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Old 16-02-2008, 08:47   #31
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Gobi,

Take the sailing lessons, and get every minute you can on other peoples boats. Study, study, and read everything you can. Don't just dream your dream....LIVE IT, but be as knowledgable as you can. PRACTICE IS EVERYTHING....BEST WISHES
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Old 16-02-2008, 11:02   #32
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dacust, don't worry. It wasn't rambling. It was good to hear your experiences. I probably got a little too defensive earlier. I ask a lot of questions that I probably don't need to worry about just yet, but when I have one in my head it'll drive me nuts until I get an answer. Just so everyone knows though, since I asked I've been studying the traffic separation lanes between San Diego and Santa Barbara a lot lately, and the boat I want to purchase is fully equipped with radar, gps, chartplotter, sounder, VHF, SSB, and a toilet, hehe. It's already rigged with single-handing in mind. I still need to look at dinghies, a liferaft, and EPIRB though.
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Old 16-02-2008, 11:22   #33
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Originally Posted by gobi1570 View Post
I ask a lot of questions that I probably don't need to worry about just yet, but when I have one in my head it'll drive me nuts until I get an answer.
Great. Sounds like me. I just gotta know! Keep it up.
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Old 16-02-2008, 13:39   #34
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Maybe I'm missing something. Why is a 200 mile beat a big deal?
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Old 16-02-2008, 13:59   #35
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Joli - because it traverses some of the most heavily trafficked areas along the California Coast. In addition to hundreds of watercraft, there are the commercial vessels (probably 50 or so running in that area at any one time) and there is a heavy military presence which, of course, have their own special rules and requirements as it relates to civilian traffic. Read the whole thread to understand why and how that relates.
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Old 16-02-2008, 14:54   #36
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Joli - because it traverses some of the most heavily trafficked areas along the California Coast. In addition to hundreds of watercraft, there are the commercial vessels (probably 50 or so running in that area at any one time) and there is a heavy military presence which, of course, have their own special rules and requirements as it relates to civilian traffic. Read the whole thread to understand why and how that relates.
OK, I went back and re-read the thread. Prevailing breeze is from the north, there is traffic, but there are ports along the way to stop at... So, why not work the boat upwind 200 miles? Are the ports too far apart? Can't you simply take a 100 mile bite out and then come back at it? Can you work the shoreline? VMG motoring will be ok and if the breeze allows motorsailing is an option.

Just curious, our boat was on the west cost for a bit and had travelled all over from Washington to Hawii through the canal to the med and back to Washington.
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Old 16-02-2008, 16:55   #37
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Joli: keep in mind Gobi's relative inexperience. What is old hat for you is a new adventure for him.



Gobi,

The so. Cal. coast is my cruising ground, too. I've been From San Diego to Pt. Conception.

Don't want to lecture you. Here's my advice. You should be able to make this trip without a problem, if:
  1. you stay on the steep learning curve you seem to be on. There is still a lot to figure out before June. Seems you know that.
  2. you make time to familiarize yourself with the essential systems: get out the schematics & know where all the through-hulls are, get a grip on the basic electrical system/panel, etc. Read through everything a few times & let it settle in a bit.
  3. take the boat out a couple of times for a day sail out of everyone's way, & play with your navigation/radar buttons until you know how to use them. Learning as you go puts you behind the curve when you need all your concentration for other things. These outings will give you close-quarters, under power handling experience, too. Understand prop walk? It's frustrating & embarrassing not to be able to do a decent job at docking/line handling.
  4. service the fuel system by changing all filters, doing any necessary priming and emptying/cleaning the fuel tank itself. Once nearly dry it can be swabbed out with mineral spirits (may have to rig a coathanger/rag device to do this through the inspection port on the tank). While it's empty, pull out the pick-up tube & see if if has a screen on the end, and whether it's clogged. Yank the screen out and toss it anyway. This detail cost me the use of my engine on my San Diego– Long Beach post-purchase transfer: it ain't no fun figuring it out on the water, believe me. On this trip, you'll be needing the engine for entering/leaving port, and will probaby need to motor/motorsail a good portion of the trip anyway. The fuel system must be 100% dependable. A new seawater impellor would be a good idea, too.
  5. talk someone into going with you: double-handed is so much easier than single-handed, esp. if you're thinking about doing something like picking up a mooring @ Avalon, for example, or just docking & handling lines on a boat that size with any kind of wind. And out on the water, two heads are better than one. Will this boat have self-steering? If not, theres' no way you want to do this solo: it gets mighty tiring doing ten hour tricks at the helm several days in a row. Fatigue is a literal killer.
This is doable for someone with a level head, if you have the time to be familiar with the boat and IMHO have a crewman to make up for much of your inexperience. Your sailing friends seem to think you're pretty capable. It just can't be a "jump in and go" affair.

The Brian Fagan cruising guide mentioned above is the best out there & has indispensable information port-by-port. If you figure short hops (I might suggest SD to Dana Point, Dana to Newport, Newport to Long Beach, Long Beach to King Harbor, King Harbor to Ventura or Channel Islands Harbor (across the Santa Monica Bay), and then a final leg to SB. This avoids crossing the channel (read "traffic lanes") twice just to hit Avalon & the resultant extra miles under the keep it will entail, and leaves the challenge of picking up a mooring for a day after you're a good boat-handler under power. But some have transient anchorages, e.g., Dana Point, and anchoring in calm anchor basins behind seawalls is doable for a novice if you read a primer or two beforehand. Fagan's book will tell all, down to where to get groceries, ice or a nice Italian dinner ashore, and has very usable harbor charts.

A final note: the wind can get nasty @ Pt. Dume, between Malibu & Zuma. You'll likely be there in the afternoon, when there can be small craft advisories. If you have whitecaps approaching the point, driving offshore for some searoom can mean you'll be coming into Ventura after dark, and that's not optimal: duck into Paradise cove just south of the point (enter it as a waypoint before you leave: all those little coves along this stretch look alike to the eye). Anchor there by the pier, and then motor around the point in the morning when it's calm.

Fair Winds,
Jeff
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Old 16-02-2008, 17:34   #38
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Thanks for all the advice Jeff. The boat is pretty much brand new, though it's been used as a demo since the broker got it last year. It does have a brand new auto-helm, and I plan on having a windvane installed as part of the transaction. As far as electrical, I have a good deal of knowledge in that department. Though I'll have to learn to apply that to marine systems. Honestly, docking and anchoring is the most intimidating part to me right now. I know I'll learn the boat systems quickly, but I probably will bring a sailor friend along.
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