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Old 15-02-2011, 18:58   #1
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Puget Sound to So Cal - Best Season to Sail ?

Trying to plan delivery (by myself and the seller) of a boat I just bought. Prefer sooner rather than later, so need to study seasonal weather and wind patterns along the whole route. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks

Edit... I know of the MSI Pilot Charts... the online ones are dated 1994... Any other resources?
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Old 15-02-2011, 19:19   #2
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It's usually a downhill run. The gales, like today's, are best avoided. There are many nice sailing days every month. More in the summer and fall than other times. I wouldn't think pilot charts would be of much use. Weather forecasting along the coast is excellent as are buoy reports. Allow plenty of time for ducking into harbors to let the gales pass. A schedule is the worst thing for a pleasant delivery.

Off central California the last few weeks would have been fabulous. But not this week.
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Old 15-02-2011, 19:20   #3
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For the northern portion best season would be summer, as in July or August, don't know about CA. June can be pretty snotty at times. May usually has some good weather openings, but they can be short. April you can count on a lot of wind. I wouldn't try it any sooner than that. Sorry, can't tell you where to look for wind and weather historical patterns but I'm sure someone will be along that can.
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Old 15-02-2011, 20:18   #4
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Sounds like the previous owner of the boat will be accompanying you. This has pluses and minuses. Be sure and establish who the captain is before you leave the dock.

Best passage time is probably July or August but it can be a crapshoot. Some people like staying far offshore. This limits your options because if something rolls in, the harbors may be closed and you're stuck offshore getting beat up.

Did you ask your surveyor to make recommendations specific to the trip? What's your offshore sailing experience level? What about that of the seller?

Did you have the rig completely inspected by a competent rigger or was it deck level by the surveyor?

We have sold many storm sails over the years. I think the only ones I know of that had to be used for any extended period of time were on a boat that came down from WA and got caught in the same gale that claimed Skip Wylie's boat.

Best of luck and congrats on the new boat.
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Old 15-02-2011, 21:23   #5
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Thanks. So far the best I have are these (brilliant, but possibly dated, what with all that climate change and all).

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Old 15-02-2011, 23:12   #6
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Northren Calif. is usually done in Sept. or Oct.

This appears to be a rather snotty year, weather wise, as storm after storm comes ashore. We seem to be getting 2 days sun and 6 days rain. If it's not from the Gulf of Alaska, its a Pineapple express from Hawaii.
Sale safe
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Old 16-02-2011, 00:36   #7
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Mid April is the earliest you would want to go, if there were a weather window. But the weather here can go 180 in a week. Plus it would still be pretty cold here until mid June. And it takes, at least, a whole day just to sail out of the Sound even if your in the inlet.

July and Aug are the perfect months.

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Old 16-02-2011, 01:08   #8
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What climate change. I'm still waiting for it to get warm enough to go swimming here in Kona.

Pilot charts are historical data collected over more than a century. They tell you what you might expect to get not what you'll get. Forecasting is pretty good for bad weather along the coast so should have plenty of warning to duck in along the coast or head offshore. In the winter, the lows come through with significant regularity. Doubt you'd get much more than 5 days of consistant good sailing weather so would probably have to duck in at least once on the passage and quite possibly more often. The bars in the harbor/river entrances are not to be be trifled with. If you think you are going to want run and hide, do it right now. Once the waves hit, crossing the bar is life threatening in a big way. Summer has little incidence of truly bad weather. But the bad winter weather coming in off the Pacific hits with great regularity into April. Don't expect to be warm for any part of the trip. There is precious little difference in the temperature off the California Coast in June than January. You will have more chance of getting southerly winds through March than anytime till the following January. A few years ago when I delivered my boat up from Santa Cruz to Alameda, the winds blew out of the south for more than two weeks in March.
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Old 16-02-2011, 01:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthbm View Post
Trying to plan delivery (by myself and the seller) of a boat I just bought. Prefer sooner rather than later, so need to study seasonal weather and wind patterns along the whole route. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks

Edit... I know of the MSI Pilot Charts... the online ones are dated 1994... Any other resources?
What kind of boat are we talking about here?

- rob/beetle
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Old 16-02-2011, 23:14   #10
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Thanks guys. Looks like May at this point, but I am yet to print the 100-yr pilot charts... Passage Weather link looks pretty cool.

And yes, that's why it's climate change now, not global warming. Meaning it can get colder or warmer, so all we know is that we are screwed.

Not tellin' what the boat is, yet, want to secure the paperwork first.
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Old 26-03-2012, 17:12   #11
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The voyage is scheduled in May (one year later, but that's another story).

So I am watching all that wind blowing the wrong way all along the left coast this month and did a little digging. Turns out the two main semi-permanent competing weather systems are the Aleutian Low, the one sending cyclones our way in the winter; and the Hawaiian High - the anticyclone generating the downhill ride along the coast in the summer. The good news is that there is a study that says that the high points in the 11 year solar cycle are correlated with the Aleutian Low moving westward and the Hawaiian High moving northward. We are in the high part of the solar cycle, so here's to rooting for the Hawaiian High (sounds a lot more fun than the Aleutian Low too).
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Old 26-03-2012, 17:52   #12
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Re: Puget Sound to So Cal - Best Season to Sail ?

Now you just have to watch out for the Japan/quake flotsam.
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