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Old 09-02-2012, 12:20   #1
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Seeking Advice - Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

I'm planning a trip to slingshot around Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle. Ideally, I'd like to depart from San Diego towards HI... hang out there for awhile (hitting most of the islands), then move up northwards towards Seattle. Any advice you could provide on the following questions, or something I missed, would be much appreciated!
  • With the prevailing winds, which is the best direction of travel? (departing San Diego or Seattle)
  • How long would each leg and RT of a trip like this take (a rough range would do)?
  • What is the best time of year to do the trip (possibly summer-ish months) that accommodates this route?
  • What is the best size/style boat and crew to do this trip? (probably wanting to be just a little more aggressive than cruiser speed)

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Old 09-02-2012, 12:47   #2
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

To many questions to give a REAL answer to first you need a vessel type at least ! and your experince ! this is a commen way to get from San diego to Seattle or vice versa, and can be done either way ! the time of yr depends on which way you decide to go !! The time will depend on the vesel your going to use ! and would only be an guess when ya get a little more info to work with I would be glad to help you as Im sure others on here would also Bob and Connie
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Old 09-02-2012, 13:14   #3
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

Thanks! I'm not planning on doing this until at least 2015, so I'm just doing some initial pre-planning now.

Most of my experience has been on an S2 7.9 or a J24, neither of which would be appropriate for this trip (at least, I wouldn't think so...). I imagine I'll simply charter a boat (sans captain) that would accomodate 3-6 people. Open to suggestions for the appropriate vessel. Will probably spend some time on the coast prepping with the boat long before the journey.
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Old 09-02-2012, 13:15   #4
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

A boat specifically designed to make that voyage in "a little more aggressive than cruiser speed" would be the Cal 40. San Diego to Hawaii in a Cal 40 would take almost two weeks.
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Old 09-02-2012, 13:16   #5
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

San Diego to Hawaii - Race boats can do it in less than 10 days, I have a buddy that took over 30 days. My wife and I did it in 18 days on our Express 37. It depends on you, your boat and the weather. Best time of year is probably during the Summer. Just keep an eye on the hurricanes.

Hawaii to Seattle - It can be as easy as a beam reach the entire way (a buddy who does deliveries had this happen once) or as tough as an upwind slosh-a-thon all the way to nearly the Aleutians before you can make the turn. Again, best time of year is probably during the Summer.

Vessel size - Anything under 300 feet and you won't be able to put your tea cup down without it spilling.

Rounding the Hawaiian Islands - I wouldn't take the route you've got marked in red. You'll have to go a long ways South of the islands to avoid the effects of the channels. If it were me, I go to Hilo first. Then listen to the weather reports and do an over night to Maui. Then work your way across each channel based on good weather windows. Wait for a wind forecast that calls for "light and variable" winds and your channel crossing will be a piece of cake. Pick a bad time and it'll be the worst wind and seas of the entire trip. Take off for your return trip from Hanalei Bay. Great anchorage and during the Summer the surf should be pretty flat on that side of the island.
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Old 09-02-2012, 14:21   #6
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

Great, thanks! Good info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_mariner View Post
Hawaii to Seattle - It can be as easy as a beam reach the entire way (a buddy who does deliveries had this happen once) or as tough as an upwind slosh-a-thon all the way to nearly the Aleutians before you can make the turn. Again, best time of year is probably during the Summer.
Those are two pretty extreme different trips! Is summer weather that volatile? I guess with possible hurricanes... How long would either of those take (range)? Trying to see if the entire journey could be done in 4-6 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_mariner View Post
Rounding the Hawaiian Islands - I wouldn't take the route you've got marked in red. You'll have to go a long ways South of the islands to avoid the effects of the channels. If it were me, I go to Hilo first. Then listen to the weather reports and do an over night to Maui. Then work your way across each channel based on good weather windows. Wait for a wind forecast that calls for "light and variable" winds and your channel crossing will be a piece of cake. Pick a bad time and it'll be the worst wind and seas of the entire trip. Take off for your return trip from Hanalei Bay. Great anchorage and during the Summer the surf should be pretty flat on that side of the island.
That's great advice, thanks! Was wanting to head past Ka Lae (southern most US point) on the way through too.
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Old 09-02-2012, 14:27   #7
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

4 to 6 weeks -- all the trouble and wear and tear of sailing thousands of miles and barely touch upon a few days in paradise?
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Old 09-02-2012, 14:39   #8
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuavant View Post
I'm planning a trip to slingshot around Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle. Ideally, I'd like to depart from San Diego towards HI... hang out there for awhile (hitting most of the islands), then move up northwards towards Seattle. Any advice you could provide on the following questions, or something I missed, would be much appreciated!
  • With the prevailing winds, which is the best direction of travel? (departing San Diego or Seattle)
    Clockwise: Seattle, San Diego, HI, Seattle.
  • How long would each leg and RT of a trip like this take (a rough range would do)?
    Figure 3wk/leg with time in HI being dependent on your itinerary there and weather windows.
  • What is the best time of year to do the trip (possibly summer-ish months) that accommodates this route?
    Leave Seattle April/May, back in Seattle Aug/Sept.
  • What is the best size/style boat and crew to do this trip? (probably wanting to be just a little more aggressive than cruiser speed)
    Depends on crew size and experience and tolerance for confined spaces. Each person will need a good single bunk underway. V-berths and bunks oriented transverse to the hull will not be usable. Double berths will have to be lee-clothed to make a single or 2 singles. Good berths are pilot berths, quarter berths, and aft cabin berths. A settee (longitudinal bench) can be OK but will require daily conversion for meal time use and will be have to establish as someone's personal space. A dinette (transverse benches or a U-bench) takes a lot more work to convert and still only yields a single berth.
    For 2 people 28-35' boat would be OK, for 4 adults 38-45'.
    A smaller boats will be cheaper to buy and outfit and easier to handle. On larger boats problems all have to be finessed, they can't be manhandled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuavant View Post
Thanks! I'm not planning on doing this until at least 2015, so I'm just doing some initial pre-planning now.

Most of my experience has been on an S2 7.9 or a J24, neither of which would be appropriate for this trip (at least, I wouldn't think so...). I imagine I'll simply charter a boat (sans captain) that would accomodate 3-6 people. Open to suggestions for the appropriate vessel. Will probably spend some time on the coast prepping with the boat long before the journey.
The only boats I am aware of that are generally available for that kind of charter are large (60-75') raceboats chartered for specific races. If you can find an individual that will rent their boat to you for an appropriate period you will probably have to acquire special insurance.

I suspect that it would cost about the same to buy an older boat, outfit and insure it personally and then sell it as renting would cost. Doing so would leave you more able to modify the boat to suit your requirements without negotiating everything with the boats owner.

Pin down your crew size and budget and I can give you better advice.

Top of my head go with Bash's suggestion of a Cal40. $40-50k to buy, $10-30k to outfit, probably get $50-65k resale. 4 berths that don't require conversion every night. Reputation for being fast.
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Old 09-02-2012, 15:04   #9
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

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Those are two pretty extreme different trips! Is summer weather that volatile?
It depends on the position, size and strength of the Pacific high.

Quote:
I guess with possible hurricanes... How long would either of those take (range)? Trying to see if the entire journey could be done in 4-6 weeks.
Unless I was being paid to do it, I sure wouldn't restrict myself to such a tight schedule. Ocean crossings can be hard work and Mother Nature can be very unpredictable and not very forgiving. Give yourself time to recover from the crossing, have some fun, and wait for the right opportunities to jump from island to island.
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Old 09-02-2012, 15:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat
4 to 6 weeks -- all the trouble and wear and tear of sailing thousands of miles and barely touch upon a few days in paradise?
What I didn't mention, is that this trip would be only one leg of a much larger expedition (not yet announced).

If I were going to charter a boat just to hang out in paradise, I would probably just rented in Hawaii and take my time.
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Old 09-02-2012, 15:50   #11
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Re: SEEKING ADVICE: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuavant View Post
Great, thanks! Good info.



Those are two pretty extreme different trips! Is summer weather that volatile? I guess with possible hurricanes... How long would either of those take (range)? Trying to see if the entire journey could be done in 4-6 weeks.



That's great advice, thanks! Was wanting to head past Ka Lae (southern most US point) on the way through too.
Hurricanes really aren't much of an issue or even tropical storms though strong gales can be.

As noted the position of the Pacific high is the key determinant of leg length and duration. I have friends that in 1985 went hard on the wind for 1-1/2wks, parked in the high for 2 days waiting for wind then had a 1wk reach to get back to Seattle.

With a big, fast boat and luck you could sail to HI, round the big Island and return without landing in 5-7wk. If you rounded all the islands and didn't land figure 6wk minimum with good weather luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuavant View Post
What I didn't mention, is that this trip would be only one leg of a much larger expedition (not yet announced).

If I were going to charter a boat just to hang out in paradise, I would probably just rented in Hawaii and take my time.
So what's the whole voyage you want to do?
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Old 09-02-2012, 16:19   #12
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Originally Posted by prof_mariner
Hawaii to Seattle - It can be as easy as a beam reach the entire way (a buddy who does deliveries had this happen once) or as tough as an upwind slosh-a-thon all the way to nearly the Aleutians before you can make the turn. Again, best time of year is probably during the Summer.
That actually brings up an interesting thought. Seattle isn't etched in stone as final destination yet. I wonder how much of a difference in the trip (time, intensity, etc) it would take to instead head up towards the Aleutian Islands. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-02-2012, 16:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie

Hurricanes really aren't much of an issue or even tropical storms though strong gales can be.

As noted the position of the Pacific high is the key determinant of leg length and duration. I have friends that in 1985 went hard on the wind for 1-1/2wks, parked in the high for 2 days waiting for wind then had a 1wk reach to get back to Seattle.

With a big, fast boat and luck you could sail to HI, round the big Island and return without landing in 5-7wk. If you rounded all the islands and didn't land figure 6wk minimum with good weather luck.

So what's the whole voyage you want to do?
Thanks! Great points.

I'm not married to 4-6 weeks per sey. Just trying to get a feel for the trip. Happy to take whatever it need be without killing myself and others.

This is the only sailing leg of the expedition at the moment.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:31   #14
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Re: Seeking Advice: Slingshot Hawaii via San Diego and Seattle

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That actually brings up an interesting thought. Seattle isn't etched in stone as final destination yet. I wonder how much of a difference in the trip (time, intensity, etc) it would take to instead head up towards the Aleutian Islands. Any thoughts?
Sounds to me like you need to spend some time studying some "pilot charts". The pilot charts for the North Pacific will tell you exactly what you want to know (prevailing wind direction and strength, likelihood of storms, etc.) for every month of the year. I think you'll find the answers to most of what you're asking there. Best of all, you can download the pilot charts for anywhere in the world for free, here's one website that has them: Atlas of Pilot Charts for the Major Oceans of the World

Also, if the biggest boat you've sailed on is a J24 then you also should start spending time offshore on bigger boats. Maybe post in the crew section of the forums here and find someone to sail with or do a crossing as crew on a boat heading to Hawaii.

As for the Aleutians, I worked for 5 months up in the Aleutians and the Bering Sea on a research ship. During the Summer months and on the right day, it can be drop dead gorgeous. But your chances of having a nice day are about 1 in a 100, the rest of the time the winds are either at or greater than gale force with thick fog.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:57   #15
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Go buy or borrow jimmy Cornell's books on cruising routes. It will help you with kind of planning.
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