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Old 05-04-2013, 00:52   #1
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I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Hi I was working in Texas not two months ago saving up and dreaming about cruising this summer. My previous sailing experience is all on Oahu. A couple years. My goal is to cross an ocean someday soon. But my go for this summer is learn to cruise. I've never even spent a night at anchor!

So I thought and thought about where to go ad narrowed it down to Florida or PNW. I am in Washington. I just bought a Ranger 23 in great shape that's big enough for me. I'm in Port Townsend living aboard at the marina until May first when I'm outta here!

I know I'm going to the San Juan's first. That's almost a given. I'd like to see Victoria and maybe continue the Gulf Island. I could go on the outside coast of B.C. Or more likely inside. Alaska is possible if I feel confident soon.

I'm pouring myself into this. I spend 80% o my day learning. Whether its how to set and anchor to whipping to just going out and sailing.

Where would you go?
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:58   #2
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

with a little boat like that you need to be very weather concious,so gunkholing is your best bet,plan your day sails very carefully with refuges in mind should the weather turn.

@4 knots in favorable conditions dont plan on going further than 30-40 miles on a day sail,a 25 knot head wind will seem like a gale in a little boat like that and make it very hard to make any headway,even in sheltered waters.

i'm sure you will have a great time,but just be aware of the limitations of a little boat
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:09   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Hi I was working in Texas not two months ago saving up and dreaming about cruising this summer. My previous sailing experience is all on Oahu. A couple years. My goal is to cross an ocean someday soon. But my go for this summer is learn to cruise. I've never even spent a night at anchor!

So I thought and thought about where to go ad narrowed it down to Florida or PNW. I am in Washington. I just bought a Ranger 23 in great shape that's big enough for me. I'm in Port Townsend living aboard at the marina until May first when I'm outta here!

I know I'm going to the San Juan's first. That's almost a given. I'd like to see Victoria and maybe continue the Gulf Island. I could go on the outside coast of B.C. Or more likely inside. Alaska is possible if I feel confident soon.

I'm pouring myself into this. I spend 80% o my day learning. Whether its how to set and anchor to whipping to just going out and sailing.

Where would you go?
Well living in the inside passage of BC I would recommend Desolation Sound as a great stop off. Lots of safe anchorages and a natural setting which is unbeatable. All the islands between the San Juan's and the northern tip of Vancouver Island are interesting to check out.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:44   #4
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Go to Alaska - by the time you get there - you will know all you need to know to go anywhere. Take a coast pilot/cruising guide and tides & current tables and good charts.
I'll be heading up again soon if all goes well.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:53   #5
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I'd stay local until you figure out the realities of cruising on a small boat.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:09   #6
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I just want to stress a point that has already been made. In a 23' foot boat you need to be extremely aware of weather and confidently adept at handling your vessel when things turn unexpectedly ugly, which they will eventually despite what the forecast might say. A small boat is not only less stable in bad weather, it is also less able due to limitations of speed to avoid it or make progress through it.

There are plenty of people who have crossed oceans in boats that size, but make it because they are skilled and vigilant. Make sure you have experience handling your boat in rough weather before you take any extended voyage.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:12   #7
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Once you know your boat and are ready, be sure to go outside of Vancouver Isle. Barkeley Sound. The whole west coast from Brooks Penninsula south is great. Less traveled than the inside too, wild and beautiful. The Ranger 23 is the Mull designed boat right? nice little boat. With all the currents etc and possible strong afternoon wind coming in the Straight of Juan de Fuca in the summer, be prepared, have a good solid engine and great bilge pump.
You could probably spend two summers doing the San Juans (Can and US) and Barkely sound!
I would avoid any thought of Alaska until you have a couple of years under your belt.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:55   #8
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I'm right across Admiralty from you. (Whidbey Island) and know these waters.
Start by going SOUTH to Mats Mats Bay or Port Ludlow.
They are both great local spots for you to get practice.
Anchor behind "The Twins" in P.L.
Sail to Poulsbo and enjoy the bakery!
After you've done those, there are lots of places you can gain practice without crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The San Juans are full of good places as well, but wait for better weather, like June or July.

Just my .02

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Old 05-04-2013, 11:32   #9
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

didnt matt rutherford sail a ranger? i saw him in annapolis...it was eitehr last year or the hear before
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Old 05-04-2013, 19:29   #10
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Aloha and welcome to the wonderful world of boat ownership and liveaboard life.
You've got great places to cruise to up there which is very much unlike what you did on Oahu I'm certain. You might miss the snorkeling and swimming off your boat in warm water though.
kind regards,
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Old 05-04-2013, 19:34   #11
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Quote:
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didnt matt rutherford sail a ranger? i saw him in annapolis...it was eitehr last year or the hear before
No he did the trip in an Albin Vega 27. Still pretty amazing.
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Old 05-04-2013, 19:34   #12
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Outboard engine?
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Old 08-04-2013, 13:24   #13
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

I've got a great outboard. Pretty new Yamaha 6. Meticulously maintained. Looks new. I'm glad I got a oat with a good motor. I don't think I would be able to get anywhere with the wind as fluky as it is otherwise.

I'm kind of tentatively planning to go to the San Juan's in may, and when I decide to move on the gulf island and Victoria and up as far as Desolation Sound. Does that sound reasonable for one summer?
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Old 08-04-2013, 14:04   #14
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

May can be pretty rugged at times so watch your weather, be ready for rain & strong wind. Otherwise, have fun and maybe I'll see you out there!
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Old 08-04-2013, 18:16   #15
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Re: I just bought a boat! Where should I go?

Go visit the South Sound (south of the Tacoma Narrows)

There is a lot of wonderful gunkholing down there and very few boats.

We sailed out of Tacoma for years and frequently had anchorages to ourselves when south of Fox Island.

Your route south:
South in Townsend Bay
Stop at Mystery Bay - that trip in is a Mystery 3 miles of narrow channels
Stop at Hadlock - some great bars
Thru the Townsend Cut into Oak Bay - really big tides so time it!
Stop at Port Ludlow - nice anchorage and easy to get in/out
Stop at Kingston - friendliest marina in the Sound
Go west thru Agate Pass ('gotta time the tide very carefully)
Stop in Poulsbo - great anchorage and friendly bars
South in Port Orchard Pass
Stop in Brownsville - really funky old marina
Go south thru Port Orchard Pass and out thru Rich Passage (tides !!)
Stop on the SW side of Blake Island - OK anchorage at south tip and fantastic sunsets
South thru Colvos Pass - time those tides
Stop in Gig Harbor - great free anchorage / free municipal dock
South thru the Narrows (really watch those tides - 6+ knots)
head north in Wollochet Bay and anchor at the head
south on the SE side of Fox Island and then North to Penrose Park - easy anchoring - great hiking
then further up Carr Inlet to Stretch Island - good anchoring
south thru Carr Inlet and west of McNeil Island via Pitt Passage - spectacular scenery and scary navigating in shallow water
Stop in HOme/Filucy Bay - quaint and rural - good anchorage
south in Drayton Pass and swing NW up the west side of the Key Penninsula
stop at Joemma State Park - good anchorage
....
I could go on for another 20 anchorages - you could easily spend the summer in the South Sound. The great thing about the South Sound is easy access to groceries and supplies (Kingston / Poulsbo / Gig Harbor / Olympia / Tacoma) and fuel. And there are lot's of parks with good hiking and showers (small boat!) and very solid well protected anchorages. And they take American $$ and speak a familiar kind of English - as opposed to Canuck English

The other big recommendation is Barkley Sound and up the inside of the West Coast of Vancouver Island - incredible desolation and privacy - we spent a month out there and should have spent three months - made it all the way to Cape Scott.

Getting from Port Angles to Barkley would be a challenge in your boat - it took us three tries in our 40 footer and I was dismasted out there a long time ago in a serious race boat - lots of wind and big waves.
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