• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

San Pedro to Two Harbors in a 19' Mariner

Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
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.
Good point. No disagreement on the technicality there but that mark is regularly passed by sailboats well to landward. It is over 100 feet deep at the buoy and shoals to about 60 feet 2/3rds of the way to shore. The only navigational danger to other than large commercial craft is the kelp. I pass it on the inside or the outside depending on the wind direction but being well aware to stay out of the visable kelp on the inside.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Will Gilmore
Nov 22, 2011
928
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
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.
Decades ago (ok, make that many decades ago!) I used to sail over there in a Rhodes 19. That was a boat with a keel. Looking back on it, I think I was foolish to do that, because the boat was not self-bailing. However, capsizing it was not a major consideration, and I did live to tell the tale.

I assume your boat has positive flotation, but capsizing remains a possibility. If you have a good weather window, you will be OK. If you don't--well, you are taking a risk, possibly a big one.

I've made that crossing hundreds of times in the nearly 55 years I have been sailing there (I'm a San Pedro native, sailing since age 12), and I can tell you that conditions can get very ugly in that channel. You can also have a very benign crossing, and everything in between. The question is, "do you feel lucky?"

I wouldn't hesitate to do the trip in a Cal 20, and in fact did so many, many times in high school on a friend's boat, as well as later when I owned one myself. But even a Cal 20 is a much more seaworthy craft that yours. I don't think I'd do it in a 19' centerboard boat, as you are proposing.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Good point. No disagreement on the technicality there but that mark is regularly passed by sailboats well to landward. It is over 100 feet deep at the buoy and shoals to about 60 feet 2/3rds of the way to shore. The only navigational danger to other than large commercial craft is the kelp. I pass it on the inside or the outside depending on the wind direction but being well aware to stay out of the visable kelp on the inside.
“Local knowledge” is a marvelous thing to have. I have, of course, seen many boats transiting around, or past, Pt. Vicente on a lay inshore of the buoy. And as I think we agree, a first-timer should be both wary and cautions of potential hazarads, especially well-marked ones. It’s been a favorite “trick” of mine for several years to follow the locals into San Diego Bay, whenever they are about, through the Pt Loma kelp bed into the channel. It’s a shortcut. But an unwary newbie likely would soon be fouled in kelp trying such a shortcut, perhaps hopelessly so. The “standard visitor” goes WAY AROUND to G3, sometimes G1.
 
Last edited:
Jun 11, 2004
1,165
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
“Local knowledge” is a marvelous thing to have. I have, of course, seen many boats transiting around, or past, Pt. Vicente on a lay inshore of the buoy. And as I think we agree, a first-timer should be both wary and cautions of potential hazarads, especially well-marked ones. It’s been a favorite “trick” of mine for several years to follow the locals into San Diego Bay, whenever they are about, through the Pt Loma kelp bed into the channel. It’s a shortcut. But an unwary newbie would soon be fouled in kelp trying such a shortcut, perhaps hopelessly so. The “standard visitor” goes WAY AROUND to G3, sometimes G1.
Absolutely.

And just to be clear, the PV buoy is for Palos Verdes Point. I don't think Point Vicente has a buoy.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Decades ago (ok, make that many decades ago!) I used to sail over there in a Rhodes 19. That was a boat with a keel. Looking back on it, I think I was foolish to do that, because the boat was not self-bailing. However, capsizing it was not a major consideration, and I did live to tell the tale.

I assume your boat has positive flotation, but capsizing remains a possibility. If you have a good weather window, you will be OK. If you don't--well, you are taking a risk, possibly a big one.

I've made that crossing hundreds of times in the nearly 55 years I have been sailing there (I'm a San Pedro native, sailing since age 12), and I can tell you that conditions can get very ugly in that channel. You can also have a very benign crossing, and everything in between. The question is, "do you feel lucky?"

I wouldn't hesitate to do the trip in a Cal 20, and in fact did so many, many times in high school on a friend's boat, as well as later when I owned one myself. But even a Cal 20 is a much more seaworthy craft that yours. I don't think I'd do it in a 19' centerboard boat, as you are proposing.
It’s like what I offered in my first post, #6, that the boat as we now see is the CB model if that is germane at all, is a daysailor for use principally in protected water. If one is in conditions in the SP channel sufficient enough to capsize the boat then, frankly—and forgive me, I would question whether any amount of prior practice would prove effective in righting it in the relentless oncoming seas, and then keeping it on its feet. But, if it’s not going to capsize (is self-righting), then not an issue.
Absolutely.

And just to be clear, the PV buoy is for Palos Verdes Point. I don't think Point Vicente has a buoy.
Yes. OK—but what I meant is that if sailing inshore of “R10PV” to round or pass by Pt. Vicente, you will be within the boundaries of the marked Danger Area (zone) until SW of Pt Vicente. I’m looking at the chart.
 
Last edited:
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Decades ago (ok, make that many decades ago!) I used to sail over there in a Rhodes 19. That was a boat with a keel. Looking back on it, I think I was foolish to do that, because the boat was not self-bailing. However, capsizing it was not a major consideration, and I did live to tell the tale.

I assume your boat has positive flotation, but capsizing remains a possibility. If you have a good weather window, you will be OK. If you don't--well, you are taking a risk, possibly a big one.

I've made that crossing hundreds of times in the nearly 55 years I have been sailing there (I'm a San Pedro native, sailing since age 12), and I can tell you that conditions can get very ugly in that channel. You can also have a very benign crossing, and everything in between. The question is, "do you feel lucky?"

I wouldn't hesitate to do the trip in a Cal 20, and in fact did so many, many times in high school on a friend's boat, as well as later when I owned one myself. But even a Cal 20 is a much more seaworthy craft that yours. I don't think I'd do it in a 19' centerboard boat, as you are proposing.
I'm not trying to change your opinion on this, but for the sake of more information being more useful: the Mariner is built on a Rhodes 19 hull (you can still buy a Rhodes 19 from the same manufacturer). The Mariner has a cabin on top and the cockpit is now self-bailing and meets the MORC standards for self-righting. The Mariner is also packed with foam, for positive flotation, and because mine is a Stuart-built boat, the foam is not waterlogged styrofoam. I've also plumbed in a bilge pump.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
M.O.R.C. stands for Midget OFFSHORE Racing Club (rule). It’s a rating rule. I doubt anyone would have an OFFSHORE rating rule for midget boats (<30 ft) that shouldn’t go “offshore.” So, maybe I should stand corrected about “protected waters,” etc. There’s evidently a large MORC fleet at Wayzata, so if JD were still around I’m sure he’d have input on “seaworthiness.” However, I can see why those folks might wish their own rule b/c yachts under 20 ft are often excluded from PHRF racing.
 
Last edited:
Oct 19, 2017
6,816
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
I'm not trying to change your opinion on this,
I am. The Mariner is a first class, full, and real sailboat, the CB version as well as the keel version. Her design is very well tested and her reputation among those who sail her is impeccable. In a well maintained Mariner, I'd not hesitate to sail from Miami to Bimini, which I hope to do some day. If I do, I'll keep going to Puerto Rico. What a trip. Catalina Island is a significant and serious sail. The CB Mariner can handle it. As everyone on here is in agreement with, it's the sailor that we worry about more. Jack is taking all the right steps to insure a great trip. Don't worry about the boat, just make sure you're prepared.

-Will
 
Nov 22, 2011
928
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
I'm not trying to change your opinion on this, but for the sake of more information being more useful: the Mariner is built on a Rhodes 19 hull (you can still buy a Rhodes 19 from the same manufacturer). The Mariner has a cabin on top and the cockpit is now self-bailing and meets the MORC standards for self-righting. The Mariner is also packed with foam, for positive flotation, and because mine is a Stuart-built boat, the foam is not waterlogged styrofoam. I've also plumbed in a bilge pump.
Thanks for this info. It's not as bad as it could be, then. I still wouldn't do it, but I respect that people vary in their risk tolerance.
 
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
And I don't mean to fan any flames, but what would sailors here consider a no-go in terms of winds/swell/etc for my proposed day? I am 100% willing to pull the plug and take the Catalina Express if it doesn't look like the weather window is there. We can visit the island, see what the trip looks like, and try again in 2022.

I'm no stranger to risk (21 years of auto racing), but that's because I believe I'm pretty good at not making reckless decisions.
 
Nov 22, 2011
928
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
And I don't mean to fan any flames, but what would sailors here consider a no-go in terms of winds/swell/etc for my proposed day? I am 100% willing to pull the plug and take the Catalina Express if it doesn't look like the weather window is there. We can visit the island, see what the trip looks like, and try again in 2022.

I'm no stranger to risk (21 years of auto racing), but that's because I believe I'm pretty good at not making reckless decisions.
Check the NOAA zone forecast, but keep in mind that it covers a wide are (Pt. Mugu to San Mateo Pt.), and so you might not get an accurate read on the San Pedro channel specifically. Also look at forecasting tools that will give you more accuracy in the localized area where you will be. Windfinder and Windy.com come to mind for starters.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: Will Gilmore
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
Thanks. On top of the NOAA official report, I look at Windfinder, PredictWind, Sailflow, Windguru, and WillyWeather, some of which use NOAA data, and some use other models. Local data at Point Fermin seems like a decent starting data point for the crossing.

And I know my own opinions about my capabilities with winds and waves. But I'm a long way from an experience sailor. I'd like to hear actual numbers where people here think a 19' boat should decide to stay safe in the harbor.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Check the NOAA zone forecast, but keep in mind that it covers a wide are (Pt. Mugu to San Mateo Pt.), and so you might not get an accurate read on the San Pedro channel specifically. Also look at forecasting tools that will give you more accuracy in the localized area where you will be. Windfinder and Windy.com come to mind for starters.
There’s a NOAA service called “Dial a Buoy” that I use with my cell phone when I cannot get internet reception and do not wish to listen to the VHF version. Call up and enter your station number when asked, which is #46025. That’s the Santa Monica Basin offshore buoy. You can get current conditions, which usually apply to the SP Channel, updated every 15 to 30 minutes, I believe. Also, you can hold on for the zonal forecast (press #1) which is updated every 6 hr. So, if you leave b/f 0800 you’ll get the 0200, or so, forecast update at that time. You can check again around 0800 for the next one if still within cell tower range, etc. The Dial-a-Buoy number is 1-888-701-8992. Try it out!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: JackOlsen
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I'd like to hear actual numbers where people here think a 19' boat should decide to stay safe in the harbor.
So that’s a bit of a loaded question since as we know, the skipper always makes the call. I doubt that I’d wish to leave to cross the SP Channel in your boat if there were a Small Craft Advisory (SCA) issued in our forecast zone, OR leave from Isthmus Cove for home. However, there are “nuances” that years of experience provide as to whether a zonal SCA forecast would actually much affect one’s specific transit.

If you decide to see that as a “conditional” go/no go criterion, then please recognize that SCA forecast conditions can develop between the NOAA weather updates. You leave on the 0200 weather update, and then find out on the 0800 or 1400 update that an SCA is now issued for your area beginning at, say, 1500 and lasting until mid-night. And, that there will be another one the next day, but now you are at the island:doh:, etc. This in part speaks to John’s point above about “schedules.” If you wisely decide to stay in when SCAs are about, and you are at the island, you might be there longer than you “planned.”
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes: Alan Gomes
Oct 26, 2008
4,915
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I've been hesitant to chime in but since you ask ... there is no circumstance where I would take my 13-year old son 20 NM offshore in the Pacific or the Atlantic or even a Great Lake in a 19' open boat as a first-time excursion. I would have all the answers to my questions by my own vast experience before I would even consider it. I'm pretty sure the other parent would have a major problem with it if I was still contemplating what conditions are safe in this tiny sailboat. You are asking valid questions and citing some good sources of information. Your lack of experience and willingness to expose your minor son's life to your experiment is what galls me. I probably wouldn't hesitate to test myself with a willing participate whom has responsibility for his/her own life, but not with a trusting son or daughter whom can't possibly have any independent thoughts of doubt in your judgement, which might be lacking, for all we know. Do you really think that it would be ok to put your skill as a sailor to a first-time test like this with a dependent child's life at risk? There you have it ... I really question this kind of judgement.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Jul 27, 2011
4,454
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Posters keep calling this an “open boat”, but I’m pretty sure it is not.
The picture the OP posted makes it appear at first glance to be “open” because of the large cockpit, but a Iook at other pics on-line shows that it is not fully so. And the OP has since pointed out (post #46) that the boat has a cabin top (sealed with hatch boards?), is self-righting, self-bailing with cockpit scuppers, and carries a mainsail that can be reefed (post #16), etc. It appears similarly capable as a Cal20, but weighs less by about 500# and has a centerboard rather than a fixed iron keel.
 
Last edited:
Jan 18, 2016
595
Catalina 387 Dana Point
NoGo: SCA for sure. For very sure. It's often a no go for me in a 38' boat. Weather 10mi off the coast isn't always just like the weather when you're leaving. Look at the weather sites for swell/chop forecasts too. Mixed swell can be an unpleasant ride. Wind picks up nearer the island until you get in the lee, then there's the "Isthmus fan" soon as you hit ship rock. We come up from Dana, and our last trip had not much wind. Until we turned the corner at bird rock. Then it was 25kts right on the nose. Where we were motoring at 7, now at 4.5. That last half mile is a tough one.

You don't need to wait to 2022, there's plenty of time left this summer.....

Alan Gomes's post reminded me (Story Time!):

My first ever sail to Catalina was crewing out of King Harbor on a Columbia 5.5. A Columbia 5.5 is about 33' long, 5' wide, and has maybe a foot and a half of freeboard. Under the water it looks like a mini 12 meter. Keel, and lots of it. The deck is flat with two holes cut into it for crew to stand. If it ever swamped, it would most definitely sink. Navigation was a compass. We made it. Was a blast. Had to motor back (on a 2.5 hp motor or something like it)

I would never do it today in that boat. But as mentioned above, you see plenty of West Wight Potters, Catalina 22s, etc over there. Jetskis... folks go over on jetskis.
 
  • Like
Likes: JackOlsen
Dec 28, 2020
22
O'Day 19 Marina Del Rey
I've been hesitant to chime in but since you ask ... there is no circumstance where I would take my 13-year old son 20 NM offshore in the Pacific or the Atlantic or even a Great Lake in a 19' open boat as a first-time excursion. I would have all the answers to my questions by my own vast experience before I would even consider it. I'm pretty sure the other parent would have a major problem with it if I was still contemplating what conditions are safe in this tiny sailboat. You are asking valid questions and citing some good sources of information. Your lack of experience and willingness to expose your minor son's life to your experiment is what galls me. I probably wouldn't hesitate to test myself with a willing participate whom has responsibility for his/her own life, but not with a trusting son or daughter whom can't possibly have any independent thoughts of doubt in your judgement, which might be lacking, for all we know. Do you really think that it would be ok to put your skill as a sailor to a first-time test like this with a dependent child's life at risk? There you have it ... I really question this kind of judgement.
Scott, you may be justifiably galled, or you may be misunderstanding the amount of experience my son and I do have in the Pacific, based on the tone of my posts. I don't know. I think it's typical for people on the internet to overstate their skills, and in this post I tried deliberately to come at this particular trip in a way that I felt would lead to me learning more rather than less. But it might have led to a tone in this thread where I was a sailing neophyte.

My son is in his third year of UCLA's sailing camp, which is run out of Marina Del Rey. We've been also sailing together on our own for the better part of three years, and have been out more than a hundred times in three different models of boat. This boat is the easiest of the three to sail. We typically go about ten miles out, sometimes more. Last Sunday we sailed for 17 miles. 23 miles is a step up from that, but in good weather I don't think it will be a fundamentally different sailing experience.

What's different is that we're going to be farther south than we usually sail. But it's the same ocean. And this time we're going to be heading to a specific destination. It's a big step, but I wouldn't characterize either of us as beginners. My son is 5'7" and has spent more time in sailboats than I have (although only marginally more). He's definitely not just along for the ride on this trip.

Again, you might feel differently if you had more information about our skill level and our experience. But you also might not. That's all right. I appreciate everyone's opinion on this.