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Boating to Catalina Island from Oxnard/Ventura

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Boating to Catalina Island from Oxnard/Ventura

Old 06-04-2019, 08:10 PM
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Default Boating to Catalina Island from Oxnard/Ventura

Hey there - Does anyone have advice they can offer for boating from Oxnard/Ventura harbors to Catalina? I've never made the journey but definitely want to this summer. I'm wondering is it best to head to Anacapa and then direct to Catalina so you're outside the Santa Barbara Channel? Any other words of advice would be great. My only concern is how rough the water can be and how fast the conditions can change off the Oxnard/Ventura coast. I'm sure leaving early enough it'll be like glass but going back can be another story. If the waters are calm I'd be traveling at a minimum 30 knots so approximately how long do you think it'll take?
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:15 PM
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You should start by providing information about your boat and it's fuel capacity. There are very few boats in SoCal that can travel 30 kts. Most are very happy if the sea conditions will allow them to travel 20 kts. I've never been that far north so I don't know how many miles a one way trip is. I'll assume you want to go to Avalon not the Isthmus Does your boat have radar, a Gps/chartplotter, good quality VHF radio? If you answer no to all of that, stay home.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by saltwaters View Post
You should start by providing information about your boat and it's fuel capacity. There are very few boats in SoCal that can travel 30 kts. Most are very happy if the sea conditions will allow them to travel 20 kts. I've never been that far north so I don't know how many miles a one way trip is. I'll assume you want to go to Avalon not the Isthmus Does your boat have radar, a Gps/chartplotter, good quality VHF radio? If you answer no to all of that, stay home.
The boat is 38' and has twin 350hp Mercury Verados. It's brand new and has a top speed of 52kts. I have radar, gps chart plotters, VHF, etc.. fully loaded. Fuel tank is 192 gallons.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:24 PM
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I do it every year, multiple trips with my family.
I leave from Ventura Harbor and cruise my trawler to Two Harbors.
We will always spend the night on the boat prior to the trip so I can get up at O dark thirty and start cruising towards Cat while the family sleeps.
I motor visually, parallel to the coast till I arrive outside Channel Islands Harbor where I will plot a course straight to Two Harbors utilizing my auto pilot.
At 8-10 knots, it will take around 7.5 hours if we don't stop to fish or watch dolphins or whales.
If you travel at 30 knots, you'll be there in around 2 hours.
once you get past CI harbor, it really is a different ocean than what we deal with at the Northern Islands.
much more protected and calm.
on our return trip we get up early again and then motor home. There are some great weather sites that are fairly accurate like SailFlow.com

what size boat do You have?
I use to trailer my old boat to Marina Del Ray and launch from there for a 30 mile run to Cat.

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Old 06-04-2019, 09:27 PM
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Edit... I cross posted. See your boat is 38'
no problem for your boat. You out of CI harbor or Ventura harbor?
actually there will be days you will be able to run 30 knots.
Funny, seems the weather is always the worse just outside the west end of Cat
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:27 PM
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26 miles across the sea santa catalina is awaiting for me, the isle of romance romance.

the ocean gets rough in the afternoon coming back. pay attention to noaa reports.
many stay over.

pacific ocean isnt generally a 30 knot speed.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by westbootie View Post
I do it every year, multiple trips with my family.
I leave from Ventura Harbor and cruise my trawler to Two Harbors.
We will always spend the night on the boat prior to the trip so I can get up at O dark thirty and start cruising towards Cat while the family sleeps.
I motor visually, parallel to the coast till I arrive outside Channel Islands Harbor where I will plot a course straight to Two Harbors utilizing my auto pilot.
At 8-10 knots, it will take around 7.5 hours if we don't stop to fish or watch dolphins or whales.
If you travel at 30 knots, you'll be there in around 2 hours.
once you get past CI harbor, it really is a different ocean than what we deal with at the Northern Islands.
much more protected and calm.
on our return trip we get up early again and then motor home. There are some great weather sites that are fairly accurate like SailFlow.com

what size boat do You have?
I use to trailer my old boat to Marina Del Ray and launch from there for a 30 mile run to Cat.

That's great information, thank you! I have family that boats out of Newport Beach and their waters are completely different from ours so I'm glad you see a difference past Channel Islands. My boat is 38 feet. How do you like Two Harbors compared to Avalon.. is there enough to do and keep you busy?
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:52 PM
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Jus check the weather, as long as swell is 10 sec plus and under 3-4 feet you can cruise 30+ easily.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by AhoyVey View Post
That's great information, thank you! I have family that boats out of Newport Beach and their waters are completely different from ours so I'm glad you see a difference past Channel Islands. My boat is 38 feet. How do you like Two Harbors compared to Avalon.. is there enough to do and keep you busy?
we absolutely love T.H. Much quieter, slower, less touristy. We go to unwind and rest.
my kids are young, 8 and 12, and we go hiking, SUPing, swimming, fishing etc. we have a no electronic rule while at Catalina so we will all read books we brought.
We typically will run to Rippers cove and hang out at the beach one of the days, and then for another day we will do a day trip to Avalon and walk around, provision the boat if needed, rent the golf carts, etc
we personally have no desire to make Avalon our main destination. On the other hand, I have plenty of friends who run from either CI or Ventura harbor and they prefer Avalon. We're not big on the party scene.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AhoyVey View Post
The boat is 38' and has twin 350hp Mercury Verados. It's brand new and has a top speed of 52kts. I have radar, gps chart plotters, VHF, etc.. fully loaded. Fuel tank is 192 gallons.
I do it all the time. Send me a PM. What boat are you running, a whaler?
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:48 PM
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I boated out of Long Beach primarily for over 50 years. Generally the waters are going to be calm in the mornings. In the afternoon you can get some pretty nasty chop--But the worse seas are as you near Conception and St. Miguel North of where you are going to run. I have spent many nights at twin harbors (Isthumus). Never lacked for things to do in the "old days"...they are trying to make a "resort" out of it now. Lots of good hikes on the road, and trails. Take plenty of water. Good diving (protected areas for some species). (Rippers used to be a secret--must have gotten out!). We have enjoyed it many times. Know your protected zones for fishing. The issue is getting a mooring on some weekends. I would go on a Friday if you can--and pay for the whole week (or at least the weekend).

I worked on the Island in the early 50's just below Long Point. Avalon was a bit crowded then. Much too crowded for me at this time.

As for the trip home--start early in the morning, before the seas begin to build. Even in a 38 foot deep V it will be rough many days going back to Channel Islands area.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:55 AM
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Wow! a catalina thread on hull truth? another option is to hug the coast until you past malibu then cut across (scenic route and cuts the crossing by a considerable distance). Isthmus is beautiful but only fun for a single night. I love the bar scene in avalon and there is alot more to do for a weekend stay. Make sure you stop by Goat Harbor while you're there and anchor up. This weekend is looking pretty good- less then 2ft swells, long period at 14-17s, basically no wind. I'll see you over there!
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AhoyVey View Post
The boat is 38' and has twin 350hp Mercury Verados. It's brand new and has a top speed of 52kts. I have radar, gps chart plotters, VHF, etc.. fully loaded. Fuel tank is 192 gallons.
192 gallons on a 38 foot boat? Most boats that size I'm familiar with are in the 400-500 gallon range. Not sure what kind of boat you have or what sort of MPG you see with it but you'll definitely want to take that into account when making the 70ish mile trip from your area to Catalina.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pgraz View Post
192 gallons on a 38 foot boat? Most boats that size I'm familiar with are in the 400-500 gallon range. Not sure what kind of boat you have or what sort of MPG you see with it but you'll definitely want to take that into account when making the 70ish mile trip from your area to Catalina.
Agree with this - If you're only getting 1.0 mpg, I would have to fill up on island to feel safe for the return.
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:20 AM
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Refueling at Catalina is a given and it's just part of the journey. Thank you to all for your input.
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Old 06-29-2019, 01:54 PM
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I did it in a 12'5" rescue inflatable with a 20hp honda. Be very very careful about the weather, have GPS and radio then go for it. Try Santa Cruz Island first. The water is super clear blue and you can see all the way down to the sea floor. It's the closest island to the California coast at under 13 miles. I have also crossed several times in a Bertram 43 sport-fisher. The trip on that boat is a piece of cake. I am going in July on a 61' Mickelson sport-fisher and can't wait.
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackfish125 View Post
Try Santa Cruz Island first. The water is super clear blue and you can see all the way down to the sea floor. It's the closest island to the California coast at under 13 miles.
isn't Anacapa closer to the mainland?

Was in Two Harbors this weekend.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by apalehorse View Post
Wow! a catalina thread on hull truth? another option is to hug the coast until you past malibu then cut across (scenic route and cuts the crossing by a considerable distance). Isthmus is beautiful but only fun for a single night. I love the bar scene in avalon and there is alot more to do for a weekend stay. Make sure you stop by Goat Harbor while you're there and anchor up. This weekend is looking pretty good- less then 2ft swells, long period at 14-17s, basically no wind. I'll see you over there!
Assuming you mean "open ocean crossing" vs total distance?
Mileage to the Isthmus would be more overall by hugging the coast, correct?
also, what's the story on Goat Harbor? We're always looking for places to see or visit.
Whats special about it?
thanks!
Originally Posted by starbright55 View Post
isn't Anacapa closer to the mainland?
Yes.

Was in Two Harbors this weekend.
jealous!
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