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Old 12-09-2011, 21:50   #1
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Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

Carver 444 Powerboat, 47' OA, 8-10 knots/hour economical cruise speed, 300 NM safe range.
It's mid-September and I'd like to go south before it gets cold. I'll only travel during daylight hours and I'd wait for near perfect water/weather conditions before leaving every safe harbor and/or fuel stop.
IS OCTOBER 1st TOO LATE OR TOO EARLY TO LEAVE?
Any added info would be appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2011, 22:31   #2
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

Traveling only in daylight hours would mean you'd travel 100 or so miles a day. How close to shore do you plan on traveling? If you're out in calmer waters than the swell generated by shoaling, your distances travelled south will be shorter as you come in each night, it you can find a safe harbor r.

This year the PNW just completed its two week summer so waiting for calm weather windows may extend into the next year.

I'd strongly suggest trucking your boat down I5.
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Old 12-09-2011, 23:19   #3
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

IMO you are pushing it leaving in October. The good weather windows get shorter and rough weather lasts longer. It can certainly be done but staying close enough to shore to layup every night wil make it a rough trip and bar crossings take some experience to do it safely. I kinda side with John A's suggestion of trucking her down.
I've made the trip both ways many times over the years and prefer to stand off about 30 miles off shore to avoid crab traps, fishing boats and cruise ships. Tankers usually run from Valdes and Cherry Point out about 25-30 miles off shore but are well lit and easy to pick up on radar.
Capes like Blanco and Mendecino are notoriously rough and you should give them a widw berth if you plan on taking her down on her own hull.
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Old 12-09-2011, 23:19   #4
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I made this trip a few years ago in a sailboat (think 6 Knots). October can be tricky in that it is a transition period for the weather. All the safe harbors along the coast are river outlets, which means crossing a bar. Many have only about 4' depth at low tide. The USCG will often close them during poor weather. An early morning departure with the tide & weather in your favor might be OK, but I'd plan to be in the next port by early afternoon before the winds pick up. This is a similar tactic used for motoring north in the summer. Plan to get stranded by weather in a harbor at least once on your trip.

Good luck!!

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Old 13-09-2011, 01:16   #5
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

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All the safe harbors along the coast are river outlets, which means crossing a bar. Many have only about 4' depth at low tide. ~~ Plan to get stranded by weather in a harbor at least once
I assume I'll be spending many days in harbor waiting for choice weather conditions. I run with only a simple chartplotter, paper charts and my good looks... My plan is to cover short distances everyday as weather permits and only hooking when a slip is not available. I like at least a good 5 foot depth when tip-toeing over bars so I'll need to watch tides.
I was planning to run the paper charts recommended coastal routes all the way. Any thoughts about that?
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Old 13-09-2011, 02:21   #6
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

I wouldn't feel comfortable unless my boat had a range of at least half the distance from Vancouver to SF, plus a good safety margin. The coast is hazardous with few always-safe entrances to harbors.

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Old 14-09-2011, 09:13   #7
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

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I wouldn't feel comfortable unless my boat had a range of at least half the distance from Vancouver to SF, plus a good safety margin.
You wouldn't feel comfortable hopscotching down the coast unless you had a range of at least 1/2 of the total overall voyage? Did you mean to say that you don't attempt any single passage greater than 1/2 of your vessels range plus a sizable safety factor?
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Old 14-09-2011, 09:37   #8
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

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You wouldn't feel comfortable hopscotching down the coast unless you had a range of at least 1/2 of the total overall voyage? Did you mean to say that you don't attempt any single passage greater than 1/2 of your vessels range plus a sizable safety factor?
I think you should consider the rest of the post before finding fault with a person who has made this passage many times.

Remember that the West Coast is the windward side!! All weather that occurs in the Gulf of Alaska is transported to the PNW via the jet stream and nobody will predict what the jet stream will do in three days.

All safe harbors are reached by crossing a sandbar. The USCG will close those entrances, including the Columbia River, when conditions warrent.

There is only one safe harbor off the West Coast of Washington.

Please don't take lightly the fact that you are traversing a LEESHORE
where thirty foot swells are the norm.
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Old 14-09-2011, 09:40   #9
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

If I were going to do the trip I would leave in September. October can get rough. IF you have the time you can make it also I assume that you have the speed to run for cover. I have heard of someone who has done the trip up the coast in a cabinless motor boat. He said there were more anchorages then people think along the coast. I can't remember where but someone has mentioned a guide book on the trip. Have you looked at the coast pilot? That is a good place to start. Also I think that the later you go the shorter the days. For instance Neah Bay to Gray's Harbor inside of port to inside of port is ~119 nm at 9 knots you are looking at 13.25 hours. A quick Google and the length of day in Seattle on Oct 1 is 11 hrs and 40 minutes. It wouldn't be bad to get an early start but you would still have to travel in the dark. Radar is nice to have along that coast because you can get fogged in. I remember one time I was approaching Morro Bay and we were within a 1/2 mile of the approach buoy. A fog came in so quick and thick that I couldn't see the approach buoy (except with radar) by the time I covered that 1/2 mile. I had to turn and run for Port San Louis.
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Old 14-09-2011, 09:46   #10
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

the pacific coast is lee shore.
be careful and keep off the rocks.
aug is actually the time to leave pnw. watch weather and have fun.
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Old 14-09-2011, 10:20   #11
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Re: VANCOUVER BC to SAN FRANCISCO

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I think you should consider the rest of the post before finding fault with a person who has made ~~~~
I am so very sorry John A. I had no intention of finding fault with anyone or of anything. I am truly sorry if my comment sounded in any way disrespectful to you or anyone else that read it. After re-reading my comment question numerous times, for the life of me, I still don't understand how it could have been construed to be malicious in tone or nature. Just the same... John A -- Please understand that I apologize and promise to be a better forum member by being overly respectful of everyone's rich experience and hard-earn knowledge. This is a open public forum that is meant to be a happy social informative venue and I don't want to be known as one of the "jerks" that won't go away.
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Old 14-09-2011, 10:37   #12
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

JRO I don't see your comment as disrespectful it was request for clarification. Where is the disrespect in that?
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:36   #13
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

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Also I think that the later you go the shorter the days. For instance Neah Bay to Gray's Harbor inside of port to inside of port is ~119 nm at 9 knots you are looking at 13.25 hours.
Yeah, shorter days will require leaving dock in the dark of early morning. This particular leg will be broken-up with a night in Lapush Boat Basin. Fort Bragg being shut-down for services looks to be a major issue. Saying that traveling boats are not welcome is an understatement. They say at best a fuel truck can be called if you buy enough fuel... I'll only need a little over 100 gallons. Plus they don't have dockage for 47' so it might be a squatting rules game. Does anyone have information on how to break-up the HumB/Bodega leg at 189NM without stopping at Fort Bragg?
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:05   #14
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

I would recomend having XM weather to show costal buoy reports or equivalent equitment. I've been watching the costal reports and your worst area is northern Ca where the waves get really confused and choppy like 8 ft at 8 sec min on a nice day, for about 100 miles lots of true sailors get sea sick in these waters. Last year I had sailed to Catalina Island from San Diago for a Latts And Att's Crusers party a pre function to the Baha HAHA and met a sailor who had left Oregon and the second day out got hit by 60 to 80 kt breezes that was not forcast but that was in early October. I would say now is your best weather and the weather gets rougher and more unperdictiable by the day.
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:11   #15
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Re: Vancouver, BC to San Francisco

I got into Fort Bragg on a Saturday evening. The gas dock was closed at 17:00 hrs. I needed to top off my tanks. I was lucky becaus e a friend of mine was taking classes at Humboldt state and was there to ferry me back and forth with two Jerry cans. Four trips later I managed to fill the tanks and fill the jugs. If my friend hadn't been there there was a police dock across the bay that I could have tied to and then walked the fuel back and forth. It would have been a lot of walking though.
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