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Old 29-08-2015, 22:26   #1
nrs
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Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Hello all,

First Im grateful for the amount of information sprawled across this forum. Second Ive searched this subject but came up lacking in answers, so I apologize if I missed a blatant discussion.

Currently Im in search of some first hand experience with the marinas available in the Pacific North West. Currently I live in Portland (moved from Dana Point and sure do miss sea breezes), and Im looking for somewhere that will have a good community with good access to challenging sailing. I assume that shouldnt be hard to find anywhere on the coast or near astoria.

I have seen Tomahawk bay marina but was unable to see pricing and im not sure of liveaboard costs if at all, that is one of the closest marinas near me. I also think the Small Yacht Sailing Club of Oregon (SYSCO) is based out of there but im not sure, I plan to join if and when I can.

As for a boat, Im searching for a 30'+ boat that I can live on, sail in either the channel or the river, and eventually be able to cruise the BC Islands and make my way towards SF in hopes of living and refitting there for a longer cruise.

With that in mind, if anyone has any advice on marinas that are decently priced with a supportive sailing community or has any tips on succesful sailing in the PNW please share.

On a side note, some of the boats im looking at for this job are..

Ranger 33
Rawson 30
Contessa 32?
Columbia 36
Hunter 37 cherubini
Bruce Roberts 37
...
just a few off the top of my head, but I know this is going to be a long process.

I used to sail an Ericson Crealock 26' that was bare bones and good fun, but the conditions I sailed in were not nearly as challenging as what the PNW has to offer so I would really like to sail in the area as much I can on a well suited boat..


Also reading

Deep Sea Sailing by Errol Bruce and it is a very informative read.

Single Handed Sailing by I forget his name, but also very informative.

Anyways I look forward to learning from personal experience and the advice of the seasoned veterans on here! Cheers!
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Old 30-08-2015, 09:50   #2
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

nrs, I've no marina advice for you as we are on the opposite coast, but welcome to the community and keep us posted of your search and adventures.
I do like your boat search list.
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Old 30-08-2015, 11:39   #3
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Where are you looking specificly there is a lot of water between Portland and Seattle in the Puget sound you have a myriad of choices depending on where you would be commuting for work. More info please
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Old 30-08-2015, 19:20   #4
nrs
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

well thats a damn shame, i just typed a nice message only to have it erased before sending..

I am flexible with job searching, 20 mi seems the most im willing to commute.

Priorities for a marina are good access to appreciable sailing, fair boat maintenance facilities nearby, and a lively sail community.

Port Everett of Wa looks like it is promising for liveaboards.
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Old 30-08-2015, 19:34   #5
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Try Salpare bay, rates are great, new facility and they allow live aboard. Lots of Sailboats and right outside the entrance is where they hold regattas 4-5 days a week.
I sit and watch them almost every day when I'm on the boat. Just left a week ago and many boats are for sale in your range at both Marinas.

Good luck
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Old 30-08-2015, 19:55   #6
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Hunter Cherbuni, don't be boring. If you want to be small and solid get the Rawson 30
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Old 30-08-2015, 20:21   #7
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

There are lots of marinas in Puget sound which by its nature gives you easy access to sailing. What do you do for work? Are you willing to walk on and off a ferry as part of your commute? Do a search on Seattle.craigslist for sailboats in your range there are many descent ones for sale. Here is one 1980 34' Peterson Sailboat
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Old 30-08-2015, 22:27   #8
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Guy,
I like your thinking, and itd be nice not to have to worry about that bulwark inspection in front of the mast.

newhaul, a ferry wouldnt be an issue. That is a fair peterson too great find, unfortunately it wont be until another 6mo that Id be able to purchase and relocate. The marina is almost half the reason to decide on the boat as well, although less important.

As for work my skills are in quality, lab testing, mechanical skills, service industry, and anything I can find.

Sent from my LG-H345 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 30-08-2015, 22:49   #9
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

OK well there are lots of marinas here with liveaboard many within walking distance to ferry to Seattle and this area has one of the best public transport systems in the county IMO pm me when you are closer to jumping. I will help any way I can.
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Old 30-08-2015, 23:27   #10
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

NRS, you will find people with answers to all your questions at the Sauvie Island Yacht Club, which is a Portland-area cruising-oriented club with very low membership costs.
See the website, newsletter and calendar here: Sauvie Island Yacht Club | Portland, Oregon

The next club meeting is 7:30PM this coming Fri Sept 4th, at Sauvie Island Academy, 14445 NW Charlton Rd Portland, OR 97231

- Rusty
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Old 31-08-2015, 00:05   #11
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Rusty that is awesome thank you, I cant make that meeting but I will try and get involved as I can!

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Old 31-08-2015, 09:02   #12
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Look for a boat on the Canadian side of the border---with the US dollar getting a 25% premium on the Canadian dollar you should get a good deal. Also if boat is of Canadian or US manufacture you should be able to import it into USA under NAFTA duty free and also if do export it into USA also avoid BC sales tax (but better check that for sure)
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Old 31-08-2015, 09:06   #13
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

NRS, I'm also in Portland and making a similar leap within two years. This forum is an invaluable resource. I've been mainly a lurker, but at I've something to offer. Here is a list of marinas that may be helpful:
www.boatmanager.com/marina-listings.html
Interactive Mapping Database of the World's Marinas and Marine Locations
Seaports & Marinas | Port of Bellingham, WA - Official Website

Hope that's of service. See you on the water!
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Old 31-08-2015, 09:19   #14
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

I just bought a sailboat in Portland and slipped her at the Mccuddy Marina near the airport. I chose that Marina because I needed an easy commute to the airport and the roads between the other marinas and the airport were very congested (daily traffic jams). The facilities are ok but the sailing is complicated by numerous sand bars in the area. The current on the river makes getting in and out of my slip interesting. I will also checkout the club on sauvie island.

Rob
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Old 31-08-2015, 09:21   #15
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Re: Best PNW Marinas? OR coast? Seattle WA?

Hey NRS-
We had our boat at Salpare Bay marina for over two years, lived aboard for one year. We spent a month at the West Basin in Astoria just this past summer.

Once you own a boat, we can highly recommend joining Sauvie Island Yacht Club. A great bunch of people who are very active in the sailing and cruising community. We are members, currently cruising. The Vice-commodore, Gabriel, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Salpare Bay is their designated marina for reciprocal privileges.

Island Sailing Club is also great. They hold weekly races on the Columbia River and have a very involved group. Some with some pretty strong personalities. Most are really nice folks.

A few things to note about Salpare Bay Marina.

Instant access to the Columbia River. (Same with Tomahawk, which is next door.)

The docks are in great condition. Deck cleats are tight and secure. We spent many a'blow there with no issues. Enjoyed a foot of snow two winters ago with no problem. They use de-icer on the steep ramp to the marina.

Really great access to Home Depot, West Marine, Target, Safeway, the liquor store, and a great hidden gem Hidden Bay Cafe at Tomahawk Marina next door. Mindy pours a kick-*ss drink!

Pricing was competitive with Tomahawk. Liveaboard fee was $125 for the two of us.

Traffic. Sucks. Getting to the Hayden Island from Portland ANYTIME between 2:00pm and 6:00pm will take you at least an hour. Unless, you are a bicycle commuter. They have a great bike path all the way to downtown. Parking for the Island Cafe blocks Tomahawk drive down to one lane during the summer. It is a game of chicken to get through the parked cars on both sides of the narrow street.

Parking. Sucks. The owners of the marina are in the process of building a third 170+ unit apartment building. (There are two buildings already.) The marina and the apartment buildings share the same parking. There is never enough parking, especially on the weekend when marina people want to use their boats.

Security. Sucks. No gate. People from the apartment and neighborhood cruise the docks "just looking at boats". They seem to forget when they are standing on the dock finger looking into boats that some people actually live there. It's like having perpetual Peeping Toms.

Dogs. There is a very, very liberal dog policy. Each apartment is allowed two dogs (any size). Boaters can have dogs as well. Any size. There are dogs everywhere. Problem is, there wasn't a designated pet walking area. The whole place smells like dog piss in the summertime. Dog poop everywhere - yes, even on the docks.

Facilities. New, good condition, and clean. (Unless you have to use it after someone has given their dog a bath in the shower or the owner let the dog poop in the shower. Seen it.) There is one shower in the men's room. One in the woman's room. There is often a wait for showers, especially on the weekend, and often no hot water.

If we were going back to Portland, we would choose Tomahawk Marina over Salpare easily. More parking, locked gates, larger restrooms/more showers.

Astoria West Basin Marina
Bathroom facilities are a hike from the dock. Plan your morning visit to the head accordingly. Three showers in each restroom. Reasonably clean.

The dock pilings are almost rusted through. At a minus low tide, you can see huge gaping holes in the pilings. The dock boards are old and some are coming loose. The cleats are loose. It appears they gave up maintenance a long time ago.

There is a huge tidal exchange there. So, at low tide, the ramp is beyond steep.

The whole area is in the Tsumani Zone. When the big earthquake happens, there won't be anything left.

It blows like hell in the winter. Not a place I'd want to liveaboard, especially given the condition of the docks.

One of the nice things about living on a boat, if you don't like the neighborhood, you can move! Good luck in your search!
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