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Old 07-30-2020, 07:16 PM   #21
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Have made two round trips entering/exiting the Columbia River on cruise ships. All times the waters were calm, and quite passable by small boats. Conclusion: it's all about timing winds and tides.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:27 AM   #22
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Then all we had to do was dodge crab pots at night!

Be prepared, have a plan B, like do you really want to try to go in at Grays Harbor or is it better to head out to sea, stuff like that.

Good advice on the Plan B. However, I don't travel up and down the Washington coast at night. Crab pots are not fun...

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We were southbound going past the Columbia River out 8 NM and the waves were breaking and we thought they were going to break over into the cockpit. We couldnít see the action until we were in it since we were traveling with the waves. It was awesome, but not in a good way. It was the only time I have ever thought I was going to die on a boat. I was certain that we were dead and the wave would board us. However the boat took it in stride and it wasnít an issue. We worked our way out to 11 NM and it was just white knuckle but not going to die. Stopped in at the CG station that night and they said they donít go inside 15 NM unless it was necessary.
Folks I know that skip the Columbia Bar will travel 60nm off shore to avoid the influence of the river and bar.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:12 AM   #23
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I appreciate all the comments on this thread. Certainly the recommendations on the importance of timing with tides and weather were valuable.

My original intent however was to talk about the boats. Most of the commenters have been people who made the trip in big bluewater boats, sailboats, or boats that do 10+ knots. While of course there are many similarities in what it takes to plan and execute the voyage safely, there are also unique characteristics of CHB-class trawlers that create their own challenges: the squared stern, the small rudder, the typically dated electronics, the non-watertight doors, and the <10knot max speed.

What I have found is that not many CHBíers make this trip (transiting between the Puget Sound and the Columbia River). For that I am proud to be able to say Iíve done it, and the boat took it like a champ. Iíll continue to look for opportunities to discuss how these old and limited boats are still none-the-less built for true coastal cruising, even out on the open Pacific.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:02 AM   #24
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I appreciate all the comments on this thread. Certainly the recommendations on the importance of timing with tides and weather were valuable.

My original intent however was to talk about the boats. Most of the commenters have been people who made the trip in big bluewater boats, sailboats, or boats that do 10+ knots. While of course there are many similarities in what it takes to plan and execute the voyage safely, there are also unique characteristics of CHB-class trawlers that create their own challenges: the squared stern, the small rudder, the typically dated electronics, the non-watertight doors, and the <10knot max speed.

What I have found is that not many CHBíers make this trip (transiting between the Puget Sound and the Columbia River). For that I am proud to be able to say Iíve done it, and the boat took it like a champ. Iíll continue to look for opportunities to discuss how these old and limited boats are still none-the-less built for true coastal cruising, even out on the open Pacific.
Congrats on your bar crossing.

I have seen many GB, CHB and other less than 10kts boats do the "Horn." For most it is a 26-32 hour run which means a night time crossing.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by schrater View Post
I appreciate all the comments on this thread. Certainly the recommendations on the importance of timing with tides and weather were valuable.

My original intent however was to talk about the boats. Most of the commenters have been people who made the trip in big bluewater boats, sailboats, or boats that do 10+ knots. While of course there are many similarities in what it takes to plan and execute the voyage safely, there are also unique characteristics of CHB-class trawlers that create their own challenges: the squared stern, the small rudder, the typically dated electronics, the non-watertight doors, and the <10knot max speed.

What I have found is that not many CHBíers make this trip (transiting between the Puget Sound and the Columbia River). For that I am proud to be able to say Iíve done it, and the boat took it like a champ. Iíll continue to look for opportunities to discuss how these old and limited boats are still none-the-less built for true coastal cruising, even out on the open Pacific.
Itís not the boat that stops them, itís inexperience and the unknown that stops them.
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Old 08-01-2020, 06:40 PM   #26
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Congrats on your bar crossing.



I have seen many GB, CHB and other less than 10kts boats do the "Horn." For most it is a 26-32 hour run which means a night time crossing.


Yep, mine went overnight, actually closer to 40hrs, went 20-25NM offshore.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:29 PM   #27
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Yep, mine went overnight, actually closer to 40hrs, went 20-25NM offshore.
How was the crab pot situation that far out?
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:48 PM   #28
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Yep, mine went overnight, actually closer to 40hrs, went 20-25NM offshore.

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How was the crab pot situation that far out?
I've often found the crab pots end at about 100 fm which is on average, a rough average, about 25 nm out. I think the reason they end there can be found in studying the chart soundings. It's relatively flat out to 100 fm, then falls off a cliff on much of the PNW coast. Those numbers are of course simple generalizations but have served me well to stay out of the crab pots at night. So watch the soundings not just the distance off shore.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:05 PM   #29
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I've often found the crab pots end at about 100 fm which is on average, a rough average, about 25 nm out. I think the reason they end there can be found in studying the chart soundings. It's relatively flat out to 100 fm, then falls off a cliff on much of the PNW coast. Those numbers are of course simple generalizations but have served me well to stay out of the crab pots at night. So watch the soundings not just the distance off shore.
This is true. However, there are derelict pots that will ruin your run. There is a "so called" pot free zone from Cape Flattery to San Diego. Not sure if I have found it yet.
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Old 08-02-2020, 12:11 AM   #30
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I've often found the crab pots end at about 100 fm which is on average, a rough average, about 25 nm out. I think the reason they end there can be found in studying the chart soundings. It's relatively flat out to 100 fm, then falls off a cliff on much of the PNW coast. Those numbers are of course simple generalizations but have served me well to stay out of the crab pots at night. So watch the soundings not just the distance off shore.


Yep, I found the exact same. Lots of pots 10-15nm out, but didnít see any more once fathoms dropped past about 100. 20nm out is a pretty safe distance.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:34 AM   #31
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I appreciate all the comments on this thread. Certainly the recommendations on the importance of timing with tides and weather were valuable.

My original intent however was to talk about the boats. Most of the commenters have been people who made the trip in big bluewater boats, sailboats, or boats that do 10+ knots. While of course there are many similarities in what it takes to plan and execute the voyage safely, there are also unique characteristics of CHB-class trawlers that create their own challenges: the squared stern, the small rudder, the typically dated electronics, the non-watertight doors, and the <10knot max speed.

What I have found is that not many CHB’ers make this trip (transiting between the Puget Sound and the Columbia River). For that I am proud to be able to say I’ve done it, and the boat took it like a champ. I’ll continue to look for opportunities to discuss how these old and limited boats are still none-the-less built for true coastal cruising, even out on the open Pacific.
I have about 20,000 miles on my Albin 40....the hull look almost identical with the CHB in your avatar.

The difference in true bluewater boats and coastal cruisers is not when everything goes right, it's when something goes terribly wrong.

So keep planning well and with luck, many long coastal trips are certainly doable.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:39 AM   #32
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This is true. However, there are derelict pots that will ruin your run. There is a "so called" pot free zone from Cape Flattery to San Diego. Not sure if I have found it yet.
Gotta love those pot buoys that have been out there so long they've turned nearly black and are almost impossible to spot.

I used to have the co-ordinates for the "pot free" zone. Actually it was an agreement worked out between the crabbers and the towing industry. Turns out too many of the crabbers didn't observe the observe the agreement so it was useless.
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:41 AM   #33
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Yep, I found the exact same. Lots of pots 10-15nm out, but didnít see any more once fathoms dropped past about 100. 20nm out is a pretty safe distance.

I don't set my course by dist off shore. I do it by choosing track lines that stay out past 100 fm with out too much zig / zagging. 20 nm often isn't enough.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:35 AM   #34
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Gotta love those pot buoys that have been out there so long they've turned nearly black and are almost impossible to spot.
LOL Very True. Once you get get close to Cape Flattery the natives has their pots out and the floats are all BLACK!!!! Yep black. They do have all the pots in a straight line, so you can go around the string.
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