The OP said:
"I know it could be shipped, but what's the fun in that!"
Maybe you should search for the many threads about the Panama Canal
to San Diego
and on to Seattle thread. This topic has been beat to death but in summary:
4,000 miles (Panama to Seattle) dead into the wind
and prevailing swells. You will motor
almost every inch of the way, you'll beat the snot out of the boat
, and you will seriously regret the decision to head
NW from Panama
I know a lot of people who have made the trip and it was a motorboat trip from the Canal
I have written several posts here about the economics of Mexico
to Seattle. If you can't find those threads (search for TacomaSailor) I will be glad to send you some info. I figure the optimistic cost of the trip from San Diego
to Seattle to be over $4,500.
Assuming you can sail 1/3 of the time from Panama
to San Diego (I know dozens who've tried and none sailed more than 10% of the time) you need to buy fuel
for 2,000 miles minimum. Assume 6 knots and 1 GPH (you are constantly motoring into a 15 knot
and 5' swells - I've done it twice) you'll buy about 330 gallons of fuel
at $4/gallon or $1,400 in fuel costs.
Figure $1,000 to get thru the canal
you are now looking at almost $7,000.
If you can make 140 miles a day motoring (up wind upswell my brothers Tartan 42 with a Perkins
50 HP in it averaged only 4.8 knots in the 750 miles from Cabo to San Diego) you can figure 28 days underway from Balboa
to Seattle. But, weather delays (15 knots apparent dead on the nose is a good day and it is frequently 25 knots) always add many days to the trip. I've never done Cabo - San Diego in less than 12 days (even in a 53' trawler
with dual 120HP Perkins) so you'd better figure at least two days a week of waiting on weather.
In my four trips from Seattle to San Diego - I've not done it in less than 12 days and that was all down wind. Every trip has had a weather delay of at least two days.
Then add in stops for fuel and food
- I can not see any way to get from Balboa
, Panama to Seattle in less than six-weeks and that would be hard work
I am sure it sounds romantic but it will not be after you leave the canal and head
IF you really want the adventure and the chance to learn to sail - then head WNW from the canal, pick up the trades and sail to Hawaii
. Then do the big loop NNW and then ENE from Hawaii
to Seattle. You'll get to sail almost every inch of the way and you will have some real blue water