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San Pedro to Two Harbors in a 19' Mariner

Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Yeah. When the wind gets up sailing Santa Monica Bay can be challenging. It’s a very large bay fully open to the west.The difference between there and the SP Channel is that when sailing along the shores of SMB you’re close to shelter and services, including rescue services, if you need either. If you are wet, cold, and/or sick relief may be only one hour of travel distant, etc. Out in the midst of the SP Channel not so readily; perhaps an important distinction. But a craft should be fully prepared for sea conditions whenever it departs to go there, even if not intended for long or far IMHO.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Hi. I assume that you also intend to sail home to SMB eventually. Spending the night ashore or aboard? Your Mariner 19 is an open cockpit daysailor designed principally for sailing protected waters, such as bays and lakes, etc. Of course, everything is weather dependent. Good weather, good trip; poor weather, not so good, potentially. But “poor weather” for your trip in your daysailor might mean only slightly rougher conditions than forecast. A boat designed to sail in up to Force 4 conditions, maybe, might very well meet those conditions, or more, crossing the San Pedro Channel during a summer day’s afternoon. Also, as you might have noticed, it’s been pretty windy along the coast here nearly every afternoon for weeks on now. SMB may be calmer, however.

Consider. It might prove a “wet trip” in cold water. So you and you son should carry gear that will keep you dry against spray and protect against hypothermia. Once in the middle of the channel you could be two to three hours travel time to shore ahead or behind. Sail with the hatchboards in place, the cabin closed up to keep it as dry as possible. Make sure the cockpit scuppers remain clear of debris, etc., so can drain properly if so needed. Don’t store gasoline below; find a place in the cockpit. It would be best, IMHO, to have a second fuel tank that can be connected quickly to the engine if the first one runs out. It’s very hard to pour fuel from a jerry can into a fuel tank without making a mess when bouncing about. In my experience, small outboards are inherently unreliable. I recommend having yours serviced before leaving.

Take plenty of drinking water. I’d recommend a gallon each. As for sailing the boat in conditions near 15 kt TWS (true wind speed), 2-3 ft seas, you might wish to reef the mainsail. Although I doubt that mainsails of many daysailors have reef points b/c the boats are not really meant to stay out in it, I notice what looks to be a reef cringle in the leach of your mainsail. If so, I’d get the mainsail rigged for reefing. Otherwise if it gets too windy toward mid-afternoon you may opt to bring in your sails. That means going to the engine, and brother it had better start up and run, etc!

As you said, a lot to learn. I suppose you know that a hand-held VHF radio has a range of only a few miles. Put in fresh batteries and take extra. The bats go down pretty fast if transmitting. Also, take an Orion flare set and keep ‘em dry. You should have a compass aboad. Don’t rely on GPS alone. Check your GPS course against your compass course periodically so you’ll know your course if the GPS batteries go out. Take multiple spares there as well. And this probably sounds like overkill, but chart pages of the San Pedro Channel and Catalina Island north coast should be aboard folded to the relevant view and put inside a watertight ziplock bag so you can read it in the cockpit, even if there is water about.

Finally, leave a float plan behind with somebody (not the coast guard) that gives your expected time of departure, destination, and expected time of arrival, for each leg. Do not rely only on a cell phone to “check in” along the way. FYI. There is no cell service at mid-channel for at least five nautical miles either direction, could be a bit more. I’m sure others here will offer other suggestions.
KG
Yeah. When the wind gets up, sailing Santa Monica Bay can be challenging. The difference between there and the SP Channel is that when sailing along the shores of SMB you’re close to shelter and services, including rescue services, if you need either. If you are wet, cold, and/or sick, relief may be only one hour of travel distant, etc. Out in the midst of the SP Channel not so readily; perhaps an important distinction. But a craft should be fully prepared for sea conditions whenever it departs to go there, even if not intended for long or far.
Thanks. I appreciate how patient everyone has been with me. The great thing about this kind of discussion is how much someone like me can benefit from the experience of others. The bad thing is that someone like me can show up with a question, and no one really knows if it's a person with reasonable life skills or somebody who won a boat in a poker game and is out to show the world how cool he is. Or, as we Chicagoans might say, 'for all any of you know, I could be a complete dipsh*t.'

I consider myself both well-prepared and inexperienced -- if both those things can be true at the same time. My son and I have been out somewhere around 100 times in our local marina and bay. We've both been taught the basics through UCLA's operation in Marina Del Rey. We've done capsize drills and man overboard drills. We've bounced through some pretty rough seas.

But some of this is going to be new. I've never moored my boat. I've looked it up now and watched videos, but -- like the trip to Catalina -- it will be a first. But then, everybody's got to do this stuff first, some time.

We have weather gear. And harnesses. The outboard was recently serviced, but I will have the spare trolling motor as well. The sail has one reefing point. If the forecast calls for 15+ knot winds, we'll reef it before we set out. I've put a pretty substantial battery on the boat and it's tied into the VHF if transmitting starts to eat up too much power. As I mentioned, I'll also have spare batteries. And the PLB is there if things go a long way south. I've got a decent compass and I'll have paper charts if all power and GPS fails. I've got good lights and a battery-powered backup set if they were to fail. My wife will be taking the express out to the island to meet us, so she'll be aware if we're running too late.

But like I said, I've never tied up at a mooring. So I'll be a lot more relaxed about the new aspects of this trip once this trip is complete and I'm doing it for the second time.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,816
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
You'll have a fantastic time Jack. I hope you submit this trip to the Trailer Mariner's 20-20 on the Association page.
I'm looking forward to reading about it. And... don't forget pictures.

-Will
 
Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
But like I said, I've never tied up at a mooring. So I'll be a lot more relaxed about the new aspects of this trip once this trip is complete and I'm doing it for the second time.
Lots of good information above and I think you are ready to go.

Just some random thoughts:

Don't worry about the mooring. At the Isthmus you will likely want to be on the string line. The harbor department boats on channer 9 will help. Don't hesitate to tell them it is your first time. There will be lots of friendly people there to help if you need it. I often see West Wight Potters there so you probably wont be alone as one of the smallest sailboats.

Having made the trip to the Isthmus several times from both King Harbor and Cabrillo I would favor King Harbor if you can launch there. I know others have a different opinion on this. It is a longer trip but the prevailing wind and swell will make it more comfortable. Problem is I think the ramp there is only suitable for hand launching. There is a hoist though where they launch small boats for a fee. From King Harbor you can most always fetch the Isthmus. If you go from KH you might want to motor the first 5 miles to the PV R-10 buoy then turn SSE a bit to sail towards the Isthmus. In my thinking Marina del Rey is too far for the benefit of the angle. If you go from Cabrillo you might be able to fetch the Isthmus but if not you can either just point as high as comfortable and then motor up to the Isthmus when you get to the island or go to an alternative. One alternative I havent seen mentioned is White's Cove in the lee of Long Point about half way between Isthmus and Avalon. No services at White's though. If you go on a summer weekend don't plan on getting a mooring in Avalon (it's possible but I wouldn't count on it).

I know we are talking about a sailboat but if you don't have it a Boat US towing membership might be something to consider. Odds of needing it are slim and I don't want to come off as negative but in the event of something major like a dismasting, rudder failure, engine outage etc. it could come in handy.

Have fun!
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Thanks. As I understand it, the only way to get a trailered boat into the water there would be with their hoist?

Any idea on the ballpark cost for that?

Is there a place to park a car and trailer nearby?

Would I need to step my mast after I've been hoisted in?

Redondo Hoist.png
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Looks like the round trip hoist fee is $30; one way $20. Overnight car/trailer parking is $8/24-hr day. See Redondo Beach Marina Services.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
That's good to know. I'll go visit down there to get an idea of how viable it would be for me. It'd give me some flexibility, depending on the likely winds.
 
Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
That's good to know. I'll go visit down there to get an idea of how viable it would be for me. It'd give me some flexibility, depending on the likely winds.
Your picture is of the hoist at the King Harbor Marine Center, a boat yard. The hoist you would want is at 181 N Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach. Marina Services - Redondo Beach Marina

As I recall we did have to step the mast after launching, but that was a long time ago. You might try calling them to ask.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Fixed the image link (I think). And yes, the mast has to be down for their hoist. Not a big issue.
 
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
My apologies for getting land miles from Google, but this lays out my two options, with the day's wind forecast making the call. I'm thinking if the winds are from the west, I'm good with San Pedro. But if they're from the southwest, Redondo would be the better choice.

Choices.jpg
 
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Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Good observation. Both can be good routes.

I don't think the distances are as large as your numbers show. My GPS numbers show King Harbor bell buoy to Ship rock passsing the PV buoy as 23.5 NM and Ship Rock to Angels Gate as 19.2 NM. Add another 1.5+ from Angels gate to the launch ramp for 20.7NM total so the difference is 2.8 NM. Call it 3. Plus, after the long trip home the beat from Angels Gate up to the launch ramp, even though inside the harbor, can be a lot of work. They don't call it hurricane gulch for nothing.

If you could get someone to move the trailer for you it would be fun to leave from King Harbor and return to Cabrillo. Especially if you have a spinnaker for the way back.

ps: That is the corrct image you have in post 25 now.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Good observation. Both can be good routes.

I don't think the distances are as large as your numbers show. My GPS numbers show King Harbor bell buoy to Ship rock passsing the PV buoy as 23.5 NM and Ship Rock to Angels Gate as 19.2 NM. Add another 1.5+ from Angels gate to the launch ramp for 20.7NM total so the difference is 2.8 NM. Call it 3. Plus, after the long trip home the beat from Angels Gate up to the launch ramp, even though inside the harbor, can be a lot of work. They don't call it hurricane gulch for nothing.

If you could get someone to move the trailer for you it would be fun to leave from King Harbor and return to Cabrillo. Especially if you have a spinnaker for the way back.

ps: That is the corrct image you have in post 25 now.
His distances are statute miles which are shorter than nautical miles (i.e., 5280 versus 6076 ft) so that’s part of the discrepancy. Also, the PV buoy should be left to port going outbound from KH, and to starboard inbound if returning that way. But if not, yes. Sailing through the LA Gate and into LA Harbor in late afternoon is nearly always a challenge but no tacking is needed if you’re on the right lay line. The SW wind accelerates passing along the Palos Verdes peninsula creating very windy conditions inside the harbor, usually in excess of 15 kt but sometimes 20. You’re basically sailing hard on a strong wind for a short distance before bearing off into the main fairway of the harbor. (Although, I’m not sure where your crane is there. If you must go to the crane at the end of the Cabrillo Way Marina then it’s further and you’ll have to remain hardened up longer, and you might have to tack twice make that entrance.)
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,311
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
There is not much prep difference between 19 miles and 23 miles. What is a concern, will the trailer be there undisturbed when I return.

If you are concerned than sailing out of your usual harbor makes sense. Down the coast. Spend the night aboard. Then sail out to your destination in the morning. So it is a 4-5 day trip instead of a 2day trip. As sailors we need to realize setting a fixed schedule is dangerous. It is the journey not the destination. If we have to be at the destination on a fixed schedule get a power boat. That is why steam engined boats were invented.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
There is not much prep difference between 19 miles and 23 miles. What is a concern, will the trailer be there undisturbed when I return.

If you are concerned than sailing out of your usual harbor makes sense. Down the coast. Spend the night aboard. Then sail out to your destination in the morning. So it is a 4-5 day trip instead of a 2day trip. As sailors we need to realize setting a fixed schedule is dangerous. It is the journey not the destination. If we have to be at the destination on a fixed schedule get a power boat. That is why steam engined boats were invented.
Also perhaps to your point, John. Having to move a trailer from launch to recovery locations is a logistical headache if you’re referring at all to Richard’s “suggestion.” I don’t think that was the OP’s idea. The trailer will be fine if left at KH, or at Cabrillo, for the duration. Sailing back to KH if departing from there would be the better plan, as would returning to Cabrillo if departing there. I think Capt’n Jack’s original point was to sail from the harbor offering the better point of sail outbound, not to attempt a two-harbor journey. Effectively, distances fro Cabrillo and KH are the same. However, when del Rey enters the picture, there is a sizable difference.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
15,311
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
not to attempt a two-harbor journey.
I agree KG. Trying to get the trailer moved while you are at sea is not an easy project.

I was suggesting using one point of departure and return that you know. If the distance is a concern then sail down or up the coast and spend the night on the boat in the transit harbor, then heading out across the sea to the islands.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I agree KG. Trying to get the trailer moved while you are at sea is not an easy project.

I was suggesting using one point of departure and return that you know. If the distance is a concern then sail down or up the coast and spend the night on the boat in the transit harbor, then heading out across the sea to the islands.
OK. Yes, I see it now. I think I was conflating two different posts. That would add two days if done in both directions. Then IMHO, sail first to KH from MdR on the afternoon wind, and then on to Isthmus Cove the next day. Return route at discretion. I imagine one would take the boat down to Redondo and get it into the water the night before anyway. There are moorings along the seawall at KH for overnight transients. That would permit practice picking up a bow-stern mooring. Also, a good “shake-down” leg for a new adventure. :) On the whole, the course from and back to KH offers likely the better of the two under discussion for one’s first cross-channel trip.
 
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Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
Also, the PV buoy should be left to port going outbound from KH, and to starboard inbound if returning that way. But if not, yes.
Sorry. But if not yes what?

The buoy is a waypoint. Doesn't really matter which side you pass it on.


Sailing through the LA Gate and into LA Harbor in late afternoon is nearly always a challenge but no tacking is needed if you’re on the right lay line. The SW wind accelerates passing along the Palos Verdes peninsula creating very windy conditions inside the harbor, usually in excess of 15 kt but sometimes 20. You’re basically sailing hard on a strong wind for a short distance before bearing off into the main fairway of the harbor. (Although, I’m not sure where your crane is there. If you must go to the crane at the end of the Cabrillo Way Marina then it’s further and you’ll have to remain hardened up longer, and you might have to tack twice make that entrance.)
The launch ramp is at Cabrillo Beach at the far south west corner of the harbor so usually a couple of tacks. At least for me.

And I wasn't suggesting that he do the trailer move, just that it would be fun. I always wanted to do that back in my trailer boat days but it didn't work out because as you said, it is a logistical headache unless you have some willing land based crew support.
 
Nov 22, 2011
928
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
The launch ramp is at Cabrillo Beach at the far south west corner of the harbor so usually a couple of tacks. At least for me.
Indeed--at least in the prevailing wind direction.

My common method when I come back from my many Catalina trips is to lay the main channel on a single tack, which allows me to duck behind some buildings for a bit of a wind break. Then I furl the sails and motor back into my slip, which is just around the corner.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
The buoy is a waypoint. Doesn't really matter which side you pass it on.

The launch ramp is at Cabrillo Beach at the far south west corner of the harbor..
.
OK, we’re talking using the powerboat launch ramp at Cabrillo Beach; so no crane lift involved at the recovery end? The fixed keel version of the M19 has a 3-ft draft. Hope it’s not that one! Also, the RED PV buoy marks a danger (shoal) zone that lies inshore of it. True. It’s still deep enough there for a sailboat of 3-ft draft where the “zone” is not a threat to yachts passing close, and not making much leeway toward shore. But it’s a “stand-off buoy” and an “aid to navigation.” One really should not pass on the inshore side it unless maybe close aboard.
 
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Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
I'm going to wish I had the keel when I'm out there, but my boat is a centerboard -- so I only need 8" of draft with the board up. And I've got a depth gauge.

Thank you for the heads up on the buoys and the return-trip hazards at San Pedro. Better to not have to learn any of that the hard way.
 
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