cay not a first choice for me. I would find myself wondering why I was running southwest across the bank when my rhumbline is northwest?

    My original intent was to go up through Man o War Channel in the Ragged Islands. Im thinking that the crossings from Exuma Sound to the Tongue is about 25 compared to about 75 from the Jumentos.

    My draft is 5'10" on a 70' Hatteras motoryacht. I've got a full skeg but little interest in probing the bottom with my running gear...
  6. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    What is your final destination? And what kind of time frame do you have to make the trip in?

    If you stop at Ocean World for fuel mind the surge there. It can get untenable at times.
  7. Minnow

    Minnow New Member

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    Not sure why you would want to run SW from Staniel?
    A tried and true route for your range is STT to San Juan to South Caicos or Provo to Clarencetown LI to Nassau then assuming FLL or PBI. This keeps you on a well travelled route with good access to anchorages or help should things not go well. Good advice from Capt. Bill re: calling ahead to be sure fuel is there when you want it, especially if you are on a schedule.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I go in and out of galliot cut often. It's easy. A lot of places do have fuel, long island has fuel and is easy in and out. Sampson Cay further up is a nice stop and has fuel. I'd run the bank, it's nice and calm.
  9. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Uh, ya running gasoline V-8s with 4-barrel carbs..?

    I ran a 70' as well, dual MAN's, electronic fuel managment, good props, etc.

    I could run 30 Knots at full bore and and 29 after the owner tweaked something..:rolleyes:

    Best economy or long range would be around 25 GPH...(I think..Memory is good, but teflon coated.)
  10. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    I'm running 8v92 Detroits. At 11 knots I burn 20 - 22 gallons per side, at 15 knots I burn 30 per side/per hour. My chartkits and plotter both show a lot of 2 and 3 meter depths on the banks so I have been trying to minimize my time running on the banks in favour of the Sound or Tongue

    The previous skipper did the delivery from Ft Lauderdale to St Thomas in a 5.5 day express stopping in Nassau, Provo and San Juan for fuel. This time I'm looking at departing from Fajardo, fueling at Puerto Plata, ??, and Nassau My intended destination is Merrit Island. Then its meet the family and up the ICW.

    I'd like to get from Fajardo to the ICW in seven and a half days or so.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    11 kts is just about the worst speed, you re just above hull speed and pushing a big wave for nothing

    Try 9.75 to 10kts and you ll burn under 20 gph combined not per side

    I run a 70 Johnson with 3412e and get 18 gph at 9.75 but 36gph at 11kts which makes no sense

    Galiot is a good crossing point onto the bank plenty of water thru the cut and onto the bank and usually much smoother than the sound

    Dozens of anchorages and indeed staniel has fuel although a lot more $ than Nassau. I ve never refueled in Gtown and dont know if cheaper.

    Call around Nassau for price although hurricane harbor is often cheaper but water and dockage much higher than harbor club which is right across the street from the supermarket

    But again, run at the right speed and you ll double your range and do the trip saving thousands of dollars in fuel running at the right speed is a lot more important than trying to save 25 nm by following the rhumb line
  12. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    Interesting comment Pascal. I've been running this boat for two years and had settled on eleven as my go-to speed. Seemed like the right combination of noise, fuel, speed, fore and aft attitude and wake. The owner drives at 15, idle is near 6.
    At idle speed underway I burn 8 per side, sixteen total. Hard to believe I would do 10 for 20 total but we will see this weekend.
    I firming up on the idea of going from Puerto Plata to Long Island, through Gilliot Cut into the Tongue of the Ocean.
    From there Nassau is the obvious stop but what about staying the course till Freeport? I'd have enough fuel if I topped off at Flying Fish Marina on Long Island.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  13. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Assuming 62' LWL gives a theoretical hull speed of about 10 1/4 so as soon as you get close to that flow starts going up drastically. Hard to measure without flow meters though but that extra knot makes a huge difference

    All the 8V92 I ran have been on boats under 60 and usually gets 12 to 14 gph just under their hull speed. At around 10 to 10.25 you shouldnt be much above 20 gph combined

    Obviously get the bottom cleaned, especially the running gear, it will make a difference on such a trip

    And if stabilized, you may burn a little more too
  14. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Check fuel price at Fajardo and then Palmas del Mar just to the South of Fajardo. They had good prices when I was there last year.
  15. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    Thanks Bill,

    I plan to do a quick haul at marina Puerto del Rey in Fajardo just before heading out. I launched there in December with a fresh coat of Micron and my running gear coated with Prop-speed. My bottom remains clean and my props sparkle, but I'll touch up and plan on renewing my rudder and shaft packing. I fueled there in December and expect to do the same again.
    What fuel will do between now and May might be scary. Today was the largest per gallon jump in one day in history according to CNN!
  16. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    If it was me I'd head up Exuma Sound till I could cut in at Ship Channel if the weather was good or cut in sooner if it's bad. Then if I wasn't stopping in Nassau I'd jump out into the NE Providence Channel just East of Nassau and then, again depending on the weather, either go over the top of the Berry Islands to Old Bahama Bay or to the NW Channel and cut across the banks and then up to OBB to fuel up before heading for the States if I had the range.

    Actually, if it was me I'd leave sooner to have time to break the trip up a bit. Like spending a couple days diving in Mayaguana. :)
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've done that trip several times. Stop at Ocean World Marina just west of Puerta Plata, much easier to clear customs, easy/safe in and out, and has plenty of fuel.

    Long Island is another good stop, not much there, but they have fuel. You can go in and out Provo, which I have a few times, but it's a risky stop getting in there due to the reef and depth and such.
  18. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    Grateful for all the advise.
    Planning to start from Fajardo, run north of PR and DR at night refuel at Ocean World, depart in evening, run to Clarencetown, Long Island for fuel, cross from Exuma Sound at Gillots Cut to the Tongue of the Ocean, run north to Old Bahama Bay on Grand Bahama to top up then allow the stream to set me north to Port Canaveral, Florida.
  19. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Are you running solo?
  20. Wireless

    Wireless Senior Member

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    No. I'll have two crew aboard but we will not be in the company of any other boats (that we know of anyway!)