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Old 28-06-2008, 19:26   #1
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Thumbs up Lofty Goal!!

I am 31 years old, never sailed a day in my life, and have this goal of sailing my family from San Fran to Seattle. Of course I have the small issue of obtaining said sail boat, all of the things that go along with a successful voyage, and any and all safety equip. I will accomplish my goal by the time I reach my 35 birthday. I would appreciate any and all comments, well wishers, ner-do-wells (sp?), and especially advice. Any suggestions on what type of vessel would also be appreciated. Thank you for you time!! I'm off!

J.H.
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Old 28-06-2008, 23:01   #2
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While Seattle has wonderful cruising grounds have you considered sailing South. Channel Islands, Catalina Island and Mexico are the same distance as Seattle but much warmer. Good luck and welcome aboard. Lots of good info here.
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Old 29-06-2008, 07:50   #3
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The fam and I came from that neck of the woods. My wife would really like to see Seattle and thinks the idea of sailing is super romantic, so there we go.....if mama aint happy, ain't nobody happy! Catalina will be next though. We'll see how successfull this trip is.

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Old 29-06-2008, 08:11   #4
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Consider doing the trip backwards. It is FAR FAR easier than fighting the currents and weather along the Pacific coast. If you try and take the family up against all this I'm sure they won't remember it as a fun, easy, peaceful trip. Going the other way at least means it might be as great as you hope.
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Old 29-06-2008, 09:36   #5
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Don't forget the training courses. I'm looking at doing a sraight 3 month course, beginner to ocean skipper, all miles clasroom, certificates included. Keep it safe.
Cost 8,500 sterling, Med or UK. Anything cheaper going?
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Old 29-06-2008, 14:20   #6
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Buy 'Cruising the Northwest Coast' by George Benson. It's a small, self published book that gives you some idea of one way to make the trip in a quite small boat.

There are a couple of other more ambitious, and expensive books, but the above will get you started. Going up the coast is a slog against wind and current but there are ways to beat nature. Just plan on doing a lot of powering. The sailing route to the PNW is via Hawaii, btw.

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Old 29-06-2008, 19:42   #7
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Are the currents and wind about the same coming from catalina North back to SF? I'm not really trying to tow the boat back home. See this is where my total lack of nautical education comes in to play.
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Old 30-06-2008, 23:19   #8
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Hi Eyeguy,
It's always good to have dreams and I hope we see you out there sailing one day. But as Paul has suggested, maybe a routhing / passage planning course would help as the passage you propose is one a more experienced sailor would try to avoid.
I've been advised the best route from San Fran to Seattle is way way offshore to avoid fighting southerly setting currents and winds.
Not an ideal first cruise.
Sail safe, and enjoy
John
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Old 01-07-2008, 00:34   #9
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Hi I'm from Oz and over the years I've seen many like yourself. Please get some experience on as many yachts as possible for as long as possible or that will be the only trip you'll do and it may end in tradgedy. Certainly the romance will be short and your family will never go near a yacht again , believe me.
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Old 11-07-2008, 14:15   #10
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Aloha JH,
Welcome aboard! You've gotten some good advice so far. I just came out under the Golden Gate and and winds and seas were directly from the Northwest blowing 25 knots. Even heading south was no picnic. We pulled a gooseneck off the mast and had to abort the sail.
If it were me I'd get a strong boat, make an 18 day transit straight for Hawaii, spend a month touring and then make a big fishhook course, northwest, north and then east when you find the easterly trades. While this is definitely the long way round it will be a heck of a lot more comfortable. My last Hawaii to Seattle sail took 22 days with a boat that had a 27 foot waterline.
Just a thought! Start by getting out on the water as much as possible and introducing your family to it too. A great book, Start Sailing Right! is recommended.
Kind regards,
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Old 11-07-2008, 18:56   #11
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Hi Eyeguy, Nothing beats experience, books can only play a part of that, sailing mags, helping around a yacht club, making friends with the members, helping them fix their boats and they will ask you to go out with them. Your family need to know something as well, or you'll get so frustrated with them you'll be shouting at them and they will retreat away from you, because they don't know what you really want. What will they do in an emergency? We've had a couple here about 5 yrs ago, that the skipper fell overboard and their companion could'nt turn the boat around, so you know what! They assume he was having a pee and slipped. Another just recently(3 weeks ago)all the way from Sth Africa,on a world cruise. The skipper got hit in the head with the boom, he died and his companion had to be rescued by our water police, 'cos she couldn't sail the boat after all that way. The boat was about 200 kms off our coast and it was brought in to port near here. I don't want to put you off doing what you would dearly like to do. The adventure sounds fine, the reality is another thing. No doubt there's lots of good advice here from lots of experienced people who live in your part of the world.Take it. wishing you well. Natureboy.
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