Sailing native the U.S. West shore to Hawaii deserve to be a very enjoyable experience and plenty of sailors make the expedition regularly. Ns was curious exactly how to make the trip, so ns did the research and also this is what I came up with.

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How to sail indigenous California come Hawaii? First, sail southerly, complying with the coast to 35°N-25°N (depending on the time of year). Climate head westerly for Hilo. The finest time for sailing is roughly June once the weather is an excellent and hurricane activity relatively low. The expedition will take it you anywhere between 2-4 weeks. The sailing distance is about 2,500 nm.

Whether your boat is located in Seattle or mountain Francisco, the route is pretty much the same. But there are a pair of crucial things come know prior to departing. For example, the direct route isn"t the fastest - not even close.

In this article:

General Sailing route to Hawaii

Whether you leave from Seattle, Los Angeles, mountain Diego, mountain Francisco or also Oregon, your path will greatly be the same.

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


There room three methods to go around your southern trip.

Slowest route: follow the coastline and hop from harbor to port till you reach san Francisco. Then head easterly.Fastest route: seaside sailing while complying with the shore at around 20-40 mile out. This offers you a speed advantage because the seaside current and also wind assist you out.Safest route: offshore cruising at 50-100 mile out. Smoothest sailing however you run the chance of ending up in the Pacific High, which way you"ll have poor winds.

Most human being seem come agree that the further out girlfriend are, the much safer it is.

Steering clean of the seaside waters is safer due to the fact that the waters are smoother and also there are way fewer vessels at also 50 miles out. This makes navigation a lot easier. When choosing for coastal sailing, make sure your navigation tools is safe and also sound. You"ll have to attend to shipping lanes.

If you execute follow the coastline, watch out for the adhering to points - they can be dangerous:

Cape FlatteryPoint St GeorgeRocky Point/Honda PointCape BlancoCape Arago

Why carry out you must go south?

You want to sail around the Pacific High. If girlfriend sail too much north you 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 trade winds all year long.


How much south carry out you have to go?

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

So the previously in the year girlfriend leave, the much more south the Pacific High is. Which means that the previously you leave, the further south you"ll should sail to obtain a smooth ride.

A great 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 come at the very least 35°N

Once you reach your southern edge that the Pacific High, turn westerly. It will take a couple of work to reach the tradewinds. From over there on, it"s smooth sailing all the means to Hilo.

So your route relies on the time of year. The biggest challenge of cruising to Hawaii is continuing to be in the optimum wind zone. This zone is small. Inside of it, sailing is good and your Hawaiian cruise will certainly be a trip to remember. External of the zone, this pilgrimage will obtain either boring or chaotic quickly.


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

The ideal time to sail come Hawaii

So what"s the finest time come sail come Hawaii? The best time come sail come Hawaii is about June. The temperatures space comfortable in at an early stage summer, and the hurricane season still hasn"t really began yet. In July you have the right to encounter hurricanes. In April the southerly component of the trip have the right to be rather cold.

The hurricane season in the phibìc Pacific runs from June - November. I"ve review dozens the accounts and most sailors agree the hurricanes normally don"t cause problems.

They are basic to spot method before they reach you, providing you lot of of time come prepare. Also, hurricanes often tend to stay in between 10°N - 20°N. The Pacific High ensures hurricanes don"t creep up any kind of higher. Hawaii is in ~ 19 levels north so friend won"t really gain in hurricane territory.

The journey Home

To acquire back, girlfriend essentially try to sail roughly the Pacific High.

Route: native Hilo, girlfriend sail northerly till you reach the northern edge the the Pacific High. This will most most likely be around 47°N (Seattle latitude).

Then you rotate easterly and sail to the coast. When in selection of the coast, you head southerly to go back to your house base.

The sailing distance native Hilo to Seattle is about 2,600 miles. After that, include the adhering to distances:

Sailing distances 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 talk about the specifics for the following cities:

SeattleSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan Diego

I"ll comment on how long it takes to acquire there, and also what the exact distance is in nautical miles because that each allude of departure.

Seattle - Hawaii

How long does it require to sail indigenous Seattle to Hawaii?

It takes 4-5 weeks to sail from Seattle to Hawaii. It"s roughly 3,100 nautical miles. At an mean sailing distance of 100 nm every day (4-5 knots), it takes approximately 31 days to sail come Hawaii continuously. This is without any kind of stops and also under steady cruising conditions.

What’s the street from Seattle come Hawaii by boat?

The cruising distance from Seattle to Hawaii is approximately 3,500 mile or 3,100 nautical miles. The straight distance is 2,550 miles or 2,215 nautical miles. However, the direct route isn"t the fastest route due to the fact that it runs v the phibìc Pacific High, i m sorry has poor winds.

San Francisco - Hawaii

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

It takes about 25 days to sail to from san Francisco come Hawaii. It"s roughly 2,500 nautical miles. High-performance boats may be able to reach Hawaii in ~ 1-2 weeks. The precise time relies on her route. The ideal option is to head southern to 20-25 degrees north (To make use of the profession winds) and also then head west for Hilo.

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

The sailing distance from san Francisco to Hawaii is roughly 2,500 nautical miles. The specific distance depends on her route. Many routes very first follow the coast south before heading westerly in ~ 35°N - 25°N. If you"d sail in a right line, the street is 2,000 nautical miles.

Los Angeles - Hawaii

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

It takes between 2-3 weeks to sail from Los Angeles come Hawaii. High-performance boats are may be to reach Hawaii within a week. However, they are most likely to sail a different, more daunting route. At an mean sailing speed of 4 knots (which is usual), it will take 14 days.

What’s the street from Los Angeles come Hawaii by boat?

The sailing distance indigenous Los Angeles to Hawaii is about 2,600 nautical miles. Since of the Pacific High, many sailors an initial navigate southerly, prior to heading westerly in ~ 35°N - 25°N. This rises distances but is much faster than sailing through the Pacific High.

San Diego - Hawaii

I"ve formerly written an article about how long it takes to sail from mountain Diego to Hawaii. You have the right to read the here.

Spoiler: it takes between 2 and also 3 weeks.

What"s the distance from san Diego come Hawaii in nautical miles?

The straight distance from san Diego come Hawaii is 2,160 nautical miles. The sailing distance, however, arrays from 2,400 - 2,600 nautical miles. The exact distance relies on your route. The reason the sailing distance substantially longer is the you an initial sail southerly prior to heading westerly.

What the Journey will Be Like

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

If you catch the south-eastern sheet of the north Pacific High you"ll probably obtain wet. The winds below are poor and it will certainly most likely be slow sailing.

However, if you remain on food you"ll capture the profession winds quickly enough, after about 4-5 work of sailing.

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Once the trade winds space in your back, the air it s okay warmer and also dryer. The sky will it is in clear and blue, and the waters. The following two weeks are a very enjoyable cruising experience. Most sailors agree that it"s among the most pleasant ocean voyages over there is.

My favorite Beginner cruising Gear

For trips like these, i recommend making use of sound cruising gear. That doesn"t have to be expensive. Right here are my peak 3 items: