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Old 21-08-2012, 15:43   #1
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Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

I'm buying a Catalina 36 in CA and trying to figure out how to get it up here in Vancouver. Trucking it doesn't make sense as the quotes I'm getting to ship it to Bellingham (WA) are 1/3rd of the price of the boat.

The boat is not ready to go offshore (i.e., CA -> HI -> BC), and I don't have the experience or crew to do it. I've got time though. Can I beat the hell out of the coastline and get up there? Hazards? How long will it take me without motoring? I'm not planning to sail after dark, ideally would go hide in coves or docks for the night.

Thanks
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Old 23-08-2012, 22:22   #2
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

*bump*
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Old 23-08-2012, 22:50   #3
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
I'm buying a Catalina 36 in CA and trying to figure out how to get it up here in Vancouver. Trucking it doesn't make sense as the quotes I'm getting to ship it to Bellingham (WA) are 1/3rd of the price of the boat.

The boat is not ready to go offshore (i.e., CA -> HI -> BC), and I don't have the experience or crew to do it. I've got time though. Can I beat the hell out of the coastline and get up there? Hazards? How long will it take me without motoring? I'm not planning to sail after dark, ideally would go hide in coves or docks for the night.

Thanks
If you do some searches (use the custom google search option), you'll find a number of discussions about this. The answer isn't an easy one and depends a lot on your skill and experience, which you suggest you don't have a lot of.

As you've pointed out, many will choose to do this offshore, but many others do the trip with one foot on the beach. It is totally doable if you have the time to wait for the right weather windows, which you do.

If you miss those weather windows, or the forecast is wrong, you can end up on a foul, lee shore, so you want to be conservative. This is not a nice place in a blow. Many of the safe harbours are suicide to enter during a storm due to bar crossings, so you have to get in before it gets nasty.

I don't believe it's possible to do the trip without some overnight trips. I don't think there are that many safe harbours, but I could be wrong.

It's almost September. September is the last month that is generally safe along that coast, and sometimes the storms come in early. That means that you have about 3 weeks to make the trip. If you're sleeping every night, then it will take about 2-3 weeks of travel time even if you never have to wait out weather (which you will).

You've just bought the boat, so you haven't found the 100 things wrong with it yet. It's probably not ready for the trip, even if you are.

Not to be too brutal, I think you have four choices:
  1. Put it on a truck. It might be expensive, but it's better than dying or permanantly destroying your love of sailing by scaring youself sh!tless
  2. Hire a delivery skipper. I'm guessing, though, that they may not do it this late in the year unless the boat is in tip-top condition. However, if it is and you can find one to head out very soon, you might be alowed to come along and learn some things.
  3. Leave the boat where it is and spend the winter fixing it up and learning to sail it well. Cruise California. Then come slowly and safely up the coast next summer when you have time to do it safely and the boat is ready.
  4. Sell the boat and buy one closer to home.

I'm all for putting yourself out there and taking risks and having adventures, but do yourself a favour and don't try it until next year (if at all).
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Old 23-08-2012, 23:27   #4
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Why the part about "not motoring"? Motoring may be your best option for making northing without beating yourself up on whatever quiet days occur.
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Old 24-08-2012, 03:46   #5
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

The coastline from Ca to Canada is not something to screw around with. It can be beautiful one minute and a nightmare the next.

The suggestion of traveling with one foot on the beach is good, but many of the safe harbors along the way have bars to cross, which close in bad conditions.

If the boat is not seaworthy for this trip, no competent delivery skipper will accept it.

If it is seaworthy, you can hire a dleivery skipper and go as crew. A deliver Skipper on the coast will average about $150-250 per day, plus food and return airfare. They normally also charge lay days for mechanically break downs and weather holds of about $100 to $150 per day. That normally average out to about $3-5 per mile on the west coast.

If you figure in getting the boat ready for a coastal passage, the trucking fees may seem reasonable.

Trucking your vessel to Canada will cost in the range of $1500 to $2500 depending on how hungery the trucking company is. Boatyards will charge about $300-500 to step the mast, prepare the boat for trucking and load it. All of this is negotiable!

I would suggest you either keep the boat where it is and prepare it for the passage next summer (with a delievery skipper) or truck it now and get it seaworthy at your your home port, where you will have more time.
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:14   #6
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Quote:
Originally Posted by welljim View Post
I'm buying a Catalina 36 in CA and trying to figure out how to get it up here in Vancouver. Trucking it doesn't make sense as the quotes I'm getting to ship it to Bellingham (WA) are 1/3rd of the price of the boat.

The boat is not ready to go offshore (i.e., CA -> HI -> BC), and I don't have the experience or crew to do it. I've got time though. Can I beat the hell out of the coastline and get up there? Hazards? How long will it take me without motoring? I'm not planning to sail after dark, ideally would go hide in coves or docks for the night.

Thanks
Log on to ActiveCaptain.com (you'll have to register but that's free) and look at the charts for the stretch from San Francisco to Vancouver. There is no way to "day sail" up that coast. Then have a look at the Pilot Charts for the North Pacific. There is no time when you will not have head winds making a near shore passage very difficult and, at the least, uncomfortable, if not dangerous, and you will experience several gales at the least. Do not kid yourself. A passage north along that coast is "off-shore" sailing and will beat up the boat and the crew. I know of one fellow that made that passage in a very well found, prepared, Catalina 34, that did go off-shore and tried to follow the Clipper-ship route. The boat was totally thrashed and trashed by the time they made it.

Put it on a truck...
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Old 24-08-2012, 09:33   #7
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

It's not so hard, try this: clock on the box & I Agree button and read his trip north up the coast

Cruising the Northwest Coast - A book by George Benson
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Old 24-08-2012, 10:06   #8
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

My understanding is you will want to motorsail like heck during the calms from harbor to harbor. IF the weather is calm... keep going overnight. Take the northing when you can. I found the weather calmer early am until maybe mid afternoon under typical conditions.
It's not an endeavor for the inexperienced really. Hire a delivery or truck it. There are not good anchorages spaced close enough that you can just daysail up.
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Old 30-08-2012, 23:11   #9
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Thanks everyone, I got like 12 quotes for trucking and the cheapest ones are on the $5,000 mark when you factor in taxes. That's 1/4 of what I paid for the boat, so sounds ridiculous. And sailing north seems more than what I bargained for. Looks like I'm pretty stuck :-(
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Old 31-08-2012, 02:52   #10
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Why is she ready for a coastal uphill slog but not ready for offshore?
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Old 31-08-2012, 12:09   #11
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

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Why is she ready for a coastal uphill slog but not ready for offshore?
The rig hasn't been beefed up and it is believed to be original (i.e., 30 years old), and while the boat stays dry when it's raining, it probably won't stay dry offshore. Typically hulls micro-flex in high seas (especially those of production boats on the cheaper spectrum) and the water that keeps covering the boat finds itself in the cabin through fittings, hatches, portlights, etc. Typical offshore preparation includes refitting all that with flexible sealant agents and backing plates. Generally, there is a lot of work involved in preparing a vessel to go offshore, and none of that has been done on mine. Here's what happened to a guy who neglected that work: EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:08   #12
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Yeah, buying local for a little more may have been a good idea... I had a boat in Fl I really wanted to get up to the PNW, but would have cost 11-12k to do so and the boat was worth maybe 25k... so I sold it.
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Old 31-08-2012, 13:18   #13
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Welljim, thank you for your response. My point is mostly that coastal passages is where the most pounding occurs. My experience in the N Pacific has time and again proven the error in the myth that offshore is rough.

You say you don't have experience in offshore yet are unwilling to venture offshore in this boat all the while thinking it ok to go up on the inside. My contention is not against a person but to the thought that inside is 'more kind' than offshore.

The irony is that going offshore would actually be more favorable to this passage yet would be avoided because of incomplete knowledge.

Lastly, if a mast, as example, is unsuitable for offshore it certainly is for near shore along that coast.
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Old 31-08-2012, 14:14   #14
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

I have had a couple of friends attempt the uphill slog; they trucked it. Another friend did make the trip; he said it was one of the worst experiences of his life.

The current is against you, the wind is against, there a precious few bail out spots between Cape Mendocino and Grey's Harbour.

The Catalina 36 is a nice coastal cruising boat. The proposed trip may be along the coastal but it is not coastal cruising.

Spend some time looking to the weather conditions and you will see why this trip is essentially untenable.

Northeast Pacific WX Briefing Package

As write this the winds are 30 knots on the nose and forecast to stay near that strength.
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Old 31-08-2012, 15:43   #15
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Re: Catalina 36 from CA to Vancouver

Holy cow! RE: PANDA.

I have two words: Accident chain. As in the case of PANDA the chain starts well before leaving the dock.

Rowe was a fine example of guys who do not belong at the helm. In aviation those in the pilot community have strong words for those who put at risk the lives of passengers. The marine world should be no different. Aside from all other failures on PANDA there was also a weak indecisive skipper. This seems quite incongruous in light of his statement of attending many sailing classes at Orange Coast College, which has a fine sailing program. I had to force myself to continue reading. Disaster written top to bottom in that article.

I am of the opinion that an article written by such an underperforming person has little to offer in the way of a lesson to the rest of us. Well, don't be that guy could be the lesson.

In some way I feel slightly apologetic for my tone. Yet if you think me harsh, perhaps an ill-equipped tempting of the waters would change one's opinion.
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