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Old 28-05-2013, 19:14   #1
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Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

I am much wanting to sail to Portland Oregon from puget sound this summer.

I'm going to singlehand it. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the distance between ports. It seems like I'm going to have to pretty much go

Port townsend

Port Angeles

Neah bay

Maybe grays harbor

Astoria

I have a 23 foot sailboat. I dont have any self steering but need advice on what kind to get before I go.

That's my biggest concern is not knowing much about self steering systems. I'm thinking a raymarine st1000. I only have one marine battery and a small solar panel. For that short of a trip will I also have to get a second battery? I'm open to a small windvane.

I'm mostly just worried about the distance I will have to go without being able to stop maybe and how strong the winds are in summer. Also it will be my first overnight.

I'm looking for advice from people that have done this before.
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:19   #2
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

I would not do that trip as your first overnight in a 23 footer, even in the summer. You have your ports of call about right. There are a lot of great challenges in Wa and BC with better destinations! Have you been out the Straight to Barkely sound and SW Van Isle?
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:25   #3
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

23 feet? Way easy to trailer same unless the primary objective is the offshore trip itself. If so - then this is a trip that needs to be well planned including plenty of plan B options.

Charles
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:27   #4
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

Talk to "newt" on this forum about his first trip down recently in his 40 footer......
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:47   #5
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

No I really want to go to Tofino and Barkeley.

I bought this boat a couple of months ago with the intention of sailing here this summer and then reselling it. But I've done alot to improve it and I want to keep it. I would say stick it in a lineup of ten other boats in this price range and it may be the nicest one. In Portland I could store it for $130 a month in winter and I always seem to end back up in Oregon. I don't live in Washington or know anyone here. It's possible I could keep it here but I would probably be better off selling. I'm not sure next year I would want to cruise here again. I like new places(and sunny warm places)

Besides that I do need overnight/offshore experience. It would be good to go down to San Francisco next year. That was another place I thought about for this summer.
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Old 28-05-2013, 19:57   #6
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

NOB, I have done this trip a few times and will be doing it in August and September. It is a serious journey for a larger boat with a nice power plant and radar chart plotter etc. In addition, I have soloed on a 23 ft boat and used self steering with it. This is not a learning stretch of ocean, and passing through the Columbia bank after you have been at sea for 3 days on challenging water is insanity.
Let me suggest a more conservative approach. Hitch a ride with someone first. A few of us make this journey every year. They're much better teachers than I out there, but I can help you set up your self steering and get you started.
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:01   #7
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

Sounds like a trailer would be perfect for you, you can take it anywhere, Portland, Sea of Cortez, back up to WA, FLorida/bahamas.... You cant see nearly enough of WA and BC in one summer, but I understand the "warmer climates" thing!
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Old 29-05-2013, 10:38   #8
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

It does sound like a trailer would be ideal.

Can't I wait for weather windows. What about a self steering system?
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Old 29-05-2013, 11:09   #9
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

It does seem unlikely that you have enough power to maintain operation of an st1000. Some windvanes are meant for small boats, but not knowing the make of your boat it is difficult to suggest any to investigate. If not a trailer, perhaps you have an experienced friend who might be willing to trade off hand-steering stints.
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Old 29-05-2013, 12:17   #10
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

It's a ranger 23. Great shake. Will have all brand new standing rigging for the trip.

My friends have all suggested taking someone but i want to singlehand. I'd be glad to crew on others boats. I would take a girlfriend sailor but I don't have one.

I need to learn to singlehand offshore. Life's goal. Although if its not possible for me to do it this summer to Portland I will accept that's order case I equip my boat for it. Practice the skills in te sound and realize I'm not ready. But I still learned alot.
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:20   #11
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

If you decide to do it, then Grays Harbor is a good stop to rest and time arrival at the Columbia River bar. The marina is at Westport, on the right just inside the breakwaters.

Personally I would not recommend you make this trip with that boat. This is a serious bit of water. Keep in mind that the outboard is likely to not be useable for much of the trip unless conditions are flat calm. In the summer the prevailing afternoon NW winds can be in the 20-30 knot range - a lot for that boat. Of course it is possible to do with great patience, waiting for the right weather windows for each leg, but I don't see the point. There are lots of great places to visit in Canada, from Barkley Sound, Victoria, Strait of Georgia, Desolation Sound, Princess Luisa Inlet, and more - enough to keep you busy for a few years. There is also a lot of good gunk-holing in the South Sound and Hood Canal. These are great places for your boat. And if you want to visit us in Portland then use a trailer to get here, then cruise the river; same for the coast to at least San Francisco. Actually, I would include the Sea of Cortes as a trailer destination - the winds and seas on the west coast of Baja can be pretty exciting.

With a trailer it is possible to store a boat quite inexpensively at the same places that offer RV storage - no need for an expensive boat yard.

I would not consider building up a Ranger 23 for coastal cruising - it is the wrong boat to start with and will never be able to support the equipment needed. It isn't the size; there are lots of good pocket cruisers in the mid-20 feet range.

Sorry for being a downer, but I think you deserve a candid opinion. At some point as size and weight is reduced it becomes less about cruising and closer to daredevil behavior. I have no doubt this trip could be made with this boat, but it has to be said that it would be a risky endeavor for any number of reasons.

Greg
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:44   #12
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

You'll need a way to charge the battery(ies) if you go with an autopilot. A BIG solar panel, a Honda 1000 generator, or a windmill. Personally, I'd go with a self steering vane but they are expensive and most are oversized for your boat. The WindPilot Pacific Light is made for small boats and is cheap for self steering at about 2.5 boat units. Installation should be a snap on your boat. WINDPILOT - Products. A Monitor is overkill but the one you'd most likely find used at 1-2 boat units. http://www.selfsteer.com/products/monitor/index.php
Norvane is another vane designed for small boats. NORVANE Self-Steering Wind Vane. Stainless steel, servo-pendulum. Powerful, sturdy and reliable for sailboats 20’ to 60’

There are a bunch of old pansies on this list. Think you need a 50' boat with a 100 years of experience to do an overnight passage. A Passage down the coast is not a trip to be undertaken lightly but well within most boats capabilities in the summer time. Keep an eye on the weather and don't press the sail. Biggest problem is distance between harbors and the ability to get some sleep. You'll need a GPS and a backup, I'd want a chart book for the coast just in case DR'ing became necessary. Might want to get and read Cruising the NW Pacific Coast by George Benson. He sailed up the coast from SF several times in a modified Coronado 25.
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Old 29-05-2013, 13:58   #13
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

Just a word of caution if you plan on heading south from Neah Bay to Portland, OR, unless you make Grey's Harbor on a sunny, clear, day for entry, you would be wise to bypass as entry at night, in foggy or limited visibility or high sea conditions is pretty dangerous and much better attempted with local knowledge.
Notwithstanding that, Grey's Harbor is a beautiful little fishing town, well protected, really outstanding seafood restaurants and worth the stop if weather and sea conditions permit.
I first visited back in the early 70's and the nav aids have improved a heap since then. Phil
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Old 29-05-2013, 14:09   #14
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Re: Seattle to portland in July singlehanded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
There are a bunch of old pansies on this list. Think you need a 50' boat with a 100 years of experience to do an overnight passage. A Passage down the coast is not a trip to be undertaken lightly but well within most boats capabilities in the summer time.
Damning by exaggeration Peter. I built and sailed my 31' to Europe and back, so I certainly don't think one needs a 50' boat. In fact, I noted "there are lots of good pocket cruisers in the mid-20 feet range". We are not talking about "most boats" here, we are talking about a Ranger 23', of which there are several in my marina. It is simply not suitable for this trip; it is possible to do, as noted, but it is risky.

Peter, I appreciate that you have a substantial amount of experience, but unlike the other posters you are not located in the PNW and according to your profile you have not sailed these waters. All of the previous posters do live here, and are familiar with this trip, and none of them was encouraging. My first offshore passage in my own boat was northbound on this stretch, and I have made the trip in both directions several times. I can say without hesitation this is the worst, most dangerous area I have ever sailed in. It is not to be taken lightly. And while a heavy cruiser like my Cape George is not necessary for this trip, the Ranger 23' is, IMHO, not appropriate.

The "pansies" comment isn't worthy of a response.

Greg
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Old 29-05-2013, 14:28   #15
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How long do you expect this trip to take?
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