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Old 07-06-2013, 11:11   #1
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First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

I'm leaving for avalon catalina in the early morning of Thursday June 27th on my 19' glasply hard top with cubby cabin. This will be my first time going this far and it'd like to buddy up with another boat for safety reasons. I'm prepared for the trip with gps vhf radio 8ft avon raft that I'll be towing. My boat is just a cruiser, 470 mercruiser 3.7L Inboard outboard which has about 170hp.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:19   #2
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

That has to be the most popular destination in Southern California! You probably won't be out of sight of another boat the whole way, but nothing wrong with being cautious. Where are you leaving from?
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:22   #3
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

I'm sure I'll see other boats but yeah my boat is a little old and I'm just wanting to be careful. I'm not exactly positive which port is best but I was thinking long Beach?
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:30   #4
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

Long Beach would be fine leave from. My only advice having made the trip many,many times in a Cal 2-29 would be to watch the forcast. The channel can be very benign at times, but in the same breath it can be very rough, too rough for a 19' powerboat, even with a buddy boat. Be careful, and watch the weather on BOTH days, departing LB and Avalon...
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:37   #5
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

I ran over once on a friends 22' cuddy cabin (fast boat really). We got to the San Pedro breakwater and was hazy enough to not be able to see the island. I asked my buddy for his chart so we could determine course to steer. "Don't have no chart"!! Ended up using an AAA road map of Southern California to determine heading. At least he had a compass and VFH.

Been to Catalina many times on my boats, but that was likely the most foolish adventure yet.

Make sure to check weather and be willing to cancel if wind waves too high. Long period swell not a real concern, but the wind chop can overwhelm a small powerboat. Early morning safest bet for low chop.

Might want to consider securing dinghy on deck or on top of roof - towing can be a bitch (e.g., gust of wind or wave flips dingy over..) and can slow you down alot.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:38   #6
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

A straight shot. 170hp? You should be there in under two hours. You're a little far up the coast, and too close to the wind for me to follow. Do you have a return trip planned?
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:44   #7
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

Well I'm actually trailering up from San Diego, I'm planning on coming home early that Sunday
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:06   #8
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

Why would you say it was foolish? I'm prepared to cancel the trip if weather doesn't make for a safe trip. And yes its a 170 hp just a older engine. Has about 140 hours on it after rebuilt
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:28   #9
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

I think that Dennis G was talking about his own trip being foolish, because he had no chart or radar. So be sure to bring a paper chart and a gps even if it is only a hand held. Good luck on your trip.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:35   #10
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

Your right, I was reading back in forth while working. Thanks for all the advice. still hoping I can find a cruising buddy. Anyone know the best port to leave from when trailering?
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:36   #11
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

No way man. You can't do it without an epirb and radar and AIS and a life raft and parachute flares and an SSB radio and a sat phone and BoatUS insurance and a spare engine and transmission and offshore life vests with personal locator beacons or you're all gonna die. And you need training. You need the USCG Auxilliary boater's safety course to start and then all the ASA courses including the heavy weather courses and many many years of preparation, starting on other people's boats and finally working up to being able to motor your boat around in the harbor for a few weeks and slowly venturing slightly farther from the breakwater, a few yards farther each year.
Nah, screw it, just go!
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Old 07-06-2013, 13:18   #12
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

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Originally Posted by Glasply View Post
Why would you say it was foolish? ...
No not you, my friend and I were the ones a bit foolish. A road map for crap sake!

In a good fast boat and calm seas you can be in Avalon or Two Harbors in a couple of hours. Vessel Assist is available from mainland ports and from Avalon should your engine die (that's why the VHF, and prepaid towing plan if any doubt on motor at all).

One option is boat-in beach camping. Anchor out and come in to beach with your dinghy and camp. Need to reserve a boat-in camp site ahead of time if doing this, and should have a long line and sand stake in case you want to tie the stearn in towards the beach. Might be more fun than trying to sleep on your 19 footer. The boat-in sites are primative and isolated, so might not be what you are looking for (i.e., no bars).
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Old 07-06-2013, 13:23   #13
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

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...Anyone know the best port to leave from when trailering?
I would think Newport Harbor - I think closest to Avalon and good boat ramps. Plus closer to San Diego than Long Beach area.
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Old 07-06-2013, 13:56   #14
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Re: First trip to Avalon, catalina looking for buddy up

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No way man. You can't do it without an epirb and radar and AIS and a life raft and parachute flares and an SSB radio and a sat phone and BoatUS insurance and a spare engine and transmission and offshore life vests with personal locator beacons or you're all gonna die. And you need training. You need the USCG Auxilliary boater's safety course to start and then all the ASA courses including the heavy weather courses and many many years of preparation, starting on other people's boats and finally working up to being able to motor your boat around in the harbor for a few weeks and slowly venturing slightly farther from the breakwater, a few yards farther each year. . .
How did survive these many years without most of that stuff? Must be because I didn't have a motor to power 'em!
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Old 16-06-2013, 22:21   #15
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Do a web search for information about Catalina moorings and anchorages. You can download the Two Harbors book with instructions on picking up a mooring and making a reservation for a mooring. Good launch ramp in Huntington Harbor which will give you a straight run to the Island without going through the cargo ship anchorage area closer to Long Beach. Newport Harbor is also an option although the run from the launch ramp to the ocean is long.
As someone suggested I would tie your Avon to the cabin top for your trip over - one less thing to worry about when you are mooring/anchoring.
Two things beside rough water to watch out for are fast moving cargo ship traffic heading into LB/LA harbor and FOG. Double and triple check the weather report before you head out. Also fill your fuel tank(s) before you leave. I think gas is air dropped in because you will pay around $8.00/gal.
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