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Old 01-30-2020, 03:07 PM   #1
City: Hood River
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Puget Sound Moorage

Hello all. After monitoring TF for around a year, we have come to an agreement on a trawler. We are in the transaction so I will be somewhat generic (Im superstitious about talking about deals while in process).

My question is about moorage. We live in Oregon so South Sound is certainly closest access. And we have family in Olympia.... I think they are more excited than we are if thats possible.

The San Juans (and further north) is where we think will spend much of our time. That makes South Sound moorage less appealing due to the long hours to go north. Something in the middle like Gig Harbor may be the solution. Could anyone recommend a few places for us to check out with a chance of availability around the 50 yard line of Puget Sound. Then we could travel north or south with less travel distance. Looking for a long-term slip for 42 to 48 LOA.

Thank you for your input and hope to see you on the water soon.


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Old 01-30-2020, 03:15 PM   #2
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We're at Liberty Bay Marina in Poulsbo. Excellent well-run marina, and well protected from winter storminess. Fuel available with a mile at the Port of Poulsbo marina.

Richard Cook
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RCook View Post
We're at Liberty Bay Marina in Poulsbo. Excellent well-run marina, and well protected from winter storminess. Fuel available with a mile at the Port of Poulsbo marina.
Another vote for Liberty Bay. We are there too. 🙂
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Old 01-30-2020, 03:32 PM   #4
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Bremerton, Port Orchard, Brownsville, Poulsbo, and Kingston all fit your requirements- are are reasonable in cost.
Peter- Marine Insurance Guru & tuna fishing addict!

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Old 01-30-2020, 03:41 PM   #5
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Pau Hana has good suggestions for the peninsula side. Much less expensive over there. My brother keeps his 36’ blowboat in Brownsville. Said it was less $ than even Port Orchard, where he had a slip prior.

If you so desire, on the mainland side there is Edmonds & Everett. I have no idea of cost or availability on either and getting there is a PIA due to traffic and having to traverse thru Seattle. But if you can’t find something in the peninsula...
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:00 PM   #6
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You can add Tacoma, Pleasant Harbor and Port Townsend to your list, although I’m not recommending them over Pau Hana’s recommendations.

Dry Moorage can be found at Dagmars in Everett and Anacortes. This is a great option for snowbirds who spend the entire Summer on their boat.
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Old 01-30-2020, 06:59 PM   #7
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The yacht clubs on the Peninsula side have very reasonable moorage too.

Bremerton YC and Port Orchard YC have reasonable moorage. Those two clubs have boathouses and covered moorage available for purchase. Poulsbo YC has covered and uncovered too but no info regarding cost.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:27 PM   #8
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I recommend giving serious thought about where you're going to do you're cruising especially if you're running at trawler speeds (<7-9kn). For most of my life we had a boat stored in Seattle and cruised in the islands. If you have a trawler going 8kn, this is an all day run. Typically we'd clear the locks in Seattle just before 7AM and arrive in Orcas anywhere from 5-7PM depending on currents (7.5kn water speed). We always use the inside route (Saratoga Passage/Deception Pass or Swinomish Channel) for a variety of reasons. If you're starting from the South Sound, I think you'd have to either have a boat capable of 12+Kn or plan a stop. There aren't a lot of nice stopping points beyyond Edmunds along this route. Perhaps more if you go via Port Townsend but then you take a risk on Juan de Fuca's conditions. If you're coming from South Sound I don't see how you do it in less than 1 1/2 days - each way, more if the weather turns on you. So you have to factor in that extra transit time into your schedule. This is a distance you can cover in a car in a couple hours - regardless of weather.

When we purchased our current boat we have it stored in Anacortes. Compared to what I was used to, it is very nice not to have that big run at the start and end of every vacation. Also, it opens the opportunity to do shorter cruises i.e. long weekend or something in the San Juans. The downside is that if you want to work on the boat, yes it is further away.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:51 PM   #9
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We live in Olympia and keep our boat at Zittel's Marina, northeast of Olympia. Slowmo is right; I plan on two days (7.5kn) from home to the San Juans, although I did go nonstop from Anacortes to home in 14 long hours once with light currents. I usually stop at Eagle Harbor or go all the way to Port Townsend if the weather is good.

If you do look at moorage in Oly, I would suggest you consider Zittel's. It's a little funky but the location is great compared to the downtown marinas (Swantown, West Bay).
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:33 PM   #10
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Slowmo and Doug (Waterford) are correct. You can't have it both ways. Either a longer drive by car to the marina or 1-2 days travel time on the water if the San Juan's and north is your anticipated cruising grounds and you travel at approx. 7 knots.
Based on many comments from other topics recently, it appears that alot of the marinas in the north end of the Sound (or San Juan area) have wait lists for moorage. eg. Anacortes

I would suggest that you consider Blaine, Semiahoo, or Point Roberts marinas. Point Roberts (I used to moor there several years ago) has full fuel services, a small chandlery, restaurant, travel lift, repair services, and parking, etc. but it requires driving around through Canada to enter the small penninsula by land. It is an additional 45 minutes drive from Blaine, plus border crossing time. I know Point Roberts has space available and is a well protected marina with a Custom's dock. It is 10 nautical miles closer to most cruising grounds (San Juans' and Gulf Islands) when compared to Blaine or Semiahoo.
Not everyone's "cup of tea", but may be worth considering (especially since they have space available).
Nanaimo, BC
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:38 AM   #11
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Thanks to all for the information. We appreciate your thoughts which confirmed what weve been thinking. Maybe exploring the South Sound for awhile is a good approach. This will give us something to work with.

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Old 01-31-2020, 11:41 AM   #12
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I totally concur with the recommendation that Pau Hana gave about the peninsula moorage... Not only is moorage less expensive but you get to avoid the traffic mess on the I5 corridor from Olympia south...
When crap happens, turn it into fertilizer for your tree of knowledge..... Scott Brodie
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:41 AM   #13
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Everett, edmonds, and most if not all West side of Puget Sound marinas have long waiting lists. I recommend you spend some time calling around to see what is available. Dagmars will not take trawlers in that size range.

We purchased a 36’ kadey krogen in September and Dagmars won’t take our boat for dry storage due to weight restrictions. In Everett we are on the waiting list for a 40’ and 45’ slip. We got on the list in June 2019. Currently we moved from 22nd on the list for a 45’ slip to 16th. On the 40’ list we are 18th now moved up from 24th.

My point is depending on where you choose it might take quite a while to find a slip.

Not trying to discourage you. Hopefully you can find a home for your new baby without too much trouble.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:28 PM   #14
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One feature of mooring in Tacoma is the interesting neighbors:
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:39 PM   #15
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In my opinion you’d probably be better off mooring the boat to Everett or north. Preferably north.

When we were in Everett most of the time for overnighters we’d strike out going up Saratoga Passage. We got really tired of Saratoga Passage and eventually moved the boat to LaConner. With a 6 knot boat one can go 10 times as fast in a car. Then we moved to Alaska and came back about 7 years ago. And we’re back at LaConner. We made one trip to the South Sound and it was good but short of a late fall trip down there I doubt if we’ll go south of Seattle. Partly because we’re not doing that much boating now. Always seem to be doing something else. Other boats, projects at home, car trips up into Canada ect ect.

Moorage is fairly available in LaConner now. We are in 30’ moorage and there’s 4-5 open slips south of us. For bigger boats I don’t know. Another plus is that rates are quite reasonable. Covered 30’ is less than $330. a mo. Considerably less than Anacortes. BUT ... speaking of Anacortes it’s about the best location on the Sound.

Where you moor north/south wise it should depend on whether you boat one or two day trips or mostly two day and more. I predict you’ll opt for the South Sound at first but you’ll move the boat north after a season or two. Probably right about the time Olympia gets boring. But at Everett and LaConner it’ll get boring there too .. to varying degrees depending on your boating style.

Don’t think any question on TF is stupid. So many do and it almost never happens. Lots of stupid thread titles though that don’t tell anything about what the thread’s about. People love to show off how much they know so ask away.

North Western Washington State USA
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Old 02-09-2020, 05:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by AlaskaProf View Post
One feature of mooring in Tacoma is the interesting neighbors:

Tacoma is a busy working harbor. Plenty of moorage available from at least a half dozen marinas in three locations.

Hylebos Waterway has at least two, Thea Foss Waterway 3 or four. At Point Defiance there is a marina and Tacoma Yacht Club with open moorage and boathouses.

On the south side of Point Defiance there is Day Island with a marina and Day Island Yacht Club with open moorage and boathouses.

And across the Narrows Bridge from Tacoma is Gig Harbor with lots of moorage.

Some of the marinas have covered moorage and boathouses available in addition to open slips.

We moored at Johnny's Dock Restaurent moorage on the Thea Foss from 1985 to 2004 while the area was being revitalized. Moorage fees have gone up exponentially, especially after the Super Fund cleanup and dredging of the waterway to rid the bottom of years of accumulated industrial waste in 2003.

We were able to get to Anacortes or San Juan's in one long day or two shorter. From Olympia, add a day. Plus you have to deal with the Tacoma Narrows with currents running as high as 5 to 6 knots

The traffic south of Tacoma is way better than north of Tacoma. I-5 past JBLM has been a bottleneck but currently under construction to add lanes.

There are places to cruise in the south sound but not as plentiful as north of the Narrows.

The west side marinas mentioned previously are less expensive and less traffic to contend with. There is a freeway bottleneck at Gorst at rush hour, south of Bremerton.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:42 PM   #17
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If I was coming from Western Oregon to the boat, I would stay away from anything on the east side of Puget Sound.

Traffic after 3:00 pm in the Puget Sound region, especially I-5 between Tacoma and Everett is horrendous.

You have rush hour traffic bottlenecks at Olympia, JBLM, Tacoma, Federal Way, Tukwila, Sezttle, Lynwood and Everett.

Driving to the west side, the bottlenecks are only at Olympia, Shelton and Bremerton. The route from Olympia are via secondary highways, not freeways and quite picturesque.

A lot of Oregonians and Californians moore in Port Orchard because of it's ease of access, relatively inexpensive, readily available moorage and proximity by boat to Seattle, Bremerton, Silverdale, Poulsbo, Brownsville, Winslow Des Moines and Blake Island.

And a little further, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Edmonds, Everett, Gig Harbor and Tacoma.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:40 PM   #18
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Congrats on the new boat! I assume you are aware that as on Oregon resident mooring in WA you are subject to a 9% use tax. Lots of posts on this topic.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:20 PM   #19
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I'll concur that Liberty Bay Marina is very nice. I haven't ever moored there, but they let me use the outside dock to get some drone shots when I made the Port of Poulsbo's 90-sec Cruising Guide. And per the OP, it's pretty much mid-sound.
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Old 02-14-2020, 06:29 PM   #20
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I recommend considering Port Sidney Marina, Sidney, Vancouver Island, BC. That is where my boat has been for the last 6 months, and will remain for some time. While it clearly changes your travel dynamics from Oregon, Sidney is ~1-3 hrs from most of the San Juans and ~1-3 hrs from most of the Canadian Gulf Islands. As well, Victoria is a 20-25 minute drive from Sidney. Sidney is also a delight. This approach may not be for everyone, it does work for me. Best of luck and enjoy the experience!

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