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Is This Trip Even Feasible?-gctid374601

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    Is This Trip Even Feasible?-gctid374601

    Hi all, I own a 1990 2651 -my first boat- which I purchased last year. I live on the Columbia River just below the Hanford Reach. If you're a Summer person (and I am) it is hard to beat this part of Washington State, but its also easy to feel a little landlocked by the Reach to the north and the dams to the south and east. As a result most boaters here wind up boating the same twenty mile stretch of river. Motor up, float down, lather, rinse, repeat.

    Since moving here a decade ago I've always wanted to take a boat down the Columbia, across the bar, up the coast, and into Puget Sound. In fact, that's why I bought a cruiser. But after reading this and other boating forums I'm starting to wonder if the trip is do-able in a 24' boat. I'm also wondering how much a trip like this would cost in fuel, and how much time it would take. Keep in mind this is a trip that would be at least a year away, as I'm not nearly experienced enough to make the trip currently, and I want to take some of the more in-depth USCGA boating courses and then practice the learned skills in a more forgiving environment before I would even attempt it.

    So, is the 2651 up to the task? And if she is, would it be practical in terms of fuel expense and time spent?

    #2
    Yes, it would be doable, based on conditions west of the mouth of the Columbia. The longest haul would be from Westport to Neah Bay- about 110 miles.

    Good that you are doing your research first, vice just going balls out and becoming another statistic.

    Comment


      #3
      GoldFalcon wrote:
      Hi all, I own a 1990 2651 -my first boat- which I purchased last year. I live on the Columbia River just below the Hanford Reach. If you're a Summer person (and I am) it is hard to beat this part of Washington State, but its also easy to feel a little landlocked by the Reach to the north and the dams to the south and east. As a result most boaters here wind up boating the same twenty mile stretch of river. Motor up, float down, lather, rinse, repeat.

      Since moving here a decade ago I've always wanted to take a boat down the Columbia, across the bar, up the coast, and into Puget Sound. In fact, that's why I bought a cruiser. But after reading this and other boating forums I'm starting to wonder if the trip is do-able in a 24' boat. I'm also wondering how much a trip like this would cost in fuel, and how much time it would take. Keep in mind this is a trip that would be at least a year away, as I'm not nearly experienced enough to make the trip currently, and I want to take some of the more in-depth USCGA boating courses and then practice the learned skills in a more forgiving environment before I would even attempt it.

      So, is the 2651 up to the task? And if she is, would it be practical in terms of fuel expense and time spent?
      I've heard the Columbia bar can be a real bear to cross. I read an article last year about the pilots that take the commercial ships across the bar and it sure didn't sound easy or simple.

      I don't know the exact mileage but Portland to Seattle is around 210 land miles so I would assume that it's at least that far plus the mileage up the Columbia. If you're running at 20 knts that's going to be a 10 hour trip minimum after you get to Portland. Assume another 5-10 to come up the Columbia. If you're running a single engine you're probably burning 8-10 gals/hour so figure between 15-20 hours minimum @$4+ per gal and you're talking close to a kilo-buck, or one thousand dollars.

      Have you considered either towing it up (by land) or having a trucking company haul it up for you? Or at least part of the way?

      Comment


        #4
        Fuel stops will be a big factor for a trip like this, look and plan where your stopping for fuel and it will tell you if it can be done or not.....

        Comment


          #5
          The Oregon/Washington Columbia River bar can be one of the most treacherous bars in the world, according to some articles you can read.

          However, people cross the bar in 20 foot boats all the time, but they know what they're doing, and when to do it.

          I don't know how many ports you can visit while making this trip, or even how scenic it would be, but this may be a long trip for you.

          I'd recommend that you trailer up I-5.

          Perhaps to Olympia, then decide whether to go up 101 to Hoods Canal, or to go right out of Olympia.

          You could go further to Tacoma, or even further up to Gig Harbor... or keep on going to Port Orchards.

          The fuel cost for trailering will be peanuts compared to running up in the ocean.

          You'll be able to duck into harbors, moor for the night, walk around and take in the sights, eat some local foods, and so on.

          If the Straights or Port Angeles or Port Townsend are your goal, just continue trailering up 101.

          The entire area up there is beautiful.

          We have many P/S area BOC members who I know would be willing to suggest places to go.

          It may also be a much safer area, if you have any concerns with that.

          I think that you'd find it much more relaxing.

          During one trip up there, we did a run out of Port Orchards up and around to Blake Island and stayed the night.

          Then back out and up to Poulsbo, out again and up to Kingston, then on up and around Hanville and Foul Weather point.

          From there we went into the upper Hoods Canal and to Pleasant Harbor. That alone was worth the trip.

          We did not go up into Dabob Bay... wish we would have.

          An easy one is out of Olympia up to Boston Harbor and on up to Jarrel Cove and back.

          But... the really cool stuff is further north to the San Jaun Islands and/or the Southern Canadian Gulf Islands.

          It doesn't get much better than those.

          .
          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

          Comment


            #6
            Yes very very doable. Infact i was juat talking to my son a couple of weeks ago about doing this very trip. My son lives in kennewick.

            In fact i have neen thinking abiut getting a group togetherto make a tricities to oregon coats trip. That in its self would be a week long trip. .

            As for the columbia river bar. Not that big a deal i have done it several times. The secret is just dont so it stupidly. They dont call the columbia river mouth the grave yard of the pacific for nothing.

            One thing about the columbia river is that it is always changing particularly the upper part. Charts are necessary but not always correct and depth vigilance is always a concern.
            1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
            twin 454's
            MV Mar-Y-Sol
            1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
            Twin chevy 350's inboard
            Ben- Jamin
            spokane Washington

            Comment


              #7
              When cruising in South Sound a few years back talked to many who trailer their boat from Oregon to South Sound many times a year for weekend trips so this would show just how easy a trailer this really is. A 2651 is made to trailer so a great way to go.

              If I am not mistaken the 1990 2651 has a 55 gallon tank which would make a trip up the coast line need a fuel bladder carried above deck, not something I would be thrilled with doing on a small boat since it would make getting to bildge hard if engine trouble happens.Also most 2651's I have seen have only one engine meaning you could get in trouble quickly if you break down in the ocean. Also while many do go over the bar in small boats they are only going out to fish and not travel they are out and back and they normally have real large engines mostly outboards on very small boats so they can get back in quickly if the weather starts to turn. Your boat most likely cruises at around 24 MPH and top speed high fuel burn more like 33 MPH. I could go on but to put it simple maybe it could it be done sure but is it a smart thing to do maybe not.

              Another option if no trailer or suitable truck to tow with have it towed to South Sound and pay for a summer of moorage.

              Kind of funny I turned down a position in my company to start a new store in Bellevue but truned it down for two reasons. One I just bought house and market crashed soon afterwards and was looking at large loss on reselling home though higher pay would have made it up over time but more important the boating on Columbia seemed pretty limited and I could not leave the Puget Sound area for it, so I understand where you are coming from.

              Comment


                #8
                The river isn't a problem. With charts and channel markers you don't have a navigation problem, just wind, but you deal with that where you boat now. The bar is very doable with proper planning. It's a pretty good trip outside, I've been out there aways and been fine in boats your size. That said, it's a long trip with very few spots to get inside if the weather goes bad. Fuel would be an issue. I'd make two trips. One, doing the Columbia, small boats run from Portland to Lewiston all time. Second, trailer to Puget Sound, anywhere there will be spectacular compared to the river. I've only been as far North as Sucia Island, next up Canada. You'll never miss doing the outside trip. Friends with "big" boat sometimes have a tough time out there as do commercial boat. I know people with 40+ foot boats who have their boat hauled North from Portland to Olympia rather than do the outside trip.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I only know what I have read but guys us caution here.

                  It is a new boater. Over the years I have noticed new boaters want to explore the horizons. I know I did also and actually I did explore a few.

                  Then one night changed forever my thoughts on this.

                  Had I not explored a much easier horizon many times before, I may not have made it that night.

                  What I am saying is experience is a great teacher. When learning something you may want to start out small and work up to it.

                  This trip sounds like a trip for an experienced and seasoned boater. And you might find some of them would then pass.

                  I don't want to be a wet blanket but at the same time we all know this is a dangerous trip in some areas. A new boater would do well to think hard on this idea and the rest may want to use caution when advising.

                  I do like the idea the op is asking questions. But as an old boater I also know you can't learn the split second decisions that may be necessary on a key board and screen.

                  Go slow with this my friend. The trailer suggestion is a good one. It will get you to the best areas and will give you some practical experience is smaller doses.

                  Doug
                  Started boating 1955
                  Number of boats owned 32
                  Bayliners
                  2655
                  2755
                  2850
                  3870 presently owned
                  Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Careful with words of encouragement here! This is the guy's first boat!! It's true that many people cross the bars (Columia River, Westport, La Push) of the Washington coast all the time in 22 ft or more boats (including me with my 2452), and shoot straight out 30+ miles in search of halibut, salmon, or tuna... BUT, in my opinion you should never do this without very high confidence in the condition/reliability of your engine and the mechanical aptitude to troubleshoot and fix mechanical and electrical problems as they arise. You also must progressively gain ocean experience to learn how to handle the swells (i.e., quartering into the swells, running trim tabs up vs down, avoiding pitch-poling, etc). You also need to know how, when (current-dependent), and where (all bars have specific routes that are better during certain conditions). Then you also need all of the right safety gear including an epirb, liferaft (not dinghy), flares, vhfs, etc.

                    This trip is doable, but without having experience, this would be risking you and your famiy's life. Don't do it. I know you plan on taking courses and practicing over the next year... but even so you will be too inexperienced. There's been alot of good advice given to you by others about just trailering up to the sound. I'd recommend if taking that a step further and putting in in Anacortes and enjoying the San Juans and Gulf Islands... infinitely better than the coast!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      leedub wrote:
                      Don't do it.
                      Trailering from Longview to Olympia is just 70 miles on 100% highway. You skip the big ocean and enjoy many days of river.
                      Rafael Figueira
                      1998 Bayliner Capri 1800 LS

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've done the trip from the Columbia River Yacht Club to Anacortes, Roche, Friday etc, in larger boats 46' GB, 54' Marlow both with stabilizers.

                        For me I would caution against it. Not dampen your sprit of adventure, but I'm anal when it comes to checking weather, wind, waves etc. I probably got to a dozen different websites to see what the 48 hour weather is going to do.

                        Every time and I do mean every time, weather was not exactly as predicted and 90% was worse. You don't have a lot of places to duck into, after Grey' Harbor going north, your next option before Neah Bay is La Push and that can be very tricky in crappy weather. Even when you round Cape Flattery the following seas into Juan De Fuca can be very tough.

                        Get all the opinions you can and let your good judgement and boating experience be your guide. I have heard of people coming up in flat calm the whole way-but they are few and far between. Keep us posted and good luck.

                        Machog
                        1996 4087 Lazy Days
                        2011 11’ West Marine Rib 350 Lazy Mac
                        2011 Porsche Cayman
                        2010 Lexus IS 250C
                        2008 Honda Ridgeline

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It's a long run and yes you can do it. I would say if you want to spend 10 hours out on the ocean, (and then come back again) go over the bar and tool around out there for 10 hrs and come back.

                          If you want to see the San Juan Islands, trailer it up here and avoid the hassle, the dangers, travel time and the expense. The drive into Anacortes is beautiful all by itself.

                          Chris

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I dont think that any one is saying just do it with out experience or education or studying.

                            The quesrion is was the trip feasable? The answer is yes. The colombia river bar is not the boat swallowing hell that every body seems to think. One has to plan and know when and how to do it. Even when its bad 30ft swells arent like the waves you encounter in other situations. I have been out there in those conditions. I wasnt fun but no one was dieing either. I think the point being that before a trip like that is done know your stuff.

                            The ocean part of that trip would be a little boring any way. The puget sound and san juan islands would be the best part of the trip.
                            1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge
                            twin 454's
                            MV Mar-Y-Sol
                            1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop ocean express.
                            Twin chevy 350's inboard
                            Ben- Jamin
                            spokane Washington

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks so much for all of the replies! My spirit isn't dampened, but the majority of you have confirmed what I was coming to suspect: that its not a quick, easy little jog from the river to the sound. I still want to get some time in on some different, and larger, water, but you have convinced me that the risk outweighs the reward in this case, so I think I'll trailer her. I like my boat enough not to want to see her damaged or destroyed over romantic notions of adventure, and I like me even more than that! Again, thanks for all of the replies and advice!

                              Comment

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