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Old 18-09-2012, 21:19   #1
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What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippines

I'm considering purchasing a boat in Hawaii next year and sailing her to the Philippines. What are the best and safest weather/month windows to sail for the journey and don't hesititate to point and the most logical places to stop and replenish supplies. No tight schedules, but would like to conduct cosmetic refits performed in the Philippines where labor would be less expensive. Safety related refits and complete shakedown will be made in Hawaii as needed prior to departure. Limited budget, and likely shorthanded, so boat will be in the 27 to 36 ft. range.

How far south do I have to sail before I make the turn west to catch the tradewinds? Open to your suggestions and input on considerations. Thanks

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Old 18-09-2012, 21:29   #2
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

heading south of the equator in april-may to fiji then cruising s-pac as far as vanuatu till november before heading north to kosirae,pohnipe,yap works for me,arrive phillipines in jan-feb
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:18   #3
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

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heading south of the equator in april-may to fiji then cruising s-pac as far as vanuatu till november before heading north to kosirae,pohnipe,yap works for me,arrive phillipines in jan-feb
Great! that would make it a 7 to 8 month trip. the weather windows you state make ideal sense and it seems me ocean sea lane traffic would be less of an issue than say heading through Guam from Hawaii. Would you say currents are also generally favorable in addition to the tradewinds?

Thank you atoll! I was tempted to send you a PM since you've been through a similar route before from what I've read on CF. If ideal departure is april/may then it would have to be in 2014 for me. I retire May 1, 2013 but will need time to wrap loose ends and make a physical move, tying loose ends financial, etc.

Another approach I've considered was purchasing a boat within SE Asia late 2013/early 2014 and just enjoy sailing in the Philippines sooner. The used boat market will have a lot to do with the decision, but shoal draft is a must for my type of sailing destinations.
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Old 19-09-2012, 21:53   #4
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

I like Atoll's route myself, but if you want to get underway sooner, and get to the Philippines more quickly...

You are somewhat stuck in Hawaii from April to November to avoid sailing the north Pacific during hurricane season (which is why Atoll recommends leaving just before then and dropping south quickly).

The quicker alternate is to leave Hawaii in November and head essentially directly to the Philippines. Winds and currents should be good and favorable pretty much the entire trip. Downside - not many places to stop. Johnston Atoll then the Marianas (maybe Wake, don't know regulations). You can drop down into the Marshalls, but run the risk of running out of wind. If quickness was my goal I'd go that route, if trying to enjoy a cruise I'd go Atoll's route.

The traditional (read - the way old timers did it before computers) planning approach would be to take a look at the pilot charts. You can find them online here:

Online Pilot Chart

Grab the atlas for the north and south Pacific. They give you a general view of both the expected wind and current for each month. Makes it easy to get a big picture. Just keep in mind that they are based on average weather, what you get won't be average.
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Old 20-09-2012, 16:42   #5
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

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I like Atoll's route myself, but if you want to get underway sooner, and get to the Philippines more quickly...

You are somewhat stuck in Hawaii from April to November to avoid sailing the north Pacific during hurricane season (which is why Atoll recommends leaving just before then and dropping south quickly).

The quicker alternate is to leave Hawaii in November and head essentially directly to the Philippines. Winds and currents should be good and favorable pretty much the entire trip. Downside - not many places to stop. Johnston Atoll then the Marianas (maybe Wake, don't know regulations). You can drop down into the Marshalls, but run the risk of running out of wind. If quickness was my goal I'd go that route, if trying to enjoy a cruise I'd go Atoll's route.

The traditional (read - the way old timers did it before computers) planning approach would be to take a look at the pilot charts. You can find them online here:

Online Pilot Chart

Grab the atlas for the north and south Pacific. They give you a general view of both the expected wind and current for each month. Makes it easy to get a big picture. Just keep in mind that they are based on average weather, what you get won't be average.

That certainly is an option worth considering. I have a friend who would like to join the trip but only available November through end of February or mid March at the latest due to his boat repair/restoration business. He is a very experienced mechanic/navigator, etc. All around great guy to have with in tough situations.

Atoll's route though is one for my bucket list.

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.
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Old 22-09-2012, 10:28   #6
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

I left Honolulu in November with stops in Marshall Is. Caroline Islands, Guam, Palau and Cebu. Great trip. No problems. I was in a 29 foot boat and averaged 5Kts.
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Old 22-09-2012, 10:51   #7
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

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I left Honolulu in November with stops in Marshall Is. Caroline Islands, Guam, Palau and Cebu. Great trip. No problems. I was in a 29 foot boat and averaged 5Kts.
How many days it it take you for the whole trip? If I take a similar route and time window, I will likely stop in Saipan instead of Guam and visit some friends there. Final destination will be Negros Island, very close to Cebu.
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:17   #8
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

I took about 55days underway+ stops. Someone suggested sailing direct to the PI, that is a long time to be out on the water without a break. I sailed direct from Costa Rica to Honolulu, 54 days, that is a long time to be out there without a break. You will not run out of wind on this route, you will be in the trades all the way.
Are you going solo or with crew?
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Old 22-09-2012, 16:09   #9
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

2 minimum. I think this trip will give me a completely new perspective to the ocean's vastness.

For now, I'd like to be able to do it in something like a Nor'sea. Fits my budget, draft, ideal for my final destination, lower maintenance and cost of ownership. Respectable brand. The math at least works for me. If I had a bit more after all my assets here are either shipped or liquidated, I'd love to get something like a Bristol 38 but right now that's out of my budget.

Fortunately, I also have family relations based in Kaui, so I can give whatever boat I ultimately wind with up with a good shakedown, get to know her, and get the priority refits done with the opportunity to explore Hawaii prior to the extended voyage.
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Old 22-09-2012, 17:40   #10
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

Here's a blog from some friends who made the passage last year. You'll have to search back to the Hawai start http://sageonsail.wordpress.com
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:10   #11
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

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Here's a blog from some friends who made the passage last year. You'll have to search back to the Hawai start http://sageonsail.wordpress.com
Paul, the link did not work for me. The site provider's contract may have expired?
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:41   #12
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

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Paul, the link did not work for me. The site provider's contract may have expired?
Try this:
Sage on sail
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:42   #13
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

try this one.
Sage on sail
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Old 22-09-2012, 20:00   #14
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

sorry missed the last few posts,which ever way you choose to go it is a great trip,stopping in kiribati and the marshalls are a must!

if i were to do it again i would try to stop at washinton atoll and christmas island,when heading south,and the solomons befor heading north to fsm,palau,then onto pi.

shallow draft is a plus for the philipines,but not a major issue,if you can fit legs as we do here in the uk on your yacht you will have many oppertunities to dry out in sheltered coves,a full keel for this is a must.
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Old 22-09-2012, 20:05   #15
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Re: What months are the best months/weather windows to sail from Hawaii to Philippine

Aim to leave Hawaii in November or December. There are heaps of places to visit such as Majuro, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Guam, Saipan, Tinian. You should wind up in the Philippines around May or June.

I sorta did it in April and had the best sail ever. Hawaii - Majuro, 14 days of 15 knots downhill aaallll the way with only one storm of 30 knots for about 12 hours. Then I turned left and headed for the Solomons to catch the start of their cruising season in May.

Cruising season around Micronesia is November - May.
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