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Old 19-04-2013, 09:24   #31
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

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Originally Posted by limpyweta View Post
Hi Folks!

I'm looking for more specific accounts of those who've sailed, drifted, and/or rowed around parts of Vancouver Island, in a keelboat without an engine, to make a passage and not daysail. Any leads may, in some way, help to determine how probable, and practical, myself sailing, in this way, would be, but the smaller the boat, the better.

And if someone's going to state the calms are too unpredictable and the current will send such a boat out of control, that's appreciated, but details on how unpredictable the calms are, how the tidal currents move on a small scale, and how the hull profile and rowing setup effect versatileness, would be better. Same thing with moorages, anchorages, and marina setups. What circumstances would make that use of such places too hard?

Thanks!
..get a small simple o/b. You don't have to use it. It'll break soon enough anyways so you'll soon be engineless. You can tinker with it in dead-calms because you will need something to do while you WAIT. or get the sculling oar going. Inboards are better-they don't pitch out as much but against that, they are harder to throw overboard and the props often drag destroying any REAL good sailing. The weight and stink of em is also a thing to ponder as you drift.
in any case, you NEED a boat that goes to windward........ Finkeel, or cutaway forefoot or centerboard.and, you want light air sails.
You can't "row" a 27 foot sailboat unless it's low to the water, very wide. And then, you need be able to raise the oars above the swell....Most sailboats are too narrow, too high when oarlocks are considered.

Get a sculling oar. Spins the boat on a dime. is spare pole too. It Need be very strong Light too is a bonus. You won't be sculling as far as you might row a small boat, but it'll do for what you need to do.
Look at Popeye's arms. That is exactly what yours are going to look like. Lots of forearm involved in sculling.
Tidebooks ... just another plan to fail as slack water comes and goes while you ruminate on your righteousness.
You don't need a tidebook-you need wind. Mostly, you will know what's happening to you and anyways,the yachts all have them, so watching them will inform you of slacks at main passes in summer, if it isn't otherwise obvious.
...any thing less than a small craft warning is inadviseable sailing. "Local Weathers" are stale. Forecasts are as changeable as the weather and you will be steaming in your bile as you contemplate what you' dlike to say to THEM!

Backeddies can get you near the pass but never through it...
The wind always picks up when you are tying up or anchoring however long you've been drifting. The wind WILL blow, but it will die as soon as you get out of the bay, or fix the motor and get it running. The Wind is from Raven's wings and Raven has a nasty, poor sense of humour.

places to avoid? well example: Long Mountainous inlet, seabreeze blowing in...Have a look at Knight Inlet .Great fun, especially as the wind increases, as it will, every afternoon in summer weather.... but no anchorage. Too steep...wonderful scenery but no real stopping! so Finally, you anchor right at the head, where there's a river mud.
Now, HOW TO GET OUT? EZ, with any kind of a motor, you simply leave on the misty morning calm.....No motor? wake up at midnight, to catch a bit of outflow -MAYBE- (maybe not!)and maybe get halfway to seaward...again-nowhere to anchor so you hang out waiting...a bit of ebb helps you as you row...until the afternoon inflow begins to pick up and you commence beating....Trust me, you could be enjoying that inlet for a long time, because that bit of outflow could peter out after a mile....want to wait until a front comes in and blows you out?- it won't until you can get far enough out of the inlet to line up with it, with only the mountain lees and williwaws and your oar (hah!)to use.

Is that a place you can't go? No, but the experience will be yet another factor as to where you choose to go....obviously you're getting a dose locally where you are per channels and shadows and maybe even consider superior local knowledge will be enough, but it won't.
There's no substitute for wind. ...and some medication for the ulcer you will develop waiting for it, because NOBODY is this "patient".

added: if you think my example too specific, consider that you are in an "inlet" behind Vancouver Island. You have the illusion of options, due to all the channels, and having two outlets(JuandeFuca and QCSound) but the example above read closely, sums it up pretty well...
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Old 19-04-2013, 15:03   #32
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

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...any thing less than a small craft warning is inadviseable sailing. "Local Weathers" are stale. Forecasts are as changeable as the weather and you will be steaming in your bile as you contemplate what you' dlike to say to THEM!
What avenue of forecasting for what areas would this be true? How does this relate to when the forecast is checked, for these situations?

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...Have a look at Knight Inlet...no anchorage.
Are there cases you may know of boats that have attempted to anchor or shore tie in the inlet, past Nickoll Passage?
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Old 20-04-2013, 13:20   #33
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

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Originally Posted by limpyweta View Post
What avenue of forecasting for what areas would this be true? How does this relate to when the forecast is checked, for these situations?


Are there cases you may know of boats that have attempted to anchor or shore tie in the inlet, past Nickoll Passage?
start with the premise that the weather office is sensitive to complaints like:"My son went fishing and drowned in a gale you failed to forecast" versus " My son lost his fishboat to the bank because he listened to your forecast and never went fishing the whole year"

...yes, me. I've badly-anchored in rocky lees in Knight Inlet and tangling the mast rigging in trees with fenders against the shore-otherplaces too. All crummy places. I didn't stay for longer than it took to rest my arms, have tea and b*gger off again. ... unless I was going to get some chain and logs and buiild a stiff leg for a longer duration....there aren't many spots there for that, even, or somebody will be there with some kind of a show already, these days.
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Old 20-04-2013, 14:56   #34
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

Quote:
Originally Posted by limpyweta View Post
Hi Folks!

I'm looking for more specific accounts of those who've sailed, drifted, and/or rowed around parts of Vancouver Island, in a keelboat without an engine, to make a passage and not daysail. Any leads may, in some way, help to determine how probable, and practical, myself sailing, in this way, would be, but the smaller the boat, the better.

And if someone's going to state the calms are too unpredictable and the current will send such a boat out of control, that's appreciated, but details on how unpredictable the calms are, how the tidal currents move on a small scale, and how the hull profile and rowing setup effect versatileness, would be better. Same thing with moorages, anchorages, and marina setups. What circumstances would make that use of such places too hard?

Thanks!
Donít listen to all the doom and gloom.
Washingtonís Puget sound and BCís inside passage is one of the most beautiful sailing areas in the world.
Summer is gentle winds and relatively calm seas most of the time.
I have enjoyed sailing this coast in multiple small sailing boats. I had an engine on all though not always working. I prefer not to use it.
I sail through passes. When tide and current are slack or favourable.
I sail up inlets.
I sail back down. It just means I have to beat. Beating is fun. My kids love a well heeled boat.
A friend Kayaked from Vancouver to Alaska.
There is always wind, sometimes not very much but its always there..
There are a locations where you will have to wait for slack water and favourable tide.
You arenít getting through in a sail boat with an engine against it anyway.
Be aware when you do sail through a narrow pass with a strong current there will always be someone in a 5 knot stick boat trying to go the other way against a 6 knot current.
Sailing into anchorages and bays gets me rude single finger salutes from motor boats.
And the stick boats.
The SGI and San Juanís have fairly strong currents every where. Some times I go with the flow sometimes not. Apart from the narrow passes listed in the tide book you can sail anywhere else any time.
Avoid Active pass on big tides to much traffic.
Polier is much more straight forward but be aware if going with the flood there can be a significant set of 3 or 4 standing waves. Especially on bigger floods and with winds on the straights. The closer the wave is to the lights the bigger it is.
Gabriola is strong but narrow and log tows are common at slack water.
Going with the flow is my usual tactic but there is almost always a stick boat mid channel trying to run up a down escalator.
Doddís is narrow but short. Log tows at slack somebody in middle going wrong way very likely.
Boundary pass no bother at all.
I frequent the passes in the San Juanís less often but sail down through them is a delight and no problem.
I donít have good advice for Seymour other than pick neaps and be they for high water slack. itís the ebb you need to take you north.
There are other options though.
The passes and channels east of Quadra are lovely.
Once past Seymour its plane sailing to Port Hardy.
Pick you weather before heading out past Cape Scot I never have but might this year.

Enjoy your trip.
I would recommend an outboard kicker but if you are determined to do it all by sail and oar good on you and good luck.
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Old 25-04-2013, 12:51   #35
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

"There is always wind, sometimes not very much but its always there.."
No, there isn't always wind. This is in the center of Georgia Strait yesterday.
"forecast"..."10-20NW becoming 15-20NW in the Afternoon"
this is 1600hr PDST.
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I have been looking for the Georgia Straits the weather forecasts are talking about for a long time.....
Waiting until midnight or longer for wind is not that uncommon You need a skeg or a keel protecting rudder from the logs you will hit .

...Even in SE ,a gale warning posted, out in the middle, you can be bowling along at 6-8 knots and sail right out of the wind-you can look aft and see the wind still blowing, just yards behind you, whitecaps and all while your rig is banging and crashing windless in the steep breaking chop. Just a little Raven joke. The good news is, that this example SE usually comes back -after awhile.
....for myself, I can't recall any time anybody ever gave me the finger sailing into an anchorage, especially sailboats. I expect that most of the other sailors there could and would sail in too, given my handy boat -I'm not performing a wonder-it's actually easier and safer than trying to start an outboard in a chop at the harbour entrance, in my opinion .
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Old 26-04-2013, 09:42   #36
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There is always wind?? Certainly not! There is often zero wind and often wind below 3 knots. You can go a long, long time and never see wind above about 5 knots.
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Old 28-04-2013, 11:04   #37
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

Early on I have had a lot of experience sailing around the BC coast engineless. Bloody Volvo would not work. As I used to travel from Prince Rupert in the North to Victoria in the South and back each summer I became an expert on engine less sailing.

In a nutshell, it is bloody hard! and often very dangerous.

In the narrow passages beware of large vessels that will not, can not stop or manouver around a small vessel drifting or moving very slowly. Advice :

get a kicker- just in case
Anchor with long rode
Have plenty of time
understand catabolic winds and night wind effect.
Have plenty of time.

Tide tables are great but in places like Johnstone Straits the tide can turn but the current still flows the opposite direction.

Did I mention plenty of time. It is a little known fact that the wind in the Northern channels always blows 180 degrees to the direction of travel. Scientific fact is that:-)

Enjoy.
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Old 28-04-2013, 11:31   #38
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

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It is a little known fact that the wind in the Northern channels always blows 180 degrees to the direction of travel. Scientific fact is that:-)
LOL. not exactly sure how scientific that is, but it certainly seems to be the case as often as not.
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Old 28-04-2013, 12:29   #39
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

I've sailed these waters a lot in monos and multihulls without a motor with no problems. Using the tides instead of fighting them is the key. A 1 knot current can generate apparent wind to give you steerage way. I've paddled the boats too. For a mono ULDBs are better in light wind and easier to paddle.

A Multi wins though at this kind of cruising. It paddles far faster and ghosts better because the roll from wakes is reduced. Our 37' tri is easier to paddle than a 25' mono and far faster. In the big current passes overfalls and rips are easily bridged by the hulls without the alarming gyrations. A spin is much slower and level.

The winds can be found but some days you'll only get morning or evening/night thermals so you have to do your sailing when you can then hike, explore, rest etc...until the next batch comes along. We have fund many interesting places just stopping where the wind took us instead of being tied to a destination.

Yawl boats work, I used oars with mine and set up to push from the stern. We do use a outboard these days when time constrains us to push through calms but again don't go against the current to save gas. Our rule is go against the tide if there is enough wind to sail but not use gas.

There are timing things too with the tide, the currents are marked on charts so use them. The Canadian tide books are far superior but remember they are in standard time. When crossing the Juan De Fuca catching the outgoing tide from Admiralty Inlet and getting to Partridge Point on Whidbey as the tide changes will whisk you North much more quickly.

Being patient and enjoying where you are at eliminates much of the stress of getting "there" to a schedule. You'll find yourself more in step with the rhythms of the planet and enjoy more natural interactions with the wild life you aren't scaring away. Just be ready for the confused well wishers asking if there is a problem and if you need a tow....
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Old 30-04-2013, 17:04   #40
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

Thanks again yall!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:44   #41
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

... yes, the very best sailing you can get will be the fair wind when it comes, when you will be suddenly flashing along on a brand-new breeze, on brand-new water, under a soft and starry night and you'll catch and pass all the sleeping stickboats slumbering in their coves...
It's really about Temptation. Can you NOT use the motor? ideally, it's Knowing when to wait and for how long? No motor is monkish, and removes temptation -perhaps it is the only way for mortals- the reason I had to get a motor was because drifting in the pack of motorheads- the roaring jimmies, screaming outboards, thumping helicopters and thundering contrails obliterating the sun...
I found myself in the gates of hell too often, and it's not the cross I want to die on, surrounded by zombies twisting their throttles... having a motor changes this perspective.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:57   #42
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

The B.C. coast is known as great "cruising" grounds,but not so much a great "sailing" area.Sailing motorless is unwise and puts other boaters at greater risk.B.C. Ferries have run boats down,more than once.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:20   #43
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

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B.C. Ferries have run boats down,more than once.
That is just plain sloppy, the US ferries only need to run a boat down once...

Motors can be a great convenience but counting on them for safety gets many people into trouble. When they stop working those sailors are really out of their depth. Seems sort of like the US everybody needs a gun to be safe from the other people with guns idea.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:33   #44
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

A motor is much more than convenience,it keeps most OUT of trouble.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:39   #45
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Re: Sailing BC Waters Engineless?

The Coast Guards don't count them as safety gear for a pretty long list of reasons.
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