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Thread: Commander headed to Hawaii !?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    San Francisco - or Abroad

    Commander headed to Hawaii !?

    I have sailed quite a few boats (all under 30’) within large harbors or along the coast, in Australia, Turkey, Mexico, The Netherlands, etc. but being fairly new to boat ownership; I'd appreciate some insight on heading to Hawaii...

    I have never done a major passage. I do not have a GPS, and I am not all that good at celestial navigation, but I am fairly confident we'll make it.

    -I plan on SHIPPING the boat to Hawaii, you see...

    Sorry for the lead-on!

    A bit of background:
    The day after taking delivery of a lovely Pearson Commander (Hull #155), I was made aware that our San Francisco Bay Area office is 'going away', and I was asked to relocate.

    There were several alternatives, but the least offensive option was Honolulu, Hawaii. (can't beat the SF Bay area!)

    So I am either Hawaii-bound for a couple of years, or I'll need a new job... Hmmm...

    I really like #155 and would like to hold on to her. I’m told that I am only the 3rd owner, and that it has been in the Bay area all of its life. If I sold her, I would likely have to pay much more than I did to replace her with a similar boat later...

    I’ve just heard that my relocation package has been approved. This includes shipping of the boat to Hawaii and back; so the shipping cost to Hawaii is not an issue in the decision. (Although it does hurt that the cost of shipping will be about the replacement cost of the boat.)

    There is a bit of risk… The return trip is paid for by my company only if I remain there for at least 1.5 to 2 years.

    Now I find myself looking for a bit of advice regarding the following issues;

    1. Impact on the boat due to shipment to Hawaii.

    - Any issues with shipping damage? Do these boats travel well? Do they suffer greatly from the out-of-water stresses related to shipping? - to the dock on a truck, then at sea in a container, then trucked out of the port, etc.?

    2. The Advantages / Disadvantages of taking this boat to Hawaii.

    - I have been to Hawaii (mostly for work) many times, but have not sailed anywhere there. I have not even looked into the Hawaiian sailing scene. I would like some insight as to the appeal of sailing in Oahu & around the other islands vs. keeping the boat in the SF bay and coming back to sail here periodically?

    - How suitable is the commander for the sort of waters around Hawaii? Is it worth taking to begin with?

    3. Moorage

    - Any insight on where to keep the boat; the availability (and pricing) of slips. I hear roumors that slips are in very short supply, and could be too expensive – Like everything else in Hawaii… (I now have a few Marinas’contact info and will start making phone calls; but I wonder if there is some local insight/experience on this topic lurking on the board)

    4. Finaces

    - Any insight about Boat prices on the West coast vs Hawaii? Say I wanted to avoid the expense of shipping the boat selling #155 and buying something else there? Are boats significantly cheaper, or more expensive to buy in Hawaii?

    - Should I take her over and risk having to sell her there if I should decide to come back prior to the agreed term?

    - Should I consider selling the Commander here in San Francisco and either getting another boat in Hawaii, or should I look to just crew on other boats while in Hawaii like I used to prior to purchasing the Commander?

    - Should I sail her to San Diego and store it in the dry (free of charge) at my parent’s home and keep her for my return in a couple of years?

    5. Logistics

    - If she is going; Should I take the opportunity install a hinged mast-step (I believe a Tabernacle is the proper term?) as the mast will need to be de-stepped for shipping. I would like to replace the mast-step (block of wood) itself somewhat soon…

    - Anything else I should take care of/look into if I’ll be going through this de-step process?

    Thank you for any insight provided…


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Hampton Roads Va.
    You can buy a boat real cheap in Hawaii , at lot less than your shipping will cost.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Orinda, California
    We have a skipper in Hawaii who might help answer some of your questions. Paul Morgan's E-mail address is being E-mailed to you. There are at least two Ariels there, but we have no data showing any Commanders. Which is not to say there are none.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    Thank you Bill.

    I did send an e-mail. Unfortunately it came back as undeliverable. I removed the somewhat suspicious 'L' in the address (seemed like a typo) and it seems to have gone through this time.

    Hopefully he will reply. I'll let you know.

    Mike -
    I suspect that you may be correct. I hear that the islands are not as sailboat friendly as I might have hoped. Maybe it would be a good strategy to search for a deal there, or just hire one when the urge hits...

    I'm still struggling with this however; Not knowing anyone in HI, I will have lots of time that would be well spent working on the boat and sailing...

    If she does not go, all this time she'll be sitting sadly over here waiting for my occasional return, or worse yet - she'll be in the hands of someone else who will be enjoying her.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Scarborough, Maine
    Antonio, just a peep from the peanut gallery...

    I tend to be stupidly sentimental, and if I had a chance to ship my beloved boat along with me, at no cost other than figuring out the logistics - I'd jump at it! I imagine trying to replace a beloved boat that you've put a lot into would be difficult, especially one of these gems. It's rare to find a really decent Ariel/Commander not needing a lot of work for sale these days. (A50 and A3 from this board excepted)

    And Hawaii not sailboat friendly? I find that extremely difficult to believe! Difficult to find a marina? Almost certainly. Local knowledge would be very helpful for that. But, learn to scuba dive and take the boat! You won't be sorry.

    Worst case, I'd vote for the "sail her to San Diego and store it in the dry (free of charge) at my parent’s home" route. Can't lose with that one.

    In any event, good luck - and when it gets frustrating, just remind yourself - you could have worse problems than trying to decide whether or not to ship your sailboat to Hawaii...

    PS. In addition to the owner name Bill is passing on, I know there's a lady in Hawaii on the Yahoo Triton list. Might be worth getting in touch with her too.
    Totoro (Sea Sprite 23 #626)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    San Francisco - or Abroad
    mbd - I can definitely relate to your comments. I would really like to take the boat even if only to be able to WORK on it!

    But I have decided to leave it behind. Mainly because of the difficulty in finding a place to moore it. The best estimate was a year's wait...

    So, in California it stays...
    I've spent 2 of the last 3 weeks in Hawaii and I can't find a way to make this work reasonably...

    I hoping to negotiate reimbursed for the cost of a trailer in liu of shipping costs to Hawaii... At least that way I can store it AND have it be somewhat mobile for when I am back in town. This is a nice compromise I think. I can keep the boat and perhaps even use it occassionally.

    I am off sailing these next couple of days. I cannot wait. Off to Berkeley to catch the fireworks over the holiday! This should be fun.

    Had a great day sailing yesterday. I went out with a friend whose only other experience sailing had been as a recent passenger on my boat. She did really well though. We had a great time.

    No sailing in my own boat in Hawaii then... but I plan to be crewing in Hawaii and beyond as much as I can. I hear the passage to Tahiti is a good one... (?)

    I will also get started on power kites and will look into rowing with the traditional outrigger canoe groups...

    Other than that, I guess I'll use Hawaii as a jumping off point for travel eastward - the bit of ocean between Hawaii and the coast of china is the only gap (in longitude) missing from my travels...

    Thnks for the help!


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