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San Juan Islands and Cutwater 302

Old 07-21-2019, 08:55 AM
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Default San Juan Islands and Cutwater 302

Still looking at a boat that will allow cruising the Gulf Coast, trips from home base MS to the Florida Keys, overnight local fishing trips, etc. Not in a rush, so taking our time looking at boats and gathering info. Ruled out the Aquila 36 after doing a barebones charter. Thinking about doing a barebones charter with Anacortes Yacht Charters, trying out the Cutwater 302 with twin outboards. Have never captained a boat in the Seattle/San Juan Island area, think I can do it with the wife but a little intimidated. Any thoughts on this? Anyone here done this before? Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:24 PM
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I live here. No problem. Calm waters, great anchorages. The cutwater and it’s cousin the ranger tug are very common boats here. Many route options for a 5 day to week cruise. One itinerary From anacortes, go up to sucia island, a marine park. Come down to Stuart island. Then Roche Harbour or Friday harbor for a marina stay. Head to Spencer’s spit park on Lopez, back to anacortes. Never more than a 1.5 hour ride on that boat. Beautiful. Easy
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:22 PM
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I live here as well. What is said above is true, mostly. I have had my butt kicked in Rosario Strait. Just watch the weather and stay out of any of the straits when the winds are over 25 mph.
There can be strong northerly winds in fair weather in the summer, often they rise in the afternoon. You need to be particularly careful if the tidal currant is opposing the wind as the waves get short and steep. I am running a 33' express with twin 300 hp outboards. In Puget Sound the conditions are generally very calm especially south of Seattle. You can also pick your way through the San Juans and stay in protected areas as long as you avoid the straits. There is decent fishing, crabbing, shrimping and orca whale watching in the area.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys! Sounds encouraging that I could barebones a Cutwater in the area. Really excited about planning this trip. And we have a Cutwater/Ranger dealer couple hours away in Pensacola.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:33 PM
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Enjoy, you will have a great time. I live in Anacortes and have a 27 Glacier Bay. PM me if u want some more info on the area.
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Old 07-26-2019, 05:42 PM
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Should be no problem. Watch two things: winds and tidal changes. Some big tide swings coming around the islands/passageways can get things “interesting”. The wind, and how they react with tidal changes, should be pretty straight forward for most boaters with a modicum of experience.

But, something to be aware of, most of our shorelines are not sandy beaches, so don’t think about just running up onto the shore in that fiberglass rig.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:50 PM
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The Waggoner Cruising Guide is quite good. There are others but that is the first one to get for the San Juans.
When you going?
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