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Ocean Trawler Yachts Blog

Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): Guemes Channel and Rosario Strait

09 Rosario Strait between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands (image not be be used for navigation)

09 Rosario Strait between Anacortes and the San Juan Islands (image not be be used for navigation)

Boaters who did not elect to overnight in LaConner might well decide to put into Anacortes. There’s a great public marina at Cap Sante. Anybody bypassing Anacortes will typically use Guemes Channel between Fidalgo and Guemes Islands as an approach to the final crossing prior to the San Juan archipelago. (It should be noted that Fidalgo Island, site of Anacortes, is often numbered among the San Juan islands but most boaters consider that they aren’t quite into the San Juans when reaching Anacortes).

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Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): Swinomish Channel

07 Southern reaches of the Swinomish Channel (image not to be used for navigation)

07 Southern reaches of the Swinomish Channel (image not to be used for navigation)

A local insurance professional once stated that the southern entrance to the Swinomish Channel is, year after year, the site of a lot of claims resulting from grounding. Experienced mariners know better than to “cut” any of the buoys here. A range in Dugwalla Bay, to the west, is defined by marker boards with red backgrounds and white stripes. When the stripe on the more forward of the two boards appears to be in line with the stripe on the board farther to the west, a vessel is aligned with the center of the channel. It isn’t difficult to get started up the channel without going aground, just isn’t difficult for an unlucky boater unaware of local conditions to make the close acquaintance of a mud bank in this location.

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Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): Deception Pass

05 Safe passage through Skagit Bay is close to the eastern shoreline of Whidbey Island (image not be used for navigation)

05 Safe passage through Skagit Bay is close to the eastern shoreline of Whidbey Island (image not be used for navigation)

Under the right conditions. San Juan bound boaters choosing the Inside Passage can continue along the eastern shoreline of Whidbey Island and turn toward the islands by transiting Deception Pass. Deception Pass is both dramatic and scenic, but knowledgeable mariners avoid the pass if the current is running more than a very few knots. Tide and current tables will list the times of predicted “slack” in Deception Pass, and experienced boaters will time (or delay) arrival at the pass to coincide as closely as possible with slack current. Some boaters feel comfortable using the pass 30 minutes either side of slack, and still others will venture through an hour before or after predicted slack. Much depends on the amount of tide change, (small changes result in less current), as well as the power and design of the boat itself. The best and safest advice is to transit the pass exactly at slack.
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Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): Inside Passages

03 A straight approach into Cattle Pass, between Lopez and San Juan Islands, will help avoid the rocks and islets to the southeast (Image not to be used for navigation)

03 A straight approach into Cattle Pass, between Lopez and San Juan Islands, will help avoid the rocks and islets to the southeast (Image not to be used for navigation)

When the Strait of Juan de Fuca is too rough for a comfortable crossing, or when conditions are marginal and the forecast is not favorable, boaters cruising to the San Juans from central Puget Sound will often “run up the inside route” east of Whidbey Island. The lee side of Whidbey can remain very passable even when few reasonable boaters would voluntarily venture into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca

01 Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca can be the most direct route between central Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, conditions permitting (image not to be used for navigation)

01 Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca can be the most direct route between central Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, conditions permitting (image not to be used for navigation)

For boaters departing any port south of Edmonds, (or locations on the Key or Olympic peninsulas), the choice of a route crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Cattle Pass will prove to be the shortest distance. Despite the potential savings in time and fuel, crossing the Strait is not automatically or always the best route.

Nearly all the commonly steered courses, once past Point Wilson and until reaching Cattle Pass, are free of fixed hazards. The difficulties associated with crossing the Strait consist of potential sea states that most vessels will find uncomfortable. Smaller, lightweight boats with shallow draft can literally be imperiled by conditions often encountered in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, even during the summer months.

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Don’t Go Aground in the Sound Or Come to Grief on a Reef (in your Selene Trawler): First consideration; getting there

Tens of thousands of times each summer, owners of recreational cruising boats depart from central Puget Sound ports en route to the San Juan Islands. Protected waterways, an extensive network of marine state parks, waterfront villages, resort marinas, and other attractions create one of the finest boating areas on the planet. All that sunny weather and often tranquil waterways can create a sense of complacency, especially among new boaters. After all, these are the San Juan Islands, not the high seas, right? What could possibly go wrong so close to home? Plenty.

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New Boats: Journey Cat 47 Review by NW Yachting

JC Port View hi resIt’s always a great thing when you get a call from Andrew or Leilani over at Ocean Trawler Yachts informing you that they have a new design you should check out. They’re great folks and have an amazing amount of knowledge about their chosen field of expertise which just happens to be offshore trawlers or coastal cruising power yachts.

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Sell Your Yacht Faster and at a Better Price

Sell Your Yacht FasterWhen it comes to selling a boat, there’s a lot more involved than just hanging up a “For Sale” sign and then waiting for phone calls and emails to start pouring in. Most sellers aren’t entirely prepared for the experience, especially if it’s their first boat sale. The fact is, it’s always a buyer’s market in the boat business. The buyer, on any particular day, can easily find somebody willing to sell him a boat. Sellers aren’t so lucky. Sellers must wait to sell until their particular boat attracts the favorable attention of a willing and qualified buyer. The good news for sellers is that there are some very specific steps any seller can take that are time-tested, proven, techniques to market a boat faster and…

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Selene Trawlers Article Just Published!

Learn about the background and unique history of Selene Trawlers.

Selene Trawler at anchor

Selene Trawlers are one of the most respected brands among production yachts and have established themselves as an industry leader through design innovation. Authorities often cite the 1950’s era conversion of some North Sea fishing boats, declared surplus by the British government, as the true beginning of the pleasure trawler genre. The same characteristics that made the full displacement deep sea fishing boat hulls suitable for one of the ocean’s most unforgiving occupations almost immediately attracted a specific breed of…

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