The State Marinas
in the Islands offer guest slips on a space available basis. You can stay for three months in a marina in any calendar year. Honokohau in Kona, Big Island has vacant slips at the moment. If you can find a vacant slip, you can move from Marina to Marina every three months. We stayed at Radio
Bay in Hilo for a month and then moved to Honokohau where we're getting six month stay because of the change in the calendar year. Facilities suck, no electricity and the heads are just bathrooms, no showers. What the hell it's paradise and why do you need a shower
when it's 80 degrees every day.
Kailua Bay, Kona is a safe but rolly anchorage for much of the year. It's not a set the hook and forget place as 15+ swells can roll in during the winter. Usually plenty of warning but you have to be ready to head
to sea or duck into Honokohau harbor with a couple hours notice.
You can anchor in Hilo Harbor which is a pretty calm anchorage but you have to stay out by the breakwater and well away from the commercial
traffic. Don't know how long they'd let you stay out there. The moorings on the shoreside of the bay are all taken though it looked like there might have been some that were temporarily vacant. Side tie ups were available at Suisan inlet in Hilo as well. It's right next to a busy street and is a sometime local hang out with no security
. We thought of getting a temporary their but were discouraged by the locals because of theft problems. We weren't going to be living aboard and would be away from the boat on the other side of the Island during the week.
Lahaina area is an open roadsted but safe for most of the year. Once again, not a place to leave your boat unattended but a decent anchorage for at least 300 days a year. Maalea is the marina in the south side of the valley but has limited availability and is really windy. Facilities are zilch and it's a long way away from civilization if you are walking.
The AlaWai is much improved. They are slowly replacing the sunken or threatening to sink floating docks. Still a ways to go but lightyears ahead of what it was 2-3 years ago. You can get a 3 month temporary, space avalable, in the marina. Hawaii Yacht club used to offer med tie moorings for two weeks but haven't been there recently to check it out. Waikiki Yacht Club across the fairway may have guest moorings on a reciprocal basis but have never tried there.
out by the airport
may have slips and/or the possiblity of a mooring. Used to be a high theft area as a number of the derelicts moored there were home to meth addicts. Hear they've cleaned out the ne'er do wells and things are much improved but no first hand knowledge. It's right under the takeoff path for the most used runway at the airport
so wear ear plugs and don't plan on sleeping in.
Haven't tried Haleiwa or Waianae State Harbors on Oahu so don't know if they often have available slips.
You can Anchor in Kaneohe Bay year round but don't know what the restrictions might be. All the Marinas
are private and quite expensive. Don't know if you'd have any luck getting a slip there.
Over all, things are slightly improved for cruising the islands. Still not a cruiser's paradise however. Very few anchorages in the winter and always the danger
of large, 20' plus, swells rolling in in the winter. Weather
will mostly be benign with strong trades between the islands and lumpy channels. Great for heading west but a challenge going east. We do get occasional storms but they aren't anything like a strong NorEaster or the West Coast
in winter. Fortunately, hurricanes are very far between. Iniki, the last to hit the islands, was Iniki in '92 and the one before that, Iwa in '82. They are well plotted and you'd be able to sail out of there way if you should be so unfortunate as to be here when one hit. Iniki was bad because it was a Force 4 hurricane
that drew a bulls eye on Kauai
. There was was little warning. The satellite
that normally monitors Hawaii Weather had been shifted to the East to cover for another ailing satellite
. The storm was off the scope
till it was very close to the Islands. Hurricanes primarily effect Kauai. The last to hit the Big Island was more than a century and a half ago.