Sailing native the U.S. West coastline to Hawaii have the right to be a really enjoyable experience and plenty of sailors make the trip regularly. I was curious exactly how to do the trip, so ns did the research and this is what I come up with.

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How to sail from California to Hawaii? First, sail southerly, following the coastline to 35°N-25°N (depending on the moment of year). Then head westerly for Hilo. The finest time for cruising is roughly June as soon as the weather is good and hurricane activity relatively low. The pilgrimage will take you anywhere between 2-4 weeks. The sailing distance is about 2,500 nm.

Whether your boat is situated in Seattle or san Francisco, the course is pretty much the same. Yet there are a pair of essential things to know prior to departing. Because that example, the straight route isn"t the more quickly - not even close.

In this article:

General Sailing path to Hawaii

Whether you leaving from Seattle, Los Angeles, mountain Diego, mountain Francisco or also Oregon, your course will greatly be the same.

Route: Southerly come at the very least to mountain Francisco or Los Angeles latitude (38°N - 34°N), climate head westerly because that Hilo.


There are three ways to go around your southern trip.

Slowest route: follow the coastline and also hop from port to port till you reach mountain Francisco. Then head easterly.Fastest route: coastal sailing while following the coast at about 20-40 miles out. This provides you a speed advantage because the seaside current and wind assist you out.Safest route: offshore cruising at 50-100 mile out. Smoothest sailing but you operation the opportunity of ending up in the Pacific High, which way you"ll have negative winds.

Most civilization seem come agree the the more out friend are, the much safer it is.

Steering clear of the seaside waters is safer since the waters room smoother and there are way fewer ship at even 50 mile out. This makes navigation a many easier. When picking for seaside sailing, make sure your navigation tools is safe and sound. You"ll have to address shipping lanes.

If you carry out follow the coastline, watch out for the complying with points - they can be dangerous:

Cape FlatteryPoint St GeorgeRocky Point/Honda PointCape BlancoCape Arago

Why do you have to go south?

You desire to sail about the Pacific High. If friend sail too far north girlfriend hit the Pacific High - light winds and rain.

The Pacific High is a semi-permanent depression in the north Pacific. It"s the reason Hawaii has trade winds every year long.


How much south carry out you have to go?

In winter, the High shifts in the direction of the equator and also then back again phibìc in the summer.

So the previously in the year friend leave, the much more south the Pacific High is. Which way that the previously you leave, the additional south you"ll need to sail to get a smooth ride.

A great rule of ignorance is to:

in winter: sail southerly to about 20°Nin April - may: sail southerly to at least 30°Nin summer: sail southerly to at the very least 35°N

Once you reach your southerly edge that the Pacific High, rotate westerly. It will certainly take a couple of work to with the tradewinds. From over there on, it"s smooth cruising all the means to Hilo.

So your route counts on the moment of year. The biggest an obstacle of cruising to Hawaii is remaining in the optimum wind zone. This region is small. Within of it, sailing is good and your Hawaiian cruise will certainly be a trip to remember. Outside of the zone, this pilgrimage will get either boring or chaotic quickly.


Source: Pleistocene water cycle and eastern boundary current processes follow me the California continent margin

The best time to sail to Hawaii

So what"s the best time come sail to Hawaii? The ideal time to sail to Hawaii is approximately June. The temperatures are comfortable in beforehand summer, and the hurricane season still hasn"t really began yet. In July you deserve to encounter hurricanes. In April the southerly part of the trip deserve to be rather cold.

The hurricane season in the north Pacific operation from June - November. I"ve check out dozens of accounts and most sailors agree the hurricanes typically don"t reason problems.

They are easy to spot method before they reach you, providing you many of time come prepare. Also, hurricanes tend to stay between 10°N - 20°N. The Pacific High ensures hurricanes don"t creep up any type of higher. Hawaii is at 19 degrees north so friend won"t really acquire in hurricane territory.

The journey Home

To gain back, you essentially try to sail approximately the Pacific High.

Route: native Hilo, friend sail northerly till you reach the north edge of the Pacific High. This will most likely be around 47°N (Seattle latitude).

Then you rotate easterly and sail come the coast. As soon as in selection of the coast, you head southerly to go back to your residence base.

The sailing distance indigenous Hilo come Seattle is roughly 2,600 miles. After that, add the complying with distances:

Sailing distances for the U.S. West Coast:FromToDistanceFrom Seattle
SeattleSan Francisco660 nm660 nm
San FranciscoLos Angeles380 nm1,040 nm
Los AngelesSan Diego90 nm1,130 nm

Specifics for various Departure Cities

Below I"ll comment on the specifics for the adhering to cities:

SeattleSan FranciscoLos AngelesSan Diego

I"ll comment on how lengthy it takes to obtain there, and also what the exact distance is in nautical miles because that each suggest of departure.

Seattle - Hawaii

How long does it take to sail native Seattle come Hawaii?

It takes 4-5 weeks come sail from Seattle come Hawaii. It"s approximately 3,100 nautical miles. At an median sailing street of 100 nm every day (4-5 knots), it takes around 31 days come sail come Hawaii continuously. This is without any stops and under steady cruising conditions.

What’s the street from Seattle to Hawaii by boat?

The cruising distance indigenous Seattle come Hawaii is around 3,500 mile or 3,100 nautical miles. The straight distance is 2,550 mile or 2,215 nautical miles. However, the straight route isn"t the faster route due to the fact that it runs v the north Pacific High, i beg your pardon has bad winds.

San Francisco - Hawaii

How lengthy does it require to sail from san Francisco come Hawaii?

It takes approximately 25 days to sail come from san Francisco to Hawaii. It"s about 2,500 nautical miles. High-performance watercrafts may have the ability to reach Hawaii in ~ 1-2 weeks. The exact time counts on her route. The ideal option is to head southern to 20-25 degrees north (To make use of the profession winds) and also then head west because that Hilo.

What’s the distance from mountain Francisco come Hawaii through boat?

The cruising distance from san Francisco to Hawaii is about 2,500 nautical miles. The precise distance counts on her route. Many routes very first follow the coastline south before heading westerly in ~ 35°N - 25°N. If you"d sail in a straight line, the distance is 2,000 nautical miles.

Los Angeles - Hawaii

How long does it take to sail indigenous Los Angeles come Hawaii?

It takes between 2-3 weeks come sail from Los Angeles to Hawaii. High-performance boats are able to reach Hawaii within a week. However, they are most likely to sail a different, more daunting route. At an typical sailing speed of 4 knots (which is usual), it will take 14 days.

What’s the distance from Los Angeles to Hawaii by boat?

The sailing distance indigenous Los Angeles come Hawaii is about 2,600 nautical miles. Since of the Pacific High, most sailors very first navigate southerly, before heading westerly at 35°N - 25°N. This rises distances however is much faster than cruising through the Pacific High.

San Diego - Hawaii

I"ve formerly written an article around how long it takes come sail from mountain Diego come Hawaii. You have the right to read it here.

Spoiler: it takes between 2 and also 3 weeks.

What"s the distance from mountain Diego to Hawaii in nautical miles?

The straight distance from mountain Diego to Hawaii is 2,160 nautical miles. The cruising distance, however, arrays from 2,400 - 2,600 nautical miles. The exact distance relies on her route. The reason the sailing distance substantially much longer is that you very first sail southerly before heading westerly.

What the Journey will Be Like

The start of the journey have the right to be quite cold, particularly at night. The sky is generally grey and cloudy.

If you record the south-eastern edge of the north Pacific High you"ll probably gain wet. The winds below are poor and also it will most likely be slow-moving sailing.

However, if you remain on course you"ll record the trade winds soon enough, after about 4-5 job of sailing.

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Once the trade winds are in her back, the air it s okay warmer and also dryer. The skies will it is in clear and also blue, and the waters. The following two weeks space a an extremely enjoyable sailing experience. Many sailors agree the it"s one of the most pleasant s voyages there is.

My favourite Beginner seafaring Gear

For trips prefer these, ns recommend using sound cruising gear. The doesn"t need to be expensive. Here are my peak 3 items: