Originally Posted by reed1v
Not true. Its generally an easy sail following the trade
winds to Hawaii
. Just watch the weather
. You can actually drift to Hawaii as one guy did on a log(yup, a real log) from Seattle
back in early 60s.
May-June best time to go. Easy seas, usually gentle and constant trades, and good weather
. Of course there are exceptions, but the route
does not demand any particular skills. Some folks years ago just followed the jet contrails to get to hawaii. Go for it.
The only problem you will have is finding a slip to stay in. Few anchoring
out spots. Kaneohe bay, Hilo harbor, and the roadstead in Lahaina are about the only anchorages
near anything of importance. Hanalei is nice but you will be out in the boonies and in a rolly polly anchorage.
Yeah, some years it's a piece of cake. Other times it's boat and crew-breaking challenge, especially the stretch between Seattle
and Monterey. In June we sailed from Seattle to San Francisco
and hit 50-kt winds, 60-kt gusts, 15-20 ft waves. While we were fighting that, we were monitoring Coast Guard communications
with another vessel a few hundred miles offshore
where the conditions were such that they had to ask for help.
Look at the race
tracks for the Pacific Cup, the Vic-Maui, and the Singlehanded Transpac. Many years you will see several boats retiring due to significant gear
Look at the August 2008 conditions offshore
of San Francisco
: Some very capable sailors on well-found boats had big problems -- one was forced to abandon ship.
Once you hit the tradewinds, it's not always smooth sailing. July and August can throw some nasty hurricane
conditions at you as you approach Hawaii. In 2014 we had to render assistance to a boat that lost
as they were approaching Kaneohe Bay (Hawaii), and a friend of ours on another boat had to come to the aid of a boat with rig failure. A non-race boat had to abandon on their approach to Hawaii due to hurricane-force winds. A Vic-Maui racer lost
on their Maui approach. A Pacific Cup boat lost their mast
as they were leaving Oahu
And it doesn't require a hurricane
to cause problems. Tradewind squalls can hit very quickly, and when the windspeed jumps from 25 to 50 kts at 4:00 AM, all sorts of bad things can happen. This is where your experience can make a world of difference.
I'm not saying this is generally a treacherous trip. On my first Hawaii-and-back voyage I had little sea-time, but I did have many years of coastal sailing and I had some very experienced friends as crew. I've made the Mainland to Hawaii and back trip six times now, and every time I learn something new.
So don't "just do it." Get some experience first, or find yourself an experienced crew and learn from them. Know what a well-founded boat requires for this trip.