Boating to catalina

Discussion in 'Boating Discussion' started by fishinthepool, Apr 26, 2010.

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  1. fishinthepool

    Well I am new to the site and looking for some tips on boating to Catalina for the first time. Finally got the boat running good so were thinking of going to Catalina to get in on the YT fishing. 1972 22ft Pennyan Tunnel drive deep V. 350 Chevy motor with volvo penta direct drive trans. We are pretty close to Newport, Long Beach, Marina Del ray, Huntington. etc. I have never been to Catalina so I dont know what I should be prepared for when it comes to the waves. We have Vessel Assist in case of an emergency however we dont want it to come to that obviously. How are typical water conditions at different times of the day on the way there? When is the best time to leave? Come back? Is there any signs that it may not be a good day to go? Is our boat big enough to safely go to Catalina on a average day. Has a 35 gallon gas tank so I know we will be fine on gas. Only worried about waves in relation to the size of our boat. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.:_diarrhea_:
  2. BMThompson

    I used to go in the morning and come back the following morning. Worked for me in a 19' Bayliner Trophy CC. That said...Check the weather, take a vhf and gps, buddy boat if possible, good luck.
  3. grader 2750

    watch the fuel, 35 gal's isn't that much, make sure you top off, and have more than enough for the ride home...
  4. middleofnowhere

    I would start out with shorter trips, like go out of Newport or Long Beach and fish the flats or the oil derecks. Get a feel for the water and the conditions in the channel morning vs. afternoon.
    Baby steps first.
  5. cksea

    You need more gas. Expect 2 MPG on a good day in your boat.
  6. smackedazz

    watch the wind the channel can get nasty in the afternoon
  7. wxdunn

    Typically, during the late spring and summer months it will be smooth in the morning with an afternoon seabreeze putting a chop on the water in the afternoon. Making the crossing in that boat I'd make sure everything was in good operating condition, bring more fuel than you think you need and shoot for morning (before 11am). Fog can sometimes be an issue...more so in the early morning hours than later in the day. Watch the weather closely and look for a good window of opportunity. Pt. Fermin to Two Harbors is the shortest distance...longer across from HH or Newport, but you'll find more facilities in Avalon if you need assistance or more fuel. I made the trip in an open 18' runabout/outboard in the '80s. I spent a COLD night in Avalon harbor on that boat when the fuel consumption was much higher than we anticipated. When it ran well we were up on a plane the whole way back on greasy calm seas.
    Check your weather here:
  8. Alan

    Would you mind sharing your ocean boating experience? Do you know what your fuel consumption burn rate is and how to chart a course. How about your anchoring experience? Do you plan on getting a mooring? Catalina is a great spot for the family everyone just wants you to be safe.
  9. Saluki

    35 gallons is not going to be enough fuel for that boat.
    I would suggest making the crossing the 1st time with a "buddy boat".
    Do you have a drift sock or have a couple 5 gallon buckets and some dock line?
    If you're broke down mid channel sock or bucket will keep your bow into the wind until VA shows up, thus keeping water from coming over the stern or side rails, also makes it much more comfortable while waiting for assistance.
    Do you have a good VHF radio & antenna?
    Do you have a back up hand held VHF?
    Do you have a chartplotter?
    Can you read a compass so that you know your heading going and returning from Cat incase you lose your electronics?
    Do you have a hand held GPS for back up?
    Does the boat have at least one 1100 GPH bilge pump?
    Do you have a back up hand operated bilge pump?
    Do you have a full set of Coast Guard flares, whistle, horn?
    Do you have flashlights or glowsticks incase you're broke down in the dark?
    Do you have a small tool box with a variety of hand tools, elect tape, duct tape, zip ties, fuses....etc?
    Do you have a detailed map of Catalina Island and local Southern California inshore buoy's / hazards?
    Do you have a good anchor, at least 150 ft of rope & chain?
    Do you have a back up anchor?
    Is the boat's battery in good operating condition?
    When was the last time the boats raw water pump impellor changed?
    Are the belts and hoses in excellent condition (free of visual cracks)?
    What condition on the trailer are the springs, tires, wheel bearing, hitch, brakes, bunks, winch, & lights in?
    This is a good site: Southern California Marine Weather Forecast | BUOYWEATHER.COM
    This is a good site: National Weather Service - NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard
    Do you have a responsible person to give your "float plan" information to prior to departure, and can they make the call to the authorities (VA and-or CG) if you're much later than expected (3-4 hrs)
    All things listed above are what we consider prior to leaving the harbor, no matter what our destination may be.

    One last thing............
    35 gallons is not going to be enough fuel for that boat.
  10. grader 2750

    saluki, i think you just scared the shit out of him ,,,but everything you just mentioned, is some of the best information you can give , you can not be ,,over prepared
  11. Outlawman

    Ditto.... learn your boat and how it handles the conditions, plus you'll better understand your range. You've likely heard it before, but max 25% fuel burn out, 25% in the zone, 25% to return with 25% in reserve. With only 35 gallons, that's not much range and Cat is simply too far without other tanks/bladders.
  12. SeaHawk IV

    First off, welcome to BLOODYDECKS.

    Everything said above is excellent information. Highly recommend to buddy boat with someone who has accomplished many crossings just to make the trip more pleasant. Don't get caught up with the excitement of fishing for Yellows or any other fish that gets you "Pumped up." The season is just starting off.

    Safety first and if you're in doubt, wait it out.
  13. fishinthepool

    Thanks for all the replys/ greatly appreciated and I will print and study everything mentioned. Our boating experience would be considered beginner. We have fished between newport, long beach, marina del ray, the flats, rigs, and horshoe and fermin Kelp. We have a good feel for the boat and what it can and cant handle. I know we can make it there on one tank and we would definately plan on filling up there before we come back. We have taken it out trolled across newport and huntington opened it up to Fermin Kelp and surrounding area stopped in long beach harbor for some pizza and come back to newport all in one tank. The motor was rebuilt about 4 years ago and has almost 100 hours on it. Just did an oil change about 3 months ago along with installing center rise manifolds, extra battery w/a-b switch, new plugs and wires, new ignition coil, re-timed, brand new belts, a new impeller, and all that good stuff just so we can have confidence in its mechanical operation. so fuel consumption I would say is great.

    We have a hand held GPS we use, no chart plotter. Batteries are great. have a hand help ship to shore that can be used with batteries or plugged into the lighter socket we put in. Not sure the GPH on our bilge pump but it works great and we are adding an additional one just to be safe. we have an air horn no flares..yet.. and no glow sticks...yet.... we have a good anchor and plenty of rope. we have a small tool box on board with enough tools to fix most things on the boat including fuses wire connectors, wire, random bolts nuts, and screws, wrenches, sockets etc. Had to rebuild our water pump about 4 months ago on the boat when the impeller fell apart on us. glad we had all the tools we needed already on board including silicone and "form-gasket" I am a mechanic in a field that requires a ton of preventative maintenance so I am very observative about taking care of things before they have a chance to go bad.

    Lol, yeah you scared the Shit out of me when I saw how long your check list was. however after breaking it down its really not that bad.

    We do not plan on traveling at night or in the fog. We plan on leaving early where we are able to see good not marginal vision and renting a moor for the night and coming back in the morning. But we also want to be safe about this especially being out first trip out. We will have to see if we know anybody else with a boat that wants to fish so we can buddy boat
  14. Alan

    Pick a good weather day and have fun. Sounds like you have a few things to get and are ready to go.

  15. Gil Marlin

    Brandon is now the undisputed expert on crossing the channel... :rofl::rofl:
  16. Saluki

    One more thing, bring a scuba mask. :D
  17. One_Leg

    How many batteries does it take to get there and back using only the trolling motor?
  18. bigeye2k

    I agree with brandon not enough fuel
  19. Dos Locos

    I'll add a few more things in addition to Brandon:

    Do you have enough Type 1 Offshore PFD's?
    Jump pack for you Batterys
    Vessel Assist or Sea Tow
    First aid kit
    Additional food/water
    shelter i.e. a tarp for the boat in case your floating for awhile w/o power
    ditch bag
    wet suit
    prop wrench/xtra prop
    etc, etc,....
  20. You should have had those even before you went out on your local trips.

    I would get a fuel flow system on your boat. That's the best way to know what kind of fuel consumption your getting. You'd be suprised how your mpg can change while your working into a head swell as you cross the channel. It could eat up that 35 gallons real quick.