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Old 11-21-2016, 02:02 PM   #41
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Also. Explore taking delivery in Canada. Avoid 10% sales tax in Washington. Sidney a good choice. Note. If you bring boat into WA for 60 days without proof of sales tax paid somewhere it will be assessed on the current value of the vessel in WA.

This is a good point, but there are several ways around it. When buying a boat in Washington where the boat is not going to stay, and where you are not WA residents, you cna purchase a 1 year permit to stay in the state without paying sales tax. After that time, you need to leave and can't come back for at least 2 years. Check the exact timelines - I'm going from memory. There are also visitor extension permits that will get you a total of 180 calendar days.

But do watch out. When you get into more complicated scenarios, the rules quickly become a lot less clear, and you get conflicting answers from the DOR. Because of this, I'll be leaving WA in Jan and won't return. I consider that a loss for me, and a loss for WA, but the rules are unclear and there is too much $$ at stake. So no more tourist, boat moorage, and boat repair revenue for WA and WA businesses. If you live in WA, please thank your state representative.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:08 PM   #42
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I'd keep priority on the shake-down cruise goal, and stay in the more populated areas where supplies and services are more quickly obtainable. To me that means staying the Puget sound, the San Juans, and the Canadian Gulf Islands. There is tons to see in 4 weeks, so you won't get bored. And if you have any trouble, or need to tweak things or add things, it can be dome more easily and quickly than if you are further north.

I also like your idea of returning for 2-3 months later in the summer for some extended cruising. That would give you enough time to get well into BC and/or Alaska.

We switched boating from the East Coast to PNW a few years ago, and deep water anchoring was probably the oddest thing to get used to. Like you, I always tried for 5:1 scope, but deep water (50-100') that's just not practical, nor is it required. By the time you get 3:1 scope out in chain, you have so much chain weight hanging down that 3:1 works just fine. But it definitely took a while to get comfortable with only 3:1 since it's something you would never do in shallower water.
Be sure you have a good windless and correct chain. Heavy load to life 150 ft of chain.
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Old 11-21-2016, 02:10 PM   #43
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Get Navamatics.
It's an app that allows you to navigate every cove and bay from Olympia to Skagway. Zoom in real close and observe basically all you'll see on a chart. They are a bit shy of the names of places like towns and waterways but you can carefully scrutinize every rock and depth that is on the charts. I usually just use my GPS for what's just ahead of me and surf everywhere else on the i-pad w Navamatics. Plug it in to a cigarette lighter jack while underway or at night contemplating the next days run. I navigate a bit like you Bruce. My anchorage of the day is usually a sackful of possibles. Some are most likely and others are dark horses. Could be 6 or 7 possibles on an all day run. We may be heading for Butedale for a brief stop but then upon arriving we see there 14 boats there and it's breezy w no protection so pass on. The hour or two we planed to be at Butedale means we can run quite a distance beyond our intended anchorage for the night and then I start looking ahead on the i-pad/Navamatics for other possibilities. I recall other possibilities that I've scanned and take a closer look. I may do as much planning as others but in a different way. Plan as I go. And so it goes.

Lots of people are way different and know exactly where they will be every minute of the day. What the tidal current is every at every point ect ect. What there real time speed OG will be at all 127 waypoints. Waypoints? I never use/have them.

This is a personality thing. If your dating and find out the classy chic you just took out last weekend is not a planner and you are .... better run. It really depends on to what degree. My wife is a planner .. I am not. A slight difference is a plus. Much more and things won't go well .. to whatever degree depending on the degree of difference.

Could I become a planner? No. I'd be say'in or thinking why not go over there closer to the island .. it looks interesting. That may happen very early in the day. And the plans would be out the window. But the Navamatics helps me plan a lot. And it helps me use my nature of planning as I go, seeing new opportunities along the way or avoiding things that need to or should be avoided.

My Navamatics is about 7 years old so the new up to date app should be even better.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:02 PM   #44
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As to how far you go on your cruise ....

First what is your cruise? 90% shakedown or 90% see the PMW. If you slog around in the San Juans for 4 weeks you may consider it much like I do. I've seen lot of "up north" and consider the San Juan Is kindof a cesspool of pretentious people I'd rather avoid. It will be new to you and even after 4 weeks you may consider it wonderful. I do boat there and enjoy it though.

If you're more like 90% shakedown cruise and it's a single engine boat I'd be looking at South Puget Sound. Not much current, few rocky beaches and most places are w sandy beach. Heavy marine traffic (near Seattle) is in the south sound also but rocks down to very deep water is replaced by gradually sloping bottoms and sandy beaches. Your anchor (w enough rode (length not weight)) will keep you off the beach almost always. I still haven't boated to the south sound but I'm almost there. Been on my agenda for some time.

But if your cruise is to see and experience the NW I'm far more in alignment w what Sunchaser has said. I went to Juneau from Prince Rupert on a new boat I had just designed and built in the Queen Charlotte Is .. about 80 mi offshore. Ran to Juneau w almost no instruments, no charts and only small OB boat experience. Was the best boating trip I ever made. I was lucky to make it across Dixon Entrance though. That I admit was crazy adventurous youthful luck ... but I didn't have a problem w the boat.

So Bruce if you and D are a normal couple you want all of the above at zero risk.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:20 PM   #45
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I want to second the idea of starting by heading into the San Juans. You can easily spend a week there and still have lots of places to visit. Plus you will be close to La Conner/Anacortes should you develop problems. I would also suggest buying a Washington State Parks annual mooring permit (Annual Moorage Permit | Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission). That will let you stay at all the state marine parks (mooring or dock) for no fee. From the San Juans I would head south either through Deception Pass (watch the tidal current there because it can get a bit sporty). I would then head over to Port Townsend. If you want to test the boat in some more serious water you can always make a run west from Port Townsend either across the border to Victoria or to Port Angeles. The Straits of Juan de Fuca will give you an opportunity to try the boat out in some more serious conditions. Heading south stay at state marine parks when you don't want to stay in marinas. Much of the mid sound is deep up quite close to shore so anchoring can be challenging making a mooring attractive. I would make Olympia a stop. Further north good stops include Poulsbo, Port Ludlow, Seattle and even Tacoma. I highly recommend going through the locks into Lake Union and Lake Washington for some urban boating.

The tidal range in Puget Sound is about the same as it is on the mid-Maine coast. The only places where you need to watch the tidal currents are Deception Pass (north end of Whidbey Island and when the wind is against the tide in the Tacoma narrows (ask DHays about that). There is a lot more shipping traffic that you would have seen in northern New England so keep that in mind when in the sound south of the San Juans or in the Straits.

Another thing I suggest is that you make at least one night run on a calm clear night. Coming into Elliot Bay (Seattle) at night is very nice. If you don't do iton your boat take the ferry from Seattle to Winslow and back.

Except for some of the smaller islands in the San Juans you are not going to find the sort of "out there" anchorages you will find in Maine. That is particularly true of the south sound area with the exception of the state marine parks.

Enjoy. I hope to be out there cruising myself in late April/early May.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:53 PM   #46
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Hopefully we will back in time to meet up with you.

I would suggest:

Port Townsend via Deception Pass.
Sidney and Victoria BC.
A trip up the west side of San Juan Island and an opportunity to see some Orcas.
Friday, Roche or Deer Harbors.
Stuart Island on the Prevost side and a hike to the Turn Point Lighthouse.
Sucia Island in either Echo Bay or Ewing Cove.
Lopez Island at Spencer Spit for a nice beach bonfire and gorgeous sunrise/sunset.
Rosario Resort on Orcas Island is worth the stop for dinner and the organ concert at the main house (+ shopping and a spa for the Mrs.)
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:11 PM   #47
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In April you will pretty much have the whole place to yourself. It's a nice time to cruise. We plan to start heading north then, so maybe we will cross paths.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:38 PM   #48
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Another thing I suggest is that you make at least one night run on a calm clear night. Coming into Elliot Bay (Seattle) at night is very nice. If you don't do iton your boat take the ferry from Seattle to Winslow and back.
The last few weeks there have been a large amount of floating logs due to the recent storms and high tides. Who knows what it would be like next spring, but I wouldn't want to do any night runs right now.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:47 PM   #49
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In April you will pretty much have the whole place to yourself. It's a nice time to cruise. We plan to start heading north then, so maybe we will cross paths.
This is true. The weather will be sketchy but it won't be crowded. A nice time actually to get used to the idea of traveling in a boat inside a nice warm pilothouse with a cup of coffee instead of sitting in the wind and rain in your foulies out in the cockpit.
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Old 11-21-2016, 06:53 PM   #50
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Lots of good advice. Iíll throw my $0.02 in for the 3:1 scope. It really is the norm in the PNW and works well.

One bit of advice I have not seen mentioned is a reminder to check tidal currents in the passes and gates. Floods and ebbs often do not coincide with highs and lows.

And watch those dead heads. These are the worst kind!
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:44 PM   #51
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As was mentioned I think by another, the best publication for tides and currents for the region is Ports and Passes . That link will take you to the 2016 version, the 2017 my not be out yet. It makes timing the currents easy as well as give you the tide information for anchoring.

I always aim for 4:1 scope if I can do it, even with my all chain rode. There are times when you may not have enough room. However, during the time that you will be in the area, anchorages will not be crowded and in many areas you will find empty mooring balls at the state parks.

4 weeks is just too little time to see it all. I still think making a swing around the US San Juans then South into Puget Sound is what I would do in a new boat and with it being my first power boat experience. Lots of great places to see and you will be doing it in protected water within reasonable reach of services if you want/need them.

If you can get a couple months free later in the year, then I would suggest you head North into BC and explore there. You would have had the shake down cruise and gained a bit of experience with the boat. Plus, you would be heading to some of the most beautiful and remote cruising grounds at the time when you really can bring a swim suit.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:20 PM   #52
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There is a lot to see in the San Juans and Puget sound. I would suggest getting a season state park marine pass. In April most all of the state park docks will be in place.

We keep our boat Pagoo on C dock #22. We will be spending time on the boat in and about the San Juans. Hopefully we will meet up.

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Old 11-21-2016, 10:20 PM   #53
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Places to consider where you will have roads or trails/beach to walk the dogs:

Sucia Island. Many miles of good trails to walk. Fossil Bay has two docks, one is usable year around, the other not until approx. May 1st. All other bays are anchor out, but have good beaches to land dingy.

Stuart Island. Two state parks on the island. Good walking trails and gravel roads. Both parks will have docks in place all year around. Our favorite is Prevost Harbor. Excellent bottom to anchor. From here you can take the dingy to the county dock and walk about 2 miles on a gravel/dirt road to the light house.

James Island. Small state park here but no dock until about May 1st. Dock only big enough for about two boats. Not a good place to anchor. Good walking trails.

Lopez Island. Close to James Island in case you can't get in there. Hunter Bay has good anchorage, but all the beaches are private. Take the dingy to the county dock and you can walk the paved roads from there. Not very much traffic

San Juan Island. Friday Harbor is a good place to get provisions. Should be lots of dock space in April. This is a small town so lot's of side streets to walk the dogs.
Garrison Bay. Good anchorage with a dingy dock. Lots of trails to walk. Lot's of history here.

West side of island. This will be your best bet to see some killer whales in the islands.

Jones Island. State park with dock but may not be in place until May 1st. Poor place to anchor but has mooring buoys. Good walking trails with great views.

Would also recommend you get the yearly pass from the state. It will pay for itself in just a few nights.

Have you chosen a name for the new boat yet? Let us know what it is so some of us can be looking for you out here.

In my opinion, 300 feet will be the minimum length anchor rode you will want if your going to Alaska. 400 feet would be better. Also, May 1st is about the latest I would leave for Alaska. It will take about 20-30 days to get there with out being in a big rush, same coming back. Once you are there you will want to spend at least 4-6 weeks there ( just to see a little of SE Alaska). A lot less fog in the spring too. Have fun.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:38 AM   #54
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Be sure you have a good windless and correct chain. Heavy load to life 150 ft of chain.
Last weekend we had 60M of 10mm chain out, in 15M of water, in a fresh breeze. The Muir Cheetah (horizontal) had no trouble retrieving it and the Sarca, though the chain was surprisingly twisted. Surely you need around 200ft of chain, and some rope line on the end of that would be nice, just in case.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:56 AM   #55
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So, getting back to cruising options and the time elements, having your car along is an added bonus.

When things go sideways for a day or four, you can easily escape the tulip tourists with a drive up to Whistler.
We locals call them tulip TWITS!
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:59 AM   #56
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And for goodness sakes, DONT FORGET THE TOASTER!!
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:12 AM   #57
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Having made the trip north from Puget Sound a number of times and understanding your boating experience I say just Go and enjoy!
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:12 AM   #58
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This is all such interesting, helpful stuff. I read through the whole thread at bedtime last night, and did it again this morning. So many excellent thoughts, good resources and relevant tips. I'm trying not to respond to each post so I don't clog the flow of good information, but I am grateful to everyone for chiming in.

I will say that we tend to remain totally flexible. We do research, but we don't plan itineraries when we cruise. We're almost totally seat-of-the-pants, especially in new areas where we don't have clear ideas of what we will encounter. For us, it's about a) being safe, b) having fun, c) pursuing adventure and maybe: d) not embarrassing ourselves.

For this cruise, getting the boat sorted out will be a top priority. We are excited that we're having the opportunity to go through this process in one of the world's greatest cruising grounds, but I think we will have a modest approach to cruising at first (modest especially in the context of the extensive catalog of cruising options) while we manage the shakedown and get to know the boat.

Depending on how that goes in the first week or so, (as well as what the weather patterns are), we'll either keep our cruise more local to Puget Sound and the San Juans/Gulf Islands, or take a leap up into BC. We will definitely want to get the boat out into some weather and sea conditions during this phase. Testing the boat's capabilities, pushing her a little to get out of comfort zones, learning how she handles different sea conditions (and how to handle her in said conditions), getting a sense of the pros and cons of different cruising speeds, developing shipboard patterns and customs will all be priorities, and how far afield we go sooner or later in the cruise will all grow out of the results of the emerging experience.

I do hope this thread will continue as our cruise approaches, but based on the great input we're getting, I think we will enjoy sharing our cruise here and tossing out questions on the fly as we face different cruising choices.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:24 AM   #59
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For this cruise, getting the boat sorted out will be a top priority.
Do you have an idea of the drill when you get there? Will she have already been splashed and run around by NT? How much time they will spend with you?
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:27 AM   #60
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Do you have an idea of the drill when you get there? Will she have already been splashed and run around by NT? How much time they will spend with you?
I do know that they perform extensive sea trials on each new boat before handing it over to an owner.
I'm not sure how much time they spend with you but we should be ok with a fairly simple introduction.
As far as the normal "new boat" issues that may pop up, I have spent my life in the business repairing autos. I've done more than my share of boat maintenance and installations on a system level. I actually installed all electronics, water maker and stereo on our last boat and handled the "dealer prep" of the boat myself. We should be able to roll with most of it fairly easily.
I am already keeping myself busy studying manuals of every piece of gear I can identify on the boat.
It is just the way I'm wired...I read manuals and enjoy them!
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