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Panama City Panama to Cancun Mx

Oct 29, 2016
1,765
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
I have an interesting proposal to consider with assisting with the delivery of a sailing vessel from Panama City to Cancun Mx. Having never been, what would be the some of the biggest concerns should you be faced with this opportunity. The Captain I know well but he has never sailed these waters either, haven't received any details on the vessel other than it is in the 60' range, more to come soon though.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,950
Hunter 26 Charleston
Are you hugging the coast or taking a straight shot? It is not that far so you should be able to find a "window".
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,794
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Weather.
Assured no drugs or contraband are aboard.
Current Passports with more than 6 months to expire.
are a few things that come to mind.
 
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Oct 29, 2016
1,765
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
In reviewing the weather pattern history it appears that the average wind speeds are in the 10-14 range from the North, until you get to about 30* N where the average wind speed and direction change to 8-12 from the South. I believe this would make for a rough ride given the Gulf Stream North bound with winds from the North.
 
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Likes: jon hansen
Aug 28, 2006
484
Bavaria 35E seattle
Find out as much as you can about the boat's condition. Find out if there was a recent survey you or the captain would be able to look at. There's nothing worse than getting on a boat that is hexed with problems that should have been attended to before your cruise.
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,409
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
I believe this would make for a rough ride given the Gulf Stream North bound with winds from the North.
How does the gulf stream figure in to this plan, since most of the passage will be western Caribbean. You should expect to meet up with more experienced skippers at the yacht club in Panama city when you're prepping for the Canal transit. I'm sure their advice will be more reliable.
 
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Oct 29, 2016
1,765
Hunter 41 DS Port Huron
I guess you could also call the predominant current "The Caribbean Current" leading into the Gulf Stream depending on what map you look at, not quite sure where the Gulf Stream starts and the Caribbean current ends.......regardless of where one begins and one ends the point is the winds are predominantly opposing the currents.

Caribbean_current.png

Caribbean_current.png
 
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DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,193
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I'm sure the condition of the boat and the crew are the big factors here. Find out as much as you can about the people and the boat and then make the judgment call.
I'm curious where you get your wind information. The Pilot charts predict Force 4 (11-16 knots) out of the NE to E. The wind and current both seem very moderate and working together more or less.
December:
December.jpg


January:
January.jpg
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,193
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
Have a look at the February pilot chart. The winds are North at Panama City but offshore they are NE then trending to the E the further North you go. The high level plan would probably be to head out on a port tack, get into the favorable currents, until the wind starts to back then starboard tack all the way to Cancun. Ha, as if I could plan that well :biggrin:
February.JPG
 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,409
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
3 or 4 of the Vlog channels I follow have cruised that area of the Western Caribbean recently and the currents were never discussed in an alarming way. Certainly not the way you would when planning a Fla./Bahamas crossing. Again, talk to the locals when you get down there, I just don't think this is an issue.
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,180
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
Having sailed Texas to Cancun on a 41 footer. We aimed more toward Progreso in the Yucatan because the current coming between Mexico and Cuba (what is the beginning of the gulf stream) was blocking sailing straight. Also we had SSE wind predominately so were jammed hard on starboard tack. Once arriving in Progreso (Yucatan) we then sailed to Isla, then Puerto Moreles. We left Texas just about this time of year.

Cancun is near Isla. When returning home flew out of the Cancun airport

Clearing customs in Progreso was MUCH less hassle than it would have been in Isla. The agents all came to the boat, filled out forms and flatly refused ANY money. we went to the bank to pay for and get the tourist permits. Arriving in Isla, the harbor master was PO'd that he couldn't charge us what he had planned, as we were already entered.

All in all a decent sail down.

Have fun