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November 23, 2010 / riyachtbroker

Taking A 46' Albin From New York To Florida – Preparation

Sometimes you get to do something that most everyone you know has never done.

In this case I helped deliver an Albin 46 Tournament Express to Florida from New York. For those of you that have never made the trip, I thought I would document some of the trip to give you an idea of what’s involved.

Preparation:

Performance and safety are essential, so be prepared to have the hull cleaned and have all the thru hulls checked and engines thoroughly serviced. The trip is well over a thousand miles, and the last thing you need is to be breaking down. Carry extra oil and oil filters just in case. If you’re on a sailboat I saw many with extra Jerry cans of fuel and/or water.

From a safety perspective, it is prudent to make sure you have a life raft, and EPIRB. You may not be spending too much time in the Atlantic but all you need do is run into floating debris (trees, containers – any of a number of hazards) where you may start taking on water. You might want to consider immersion suits for the crew. We opted out of the immersion suits, but it’s probably a good idea any time you’re offshore to have them aboard.

You can argue that you might only have time to get into the life raft, but if you do end up in the water, your survival time will get seriously cut short without an immersion suit. It’s like buying insurance. You don’t ever expect (or want) to collect.

Provisions are obviously important. Crew has to eat. If you’re planning on getting to a marina each night as we did, you don’t need much more than sandwich fare and snacks and fruit, so it’s not a major undertaking, but again it depends upon how you plan to make the trip, and what kind of boat you are on. We had twin Volvo Penta IPS 600 engines so we could romp along at 25 knots or so. On the way down the ICW we passed many a sailboat doing 5 or 6 knots. I did not envy them the length of time it would take them to make the same trip.

In our case, we had 3 crew. Captain plus 2. I saw many a boat with only 1 guy on them. Certainly it’s possible to single hand a boat, and underway it’s not usually an issue, but we did come into several marinas where the dock guys and gals were no where to be seen. So, if you value your vessel (and perhaps your sanity) find someone experienced to take the ride with you. Again, in our case, we had 3 knowledgeable sailors. I had made the trip back and forth a couple of times, but it was so long ago it really didn’t count.

So, mechanical systems – check, safety equipment – check, provisions – check, knowledgeable crew – check. We were ready to get under way.

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