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Old 08-08-2015, 08:09 PM   #1
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SF to LA in 30 Hours -

Hi All,

Sitting in Marina Del Rey after an amazing 30 hour trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on our Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 . The first leg on our 2015 summer adventure with planned stops at Catalina, San Diego and ………. ?

We reported on last years trip SF to LA in our Beneteau Swift Trawler 44 It took us 4 days for the SF to LA trip, This year there was an extremely tight weather window to get around Pt Conception thus we decided to just go straight through.

Some thoughts on pulling an offshore all nighter.

Do It. You and the boat become more connected, you become a better more competent boater and the sense of accomplishment when you pull in to your destination is one you won’t want to miss.

Know your real world fuel consumption and remaining fuel. Our onboard GPH burn rate is very accurate but our fuel senders showing amount of fuel remaining are whack and totally inaccurate. We keep a log of what the dashboard indicates we have and what the reality is when we fill up we are able to accurately predict levels and distance.

Double Check your reality. As the night wears into morning, Double Check yourself, you’ll get punchy. Looking through the binoculars around 3am I had a brief moment where I thought the pulpit I could see in the viewfinder was another ship on a collision course that I had somehow missed.

“Her Feel” knowing how your boat handles seas becomes your third eye when running in the dark, You can feel impending large swells and sea state changes knowing how she moves.

Avoiding the Crab Pots,. There are hundreds of crab pots strewn across the Pacific Coast. If in deeper water (we like 400+ feet ) you won’t find them, but in shallower waters up to about 250 feet you’d be amazed how many there are.

Night Vision, Because of all of the crab pots offshore from our home port of San Francisco especially during Dungenous Crab season an early investment was night vision binoculars (rarely used) and then later adding a Flir night vision camera (always used) mounted on the mast and viewable in the Navigation display. The Flir is is a solid investment as you can even see changes in sea state and of course other “company”.

Not a fan of the overhead Red LED’s we place flameless candles from Crate and Barrel around the boat and they work extremely well. Also this trip became a fan of the Petzi headlamp that has a red feature, this was used it a great deal for making coffee, grabbing snacks and dish duty.

Safety, It’s mandatory to wear a Mustang Harness, which we have outfitted with automatic Man Overboard indicators, strobe lights, and whistles. The Mustang vests we use have built in safety harness clip. We run Jack lines to clip in to when going out on deck.


Hope these thoughts help. Get out and enjoy.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:58 PM   #2
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Hey Cee Bee,
That looks like a well planned/ well executed trip. Thanks for some great advice!


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Old 08-08-2015, 09:00 PM   #3
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CB,
Thanks for relating your trek!

Please tell us about the sea-state, speed, and handling. Did you use auto pilot.

The biggest sea we've seen has been 4-5's directly on our stern. Once we were confident that the bow wasn't going to bury we relaxed and enjoyed the (rollercoaster) ride!

The candles didn't affect your night vision?

What did the FLIR camera cost?
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:57 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for sharing please continue to share your voyage and details surrounding
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:43 PM   #5
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Were you averaging something like 15 knots?
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:54 AM   #6
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awesome....
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:01 AM   #7
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Did you drive from the fly station?
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post


Were you averaging something like 15 knots?
11 knots average would get you to Marina Del Rey from the Golden Gate in about that time, especially since they were going "down hill". Still pretty impressive on a tank of fuel; didn't realize the Beneteau had that kind of range.
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:11 PM   #9
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That was an awesome description of your trip. Looking forward to more.

Loved your safety planning.

I'd also like to know more about the FLIR system you're using.

OD
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Old 08-09-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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That sounds like a very reasonable off shore set-up. Sailboats all do this but power boaters don't seem to be set-up to clip on when outside the cabin. Nor do power boaters wear their life jackets as much as sail boaters. I advocate wearing the life jacket outside the cabin when offshore, regardless of sea state and clipping on anytime you are outside the cabin when off shore. Did I always do it? Nope. Sometimes I just got lucky and sometimes I just got scared.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:49 PM   #11
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Hey Richard,

Over the 200+ miles the sea states were varied, the boat performs extremely well, a solid design. In Northern California an average swell height of 6', (which means 6-8) is pretty much a starting point. After you round Pt Conception, Southern California waters are routinely 2-3 feet. The size of the swell is a small piece of the puzzle. We consider significant swell height (always adding +2), swell period, which ideally is twice the height (IE 6' Sea at a period of 12 seconds) Frequently on the trip it was 40 - 50%. with seas 6-9'. We also study Wind Speed and it's direction as compared to the swell direction. As this can create an uncomfortable washing machine action. You can have a 6' Sea with a 10 second period and a very uncomfortable ride with 20 knot breeze 40+ degrees off the swell. We also study the offshore conditions as the fetch in the Pacific extends to Asia and we want to know what's "out there" and it's speed.

The Topography along the California Coast is also a major factor, we back time everything for conditions around Pt Conception but the waters off Pt Sur and the Monterrey Bay can get tricky.

The Night Vision Flir Camera which interfaces with the Ray Marine system is the middle of the road one which doesn't rotate but does zoom with a higher resolutuon than the cheaper ones. Raymarine E70120 T253 Thermal Fixed Mount Camera ( 640 X 480,
30 Hz)

We did program way points into the Auto Pilot but routinely made changes and always set for an alarm when you reach them but not an automatic change as we want to get a look see on what's going on.

The Crate and Barrel flameless candles are awesome with a low golden light. I find the Red LED's for to bright although as I mentioned we uses the Petzel headband light with a red light which doesn't get in your eyes but allows you to see.

CB
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:52 PM   #12
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Hey Mark,

We "planned" the trip with a speed of 15 knots, averaging 9 - 18 depending on the sea state, when we got around Conception and into Southern California waters we cranked her up to 18.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
11 knots average would get you to Marina Del Rey from the Golden Gate in about that time, especially since they were going "down hill". Still pretty impressive on a tank of fuel; didn't realize the Beneteau had that kind of range.
We could have made it at 8-10 knots on a tank but at that speed I would still have a sailboat We fueled up in Monterrey and again in Santa Barbara pulling in to SB at 4am and fueling up at 7 although we did have enough fuel to have made it to MDR at 12 - 14 ish.

As you know the fuel burn is really dependent on the sea state. i she's in a decent following swell she'll work hard to get up on the crest which can add an extra 2-3 GPH to the actual. We always add a significant margin of padding when dealing with Conception, cause those waters are well ...... Conception waters.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Off Duty View Post
That was an awesome description of your trip. Looking forward to more.

Loved your safety planning.

I'd also like to know more about the FLIR system you're using.

OD
Hey OD. Thanks, A "little" safety planning can go a long way .
In addition, we still plot our hourly position on an "old school" chart. Have a Weems and Plath Hand Bearing compass on board to check position. Have a Solas approved Liferaft, Ditch Bag and EPIRB.

The Jack Lines at night are easy to run and clip in to and I feel critical as the best view from the pilot station when running bow up is outside the wheelhouse on a step with easy access to the throttles. BUT all it would take is a rougue swell and you could be swimming.
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:12 PM   #15
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That sounds like a very reasonable off shore set-up. Sailboats all do this but power boaters don't seem to be set-up to clip on when outside the cabin. Nor do power boaters wear their life jackets as much as sail boaters. I advocate wearing the life jacket outside the cabin when offshore, regardless of sea state and clipping on anytime you are outside the cabin when off shore. Did I always do it? Nope. Sometimes I just got lucky and sometimes I just got scared.
We have a "boat rule" that when we go under "the gate" the Mustang Jackets go on. They have a whistle, MOB alert and self activating strobe attached.

Will we wear them from Marina Del Rey to Catalina ? Probably not
I remember my wife's first impression of Southern California waters after rounding the Point with all of her boat experience getting the crap beat out of you with ebb currents against the swell in and outside the SF bay. "This is like a lake"
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Old 08-09-2015, 02:24 PM   #16
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Very interesting, really enjoy your posts, bring back a lot of memories.

Quote:
I remember my wife's first impression of Southern California waters after rounding the Point with all of her boat experience getting the crap beat out of you with ebb currents against the swell in and outside the SF bay. "This is like a lake"
I hope she didn't say that too loudly. When the Santa Anas pick up, or when you get a big south/southwest blow... lookout!

PS: the moorings at Catalina are a unique setup. Worth reading up on though the harbor masters are very helpful.
Enjoy! Get to some of the other Channel Islands if you can, wild and pretty.
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:47 PM   #17
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Very interesting, really enjoy your posts, bring back a lot of memories.



I hope she didn't say that too loudly. When the Santa Anas pick up, or when you get a big south/southwest blow... lookout!

PS: the moorings at Catalina are a unique setup. Worth reading up on though the harbor masters are very helpful.
Enjoy! Get to some of the other Channel Islands if you can, wild and pretty.
Roger that, been picking up Catalina balls for 15 years or so.
She knows it can get dicey, after we left Avalon last August the horrible December storm that took a couple of lives blew in. More a comparison with every day on the San Francisco bay.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:03 PM   #18
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... More a comparison with every day on the San Francisco bay.
There are many beautiful moments on SF Bay.

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Old 08-09-2015, 10:16 PM   #19
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Beautiful shot Mark. Is that clouds or fog?


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Old 08-10-2015, 03:00 PM   #20
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It's fog. It usually turns to low clouds inside the bay.
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