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Old 14-12-2018, 23:37   #1
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Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

Hi all

May need to make this trip next month. Anyone make the run to Portland this time of year? What can I expect?
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Old 15-12-2018, 00:03   #2
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

Can it be done? Yeah.
Would I recommend it. Ehhh No. not at this time of year. Wait till spring.

Have I ever done it. No I have better things to do.
I have made the trip in the spring. It was nice,

Seattle to Port Townsend. Even at this time of year can be quite nice. If you can put up with cold wet. Short days long nights.
Port Townsend to Neah Bay. You could stop in port Angeles or Victoria. Odds are long slog against wind. Might be a favourable wind. You don’t want to be beating in to any kind of westerly out Juan De Fuca. The wind will possibly be quite strong and funnel straight down the straight.
But you could wait it out.
Neah Bay to Astoria. 120 or so miles of the open North Pacific in the middle of winter.
If you had time to wait for favourable few days before setting out?
There is nowhere to go for shelter.
There is no habitation until Greys Harbour
It’s a lee shore the whole way.
The Columbia Bar at the end requires favourable conditions.

If you make it to Astoria.

Astoria to Portland is just over a hundred miles up river.

Big question is what boat?
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Old 15-12-2018, 02:30   #3
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

I've made the trip in both directions in ships and commercial fishing boats year round.

Storm warnings are common. Small craft warning is the usual minimum. Sometimes storms are in series for weeks. I've made the trip in February going south in my current power boat. Small craft or gale all the way.

https://www.windy.com/ good site for visual wind, sea and swell info.
South of Cape Flattery there is no good harbor to get into in bad weather. Often the bars get closed in bad weather because they're too dangerous to cross.

If you can wait for a weather window then you can do it safely. If you're in a hurry don't do it. In the winter months there's usually a Coast Guard rescue every month. Usually a sailboat.
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Old 15-12-2018, 08:25   #4
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

Thank you both for your input.
It’s a Beneteau 393 and yes if we go we will absolutely watch for a good weather window but I think I’ll look into trucking it down or see if I can move it to BC Canada for a month or so. Trying to avoid state tax on the boat purchase made in Washington so I think I may look into what my options are for avoiding that (we live in Oregon and there’s no sales tax here). Possibly an extension if the state will allow it. In any case it’s a new to me boat and I’d feel I’d need way more than just a few weekends of sailing her to feel confident enough to risk being caught in a storm this time of year. I know how nasty it can get on the coast this time of year.
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Old 15-12-2018, 10:36   #5
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

I used to make that round trip every six days with a tug and tow. Storms are not that often, a gales are a bit more frequent. But they do not sneak up on you. You could go up to neah Bay, wait for a low to suck up into the gulf of Alaska and head down, it is not that far to Astoria, a days sail at 6 kts and if you wanted you could pull into westport for the night. That would be a whole lot easier than trucking it.

M
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Old 15-12-2018, 10:38   #6
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

I have made this trip many times in each direction by both sail and power - though never in January. Expect a nasty slog from Port Townsend to Neah Bay at that time of year. And wait out the coastal piece from Neah Bay to Astoria for a good weather window. You can easily have life threatening conditions along the coast and at the Columbia River bar if your timing is not good. If it were me, I'd look harder at options. Others have moored in Canada for a period of time to avoid the Washington tax. Winter moorages up North are generally available and much less expensive than summer. That would give you the option of a nice cruise next Spring/early Summer before taking the boat South.
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Old 15-12-2018, 10:43   #7
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

Do you need to move it right away?
Register your new title in Oregon....move the boat when weather permits.
Be a visitor in WA in the mean time.
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Old 15-12-2018, 10:45   #8
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

Quote:
Originally Posted by docrn View Post
Thank you both for your input.
Itís a Beneteau 393 and yes if we go we will absolutely watch for a good weather window but I think Iíll look into trucking it down or see if I can move it to BC Canada for a month or so. Trying to avoid state tax on the boat purchase made in Washington so I think I may look into what my options are for avoiding that (we live in Oregon and thereís no sales tax here). Possibly an extension if the state will allow it. In any case itís a new to me boat and Iíd feel Iíd need way more than just a few weekends of sailing her to feel confident enough to risk being caught in a storm this time of year. I know how nasty it can get on the coast this time of year.
When your legal stay in WA is over visit Canada for a few days/weeks to kill time while watching WindyTV for a break in the weather/wind direction.

Another option is to have the boat hauled (Port Townsend, Port Angeles) to accomplish whatever needs to be done, hopefully taking long enough to get into a better weather season...I believe that an out-of-state boat maintenance is exempted but look into that first.

Another option is to hole-up/anchor at Neah Bay with full tanks until a suitable weather window appears.

Otherwise, pay the tax rather than risk that new-to-you boat.

God luck.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 15-12-2018, 10:50   #9
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

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Originally Posted by MJH View Post
Another option is to hole-up/anchor at Neah Bay with full tanks until a suitable weather window appears.
I believe the fuel dock at the Neah Bay boat basin is closed in the winter, though it is possible to refuel using 5 gallon containers carried from the fuel oil supplier down the road (don't ask me how I know). One more winter time challenge.
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Old 15-12-2018, 11:25   #10
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

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Originally Posted by docrn View Post
Trying to avoid state tax on the boat purchase made in Washington so I think I may look into what my options are for avoiding that (we live in Oregon and thereís no sales tax here). Possibly an extension if the state will allow it.
We purchased our boat in Seattle and sailed it to Portland in July. It was amazingly cold. There is no way in hell I would sail (or motor-sail) from Seattle to Portland in January. Just trying to get across the Columbia Bar in good weather is a challenge, impossible in bad weather. They don't call it the "graveyard of the Pacific" for nothing.

Maka is correct: "Register your new title in Oregon....move the boat when weather permits. Be a visitor in WA in the mean time."

You have 61 days to "use" the boat in Washington before applying for a visitor permit.

Register the boat in Oregon with the Oregon State Marine Board. https://www.oregon.gov/osmb/title-re...tion-faqs.aspx

Then apply for a Washington Visitor Permit. https://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregist...isterboat.html

Then move the boat when weather permits - June, July, August.

This is a new-to-you boat. The Pacific Coast of Washington and Oregon and the Columbia Bar in the middle of winter really isn't a smart location for your shakedown cruise.

Best of luck.
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:12   #11
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

I wouldn't want to do it this time of year. Currently 25-30' waves. I also didn't want to bring my boat up from CA to Portland last year arriving 5 weeks after setting off at around the end of November but I didn't want to get stuck with CA's taxes either so it was a very long harbor hop, wait for wx, harbor hop to finally get to PDX. It can be done but you have to be patient. Make sure you have Vessel Assist I. place, emergency equipment etc
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:13   #12
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

You should be able to leave it in Canada for several months, without problems. ( We travel the BC coast for months, each year).
I'd try around Sidney first. Next try Pedder bay, betcher bay areas. Victoria is possible, but requires persistence . You're wise to wait for late spring.
Good luck and hope you enjoy your new ⛵.
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:36   #13
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

I’m a commercial fisherman from up in SE Alaska and I’ve made this run a number of times crab fishing. Yes, you can indeed do this but there are a few down sides. First the few ports of shelter like West Port Wa have river bars that you have to cross and the outflow of water on a westerly makes for a nasty sea. But the real bummer is your almost certaine to be traveling in small craft warnings with talk of gales in the not to distant future. Keep well offshore, make sure your fuel filters are clean for motoring in sloppy seas, would be nice to travel with another vessel. DONT cut close to the capes as you round them, stay always off shore and watch the ebb tides if its a west wind. Keep a watchful eye for commercial crab gear, the line is heavy poly and it would suck to get fouled with your vessel. There is a north flowing current so that will not help you. If running after dark watch for logs, sometimes after a set of large tides there’s a lot of them just waiting for someone to smack. Like I said, yes indeed you can do this anytime of the year, just be ready for an uncomfortable voyage and when you get your weather window don’t screw around just go go go because the windows are short. Myself I would wait till late spring but...... sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Best to you, be safe
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:45   #14
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

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Originally Posted by Siberian Sea View Post
If running after dark watch for logs, sometimes after a set of large tides there’s a lot of them just waiting for someone to smack.
No, if about this one. Running that stretch of coast between Neah Bay and Astoria (or even Westport) in a 39 foot sailboat in January does not allow you to make a daylight only passage. Even motorsailing, part of the passage will be in the dark, and that doesn't even account for achieving desirable timing for the bar crossing. That certainly ups the ante on the risk of logs, floating debris, and commercial crab gear (right in the middle of the winter crab season).
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Old 15-12-2018, 12:58   #15
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Re: Seattle to Portland Oregon in January

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Originally Posted by Cpt Mark View Post
I wouldn't want to do it this time of year. Currently 25-30' waves. I also didn't want to bring my boat up from CA to Portland last year arriving 5 weeks after setting off at around the end of November but I didn't want to get stuck with CA's taxes either so it was a very long harbor hop, wait for wx, harbor hop to finally get to PDX. It can be done but you have to be patient. Make sure you have Vessel Assist I. place, emergency equipment etc
What?
"25 to 30"

Looks like 11 to 14 feet COMBINED to me... bear in mind you often find a 15 foot swell off this cost but they are so far apart it is not a problem. 11 seconds at the moment.

PZZ150-160145-
Coastal Waters From Cape Flattery To James Island Out 10 Nm-
834 AM PST Sat Dec 15 2018

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM PST THIS MORNING

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING


TODAY
SE wind 20 to 30 kt rising to 25 to 35 kt in the
afternoon. Combined seas 11 to 14 ft with a dominant period of
11 seconds. A chance of showers in the morning then a chance of
rain in the afternoon.

TONIGHT
SE wind 30 to 40 kt. Combined seas 12 to 15 ft with a
dominant period of 10 seconds building to 18 to 21 ft with a
dominant period of 14 seconds after midnight. Rain.

SUN
S wind 30 to 40 kt easing to 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.
Combined seas 19 to 22 ft with a dominant period of 13 seconds
subsiding to 17 to 19 ft with a dominant period of 13 seconds in
the afternoon. Rain.

SUN NIGHT
S wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt after
midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell 22 ft at 19 seconds.

MON
S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SE 25 to 35 kt in the
afternoon. Combined seas 18 to 21 ft with a dominant period of
18 seconds.

MON NIGHT
SE wind 35 to 45 kt becoming S 15 to 25 kt after
midnight. Combined seas 17 to 20 ft with a dominant period of
16 seconds.

TUE
S wind 15 to 25 kt becoming SW 15 to 20 kt. Wind waves
3 to 5 ft subsiding to 2 to 3 ft. SW swell 16 ft.

WED
S wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to
4 ft. W swell 18 ft.
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