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Old 19-08-2016, 21:56   #1
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Sailing uphill and timing

Hello friends, I have just completed a general restoration of a 120 year old 50 ft. ketch as well outfitting it for cruising. The first cruise was to be the Pacific Northwest in 2017. However...
A blend of pipe dreams, manifestations, and serendipitous opportunities, has placed in my lap a beautiful Cape Cod style house with deep water dock right on the Puget Sound. We are packing for the move right now. I have three vessels to move besides a machineshop woodshop and blacksmithshop/foundry. Two of the vessels will be trucked and the third vessel (that 120 year old Ketch) will be sailed to its new home. Can other cruisers give me an idea how late into the fall can I safely sail the coast to Cape Flattery and into the Straits from San Francisco Bay. I have been TransPac and Ensenada, and jumped a puddle to Tahiti, but never North.
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Old 19-08-2016, 22:51   #2
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

How's the engine?
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Old 20-08-2016, 11:34   #3
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Engine?
None. I had planned to head northwest and then broad reach east or some variation of that maneuver. I wasn't planning on bashing and taking it on the nose. Of course if I have to wait until next spring, to sail it. I will. This vessel was built to sail the Baltic and North Atlantic with no engine and was ice rated back in its day. Iron framed and 2 inch thick teak planking. Overbuilt, heavy scantlings.
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Old 20-08-2016, 13:04   #4
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

I don't have much to offer by way of an answer to your query, however, as a wooden boat lover, I wanted to commend you on what appears to be a very beautiful vessel!

I have often wondered about doing the same trip, so I will be looking forward to reading the responses.
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Old 20-08-2016, 20:09   #5
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Not sure if I am any help, I grew up in the Bay Area and sailed on the bay but never went out and turned right. However, it would be my inclination to go now and not in the spring time as weather seems much more temperamental then. You are thinking of the one big tack right? There are folks here who have sailed north... trying to think of who... check with Schooner Chandlery perhaps... hope more chime in for you, maybe change the name on the thread to be more specific like SF to Seattle now or later?
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Old 20-08-2016, 21:09   #6
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

The trip of which you're speaking, could make for a rather rough shakedown cruise if the weather god's don't favor you. I gather that you know this, non?
Port Townsend, WA was my home port for a decade, & early September is usually when the first Winter Storm of the season shows itself. As in 50kts or more, coming down from the Gulf of Alaska. Though there tend to only be a few in September. But once October rolls around, such storms are common, almost weekly. And then in Winter, every 3 days+/- from Nov/Dec till Spring.
"Winter", & the regularity & intensity of the storms being dictated by the sea temps up north, & off of Russia.

I'm not shy about weather, having grown up doing a good bit of sailing in tne N. Atlantic, & some in the N. Sea off of Scotland. But I'd likely pass on heading north, if it meant arriving any later than mid Sept. Probably a little earlier.
As when the storms roll in, the USCG can & does close down many/most of the harbor entrances, sometimes for a week or more. Because even though there may not be a storm nearby right then, distant ones send swells which do nasty things when they hit the bars at most of the NW port entrances. Sometimes even SF Bay.

I kind of hate to say as much, given how gorgeous it is up there. And it's almost a crime not to have your gorgous new toy on the Sound, especiially as Sept. is often the best month to go cruising up that way. But... With no engine, & it being an uphill trip. Plus the weather thing.

How ready are the boat & crew? And have you looked at the LR forecasts, along with the Jet Stream pattern, currents/sea surface temps? They'll give you a good picture of what's going on, & the prospects of a good shot at doing it now, or waiting till May.

There are some other members here who've done the trip, too. See what they say as well. Tacoma Sailor & a few others come to mind. Along with half a dozen threads on the topic. Plus you might query some delivery skippers as well.


PS: Not to be mean, but there are 3+ Wooden Boat Festivals up there soon. Vancouver Is (BC), Seattle, Port Townsend. All in the 1st week or so of September +/-.
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Old 21-08-2016, 09:33   #7
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

There can be "weather windows" as far as wind is concerned but not guaranteeing the sea state is acceptable-the wind might move through but you might be left with big seas that are very close together. Sailing out hundreds of miles and then tacking may get you up north but those storms that move down from Alaska can whack pretty hard. Or, you might wait for weather from the south that would "push" you up the coast and hopefully you could "duck in" until the next one came up from the south. However, if the seas are too big, the harbors do close and you won't be able to duck in.
My boat is nearly in to the Strait de Juan de Fuca returning from Hawaii right now. I'm stuck working.
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Old 21-08-2016, 10:14   #8
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Hello, Roebear! Uncivilized advice is right on... having delivered many vessels as well as my own up and down the coast over the years, I can attest to the fact that as you hit the end of Sept, the weather Windows get shorter and shorter, particularly if you are north bound. You are moving to one of the most beautiful parts of the world but getting there from the south coast is tough between Sept and April.
If you can, wait till spring and enjoy your newly refurbished vessel and not be worried about busting it up. The comment about the Coast Guard and Pacific bars is very true... they would rather you stayed at sea rather than pick you off the rocks!
Cheers and enjoy your new home.. Phil
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Old 21-08-2016, 10:38   #9
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Howdy Roebear.

What follows is written in a friendly tone of voice, though simple questions are often misinterpreted as unfriendly. . These are friendly and curious and sincere.

I like Colin Archer boats. And I am always looking to see photos of traditional boats sailing (see my CF Profile for why).

How long have you owned that one?
Have you made any offshore trips in it yet?

Have any photos online showing the boat and interior?
Any photos of it sailing?
Any blog of the refit?
If so, please send me a link (via a pm if you wish).

Good luck on your move. I hope it's smooth.
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Old 21-08-2016, 12:56   #10
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Thanks to all. This vessel hasn't been off shore since the seventies when in sailed into SF bay from its home-port of Casa Blanca Morocco. But I KNOW this boat. And I know my materials. I am not a wood worker of great skill so I kept it simple and repeated what was strong and replaced or re enforced what was weak. She is iron framed and monel fastened and all metal to metal fastening was 12mm rivets. Now metals I know, from working silver and gold to underwater welding, fabricating pressure vessels, and foundry work of bronze and of cast iron. I have every confidence in this ship. I am going to try for a first week in May shot if I can get my crew together, and my decks clear. The moving, house buying/house selling, packing up, all add up to a lot time and shoe horning a 3 to six week open ocean trek into that may be a bit much for one 60 something year old man to knock together before October. Still, if you can't do it in a 24 hour day, you work nights!
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Old 21-08-2016, 14:21   #11
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Roebear,

Go via Hawaii, leaving SF in June or July. That boat will probably sail lots better off the wind than on it. [The sail from SF to HI is a lovely ocean passage.] It sounds as if you haven't sailed it much, so don't yet know what your tacking angles are. If we knew that, we'd have some idea of what you should expect. A long upwind trip is not really likely to be that boat's forte, but you can probably claw your way north from HI to Cape Flattery, just do not expect it to be easy on either yourself or the boat, and make sure you get far enough north to not get stuck in the Pacific High, before you crack off for the Cape. Plan to arrive in August.

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Old 21-08-2016, 15:29   #12
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLady View Post
My boat is nearly in to the Strait de Juan de Fuca returning from Hawaii right now. I'm stuck working.
CLady, I sent you a PM.
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Old 21-08-2016, 16:52   #13
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

I can't help you with any advice, I will, however, repeat the request I made in your introduction thread.
Is there any way you could do a youtube boat tour video? 120 year old restored Turkish pirate ship? I would so love to see a tour of this boat.
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:41   #14
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

This is what you want:



Fog goes with calm on the coast between CA and WA.

Oh what a lovely boat you have. We're sadly marina-locked while I go through some surgeries so I haven't even been looking at the weather on the coast since spring. There are often calms between now and early October. Motoring weather. Not much to promise after October. There it's all luck of the particular year.

We did the trip north from SF to Neah Bay in the spring--and we were looking for gales to ride north. We got them in March 2014 and though conditions were rough we had a lovely sail with no motoring to speak of. If your boat is stout and sound that will work. If you'd like to be careful of the boat, then do look for the calms. It's about a 5 or 6 day trip for us 54' on deck, 47' waterline, 69' sparred length. 30 Tons schooner.

We motored down in a calm from Neah Bay to SFBay the first week of September 2014. Here's a well illustrated blog post (including a wind chart...) of that trip: LINK

WX change quickly and you just have to go with what you've got when you've got the time to do your sail--or you can pop in and out of the ports on the way up. That's not our style it seems, once we get going we go.

If you believe in forecasts--and sometimes they work out. We've had good luck.

A quick glance at Sailflow right now shows us that you could leave out the Golden Gate the morning of the 25th and motor north within 30 nm of the coast, get to Cape Blanco by early Saturday morning and you should have been motoring in relatively calm winds but maybe big seas up to that point but then you get lucky at Cape Blanco, if the WX forecast holds, you start getting a light wind from the south that turns into some nice 20+ kts sailing winds for your big boat later on Saturday and if you look at the forecast you see there's a little "almost" gale but not really that will push you up the coast from Newport OR area to your turn in at the Strait! Forecast ends on Sunday but would expect that southerly to continue another day or so.

If we were looking to go north, we'd look at that as 5 days of good weather for our boat and we'd do it. We'd watch to see if the forecast slides forward, backwards or changes of course. And that's pretty much what you'll do when you have the time to make your move. The idea would be to sail within 30 nm or so of the coast the whole time.

If the boat is not well-fastened, not in really great shape, consider coast hugging and popping into ports as most of the really small boats do anyway.

last thought: on this coast, big winds from the NW are preceeded by a bit of a southerly. So, you can work with the bit of calm between systems and then tack on the southerly to get your move north. If no big system, the calm will turn to the prevailing NW but that's just the luck of the weather. Look for the systems that give you the lift. If you get behind (slow) you'll be pounded, sure, but you take your chances. Again, if the boat is large, heavy, and sound, this isn't such a big deal as it is for smaller vessels.

Best of luck, feel free to PM.
Brenda
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Old 21-08-2016, 18:55   #15
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Re: Sailing uphill and timing

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Originally Posted by Roebear View Post
Engine?
None. I had planned to head northwest and then broad reach east or some variation of that maneuver. I wasn't planning on bashing and taking it on the nose. Of course if I have to wait until next spring, to sail it. I will. This vessel was built to sail the Baltic and North Atlantic with no engine and was ice rated back in its day. Iron framed and 2 inch thick teak planking. Overbuilt, heavy scantlings.
Just saw this. Might wish to re-think everything I just said. Questions:

That location looks like up in the Delta or ??? Have you been out in the ocean yet with this vessel? Sail condition? Ability to actually sail?

I wouldn't go all the way to HI as people usually suggest, I'd probably wait for spring gales just because they're more predictable than the crazy fall and winter stuff. No engine just changes the equation. Not knowing how the boat sails (you say you know the boat, that I believe but have you sailed her?)...

You won't make it the entire way from SF to Neah Bay on one storm cycle--you'll have some calms and potentially some NW winds. We were very lucky to leave in a calm from SF, have a series of southerly gales 3 in a row without any of the typical NW winds filling in. It rarely happens but does happen early in the spring.
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