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356 to bemuda?

Oct 7, 2016
68
Hunter 356 Little Creek, Norfolk VA
I am wondering what hunter owners would think of taking a 356 to bermuda from the chesapeake bay. It is so tempting. My 356 is a 2002 with in mast furling. It does have the mast support struts which i would think make a strong rig stronger. I apologize if this question has been debated to death. Chalk it up to a new owner thinking about future adventures.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,871
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
@clmooring As has been shared in the past, it is more the sailor than the boat that makes a trip a success.
  1. You will want to be assure that the rig and boat is sound.
  2. Perhaps even have it professionally inspected to assure you are not making biased decisions.
  3. You will want to do some test runs out to sea past the Hampton Roads to acclimate you to the conditions on the sea. (Be sure you don't fall ill to Mal De Mer).
  4. Plan provisioning for possible conditions
  5. Plan a route
  6. Identify a friendly weather pattern to match the expected days at sea along the route.
  7. Then comes the most difficult part.... Untie The Lines and wave good bye to civilization as you have known it.
Fair winds and calm seas.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,881
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
The Hunter 356 should have no problems. You're leaving from the right area. As JS said, be prepared because it's all about the sailor.
It took us 4 days beating into a blow to make it from Newport.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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Jan 22, 2008
60
Hunter Catalina 400 PORT JEFERSON, NY
Definitely go!! I have done two trips in my Hunter 37C, one in my C400 and one on a friends C445. Weather and preparations are key. My first trip was with a Rally out of Hampton Rhodes but I think they are no longer doing that. All other trips were planned with other boats from my area and we sailed as our own rally with two to five boats. Talk it up, you may be pleasantly surprised with the reaction. Depending on the trip, I had some do a round trip, others met us in Bermuda where we changed crews. Bermuda is a wonderful destination and with a weather router and doing the trip in June, you should have a wonderful trip.

Alan J. S/V Skol C400 #130
 
Apr 21, 2014
182
Hunter 356 Middle River, MD
I am gearing up for hopefully taking our boat down the ICW and across to the Bahamas so I think that will test us and expand our experience greatly. We have gone out for 12 days straight before with no issues as a test and as long as we planned passages correctly I am sure it could be done. Have also taken a cruise down the Chesapeake from Baltimore to Bermuda on large cruise ship and know I would not like to be out there when the weather picks up.
Have you upgraded your sails and running rigging lately and has the standing rigging been inspected/replaced?

Jeff
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,662
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
As has been said, skipper, preparation, and weather planning are key. I'd have no qualms about the 356 sailing to Bermuda. We've had Escape out many times in heavy seas and winds in the Gulf of Maine with no issues - sometimes we get really snotty stuff.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,881
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Tell us about some of the specifics of your plans. When, what season, are you thinking of going? How long do you expect it to take? What do you have for navigation tools? What have you found out about the route, crossing the Gulf Stream, current speed, winds,... How much and what kind of heavy weather sailing have you done? How much water can you carry? What do you have for an auxiliary, age, reliability, range. It's not really a big difficult trip, but it is a small target in the middle of the Atlantic and things can go wrong. They aren't likely to, just it's good to have options and a plan.

Don't forget to think about the return trip. Sailing to New England and down the ICW may be an easier return trip, plus, the ICW is very interesting to travel on.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Mar 3, 2003
710
Hunter 356 Grand Rivers
Boat is quite capable. Carry extra fuel on the rail and get a portable water maker. Make sure you have a good autopilot and a full enclosure will make your trip warmer and dryer. Weather is the key to a good trip. Looks like it’s about 670 NM from Norfolk. At 5 knots, thats 134 hour trip +/-. Doable but you need to plan your provisioning carefully and go the right time of year to have a good weather window.
 
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Oct 7, 2016
68
Hunter 356 Little Creek, Norfolk VA
Thanks for all of the good information. I just bought the boat, i will spend this season and maybe next year getting to know the boat before making a long passage. But i believed the 356 was up to bermuda and all the feedback here confirms that. Now i just need to prepare myself properly fit out the boat!

Some of the things the boat will need are AIS, life raft, solar... drogue/storm anchor?
 
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Mar 20, 2004
1,662
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
make sure you plan backups for all critical systems - EPIRB, spares for vhf, GPS/chartplotter, critical parts for all systems, good lifejackets with harnesses and tethers for all crew, jacaklines, MOB gear, etc.
make sure all crew is trained and practice using gear.
It would be really useful to attend a "safety at Sea" seminar - they are held up and down the East coast to prepare crews for the Newport to Bermuda (2020), Marion to Bermuda (2019) and Marblehead to Halifax races. Lots of really useful information and they often include pool sessions with safety gear.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,994
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
We've had other threads re the 356 sea worthiness. There's a forum member who has sailed his to the south Pacific - so I guess it can. I wouldn't equate the downwind sailing to the SP with crossing the Gulf Stream. Two different trips. I had a 356 and found it to be a so so sea boat. The stern gets tossed around a bit in following seas, making steering physically difficult.
 
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Oct 7, 2016
68
Hunter 356 Little Creek, Norfolk VA
We've had other threads re the 356 sea worthiness. There's a forum member who has sailed his to the south Pacific - so I guess it can. I wouldn't equate the downwind sailing to the SP with crossing the Gulf Stream. Two different trips. I had a 356 and found it to be a so so sea boat. The stern gets tossed around a bit in following seas, making steering physically difficult.
thanks for the response. I am not 100% sure what your position is though. Are you suggesting that the 356 would not fare well crossing the Gulf Stream to Bermuda from VA?
 
Oct 7, 2016
68
Hunter 356 Little Creek, Norfolk VA
is there a place to find / read about some of the forum members longer passages in their boats?
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,272
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
thanks for the response. I am not 100% sure what your position is though. Are you suggesting that the 356 would not fare well crossing the Gulf Stream to Bermuda from VA?
Maybe this will help -We used to have a 40 ft Hunter. Since trading it on our current boat, we've done a few Stream crossings to various places under various conditions. Sometimes, it makes no difference what the boat is; at other times, the difference compared with our old Hunter varies from comfortable to terrorizing.

Pick the right weather and the nameplate on the transom is irrelevant.

The only mistake you will regret is trying to set a schedule
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,881
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
The only mistake you will regret is trying to set a schedule
Be flexible. During a crossing, we spent 4 extra days in Bermuda waiting for TS Andrew to pass before a nice clear calm passage to the Azores. Any boat could have made that passage. Don't count on it though. Be prepared for surprises because once in a while, they happen and the results are disastrous for the unprepared when they may otherwise just be uncomfortable for those who are ready.
https://forums.sailboatowners.com/i...ntly-crossing-the-atlantic.89453/#post-480605
The cruising forum might be a good place to search.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Feb 23, 2018
49
Hunter 356 Marseille
People have sailed around the world on 20ft home made boats. Size of boat is a question of comfort. Keep an eye on the weather. Bad weather is not a catastrophy. The bigger the boat the more diesel/food/water you can take. I have sailed (as a professionnel skipper) hundreds of different boats. There aren't any bad dangerous boats. Just make sure you have your boat checked out; stuffing box, steering linkage and rudder blade. If you have a rudder problem thats a very difficult situation. Have all your through hulls checked. Taking on water is a mega stress situation! Have a contingency plan for all types of breakdowns. The only difficult problems I've ever had are with Beneteau and their cable steering system which breaks pretty easy. If your boat is serviced and maintained regularly its 95% of the breakdowns already cured :)
 
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Oct 7, 2016
68
Hunter 356 Little Creek, Norfolk VA
People have sailed around the world on 20ft home made boats. Size of boat is a question of comfort. Keep an eye on the weather. Bad weather is not a catastrophy. The bigger the boat the more diesel/food/water you can take. I have sailed (as a professionnel skipper) hundreds of different boats. There aren't any bad dangerous boats. Just make sure you have your boat checked out; stuffing box, steering linkage and rudder blade. If you have a rudder problem thats a very difficult situation. Have all your through hulls checked. Taking on water is a mega stress situation! Have a contingency plan for all types of breakdowns. The only difficult problems I've ever had are with Beneteau and their cable steering system which breaks pretty easy. If your boat is serviced and maintained regularly its 95% of the breakdowns already cured :)
I see that your profile picture looks like a H356 or 36? If that is correct I am very happy to hear your comments and vote of confidence.
 

splax

.
Nov 12, 2012
675
Hunter 34 Portsmouth
If you have the walk through stern as the Legend 35, following seas might be uncomfortable. Be prepared with a "heaving to" procedure to enable you to let the boat handle itself while you are engaged in more pressing matters. Good luck.
 
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