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olli 11-10-2011 12:03 AM

Sailing East Coast to West Coast
I am looking into purchasing a blue water cruising boat to do some cruising after 1-2 years of working on her, and gaining some more sailing experience on a cruising boat. I have plenty of experience on smaller racing dinghies and a bareboat charter license. My question is that given I'm seeing more availability of the type of boat I am looking for on the East Coast (I am currently in Seattle), what is the feasibility of sailing a purchased boat in good condition from the East Coast to the West Coast? How difficult is such a sail and how long would it take?

Any input would be appreciated.

jackdale 11-10-2011 12:06 AM

The trip to Panama may be pretty straight forward. From there the best route is to Hawaii and then to Seattle. Check Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes for timing.

SloopJonB 11-10-2011 01:25 AM


Originally Posted by jackdale (Post 795541)
The trip to Panama may be pretty straight forward. From there the best route is to Hawaii and then to Seattle. Check Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes for timing.

I read a short bit by someone who followed the advice of Brent Swain - the one from Vanc. Island who builds steel boats.

What he said was to go about 1000 miles out. Apparently then you have a reach all the way back to Vancouver (or Seattle obviously). I've heard or read some confirmations of it as well. It's probably worth checking out since I've heard coming back from Hawaii can be a bash unless you start northwest and go up & around the Pacific High.

mitiempo 11-10-2011 11:07 AM

Or you could head east and take the scenic route.:D

Capt Len 11-10-2011 08:08 PM

Sounds like the scenic route has a lot of merit if comfortable cruising is the plan. Brent is the deepest of the deep blue sailors around here but he hasn't had to contend with the flotsam coming from Japan lately. That would make me nervous sailing over the Pacific High, unless I had a bullet proof hull like Brent's.Besides, leaving the best till last give you something to look forward to.

hellosailor 11-10-2011 10:06 PM

olli, difficulty and time have to consider all sorts of things. Starting out from CT or Miami? Big difference. Sailing offshore on the east coast, or motoring inside the intracoastal?

Gonna try to do it solo? If not, how will you get who for crew, in how many stages subject to how many schedules?

Then there's the Panama Canal, they publish their rate tables but there are requirements to transit that also, expect another $1500-2000 for the fees, or more.

If you plan to do bluewater sailing, this is a good time to start working with charts, with pilot guides or Jimy Cornell's World Cruising Routes book, asking yourself how to navigate that trip, how long each piece will take and where and when you will choose to go.

Capt Len 11-10-2011 10:33 PM

For crying out loud Buy the boat, read Sailing alone around the world , Learn when to tack and when to gybe and go for it It's about the adventure and the dream.You can always come back to bedroom slippers on Queen Ann Hill when the long tricks done.

SlowButSteady 11-10-2011 11:27 PM

From a purely financial perspective, it's probably just a cheap (and a year or so faster) to have the boat trucked across country. Granted, if all of the folks on SN were always motivated solely by the financial perspective, none of us would have boats. However, for the type of trip that you're talking about (East Coast to to Seattle via the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Caribbean and then either bash up the West Coast or via Hawaii; probably at least 10,000 nm) you would probably have to do a complete refit (depending on the condition of the boat) before you left the East Coast, and then at least a partial refit once you got to Seattle to fix everything that broke and/or wore out on the "delivery".

On the other hand, it would be an adventure. Which is reason enough to go for it.

olli 11-10-2011 11:45 PM

You guys are great! Thanks for the replies and ideas. An option is to buy the boat on the West Coast, even though the selection seems less (looking at a West Sail 32); however, another crazy idea is to purchase on the East Coast and sail with ACR to the Med and hang out there for a couple of years until I feel comfortable heading West?

mitiempo 11-10-2011 11:51 PM

I think you mean the ARC - Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. The only problem is that it goes from Las Palmas in the Canaries to St Lucia in the Caribbean.

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