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Old 05-11-2006, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Florida to South Africa

I'm in the process of purchasing a yacht 28+ in Florida from South Africa as it happens South African yachts are extremely over priced compared to yachts in Florida. Any recommended routes and stop overs from Florida to Durban South Africa and approximately how many weeks will it take?

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Old 05-12-2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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Considering the total lack of knowledge shown in your question, it will probably take you forever...


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Old 05-12-2006, 06:57 PM   #3
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Hi Scotty, I can't provide any first hand advice for your proposed route; however I suggest you buy Jimmy Cornell's excellent cruising routes and guide books and the British Admiralty's Ocean Passages For The World, as good starting points. Research your routing options and prepare and provision your boat well, then, in most cases, the actual sailing part is the easy bit. Although a reasonably direct route between Florida and South Africa would appear to be a toughie! The best way to get answers is to ask questions on forums such as this and in any other place where knowledgable sailors are to be found. I would suggest the above respondant remember there are no stupid questions....only stupid answers.
"if at first you don't succeed....Redefine success"!

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Old 05-14-2006, 12:07 AM   #4
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I don't have my charts up right now, but here's an easy way to figure. Divide the distance by 125 (miles/day) to get a rough idea of the number of days for the journey. Then adjust for the size of the boat. Under 40 feet, add 25% to 50% to the time. Also, going across the equator, you've got a huge area of doldrums to get through, which adds one to two weeks to the journey.

Not many places to stop once you leave the Bahamas.

Not my idea of fun. I do hope you have lots of experience.

I'm curious. The wear and tear on your boat is going to be significant on such a long passage. You can be sure that systems on a used boat are going to be less than perfect, and I would expect a lot to break in such a passage unless you buy all new gear (which of course you're not going to). Most new-to-the-owner boats need a good several months of shakedown cruises to work out all the marginal gear failures. And the longer the boat was up for sale and not used, the more things that are going to break.

Be very cautious.

Fair winds,

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 05-14-2006, 05:38 PM   #5
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Hi Scotty,

The trip from Florida to South Africa is not an easy one, as it can not be done as a direct route, for two main reasons: firstly the winds are very light off the north east coast of South America, and you would face a strong current against you. Secondly in the South Atlantic you would be against the South East Trade winds. The trip can only be undertaken in three "loops" the first a northerly one towards the Azores, in roughly mid Atlantic S Wly torwards the Brazilian "bulge" (this could be your only stop, Reciffe or Natal )Around the Latitude of Rio, but about 1500 miles in mid ocean, another loop to around 38 deg. South, thence to Cape Town. From the sailors I know who have done this trip, many dozens, It is around a seven to eight week trip! I would think very carefully about undertaking such a voyage. Lastly the season one leaves Florida is very important, the best time is mid summer, after the cyclone season. Hope this answers your question. If you need any more info, please feel free


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Old 05-14-2006, 05:58 PM   #6
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Hi Scotty, Some very good advice/info above. Besides the other sources mentioned, I would recommend you buy the program Visual Passage Planner from www.digwave.com It would allow you to get a better understanding of the conditions and course you would need to take. You should also be able to work out the most suitable time of year for you to make the passage. Planning and preparation make for a pleasant passage, wind gods permitting.

Happy Sailing.

Happy Sailing,


Crowther Windspeed 36

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Old 05-15-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your advice it would be suicide as a new skipper to do a solo crossing I will definitely arrange for an accomplished skipper to assist. I will not settle for any thing less than a 36 foot yacht preferably and ex racer the ideal would be a 44 footer but there are any decent yachts under $35000

The Brazil stop does seem sensible and a second stop at Namibia

I will be attending a skipperís course in Cape Town soon

Thanks again for all advice

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Old 05-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #8
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It may be economically viable to have your boat shipped, rather than hire a crew and sail it yourself.
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Old 05-17-2006, 05:07 PM   #9
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See Donna Lange's site on http://www.donnalange.com/pages/1/index.htm

This describes her recent voyage from the eastern seaboard of the States to New Zealand. She describes the conditions that she encountered getting down to the Roaring Forties and is the route that you will follow until you turn in for Cape Town.

Jeanne's advice about needing time to get to know the boat and work out which systems are in need of replacing/repairing is excellent. If time permits then a cruise down to the Caribbean might highlight any problems which you can fix before your long journey.

As for shipping the boat - well its good advice too but where's the adventure in that? However, if you do not have the time to spend becoming familiar with you new boat then its probably a very good option.

Best of luck with the project and keep us up to date on your progress

Fair winds

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Old 05-18-2006, 06:55 PM   #10
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Hi - the easiest way to do it wopuld be to go south into the carribean, turn west - go through the Panama Canal and follow the established barefoot routes.through the south pacific and Indic via the Kormores. It will take a little more time, but it should be downwind for most of the way. And a lot more fun than crossing the south Atlantic...
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:02 PM   #11
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Default Fellow South African looking to do the same thing

Hi Scotty, I know your post is old, but was wondering if you bought your sailboat and sailed her home? I am too looking to do the same.
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Old 04-13-2020, 08:46 AM   #12
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Default Me too.

Need help in journey to Africa... steven31281@gmail.com
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:04 AM   #13
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Never been to South Africa but would love to go one day

Cannes property prices
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africa, florida, south africa

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