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  #1  
Old 04-24-2013
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Sailing Around Hawaii

I'm traveling to Hawaii 4/26 through 5/11 and am wondering what the sailing conditions are like around the Big Island this time of year. I'm interested in day sailing or perhaps overnight a few days. Is there any one there looking for crew? or know someone who is? or once I arrive can recommend some places to connect with local sailors? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.

--Jubei
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Old 04-24-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

Casey1999.... calling Casey1999.... service call!
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Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

@Faster: thanks for the service call.

I tried to PM Casey, but don't have enough post count to send PMs. Hopefully they will PM me or post a reply soon.
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Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubei View Post
I'm traveling to Hawaii 4/26 through 5/11 and am wondering what the sailing conditions are like around the Big Island this time of year. I'm interested in day sailing or perhaps overnight a few days. Is there any one there looking for crew? or know someone who is? or once I arrive can recommend some places to connect with local sailors? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.

--Jubei
Aloha Jubei,
I live and sail North Shore of Oahu (Haleiwa- Waimea Bay area). The islands are about a days sail from each other and conditions between the islands can get radical with 20 foot breaking wind swell and 40 knot head winds so boats must be well equiped and prepared. People don't sail inter island without complete preperation. In the winter months, we get north swell from Alaska which adds to the conditions-20 foot plus open swell but breaking 50 feet or more on the shore. Summer we get swell on the south sides but not quite as big.

I have not sailed around big island, but know the conditions. East side Hilo can be cloudy and rainy with light or no wind. West side Kona, is hot and dry with light to moderate winds- the farther from shore the stronger the wind.

There are also very few anchorage areas around any of the islands, and you need to be careful where you anchor as to where swell is coming from- very few 100% protected anchorages.

As far as I know, there are no charter companies here- probably due to conditions. There are however a lot of large (40 foot +) catamerans that go out for day sails and they can be a lot of fun, the humbacks are still here and spinner dolphins always around. Kona side of big island would have the catamarans as well as Waikiki area, there is one also where I dock at Haleiwa.

If you want to sail on Oahu, let me know- gotta go now to work on the boat, back in a few days.

There are harbor facilities at Kona (west side big island), I would see what you could find there by asking around, maybe you could find a day or overnight sail with a private boat.
Faster and night0wl like this.

Last edited by casey1999; 04-25-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 04-25-2013
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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 07:13 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

Thank you both for all the info. I'll try to make it over to Honokohau. More likely I'll just make the usual vacation of it and get my sailing fix later this summer in Seattle .
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Old 04-30-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

FYI,
The winds around Hawaii for the last week have been light Kona (southerly) and are predicted to stay this way for the next week (might get some light trades on Thursday/Friday then back to Kona). Not real good for long distance sailing with the lumpy ocean swell. It has been a strange spring as we have gotten a lot of light kona wind and not much trades- maybe global warming. It is a fact that over the last 20 years the trades have becoming lighter.

Have a good vacation.
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Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

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Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post
Aloha Jubei,
.
As far as I know, there are no charter companies here- probably due to conditions. There are however a lot of large (40 foot +) catamerans that go out for day sails

I can attest to that. No charters anywhere. The conditions inter islands is like being offshore I the trade winds. I did a trip in Maui on the Americas Cup Boat, as soon as the boat left the islands lee things got lively. It was like SF bay on steroids.
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Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

I still think they should have more sailboat trips with a captain that aren't on a catamaran.

Do that many more people really want to go fishing than sailing? Especially given the cost.
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Old 05-01-2013
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Re: Sailing Around Hawaii

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I still think they should have more sailboat trips with a captain that aren't on a catamaran.

Do that many more people really want to go fishing than sailing? Especially given the cost.
I believe when I looked there was one available on Maui. My guess with the plethora of Cats is the economy of scale. You can fit a lot more tourists on board a catamaran.
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