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Survivor 03-31-2011 07:40 PM

Port Orchard WA to Kalama, WA
I just bought a Catalina 27 with a 2001 15hp Honda 4stroke for power in Port Orchard WA and will sail it down the Washington coast to Astoria and then up the Columbia river to to Kalama, WA. I would like to do this in the early part or middle of May. Any and all advice about this trip would be appreciated.


jrd22 03-31-2011 10:44 PM

It's all about the weather.

Survivor 04-04-2011 11:30 AM

I was hoping for a reply from someone who had made the trip


dabnis 04-04-2011 02:31 PM


Originally Posted by Survivor (Post 716296)
I was hoping for a reply from someone who had made the trip


I made two round trips, San Francisco to Victoria, BC, a long time
ago, in a Destroyer Escort. Even in a good sized ship we took
a severe beating. Although you will be going downhill the weather
is your biggest concern. IIRC, not too many places to get into,
they are a long way apart, and can break when rough. Although
most of my experience is off of northern California I have seen
just about every entrance up to Neah Bay. Maybe a bit early
weather wise, but it can be rough any time of year


AdamLein 04-04-2011 03:11 PM

I also bought my Catalina 27 in Port Orchard. Small world :) Fortunately I only had to deliver my boat to the Vancouver area.

You are lucky in that your destination (I'm assuming it's where you live) is comparatively close. You should check into the coast of just trucking it, because then you can just get it done and you have your boat right away.

If you sail, expect to wait for weather windows to line up with your schedule. What is your schedule like? Will you be doing this on weekends? How flexible is your work?

Most likely there will be a couple of places where you will have to stop and wait for the weather. Ideally you would be able to get home from these places and return the following weekend to continue. While the WA coast is not exactly pock-marked with safe anchorages, your longest leg, from Neah Bay to Grays Harbor, is about 100 nm, so should not be more than two days, assuming you have wind the whole way and plenty of crew to keep the boat going 24 hours a day.

That's not to say there aren't other long stretches, but most should be doable between sunup and sundown if you're going in June, which, weather-wise, is probably a good bet.

Regarding going in May, just judging from the weather we get in our local protected waters, I'd say June is probably marginally better. I'm guessing you're not interested in paying for moorage in Port Orchard but have already paid for April. If that's the case, consider the difference in cost between another month of transient moorage and shipping the boat by truck on highway 5. Don't forget to add in the cost of transient moorage for a week at a time at all the places you have to stop.

Personally I think sailing the whole way would be fun, and certainly mostly safe if you play your cards right, but having done a long "commuter cruise" delivery before when I didn't have a full-time job, I'd be considering different options at this point.

jrd22 04-04-2011 04:47 PM

Friends of ours make the round trip from Portland to the San Juans every year. Last year in June they got the crap beat out of them going north in June and blew out their main in Juan de Fuca. They have a 44' Nordic. It's all about the weather, if you are lucky there should be a good weather window sometime in May. You might have to wait two weeks at Neah Bay waiting for it though.

blt2ski 04-04-2011 05:02 PM

July, August or sept IRRC is a better time head south, at least then you have northerlys to go south in, if earlier, mostly south winds on the nose.......

Not that I have done this, I would go later than sooner, or have the boat trucked to Portland.


puddinlegs 04-04-2011 05:26 PM


Originally Posted by Survivor (Post 716296)
I was hoping for a reply from someone who had made the trip


So you see, no one was kidding you. It really is all about the weather. Ask any delivery skipper and they'll tell you the same. May isn't a month with big or dependable windows.

dabnis 04-06-2011 11:19 AM


I agree with Blt2ski, the later the better. After you consider
fuel, food & maybe pay for the crew, and your time, trucking
it may not be that costly. In any event, if you sail it down,
let us know how it went.


blt2ski 04-11-2011 09:29 PM

Talked with some friend at the YC I belong too, they just bought a Hampton 49, granted a power boat in S Ca. They are having it shipped on the boat that can carry it to Victoria? gets up here some how. About the same as hiring a crew and motoring up, or on a trailer. This boat by the way, is ment to do this sort of travel. Way better than a C27!


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