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Old 02-14-2010
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I know the "conventional wisdom" is to wait until August. The thinking is probably that this is the month with the least amount of storms. It is the best month of the year for NW gales and fog.

I have been pinned down on anchor for 7 days and nights in Aug. when it blew gale or better NW in Shelter cove. The rigging never quit howling...The NW wind sets up as the interior land warms up, and the cold pacific air rushes in to replace the rising air. Hot air + cold water = lots of wind.
The warmer it gets, the harder it blows unless it socks in with fog

April, May, and early June is your best window to go north and not have to fight the NW winds. You have a great chance of variable or south winds in these months.
If you go in Aug. it will blow in 3 or 4 day waves typically. It will blow till it fills up the caost with cool air and the fog rolls in and things go quiet for a day or two before the fog burns off and the cycle starts again.
(time spread between) Alaska, PNW, & Mexico

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Old 05-04-2010
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Just wanted to say Thanks for all the help on this post and others. I recently had the opportunity to do a (more or less) even swap from my Yorktown to an Irwin and thus inherited an entirely new set of gremlins to wrap my (puny and overtaxed) mind around. But Cheers and and thanks once more for all the insights!
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Old 05-05-2010
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Just wanted to say that the weather systems have been coming in late this year; and you need to judge going up the coast in April/May by what the trends have been. If the winter storms have been trending south and it has been a wet/rainy winter, chances are that the offshore conditions will not be good in April and into May. Last weekend wind waves were for 8' swell with 8' wind waves outside of SF (I don't know what the forecast was further north). If it is a mild spring; April-May could be OK; but you are still not out of the winter storm window and you would want a good 4-day forecast with no approaching systems on the 96-hour forecast.

If it were me I would wait until June or later. I'd rather deal with fog and coastal winds than storms and heavy seas/swell. The offshore winds generally get lighter the further offshore in the summer; unless the rare clear-air gale forms (inland strong low, Pacific high that is further west)

If you are considering paying a delivery captain; you might also look into the cost of truck transport.
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