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Old 06-10-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
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Hi gang. You have been so helpful this last week I'm hoping for one more bit of advice.

My husband and friends left Providencia, Columbia today and are headed down to Bocas Del Toro, Panama. I spoke to Hubby before they set sail and he asked me to make him flight arrangements to come home Thursday. Problem is Bocas is tiny and I can't get him a flight out that day, but I CAN on Wednesday, one day earlier. He really needs to be home by friday if he can.

My question for you all.... is there any way for me to calculate how long it will take them to get down there? He thought they would make it to Panama late tomorrow, but isn't that pretty far for one day? They are in a 78ft sail boat if that helps.

They were at 13.22'49.26"N 81 22'05.13W and their destination is 9.19"55.60"N 82.15'5.13"W. Approximately 283 nautical miles according to google earth.

Thanks so much. You guys rock

Kelly (the worried wife)
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:59 AM   #2
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Kel,

If we assume that the 283 nm is correct , and if we assume that the boat's water line length is 70ft, which would give a hull speed over the ground of around 11 kts - A conservative estimate might look like an average of 8.5 kts in average favourable wind and sea conditions - therefore 33 hours 18 minutes to their destination. Therefore, in one day they should cover a little over 200nm.

Richard
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
A conservative estimate might look like an average of 8.5 kts in average favourable wind and sea conditions - therefore 33 hours 18 minutes to their destination. Therefore, in one day they should cover a little over 200nm.
Please note that Richard wrote in average, favourable conditions. Conditions may not be favourable. They may have the wind against them and be bucking a current too. In a worst case scenario it may take twice as long as when going to windward the distance sailed is much greater than the distance on the chart. It is impossible to sail directly into the wind so one sails in zig-zags at something like 50 degrees off the wind. How close one can sail to the wind varies from boat to boat but it always takes time.

They will still be doing 200 NM per day but simple maths show that if the vessel can only make 60 degrees off the wind then the distance sailed in the right direction will be

= 200 * cos60

= 200 * 0.5

= 100 NM per day

In other words it can take twice as long. In fact, in a head wind situation you should add even more time as the speed will probably be down too as they will be bucking into head waves rather than running with them. Of course it is unlikely that they will have the wind dead against them all the time but the bottom line is don't worry if the trip takes longer than calculated using the Time = Distance / Speed formula as the distance they might really be sailing could be greater than the distance on the chart.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:00 PM   #4
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The winds are/will be ESE and they will be sailing close to due south. Should be a reach, close reach at worst. Yes, I think that two days is doable, but they won't get into port until Wednesday morning some time (can't make landfall after dark, so unless they really went well and arrive Tuesday afternoon late (and sunset down there is about 6 pm year 'round), and probably won't be clear of customs and immigration, etc., until close to noontime. Can he still make the flight an hour after that?
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Thank you everyone for helping me understand all this a bit more. They arrived in Bocas safe and sound early this morning. I was able to finally find him a flight out tomorrow morning.

I really really appreciate all your help. This would have been so much harder without your input and reassuring words that he was probably okay, even when I wouldn't hear from him.

So I leave you all with this:

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Grace Murry Hopper

Kelly

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Old 06-11-2008, 05:30 PM   #6
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Hi Kelly

I'm very happy that all went as planned. Please do keep popping back here for a visit from time to time.
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