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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-30-2010 09:57 AM
Olympia to Alaska

I made this trip two years ago on a 30' islander. A book that was of great use was the douglas guide for BC. Also a book called "local knowledge." Do not challenge the rapids traverse only at slack water. Be sure to have tide books for all the areas you visit. The time in the guides is not adjusted to daylight savings time. Wait for a good weather window to round cape caution and stay several miles off shore.
Our biggest challege was avoiding all the logs and logging debris floating everywhere. A constant lookout is a must. We lost our anchor to a submerged logging cable.
That being said we had a great time. Saw Humpback whales everyday, ate salmon, rockfish, crab & shrimp. Also, the hot springs in northern BC are heavenly for a cruising sailor. Outboard motors get stolen in prince rupert. Enjoy the adventure and take lots of charts. Fair winds.
04-29-2010 04:11 PM
Originally Posted by ryancorkrey View Post
lollolwtf. One word, and your off with degrading. Out of the sails one is a Genoa. They are on a furler. do you say "pull furler" or "pull jenny" sorry but hope you can understand my mistake. So can you show me your experience by answering the question at hand? Sorry, but it was one word. Because of that one word you went on the offensive not answering any questions, instead stepping on the guy with lower expirence points.

I purposefully put
“it would be nice to get as much input/tips on the voyage as possible now, rather than telling horror stories later, if there is a later”
For a reason

I then must ask what your idea of “bluewater boat” is because I am aware of your biases, on boat builder’s row you just went into Bristol and commented on some guys thread that he shouldn't waste his time restoring the Bristol. If memory serves me right you also didn't even answer his question.

SEE Atom Voyages

Surveyed 4 months ago, planned ahead. Restored the boat taking everything out to the shell, fiberglass and paint outside and inside. Put a lot of the original layout back in, replaced all thru hulls and retrofitted plumbing, electrical, and now trying to maintain furler.

In December was the last time I was in san juans, she wasn't having any problems in the 14' swells. No I don't have around the world experience, but ever since I was young it was boats sailing or motoring. I know enough to not take the decision lightly, but also know how to ask for help. Thus me asking for help/advice.

p.s. sailingdog, have you sailed the inside passage? If you have then please help. If your just racking on 25 posts a day for respect, then well you aren’t helping anybody. if you have personal experience with Bristol enlightening me.

tones beget tones
Sheesh. look the gift horse right in the mouth...

On the helpful side, absolutely get current paper charts for everywhere in between, sell the GPSes if you need money for paper charts, the charts are more critical to your probability of survival.

You must also have copies for your cruising area of:
2010 Light Lists - USCG Navigation Center
United States Coast Pilot®
Local Notice to Mariners - USCG Navigation Center

good luck.
04-29-2010 03:20 PM
Gorilla Sail smart, watch the weather, maintain your boat, and you'll be fine. Friends of friends growing up in Seattle made the trip to Ketchikan and back one summer in a 17 foot Boston Whaler - they were tough kids and of course Whalers are "unsinkable" but you get the picture. I made this passage aboard a much larger cruiser with a very experienced captain and strong crew - the biggest problem was long watches in the rain.
04-29-2010 03:30 AM
Go Ryan

I'm back because I relate to your journey. Also, I'm thinking some advice from old guys may sound slightly over cautious and negative. That's life. I know you get that. I know you are looking for info. I know you are capable of your planned singhanded cruise. I agree with the person that suggested your planned route is traveled by many cruisers that have not been there before. I love that you are doing this. I appreciate that you are smart enough to seek advice.
Here's more crap from an old guy:
- EMT? You dont have any worries about getting a BASIC job (Ketch or Juneau, summer). What's left of cannery work is too low level for you.
If a real job is important to you, I think looking ahead of time may be a good idea.
- it sounds like you know the major concerns? Also, it seems you know to search the community for advice. Good idea!
- yes, lots have made the route. Lots on small fishing boats. Lots on small (30-35') power cruising boats (usually traveling in a group), many doublehanded sailboats ( bigger than yours), some 27' singlehanded sailboats. Oh ya, there was a guy alone in a kayak. Another story.

So.... You're on your way.
Believe me, I could babble on for this topic.
If you want more info on the route, talk to me.
If your concerned about your vessels equipment, talk to Dog ( ok, others too,) I know the guy is gruff, he knows his snit (and it's free!)

Safe sailing!
Current, wx, taffic, routing, lack of support, and self sufficiency. All key snit.

04-29-2010 01:24 AM
sailingdog Be aware that the 9.9 Tohatsu Four-stroke may be significantly heavier than the two-stroke and as such may present some problems. It may also be significantly larger too. If your outboard is in a well or on a bracket, make sure that the engine will fit or the bracket can take the weight and torque.

BTW, the 9.9 Mercury, Nissan and Tohatsu are really all the same engine, so if you can get any of them for less than the others, it doesn't really matter which brand you get, as they're all made by Tohatsu.

Better get cracking, cause May 9th is just around the corner.
04-28-2010 06:04 PM
ryancorkrey the heater is a sig marine, fully encompasses air and exhaust ventilation outside. will be checking the check list link here in a few when i'm aboard the boat.

the engine is a 9.9 Johnson, unfortunately 2 stroke. burns 1 gph, and have aboard the capabilities for 40 hours before needing to fill. running speed is a mere 5 knots at 80% power. i have virtually all the tools needed to fix it on the boat including spare carburetor, head gasket, exhaust cover gaskets, water pump, spark plugs, compression testers, extra prop, and of course gear fluid. i know that engine from top to bottom, rebuilding it about 6 months ago before my last winter trip. would like to get tohatsu 9.8 4 stoke, heard their reliable.

have old charts Olympia to skagway Pub. 1981 and upgraded chip in 2 gps and a compass, plan on as i go getting current information and more detailed charts for possible difficult waterways.

was really planning on just working a processing plant, until maybe i got to know people that would provide for a better opportunity. thing is i ultimately want an EMS and/or Fire job, seeing how i am finishing up 4 years of education and volunteering experience. i want to live in Alaska and while between fishing seasons look and test everywhere i can. its not going to be easy, but most great things aren't easy.

a 14 knot current, woo because of that i will definitively heed that warning. vessels traffic a must, had an experience with the San Juan ferry system in tight spaces b/w Shaw and orcas islands. yeah wx channel is my friend, and whats to lose if i have to stay at port and have another beer for the days or week to avoid bad seas. better safe than sorry.

hey thank you everybody who has help thus far,
it's one thing to just read the forums, but completely another to have advice given.

may 9 is the day set to start, i know its a bit early in the season. but i will as a result be extra careful in everything i do.
04-28-2010 11:40 AM
Livia Disclaimer, we have not made this trip yet. We are considering going as far N as the Haida Gwaii or Glacier Bay this summer. We've been doing research on the subject and we have been sailing around Van Isle and the Puget Sound for 3 years.

Tons of people go up to Alaska in the summer from the Puget Sound including a lot of people in power boats who really, really don't like waves and wind. There are plenty of places to sit tight and wait for good weather. There is lots and LOTS of light air here in the summer (too much for our taste) so non-storm conditions are the norm and it is very easy to only travel in light conditions.

As long as you plan your trip around good weather, safe harbor escape routes, know your currents and time the narrows you are going to transit, it really doesn't seem that difficult to have a good safe trip North. Respect your limits and you don't have to get yourself overcommitted.

I think the confusing thing is how brutal it can be in the fall/winter/spring here. Although you can certainly get strong winds in the summer, they are much more rare and usually not long lasting.
04-28-2010 08:51 AM
sailingdog Max's point about wind against current is key... I warn people about this all the time when they're planning a Cape Cod Canal transit... one person I warned was in a 50' sailboat and they had the misfortune of coming out of the canal into a 20 knot SW wind... and it was like trying to sail in a washing machine.... gear broke, people got hurt... not good at all. With the currents up there, I'd imagine it can be even worse.

If you haven't already, double check the bulkheads for soft spots or rot... that can happen near chainplates if they've been leaking... and I'd recommend you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread I started, even though you already own the boat, as it will give you a good overall idea of what shape she's in and what needs to be looked at further.

What kind of engine does the boat have??? What shape is it in?

Do you have a radar reflector already mounted or hoisted on a halyard? If not, get a Davis Echomaster Deluxe and rig a halyard with two blocks on the spreader about 12" apart to hoist it... The reason you need two blocks on the spreader is so that the radar reflector doesn't chafe the halyard it is hauled up on. Without a radar reflector, your boat is basically invisible to radar.
04-28-2010 08:08 AM
Inside passage

Cool. Inside passage to Ketch? Exciting!
First, the advice and concern about your voyage is justified. He knows his snit, and is concerned about your safety.
So you get where I'm coming from, here's me:
I am a lifetime sailor and I currently own a 40' boat moored in Seattle.
I have sailed singlehanded a lot.
I spent 5 yrs as a tug master, towing barges between Seattle and SE AK. Also, have experience throughout SE. I've been to every town you may be considering. Lots of time on this route with a tug and barge. Haven't sailed it.
Here's some stuff that seems relevant:
-Furler: if you want to know what it is, look for similar, ask an old boatyard guy, etc. This blog was a wise start. If it works well now, it should be ok for your trip. Probably a low priority concern.
- you'll need charts. 50 comes to mind, maybe a few more or less. Depending on a computer for this is a bad idea. I'm not going to suggest outdated charts are usable. Just a whole lot cheaper.
- plan your route and know possible holes.
- as mentioned, the is huge amount of commercial traffic. All of it will take their half out of the middle (ok, not all). Be aware of the VTS and frequencies.
- Current is a prime concern (Example: Seymour Narrows can have 16 kts)
- often the wind will not be in your favor. A reliable engine, and fuel, is a must.
- monitor the wx. Wind against current can add up to seas dangerous to large commercial vessels.
-again, the wx and sea conditions are not to be taken lightly.
-I advise you to continue to seek advice from folks that know from experience.

- fishing in AK ain't what it used to be. Getting on a boat without experience will be tough. Logging? Canning? These industries are also WAY down. Tourism is up and I believe seasonal jobs are available?
- Ketchikan is the first large (for Ak) town after you cross the boarder. I know guys there that would be happy to let you buy them a drink, ect. From there you can learn about SE AK.
Good luck, Safe sailing!
04-28-2010 07:29 AM
sailingdog What kind of propane heater is it??? Hopefully it is a fully vented unit, otherwise it will introduce an awful lot of moisture into the boat, and that can lead to mold/mildew/condensation problems. Be aware that you'll use a lot of propane living on the boat and will need a good local supplier...
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