Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Questions about places PDQ's go, field reports about where you've been, and crew requests
Pete Weis
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:14 am

Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby Pete Weis » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:52 pm

Curious as to the route which most PDQ sailors use to get to the Virgins and south. The Turks and Caicos seem to often be the launching point to the lower Caribbean via the north shore of the Dominican Republic and eventually across the Moana Straits with a stop at Moana Island before going on to Southern Puerto Rico. Is this the route used the most?

There is also the longer route via the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti to Ille Vache Island which uses the more favorable trade winds, and then along the southern coasts of both Haiti and Dominican Republic. This route seems like it would be more favorable for a catamaran since there's less beating into the wind and seas and rougher conditions you get in the northern Moana Straits. I know that boats heading south often use the shelter of the north coast of DR at night, though.

Just wondering about the preferred route and the degree of difficulty.

Pete Weis
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby Pete Weis » Fri May 01, 2015 2:06 pm

Just a follow up on this question. Did some research on this issue and came to the conclusion that if you want to cruise the lower Caribbean, you are better off buying a PDQ already in the lower Caribbean and eventually bringing it back to the US. The run heading north from the Virgins to the Turks and Caicos would be a relatively easy run with favorable trade winds and would only take a few days.

It seems that the best and "easiest" (a relative term) way to go south to the lower Caribbean is to motor/motorsail due east about 600 NM to longitude 65 and then head south using "highway 65" down to Tortola. This is the route used by delivery skippers to deliver boats from Florida to the Virgins. A possible problem for the PDQ is the lack of available insurance, because PDQ's lack the escape hatch required to meet the open ocean cruising certification.

The problem with using the "thorny path" south is the constant wind and seas on the nose. That's tough enough for a monohull, but even tougher for a catamaran.

carib sailor
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:26 pm

Re: Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby carib sailor » Fri May 01, 2015 3:25 pm

YMMV but I know some PDQ36's that have made open ocean passages and no one has ever mentioned the need for an emergency escape hatch to satisfy insurance requirements.

In fact, on one occasion we made a long off shore passage (under a trip rider extending coverage for off shore) and the insurance company at that time was requiring any mono-hull making that passage to rent a life raft. When we told them ours was a PDQ that requirement was waived for us. If I recall correctly they said that it was because of the floatation chambers particular to the PDQ 36 design that make her very hard to sink. (As the U.S Coast Guard recently - and sadly proved!).

An escape hatch, at least in in my experience, seems to be a non-issue.

Pete Weis
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:14 am

Re: Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby Pete Weis » Sat May 02, 2015 12:11 am

Thanks. That's good to hear.

The one reason that even a catamaran might want a life raft is the risk of a bad enough fire to require leaving the boat when it's floating upright. Met a Dutchman who had to abandon his boat due to fire in the South Atlantic.

Smj
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby Smj » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:00 pm

I believe Europe insists on an escape hatch but not the US.

lauraj
1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:47 am
Location: On the hard in Ft. Pierce FL hull 34008
Contact:

Re: Which route to lower Caribbean for PDQ's

Postby lauraj » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:23 pm

Had no issue getting insurance (2 companies). both allowed 300 miles from shore without rider (so northern route is no issue).


Return to “Destinations / Trip Reports / Crew”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest