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Old 30-01-2014, 22:30   #1
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When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

I'm just not sure. I want to. I want to really bad. I think if I was starting in LA I would just do it. The scariest part is heading south from the strait of Juan De Fuca.

When did some of you do you first crossing. How did you know you were ready? Or are you never ready and have to just go.

I'm trying to inventory what I have and what I need but I don't think I need that much.

How many sails should I have. Right now I only have two. A furling and a main. I would rate them about a 6 of 10. I've contacted sailmakers and have quotes for a new main, furler and storm jib in case the furler breaks. If I had a new main I would have my current main as backup.

Should standing rigging be brand new? The rigger looked at it and said it has 5-7 years left.

I have one autopilot. I would get another identical in case it broke.

I would maybe need an epirb or some emergency communication.

Otherwise, without addressing skill level I'm pretty well stocked.

I am very good at being alone for long periods of time, very good, although I need my sleep. I would probably be one of those that sets a vessal alert and just sleeps all night.

Going south from Vic. I could always bail if I hated it right? I looked at the typical courses for the Vic Maui race and it looks like they stay within several hundred yards of California before turning west. This way if I made it in line with San Francisco I could change course if I pussed out. I want to sail the Bay Area anyways.

Responses? I'm trying to figure out where to go come may. I'll at least cruise the Salish sea until June or July. I've been seriously contemplating Alaska. And I'm not overlooking the greatness. But I want to sail and it is a lot of motoring.

I don't know when I will die. I must sit in my cockpit at midnight in the tropics with no land of people for hundreds of miles and see the stars. I will die with regret if I do not.

I've been reading some psychos racing single handed guide and it contains a lot of useful information. It's by the sfsss. If you know of other good resources that give me tips rather than experiences I would love to read those.
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Old 30-01-2014, 23:22   #2
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Great question. Same boat here. I have the advantage of already being near S,F. Same answer how much EXP/confidence u have. Same catch 22. How to get the job that requires exp. But if you don't get the job how to well u know,, I can't afford much dock time I'm giving my self 1 yr SF BAY exp then heading to mex. Maybe an epirb. No absolutely one. I'm not afraid of getting wet and would not be my first choice of action to cry for help. But previous exp with catrastohopic leaks on lakes big lakes and big wind give me confidence to fix /stop most leaksm. Right now it thunder and lighting in auburn ca. And yaee rain and I think nice night to be on my boat. Love the rain. A cousin of mine gave up the dream off gold beach enduring a storm in tayana 37. Now has a 42 dock queen trawler. I'm lving. Fall of 15. To mex Then thru to New York great loop? I say yr going get basic. Safety stuff and go. I dreamed of sailing to distant places forever but watch how fast I can change plans if I'm ever a dock queen Shoot me. Btw I can offer mechanical or logistical assistAnce. In sf or hell crew crazy capt Ron style for exp wa to sf David
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Old 30-01-2014, 23:39   #3
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

I hate to rain on your dreams, but bringing a boat to Hawaii might not be a good idea.

Highly restrictive anchoring regulations , long waiting list for slips .

Maybe think about Mexico.
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Old 30-01-2014, 23:48   #4
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

Actually. It's easy to get a temporary slip for as long as I would need one. I'm already familiar with hawaiis rules and regs. My first two boats were in the Ala Wai. It's where I learned to sail.
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Old 31-01-2014, 02:03   #5
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It sounds to me like you are not ready. But you are welcome to disagree. I personally have not done 'it' either, we're going to do our first long stretch in a couple of months, so you can take the following with a pinch or a truckload of salt, up to you. These are the things that I noticed about your post.

1. You ask how many sails you would need. This is one heck of a scary question to be asking. If you don't know, then you are seriously underestimating ocean sailing. I would never venture out without a main with slabreefs, fully battened, and at least 3 reefs. I would also never go without a stormsail set up: either a cutter rig or removeable inner forestay. You need at least a backup genoa and mainsail. Personally, I wouldn't want to be without a reaching/running set-up either: gennaker/spinnaker/poled out genoas.
2. The condition of your sails sounds inadequate to me. Don't forget that you wear your sails as much as, or more, in a long haul than you do in an entire season normal sialing.
3. The rigger says your rig is good for another 5 years. What he means is 5 years of sunny weather, 3 times a year sailing. I would have your rigging X-rayed before I went.
4. You need to think about, and have a solution for, emergency steering. Windvane with auxilliary rudder for instance, or other emergency rudder set up. Also have your rudder and rudder post inspected.
5. You need quality weather prediciton equipment, such as SSB radio or sat comms.You cannot outrun the weather but you can prepare for it.
6. Proper safety equipment. EPRIB is only the start of it. Jackstays, clipping points, extra bilge pumps (I mean a set up you can use in case of disaster: a loose high volume electric pump as well as additional manual pump), bungs for seacocks, epoxy kits, separate battery bank for starter, AIS, radar, etc.
7. Just a backup AP box is not enough! Have spares for the ram, quadrant etc. Also hydraulic fluid!

Actually, this post is getting too long. I recommend that you spend some serious time on www.morganscloud.com to read up on what it takes to go ocean sailing responsibly. Also, the Heavy Weather Sailing video series by Skip Novak will be instructive. These people have really done it and I take their views seriously. The ARC preparation guide is also very good. I know some say that these guys go overboard on their preparation, but what I feel is that each skipper needs to make his/her decision based on solid knowledge. Don't stick your head in the sand and think it will be alright. There is usually a very good reason for their requirements.

Plan for the worst! The sea takes no prisoners.

Best of luck,


Onno
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Old 31-01-2014, 02:35   #6
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

You will know when you are ready because you will have already left...either on your own or as crew on someone else's.
Don't over think it!

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Old 31-01-2014, 10:31   #7
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

I would tend to follow the shipping lanes, so if anything happened there would be somebody close enough to lend assistance. I would wait until at least May, go down the coast and cross the ocean south of the board which is the shortest distant of open ocean and follow the natural ocean current across which is 0.5 knots. 0.5 knots does not sound like much it is about 10% of hull speed.
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Old 31-01-2014, 10:54   #8
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

My first long passage was in a 26 foot boat somewhat similar to your Bristol. Mexico to the Marquesas. I had done a lot of reading, and had about 2K miles of coastal cruising up and down the west coast, as far south as Mazatlan. I had not done more than a 48 hr passage up until that point. I left with 7 sails and used all except the trysail. The only sail that caused any problem was the one roller furling sail I had, and I never used it on passage again. I personally would never cross an ocean single handed depending on an autopilot. (Many will argue that point). The problem with a 26 foot boat, and self steering is weight and cost. I had a simple, light weight wind vane, but it would not work on a boat without an outboard rudder. I carried 3 anchors, 4 if I count the dinghy anchor, and sometimes used all 3 at once in poor anchorages. I had replaced all of the standing rigging before I left San Francisco because I had found a cracked swage and didnt want to worry about that. This may seem like overkill for preperation, but it gave me a wonderful 2 year cruise with minimum troubles. Other than a couple of scary moments, I never felt unsafe in that size boat. Again, this is just my personal opinion, but I would recommend doing a lot more coastal cruising, so that you can learn while you are sorting out what gear you need or dont need. A person can have a hell of a lot of fun in a 26 foot boat. Best of Luck to You. _____Grant.
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Old 31-01-2014, 11:20   #9
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

Being the shortest crossing will be 20+ days, so will there be enough provisions for 20+ days. 26 ft boat seems small for crossing an ocean. One of the test I would defiantly due is the max roll the boat could do and still right itself. At least blown flat, 90 degrees and still come up. Once you are 500 miles off shore you are basically on your own for assistance. that is why I would follow the shipping channels.
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Old 31-01-2014, 11:57   #10
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
I had replaced all of the standing rigging before I left San Francisco because I had found a cracked swage and didnt want to worry about that. This may seem like overkill for preperation, but it gave me a wonderful 2 year cruise with minimum troubles.
Thanks for this. I have exactly the same situation right now on my 27'. Rigging looks great and have had it professionally surveyed, but there is a cracked tang on one of the lowers. I plan on replacing it all this year.

Why risk it? I don't know how old the rigging is, don't know what its been through, where it came from...I've been coastal with it, but prepping for long term cruising, I just can't get behind it.
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Old 31-01-2014, 12:25   #11
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

Honestly, From the questions you pose I would say you are not ready. How much have you been out sailing in strong conditions with your boat? IF you had ....you would know what sails you need. Get out sailing, in some strong winds. How big is your Genny? The west coast trip in not an easy one to start with. Know your boat in and out, know how to sail it very well, then go.
"I could always bail if I hated it right?" yes you can, but remember, it's not just "OK I'm ready to park it now"... it may take you a day or more to get in somewhere from offshore. You need to survive that day or two. Some of the roughest condtions are near shore.
get experience until you are confident in yourself and confident in all aspects of your boat.. then by all means GO!
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Old 31-01-2014, 13:02   #12
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

The answer is pretty simple. When you are ready to do this, you won't feel the need to ask a bunch of strangers on an internet forum whether or not you are ready.
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Old 31-01-2014, 13:50   #13
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

No. I'm pretty sure I'll never feel ready. I will just have to do it at some point. Does anyone feel ready for their first ocean crossing?

I'm getting great advice but let's not jump over my sail question too much. I mean. I wasn't exactly saying I have one old sail I found in a dumpster. I was saying I was in the process of updating my current sails. I just wanted to know what all sails I should include in the quotes I get. Like if I need a dedicated trisail.

And besides. Any preparation I do now will at least get me closer to going, even if I spend all summer close to the coast.
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Old 31-01-2014, 21:50   #14
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

I would suggest that you get at least 24 hours in near gale to test yourself and your boat. Some skippers are just not up for it. Some boats are just not prepared for it.

With that under your belt, your confidence will swell, or you won't want to go after all.
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Old 31-01-2014, 22:21   #15
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Re: When am I ready to sail from Victoria to Hawaii?

My first cruise was from San Diego to Hawyee! in a 30 ft wooden folk boat, no head no galley, water in jugs! had a single burner camp stove, and some dry lite foods (nasty stuff!!)I don't know if I would do it today, but back then it seemed like a great Idea!! If the boats sound it should be no problem! with proper preperation!! Just be ready for the possiblity of bad weather!!
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