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Old 31-12-2014, 11:22   #1
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Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

We are buying a boat currently located in Seattle, which we want to bring home as soon as we get a safe weather window. The boat is a 44 Laffite and is ready for the journey.

We are looking for a skilled skipper to lead the delivery.

My wife and I have taken ASA classes, and done many solo charters, but have no offshore experience. We have some experience with winds up to 30 knots and 12-15 ft swells, but we have never sailed anything larger than 35 ft, and only a total of 15 full days of sailing under out belts.

We'd prefer not to stop more than is necessary, with the goal of getting the boat home as quickly as is safe.
We realize this time of year is not ideal for a delivery.
We will of course pay for airfare, food, expenses, and daily rate.


Advice is welcome, PM if interested with info about experience.
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Old 01-01-2015, 15:35   #2
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

Realistically, your window will not be until end of May. You might be able to port hop before then. Are you willing to wait?
If not, have you checked into trucking it?
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Old 01-01-2015, 15:59   #3
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

Quote:
Originally Posted by gathem View Post
We are buying a boat currently located in Seattle, which we want to bring home as soon as we get a safe weather window. The boat is a 44 Laffite and is ready for the journey.

We are looking for a skilled skipper to lead the delivery.

My wife and I have taken ASA classes, and done many solo charters, but have no offshore experience. We have some experience with winds up to 30 knots and 12-15 ft swells, but we have never sailed anything larger than 35 ft, and only a total of 15 full days of sailing under out belts.

We'd prefer not to stop more than is necessary, with the goal of getting the boat home as quickly as is safe.
We realize this time of year is not ideal for a delivery.
We will of course pay for airfare, food, expenses, and daily rate.


Advice is welcome, PM if interested with info about experience.
I echo the advise from the post above. You'd best wait until the spring or pay for trucking. If you've never been offshore in good weather, you definitely don't want to do it in bad weather, which is what you will be facing throughout the next several months. There may be weather windows, but they will be very narrow and you have a hell of a long way to go over the most treacherous stretch of coast in the world, in winter. It's a lee shore the whole frickin' way. As an example of how bad it is, the old square riggers used to west 300 miles or so offshore before heading south and still some would end up fetching on the lee shore.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:04   #4
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

Thanks for the advice.
We're thinking really hard about this decision.

Do you feel it would be safe for an experienced captain and experienced crew, taking ample caution? It definitely sounds like the trip should not be rushed.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:11   #5
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

That's not a nice area in the winter, sometimes not very nice even in the summer and fall. Having said that that coast can be day sailed so given reasonable time with a good skipper I think the boat can me moved almost anytime but unlikely in one leg unless one gets lucky.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:15   #6
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

I would take the advise before me.. Better put boat on a truck and leave the "experience" for later... .
During winter you can find +40 kt of wind on that route and multiples trouble with new boat
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:19   #7
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

I've made the trip four times in sailboats ranging from 40' / 12 tons to 65' / 40 tons. I've done the trip in early July to late October. I also have a lot of blue water miles in the Pacific south of San Diego and Atlantic.

I would be very reluctant to attempt the trip before early June if there were any kind of schedule involved.

If you really insist on heading south from Seattle anytime between January and May then you will be spending weeks at a time in lots of marinas between Neah Bay and Santa Barbara.

Please try to find the previous discussions here about:
- wind
- waves
- bar crossings
- closed harbors

Just search for TacomaSailor and you will find many posts with lot's of hard data about measured data along the US West Coast. Or - scan the data at ( NBDC ) National Buoy Data. )(http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/) It will show you historical data for wind, waves, directions, swell periods.


How are you at crossing harbor bars in 10' breaking seas? Are you strong and confident helmsman? Do you know how to pick the correct time to cross the bar and the correct wave to surf in on?

I have been stuck at:

-Westport in early September for a week (the bar was closed when we came in but we made it OK however the USCG insisted on sending a surf boat out to escort us)

- Newport in early August for three days

- Coos Bay in late September for three days

- Noyo River in mid-July for two days (the bar was closed when we came in but we made it OK however the USCG insisted on sending a surf boat out to escort us)

I was also denied entrance at:

- Umpqua in early August 'cause the USCG closed the bar and told us if we came in it would be a week till they would let us out

- Bandon 'cause the USCG and local fisherman both told us it was unsafe

- Gold Bar/Brookings was closed because of zero visibility fog but it lifted at the last second

The reason I stress these bar crossing is that you have to cross them to get to safety when the inevitable SW winter gale/storm force winds arrive. Every harbor of refuge north of Bodega Bay is protected by a harbor bar.

I'm sorry to be so dramatic but the trip south requires a lot of tough decisions.


I am sure you could safely make the trip sometime before late May IF you harbor hop and commit to staying in the harbors until you are sure of the next weather window.
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Old 01-01-2015, 18:26   #8
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

Hi, gathem, and welcome to CF --

The problem in what you propose is taking the "ample caution". The WA-OR coast can be one of the nastiest places on Earth, or a kind, gentle, motor-sail. This time of the year, it's far more likely to be the nasty. Check out the pilot charts, they tell the story.

The storms can be truly vicious and move in, fast. The other problem is that all the coastal ports have bars, and they often close when the weather kicks up. Hence, if it starts to go bad, you might not have any place to go except further out to sea, which is exactly what you would want to do. (See robmo's comment about the lee shore)

Could a really experienced skipper and crew do it? Yeah, sure. Might they get their butts kicked? Absolutely. What are the odds of that happening? This time of the year, pretty high. If you think of "pretty high" odds as 1 in 4, would you get on an airplane with those odds of an accident?

Another thing not yet mentioned: The odds of something breaking, especially on a boat not known to you, is also much higher.

If you really need to get it to SF before mid to late May, look at trucking it. Easier on the boat. Probably not as expensive as you fear, and a heckuva lot safer for the people.

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Old 01-01-2015, 18:34   #9
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

I lived in on the Straits in Western WA for about a decade, & in the winter, personally witnessed winds on the coast of 70-80kts & more during storms. And that's not at all uncommon. Offshore it can at times be worse, with the waves to match.

The storms blow down from the Gulf of Alaska & the Chukchi/Bering Sea area, & it's common to get one about every 3 days in the Winter.
The safest time to be up off of the coast of OR & WA is August, & a few weeks on either side. Though I've seen the first Winter storm blow in as early as the beginning of September.
Travelling well offshore is key, like at least 100 miles, until you have a good window to head into a port.

Also, at times it can take several days of calm before things will actually be settled enough for many of the bar crossings to be open. As residuals from storms can cause big waves at unpredictable times to break over most any of the port, or harbor entrances. To some degree, this even includes some of the areas around San Francisco. And can extend much further down the coast.

Here's a Thread where a similar question was asked, only for a vessel going in the reverse direction http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1699606 It was posted 2 maybe 3 weeks ago.
It speaks somewhat to the kind of wear & tear a vessel would be subject to if caught travelling at the wrong time. As well as to what others have paid to have vessels trucked over this route.
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Old 01-01-2015, 19:03   #10
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

All good advice above.

Having done a few well paid deliveries from Vancouver and Seattle during winter months..... it is mostly Gale, Gale, Storm, Gale unless you get a major window.
Despite the captain and boat .....Expect things to get broken.

Wait until April at the earliest.
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Old 01-01-2015, 19:17   #11
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

Here is an option. Buy the boat and IIRC you can keep a purchased boat in WA for 45 days. Then it must leave the state. No amount of time is specified in the regulations. Take it over night to B.C. Bring it back into WA and apply for a cruising permit for 90 days. You can then apply for 90 more days before the first one ends. Take the boat back to CA when you please. Another option is that when you buy a boat you can apply for an exemption allowing you to keep a newly purchased boat in WA for one year. This comes with other contingencies like it has to stay out of WA for some period of time. WA has all the regulations in one easy to understand document online.

Here is the detailed version. The simplified version is somewhere else.

I am an Oregon resident looking at boats in WA. I could dig more and perhaps find the Cliff's notes version if you are interested.
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Old 01-01-2015, 19:19   #12
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

I've done the West coast to Mexico starting in August in a 35 monohull, a 44 Gulfstar to Long beach CA in September, and a 35 Dragonfly trimaran to Newport Beach CA in May.
The hardest part of all of the above was the Northern parts.
By the time you get past Cape Mendocino it gets easier, but you're talking about the toughest part of the trip in the worst possible season.
Even May can be a bit iffy for a newbie.

My advice is if you need to get there soon, TRUCK IT.
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Old 01-01-2015, 20:50   #13
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

gathem,

Yes, not "safe" at all. So then the question becomes do you want to be the one who tempts a delivery skipper with that job and your schedule.

Maybe the multiple cruising permits method mentioned above would be a better way to go.

Ann
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Old 01-01-2015, 21:08   #14
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

My highest goal is always safety. Of course a new owner would love to get his boat home to his native waters and take it out sailing as soon as possible. However I am not going to risk the safety of a captain, myself, my wife, or the vessel so that I can sail a bit sooner.

We are looking into the cost of trucking. I appreciate greatly the wisdom of CF, and will not ignore resounding advice from many far more experienced sailors than I.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:40   #15
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Re: Delivery - Seattle to San Francisco bay area

If you believe anyone- Tacoma Sailor has been there and done that. I do it every August- and have got caught in a gale on the 15 of August, off shore and no ports available. (40 miles off Cape Elizabeth)
It can be unpleasant and dangerous even in the best season.
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