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Old 10-28-2015, 07:09 PM   #1
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Hi All,

we are thinking we would like to come to the states to do a couple of weeks cruising either on the ICW or PNW. In relation to the PNW wondering what is the best to do, time of year, and any suggestions for Self drive Charter vessels in that area ?

I look forward to any feedback.

regards Chris D Liberty Australia.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:18 PM   #2
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If I were coming all the way from Australia, I'd do SE Alaska. Here's a charter option: Bareboat Yacht Charters - NordicTugCharters.com Not sure of any other bareboat Alaska options. May-August are good in SE Alaska.

NW Explorations, out of Bellingham, is another good option, especially if you want to do a flotilla trip. They have mostly Grand Banks for charter. NW Explorations Ė Charters, Marine Services and Yacht Sales

Desolation Sound Yacht Charters is a good outfit and they're in Comox, very close to Desolation Sound. Desolation Sound Yacht Charters

The further north you go, the better the cruising is in my opinion. At least if you're interested in scenery and wildlife and getting away from people. If you want to mostly be in marinas, the San Juans and Gulf Islands might be a better fit.

There are several good options in Anacortes, Bellingham, and Vancouver.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:22 PM   #3
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May- September has the best weather, and can be the busiest time of year to visit the PNW and charter a vessel. IMO, fall is the best time of year, as the weather is still nice, the waterways are much less crowded, and the leaves are turning brilliant colors.

Here are a few outfits to peruse that offer self drive vessels:

Anacortes Yacht Charters
Ship Harbor Yacht Charters
Crown Yacht Charters, Anacortes, Washington
NW Explorations – Charters, Marine Services and Yacht Sales
Bellingham Yacht Sales & Charter Ė Northwest Sabre & Back Cove Dealers
Bellhaven - Yacht Sales and Charters

C'mon up!
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:08 PM   #4
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Good advice in posts above. Desolation Sound and the Broughtons are very sociable places to cruise in, with lots of options. I found some of the small family run marinas to be very enjoyable places to stop at. We did mostly August-September, and crowds were not really an issue. If I had to choose it would be September - Pau Hana nailed it.

Get hold of a copy of Waggoner's Guide. Preferably hardcopy although the iPad version, which has the same content, is reasonably manageable to use. From it you can pick a few areas that suit you and the time you have available, and it might influence where you charter from as well.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:22 PM   #5
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Fantastic great information, I will do some home work.

thanks Very much Guy's

Cheers Chris D Liberty
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:35 AM   #6
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If you later choose to leave the driving to someone else the Alaska Dream Cruise is by far the best. They are usually booked up a year in advance. A little expensive but worth every cent. No, the usual fine print, no relationship with them.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:40 AM   #7
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The exchange rate would be more favourable for you in Canada. I may seem biased (but I used to live in the Puget Sound Area), but I also believe that BC or Alaska is a better place to cruise. Add to the charter list www.cooperboating.com
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the info , very much appreciated.

Cheers Chris D Liberty
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:16 AM   #9
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Bookmark the posts of Pau Hana and Northern Spy.

ICW & PNW are two entirely different worlds from almost every perspective and the West Coast can be divided in two as well; north and south.

For now I'll make the dividing line Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. The later in the year, the farther south that boundary moves. Do a quick Google satellite view and you will understand.

Not to dampen your spirits but "a couple weeks" is an appetizer in the PNW and the north coast can be taken off the table.

This thread goes a long way to explaining that idea: http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s28/review-my-charter-plans-19708-3.html

My suggestion would be a bare boat out of Canada in May or Sept because distance is limited, weather is still reasonable and those months bookend the really busy time. May and Sept might also provide some relief to the charter budget because...

I just did a very quick check using a 36 Grand Banks in peak season for budgeting. Obviously, bigger, faster boat equals bigger faster spending.

Based on today's exchange, that boat for a one week charter would be $7700 AU out of the US and $5300 AU out of Canada. Plus taxes and fuel.

The cruising grounds would be much the same and based on your "cup of tea" in regards to your ICW thread, I would think the Canadian Gulf Islands would be your best choice.

If you are thinking about a May to Sept booking, you should start planning now.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:30 AM   #10
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Having spent a fair amount of time cruising the PNW, and very extensively the ICW, if I had to choose one for a vacation charter, I would go with the PNW without a moment's thought. Great fleet of many vessels to choose from, great combination of wilderness and civilized destinations. Fantastic scenery. Much fewer charter options in the AICW and GICW, from a practical standpoint , SW Florida, The Bahamas (choice 1, though not sure what is available bare boat charter wise there now), the Virgin Islands and Maine are fine destinations with some choice of vessels. I am not aware of much available on the Chesapeake.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retriever View Post
If I were coming all the way from Australia, I'd do SE Alaska. Here's a charter option: Bareboat Yacht Charters - NordicTugCharters.com Not sure of any other bareboat Alaska options. May-August are good in SE Alaska.

...

The further north you go, the better the cruising is in my opinion. At least if you're interested in scenery and wildlife and getting away from people.
I'd suggest SE Alaska too, for the same reasons. Two weeks out of Juneau can give you a wonderful intro to SE AK. I've taken guest crew out for 10 days to 3 weeks, many times over the last 20 years, just about everywhere up there.

Never missed a rendezvous with their flights, but we do stay very much aware of the forecast, and have had to head for port early sometimes to be sure weather will not trap our small boat out in the boonies. If you would prefer somewhat lower odds of rougher weather, you might avoid late August.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:13 PM   #12
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The BC coast is nice but there are reasons why the world's major cruise lines go right through BC without out stoping on their way to SE Alaska.
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Old 10-29-2015, 12:57 PM   #13
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I posted this before, but in case you missed it Chris here are some aerial scenes from our trip to the Broughtons. Between that and SE Alaska you cannot go wrong!

https://youtu.be/poYHQg_Vs2E
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:42 PM   #14
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I posted this before, but in case you missed it Chris here are some aerial scenes from our trip to the Broughtons. Between that and SE Alaska you cannot go wrong!
https://youtu.be/poYHQg_Vs2E
Pretty quiet up there, when was that?
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:38 PM   #15
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TF member nwboater with a very nice 40' Willard that he charters out of Anacortes, Washington. As a jumping off place it is hard to beat. Give him a call as I think late season may still be open.

(BOOKED) PNW summer charter
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Old 10-29-2015, 02:43 PM   #16
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Pretty quiet up there, when was that?
All those scenes were shot over the course of one week, July 10-17. And yes, it was nice and quiet up there all through the first two weeks of August!
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:15 PM   #17
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Another vote for the PNW.

Benchmarking it against the Whitsundays and northern Queensland it isn't as warm but IMHO far better in every other way.

You might want to post out the type of cruise you are looking for. Short island hopping with restaurants and pubs, absolute isolation, family/destination marinas, etc. In 2 weeks you will only be able to see a fraction, so what you are looking for will help narrow it down.

Fantastic cruising - you won't regret it!
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Old 10-29-2015, 04:57 PM   #18
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The BC coast is nice but there are reasons why the world's major cruise lines go right through BC without out stoping on their way to SE Alaska.
Not sure what you mean, but in any even, we're happy they pass by our quaint little villages instead of turning them into another Castawa Cay, thank you very much.
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:11 PM   #19
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Another vote for the PNW...
In 2 weeks you will only be able to see a fraction, so what you are looking for will help narrow it down.
I took away what Chris said on his ICW thread about day hops, exploring towns and that's why I suggested the Gulf Islands. Not really a good sampling of our coast but maybe enough to get him back for a month or three.
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I would like to do an area where you can cruise for the day, and pull up at a new town and spend a day looking around etc and move on.
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:44 PM   #20
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Thanks Everyone for your feedback, this is very helpful, and a lot to digest and make some decisions on what is suitable, but a great place to start.

Cheers Chris D Liberty
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