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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-03-2013 03:31 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

Here is site giving real time sea conditions:

Northern California NOAA/CDIP Buoy Data

It can get rough any time of year, but starting about now you can have really high seas. IIRC, a couple of days ago they showed 20 ft seas off of Point Conception.

Paul T
10-03-2013 11:41 AM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

There are many posts done on this in the past. A Sail Net or Google search may help provide more info, although the replies here pretty well cover it.

Paul T
10-02-2013 08:48 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

I've found the chart in the following link very helpful, the three routes all avoid shipping lanes, where they cross a lane they do so at 90 degrees.
Pacific Coast Route Planning Map, South
George is correct, I did this route in August once and have never been so cold, I had as many layers under the foulies as could fit.
10-02-2013 08:23 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

64Triton, you are on the right path. From a navigation standpoint, most of the tankers and container ships will be well to the seaward of you as they have to stay outside of the marine sanctuary area of the central coast. You will encounter a fair number of tugs, tugs with tows, various commercial fishing boats besides the private yachts all heading down for the Ha Ha. Brush up on recognizing lights. Your trident sits pretty low in the water. If you are going to be in the yard, for a few dollars more you might want to invest in a masthead tricolor. Even my 34 footer sits pretty low and the hull or pulpit mounted running lights don’t project very well. In the fall it still will be bone chilling cold at night. Wear fleece and thermals under your foulies. Another good investment is one of those stainless steel Nissan thermos’. We fill ours with boiling water at dinner time so the night watches can drink hot coffee, tea or chocolate. Miso soup mix works really well too. Know what your consumption per hour is for your atomic. Plan on it not being so good during your trip and besure to bring along some "Mama's gas". There are no fueling stops between Morrow and Monterrey. Also plan on your boat speed being lower - your boat will spend as much time motoring up and down waves as it does moving horizontally. Plan on a very poor VMG (I use 68% of hull speed for my planning purposes and am never dissapointed - sometimes pleasantly surprised, but never disapointed). Beisdes the waves you will be bucking, there is a slight current moving south that you will be fighting.
10-02-2013 07:43 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

Thanks for all of the info so far, I really appreciate everyones input. I am having the boat hauled out next week so I will have them check out the cutlass bearing and the stuffing box. And the engine will be serviced and in tip top shape. The engine is an Atomic 4 and was completely rebuilt last fall. I have extra fuel filters, spark plugs, points and a water pump. Weather window and boat preparation/safety are definitely some of my concerns. I talked to some people in San Francisco and they said that october is one of the best months to sail north from San Diego. Also, I am going to check out Brian Fegans book about cruising the California coast.

Keep the comments coming please.

10-02-2013 05:28 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

Two words: Weather Window. The other two words: Boat Preparation. How new is the boat to you? How confident are you in your boat speed as in passage making? The good news is September-October are probably your best chances of getting a good weather window. This is what I would do: Do a heck of a lot of boat prep. Have a good mechanic do a thorough engine servicing, including oil change. Have your diver clean the bottom and verify the cutless bearing is in tip top shape. Buy jerry jugs and figure out a way to lash them to the boat (and be able to transfer fuel while at sea). Carry extra fuel filters and have a means of changing them at sea. Then break the trip into two (or possibly three parts). Part 1 – SD to Santa Barbara. You can easily do this yourself and not have to pay anyone. Part 2 – Wait for a sufficient weather window and leave SB at midnight to hit Conception-Arguello around dawn. Motor all the way to Monterey. Refuel on the move. Wear your warmest foul weather gear and earplugs. Don’t plan on sailing as you are in delivery mode. Part 3 – You can either stop in Monterey or continue north. You really don’t need a paid crew for this leg either. Just don’t hit the South Bank or the Gulf of the Farallones midafternoon and ebb tide. This is a delivery trip, you will have time enough for fun sails once you get into the Bay. Love to help you but my windows are three day weekends and your boat doesn’t have the speed potential.
10-02-2013 05:08 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

The trip is possible during this time of year, but it is rough. I did it once. I actually moved well during a weak storm that gave me a push upward. But I don't reccomend it. The next day I went out again, got beat up and returned to Dana Point.

Tip one - Turn on the motor

Tip two - if the winds and wave are big, your boat will not make way north. In my hunter I once was only make 0.5 knts per hour for more than 8 hours at half way between Morro Bay and Monterey. It was really depressing to know I could be walking faster than I was motoring.

Tip 3 - take a friend. If you can't find crew for the whole trip, take one for the leg from Morro Bay to Monterey and from Santa Barbar to Morro Bay. If you anchor at the Cojo anchorage just south of Point concpetion, you might be able to do it solo (about 12 hours). And plan to motor around point concpetion at night when the winds are down.

Tip 4 - Have excellent foul weather grear and warm underpants.

Tip 5 - Head north from San Diego, go two nautical miles past Point Loma. Turn 180 Degree and start heading to Mexico. Find SeaHag and have a drink with her.
10-02-2013 05:06 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

It's funny how many people say not to go north, or go to Hawaii first, etc., when that's generally just not feasible. This is not a trip to be taken lightly but you would think there would be more information out there on how best to do it and what to consider to be increase the safety factor. The first thing is to find experienced crew, preferably two, and pick your weather window. If you have to do it on X date, it might turn into a very rough trip; at worst, it could turn out very badly. On my trip, we got pushed along with a light southerly wind (even flew the spinnaker a short time) and the seas around Pt Conception (which we hit at 0700 after leaving Santa Barbara around 0230) were glassy smooth. So, it can be great; it can also be horrendous. Two nights before, the wind was ripping through Pt Conception at gale force. There are some good suggestions about weather links and other info on this previous post ( Latitude 38 has a crew list. You might find someone there. Ask around. You will want to have someone who knows what they're doing when crossing the shipping lanes, how to keep watch at night, and where to seek shelter. Be flexible and willing to wait it out for the next weather window. Make sure your boat is sound and has necessary equipment. Having radar and AIS increase the safety margin. Good luck and fair winds!
10-02-2013 04:51 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco


We have sailed that coast a bit in our Nor'Sea 27. Zeehag is correct, South is MUCH MORE FUN! North is an uphill climb. Is the boat outfitted for open ocean? If not, it may cost less to truck than to do a proper outfitting.

But, if you must go north, don't worry about wave height. BUT, watch the wave period! The longer the better. Jill and I like 10 seconds or better. 20+ foot waves are nothing if the period is 15 seconds or better (as long as you don't have to take them on the beam)!

10-02-2013 04:37 PM
Re: Tips or Suggestions, Sailing from San Diego to San Francisco

sail south instead. seriously. sorry. it is an uphill bash and uncomfortable. . have fun. smooth sailing.
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