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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-31-2011 08:30 AM
When to go and how?

It's been said many times that if you wait 'till everything is perfect, you'll never go at all. That being said, one does have to be prepared and more importantly, to know the limits of yourselves and your craft. Some good reading of encouragement can be found in a recently published on-line article of Bill Teplow, who sailed his Potter 19, "Chubby" from Berkley marina to Hawaii in 24 days. Though blessed with an uneventful trip, the preparations he did may be of interest. Also many "smaller" craft have done repeated short trips on both oceans without incident ( look up "micro cruiser", Layden/Bolduc). In short go when YOU are ready, sail safely, but GO!!
08-30-2011 10:56 PM
bjslife I just read a great article of a couple that did the same thing at Pacific Northwest Boating News: Two tales of sailing down the west coast | Three Sheets Northwest and it will open your eyes to whats involved.
08-30-2011 09:57 PM
WDS123 Perfectly reasonable to do the trip in a 27 boat. However, be clear that you will be coastal cruising. You'll sail almost entirely by day covering between 20 and 60 miles between nightime anchorages.

Once in a rare occasion you'll sail 2-3 days and nights continuously. You'll be thrilled if you sail more than 150 miles in a 24 hr stretch.

Many days you will be stuck in some picturesque cove, repairing sails or fixing some greasy smelly parts.

I strongly reccomend doing it, but set your sights appropriately. It is some 2,000 sea miles to Cabo from your starting point - Give your experience and knowledge - plan 70-100 days for the trip.
08-30-2011 07:34 PM
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
There have been 20-footers that circumnavigated but they were either built for open ocean or heavily reinforced for the trip as far as I know. So it has been done on smaller boats.

You couldn't pay me enough to be in a boat that small, especially in the Pacific, but that's just me. My personal line is drawn way before that point.

I suggest that you read John Vigor's The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat and anything by Bernard Moitessier but especially A Sea Vagabond's World. Also, Tania Aebi. She circumnavigated in a Contesa 26, documented in Maiden Voyage.

Good luck!
Excellant advice the read bit is very important prepairs you for some of natures unexpected pit falls they occur when you least expect them.
08-30-2011 05:48 PM
YeahJohn Latitude 38 also has the baja ha-ha. It is a regatta from San Diego to Cabo. Lot's of boats sail down the west coast and meet up in San Diego to do the Baja portion together. Anyone who has traveled to ports in Hawaii and the south pacific can tell you the same thing, there are plenty of boats over there that most people on this forum wouldn't board while at dock much less do a pacific crossing on. That being said sailing down the west coast is really heavy, and Baja can be twice as gnarly. You should really give yourself the most time possible and just go port to port on nice days, and if the weather outlook looks sketchy go see a movie and lay around the beach, there are a few spots with no safe harbors but it should be fine if you set out with no time frame in mind and enjoy the trip. Anyone planning on doing that trip from first timers to seasoned cruiser should have their boat surveyed or at least gone over before leaving.
08-30-2011 03:38 PM
puddinlegs There's a nice article in either this month's or late month's Latitude 38 about a couple that did the same thing you're planning in a Catalina 27. I'm sure it's on their online magazine as well.
08-30-2011 02:52 PM
bjslife Im a rookie planning to do the same trip in my 1973 Morgan O/I 33' and would also like more info on sailing south. I might be heading south at the end of Sept. or begining of Oct. So any info you get send it my way please.
08-05-2011 04:08 PM
carl762 Look up Portland Sailing Center and book yourselves a trip to the coast on the Messenger. I'm going to do the up-river trip this year, bar crossing next year. Real nice guy. Messenger is moored at the marina where I rent my slip. I think you could learn a lot on the bar crossing adventure.

You should also get some good sailing skills on the Columbia, especially since the winds have been picking up lately.

Best of Luck!!!
08-05-2011 12:12 PM

Originally Posted by ponycakes View Post
I am a very amateur sailor. My boyfriend and I have been practicing sailing about one day per week on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers for the last year on our Newport 27. We have read a few books and watched some videos. Our plan is to sail from Portland, Oregon, to Cabo San Lucas and then up in to the Sea of Cortez. Neither of us have been on the ocean in a boat before. Our Newport is from 1972; we got it very cheap and have made some upgrades, but have pretty basic gear in general. We've often heard that you need at least a 30 foot boat to cruise the Pacific. Thoughts? Advice? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
Go to, the national website of the United States Power Squadrons, who in spite of their name offer extensive training for sailors. Take, at a minimum, America's Boating Course, Seamanship, and Piloting. Piloting is near-shore (under 200 miles) chart and gps navigation.
Search for a local squadron and get in touch with them.
We are the oldest safe boating training organization in the country.
PS- You could almost for sure find some member of the local squadron who'd take you out to sea either on there boat or yours. Or both
Squadron Education Officer
Kansas City Sail and Power Squadron
08-05-2011 11:20 AM
jrd22 Good story Erps! Similar story about our boat, two guys left California for a multi-year sail in the Pacific. As soon as they arrived in Honolulu one guy got on a plane back to CA and never returned.
Like everyone else I think it's only prudent to get some actual "ocean time" either by crossing the bar and sailing around for a couple of days in your boat or crewing with someone. No sense ruining your dream by finding out too late that one or both of you don't like open ocean sailing. I would guess you don't have much water capacity on a Newport 27, that might be the limiting factor for you.
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