You might want to pick up a copy of Cornell's World Cruising Routes. He has an extensive discussion of the options in this "difficult and arduous" passage
. Essentially, he argues that one of the better options for going further up the US west coast
is to go to Hawaii
, first. The problems boil down to: prevailing winds out of the Gulf of Alaska
, several difficult capes, seamounts, long stretches of lee shore with few options for escape. If taking the inshore route
, he advises using the offshore/inshore wind
patterns by tacking toward the coast in the mornings and then going offshore
in the afternoons.
Cats won't have it much easier. The recent experience of the 420 bound for Oakland is illustrative -- the averaged 3.75 kts, almost all of it motoring -- on this leg. A 440 doing it two years ago averaged 3.5 kts.