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Fl to West End crossing advice

mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 56 Greenhorn
I live in the treasure coast and am trying to get over to West End or maybe Freeport this summer for 4-7 days. My problem is my boat is in a high and dry facility in Ft Pierce and I don't have a trailer.I have thought about day 1 driving the boat down to West Palm and staying at Sailfish Marina then leaving early on day 2 out of Palm Beach Inlet for the crossing. This would save me about 25-30 miles than if I left out of Fort Pierce Inlet.This will be my first trip over to the Bahamas on my boat. I have a 26cc with twins and my family will be coming.

I have read many of the threads on here and the hull truth. Crossing 80 miles from Ft Pierce seems like a looong way for the first trip over on my size boat. Any advice or comments appreciated.

Replies

  • KaimanaKaimana Posts: 245 Deckhand
    During summer your chances of finding a buddy boat leaving PBI for West End are pretty good if you keep an eye on the forums here. I think your idea is a good one for your first run over. On a good weather day it is a simple run, probably even from Ft Pierce but best to experience it once first, keeping things as simple as possible and leaving from down here. Accommodations at Sailfish aren't real fancy (at least not where I stayed) but it is a fun place to spend a night and you can be out the inlet in five minutes.
  • Osprey45Osprey45 FT Pierce/ Boonton Twp NJPosts: 997 Officer
    Way over thinking it. Tons of boats leave from FP to west end
    Rough #s
    FPI to LWI 51 miles then from LWI to west end is 63 miles
    if you go straight from FP to WE its 95
    But if your that worried about it leave from FP run down the river to SLI and the its only 78 to WE

    I used http://webapp.navionics.com/#[email protected]&key=kflxFzp%7DbM
    Use the Calipers in the lower right and you can measure distance.

    My first trip I ran from FPI to Spanish cay to check in 173 Miles that was in my Contender. If you have a quality boat and the fuel capacity no worries.

    Read Paulboats trip threads for tons of good info.
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?223847-The-Bahamas-Chronicle-A-month-on-the-other-side-2016
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 56 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have also read the accommodations at Sailfish aren't that great but would just be a jumping off point and maybe spend the day at Peanut.Osprey that link to navionics is really cool for planning purposes. I cant imagine talking the wife in to a 173 mile trip on the first go across without xanax or something. I'm sure I'm overthinking it.I have been putting this trip off even though I spent last year doing passports , svrs, updating safety gear etc.. I'm running a 26 sailfish with a 200 gallon tank so range isn't a problem just my own anxiety. The funny thing fishing out of FT Pierce is usually a 45 -50 mile trip for me (out, trolling and back). I always think I could be in the Bahamas by that point.Paulboats postings are the best probably the reason there are so many guys like me trying to make a trip to the islands. Thanks again!
  • Osprey45Osprey45 FT Pierce/ Boonton Twp NJPosts: 997 Officer
    The first trip was a fishing trip with 2 friends no wife.
    Second was with the wife and 2 youngest sons we cleared at spanish 5 hours on the way to Green turtle its not 2 bad with a 35 to 40 MPH cruise speed.
    On the way back from that trip my wife looked at me and said "we need a bigger boat".
    Now I have the Viking and trips to the other side are what we live for.
    Going to the Exumas now its a long way but worth it.
  • Mallory09Mallory09 Posts: 41 Deckhand
    I crossed last June for the first time. I run a 27' Key West with twin yamaha 150's. Left at daylight from PBI and was pulling into OBB in 1hour and 50 minutes. I did find a guy on the forum that was crossing the same morning. We met up outside the inlet and followed eachother over. Main thing is too watch the weather. June is a great time of year to cross. You have plenty of boat to make the trip, pick your day and have fun.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,214 AG
    I'll chime in. My first crossing was Miami to Bimini in a 20 Grady with a 150 Yamaha! Four airline pilots aboard and you've never seen so much Emergency Equipment! Had a blast!

    Obviously you want the boat in 100.00% tip top shape with the obvious spare parts, tool box, etc. Safety gear, flares, etc. If you don't have them, bean bags make great seats for the little ones..... at least!

    After you enter your waypoints to get you over and back, double-check them again on another day...... fresh eyes could catch an error.

    Moderate your time/speed expectations. You'll get there when you get there. I have had crossing so smooth that I actually pulled the throttles back a bit just to enjoy it even longer! Other trips were lumpy and we took what we could get.

    With a CC, assume that everything out in the open will get wet so stow stuff accordingly.....

    If you do run south and then cross, hit the fuel dock on the way out to top off. Make sure the water tanks is full as well.

    If you can get the Customs forms and the forms for each person well ahead of time, fill them out the day before at the dining room table with a nice beverage at home. Leave just the Arrival Time line empty. I have seen so many guys filling out the forms in their laps, sweating their **** off in the morning heat over there!
  • mile marker 0mile marker 0 Posts: 56 Greenhorn
    Thanks Gary I just got the mental image of four pilots and all the safety gear lol. Great suggestion on rechecking the gps coordinates. I think I will be leaving out of Stuart and staying at Pirates Cove just seems crazy to go all the way to Palm Beach before crossing. I figure that can be part of the vacation, really cool area with the twisted tuna and other bars/ restaurants.
  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    I think you are right on by using SLI as your departing location. There are usually a few boats doing the same thing if you're doing it on a weekend time frame. Honestly if your VHF is in good order you can almost always come across someone between the two. It is right about 74 Statue miles from SLI to West End. Absolutely get your paperwork in line before you leave, it makes checking in easy and being prepared with customs always makes things smooth. If your going to stay in West End realize there is not much there, OBB I have not been to but both Blue Marlin and Bootle are hotels with restaurants that are next door to each other and that is it. They have a pool, but no beach or other entertainment. I suggest bringing as much of your own food as you can. If you go on to Freeport that is a whole new subject and there is actually a post going about Lucaya hotels in the SE section that has a bunch of good info in it.
    Good luck and safety first.
  • Gary MGary M Posts: 13,214 AG
    Sailfish Marina has some really cute rooms! The current riiiiiips through the Marina so make sure you have dock lines ready and somebody aboard with a boat hook. Call them on the VHF and ask for a dock guy to meet you at the slip to help you dock up. Nice fuel dock right there too.

    Personally, I'd just pop out FP Inlet, set a course and run straight there. You could spend 24 hours running south to Sailfish, overnight, etc to only save you maybe 2 hours! Wind and weather will be your biggest consideration.

    OBB is a blast! But, the rooms and slips are expensive. That's one major benefit for we guys that enjoy sleeping aboard our boats. No room expense!

    Here's a looooon stay-aboard trip we did to OBB aboard our 30 Grady-White........ "HEY MON!"

    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?54032-Old-Bahama-Bay-athon-18-nights-at-OBB!&highlight=bahama
  • Fins13Fins13 Posts: 257 Deckhand
    Just a heads up there us a large group of us leaving Stuart june15-18. I will post up later more info
  • rockorocko Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    Hello Guys,

    I am planning to cross to West End by the end of June but I need some help to locate a marina or trailer park near West Palm. I live in Miami and will driving my Grady Sailfish hence I need to leave my truck/trailer somewhere safe. Can any of you help me?
    Thanks,
    Ralph
  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 9,125 Admiral
    rocko wrote: »
    Hello Guys,

    I am planning to cross to West End by the end of June but I need some help to locate a marina or trailer park near West Palm. I live in Miami and will driving my Grady Sailfish hence I need to leave my truck/trailer somewhere safe. Can any of you help me?
    Thanks,
    Ralph

    Why not just leave from Miami? The stream will help you get there
  • rockorocko Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    Why not just leave from Miami? The stream will help you get there

    It will save me 40 miles each way if I make the cross near W. Palm.

    Thanks!
  • dragon baitdragon bait Posts: 9,125 Admiral
    rocko wrote: »
    It will save me 40 miles each way if I make the cross near W. Palm.

    Thanks!
    I'm not sure you will be saving any time or money after you figure in trailer time and storage, but that is just me. I would rather have my boat in the water where I might run cross some fish
  • Al BundyAl Bundy Posts: 258 Deckhand
    PM me an email address and I'll send you electronic versions of the forms that you can fill out and print ahead of time...beats sitting on a boat in noon heat filling them out as sweat drips all over them.
  • Capg2000Capg2000 Posts: 4 Greenhorn
    Hi Al B.
    Capt Gary, Ft Lauderdale. I usually fly in to the Bahamas, have a Cessna 182 Skylane.
    I have all the documents for inbound declaration for flying. Are they the same for boats? If not can you please send me the digital docs needed for checking in on the boat.
    Planning on running my 24 Robalo to Bimini & then fly back & forth a few weekends as time allows. In the plane it's all of 15 - 20 minutes of flight.
    Thanks!
    Capt Gary
  • silentfaithsilentfaith Posts: 362 Deckhand
    i think it is the same distance to grand cay from fp, maybe 10 more miles. fishing and diving is much better and it is cheaper than obb but there is no pool, but the nightly dock thing is fun.
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