Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 06-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

What is your person clothing for crossing to Hawaii from mainland within these two months?

I prefer travel light, only the essentials. The speed and safety are essential for the trip and personal comfort is secondary. For most of my Right Coast off-shore sailing, I only bring a few long t-shirts, shorts and swimming trunks, hats, and a flip flop plus my foulies.

TIA


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post #2 of 18 Old 06-05-2013
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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Where are you leaving from? If California, that's one thing.. if the PNW... then it's CCCCOLD for the first 700 NM at least. We left Victoria one July 1st, I spent the the entire time down to the N. California border in a full-on cruiser suit. It was mostly sunny, but never 'warm' until then...

If PNW, Jackdale's our resident expert....

Ron

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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Haha.... I guess it is a good thing that we are leaving from SoCal. I assume the water temp is still relatively cold compared to the Caribbean. Do I need a surfer wetsuit?


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post #4 of 18 Old 06-05-2013
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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

I've done both the TransPac and the Pacific Cup, and in both races conditions were chilly for several days heading southwest. By "chilly" I mean evening temperatures in the 50's before factoring in wind chill. Keep in mind that there is a marine layer that typically extends as much as 400 miles offshore, so it's quite possible you won't even see the sun for 3-4 days, perhaps longer.

So my advice is to definitely bring your foulies, but also a fleece top and possibly polypro base layer. Socks and sea boots wouldn't necessarily be overkill (probably more of a consideration sailing out of SF), but certainly deck shoes and wicking socks would be a good idea.

Have a safe trip.
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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Thanks for the helpful info. During your race to HI, how wet was it considering it was a down- wind sailing?



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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Just what the others have said, It's cold. It will be cold for the first week before the warm trades come. When I day sail with friends I always tell them it's cold out there. They never believe me. They come from the warm valleys and think how could it be cold it's over a 100 here. Then they show up with shorts and long sleeve t-shirts. The next thing I hear is do you have any jackets/hoodies down below. O and the water temps are in the low 60's so yes a wetsuit is a must for me anyway. Good luck it's a great run from what I have heard.

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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

I was sailing just off the coast a few times last week and everyone was layered up. Keep in mind we are all Socal folks so cold means below 70. Even a Maineiac on board was in layers though. This was all coastal sailing with wind below 15 offshore it was small craft advisories. I would bring your heavy foulies and a few layers for below. Personal comfort is never secondary for me, especially offshore comfort=safety.

I am jealous, I want to do that trip someday.

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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
Thanks for the helpful info. During your race to HI, how wet was it considering it was a down- wind sailing?

It really depends on what kind of boat you're on. I did the trip on a J/105 and a Frers 37, and neither boat was particularly wet. On the other hand, people I know have done a couple crossings on a Reichel Pugh 45 and it was comparatively wet.



But on boats like that you're going to be planing / surfing at high speed, and water is going to be coming over the deck and the bow wave will be back around the chain plates. But you won't care because you'll be having the time of your life.

FWIW, the wettest I've ever been was aboard a J/120 in the South Georgia Strait, between the BC Mainland and Vancouver Island. Combination of big breeze (30-40 knots), rain and sailing upwind. Waves swept the deck constantly, all the way back to the cockpit, and everyone was drenched, even in full foul weather gear and multiple layers. Never been colder, either, even when sailing Lasers in Long Island Sound in < 30F (thank god for dry suits).

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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Rockdawg, welcome to the Pacific. I ditto everything that was said previously. The Pacific even off of SoCal is pretty cold and it is pretty effective in cooling off the surrounding air. I find the damp 50-60 degree temperatures bone chilling especially between the mid watch and dawn. Leaving from SoCal, you should have only a few days of headstay reaching but plan on a secondary wave pattern that might put the occasional water into the cockpit. What type of boat are you sailing? A Trans Pac racer obviously will be more exposed than a cruiser with a dodger. Once you turn the corner and are into the trades, you are down to a spray jacket at night as the squalls are still a little bit chilly. Layering up is the way to go. I wear fleece sweaters and “sweat pants” under my foulies as well as Capline thermals. I also have a pair of 3mm neoprene socks I wear with liners. Watch cap, neck gaiter and gauntlet gloves complete the ensemble for sailing the coast. Shorts, SP40 long sleeve shirts and a big sun hat for the afternoon when in the trades.
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Re: Left Coast Off-shore Sailors, what to pack?

Three words....layers, layers, layers.

It's likely to be cool, and often foggy, for the first few hundred miles. Once you are well west of the California Current, and a bit south, it will warm up nicely.

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