How To Sail From California To Hawaii? The Sailing Guide You Need To Know

Having a long sailing trip is always an enjoyable experience for everyone. If you are in California, heading to Hawaii on a boat will be such a trip. 

So, how to sail from California to Hawaii? To enjoy the best of this trip, you need to make a good plan, then find a route to follow. 

You will start from your location heading south along the coastline. Sail until you reach the geographic coordinates 35°N 25°N, then turn to the west to arrive in Hawaii. 

June is the most favorable time for this trip. On average, it will take you about 2 weeks to complete this journey. 

You will find the details of this sailing guide below. Let’s dive in! Windrider of The Rockies.

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

Having a long sailing trip to Hawaii is always an enjoyable experience

How To Sail From California To Hawaii?

Every year, many people sail on the Pacific Ocean to reach Hawaii from California. This journey will be exciting and memorable if you make it in the right way. 

California and Hawaii are two places in the USA, but they are relatively far from each other. 2.500 nautical miles is the distance between these two locations. 

Therefore, traveling from California to Hawaii by boat won’t be as simple as usual short cruises. You will need to plan your trip carefully, then choose the right time and route to depart. 

Besides, it’s essential to keep yourself in good health before the journey. You also have to learn some basics about sea sailing and some survival skills. The voyage won’t be easy, but it will bring you many valuable experiences. 

Now, let’s move on with what you need to do to sail from California to Hawaii.

Make a good trip plan

To have the most enjoyable experiences on this journey, you should have the best preparation. 

Winds on the Pacific Ocean are rather violent, and the currents are rough. Thus, a reliable sailboat with full equipment is necessary. 

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

When preparing the boat, you should pay attention to the needed fuel amount.

To reach Hawaii, your boat should be able to contain at least 2000 gallons of fuel. It’s better to stock up on fuel twice the estimated use. Your boat will use more fuel when going against the currents or strong winds.  

Other crucial things to prepare for this long voyage are food and drinking water. The amount of carried food and water must be enough to feed you in 2 weeks. 

Besides, a detailed trip plan is what you have to build. The plan should include the intended time of departure, weather forecast, currents of the ocean, and the route to follow. 

Moreover, for a long trip like this one, you’d better make it with some companions.

You will need to go with a crew that is knowledgeable about this sailing route. The crew members will be helpful in watching and many other issues. 

You can easily find such crews on the website of your local marina. Some of them won’t even charge you for helping you on this trip. 

The last thing you should do for the trip preparation is checking your boat and equipped devices. The motor of the boat, GPS, and radio, and radar should operate well. 

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

You will need to go with a crew that is knowledgeable about this sailing route

Route for sailing

No matter where you live in California, there is one general sailing route to Hawaii. 

From your starting point, you will move along the coastline to the south. When you reach the point of 35°N 25°N, turn to the west and head to Hawaii. Note that the coordinates will change at each time of year as follows.

  •  October to March: 20°N.
  • April to May: at least 30°N.
  • June to September: at least 35°N.

You may think about sailing directly to Hawaii, but it’s not the best route. You will hit the Pacific High when going this way. 

There will be rain in Pacific High, and the winds are light. These two factors are not favorable for your sailing trip. So, by going southerly, you will avoid the Pacific High and help your boat run smoother. 

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

Moreover, here are some things you should know when following the general route. 

  • If you sail far offshore, you will meet fewer vessels. So, if you want a safe sailing path, you can sail 50-100 miles offshore. Remember to watch carefully to keep you and your boat from the Pacific High. 
  • To speed up your boat, ride the boat 20-50 miles out along the coastline. At this offshore distance, winds and currents are the most favorable for your sailboat.
  • While sailing, you should pay attention to some dangerous points. They are Cape Flattery, Cape Blanco, Cape Arago, Point St. George, and Rocky Point. 

When Should You Make This Sail?

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

If you are wondering about the best time for this Hawaii sail, the answer is June. At that time, the weather is not too hot and hurricanes haven’t been active yet.  

You will probably encounter some storms if traveling southerly from July to November. But you can predict their path to make some preparation. 

It’s better to avoid sailing in the first months of the year. Before May, the bone-chilling cold can ruin your trip. 

About the estimated trip duration, most people can sail to Hawaii within a couple of weeks. It may take you longer or shorter to complete this journey. The duration depends on your boat’s speed, winds, currents, and sailing skills.

You should start your voyage in early summer, specifically around June

Trip Details For Different Cities Of Departure

Here are some details of the Hawaii journey when you depart from different cities in California. 

San Francisco to Hawaii

If you sail from San Francisco, you will have to spend approximately 25 days coming to Hawaii. Sailboats with high performance can shorten the duration to 1-2 weeks. But your route will mainly decide the traveling time. 

It’s better to go south until reaching 20-25°N as your sailboat can benefit from tradewinds. Then turn west and sail to Hawaii. 

When you sail this route, the distance between San Francisco and Hawaii is 2,500 nautical miles. But if you go on a straight line, this distance is 2000 nautical miles.

Los Angeles to Hawaii

Most sailboats from Los Angeles will arrive in Hawaii in 2-3 weeks. Some high-speed boats can make this Hawaii trip in 7 days. 

The Los Angeles – Hawaii distance by boat is about 2,600 nautical miles. The straight route will be shorter, but it will take you much longer to sail through the Pacific High. 

How To Sail From California To Hawaii

Most sailboats from Los Angeles will arrive in Hawaii in 2-3 weeks

Seattle to Hawaii

Seattle is farther from Hawaii than other cities in California. It separates from Hawaii with a distance of 3,100 nautical miles. A sailboat with an average speed of 4 knots will take 31 days to move from Seattle to Hawaii.

If you follow the direct route, the distance will decrease to about 2300 nautical miles. But sailing through the Pacific High will be a huge challenge for every sailor. 

San Diego to Hawaii

On a boat trip to Hawaii from San Diego, you will have to follow a route of 2400-2600 nautical miles. It’s longer than the direct distance of 2160 nautical miles because most boats will sail around the Pacific High. 

On average, sailing from San Diego to Hawaii will take you 2-3 weeks.

Related Posts: Cruise From California To Japan

Final Words

Above are our guides for sailing from California to Hawaii. Making a Hawaii trip from California will be an unforgettable experience for any cruising lover. 

It’s crucial to have a good preparation for the journey and a willingness to encounter the challenges. If you get both of these factors, you can enjoy the best of this trip. Thank you for reading!

Reference: USA to Japan Cruises

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