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Old 01-06-2016, 19:05   #1
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preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

My husband and I are "newbies". We will be motoring our powercat from the Panama Canal up to the Columbia River in Oregon. Do y"all have any preferred fuel stops you can recommend?
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Old 01-06-2016, 19:26   #2
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

Depends on your range. For a boat with a range of 1500-2000 miles with reserve the answer would be very different than for a boat with 500-1000 miles with reserve.

Also what is your preference for the trip? Just want to get to CA asap or plan to spend a couple of months enjoying the trip?
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Old 01-06-2016, 20:12   #3
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

The docks that cater to tugs and commercial fishermen have the best prices and cleanest fuel. Never had trouble with any of them. I haven't been south of Astoria in many years, but did buy from most commercial docks to San Diego. From Frisco north the swells are NW and the weather seems to blow 20-30 NW for 3-4 days after a low goes thru. It gradually comes down to 5-15. If you're lucky, a couple flat days. Then another low. If it's strong it really beats down the NW swell, but not real comfortable to be out in. The cycle is about 8-10 days. A strong low coming straight up the coast is dangerous. I've seen as many as 7 boats sink in those. Wood commercial fishing boats.
Bodega Bay, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, has a good fuel dock and both the inner and outer bay have good anchorages. Drakes Bay, too. After Bodega, I'd recommend running 20-25 miles out if there's much of a NW swell. The ground swell near the major points of land tend to build the seas. Fort Bragg has a good harbor and no bar, a couple restaurants near the fuel dock.
Crescent City is the last easy entry harbor on your way north. New docks since the big Japanese wave. All the other ports have bars. High tide, slack water is the best ride over a bar.
Eureka, Humboldt Bay has the worst bar. Every time I've been there, someone died on the bar. I don't think the Columbia bar is too bad when open.
I commercial fished Santa Cruz north to a few hundred miles out. I also delivered new build commercial boats from S. Cal to Alaska and found I needed to keep an eye on the weather, travel until a big blow was coming and then sit in port a couple days. Probably your worst weather/ride is Frisco north. Panama north has always been flat when I went thru.
Keep a lookout. There's still some debris from Japan. A couple boats and a cement dock made it across the Pacific to Oregon.
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Old 01-06-2016, 20:49   #4
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

do you have cruisers guides? they are most helpful when available.
many locales have only one fuel dock, in mexico.
i have been south to zijuatenejo.
zihuatenejo fuel is delivered to your boat in jerry cans via ones dinghy. in ixtapa there is a fuel dock. in manzanillo there are fuel docks.
barra de navidad lagoon has a fuel dock with 17 percent dock fee added.
la cruz de huanacaxtle has a fuel dock without that fee. it is in the marina. there is also fuel in vallarta.
there is supposed to be fuel in san blas, between banderas bay and mazatlan. bar entry.
there is fuel in mazatlan, marina area, 2 locations. one is at el cid marina, the other is at fonatur marina.
old harbor mazatlan has no access to fuel dock, not easy access to fuel station.
cabo san lucas is pricey and has the fee for dock use, 17 percent. as for the rest of mexico, i bought fuel via jerry jugs for the most part.
if you enter marina area in mazatlan for fuel, make sure you call el cid on vhf 16 to see if dredge is working, as it blocks the entry for many hours at a time.
between cabo san lucas and ensenada fuel is scarce. best to fuel before leaving the cabo area.

what month are you leaving panama?? this is a difficult season to sail that far north without a plan for potential tropical storm/ huricane formation, which occurs approximately weekly along sw mexican coast. there are places to hide while storms pass... nothing with southern opening to ocean is safe..rules out zihuatenejo and the bays in manzanillo.
if you are faced with formations on you, barra de navidadś isla navidad puerta de la navidad is a good place to spend storms. i spent huricane patricia there. no one was damaged in that record breaker. that marina seemed to have been designed to be cane hole. one of very few true cane holes in mexico. ixtapa is reputed to be one, also.
storms slide up sw coastal mexico, in normal years, 19-21 times. is about 1 per week. keep your eyes open and your weather watched. we are entering a la nina year this month. not certain how this will affect us.
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Old 02-06-2016, 18:17   #5
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

Zeehag did a good job listing the fuel docks. I'd add: diesel is available inside Mag Bay at Puerto San Carlos, also by jugs at Man of War Cove. Turtle Bay has the rickety old fuel dock, ugly but reliable. New thing, as long as you're cleared into Mexico, you can get diesel alongside a dock in Cedros Island Town, just contact the port captain. Ensenada has diesel dock at Marina Coral just north of town. Check out Mexico Boating Guide for details. My other guide Cruising Ports the Central American Route covers all the diesel docks from Panama Canal to Puerto Chiapas in Mexico. I.E. in Pacific Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Pacific Guatemala. Bueno Suerte.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:48   #6
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Fort Bragg has a good harbor and no bar, a couple restaurants near the fuel dock.
Isn't Ft Bragg kinda shallow?
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Old 15-06-2016, 19:04   #7
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Re: preferred diesel fuel stops from panama canal to seattle washington

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
do you have cruisers guides? they are most helpful when available.
many locales have only one fuel dock, in mexico.
i have been south to zijuatenejo.
zihuatenejo fuel is delivered to your boat in jerry cans via ones dinghy. in ixtapa there is a fuel dock. in manzanillo there are fuel docks.
barra de navidad lagoon has a fuel dock with 17 percent dock fee added.
la cruz de huanacaxtle has a fuel dock without that fee. it is in the marina. there is also fuel in vallarta.
there is supposed to be fuel in san blas, between banderas bay and mazatlan. bar entry.
there is fuel in mazatlan, marina area, 2 locations. one is at el cid marina, the other is at fonatur marina.
old harbor mazatlan has no access to fuel dock, not easy access to fuel station.
cabo san lucas is pricey and has the fee for dock use, 17 percent. as for the rest of mexico, i bought fuel via jerry jugs for the most part.
if you enter marina area in mazatlan for fuel, make sure you call el cid on vhf 16 to see if dredge is working, as it blocks the entry for many hours at a time.
between cabo san lucas and ensenada fuel is scarce. best to fuel before leaving the cabo area.

what month are you leaving panama?? this is a difficult season to sail that far north without a plan for potential tropical storm/ huricane formation, which occurs approximately weekly along sw mexican coast. there are places to hide while storms pass... nothing with southern opening to ocean is safe..rules out zihuatenejo and the bays in manzanillo.
if you are faced with formations on you, barra de navidadś isla navidad puerta de la navidad is a good place to spend storms. i spent huricane patricia there. no one was damaged in that record breaker. that marina seemed to have been designed to be cane hole. one of very few true cane holes in mexico. ixtapa is reputed to be one, also.
storms slide up sw coastal mexico, in normal years, 19-21 times. is about 1 per week. keep your eyes open and your weather watched. we are entering a la nina year this month. not certain how this will affect us.
Good post Z, uhhhh, hummmm, will you forgive me if I turn into a stink potter? I found a nice 40' to do the Great Loop in and I'm close to buying her.
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