R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

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R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby Shangie on Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:42 pm

R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and beyond to the Gulf Islands, etc. Are there issues with currents being too much for the boat? Our last boat was a power sailer and before that a gas guzzling 23' flybridge cabin cruiser with lots of oomph....The 21 EC seems to cruise at sailboat speed so that seemed fine. We are not familiar with cruising beyond Anacortes into Canada in protected waters since most of our prior cruising was done in South Puget Sound(sailboat), the Straight of Juan De Fuca (Cabn Cruiser) and the Columbia River (sailboat.). Our 21 would be primarily used to cruise from Everett to Anacortes or Anacortes to Canada at this time in our lives using protected waterways as much as possible. Thoughts? Anyone do that kind of cruising in theirs? I realize three men went to Alaska in 21's but they are tougher than I am so i don't know what they were willing to put up with!- Thanks!
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby JamesTXSD on Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:43 pm

I have no doubt that you are going to hear from R-21 owners who will tell you that the boat works fine for cruising in the San Juans and Gulf Islands. Having driven commercial boats in that area, I can tell you that currents in some of the passes and in the Straits could potentially make for no forward progress at times. No different from a sailboat sailor having to plan passage through that area. Plenty of faster currents between those islands, as well.

While the 4 main Straits (Rosario, Haro, Juan de Fuca, and Georgia) will have currents due to tides, running on those straits with wind against current will make you wish for a bigger or faster boat. Or staying put until the current changes.

Fortunately, you can almost always find protected waters in the San Juans (exclusive of the previously mentioned straits and add Boundary Pass to that list), as long as you are willing to wait out the tidal currents and weather. There are plenty of sailboats and displacement speed trawlers that do that.

I think the San Juans and Gulf Islands are some of the best boat cruising to be had: a reasonably compact area that still gives you plenty of cruising/anchoring/marina options. I would have no issue taking an R-21 there, as long as I wasn't on a tight/fixed schedule.
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby Cutwater28GG on Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:06 am

Sailboats cruise the San Juan’s all the time...
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby Shangie on Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:01 pm

Great point and confidence builder! Been studying our San Juan's cruising guide seeing a totally doable situation with the usual precautions and knowledge. And reading small sailboat cruising stories in the waters of BC. For anyone wanting a good read: I highly recommend The Curve Of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet- an extraordinary story of a woman who spent four months each summer with her 5 children on a 24' sailboat cruising throughout BC waters so she could make ends meet by renting out her home to a family from Seattle for the summer after she was widowed. Have read it twice and reading it again.
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby BradOwens on Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:01 pm

We've seen several R-21s during our time in the San Juans. There are so many places to see and things to do in a relatively small area that speed isn't an issue. Currents can work against you in a few places, but a little planning to be there at the right time is all that's needed.
We keep our boat in Anacortes, but live in Bothell. If you plan to keep yours at home, then Lake Washington and the Samammish River are decent cruising areas as well.
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby Cutwater28GG on Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:06 pm

the places to watch and time the current/tide and wind are the passes (thatcher, deception etc), Rosario straight, Guemes channel, juan de fuca straight

bit of planning you are good
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby BradOwens on Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:32 pm

One other area to watch out for is Swinomish Channel just south of Anacortes. If you're transiting from Everett to Anacortes, that will be the most likely route, and La Conner is a great place to stop for lunch/dinner and shopping. Just be aware that the current can be quite strong there at times.
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Re: R-21 Speed ever an issue cruising San Juans and More North

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:10 pm

Brad is correct the swinomish can have some strong current, but the R21 should be fine - i go up there all the time. the worst bit can just be southern entrance as the current is across the direction of travel so you have to pay attention to stay in the channel.

the worst conditions are typically ebbing tide with a southerly wind in rosario straight. uncomfortable indeed!
and for the boat speed of the R21. only do deception pass at slack water...
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