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Author Topic: Seattle sailing  (Read 6300 times)

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yngvepau

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Seattle sailing
« on: October 25, 2006, 06:50:03 AM »

I am currently living in Panama City Beach, Fl, an it looks like we might move to SEA. I was wondering what the sailing is like there. Several issues come to mind, climate, wind scenery, cost and slip availability and general cost. etc? Any input from you pacific northwest guys would be appreciated.

Yngvepau
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Craig Illman

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 07:02:08 AM »

The short answer:

Climate: You can sail year-round, winds in the summer are typically lighter. Rarely any thunderstorms to get concerned about. Winds are usually out of the NE or SW.
Scenery: We're spoiled, being able to see mountains on all but the rainiest days. Puget Sound has a lot of housing along the waters, but still quite forested. Only a few really severely urban areas, like downtown Seattle or Tacoma.
Moorage: Slip availability is difficult, it can easily be a one year wait. Costs for a 34 could range from $250-450/month, depending on whether you're directly on the sound in Seattle, on the lake behind the locks, or farther south or north from the urban concentrations.

All said, there's a lot of deep water and plenty of interesting places to explore, including up to Canada and Alaska. Tidal ranges are about 12ft daily, so currents in places are always a consideration.

Craig
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yngvepau

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2006, 07:32:07 AM »

Any moorings available while you are waiting for a slip?
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wind dancer

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2006, 07:56:20 AM »

IMHO, Puget Sound is one of the best places in the world for sailboat cruising.  Tons of islands, great scenery and protected waters.   Inland waters all the way to Alaska.

There is very high demand for slips, especially in the central sound area.  But, there seems to always be availability if you're willing to either drive an hour or two, or moor on Lake Union (just a few bridges and a trip through the locks from the sound).  I'm currently moored on Lake Union while I await a slip at the Everett Marina.  Great little marina, with good people, and it's close to work.  The reasons I'm moving to Everett:  closer to the San Juan and Gulf Islands, closer to home (further from work though, and less expensive.
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Jay Guard, 1996 Catalina 380, #3, "Aquila", Seattle

Craig Illman

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2006, 04:42:03 PM »

re: Moorings. You don't find much in the way of commercial mooring buoys in Puget Sound, most likely because of the depths along the shorelines. It's 700 feet deep between where my slip is and the opposite side about four miles away. Even Lake Washington, on the east side of Seattle has depths over 200 feet one mile offshore. The glaciers dug some pretty deep troughs about 10,000 years ago. As Wind Dancer mentioned, with some diligent calling, you could probably find some space. I'm amazed that brokers can even sell boats around here over forty feet where the waiting lists can be two to five years depending on the marina. My boat went straight into charter when I bought it and I didn't have to deal with finding a place to keep her. I wish there was some local clearinghouse where all the moorage providers could list what they currently have available. Some places have websites, but I think your best luck would be with a telephone.

Get a copy of the local boating magazine http://www.48north.com  There are typically ads for some of marinas in it.

Craig
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td

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2006, 05:28:55 PM »

 We live about 15 Miles straight west of downtown Seattle but a world away on the Kitsap peninsula.  We pay about $164.00 a month for a slip (the price includes unmetered electricity) for our C34.  Of course the down side is that it is an ~hour commute by ferry, if you work or live on the Seattle side of the Sound.  My employer is a Seattle firm but I work from home and our house is only a couple of miles from the marina so the commute is not an issue for us. 

I agree with previous posts that the area is one of the great places to cruise and race. It does get a bit soggy and cool during the monsoon season but I find it a great time to catch up on maintenance and upgrades. 
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td
Peregrine
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yngvepau

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2006, 09:26:02 PM »

This is probably a stupid question, but if the Puget Sound is so deep, how do you guys anchor for an overnight stay. I assume you don't carry 700' of rode?
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Craig Illman

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2006, 07:35:08 AM »

Well, it's not that deep everywhere. There are shallow bays to tuck into or some state marine parks have mooring buoys or we find guest slips at marinas. There's just a lot of deep water over 200' close to shore in many places. You might go to NOAA's site, download some free ENC charts and take a look.

Craig

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2006, 09:43:37 AM »

There are good books by the Baileys called "Gunkholing the San Juans" among others that are invaluable aids to sailing in the PNW.  Check for them on Amazon or other book sites.
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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wind dancer

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2006, 10:02:07 AM »

There are good books by the Baileys called "Gunkholing the San Juans" among others that are invaluable aids to sailing in the PNW.  Check for them on Amazon or other book sites.

x2 on the Bailey's.  Also pick up a Waggoners for some good info.

There are anchorages to be found.  There are some bays that are even too shallow to enter nevertheless anchor.  The deep water is 200 ft+ off the shoreline.

Edit: I just realized the previous poster was talking about mooring bouys, not anchorages.  That's true, there are few mooring bouys to be found these days, and the environmental property-rights restrictions for putting your own down are plentiful.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 10:04:23 AM by wind dancer »
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Jay Guard, 1996 Catalina 380, #3, "Aquila", Seattle

Ken Juul

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 11:28:20 AM »

Just replied to your post in Sailing Anarchy.  If the Chesapeake is still a possibility, there are a bunch of east coast sailers on this board too.
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Ken & Vicki Juul
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captran

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2006, 07:54:15 AM »

Since we have done both Florida/Bahamas 13 years and NW 9 years I have a comparative view.  Of course, the water down there is awesome, but storms, summer bugs etc are a pain.  We moved Voyager up to the NW after Francis took it's toll.  The NW is all about scenery, hiking trails, and fantastic summers (spring and fall are good too, I've heard but we only sail about 60 days during the summer).  Desolation Sound is the best, as the bay waters approach 70 degrees.  San Juans are in a rain shadow sosummers quite dry.  Many anchorages, villages/towns and out of the way beautiful spots.  Getting Voyager up here cost about 7800 by semi truck with Dudley Boat Company.  There were cheaper companies but they had a good local reputation.  The last 2 summers I have enjoyed stress free cruising, with Max winds in the low 30's, compared to some of the winds that exceed 50 knots in squalls in the SE.  We pay 187 a month for dry storage in Anacortes.
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Randy Thies
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was Florida, now Anacortes Wa

Tom Clay

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2006, 08:46:19 AM »

As has been previously posted, permanent moorage in Puget Sound takes time.

We live a little over 1 hour south of Seattle in Olympia. We are on a waiting list (number 3) to get permanent moorage at $248.00 a month, includes power. The boat is currently moored at the guest dock, where there is plenty of room.

South Puget Sound (Olympia) has a lot of 20-30ft water. There are also many shallow bays to anchor in where the water is 100-200 ft. outside the bays. Lots of open water with very few boats.

Middle sound (Seattle area) will cost you more and the water is deeper, but may be more convenient to those going north. Many more boats for the given amount of water, but still not what you would see on lakes, or in the Florida area.

North sound  (Everett to Bellingham) is a little cheaper than the Seattle area. We spent the summer with our boat moored in Bellingham (dealer allowed us 3 free months moorage) and visited the San Juans and the South end Gulf Islands. Moorage in Bellingham (3 year waiting list) allowed us to be in the San Juans in 3 hours. We plan on taking the boat to Bellingham again next summer for 30-60 days, special deal with the dealer......LOL

You will hear about all the rain we get here. There are days of rain, but when you have 60-90 days throughout the summer at 75-90 temperatures, with no rain it doesn't get any better. The summer and fall periods have been getting dryer the last 5 years. Don't tell anyone else, we try to keep the nice weather up here a secret.....LOL

If you make the move north to Seattle I look forward to seeing you on the water.
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Tom and Lynn Clay
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saildog2

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2006, 09:16:38 AM »

re morring bouys - I am told that here in Gig Harbor (on the Pierce County side) you can drop your own bouy for your permanent/semi permanent use.  Theres at least a couple dozen boats on permanent bouys. 

re books for the sound - the 'A foot and afloat' versions for San Juans and the other one for the South Sound are also helpful.



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Jack Hutteball

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Re: Seattle sailing
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 08:28:11 PM »

We live in Anacortes and keep our C34 in Skyline marina, 70 miles north of Seattle and just a 45 minute jump to the San Juan Islands from the time I step on to the boat. Drive time from Seattle to Anacortes is about 1-1/2 hours depending on traffic and where you live in Seattle.

All the moorages in Skyline marina are privately owned condo slips.  That said, I have never had trouble finding a space here when we wanted to come for the summer when our boat was moored in Seattle.  There always seems to be a few open slips that an Owner wishes to rent.  Prices for a C34 size range from $250 to $300 depending on slip size.  There are generally slips for sale again ranging in price depending on slip size.  The best way to get moorage here is to contact the dockmasters directly for each of the condo associations.  They always know what is available for sale or rent.  If interested I can send you names and telephone numbers.
Jack
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Jack and Ruth Hutteball
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