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Old 18-12-2006, 22:52   #1
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What's the deal with Hawaii?

Why is it that there appears to be no real Boat charter industry in Hawaii?
Are the waters more treacherous than say the BVI, Bahamas, or Tahiti?
There must be a reason.
Sailing from island to island seems like a great sail to me

Last I was in Maui, the harbor at Lahaina was calm and seemingly protected. It was there, looking at a Catamaran in the harbor, where my desire to sail began.

Thanks,
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Old 18-12-2006, 23:25   #2
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There are very few usable anchorages, moorings, or slips (the gov't-controlled marinas are criminally mismanaged, IMHO). The conditions in the channels between the islands can be quite hairy as well. Hawaii isn't really a "cruiser friendly" destination, which is a shame, because it is a magical place.

I've sailed there (and back) from San Francisco twice now, and island-hopped between Maui and Kauaii, and it was difficult to find places to park the boat. Hanele Bay in Kauaii is the best anchorage I found. Mala Wharf near Lahaina was OK, but otherwise the facilities were very limited.
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Old 19-12-2006, 06:35   #3
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Hmmm, maybe there is hope

I did find this:
Hawaii Sailing Guide and Yacht Charters

and this

Amazon.com: Cruising Guide to the Hawaiian Islands: Books: Carolyn Mehaffy,Bob Mehaffy,Cartography Allen
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Old 19-12-2006, 09:04   #4
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I have the "Cruising Guide", as well as the "Charlie's Charts" for Hawaii, and these are reasonably good guides, once you have a boat in the Islands. There are marinas and anchorages, but just try to find a guest slip (difficult), and most of the anchorages are iffy.

As mentioned in the "Hawaii Sailing Guide" website, many hotels will rent you a small Hobie cat, but they won't let you take them out of sight of the hotel. There are some sailboats available for charter with a captain, but these are set up for "sunset sail with dinner" or similar excursions.

Hawaii is a great place to sail to, if you like two-week passages and three-week returns, (which I do), but once you get there the facilities are limited. If you fly in, as far as I have seen there aren't many opportunities to rent a boat and sail. There may be some (I haven't done any serious research), but certainly there is nothing like what you find in the BVI (for example).
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Old 19-12-2006, 09:29   #5
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Yes, the waters around Hawaii are very dangerous and dock space cost is in the millions. I was there in 02 and took a day sail aboard the old America's Cup boat 'America II' and that's the gist I got from the captain.
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Old 19-12-2006, 10:45   #6
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I believe that there is a charter company that operates a couple of boats out of Ko'Olina. I'm not sure what the restrictions on itinerary are but I'm pretty sure that they'll be substantial.

-Scott
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Old 19-12-2006, 11:15   #7
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Aloha Limpet,
I've lived here in Hawaii off and on since the early 60s. What the others have posted is true. The Hawaii State government has done nothing for boaters since the Ala Wai in Honolulu got new docks in the late 70s early 80s. The dock/slip/mooring fees have gone into the general fund and not been used for needed repairs.
Trying to make the local government understand how they are shooting themselves in the foot by not reinvesting in their own boating facilities has been a uphill struggle with no victories in sight.
Permitting processes and government rules and regulations do not encourage chartering and of course marina facilities don't help.
Look up Hawaii in the other threads in this forum to get some more info if you like.
Good Luck,
JohnL
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Old 23-01-2007, 17:50   #8
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I ku ka makemake e hele mai, hele no me ka malo`elo`e.
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Old 23-01-2007, 18:21   #9
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Hawaii

My neighbour, who was in Hawaii this past summer, told me that they have government goons in inflatables going thru the anchorages there telling cruisers that they are not allowed to stay in any anchorage for more than three days. So why even bother going there. The last time I went thru the Hawaiian Island chain, I just kept going without stopping. There are plenty of other places where they welcome tourists and try to make cruisers feel welcome . Why go where you are not wanted. Go where tourism is valued.It obviously isn't in Hawaii.
Shitty anchorages , hostile officials , big city problems. Hawaii doesn't have much to offer. It aint worth the hassle.
Brent
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Old 23-01-2007, 23:40   #10
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Hawai'i's attitude

Is not necessarily all bad. They're trying to move their focus away from tourism, and to build their own industries while taking care of their people rather than the companies which are predominately minimum-wage service jobs with no future.

Mind you, I don't like it personally, but I'm trying to see their point of view. (Now if they could just kick out the free loaders in the only good harbour around... :: )
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Old 24-01-2007, 00:53   #11
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While Hawaii has it's problems, the people there are pretty much like people everywhere. They have mixed feeliings about the tourists who dominate the economy and daily life of the islands. Some of the locals can be unpleasant. BUT, I have met many, many more who are gracious, friendly, open, and generous. Come with the right attitude and it will usually be returned manyfold.

The facilities can be problematic, but the land and sea are beautiful and magical. With a little care you can find secure anchorage or moorings, and the rewards are well worth it. Spend a week anchored in Hanele Bay in Kauai, sharing picnics with the locals and cruisers on the beach, hiking and sailing the Napali coast, and you will see what I mean. Pick up a Lahaina Yacht Club mooring (after asking), and prepare to be welcomed into the community. People in pickup trucks will see you carrying your laundry and offer you a ride. Or yell at you. Just hang loose!

Also, from the West Coast of the USA there aren't too many other tropical island destinations, and the two-week sail from California to Hawaii is glorious (and the three-week sail back isn't too bad, either).

I realize that in earlier messages I was pointing out the difficulties of cruising in Hawaii. I just wanted to give a more balanced picture.

-Paul
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Old 24-01-2007, 10:23   #12
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Sorry to hear little appears to have changed, indeed, since we cruised through the Hawaiian isles in 1994 and 1997. Between the godforsaken "shipeating" Alenuihaha windtunnel and the fierce katabatic winds spawned by the enormous mountains (never forget that the Big island's highest peak is taller than Mount Everest!) there is plenty of sailing excitement to be had there, alternating with long motoroing spells in the wind shadows.



At the same time, it is so dropdead gorgeous there that I have always felt it was all worth the trouble! Where else do you have a chance to see redhot lava roll into the ocean at night, creating gigantic clouds of luminous, orange-tinted steam ?? Fire, water, sky and earth; it doesn't get anymore elemental than that.



For those of us with a rather short fuse, however, the toughest challenge may well be to try and keep your cool while being abused by scores of stinkpotters with heavily imbibed big-game-fishermen returning from their daily forays to find a despised ragbagger competing for a cramped berth in the overfilled harbor. Therein lies the real reason for the Hawaiian's lack of enthusiasm for sailing vessels, methinks. The amount of money generated by the sportfishing industry is orders of magnitude larger than any economic benefit they could possibly expect from a few lousy sailing vessels.



Notable exceptions to being made to feel unwelcome were: Hilo Bay(Big Island) arrival port for most vessels from the mainland, Alawai harbor (Oahu's main yacht harbor) if it's not overfull already, and Hanalei Bay (Kauai's jump off point for the trip home).



Prettiest anchorage was Captain Cook's Bay. Dove on a wreck to set up our own mooring, instead of anchor in the beautiful coral, and stayed for 10 days. Apparently, that is now limited to maximally 3.....





Fair winds



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Old 24-01-2007, 14:22   #13
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hawaii

My neighbour was told in HanaleiBbay by government goons in inflatables that he wasn't allowed to stay there more that three days max. Ditto anywhere else he anchored.Hawaii is definitly not worth the stop.
Brent
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Old 24-01-2007, 18:59   #14
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This is a bit unrelated ... but goes to the point. I lived in Honokaa on the big Island, for a little more than a year. I arrived there from Colorado where I had been a fly fishing guide. I had researched fly fishing in Hawaii and found nothing other than the occassional offshore bill fishing enterprise. I was going to be the one to bring inshore fly fishing to Hawaii!
As it turned out, there was good reason that there was no inshore fly fishing in Hawaii. The water was so clear, and the sun so intense, during the daytime, that the fish simply stayed under their rocks ... you need to remember, fish ain't got no eyelids!
The locals fished inshore, exclusively at night ... with live bait ... and they did well when the fish were using mostly non-visual clues to choose their prey ... fly fishing is all about visual clues.
My point being, Hawaii is like that ... you make certain presumptions, like "it would be a great place to sail"... but it isn't always the way it appears. For what it's worth, I was flown out to Hilo a couple of years ago to install an autopilot, spent 3 days sailing the Hamakua coast and had a great time!
mahalo,
Bob
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Old 24-01-2007, 19:29   #15
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Brent (or Louis?),

You and I will have to respectfully disagree, and there's nothing wrong with that.

When was your friend accosted by the officials (in Hanele Bay)? The last time I was there was 2003, so things may have changed.

I am curious about your trip through the Hawaiian chain without stopping. Where were you sailing from, and what was your destination? It must have been an adventure. Were you heading north from the South Pacific, or heading towards Guam, or what?

Aloha,
Paul
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