Dry Tortugas

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by A-Div, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. fr8dog

    fr8dog Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    247
    May 25, 2012
    Florida
    460 Sundancer 2005
    Cummins 480 CE
    The park officer's post the weather forecast daily on a bulletin board. Another possible resource would be the daily ferry crew. My avatar pic was taken at anchor there.
     
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  2. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Thank you for that post.
     
  3. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Well, that is probably the most logical and rational approach. But, its something my wife and I want to do on our own. Its why we bought a 320 - to cruise, do overnights, etc. We do plenty of the relaxing around the pubs near the mainland marinas. Will plan this trip as well as we can and then go after it. We don't climb mountains, sky dive, etc. I no longer scuba dive onto wrecks. Will be exciting and we'll make it one way or another. :)
     
  4. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Yes, we had those down as possibilities. Will also be renting a Sat phone to call family for up to date weather reports. Thanks.
     
  5. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Yes, I need to consider all solutions for the extra fuel. Not sure yet. Am thinking 30 gallons would be enough, be it a bladder or cans. Am concerned about adding any more weight to the transom. Cost won't be an issue for this trip - just getting it right as much as possible. Thanks.
     
  6. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Thanks Alex for that. You ARE in my head! Exactly what I am thinking. I tend to overplan and overprepare for things in general, and this will be no exception. Its not going to the moon, but I will plan like it is. Travel buddy absolutely, IF one available. Once we select our travel window, will be posting around for one. Definite wisdom on that. Thanks.
     
  7. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
     
  8. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Thanks much for the info/advice, Gimme. Amen to the wife thing - she keep asking for reassurance that we'll survive this and I of course tell her that "I got this". If we are bobbing around 20 miles from KW on our return in 3-4 feet seas, out of gas and out of luck, I am screwed. Would rather she be rescued and I'll go down with the ship. Am beginning to record fuel consumption and will ensure your variables on in my metrics. I have the original props and repowered with same spec engines/HP and so am relying on the original design characteristics as favorable enough.
     
  9. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    You can get 25 gallon external gas tanks from West Marine. I have two on the jet boat. You will need a pump to transfer gas from them to your main tank or you can use a outboard hose and "T" into your supply line to the engines. I use the quick connect fitting that comes with the outboard to tie into the line. If you go the outboard line be sure is rated for 300 HP engine a 9.9 HP line is too small for the fuel flow. Lots of work. 5 gallon cans tend to bounce around. If you use 25 gallon ones make sure they at will secured and will not move in rough water.
     
  10. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    Its very depressing those pictures don't show. I've never read through that thread and reading it without the pictures sucks
     
  11. Mystic Dreamer

    Mystic Dreamer Member GOLD Sponsor

    374
    Oct 10, 2006
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2006 44DA
    Cummins QSC-500
    I did Dry Tortugas last May by heading from St.Pete to Ft. Myers, Ft.Myers to Key West, fuel at A&B Marina, then to Dry Tortuga. Great experience. We stayed on the hook in the anchorage just off of Ft. Jefferson. The park ranger came by just after dark to check to ensure proper lighting... which FYI also means no underwater lights on while in the park.
     
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  12. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    This is an easy trip that will be fun and a great experience. Just simply cover the what-if's and enjoy. I run over to the Abaco, Eleuthra, Berrys or Exuma at least three times a year and we just simply love it. My advice is be prepared, safe, and always have a backup plan. Possibly to ease any anxiety is to caravan over with some others.
     
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  13. kevin27

    kevin27 Member

    762
    Aug 8, 2007
    Orlando,FL/Tarpon Springs,FL
    1989 3600 Convertible. 9'6'' AB rib w/ 25hp 2stroke Yamaha. Furuno nav upper and lower helm.
    2002 Cummins 6BTA 330hp diesel straight shaft.
    We have been out there 5 times now. It's a great place but you need to prepare. I first went with Hampton back it we 2010 I think it was in my 270da. I would not suggest doing that now but it's what I had. Most recently went last summer 2x for a total of one week on a four week cruise. Both trips I burned 225 gals with my diesels in the Tiara. You will want to explore and run gen as well for the ac to stay comfortable. Plan on not just the 140 miles Round trip but that as well. Best calmest time to go is June \july. You will need a sat phone as well. Pm me I have a guy you can rent one from. We also had a 8 person offshore life raft. That and the eprib made me much more comfortable. As for life jackets they need to be offshore type. Prepaid and be very sure of your fuel! I will tell you you will need extra fuel for this trip with that boat. It's marginal but most definitely can be done. Be careful and have fun.
     
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  14. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Kevin - thanks. Good info - appreciate it.
     
  15. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Thanks for this feedback, Kevin. I am definitely going to take extra fuel as per everyone's comments. Never thought of a life raft, but will have a eprib and sat phone.
     
  16. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Am thinking the buddy/caravan thing is taking on more importance to me after all comments. And appreciate the well wishes - if it were not for the long transit we would go for the Bahamas but maybe next year or two. We are really looking forward to the trip. Thanks.
     
  17. A-Div

    A-Div Member

    44
    Oct 22, 2017
    Sarasota, FL
    320 Sundancer 2006
    Twin Merc 6.2 III I/O
    Your 44 Dancer is a beautiful boat. Anchorage off of Ft. Jefferson seems to be place from all I hear. Underwater lights - never would have thought of that. Would have otherwise had them on in the evening before bed. Thanks for your comments.
     
  18. k9medic

    k9medic Active Member

    528
    Mar 27, 2013
    Florida
    2005 23' twin engine jet boat
    1998 420 Aft Cabin
    twin jet 160hp.
    twin 3116 CATs
    I don't want to minimize any potential risks but it seems that there is a lot of overthinking going on here. Until you get to Marco Island, you have very protected water.

    Boat Test shows this boat to have a 170 mile range which is around 150nm at 21kts.

    You will be fine, especially if you time your trip to coincide with the high speed ferry. You will parallel it's track to KW. Leave a little early and you will see that it is within 20 miles of you almost all of the way down.

    Bring some extra gas - maybe 10 gallons so you can have a little buffer from KW to the Tortugas. Worst case you can slow down and double your fuel economy. Just make sure you have an EPIRB.

    When we took the 23' boat down it was my family of 4 and another couple with their young son. Going down we ran into what was the beginning of tropical storm Debbie so we decided not to boat back. I caught a Southwest flight out of KW and drove the boat back on a trailer.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bop

    Bop Member

    231
    Sep 3, 2013
    Georgian Bay/Lake Huron
    2001 410 Express, Highfield DL350 w/40hp Yamaha
    Cat 3126
    [QUOTE="The park ranger came by just after dark to check to ensure proper lighting... which FYI also means no underwater lights on while in the park.[/QUOTE]

    Why no underwater lights on?
     
  20. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    You want refrigerator to work or look cool. I like my beer cold. Guess it attracts fish and small ones get eaten by big ones
    On idea.
     

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