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Old 11-04-2011, 06:31   #16
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Re: Suggested Destinations for Trailer Sailer

Hi TwoBlockTom,

We sure would recommend cruising the Pacific NW in a small boat. Not as warm as the Chesapeake or the BVI, but fabulously beautiful and full of wonderful critters and fine seafood.

We've spent 2 months on board in a 22' C-Dory, and up to 3 1/2 in a 26-footer, anywhere from the San Juans up through SE Alaska. As you said, like camping, only more comfortable. Decent rain gear is a must, but if you can handle some rain it can be great.

Some pictures to whet your appetite:

You are invited to view Richard Cook's photo album: Cruising SE Alaska (and BC)

Cruising SE Alaska (and BC)
Southeast Alaska -
Jan 6, 2010
by Richard Cook
Boat trips from several years, mostly 2006-2009.
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You are invited to view Richard Cook's photo album: SE Alaska 2010

SE Alaska 2010
Jun 13, 2010
by Richard Cook
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Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37)
"Cruising in a Big Way"
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Old 11-04-2011, 18:23   #17
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Re: Suggested Destinations for Trailer Sailer

I agree that the PNW and coastal British Columbia are great destinations. This thread is such a breath of fresh air. Thank you for starting it.


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Old 11-04-2011, 20:28   #18
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Re: Suggested Destinations for Trailer Sailer

Welcome aboard!

That said, my 2 cents. You might want to try the forgotten coast, aka the Florida Panhandle, lots of places to anchor and if you want to be alone, there are a lot of places to go. If you get lonely, there is Panama City Beach, Destin, etc. further west.

Further to the east from PC is St. George's Island, Apalachicola (fresh sea food right off the boats and great fishing at the mouth of the river) and Carrabelle to explore. The cost of living there is less than further south plus the climate is less humid.

I like to use Active captain to explore via the internet.

Should you decide to go to the keys, shallow draft boats can sail the Florida Bay north of the keys. Not a lot of people sail up there and if you want to try the blue, you just sail south!
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:16   #19
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Bring your boat to the Chesapeake. The bay is a wonderful place to sail and gunkhole.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:27   #20
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Re: Suggested Destinations for Trailer Sailer

+1 for the PNW. There are lots of anchorages a short way away. You can see a lot of islands and have a good time.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 12-04-2011, 14:00   #21
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Re: Suggested Destinations for Trailer Sailer

I remembered Bahia Honda State Park as one of my favs from the early 70s (I was ~12) when we camped as a family in the 18' travel trailer, pulled by the big station wagon, with the 12' jon boat on the roof racks.

A couple decades later, I took a trailerable sailboat down to the Keys, launched at Sunshine Key Campground and Marina (ironically, its on Ohio Key, just to the east of Bahia Honda), and left the truck and trailer there for a week while cruising Bahia Honda Key and surrounding areas - as far east as Marathon and as far west as the eastern parts of Big Pine Key.,-81.243382&spn=0.008872,0.019205&z=16

I would recommend that as a good combination of launch, secure vehicle/trailer storage, cruising grounds, safe areas for a small boat to get out of the weather and so on. We mostly anchored out, but opted to stay the last night in the marina after making it there with a cracked tiller-to-rudder casting. There are numerous coves, nice anchorages, great snorkeling and a couple really deep (70'?) holes where stone was mined to build the local roads and bridges. A detailed Keys cruising guide should tell most of it.

Specifically for that trip, I had made a mast-raising strut and stabilizing harness so that I could use either a genoa winch, or the trailer winch, to raise and lower the mast singlehandedly, even on the water. This allowed us to go under the bridge between the Ocean side and the Gulf side of the Keys when we wanted and avoided having to sail hours to a "bump" in the bridge where there was clearance for sailboats.

Road travel with that trailerable boat has always been really fun for us as we use the boat like a camper on the road. With a campground guide, (or more recently a laptop, "air card" for net access & Yahoo Local) it is easy to find state campgrounds (~$15), and 'mom and pop' campgrounds (~$20 to $30) wherever you may be when its bedtime. Also, for real (cheap & easy) travel-time efficiency, you can just pull into an interstate rest area to the trailer/truck side, maybe about eleven or midnight, climb aboard into your ready bed, and sleep until 7 or 8 in the morning, then hit the road again - often without even venturing into the rest stop facilities.

My wife was initially pretty skeptical of this, citing the "No Overnight Parking" signs and the occasional news story about some psychopath murdering someone in a rest area. According to a cop I spoke with, those signs are to keep people from staying there repeatedly. He said just never stay in the same rest area more than once in awhile, no problem. As for the murder, anyone who has traveled FL around Xmas knows rest areas fill to capacity each night. I pointed out that all two hundred people there were likely ax murderers just waiting for her to let her guard down... She has lightened up a little since then (and CCW...).

In the summer, on land, it can be too hot for comfort, and a little 5K BTU LG window unit AC ($150 @ HomeDepot, w/ remote control) can be easily hoisted up and placed on deck, pointing aft into the fore hatch, and the remaining opening shrouded with a piece of tarp held down with a piece of anchor chain around its edges on deck and over the AC - it makes hot summer doable in a campground with electricity. Of course not needed on the water for many reasons... I also had installed pressure water, 12V halogen lights (I'd do LED now) and CD sound system with remote control. Pretty comfy for 22'!

One very serious function issue for using the boat on the trailer was the mast being so low over the cockpit, main hatch and fore hatch while the mast was down and resting on its (permanent) travel bracket on the stern. I built a permanent extension from aluminum, maybe 4' high, giving the aft section of the mast a low position (original, for road travel) and high position (giving cockpit headroom under mast while parked, or while the mast was down, boat in the water).

There is a kind of 6" high and wide "pod" on the top of the aluminum pole, in half of which was mounted a rubber roller on an axel that works in conjunction with the mast-raising and lowering rig, and also served as the mast rest in the "up" position. Additionally, I moved the white stern nav light from the transom to the pod, running the wire up the tube to the pod. This eliminates the problem of the stern light being obstructed by the outboard engine when its in the up position for sailing. I also mounted an 8' white FG VHF antenna (~15' tall over the water) to the side of the pod, on a folding bracket - great place for it!

While in that area, I can second the post regarding Everglades National Park, and putting in at Flamingo! Been there, its great! I'd do both the Keys and Everglades in the same trip if ever I had a month or two instead of a 10-day week.

Fun times. Hope you enjoy your trailer boat travels as much as we did!
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Old 05-05-2011, 15:19   #22
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Sorry,I have been away for a bit. Thank you all for the ideas and useful info. I am now doing last min. prep work and waiting for gas prices to peak before deciding how far from home we can go. The heat of FL may be tough for us, so the PNW may prove to be a good choice. We are a long way from ether coast!
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:35   #23
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Well we decided to slip our boat at pueblo reservoir again this year. It is close to home and we still have a lot to learn about sailing that we can learn there. Maybe in the future we can get to some other places.
Thanks for all the ideas !!!

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