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Old 27-01-2013, 04:35   #1
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Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

Hi everyone, I'm trying to figure out diesel costs from Vancouver to Juno. I understand I should expect to be motoring 90% of the time or more? Boat will probably be a Catalina 36 or similar (about 14,000lbs boat, on a 21HP Universal model 25).

Is it practice-able to sail the way back on the 'outside', so I can actually sail and not have to incur diesel costs again? Or is there always something more to see while inside, so better return the same way?

What's it like sailing south the PNW?

Thanks
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Old 27-01-2013, 09:11   #2
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

Depending of course on how much poking around you do on the way north, you might travel 600-700 nm getting to Prince Rupert. My most recent log shows 811 nm from Bellingham to PR.

PR to Juneau last summer, taking an unusually direct route, was 340 nm.

Don't know what sort of nmpg your boat would get. Fuel in SE AK last summer averaged about $4.25/gallon. IIRC, it was $1 to $1.50 more expensive in BC.

I don't have any sailing experience on that coast, but I sure find the beauty of all the islands and channels and anchorages and critters lovely - been spending most of the summers wandering there for years. I typically cover 2000-3000 nm in 2-3 months of cruising.
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Old 27-01-2013, 13:34   #3
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

Planning a simmillar tripo this year in simmillar sise boat.
sailing up to cape mudge cambell river no problem 3 to 4 easy day sails. 8 to 10 hr lots of options for anchorages or marinas. Desolation sound is well worth a day or 2. Some years ago I chartered a Catelina 34 in Vancouver went to Desolation Sound and Cambel River and Back. Used 25 bucks worth of diesel price has doubled I sailed mostly.

Cambel River to Port Hardy time your trip through seymore for HW slack at turn point then let the ebb help you Id sail most of the way from there.
and take few days to poke about.

Port hardy to Bella Bella upt to Cape Caution is all open water great sailing if there is wind later in summer expect fog in morning cape caution to lama pass back in sheltered water wide open no problem sailing.

After Bella Bella you choice up through boat bluff princes royal channel makay reach grenville is beatifull but wind will be mostly on the nose or up yer ass.
Or go out to mcinnes and up through laredoe wider better for sailing if beating still beautifull come back in and do Grenville even if the winds aginst you its only 30 miles.
from there its nice sailing to Prince Rupert.

Never gone further than Rupert but I expect its much the same.
I intend to sail and take my time. only have a 20 gallon tank.

If you are in a hurry and motering all the way on a stick boat.
24 hrs Van to hardy
24 hrs hardy to rupert is a good rough estimate for a displacement hull ptting along at about 8 or 9 kn.
How much diesel do you use per hour.
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:04   #4
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

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How much diesel do you use per hour.
0.44 gallons per hour while motoring at about 5 knots, 1800 to 2000 RPM

What's the price of diesel up there these says?
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Old 27-01-2013, 15:30   #5
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

One thing you can do to save fuel is sail on the tides. Get one of the tide charts for that area and plan your trips, especially in the narrows. Under the right conditions I've done 10.5 kt. But if your fighting the tide you could end up sailing backwards. And the farther north you go the higher/faster the tides.

Anchorages is another thing you'll have to be careful of. Unless your next to a long sloping sandy beach or a river outlet, your going to experience rocky bottoms, or deep steep holes. Going south the current is dominate. So when traveling north there'll be some chop/standing waves to deal with. Sailing back on the outside would be the fastest, but few gunk holes to hide in if things get rough. You'll have to cross channel bars too.

The cost of fuel will be in relation to how had it is to get trucks/barges in to resupply. A lot of places north of Desolation Sound there will be no cell or WX to get reports for weather. SSB or Sat phone would be nice to have.
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Old 27-01-2013, 16:35   #6
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

delmarreys' advice is sound IMO. Both inside and outside of Van. Isld there are settlements where diesel is available but the cost will depend upon your distance from major towns like Vancouver and Victoria. In a pinch, there are a number of folks commercial fishing and conducting other 'for $' activities that would part with a few gallons to get you to where you can purchase a tank full.
With a little planning you can harbor-hop from govt dock to govt dock all the way to the top of Vancouver Island. The relatively short distance across to the Charlottes (never learned the indian name) is usually a good sail if the sea conditions cooperate.
Once 'inside' again you will need to contend with tide and current up to Alaska which will affect fuel consumption. Just do your planning with tide and current table in hand.
Use caution if you plan on shore ties in high tidal areas.. I've seen some rather scary outcomes from those who ignored them.
Coming south, I would be inclined to head out around Cape Scott where you will find prevailing northwesterlies and your fuel consumption will be much more economical. There are a number of logging shows up the inlets where you can lay your hands on emergency supplies if needed before you get down to the Uclulet/Tofino/Barclay Sound area. Best to plan ahead and carry a couple of extra jerry cans.
FYI, I spent about 15 years commercial fishing and towing logbooms and barges from Alaska and west coast of VI to the lower mainland and don't think much has changed since then. Good luck... Phil
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Old 27-01-2013, 17:00   #7
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
0.44 gallons per hour while motoring at about 5 knots, 1800 to 2000 RPM

What's the price of diesel up there these says?
Rough distance Pt Atkinson to triple I Via inside passage 480 miles
At 5 knots 96 Hours
At 0.44 Gal per hour 42.24 Gallons
Allow 25% reserve 52.8 Gallons.
1 USG =3.78541Liters 199.89 Litters
Approximately 200 Litters Diesel required at $1.20 240 Dollars.
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:52   #8
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

Queen Charlotte Islands=Haida Gwaii
The southern islands are an amazing National Park/ Marine Protected Area. Well worth the trip if you have the time although the awesome Hot Springs Island mostly dried up after the earthquake last year.
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Old 27-01-2013, 21:57   #9
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

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Queen Charlotte Islands=Haida Gwaii
The southern islands are an amazing National Park/ Marine Protected Area. Well worth the trip if you have the time although the awesome Hot Springs Island mostly dried up after the earthquake last year.
Let's hope it's not building seismic pressure.
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Old 28-01-2013, 01:24   #10
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

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Originally Posted by terminalcitygrl View Post
Queen Charlotte Islands=Haida Gwaii
The southern islands are an amazing National Park/ Marine Protected Area. Well worth the trip if you have the time although the awesome Hot Springs Island mostly dried up after the earthquake last year.
Sounds interesting, what are the conditions like around the islands, looks pretty exposed on the charts? Is there something particular that we should expect to see there?
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Old 28-01-2013, 15:43   #11
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Re: Diesel cost to do the inside passage?

Haida Gwaii

Well worth a visit. Whats there Rocks and Xmas tress. Excellent fishing. Abandoned native villages. Biggest black bears. Deer.
Used to have hot springs.
The Hecate Straights are shallow and when wind against current can be nasty. or nice depending on weather.
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