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Old 10-31-2018, 02:44 PM   #21
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West coast passage

Thanks guys.

Our Kadey-Krogen 42 loves to run up & down the coast out here.

I did not go into the next part of the trip south from Channel Islands Harbor down to the next stop - our favorite is usually the 64 mile jump direct to Catalina Island, spend the night there & the then the next jump to San Diego, etc. or the other alternative route when you follow the coast down with shorter hops.

I was re-reading my post as it was a bit long & was almost turning into a book & I see I could add a lot more to that rambling post including a few more places to stop along the way, but the general idea was to give the original poster a flavor for the undertaking of this trip, as the coast is unforgiving in bad weather.

I would agree that the snow bird two trips a year expectation where one trip each way every 6 months is not what I would recommend.

But it is a great fun trip to take in the right weather window -- at the right time of the year .

Thanks.

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Old 10-31-2018, 02:50 PM   #22
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Having made the trip in a Pacific Trawler 40 I can add two things to AM's excellent post. There are designated tow lanes 5-10 miles offshore that are generally free of crab pots. They are not on NOAA charts but can be found on the internet. Just look for Pacific Tow Lane. Second is the bars that occur in many of the harbors, particularly in Washington and Oregon. The best crossing time is at slack, high water. The window is often only an hour wide. If you plan your trip at the right phase of the moon you can get high slack in the morning and evening. This works well during the summer when days are long. The harbors are about a days run apart for a slow trawler. Good luck.

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Old 10-31-2018, 03:07 PM   #23
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You need to be weather wise and be your own forecaster. Wind is the real issue and sites like windy.com help more than the NWS. Local forecasts are mostly about rain and the big cities. I always wanted to tie the marine forecaster to the bow so he could get a really good look at his 10' - 20' swells.

I commercial fished from Bodega Bay north. There is a predominant NW swell that only becomes less when a storm comes thru. I only saw 1 flat day in my time fishing the North Pacific. Sometimes with a big high pressure area off the coast you get a couple weeks of good weather, but that's rare.
Best traveling time going north is usually late summer/early fall. Winter can be one storm after another for weeks. Only little breaks of a couple days when the ocean calms a little. The rest of the year is NW swells and small storms on about a 10 day schedule. Swells are bigger close to land, especially major capes. I normally travel 25+ miles out. If you don't waste the good days, you can make SF to Neah Bay in a couple weeks.
Going south, you're usually traveling with the swells on your quarter. Sometimes on your beam near Cape Flattery. Heading south in really big swells I once made 22 knots over the ground while making turns for 7 knots. I had to manually steer the whole time. From Cape Mendocino to Point Reyes in about 8 hours. All at night, no idea of the swell size. When each swell passed under the screws came out of the water and the boat wanted to broach. White water going down the sides. Anchored in Drakes Bay and slept for a couple days.
Lepke, would you advise waiting for southerly lows when heading north? I've only sailed south with the predominant NW wind making it easy.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:39 PM   #24
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Iíve never sailed on the Pacific, only in the Salish Sea so I donít know anything. I was at the entrance to Grays Harbor last Saturday morning with ~30 knot South winds. Standing on the beach watching the waves some through the entrance to the harbor I was very glad that I wasnít in a boat trying to go in or out of the harbor. I only saw commercial fishing boat leave the harbor. It did not look fun.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:27 AM   #25
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But . . . but . . . but . . . I thought "Pacific" meant "peaceful"?

I guess they don't call it an ocean for nothing.

Thanks for another great thread.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:38 AM   #26
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True this, the Pacific, even in the Southern Cal portion can get stinky. Unprotected, open water, long fetch.
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:51 AM   #27
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True this, the Pacific, even in the Southern Cal portion can get stinky. Unprotected, open water, long fetch.
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You are correct. I have ventured out in both Americas' Pacific waters and benign is not a term commonly used. Earlier this year I was going to assist in the delivery of a large yacht from Cabo to Seattle. The owner elected to put it on a freighter as deck cargo.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:16 AM   #28
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Going up and down west coast

Agreed! I've made the trip from Port Angeles to S.F. in a 40' trawler with crew. Because of changing weather we got stuck offshore and had to go straight through. Not all-together a bad experience, but something you'd not want to repeat seasonally. Even with good weather the trip from PNW to San Diego would take weeks and put a sizable dent in your budget for fuel, trip planning, engine maintenance, moorage and provisioning. If you want the boat to live aboard, then consider buying a second boat in S.D. for that purpose.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:33 AM   #29
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Lepke, would you advise waiting for southerly lows when heading north? I've only sailed south with the predominant NW wind making it easy.
That's what I'm going to do.
Possibly I can get three days of southerly or westerly winds with each occurrence. Certainly two.

I've already copied and pasted AlfaMike's numbers for my trip next year.

I'll probably go with ANY winds south of 270į and 90į.

I would need 3 periods of 50 hours each or 5 periods of 30 hours.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:10 AM   #30
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We brought our Bayliner 47 from SF to Anacortes this past fall. We treated each leg as a day trip. Most of the time we cruised on plane at 12-15 knots so it added to our flexibility. We used about 1000 gal of fuel or roughly 1 gal per mile going mostly against current, swell and wind. We waited for reasonable weather utilizing Windy.com as our primary forecasting tool. “Cruising the Pacific Coast” and the companion planning map from Fine Edge Publications were a great resource. 4 days were spent in Ft Bragg waiting for a weather window to round Cape Mendencino. Should have waited a bit longer because we still got our butts kicked 12-14’ seas, short periods and from three directions with 15-20 knot winds. We skipped Eureaka and went all the way to Cresent City. 153nm and that was our longest day. Some friends on a 57 Bayliner went around the cape headed south a week later and rounded the cape with glassy conditions...

We tried to leave early in the AM and be to our next port by early afternoon timing our exits and entrances for close to slack water. We were very careful to try and avoid entering or leaving during ebb. Because we waited in port for favorable weather, most days were quite calm with gentle winds and swells. We departed SF August 16 and arrived Anacortes 22 days later. I wish we would have taken longer. There are some very nice areas to explore but we generally took advantage of weather windows when they presented. It was a terrific experience!
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:15 AM   #31
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In many ways the 4788 is a great boat for that trip as you have the speed available to make the hops when you have a short weather window.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:48 AM   #32
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A few more thoughts...

I should have also said the USCG was very helpful! I called or radioed each station before leaving and entering to inquire about local bar conditions. They were very helpful. Listen to their warnings. Ask questions.

One other caveat is to watch out for stuff like crab pots, debris, other boats, etc. many days, for at least a part, we had limited visibility. Maintaining a good watch is essential in my opinion. We came within 30-40yards of T boning a gray whale crossing right in front of us! That sucker was hugh!

We picked up a crab pot in the Suislau River after crossing the bar. The current had sucked the float under and we did not see it. They were everywhere right in the middle of a fairly narrow channel. Fortunately I reacted by pulling the throttles back and tranny’s into neutral quickly enough that we were able to clear it. I still went for a swim when we got to the dock to check. Cold water with a shortly wetsuit. Wish I would have had a full wetsuit, hood and a weight belt or better yet one of those cameras on a flexible cable!

When crossing a bar, lay off for a bit if you can to observe the wave sets. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Try to follow and ride the back of the wave. Once committed I wouldn’t want to try and turn around if there was much of a sea.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:01 PM   #33
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Krogen 39 as an option

You might want to consider a Krogen 39 with stabilizers. The boat is a great couples boat and is a long range cruiser. Up to over 4000 miles at 6 knots. It is close to the size range you are interested in and is economical to operate.
If you want to go above the 40 ft size you mention, there are a great many Krogen 42's that are less expensive than the 39 and have two cabins.
The interior is roomy, the engine room is huge and it has walk-around covered decks that make arrivals and departures easy and safe on your first mate.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:22 PM   #34
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I would suggest keeping the boat in the PNW and renting another down south. As with most of these replies, you can have the snot kicked out of you or you can have a lovely time. If the former, you will probably not want to bring the boat back, because it will probably be worse. Good luck
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:46 PM   #35
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Best Advice I've heard...

The best advice I have ever heard on this subject was from an experienced cruiser who spoke at our Seattle TrawlerPort one year.

He said the key is to not think of it as one 10-day trip, but rather think of it as 10 day trips, spaced out to await great weather windows. It will take longer but is way safer and more comfortable.
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:45 PM   #36
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Mainship 390

Short answer to the OP question - yes, the Mainship 390 is a sturdy, seaworthy coastal cruiser. The PO did the Baja-ha-ha multiple times, as well as countless offshore excursions since I’ve had her. They are popular Loop boats on the East Coast. Tankage is 300 gallons. I don’t want to quote an exact range without pulling up some notes, but at displacement speeds, it does well. At a fast cruise of 11 - 12 kts, range is well over 200 miles if my memory still serves me. (Range is never an issue on my trips, so haven’t paid attention in quite a while) Mine has twins and regularly tops out at 16 kts, and hits 17 if conditions are right. So, you can scoot when you need. I normally run her around 7 - 8 kts. Not infrequently I’ll run her at 11 - 12 kts which is when she’s “out of the hole” and planing. Much more comfortable at that speed with reduced rolling from swells. I hope this helps.

Edit: All the other info regarding west coast passage making in previous posts applies!
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:38 PM   #37
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Ton of great info in this thread. I wasn’t aware of the tow lanes. I find San Diego to be shockingly expensive for moorage. Plus weirdly security conscious. It took three days and a credit check to be allowed to rent a slip and you need to have your boat inspected in order to get a permit to drop anchor. I’m not saying it’s wrong, just not what I’m used to. Portland is a great place to tie up and a terrific value, tax haven too, but it’s a long way from anywhere and rivers get old fast. Just my opinion. Seattle is pretty great and still cheaper than San Diego. We ran from Tofino BC to San Francisco non stop then San Fran to San Diego via San Miguel and Catalina in August. Pretty good weather, mostly. I’m not sure I’d want to do it in a semi-displacement unstabilized boat. No problems for us but another N-46 on the same route a few weeks behind us hit a tree causing serious damage. Bad enough at 6.5 knots. I hate to think of that sort of collision miles offshore, and I’d want to be miles offshore for the reasons previously mentioned, at planing speeds.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:05 PM   #38
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What the OP is planning is Exactly my plan. I have the exact same boat as Woodsea posted above, a Bayliner 4788

My plan is south in the fall, and north in the spring. summers north and winters as far south as La Paz possibly.

To be honest I just do not see it as a problem in my boat, and I do not see it as a problem for any Coastal Cruiser.

As Woodsea posted, it’s not a long jpurney, it’s a series of day trips. If you are retired there is no schedule. You wait in port for a optimum weather window and you move to the next port.

People talk in generalities about weather, wind and waves, but in reality these conditions change by the day, and by the time of day. Here is a great for example. My slip mate told me that “you should never cross the gulf of Alaska after August 15th” and people believe that kind of generality.

In reality I have studied the gulf of Alaska weather for years and can tell you that you can find weather windows every month of the year. Yes there are situations where a series of storms make travel impossible fore a week or 10 days at a time, then you will find a nice weather window to make your crossing.

This is the same anywhere in the world I suppose.

My opinon is that a person with no schedule can go whereever they want as long as they are willing to stay in port and be happy doing that while they wait for a weather window.

Every boat story I have heard of (or experienced) with really bad weather was someone that had a schedule to meet and made decisions to venture from port to meet that schedule. Retirees do not do that. There is no need to move except boredom. One port is pretty much as good as another for the most part.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:49 PM   #39
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:52 AM   #40
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Coastal Cruising West Coast

We were full-time liveaboards and did four round trips on the west coast. With trips in Canada and Alaska, and two that included Mexico. We had a trawler that cruised an average of 7.8 knots. That said, if we got with the currents or had winds on our stern the speed picked up nicely.

Check out my blog. www.mvdesertventure.com. There's several blogs posts dealing just with the voyages. You can hop from one port to another, but we often found we had 30 something hour windows and did overnight voyages.



There's a page on weather planning you might find helpful.


Speed of yacht really is the decision factor when you're working with weather windows. Yes, the boat can take more than you can, generally. But, why put your boat and crew at risk? Being retired, we never had a schedule. And, if you read my blog, you'll see that the most dangerous thing, in our opinion, is a schedule.

Good luck, boat shopping!
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