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pguatney 06-08-2008 12:52 AM

Sail Hawaii to California
 
Good Morning all.

Has anyone had any experience with sailing from Hawaii to California? Of course you have.

I am considering a boat to replace my 40' ketch lost in Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I have found it......in Hawaii. I sailed a lot of the Caribbean and the East coast, but only a small part of the coast of California, no real Pacific blue water. How long would it take? What trouble am I likely to get into? Best port to aim for? I'd like to haul out in Oxnard. Yes, it's stupid, but it is a 25' Cheoy Lee. I'm Brave (read "stupid") but have nothing to lose. I'd spend a couple of weeks in Hawaii to get used to the boat and shake it down before leaving. Rent an EPIRB and Liferaft for the trip and all that. (no death wishes) I have a very capable crew for the trip, but they have not made that trip either.

I sure could use some quality advice, not just how dumb of an idea it is. Be kind...I'm delicate, landlocked, and sometimes desperate .

Thanks in advance!

PG

Stillraining 06-08-2008 01:25 AM

Iv always heard it was 18 days going and 21 coming back...give or take...I only have one friend who's done it both ways...

Sorry thats all Im good for.

tdw 06-08-2008 04:19 AM

Hey look, I'm not gonna be of any use to you re sailing from Hawaii to California cos I've never done it but my presumption is that a Cheoy Lee 25 has to be a Vertue. Correct ? If so they are really a sweet little thing. don't know if you know anything about them but they have a very impressive pedigree having been designed by none other than Laurent (Jack) Giles himself. If you don't know who LG is then shame on you. Read up on him. Vertue XXXV, Cardinal Vertue and Ice Bird are all part of my early years of wishful thinking and did some amazing voyages for their time and size while Eric and Susan Hiscock's Wanderer III was (indeed is) a scaled up Vertue of 30' and circumnavigated more than once.

So the point is that presuming she is sound she should be more than capable of sailing from Hawaii to California via Capetown and Panama let alone the boring way you want to go. Soundness being very much the key word there. Any doubts then don't do it, she cannot be a young slip of a thing and age does weary them I'm afraid. (Actually that could be rubbish. According to the CLO site , see below, Vertus were still being built into the 90's, amazing.)

There is a Vertue (an old timber one) moored near our boat and I can just sit and look at her all day. Sweet sweet boat, small but perfectly formed as they say.

Anyway, good luck with it. Hope it all works out. Worst thing than can happen is you sink........well yes thats not good I know but hey.....think of the stories you will be able to tell......oh yes sorry, sunk, probably drowned.......oh well.....

Nah , just kidding.

Cheers

ps - google cheoy lee owners if you havn't already. Great site.

Oh, here, save you the trouble

Cheoy Lee Sailboat Association

Lots of info on Vertues.

wallybygolly 06-08-2008 07:00 AM

Did it two years ago aboard a rebuilt CAL-46 (Cal-Vader 49).

Best time to go is in the fall (we left late September and it was pushing it). This is due to the North Pacific High. I will let some more experianced members chime in, but basically the high moves around and its calm in the middle. The winds rotate in a clockwise (i believe its clockwise...) motion around this high. When you leave Hawaii, you will be sailing North until you catch those winds, then basically slingshot East toward California. Only thing...the high moves around. *grins*

We were at sea 23 days...but it was a bad October weather-wise. I live in Hawaii and alot of friends said that the trades weren't strong at all and it was very humid while I was gone.

I hope this helps! Oh, any port is good...generally the more northern ones (we went into Monterey Bay) will save a few days off the voyage.

PS...let me know if you need crew. I live on Oahu and am looking for a boat back to the mainland this summer.

louiskohler 07-09-2016 06:22 PM

Re: Sail Hawaii to California
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by pguatney (Post 326116)
Good Morning all.

Has anyone had any experience with sailing from Hawaii to California? Of course you have.

I am considering a boat to replace my 40' ketch lost in Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I have found it......in Hawaii. I sailed a lot of the Caribbean and the East coast, but only a small part of the coast of California, no real Pacific blue water. How long would it take? What trouble am I likely to get into? Best port to aim for? I'd like to haul out in Oxnard. Yes, it's stupid, but it is a 25' Cheoy Lee. I'm Brave (read "stupid") but have nothing to lose. I'd spend a couple of weeks in Hawaii to get used to the boat and shake it down before leaving. Rent an EPIRB and Liferaft for the trip and all that. (no death wishes) I have a very capable crew for the trip, but they have not made that trip either.

I sure could use some quality advice, not just how dumb of an idea it is. Be kind...I'm delicate, landlocked, and sometimes desperate .

Thanks in advance!

PG

We did it in 1991 starting late April. From Hawaii it was recommended we go straight north 1000 miles to catch the reliable "westerlies" and avoid the large area of dead air known as the pacific high (sunshine but no wind)

3 guys on a Valiant 40 it took 20 days. Our destination was Brookings Oregon but the first two weeks is the same even for LA, (or Alaska) we were told. And we did cross paths half way there with a boat heading for Alaska. It took us ten days to get to latitude 40 and the rest was downwind. We arrived ate on the 20th day at the coat a bit north of Brookings and slowed down to wait for daylight & slip across the river bar at dawn.

capta 07-09-2016 07:02 PM

Re: Sail Hawaii to California
 
I haven't done it in a long time, but way back when we had to go north as far as Seattle or Vancouver before we turned east. From what I've read it might need even more north sailing to get around the present PacHigh.
You definitely do not want to cut it short, especially after the Japanese tsunami, which has left some serious junk floating in the high which could at the least disable your boat and sink her at worst.
If I remember right, Honolulu to Frisco is about 3000 miles if you go north enough to miss the high safely, or about a month on a 25 footer. It might be a better deal to ship a small boat like that. The West Coast can be one of the most dangerous places to sail on earth, should Neptune choose to be unkind.

aloof 07-10-2016 12:07 PM

Re: Sail Hawaii to California
 
The weather will be what it will be. There's not much you can do about that. That crossing has very little bad weather in its history. I'm skeptical that a late season, fall, crossing is advisable because the possibility of an early low pressure system descending from Alaska. October often sees these lows reach California. The general rule is to sail N on starboard tack, typically close reaching until 35 to 45 in latitude. But conditions vary. Depends entirely on where the high pressure center ends up when you get there and how much fuel you have.

On a long crossing there is no "window". The weather changes.

You boat is on the small side for the crossing, but only for crew comfort. You are moving to a much smaller living quarters compared to your 40 footer. Because the boat is on the slow side you must plan on many days at sea. A heavy load of stores...food, fuel, water, liferaft...which slow the ship even more. Consider the relatively convenient Matson shipping line. Many Transpac boats of your size return as deck cargo, often on their trailers, that way.

I left Honolulu on August 20 last year as yet another Hurricane was forecast to approach Hawaii. I'd played cat and mouse with quite enough Hurricanes and Typhoons in the previous year so I provisioned and departed in 6 hours. Conditions in the N Pac looked normal. Sailed briskly N for two days then the high pressure system disappeared...or kinda went to Alaska and Mexico. I carried on sailing close hauled on whichever tack was favored for reaching my goal. That goal was to arrive a few hundred miles WNW of San Francisco when the reaching the area of NW'lys, often gales, off N California. To do the normal reach would have been to sail towards Vladivostok. Which is where some goofball on boat that I crossed was headed. By a week out the High had reformed in the usual spot right on my track. Sailed into it. Motored for half a day. Wind came back. Tacked onto the other side. Close hauled NE to my goal. Reached the coastal NW'lys, cracked off to a reach, surfed ESE the last 300 miles into Central California. 15 days. Singlehanded. Arrived with 100 gallons of red fuel which I am slowly burning in my little tractor. Your results may vary.

You might aim for a point W of Monterey so that last reach puts you about Oxnard. You want the true wind and waves behind the beam approaching California. That is a firm rule.

I doubt the Tsunami junk is still out there in the gyre. That was a long time ago. No reports of anything. Plenty of litter though: some small pieces of plastic, usually styrofoam or fishing gear, are passed every few seconds. Look over the transom frequently. Especially before engaging the prop. Be prepared to dive to clear the prop, as I did once to clear a twenty foot tangle of fishing line. Water was chilly.

zeehag 07-11-2016 01:12 PM

Re: Sail Hawaii to California
 
do notgo now. we are stacking potential cyclonic events in epac. it will be lots lots funner in late november when the storms stick to mexico like fleas to a dog. now they going to hawaii. for lesser experienced sailors, it is preferable to wait until these lovelies are not trying to kill ye.
even experienced sailors have respect for them...
after november, i bet ye even find crew.......

Donna_F 07-11-2016 03:25 PM

Re: Sail Hawaii to California
 
Eight year old thread folks. The OP either made it or not by now. Even Rimas drifted across the Pacific quicker than that.


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