first sailed january 2008
Join Date: Mar 2008
Thanked 15 Times in 15 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Re: Sailing Around Hawaii
The main two harbours on the Big Island are in Hilo and Kona.
Honokohau 4 miles north of Kailua-Kona is better for sailing.
The Big Island has a different wind pattern than the rest of the islands.
The tradewinds come from the east to Northeast, 70-80% of the time this time of year. But since the Big Island has two humongous volcanos, the wind gets funneled or stopped. Picture a figure eight, standing up. Through the center only if the tradewinds are strong, they can get funneled through and make it into Kohala, north of Kona, but the volcano blocks them from ever getting into Kona or south.
When the trades aren't blowing, there are genrally light to moderate Southwest winds, that typically bring rain.
Now the north and south points of the eight cause the wind to strengthen, so above and below the winds are often very fierce. 20-40 knots.
Oddly enough, from hilo north, the winds are from the northeast, but very light, the mountains stop and redirect them out at sea several miles before they reach land, so the Hilo and Hamakua coast, is generally light onshore winds.
Kona has convection winds, where it is glassy in the morning, and mild onshore seabreezes during the day.
There is a very bad volcanic pollution problem from Kona to the south. It makes an otherwise beautiful place, grey and sickening most days. Kona is nasty, worse than Los Angeles.
If you are going to sail, the best bet is to walk the docks in Honokohau, though most of the boats are $500,000+ offshore fishing boats, which is fun, but expensive.
There are some sailboats there, and a monthly casual race.
O'ahu is where you will find all the sailing action. Some on Maui, but O'ahu is best, with the least funneled, most consistent winds. Maui nukes pretty good, and also has big volcanoes like the Big Island. But you're not asking about them so I will stop there.
Last edited by northoceanbeach; 04-25-2013 at 08:13 PM.