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Old 05-05-2007, 18:25   #1
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Mexico to Vancouver in February ?

Hello all, would love some imput (have read related threads but not found specifics). We are planning to sail Vancouver to Mexico Mid October 2008 and would like to bring the boat back March-ish in one piece (but not on a truck). Has anyone sailed or motored up the coast in March? Is it do-able? Any idea how long it would take? (Ive read books and articles about the "optimal routes" and "best times of year" but not much about coming back in March.) Would via Hawaii really be an option? We have a decent 43ft offshore capable boat and this will be our first long cruise. One of us is prepared for any adventure - the other half is much more sensible (Ugh, thats why he got to be Captain!) Any imput appreciated. Cheers.
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:07   #2
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It's possible but totally not recommended. Winter storms along the Pacific Coast in winter (and March really qualifies) can be very severe. I would say if it was a delivery trip (motoring as much as possible, just putting on the miles, it would take 2 months bare minmum). Hawaii would be worse - full force of winter storms and nowhere to hide. At least along most of the coast (with the exception of WA/OR) you have lots of harbours to duck into.

It's a timing thing. March might be ok for the Baja Bash to S. California, but not ok for N.California to Vancouver. For that you need late spring conditions.

See SetSail.com: The Ultimate Sailing & Cruising Reference for a discussion of how they do it in a big 70' powerboat that can go to windward at 10 or 11 knots.
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Old 06-05-2007, 00:12   #3
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Gees, that brings me back to the reality of cruising!
"Late spring conditons" you say? How late do you think it could be managed? And 2 months really??? Good thing this rookie has a year and a half to do the research.
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:53   #4
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I think 2 months is a conservative estimate - more like a month if you don't stop much, but that depends on where you depart from in Mexico. Going via Hawaii would more than double the distance (and the time); and March time frame - you might want to google "pineapple express".
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Old 06-05-2007, 07:47   #5
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Nuh uh

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstar
Hello all, would love some imput (have read related threads but not found specifics). We are planning to sail Vancouver to Mexico Mid October 2008 and would like to bring the boat back March-ish in one piece (but not on a truck). Has anyone sailed or motored up the coast in March? Is it do-able? Any idea how long it would take? (Ive read books and articles about the "optimal routes" and "best times of year" but not much about coming back in March.) Would via Hawaii really be an option? We have a decent 43ft offshore capable boat and this will be our first long cruise. One of us is prepared for any adventure - the other half is much more sensible (Ugh, thats why he got to be Captain!) Any imput appreciated. Cheers.
As has been mentioned avoid the west coast in the winter and early spring.Just getting over to Vancouver Island can be a challenge in the winter.Let alone Mexico to Vancouver
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:06   #6
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::nod::

What they said. Spend time in Mexico. Sail to Hawai'i. Spend more time. Head north, up and over the Pacific High, mid-to-late May. Be prepared for cool weather sailing. Or sit tight in Mexico and start north beginning of May.

A Northwest delivery can be done anytime, but only in a few months is it safe. Rock hopping up the coast if you can afford the fuel and can deal with the bars.

Realize the coast guard closes most bars along the coast as bad weather approaches, and for very good reason. That means you have to leave with a good weather window, and be in before you feel the effects of anything approaching, or you'll be stuck out in it for the duration. This is why it's best to avoid the coast during Winter/Spring; the weather windows are short, everything is upwind and upcurrent and against the waves.
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