Sailing indigenous the U.S. West shore to Hawaii have the right to be a really enjoyable experience and also plenty of sailors make the trip regularly. Ns was curious how to do the trip, so i did the research and this is what I came up with.

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How come sail indigenous California come Hawaii? First, sail southerly, following the shore to 35°N-25°N (depending on the moment of year). Climate head westerly because that Hilo. The best time for cruising is about June when the weather is an excellent and hurricane activity relatively low. The expedition will take you anywhere in between 2-4 weeks. The cruising distance is around 2,500 nm.

Whether your watercraft is located in Seattle or mountain Francisco, the route is pretty lot the same. However there room a couple of essential things come know before departing. Because that example, the direct route isn"t the more quickly - not even close.

In this article:

General Sailing path to Hawaii

Whether you leaving from Seattle, Los Angeles, san Diego, san Francisco or even Oregon, your path will mostly be the same.

Route: Southerly come at least to san Francisco or Los Angeles latitude (38°N - 34°N), climate head westerly because that Hilo.


There are three methods to go around your southerly trip.

Slowest route: monitor the coastline and hop from port to port till you reach san Francisco. Then head easterly.Fastest route: seaside sailing while following the shore at around 20-40 miles out. This gives you a speed benefit because the seaside current and wind aid you out.Safest route: offshore sailing at 50-100 miles out. Smoothest sailing however you run the possibility of ending up in the Pacific High, which means you"ll have negative winds.

Most civilization seem come agree the the further out you are, the much safer it is.

Steering clean of the coastal waters is safer due to the fact that the waters space smoother and also there are means fewer vessels at also 50 mile out. This makes navigating a many easier. When picking for seaside sailing, make certain your navigation devices is safe and sound. You"ll have to resolve shipping lanes.

If you execute follow the coastline, watch out for the complying with points - they have the right to be dangerous:

Cape FlatteryPoint St GeorgeRocky Point/Honda PointCape BlancoCape Arago

Why do you must go south?

You want to sail roughly the Pacific High. If you sail too far north friend hit the Pacific High - irradiate winds and rain.

The Pacific High is a semi-permanent depression in the phibìc Pacific. It"s the factor Hawaii has actually trade winds all year long.


How much south do you should go?

In winter, the High shifts towards the equator and also then ago again north in the summer.

So the previously in the year girlfriend leave, the much more south the Pacific High is. Which method that the previously you leave, the more south you"ll must sail to gain a smooth ride.

A good rule of thumb is to:

in winter: sail southerly to around 20°Nin April - may: sail southerly to at least 30°Nin summer: sail southerly to at the very least 35°N

Once you with your southerly edge that the Pacific High, turn westerly. It will take a couple of days to reach the tradewinds. From over there on, it"s smooth cruising all the method to Hilo.

So her route depends on the moment of year. The biggest difficulty of cruising to Hawaii is staying in the optimum wind zone. This zone is small. Inside of it, sailing is good and her Hawaiian cruise will certainly be a pilgrimage to remember. Outside of the zone, this trip will get either boring or chaotic quickly.


Source: Pleistocene water cycle and eastern boundary existing processes follow me the California continental margin

The ideal time come sail to Hawaii

So what"s the ideal time to sail to Hawaii? The ideal time to sail to Hawaii is around June. The temperatures are comfortable in early summer, and the hurricane season quiet hasn"t really started yet. In July you can encounter hurricanes. In April the southerly component of the trip deserve to be rather cold.

The hurricane season in the north Pacific runs from June - November. I"ve check out dozens the accounts and also most seafarers agree the hurricanes commonly don"t reason problems.

They are easy to spot way before they with you, offering you many of time to prepare. Also, hurricanes tend to stay between 10°N - 20°N. The Pacific High guarantee hurricanes don"t creep up any higher. Hawaii is in ~ 19 levels north so friend won"t really get in hurricane territory.

The trip Home

To acquire back, friend essentially shot to sail around the Pacific High.

Route: indigenous Hilo, girlfriend sail northerly till you with the north edge that the Pacific High. This will certainly most likely be about 47°N (Seattle latitude).

Then you turn easterly and also sail come the coast. As soon as in range of the coast, you head southerly to go back to your home base.

The cruising distance indigenous Hilo to Seattle is about 2,600 miles. After ~ that, add the adhering to distances:

Sailing ranges for the U.S. West Coast:FromToDistanceFrom Seattle
SeattleSan Francisco660 nm660 nm
San FranciscoLos Angeles380 nm1,040 nm
Los AngelesSan Diego90 nm1,130 nm

Specifics for various Departure Cities

Below I"ll discuss the specifics because that the following cities:

SeattleSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan Diego

I"ll discuss how long it take away to gain there, and what the specific distance is in nautical miles for each point of departure.

Seattle - Hawaii

How lengthy does it take to sail from Seattle to Hawaii?

It takes 4-5 weeks to sail native Seattle to Hawaii. It"s about 3,100 nautical miles. At an average sailing street of 100 nm per day (4-5 knots), it takes approximately 31 days to sail to Hawaii continuously. This is without any type of stops and under steady cruising conditions.

What’s the distance from Seattle come Hawaii through boat?

The cruising distance from Seattle to Hawaii is about 3,500 mile or 3,100 nautical miles. The direct distance is 2,550 miles or 2,215 nautical miles. However, the straight route isn"t the more quickly route since it runs with the north Pacific High, i beg your pardon has bad winds.

San Francisco - Hawaii

How lengthy does it require to sail from mountain Francisco to Hawaii?

It takes roughly 25 days to sail come from san Francisco to Hawaii. It"s about 2,500 nautical miles. High-performance boats may be able to reach Hawaii in ~ 1-2 weeks. The precise time counts on your route. The ideal option is to head south to 20-25 levels north (To exploit the profession winds) and then head west because that Hilo.

What’s the street from mountain Francisco to Hawaii through boat?

The cruising distance from mountain Francisco come Hawaii is approximately 2,500 nautical miles. The precise distance counts on your route. Most routes first follow the coastline south prior to heading westerly at 35°N - 25°N. If you"d sail in a right line, the distance is 2,000 nautical miles.

Los Angeles - Hawaii

How lengthy does it require to sail from Los Angeles come Hawaii?

It takes between 2-3 weeks to sail indigenous Los Angeles to Hawaii. High-performance boats are maybe to reach Hawaii within a week. However, lock are most likely to sail a different, more challenging route. In ~ an typical sailing rate of 4 knots (which is usual), it will certainly take 14 days.

What’s the distance from Los Angeles to Hawaii by boat?

The sailing distance native Los Angeles come Hawaii is about 2,600 nautical miles. Due to the fact that of the Pacific High, many sailors very first navigate southerly, before heading westerly at 35°N - 25°N. This increases distances however is faster than sailing through the Pacific High.

San Diego - Hawaii

I"ve previously written one article about how long it takes come sail from mountain Diego come Hawaii. You can read that here.

Spoiler: it takes between 2 and also 3 weeks.

What"s the distance from mountain Diego to Hawaii in nautical miles?

The direct distance from san Diego come Hawaii is 2,160 nautical miles. The cruising distance, however, ranges from 2,400 - 2,600 nautical miles. The precise distance depends on her route. The factor the sailing distance substantially much longer is the you very first sail southerly prior to heading westerly.

What the Journey will certainly Be Like

The start of the journey have the right to be rather cold, specifically at night. The sky is typically grey and cloudy.

If you record the south-eastern edge of the north Pacific High you"ll probably get wet. The winds below are poor and it will most most likely be slow-moving sailing.

However, if you remain on course you"ll catch the trade winds soon enough, after about 4-5 days of sailing.

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Once the profession winds space in her back, the air gets warmer and also dryer. The skies will be clear and blue, as well as the waters. The following two weeks room a very enjoyable sailing experience. Most sailors agree the it"s one of the many pleasant ocean voyages over there is.

My favourite Beginner setravel Gear

For trips choose these, i recommend utilizing sound seafaring gear. It doesn"t have to be expensive. Below are my height 3 items: