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Old 28-03-2011, 12:36   #1
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Seattle to Marina Del Rey

I am planning on evetually travelling the west coast line from washington to southern california. I've heard that staying within ten miles of shore is best for sea conditions. My boat is a 1962 Youngquist 30' with 11'beam wooden hull cruiser with chev 350 single screw. It is a fairly flat bottom boat from about midpoint back and only sits about 14" in the water (unless measured from the bottom of the keel then she sits about 20"). She weighed in at 7,000lbs on the last haul out. Cedar planked, with entire underside epoxied. 110 gallons fuel, 40 gallons fresh water, full head, complete galley. Lots of storage. I have never sailed the ocean before and very much appreciate your thoughts. What months of the year are better than the other for such an excursion. What have any of you run into on such a journey.
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Old 28-03-2011, 13:18   #2
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

Pt. Conception is sometimes called "The Cape Horn of the North". Be sure you know what the weather is doing before you head around that point. There are very few places to hide around there. Morro Bay would likely be the last stop before Pt Conception, and Santa Barbara will be the next one. Do you have enough fuel to make that distance? The middle of summer will be the best months for that trip. The northern coast of Calif and all of Oregon can be very unforgiving at any time of the year.

Just curious, but have you considered trucking that boat over the road to SoCal? With the price of fuel and your V8, it might be cost effective to consider that option.

Here is a website that gives some info on local harbors and anchorages www.activecaptain.com
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Old 28-03-2011, 20:47   #3
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

When cruising, use the rule of thirds to determine range. 2/3 of the fuel for the trip and 1/3 for emergency reserve.

With only 110 gal of fuel, you probably have less than a 100 mile usable range. (I'm wildly guessing, here...)

I'm not familiar with your area, but I seem to remember someone saying one leg it was about 215 miles between fuel stops? I may have that totally wrong, too.

Main point is, especially in a boat with a short range, you need to measure your fuel consumption carefully. Best way is with a fuel flow meter. Otherwise you have to run it at a particular speed for long enough so when you fill back up you can accurately tell how much fuel you used. Test at least 1kt intervals at your slower speeds to find the most fuel efficient speed. Then run up on plane so you know just how bad the consumption is up there.

I came down the East coast in a 36' 22,000lb boat with 250 gals gas tanks. It had a calculated 100 mile usable range. I had to plan my fuel stops very, very carefully. Even then, I was on my reserve tanks coming into Norfolk and had to change the marina I was going to because I didn't think I'd make the extra 6 miles to the one where I had reservations. First mistake was stretching to a 110 mile leg. Then the quartering seas pounded us and increased the fuel consumption just enough to throw my calculations off. After that I tried to limit my range to about 75 miles.

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Old 29-03-2011, 01:42   #4
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

From what I've read, I'd stay a couple of hundred miles from the coast. The coast is largely hostile and a lee shore. A stop at San Francisco Bay is most likely worth the slight risk. There are few safe, all-weather approachable ports and a close-to-coast journey could prove time-consuming but interesting. Regardless, get a cruise guide and takes your choice.

If you have limited range, your choices are limited and risks are high. Me? I'd want something like a minimum range of 500 miles.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:21   #5
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

Its all about the weather. During the summer, there are often extended periods (weeks) with very little wind along the coast, and there are often weeks of gale conditions. You should have lots and lots (weeks) of slack time in your schedule, because when its blowing, you must stay put.

When its calm, almost any vessel can make the trip, if they have enough range. As mentioned before, its a loooong ways between most fuel stops, AND many of those stops are inaccessible in heavy seas.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:53   #6
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
From what I've read, I'd stay a couple of hundred miles from the coast.
This isn't feasible with a 110 gallon tank.

The key to success here will be very careful planning of fuel stops and weather tracking.
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:22   #7
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

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This isn't feasible with a 110 gallon tank.

The key to success here will be very careful planning of fuel stops and weather tracking.
Depends on the boat's fuel efficiency. A mid-sized (30-40 foot), full-displacement-hull vessel might get 6 or 7 knots from less than a gallon of diesel an hour. With 110 gallons, we've entered the 500+ mile range. But then I'm not familiar with the OP's boat.
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Old 30-03-2011, 17:30   #8
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Depends on the boat's fuel efficiency. A mid-sized (30-40 foot), full-displacement-hull vessel might get 6 or 7 knots from less than a gallon of diesel an hour. With 110 gallons, we've entered the 500+ mile range. But then I'm not familiar with the OP's boat.
Don't know the details of the boat other than it's powered by a gasoline Chevy 350.

And even if you have a 500 mile range, staying "a couple hundred miles from the coast" is not feasible. 400 miles East-West gives you 100 miles to find more gas and zero margin of safety.

To travel 1,300 miles south, you will motor 7,000 miles!
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Old 30-03-2011, 18:09   #9
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

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Don't know the details of the boat other than it's powered by a gasoline Chevy 350.

And even if you have a 500 mile range, staying "a couple hundred miles from the coast" is not feasible. 400 miles East-West gives you 100 miles to find more gas and zero margin of safety.

To travel 1,300 miles south, you will motor 7,000 miles!
If a curved route (like half a circle) rather than a rectangular one is taken, traveling 400 miles south would require about a 600-mile half-circular route. Originally when I spoke of staying off 200-miles, I was thinking of a non-harbor-hopping route. If I desired to harbor-hop, I'd want at least a 500-mile range because of the limited and questionable fuel stops. I'm guilty of not being very clear.
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Old 30-03-2011, 18:44   #10
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

It can be done, when I was growing up we had a cabin cruiser and increased range with GI cans, today they come in plastic. I believe a near shore, short hop itinerary makes sense, that's what we did in the 60's. I recently heard on a post about a book on the subject: Cruising the Northwest Coast by George Benson, about $25, will probably answer most, if not all your questions.
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Old 31-03-2011, 06:03   #11
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

I call this Duck Boating.
Duck-in,, then Duck out.

You can almost set your watch by the winds along the Calif Coasts.
In Fair weather, they will usually kick up around noontime have been my observations.

Long voyages this time of year I set out at dawn, and by noon have rented a slip someplace along my journeys route,, and have ducked in. At dawn, I duck out.
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:19   #12
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

In early May 2006 we made the trip from Astoria to San Diego. On the stretch along Oregon and Northern Ca, we saw 20-25 knot winds and 12-14 foot seas. Our first leg was Astoria to Newport overnight. We waited in Newport for two days for the winds to moderate, which helped our comfort factor. We stopped in Bodega Bay to time our entry through the Golden Gate during daylight instead of 0200. Othewise we sailed direct (didn't need to stop for fuel) up to 30 miles offshore.

Once past San Francisco, everything quited down and we successfully port hopped the rest of the way.

Details are in our blog: Down the Coast
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Old 31-03-2011, 19:53   #13
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

Thank you all for your replies. I have to ask how many of you are referring to "Sail" expeditions? I posted this in what I thought was the "Power" boating section. Please correct me if i'm wrong here, but it seams that some of these suugestions/opinions are primarily based on sail/power boating, thus untilizing the sails as much as possible. I cannot begin to fathom the concept of swinging way out to sea 200 miles if I am only carrying 110 gallons of fuel. On another note I thought I originally listed a pretty good description of my boat, my biggest concern is the nearly flat bottom of my boat, nice bow but fairly flat from midway back.
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Old 31-03-2011, 20:03   #14
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

Yeah Hand, you posted it in the powerboat section, but the threads here get pretty fluid. You I hope you got some answers you could use.
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Old 31-03-2011, 20:16   #15
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Re: Seattle to Marina Del Rey

Hoorah Doug, yes i have got some responses that are informative and helpful for sure.
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