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Old 06-09-2016, 09:52 AM   #1
SouthBayDive
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Question Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Hey guys! Im 16 years old and have been day dreaming about doing the channel crossing on my 8 hp 2 stroke engine this summer with my friend. Obviously I will have to leave at 4 am, and when its dead flat, any other tips, advice or encouragement? How much gas do you guys think I should bring? Obviously just doing it for kicks. I figure worst case scenario I can call my friend or the coast guard to come pick me up if worst goes to worst. And by the way, the engine is like from 1990's and has broken down a million times, but I have taken that thing apart so many times at sea, something would have to go drastically wrong for me to not be able to fix it.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

That's a bold crossing for an old single. I would not rely on calling for help as things can go bad very quickly, and calling for rescue should be a last resort. If you are intent on doing the crossing, buddy up with another boat so that rescue is immediate.

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Old 06-09-2016, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

It's been done before. Just plan for everything and watch the weather.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Anything can be done but, does that mean it should be? No.

You dont do anything in the open ocean "just for kicks"
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Just because you leave at 4am, does not mean it will be flat. That's a big crossing for a little boat. If you are adamant about doing it, I would ABSOLUTELY ensure that you have Radio(s), compass, GPS, and life jackets on board. Flares and other safety gear would be wise. A container ship would plow over a broken-down dinghy without even knowing it. Things can get hairy fast, and It's not always as simple as calling a friend for help. Making the crossing is no joke.

Now whatever happened to that kid who was asking about going paddy hopping on his kayak....?
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

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Originally Posted by SouthBayDive View Post
.... dreaming about doing the channel crossing on my 8 hp 2 stroke engine this summer with my friend. ....
Heck,,people do the crossing on waterski's.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:21 AM   #7
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Try and get behind the one of the Catalina Cruiser boats going over/back. If you suck up behind them, they both pull you along and completely flatten out the ride. That's how we'd go there and come back in our Zodiac 15' with a 25hp. Hang back about 50 yards, maybe a little less and ride the wake.
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Old 06-10-2016, 07:28 PM   #8
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Please read the thread "Missing Fishermen". Two 14 yo's that will never get a chance to grow up. If you're asking if it can be done you're not ready. +
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:54 PM   #9
SouthBayDive
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Thank you for all your responses! Will defiantly take a compass and a radio, which I could call coast guard, or my grandpas live-aboard. Excited for summer to start! Yellows should start coming closer to shore, and the vis should eventually rebound from this years el nino.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:02 PM   #10
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Debating whether this is a troll thread or not.

I crossed in a canoe (~ a dozen times) but also had a legitimate escort boat with me.

I'd be concerned with your engine reliability. You may be able to fix anything underway but when you're without power in the shipping channel will you be able to fix it before the tanker hits you...?
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:06 PM   #11
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

If you really want to make the crossing in a small boat, make it on paddle power and do one of the Catalina Crossing races. You'll have a lot of other competitors and water safety out to make sure you're safe.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:09 PM   #12
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Wow that would be a good story to tell your grandkids if you manage to pull it off.
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Old 06-30-2016, 11:22 PM   #13
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

My wife and I almost got smoked by a tanker coming back from Catalina in our Cal 34 in that squall a few of years back when Redondo got flooded from the water crashing over the breakwalls. THAT was crazy. We had to keep turning north west to avoid being flipped, and couldn't get out of its way fast enough. Well we eventually did but it was a VERY close call. I have a radar reflector for my RIB to stick up on a pole if I got stranded, but I suspect that would mean jack shit to a tanker.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:23 AM   #14
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

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Originally Posted by SouthBayDive View Post
Thank you for all your responses! Will defiantly take a compass and a radio, which I could call coast guard, or my grandpas live-aboard. Excited for summer to start! Yellows should start coming closer to shore, and the vis should eventually rebound from this years el nino.
2 guys and 8HP, you are looking at 4+ hours each way, assuming all goes well. Those little single cylinder engines love to start throwing fits mid-channel; you may end up limping home at 3 knots.

Besides compass and radio, you would want a GPS, flares, flashlight, and mirror. You would almost certainly be returning after dark and day or night if you need to get picked up you need to be able to give the rescue boat coordinates so they can find you. There tends to be lots of friendly traffic in the channel but not so much after dark. A little wind and little current means you could drift out of traffic lanes before anyone gets to you. Even during the day a little boat is not a big target, so flares and mirror...

Check your batteries, too, and only bring a GOOD friend. Sitting in a swamped inflatable, mid-channel, as the wind whips waves over the bow, fish spoiling since you needed the cooler to bail, clutching a dead radio hoping that somebody sees you... yep, good times....

Crossing in a yak is cool (with proper support). I never did any of the races but I was kayak support/feeder once for my buddy who was swimming the channel. We had a big support boat though. I would love to kayak it properly.
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:02 PM   #15
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Re: Catalina crossing on 8 hp 2 stroke dinghy?

Hey man,
I totally understand your stoke as to wanting to run to Catalina and back. I do a lot of sailing and am close to my captain's license, as well as being experienced in sail racing and weather patterns. If shit goes downhill in your boat, you're in huge trouble. If you're not familiar with major shipping lanes, weather patterns, light signals, how to radio for help, safety etc, you're asking for trouble. Yes it's been done before and for the jetski thing I'd rather be on a maneuverable jetski than a small dingy getting thrashed. Between here and Catalina it can be lake Pacific where you'll get there quick or trudge through unruly swell.
Even on a fair weathered day, by buddy's bass boat could get us there in 40 minutes if it's flat, but I wouldn't risk his boat let alone our lives hoping the weather holds.

Again, I totally understand your energy behind it man, and with lots of preparation and precautions it could be done. Just understand it's a huge risk.
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