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Old 09-17-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
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Southbound from Puget Sound: how late in the year is it still "ok" to do it?

I'm looking at heading south from Puget Sound, but it might be another month before I get back into the water after having stabilizers fitted and some electrical work done.

Advice was to avoid the WA/Oregon coast from Nov to Jan in particular. So late October is likely marginal too. How long are the weather windows on that coast at that time of year?
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #2
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I've read that the best weather (highs are more stable and larger) from June to August but that May and September are almost as good. Still, there is more coastal fog during the summer months.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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I'm looking at heading south from Puget Sound, but it might be another month before I get back into the water after having stabilizers fitted and some electrical work done.

Advice was to avoid the WA/Oregon coast from Nov to Jan in particular. So late October is likely marginal too. How long are the weather windows on that coast at that time of year?
We've done the trip twice; late June/July and early September. One of the issues in addition to the weather are the bar crossings. There are very few ports that have all weather entrances. If there are on-shore winds, which is the prevailing wind direction and an ebb tide, many of the bar crossings will be closed. We sat in Coos Bay for almost 2 weeks while the Coast Guard had closed the bar. When we did leave, it was at 3 in the morning, to go out on the flood tide. With lots patience and time you can probably do it. I would talk and hire a professional weather forecasting service such as Commanders' Weather. Good luck. Lets us know what you end up doing.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Taking the trip in the best weather is the goal, and prudent. The more I think about it, the less inclined I am to try it at the worst time of the year. The only reason I did consider it was that the late Dec departure from Golfito for Brisbane is $45k cheaper freight than from Vancouver. But by the time I factor in fuel and an experienced crew to assist the trip to Costa Rica then savings would likely be very little.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #5
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I wouldn't leave any later than early September. If you stay offshore, note the location of the seamounts that dot the Oregon coast. The seas over these can be really monumental. If you harbor hop, as Larry indicates, getting into and out of the river anchorages/marinas is the tricky part.

Coast Guard Closes Columbia River, Tillamook and Siuslaw Bar Entries Due to High Surf on the Oregon Coast
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thanks. Your info confirms that it is not a good idea to do it in late October!
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #7
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You might check the cost of a transport to Florida. I don't know if your boat can be transported over the highway but a friend of ours had a 55 foot Sea Ray shipped to Portland, OR from the Great Lakes.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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OK, well I'll ask. But I suspect that 50' long, 15'6" wide, 21' high and over 30 tons is going to be problematic for a trip like that. I think height will be the killer once the trailer clearance is added as well.

If I could transport it, SoCal might be best, and it would be relatively straightforward to get down to Golfito. I haven't checked Florida freight to Australia, although I think there are more options than from the West Coast.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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OK, well I'll ask. But I suspect that 50' long, 15'6" wide, 21' high and over 30 tons is going to be problematic for a trip like that. I think height will be the killer once the trailer clearance is added as well.

If I could transport it, SoCal might be best, and it would be relatively straightforward to get down to Golfito. I haven't checked Florida freight to Australia, although I think there are more options than from the West Coast.
I know the trend is to use shippers like dockwise or one of the other Yacht shippers that water load, but what about shipping as deck cargo via Columbus lines or one of the other trans Pacific carriers?. We deck shipped our yacht from Auckland to Seattle and did a direct water launch in Seattle. I know the container business is at a all time low and almost all carriers are operating at a loss. We were nestled in between stacks of containers and our boat arrived in great shape with no issues.
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Old 09-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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The broker is checking container ships for me at present. He was a bit embarrassed that the latest quote was 50% more than the one in June, which was just a bit early for me to accept.

But I'll check Columbus et al also, thanks for the tip.
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:26 PM   #11
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We were nestled in between stacks of containers and our boat arrived in great shape with no issues.
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Been there (between China and California)! No issues except for diesel-smoke deposits on the exterior.



But it can get scary with one's boat hanging a hundred feet or more above oblivion.

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Old 09-17-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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I know the trend is to use shippers like dockwise or one of the other Yacht shippers that water load, but what about shipping as deck cargo via Columbus lines or one of the other trans Pacific carriers?. We deck shipped our yacht from Auckland to Seattle and did a direct water launch in Seattle. I know the container business is at a all time low and almost all carriers are operating at a loss. We were nestled in between stacks of containers and our boat arrived in great shape with no issues.
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That's a good idea.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:04 AM   #13
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The broker is checking container ships for me at present. He was a bit embarrassed that the latest quote was 50% more than the one in June, which was just a bit early for me to accept.

But I'll check Columbus et al also, thanks for the tip.
Insequent, somewhat intrigued by the name, but also the destination. Are you an Aussie returning home, bringing a boat with you, or an American, (or other), making Brisbane, (or other part of Australia), your home..?
I deck-shipped a maxi trailer yacht here to Brisbane from Napier/NZ 23 yrs ago, and it arrived ship-shape, as they say, so it is one way. Beware though of the fact you will be slugged 20% sales tax, based on the estimated second hand value, even if it is a used boat, and owned by you for several years previously. It is not treated like household goods and other personal possessions - I found out the hard way. At least that was the situation - but I guess you've researched that.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:04 AM   #14
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...If I could transport it, SoCal might be best, and it would be relatively straightforward to get down to Golfito. I haven't checked Florida freight to Australia, although I think there are more options than from the West Coast.
If you get to SoCal, hopefully you'll have some time to enjoy the trip south to Costa Rica. There are two areas that can slow you down though; the Gulf of Tehuantepec in Southern Mexico, where the gap winds can get to hurricane force for several days at a time and the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border where the "Papagayos" can blew very hard. The weather forecasting is good for both areas and in Huatulco, just north of the Gulf of Tehuantepec, there's a marina with fuel and officials for checking out of Mexico.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:00 AM   #15
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Insequent, somewhat intrigued by the name, but also the destination. Are you an Aussie returning home, bringing a boat with you, or an American, (or other), making Brisbane, (or other part of Australia), your home..?
I deck-shipped a maxi trailer yacht here to Brisbane from Napier/NZ 23 yrs ago, and it arrived ship-shape, as they say, so it is one way. Beware though of the fact you will be slugged 20% sales tax, based on the estimated second hand value, even if it is a used boat, and owned by you for several years previously. It is not treated like household goods and other personal possessions - I found out the hard way. At least that was the situation - but I guess you've researched that.
Yes, Aussie. Bought boat in US in March after research, including first shipping estimate of $44k. By June it was $65k (with more accurate boat details). A few days ago it was beer money short of $100k. I have been working on the boat, and having others do stuff that is cheaper in US than Australia and hence the delay in shipping. When I get to my friendly customs folks back home it is 5% import duty, plus 10% GST on the boat purchase price, cost of improvements and freight. Have all that in the budget, but just getting blown off course by the shipping issue at present.

No fear of container ships Mark, even dizzy heights. It will be insured.... I just need to get in contact with some of the trans-pac shippers directly in case my broker isn't all that diligent, although he does seem to be ok.

At this point I'm trying to get options worked through. It would be kinda nice to do more cruising along the west coast before crossing the ocean. But at the same time there are land ties in Brisbane, and still some work to be done on the boat also before fully relaxed cruising. Love the forum and all the feedback from you guys. Will let you know how I end up.
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:45 AM   #16
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Not knowing your schedule or budget, have you considered cruising the boat in the PNW until April of so and then going south? Prior to purchase, my vessel was Captain moved from Sausalito to Seattle in October. As mentioned by others, knowing the weather routers and windows was obviously important. A friend just moved his 60' vessel from SoCal to Seattle non stop, nothing like good fuel capacity.

Nordhavan and OA routinely move boats from China into Seattle as do other builders. You may want to check with them as to their carriers.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #17
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Have you checked the Rail Road?

Just curious I have seen a lot of boats shipped here in Alaska by Rail.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #18
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Rail sounds like a good idea but the maximum width is around 11' and that decreases after ~48'.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:49 PM   #19
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We use DHL - Ocean as the freight forwarders and United Motor as the craters. We ship machinery bigger than your boat all over the world, and this ship boats and vehicles. A lot of our machinery is picked off the truck, directly into the hole, and blocked/starp down. I arrange all the large ocean shipment.


Call Jeff 206-455-3480 at DHL, Gary 206-933-0515 at United Motor.

Tell them Phil from Acrowood recomended. At least they can give you some ideas.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:19 AM   #20
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Thanks for the suggestions folks. I'm in Europe at present but will make some calls when I get get to the PNW next week.
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