Cruising in Hawaii

"Hawaii is, in many ways, a cruiser's paradise. No other state has such remarkable weather, beautiful and varied scenery, or secluded anchorages. But sailing the Hawaiian waters presents boaters with unique challenges. The trade winds that cool Hawaii require a high degree of readiness on the part of the boaters and their boats. And because of the variable conditions of the channels between the Islands, those who cruise Hawaii must be skilled boaters and navigators." Cruising Guide to the Hawaiian Islands

The Hawaiian Islands are like no place on earth. In addition to the dramatic beauty you are sure to encounter while cruising here, the Islands also present their share of challenges. Inter-Island sailing is rough and difficult going. Large and confused ocean swells are par for the course in the channels between most of the main islands and is generally considered too much for the average sailor. The most pleasurable way to enjoy the different Islands is to have your boat delivered to your destination of choice. Delivery adds only a modest cost and will allow you to maximize your time exploring the spectacular Hawaiian coastline.

A Word About Bareboat Chartering in Hawaii

Because of the difficulty and challenge of inter-island sailing, insurance costs make it prohibitively expensive to offer the bareboat chartering options you might be used to experiencing in places like the Caribbean. Your best option here in Hawaii is to charter a boat with a professional captain and crew to accompany you on your trip. Not only will your crew do most of the work, but they will also help you make the most of your vacation time.

Here are some great links for more information about cruising in the Hawaiian Islands.


Cruising Guide to the Hawaiin Islands
By Carolyn and Bob Mehaffy. If you are planning on cruising here, we highly recommend picking up a copy of this invaluable cruising guide. No more copies left on Amazon? Try Bluewater Books

Coast Pilot 7 - 38th Edition, 2006
Free Download Coast Pilot 9 from NOAA
Coast Pilot 7 covers the rugged United States coast of California, Oregon and Washington, between Mexico on the south and Canada's British Columbia on the north. Coast Pilot 7 also includes Hawaii and other United States territories in the South Pacific.

Weather Info
Up-to-date weather information from the University of Hawaii Meteorology Department.


Latitude 38
This is generally considered "The" cruising publication. If you want to learn more about the cruising community, this is their monthly bible. Latitude 38 archives the magazine online, but getting your hands on a hard copy can't be beat.

Cruiser's Log
A large discussion board and place for cruising sailors to upload pictures.

Float Plan
A popular grass-roots cruiser’s site.

Piracy Attacks Worldwide
Notice that there are none in Hawaii : )

Purportedly the world’s biggest online sailing community. Lots of great discussions and articles on sailing.

Chart Number One
Free Download Chart Number One from NOAA
Chart No. 1 Covers Nautical Chart Symbols, Abbreviations and Terms is a reference publication depicting basic chart elements and explains nautical chart symbols and abbreviations associated with National Ocean Service and Defense Mapping Agency charts. It is a valuable aid for new chart users and a useful tool for all mariners.


Do yourself a favor and learn from the best.

OCSC Sailing
If you are starting from scratch or just taking it to the next level, you will be more than ready to sail in Hawaii after building your skills sailing in San Francisco Bay. OCSC Sailing is widely regarded as the best school in the United States. Tip: If you are traveling from out-of-town the school will usually let you stay on one of the boats for a nominal fee.

If you are in Europe the Solent is where you’ll want to learn and UKSA is the school. With the currency conversion it’s a tad expensive, but it would be hard to argue that this is not the finest sailing school in the world.

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