Puget Sound vs Lake Washington - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 30 Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

University is the lowest of the taller bridges at 42.5' during high water in the lake. Then Ballard at ~44' and montlake and 520 @ 45'. Freemont is listed at 28'. The RR bridge outside of the locks in saltwawater can vary from 38' to 50 depending upon the tide at the time. There are some depth signs on the bridge feet for lack of better wording saying how high the span is based on water depth at the time.

If you can get to Lake Union on a tuesday evening, could be quite fun as the duck dodge is going on, join if you can get there early enough. This PHUN race goes from about May to sept IIRC. THen jan to march on sundays?!?! is the Iceberg regatta or some such thing. Similar rules, many of the same sponsors. Three starts, fast med and half-assed.....oops, slow boat. Idea is a fun time with in the city showing off the sails of the boats etc.

Both races, info can be found in the local 48north rags and online at 48north.com. Yachting, another local freeby, has info as well.

Marty

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post #22 of 30 Old 09-29-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Thanks John and Marty. I'll take it some baby steps at a time and get familiar first with the route from Lake Washington to Lake Union - so just University and Montlake bridges - before attempting to go further towards the sound. So I take it the plan to bring down the sails and just motor through the canal is the way to go?
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post #23 of 30 Old 09-29-2012
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Motoring is probably in all reality, the ONLY way to go thru. One could sail the northern end of lk union, but if the goal is to go ALL the way thru, most will motor from one end to the other. Then if you are needing to open bridges, one finds that going in an informal group will occur many time. I only have to open for Freemont. But when I go thru the locks with a few others, I find I have to wait at freemont for the ones behind me to catch up. Same with going towards the locks. If I go under montlake ad university in the middle of them opening, I wait at freemont until they catch up.

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post #24 of 30 Old 09-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

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Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post
Motoring is probably in all reality, the ONLY way to go thru. One could sail the northern end of lk union, but if the goal is to go ALL the way thru, most will motor from one end to the other. Then if you are needing to open bridges, one finds that going in an informal group will occur many time. I only have to open for Freemont. But when I go thru the locks with a few others, I find I have to wait at freemont for the ones behind me to catch up. Same with going towards the locks. If I go under montlake ad university in the middle of them opening, I wait at freemont until they catch up.

Marty
Thanks Marty. Hope you don't mind these additional questions?

For going through those bridges like montlake and university that you can go under without opening but just need to pass under the middle of the arch, how do you avoid going against similar boats from the opposite direction (maybe another sailboat or a big ship) who also have similar requirements to take the middle lane specially in a narrow channel like the Montlake cut?

Is there a protocol on who should go first while the other side waits?

If I am already commited to passing through to take the middle lane, can I expect the opposite boat to give way till I clear the bridge specially if it's one of the big cruise ships on the opposite side?

I see traffic lights that are green facing both directions on the side of the Montlake cut while red lights in the middle of the bridge again both directions. I'm guessing The red lights are only for boats requiring the bridge to open so the green means boats are good to go simultaneously in both directions if they dont need an opening?
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post #25 of 30 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Luke- going under the bridges if you don't need them to open is a piece of cake, if there is a big boat coming thru just wait until they are clear. You can see both ends at Mountlake so you can just go when nothing is coming your way and you'll easily be past the bridge before anything big can get in your way. I would plan on motoring your first time, I've see small boats sail through but the wind needs to be just right. Once you are familiar with it you can decide if you want to challenge yourself by sailing all or part of it. Don't worry too much about opening Fremont, it's good experience and really easy. Wait until you are almost right at the bridge and give a good prolonged (4 seconds minimum) blast and then a short one. The bridge will normally give a return signal of either a long and short meaning that they will open soon, or five short meaning you are going to have to wait a while. Even milling around waiting is usually interesting, good practice keeping the boat in one spot or making tight circles while watching the kayakers and power boats go by. Once you see how easy it is to get to the locks you'll be wanting to take the next step and get to the "big" water. Locking through is easy too, post another thread when you are ready for advice on that.
One more thing- the trip from Kirkland to Lk Union is probably going to take you a couple of hours (at least), allow plenty of time to get there, do some exploring and back before dark (it's getting dark really early now, darn it).

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post #26 of 30 Old 09-30-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Thanks John. That sounds very sensible. I was over analyzing trying to find some rules or traffic signals to follow so I dont cause an accident or disruption in traffic flow when it seems like the solution is just to circle and wait for a clear lane.

I guess it's time to go ahead and "just do it" like the commercials say. ;-)
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post #27 of 30 Old 09-30-2012
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Depends upon the AIR draft of the boat. If in a 22' boat as I recall you saying you are using. you could probably be off to the side and not have issues with the taller ones. Meanwhile myself, I'm probably right at 42', so needless to say, I hit them in the middle, most do not argue with me, even tho at 28' and 7000 lbs or so, they see I need ALL the height I can get! You will find that if you are in a boat that needs the air draft, you will usually get the right away with out too many issues, assuming you are also being somewhat good too, when going thru, I try to let folks know I am aiming by aiming well ahead of time, then once thru, move to the starboard where I should be. If the bridge is up, then take to the starboard a bit too. especially if two sailboats with air draft issues are going in opposite directions.

It is not as bad as you think it will be.

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post #28 of 30 Old 10-01-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Thanks Marty. The specs on the boat I'm using says 30' bridge height clearance so I'll try to stay more to starboard and not hog the center lane too much.
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

With 30' you should not have an issue at the bridges. even off to the sides. IIRC montlake has the lowest to the side at around 37, most are pretty levelish side to side. Freemont, yes you will have issues, then again, quite a few boats, both power and sail have to rise it at 28'! I've seen J24's raising it!

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post #30 of 30 Old 10-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Puget Sound vs Lake Washington

Thanks again for all the feedback. The trip through the 2 bridges went smoothly and was really fun as everyone said. I'll keep practicing this route and hope to start another thread about going through the locks when I feel more confident going further out.
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