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Old 01-11-2021, 12:55 PM   #1
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Portland OR to San Fran bay area

Hello all,
I have a Tollycraft 44 CPMY and am planning to travel south in the late Spring. I am a 'fair weather' sailor and will be choosing good weather windows. I carry 520 gallons of diesel, generally cruise at 10kn with twin Cat 3208 TAs and would like to harbor hop down south taking as much time as necessary. I've searched the web but have been unable to find if there would be any challenges I might face with regards to distances between harbors or sea conditions for my type of boat.
Grateful for any input about timing of departure etc also..
Thanks,
Colin
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:10 PM   #2
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Many folks "harbor" hope to the SF bay area. From the Columbia River Bar to S.F. all the marinas, except one is influenced by rivers which means a bar crossing. The exception is Crescent City. It is also the half way point in your cruise. It is 720 sm from the Columbia to S.F.

Take your time go during good weather and you will have a great time.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:11 PM   #3
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You have the range at hull speed. You can travel at 9 knots and day hop from Astoria, Garibaldi,Newport, Winchester, Bandon, Brookings, Cresent City, Eureka. Then you will either need to run fast from Eurika to Bodega Bay or plan an around the clock run at hull speed. What I can’t tell you is your range at 18 kts. Which is the speed you will need to day hop Eureka to Bodega Bay. There is Fort Bragg between the two but that has never worked out for me.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:31 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll be hoping to cross the bars at slack with some planning.
Tiltrider - was Fort Bragg too tight for a vessel your size and draw? I've been to the harbor and the entrance seemed dodgy.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:11 PM   #5
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Mananan, I took that trip in June, 2013 along with another guy and the boat owner. We were helping Stuart (the owner) get his boat from Seattle to Stockton. I wrote a lengthy thread with some pics and videos detailing the trip. Here's a link to the thread if you want to see what we did....

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...ime-10565.html

It was a great trip!
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:26 PM   #6
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I've been up and down the coast more times than I can count. But I recently received this from a friend:

Weatherrouting LLC is used by all shipping and yachts around the world. They will give you a few weeks free to ck it out.

Marine Weather Forecast Services | Weather Routing Inc (wriwx.com)

You can use their site live while you are connected via wifi or cell hot spot off your phone BUT you download there program on your laptop, then when you are out running down the coast, when in cell range (most of the time) they send 5 or so emails a day, with a small data package that repopulates and updates your weather windows. They track your journey and advise changes. Very nice guys on the other end of the phone as you call when needed along the way. You put in your parameters for your trip (mine was 10'/10 sec duration waves max, and they give you go/no predictions. They told me to slow down off theoregon coast, due to 40 mph 20' seas developing off cape blanco. I pulled into Newport oregon, heeding their advice, came back out 12 hours later, and continued trip, no probs.

There are 3 weather patterns you encounter along our coast, and they rarely, if ever align perfectly for the trip, and I will never make the trip again without their great service.

Also, on my last run, I got some advice from some pro crabbers that work that coast winters. I always have gone out 150 miles or so and stayed in deep water. The crabbers said stay around 240' depth wise, and it was great advice. much better ride, with much fewer episodes of short duration/confused seas.

Best to you and enjoy your boat!
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:28 PM   #7
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Thanks, I'll be hoping to cross the bars at slack with some planning.
Tiltrider - was Fort Bragg too tight for a vessel your size and draw? I've been to the harbor and the entrance seemed dodgy.
We cross in almost any conditions as long as it's flooding. Do not attempt crossing on the ebb even in good conditions. Use current tables, not tide table, big difference.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:53 PM   #8
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I want to add to Trawlercap's statement of crossing during flood.

When I plan to cross early in the flood I've given myself a window of favorable conditions. I seldom make the speed I planned on. Seas will slow me down, currents will slow me down, sometimes I need to run further out than planned to avoid thick concentrations of crab pots. On the rare occasion I'm running faster than estimated I have the option to slow down.

When I plan to cross at slack before the ebb, sometimes mistakenly called high water slack, if I'm running late I'm crossing on the ebb.

When I plan to hit slack before the flood if it's been ugly on the bar due to strong ebb currents opposed by on shore winds the steep breaking waves can extend far out to sea and last well past the predicted ebb on the bar. Particularly on bigger entrances like the Columbia River.

And keep in mind current predictions are just that, predictions. So many factors up river of the bar will affect the exact timing of current changes.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:07 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your detailed replies. GFC - I'll be reading your account, thanks.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:24 PM   #10
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I always play by the book when it comes to the Columbia River. Garibaldi, Winchester(Coos Bay), Bandon, Newport, Brookings are a non issue. I’m not heading out if I don’t have a decent weather window and these crossings are a non issue in decent weather.

Fort Bragg just never lines up with my travel plans. I have never been in there. I have either had the speed to go by or the plan has been to run around the clock. It might have something to do with I start and end in Seattle instead of Portland.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:54 PM   #11
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Pretty good chance you will hit some southerlies (headwinds) at the start, possibly as far south as Cape Medocino.

You boat will get around 1 nm/gal at 9.5-10.0 kts or so. You might find it faster to slow-down to 8-kts and extend your range by a good 20%.

Good stops with decent harbors and fuel (distances are from memory - don't hold me too close)

Newport (Yaquina) - around 150 nms from Astoria
Coos Bay OR add'l 140 nms
Crescent City CA - 110 nms
Ft Bragg CA - 175 nms
SF - 150 nms

Late spring is the beginning of the predictable pattern along the northern/central California Coast. Frequently an hour of strong diurnal winds at daybreak which will give you pause, so you have to trust your weather forecast. Mellows out but starts to slowly build by around 11AM to 25-kts out of the NW by around 3-4PM. Falls off quickly at sunset. Night time is normally a good time to be underway, though fog is not unusual. Since you're headed south, you really only need to stop for fuel, but do secure all your gear and dishes - you will cork-screw a bit headed south.

Nice trip - good boat for it.

Peter
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
You have the range at hull speed. You can travel at 9 knots and day hop from Astoria, Garibaldi,Newport, Winchester, Bandon, Brookings, Cresent City, Eureka. Then you will either need to run fast from Eurika to Bodega Bay or plan an around the clock run at hull speed. What I can’t tell you is your range at 18 kts. Which is the speed you will need to day hop Eureka to Bodega Bay. There is Fort Bragg between the two but that has never worked out for me.
While I understand the appeal of day hopping, unless you have a reason to visit any given port, say hopping is, by far, the slowest, most expensive, and perhaps least safe way of transiting this coast.

Fastest transit will be to tuck your chin into your chest, set your throttles at 8-kts, and don't stop until weather or fuel force you to. Good change you can go for three days straight and cover some enormous ground.

That said, while it's off the thumb line, Eureka is a nice stop as you're right in town.

Noyo River (Ft Bragg) can get a bit sporty, but not too bad in most conditions. I will counter many folks on this site and say that not all flood/ebb tides are created equal. Some are a lot bigger than others. Use some common sense and avoid the fast water. But no need to be dogmatic if it's a small ebb and calm wind. As a matter of fact, going against a current is easier than with it so waiting for a flood to cross in calm conditions is counterproductive.

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Old 01-11-2021, 06:18 PM   #13
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I much prefer the Aleutians and Alaska in the summer than the West Coast of USA.

While I understand the appeal of day hopping, unless you have a reason to visit any given port, say hopping is, by far, the slowest, most expensive, and perhaps least safe way of transiting this coast.

Fastest transit will be to tuck your chin into your chest, set your throttles at 8-kts, and don't stop until weather or fuel force you to. Good change you can go for three days straight and cover some enormous ground.


I agree with Peter, on most passages, get to it and get it over, port to port is a real drag. Just heads up, the farther south you travel, starting at Newport, the more wicked the NW wind becomes. High temps inland causes air to rise. It has to be replaced by cold dense air from the ocean. I've had my head handed to me on very capable rigs. One reason I hate the Oregon Coast. I was pinned down under Cape Medicino at Shelter Cove for 7 days and nights. It blew a figging gale non stop NW. Don't get lulled into rounding the capes in after noon conditions, if you are 20 miles north, it will seem easy enough. Fishermen call Cape Mendicino waves "buffaloes" for good reason. Some of the worst sunny conditions I've ever seen. Other than that..have a great trip!...:-)
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:30 PM   #14
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For day hops and harbours you may want to look for

Cruising the Northwest Coast
from the Golden Gate to Port Angeles

by George Benson


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Old 01-11-2021, 07:14 PM   #15
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Here are the harbors we considered between Astoria and San Francisco. The ones where we actually stopped are in bold. I've given approximate mileages from Astoria as well.

Tillinook/Garibaldi 43
Port of Newport 100
Port of Siuslaw 140
Salmon Harbor, Winchester, OR 161
Charleston Harbor, Coos Bay 177
Port of Bandon 194
Port Orford 220
Port of Gold Beach 241
Port of Brookings Harbor 267
Crescent City Harbor 285
Eureka-Eureka Public and Woodley Island 370
Noyo Mooring Basin, Fort Bragg 485
Bodega Bay-Spud Point and Mason's 560
San Francisco 604

I would recommend checking on Active Captain and seeing how the marina matches your requirements. We kept the ones we didn't stop in under consideration for changing conditions. Accommodations were excellent.

We were in a larger boat but a few notes.
Newport, a larger boat might need to use the commercial dock but no problem. Siuslaw can handle any size. (by any size, throughout this, I mean up to 100'+, perhaps 130'). Salmon Harbor may be limited to about 70'. Charleston can handle any size. Bandon can handle to about 90'. Gold Beach limit is around 85'. Brookings can handle any size. Crescent City up to 80 or 90'. Eureka, any size. Noyo, limited, but one large spot available. Spud Point and Mason's, any size.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:37 PM   #16
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Port Orford is really not a viable stop. Yes, there is a dock but it is really for prepping boats to be lifted out of the water.

Weather windows can be unpredictable. Usually if you have a 7 day window you don’t want to waste it going in and out of port. Usually you just run around the clock. However, if you don’t mind spending the money on fuel you can cover a lot of ground with our 18 hour long days and get a good night sleep.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:47 PM   #17
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I always start with a plan and life always changes it. Weather changes, mechanical issues, and things you never thought of, forgotten medication, batteries, power cords, Pepto Bismol. I just never end up stopping where I had planned. Usually the plan is stop at Neah Bay, top off with fuel. Run at 9kts around the clock, stop at S.F. It never happens this way.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:43 PM   #18
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Well.. continuing thanks for all the valuable info. If we were on a schedule we may not harbor hop but we have essentially unlimited time to make this voyage. I am retired and my wife is on the cusp...
So while calling in to port frequently may be inefficient, we'll take our time looking at the weather and hitting the 'gas' when we need to.
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:45 PM   #19
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This is worth a read before departure. There are many instances of people taking “shortcuts” from this guidance and experiencing poor outcomes.

https://www.pacificarea.uscg.mil/Por...-20-140024-403

Will be looking forward to your trip reports
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Old 01-11-2021, 11:49 PM   #20
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USCG District 13, OR & WA

https://www.pacificarea.uscg.mil/Por...-20-135950-980
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