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Oct 29, 2017
Vessel Name
San Carlos
Vessel Make
Campbell Yachts Research Vessel
Hi all, this looks like a great site and I look forward to being able to explore all that is going on here.
I just recently...happened...into a 1976 56' Campbell Yachts twin diesel. It is quite a boat. I have big plans for her, but the biggest challenge I have found so far is getting her home up the Coast from the Bay Area to her new home in Puget Sound. I didn't get very far on my first attempt and have been tied up in Bodega Bay waiting on the circumstance of favorable weather and time off from my real job on the USACE Hopper Dredge ESSAYONS.
I'm going to see if I can at least make it up to Eureka on the next leg...and just take it from there.
...if anyone here has any info on Campbell Yachts, or better yet, owns one...I'd like to hear from you. Likewise if your boat was designed by Blaine Seeley as I'm told mine was.


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Welcome aboard. That looks like one hairy chested yet purdy boat :thumb:
Indeed, welcome aboard. You and your handsome vessel! Have fun bringing her up the coast. Hopefully, you'll find some good weather windows.
Thanks !
I hope to be hauled out in Port Townsend (my home town) within a month.


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Welcome aboard. She is a nice looking vessel! I look forward to meeting you in PT - will stop and say hello.

Wow, that is a gorgeous vessel. Very purposeful looking, like I like! Welcome (from another newbie in the PNW).
Like Murray said, that is one hairy chested mutha. Now if you've hung around here very long you must know that we have a standing rule on TF.....without pics to prove it, it didn't happen. That applies to your new baby as well as your work boat.
Trip to Puget Sound

You did not ask, but here is my opinion any way about your trip north up the west coast of USA.
For this trip north at this time of year with fall here & winter coming on soon the boat better be well founded & set up properly.
This is a lea shore trip the whole way north & no place for some weekend bay boat.
Many bays & harbors enroute on this trip route close the entrance when it gets rough due to a " Bar" at the entrance, so keep that in mind. :eek:
I recommend from experience that you better be set up & able to change fuel filters with out turning the engine off. Bring plenty of extra fuel filters. Save your receipt & buy more than you need & then you can return them after you arrive up there.
Also, Boat & engine & trans, shaft & prop as well as all steering gear better be in top condition.
NOTE: Probably won't need it, but Be sure & take a emergency life raft with you in case of a major issue. I have an 8 man raft you can borrow for the trip if you want to use it & will loan it to you free. Just come & pick it up. :thumb:
ALL That said here we go. :popcorn:

I can not stress enough what an arduous trip during winter time :eek: that it can sometimes turn out to be going north bound from SF Bay to Straits of Juan de Fuca once your turn north out of San Francisco Bay & head out past Drakes Bay, going around Pt Reyes into the full force of the north Pacific Ocean seas.
I can guess the short 50 mile jaunt to Bodega Bay you have already done in good weather was a fun trip & Bodega Bay is a good harbor of refuge. That was the easy part & Going north from there it gets a lot tougher. :hide:

I have been there & done this myself several times & have gotten hammered pretty good a time or two during the winter time & enroute some too when going up there.
Pick your weather window right & it can be a beautiful & fun trip if you don't have a schedule your trying to stick to.
BTW - I recommend after May as earliest in the year to start this trip or during summer time for this trip.

Here is the approximate mileage break down for reference.

SF bay entrance to Pt Reyes -- 28 miles

Pt Reyes to Bodega Bay entrance -- 23 miles

Bodega Bay entrance to Shelter Cove -- 117 miles

Shelter Cove to entrance to Eureka entrance -- 54 miles

Eureka entrance to Crescent City entrance -- 60 miles

Crescent City entrance to Port Orford entrance-- 65 miles

Port Orford entrance to Coos Bay entrance -- 51 miles

Coos Bay entrance to Newport entrance -- 77 miles

Newport entrance to Tillamook entrance - 55 miles

Tillamook entrance to Columbia River light ship @ outer entrance - 40 miles

Columbia River light ship at outer entrance to Grays harbor entrance -- 44 miles

Grays Harbor entrance to Cape Flattery entrance -- 96 miles

Cape Flattery to Port Townsend entrance -- 86 miles

Port Townsend entrance to Puget Sound entrance -- 40 miles

So there is your trip to Puget Sound in a nut shell. -- or Approximately 836 miles

Going north - That will take you about 140 hours of running at 6 knots.

Coming south - it takes about 120 hours & your can go about 7 knots.

The boat is a new to you boat, so you won't know the exact fuel burn, however, Going north I would guestimate & figure fuel burn @ 3 to 4 gal hour hour per engine to be safe. -- So guessing 420 to 560 gal plus 10% reserve per engine. --- YOUR MILEAGE WILL VERY !

VERY important - Pick your weather window. :eek:

Often you may need to stop in a harbor while enroute & lay over - some times for a day or a couple days, some times a week, maybe even more, so don't have a schedule.
Winter time on this coast can be quite rough, so pick the weather & run for cover before the BAR's close ! :facepalm:
Personally, I would recommend you wait till spring time like after May 2018.
Can be a very pretty & very fun trip if you don't have a schedule.

I was going north one trip past Mendocino & we had "get there itas" - so we got the snot knocked out of us up there.
So be careful as it was not very comfortable.

Keep it safe.

Alfa Mike :)
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Looks like that is an ex-hydrographic survey boat? Built by Willard? Could be a fun conversion to trawler yacht job. Would love to see more details.
Welcome and great post mike too. I did the S.F. to the Columbia River in 3 days and 2 nights, non-stop. Like Mike stated, weather weather weather.....
Nice looking boat hope to see you in this area in the near future. I visited the ESSAYONS several times. Was friends with Henry Germond, and Ace Anderson.
...dropped the ball

Hi all,
Sorry for the untimely reply, but better late than never, right...?
So as everyone knows the trip up (last year) was completely weather dictated and yes, I did have to duck in a couple of times but all in all the trip went well if not entirely smoothly (more on that in a minute).
Here's a few more pics
She is an ex- California Department of Water Resources vessel, Blaine Seeley designed and built by Campbell Yachts of Santa Ana, CA. I am the 2nd owner.
Her sistership B-MAJOR was built for Victor Borge in 1974.
a CADWR produced video:
I guess I could have mentioned that she's no bay boat and I'm no greenhorn, but I do appreciate the genuine concern from all.
In case anyone is wondering...she's powered by two newer DD 8V92TA's and has twin Northern Lights Toyota/Lugger 25Kw gensets that ran like a champ...even when the fuel manifold clogged around Bodega Bay.
I had anticipated having to make frequent Racor filter changes as the vessel had sat with half full tanks for several months...what I neglected to consider was that in order to replace the filters (on the mains anyway) the engine had to be shut down, the filter replaced, air purged and the engine restarted...every filter change. Which was WAY more often than I had hoped. After loosing one of the mains and being unable to restart, I put into my old home port of Eureka to diagnose and remedy and discovered up to inch-long pieces of rubber gasket material clogging up the ball valves at the fuel manifold. The solution for this was to purchase a piston pump for an oil barrel, some 2" fuel grade hose and empty one tank, open the inspection ports and break out the Shop-vac. Once I had one clean tank, I repeated the process...Yes, in retrospect, this probably should have been done prior to departure, but I was only anticipating dirty fuel...not pieces of gasket big enough to wrap around my finger.
Lesson learned.
Really, the worst of the trip was Point Reyes and Cape Flattery...both were heavy seas at night, but her hull is a SOLID 1 7/8" and those Detroits really lend a piece of mind (when they have fuel to them).
Total average fuel consumption for the entire voyage...I checked multiple times and also had independent verification of this...was 11.5 gph for BOTH mains and one genset running 24/7 ! If this sounds implausible, note that these DD's have less than 1500 hours since the last in-frame rebuilds, are each dialed down to 475 hp, and were ran at 1650 (except for an hour a day when I ran them up to 1950).
I have since purchased (among other things) a duplex system for the Racors including vacuum gauges so there will be no need to shut down to change the filter in the future.
Currently, she is hauled out in La Conner, WA
Port Townsend has gone absolutely bat-**** crazy with their rates and I don't know how they will stay viable with all the boats going elsewhere...they will just keep gouging those who choose to stay, I guess.
The "laboratory" has been removed, I am installing a respectable salon as time permits. I hope to have her winterized so I can replace the fore deck (I'm removing the electric capstain and replacing it with one of my hydraulic spool winches from the back deck). I have designed a new aluminum mast to give her a slightly more modern look and am unfortunately going to have to farm that out (I'm an ABS certified aluminum welder so that hurts).
Anyway, thanks all...if you don't see ESSAYONS on the river or at Swan Island for a while, it's because we are hauling out in Hawaii this year.


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Sounds like a successful trip. Glad you made it.

Moorage rates are going up all around the Puget Sound and will continue to do so as long as the economy is strong. They will go flat at the next recession.

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