Solo Sailoring ..... :o)
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Aboard my boat S/V Porthos
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A Long Trip ;o)
I'm writing because I have made this trip several times in the past. It's a much longer trip than you realize and more expensive.
First of all depending on the size of boat your costs through the "canal" will run anywhere from $1800. to $5,000. The canal has some interesting requirements your need to be aware of before making any hard and fast plans. Such as pilots, mooring lines, deckhands, etc. Then there is the infamous "DEPOSIT" - LOL ;o) I never did get mine back ...........
Next you have prevailing winds and current. Winds on that coast are going to predominate from the NNW making a northward sail difficult and currents on the California and Oregon coast are going to be southerly and average 2 to 4 kts. What this boils down to is if you wanna make Seattle from Panama either motor most of the way or sail to Hawaii first.
Lastly, trucking isn't cheap but that will depend on the beam of the boat, weight/displacement etc. Boats over 12ft in beam are appreciably more expensive to move and over 14 ft are almost impossible. So in purchasing a boat maybe you ought to look at a boat in Southern CA and truck it north. Also when choosing a boat don't forget about the Seattle weather. Not just the rain but the cooler weather most of the year, Southern CA it "ain't"
Best of Luck;