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Old 25-02-2007, 14:31   #16
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Yes, you got the Chinook right. Great boats, beautiful lines, not many of them but good bulletproof hulls.
Good luck in boat hunting. I'm kind of partial to Cascades but can point out their faults. If you don't like the idea of fin keel and spade rudder then you'll need to look at another design. One good thing about them is that they've been all over the world with few problems.
Kind Regards,

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Old 25-02-2007, 16:10   #17
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Some great info in this thread - the weather in the sound very easy to predict. In the summer conditions are dominated and governed by the North Pacific High. As it moves farther N you get light air bright blue sunny days (with NW winds in the sound trendind more westerly in the straights).

Winter conditions bring more varied conditions - including some big blows as systems sweep down from the Gulf of Alaska (aka the Aleutian Low) and as Lows and cold fronts power across from Japan. This year along there was one storm that brought 90 kt+ winds to the coast and claimed a crew of a catamaran being delivered to the Boat Show. Winter is a great time to cruise the sound, however as long as you keep a weather eye on the horizon, wear thermals and have diesel heat onboard. You'll have nearly every anchorage in the isles to yourself!

I think a heavy-displacement, full keeled boat would be a mistake for the 90% weather pattern of the greater Puget Sound area, however, unless you plan to take off for parts much south in the near future as we did in 2004. Otherwise I think you're best off with a lively sailor in the 25' range, perhaps even trailerable.

good luck, --Warren
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Mico Verde of Seattle Westsail 32 Yacht Sailing Journal Blog

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:30   #18
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Originally Posted by JohnWms
You'll do a lot of motoring in most of the northwest, especially when the weather is nice. Not to say we don't get a lot of wind at times, but you can put a lot of hours on your engine if you are trying cruise any significant distance.

Another reason for lots of engine time are some fairly tight channels and some enormous currents. Some places the current runs faster than a dislacement boat can go so timing is everything.
You will actually turn into a power boat ...but from Pugeot sound to the top of Vancouver Island is some of the best cruising in the World
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Old 15-07-2009, 22:58   #19
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Originally Posted by douglowell View Post
I need a bit of help. I have a most fundamental question: what are the sailing conditions found over the course of a year on Puget Sound--especially South Puget Sound?

I'm getting the sense that light winds tend to prevail. But is that true year round? And how light is light?

I'm trying to figure out what kind of sailboat would work well in the Sound. Would a full-keel heavy displacement boat, something that could handle open ocean and longer cruises, merely crawl along or get stuck motoring more often than not?

Thanks for your help, Pugetians.

Doug in Portland
First of all, before you go sailing anywhere in the Puget Sound you need to get this book - A Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands: Olympia to Port Angeles By Migael Scherer

We've been looking for the right boat for us on the Puget Sound and have been going over this debate for awhile on our blog.

Our conclusion is that people generally find something in the middle that works best for them. We've been leaning towards a newer Beneteau - light and strong.
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Old 16-07-2009, 09:47   #20
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Doug, the Summer (July & August) are typically light air times. When I bought Oh Joy in late August I found the winds to stay brisk (30 knots plus) for most of the month in '07 including the 62 knot day we got caught out in on our maiden sail. From there until May we saw gale force winds at least 3 times a week, sometimes daily but that was a rough year. The key is to watch the weather. Whenever the Pacific high drops South we get freight trains of lows through here about every other day. This Spring was strange with sunny days and 15-25 knots daily. Unfortunately, my boat's been on the hard since last August for refit so I didn't get to enjoy it.
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Old 16-07-2009, 11:03   #21
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Race boats in Puget Sound tend to have rather towering rigs and extensive light air sail inventories. Many will have at least two mainsails to deal with varying conditions over the course of the racing season(s) and courses. Flat bottoms and broad sterns reign.

In contrast, Admiralty Inlet and Juan de Fuca sailors are more likely to have tight little rigs, and you see deeper hulls with sharper entries.

In Puget Sound most sailing is up or down wind, so look for boats with appropriate gear and sails.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
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Old 16-07-2009, 11:15   #22
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Others have already given great comments, so I won't go there. For some excellent discussion of the Puget Sound/Washington weather, I highly recommend:
Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Cliff really has "written the book" (several, in fact) on our unusual weather and the many microclimates that exist around here. Plus, he gives daily commentaries on what we can expect. When going for a sail, in addition to the usual checks, I always take a look at what Cliff has to say.


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Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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