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Old 02-27-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
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What is the most frequently used sailing route for bringing a sailboat from New Zealand to the US West Coast?

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Old 03-02-2007, 07:45 AM   #2
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Most frequent course is to continue around...the long way, distance wise, maybe not time wise, but certainly easier. To get directly to the west coast from NZ means the "roaring 40's" to Tahiti then up to Hawai'i, then up over the Pacific high to the PNW then down to where ever you wish to go.

Another route is north to Midway then up over to the PNW. Boat needs to be able to sail well to wind for this.

These are LONG passages without stops...bad weather in the 40's, and above the Pacific high. You need to cross the ITCZ (usually not out this far) and also the Pacific high. Sail into either one of these and it's like parking your boat. Be prepared to motor and don't burn your fuel early.

Best is to sell your boat and buy another one on the west coast. Boat prices are a lot higher in NZ and many Kiwi's buy US boats to sail here (I'm currently in NZ). Market is a little depressed right now though.

A`ohe `ulu e loa`a i ka pokole o ka lou.

No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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There are a number of routes but none are easy.

1. Heading out of NZ due east staying between 35-40 south. Your destination would be the southern Cook Islands. Plan for a rough trip with lots of wind shifts as the fronts pass you. From the Cooks head north to Tahiti, then Christmas island (Kiribati), Hawaii and then over the top of the high to the west coast.

2. NZ due north via Samoa, Kiribati, Midway and then north until above 48 finally turning east.

3. NZ north via Japan and then circle route to the west coast

4. NZ to Kiribati then east along the counter current till you reach Christmas Island and then head north. Plan on lots of motoring and bring extra fuel. We have good friends that did this in a Tri from Ponepae.

5. Heading around to the West as the previous post mentioned

6. NZ direct to Hawaii. Closed hauled the whole way. We have a friend that did that in a Wylie 28. One tack till 80 miles from Hawaii then flopped over. Mostly all upwind.

All of these are long. But a number of folks do that trip every year so there should be folks out there that can give you first hand experience.

You may want to pick up a copy of Cornell's WORLD CRUISING ROUTES. Good info

Good Luck

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Old 12-15-2007, 05:51 PM   #4
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My company did a trip from NZ to LA earlier this year. The route we chose was via Tonga, Samoa, then a long motor East until Hawaii could be fetched. This worked out quite well but you need good sized tanks and a boat that will go to windward nicely.
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