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Old 03-10-2009, 08:58   #1
td1
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West Coast (US) Home Ports

If you were able to pick a home port anywhere on the west coast of the US or Canada, where would it be and why (access to cruising areas, local sailing scene, town vibe, etc.)? It seems like the Pacific ports are fewer and farther between than those on the Atlantic and I'm trying to get a feel for what the favorite areas are so that we might check some of them out in the future.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:49   #2
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TD1- there are probably some other factors to the equation, such as weather, size of town, whether you are into racing or cruising etc.

We enjoyed weekend getaways- sailing a few hours to different desinations and anchoring in bays/coves. So for us, Anacortes Washington was ideal. Immediate access to the San Juan Islands, a days sail to BC's Gulf Islands, and a few days to get into Desolation Sound. The variety of destinations is fantastic.

We enjoyed sailing year round, even though it can get a bit cold and wet... but the anchorages were generally empty. A downside of the area is the amount of charter boats and others out in the summer... as the area is a prime charterboat area.

If daysails/racing are more of what you're looking for, I'd look at SF bay or San Diego... even though there are some overnight destinations.

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Old 03-10-2009, 16:30   #3
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Our home port is San Carlos Mexico. It is one of those special places. Good people, good yards, good weather...got it all going. Some pics in my URL below. We are there 8 months a year, Oct. through May.
We are seriously considering Port Townsend Washington as our new US home port. A little know secret is the Olympic rain shadow. Google it. Is why the area and San Juans are so blessed....well that and a lot of reasons.
Both places are serious boat mecca's, and not yet overrun by the development bombs.....:-)
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Old 03-10-2009, 20:30   #4
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I am biased here but I think the SF Bay. I have been to all the ports up and down the coast and this is the place for the racing scene, the challenges and the beauty. My second choice would be Washington.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:16   #5
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Valdez Alaska is a great place, just be some where else during silver season.
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Old 04-10-2009, 21:12   #6
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I have kept my boat in four places Vancouver Island, Astoria OR, SF Bay, and SD Bay. I enjoyed all of them. Your question is difficult to answer b/c we don't know what you want from sailing. I loved the San Juan Islands. It is some of the best crusing grounds that I have ever seen. That said we had to motor alot b/c there wasn't that much wind. Astoria is a nice town but not a place i would want to keep my boat permanently. SF Bay is a great place for day sails but there are not that many nice week long cruising destinations. On the way down the coast we stopped in Santa Barbara and Ventura. SB is a fabulous place. If you could get a berth there I would look at it. Good day sailing. You have the Channel Islands to cruise to and water is warm enough. Ventura you can get a berth but not quite as nice as SB (but still nice). Dana Point is another place that we stopped at and it is only about 25 miles to Catalina Island. Theree are other harbours that you can sail to as well. San Diego is a very nice place. There are a handful of good overnight anchorage destinations. If you want longer trips it is a bit difficult b/c there are long sails to Oceanside (never been) Dana Point (nice) Newport Beach (nice) and Catalina (nice)It is geared toward boating. We currently have our boat there.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:38   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'm really not looking for any specific aspect of sailing/cruising, more just trying to get a feel for where people like to sail on the west coast and why, as it's the closest ocean for us to access for classes, chartering, etc. We plan on taking a road trip up (or down) the coast next spring to check some new places out (we've been to the Santa Barbara-Monterrey stretch of the CA coast, parts of Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, but want to see some new places in those states and probably BC too). Eventually we may relocate to an area where we can do some of the things we love to do here (bike, ski, river stuff, etc.), as well as some more sailing than we currently get to do (right now only when we visit relatives in Maine, go out on a local lake, or are fortunate enough to charter somewhere). I think if and when that happens, the ability to get some solid experience in cruising will be more important to us than good daysailing or a strong racing scene, although I grew up racing and wouldn't mind getting back into it a little bit at some point. Anyway, the info provided so far has been great and I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-10-2009, 13:59   #8
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I'm not a sailor, but I did spend the last 30 years living in S.F. and it's the best city in the U.S. hands down.
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Old 09-10-2009, 14:32   #9
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I agree! I was a liveaboard at Grand Marina in Alameda for 12 years and worked in the Bay area. Where else could you play golf on Friday, go sailing on Saturday, and go skiing in the Serrias on Sunday?
Slip rent was $575 a month complete! While apartments rented for $1500.

There is the SF 49ers, SF Giants, Oakland Raiders, Oakland Athletics, the Warriors(basketball), Cal Football, Stanford Football, San Jose State Football and San Jose Sharks(hockey) to enjoy if you run out of things to do.
And the sailing outside the Golden Gate is superb.

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Old 09-10-2009, 15:01   #10
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BTW... Live back in Vancouver but have been working and living all over the world for 15 years. heres my 2 cents

Vancouver-Seattle fantastic close cruising destinations thousands of islands, coves fjords, Nice summers, lots of rain in fall and spring, incredible nature.

The rain is different than the north atlantic (Europe) where is gets grey and drizzels for weeks at a time. Here it rains intense and clears up a couple days then rains again.

World class cities with all amenities. I happen to do many outdoor sports and in the winter I’m on ski-patrol here. If you like extreme outdoor sports BC is it! If you don't like rain go south.

Warmer summers are a plus!

For me BC is not just a place its a lifestyle!
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Old 09-10-2009, 15:15   #11
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You can in Vancouver

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Originally Posted by John A View Post
lorenzo b
Where else could you play golf on Friday, go sailing on Saturday, and go skiing in the Serrias on Sunday?

We call this the Vancouver triathlon and do it in a day (local mountains of course)

Ski in the morning, lunch on the boat and twilight golf

Its kind of a guys day out spring tradition!

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Old 22-10-2009, 13:52   #12
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PacNW (pugeot sound to Vancouver) is indeed best for the local "triathalon", but the season is short and the wx is COLD. San Francisco Bay (including the terrific, warm cruising destination of the delta) might be the best overall. season is year round. but it is cold also, especially in summer. if you want T-shirt sailing and a long season, Socal is the place -- marina del rey, long beach, or newport beach.
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Old 22-10-2009, 14:14   #13
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Please don't tell anyone else as I'll be disowned by my family and friends around here, but Ladysmith on Vancouver Island BC. is about as perfect as one can ask for. (Although I do go south every winter for two or three weeks).
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Old 26-10-2009, 12:10   #14
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We call home the California Delta.. about 1500 miles of waterways here, 65 miles up river from San Francisco and the largest part plenty deep for a deep keel.. I'm down 8 feet.. and contray to popular belief, its not river sailing as many areas are miles wide.. we're located in a little resort area called OxBow Marina. this last summer we saw a good number of sailboats pass through, spending a few days and then going on their way..
and if we get the urge to sail salt water, its only a days trip down river to the Golden Gate.
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