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West Coast Cruising Question

Discussion in 'Marinas & Waypoints' started by TonyWA, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. TonyWA

    TonyWA New Member

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    Hello All!

    I've had a few boats in the past but they all have been gas of the 25-35 foot variety. I'm now looking into getting a 40 footer for a live aboard and cruiser. I'm in the Puget Sound area and I know I can cruise local as well as up to the islands/Canada no problem. My question is: If I wanted to take it out the Straights and cruise down the west coast to say San Fran or San Diego, would this be possible? I know I will need fuel stops along the way etc. I am just wondering the stability in open water if I hug the coast in a 40 footer. More specifically I am looking at a 40' Chris Craft Constellation Woody in great shape/running condition (already sourced).

    Thanks for the help in advance
  2. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Possible but highly inadvisable.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    We are spoiled from the East Coast. Always an easy escape to the ICW. We did spend some time along that coast last year, however. In my opinion, that is not the boat to be cruising along the coast. If you were relocating the boat and just had to move it once, then you could wait and pick weather windows and do short hops down the coast.

    Conditions today off the coast: 11 to 13 ft. Unfortunately that isn't as uncommon as you might hope. Finding really good conditions for the length of time it would take to move from Port Angeles to San Francisco would be very unlikely. In the limitations that boat would have, I could easily see you stopped somewhere along the way for a couple of weeks or more.

    You use the word "cruise." Beautiful area, but it's not what I'd call a cruising area for a relatively small boat.

    The other thing that has to be considered is that you are also not prepared for that area. You would definitely need a captain for that trip, even if just transporting the boat south, a captain with experience and knowledge of the area.
  4. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    I have delivered a half dozen boats to and from the Pac NW and I would pass on the opportunity to delivery a 40' CC Connie. The Pac NW deserves a lot of respect, the always present swell, wind, bars, crab pots and dead head. Yes it can be done but it will likely stress your Connie and your seamanship to the limits.
  5. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I would be less concerned with stablility and more concerned with hull condition, running gear, steering, fuel tanks, wiring ...any or all of it original? It's most likely worn out if it is.

    There are older wood plank boats capabale of cruising. Mostly trawler types, heavily built and actively cruised with many dollars spent over the years on mechanical & systems updating.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Suddenly a picture of "Bounty" came to my mind and that's not a good thought.
  7. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    There is a very reliable transport outfit in Bellingham that could transport it probably much less stressful.
  8. refugio

    refugio New Member

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    As every other reply has indicated this is a poor match for this contemplated vessel - and this isn't a one-way delivery but a round trip unless you are thinking of taking a wooden boat from the PNW (where wooden boats are relatively well favored) to SoCal and selling it there.

    But the more important issue is that you would not want to "hug the coast" - that is a very inhospitable coast to hug! The only entrances are river bars that may be impassable for days on end and which require caution to enter at other times.

    Transporting this vessel to / from SoCal for cruising would be a poor proposition indeed. If your heart is truly set on cruising down there then charter a vessel there (or even buy a second vessel and sell it after the cruise).
  9. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    I concur with the suggestions that you leave the old girl in reasonably sheltered waters.

    We were en route from Honolulu to Seattle in a 200 ft modern well found 2 yr old Motor Yacht and we got a weather forecast that advised us of bad weather coming our way and to look for alternative ports.

    In short there weren't any that we could use so we just would her up and took a beating for 12 hrs or so till we could turn the corner to the Juan de Fuca Strait and run down to Seattle.
  11. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    As others have suggested, this is not recommended. When I bought my 54' Donzi in So Cal I contmplated running it up to the PNW or having it transported. I researched pretty heavily and glad I decided to have it transported. There are lots of places to get in serious trouble along the northern coast and some long stretches where you cannot get our of weather if you hit it unexpectedly.
    If you are looking for good cruising you are far safer to go up the inside passage all the way through S.E. Alaska. You can cruise from Puget Sound north for 1,000 + miles and you only have two very small and manageable open water crossings at Quenn Charlotte Sound and Dixon Entrance. It really is a beautiful trip and highly recommended if you have the opportunity.
  12. Delfin

    Delfin Member

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    Not a coast to hug. As noted, if you need to dart into a harbor because of nasty weather the likelihood exists the harbor will be closed because until you get to Eureka the harbors are on rivers and the rivers all have bars. Best to stand off on the 100 fathom line to avoid trouble. Heading south can be a piece of cake. Heading north is much less probable. This video shows a very pleasant day on the Umpqua river. Fancy taking your Connie over that?
  13. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    Either way, North or South is potentially dangerous, I came in to Eureka and Newport in worse than that.
  14. wayneCCC

    wayneCCC New Member

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    Will be doing a run from Portland Or up to Vancouver BC this week in my 57 Chris Craft Connie. Weather window looks promising, and I will update when I can.
  15. refugio

    refugio New Member

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    Heck, ANY day entering or departing Depoe Bay:

    "a blind approach to a narrow serpentine channel, wide enough for one boat only. One way traffic, either In or Out! And which one is more demanding? Going out to sea, when you don't have a feel for what the sea will be until you're committed and cannot turn back; or coming back in, when the skipper must time his approach to have steerageway into the final turn - where bad timing might let an overtaking swell rob your rudder of the directional control it needs to keep you off the rocks. People have died here...it can be extremely dangerous."​
  16. wayneCCC

    wayneCCC New Member

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    Well fortunately the Umpqua river bar under bad conditions isn't a part of the Route. Bad timing and poor judgement can get you killed almost anywhere on the water. Fortunately with the amount of instant information available, poor choices can be reduced if one uses the resources available, but thanks for the heads up! I would hope most people doing this route would do their research ahead of time.
  17. wayneCCC

    wayneCCC New Member

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    What a fantastic trip. Portland to Astoria (7 hrs-stay the night), cross the Columbia Bar at 8 am with very mild seas, up to Neah Bay( 15 hrs through heavy fog almost all the way) stay the night and head to Port Angeles in morning, 5 hrs and more fog. Overnight and pick up some passengers, for the easy part of the trip. 11 hrs to Steveston and stopped for fuel and a break from the rough seas. Stayed the night and left the few hours to Vancouver for the next morning. Well, the Fraser Bar was brutal and it didn't stop until I could make the cut back to the east and first narrows bridge. 30 knot north westerlies and very big seas made the last leg very interesting.

    The Chris Craft, brought us home safe, with only a blown out porthole and some lost deck cushions to complain about.