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From the Boathouse: A perfect Easter weekend for cruising

April 18, 2014|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

I cannot believe that Easter is on my radar for Sunday already, and I know many boaters who are planning to take their family and friends on a cruise this weekend.

Well, I have good weather news to report. I am predicting pleasant conditions for boating, other outdoor activities and Easter brunch on the patio. The air temperatures along the coastline will remain cool, and the temperatures will reach into the high 60s and a little higher for those in the direct sunlight.

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The skies will be mostly sunny in the afternoons with the clouds increasing until Sunday, when the skies should clear in the afternoon. The evening air temperatures will remain in the low 50s, and remember that it will be chillier if you are on the water with the breeze blowing. The conditions for producing patchy morning fog along the coast should continue, but any haze should burn off quickly.

More good news: The seas will drop from the midweek's four feet to approximately two feet from the west for the weekend. The southerly one-foot swell will continue to push lightly up the coast but won't create much of the washing machine effect.

The winds will be light and variable in the mornings and peak at 10 knots in the afternoons. I foresee only a one-foot wind for a nice dry day cruise on the Pacific Ocean with your family and friends, so enjoy.

Point Conception presents good news as well for those planning to round it, with the swells dropping in height for the weekend. Midweek's eight-foot seas will drop a couple of feet this weekend with winds gusting only to 15 knots maximum.

This is a fine weather window for downhill (southbound) boats, and uphill skippers do need to know their capabilities and those of their boats for a safe voyage in six-foot seas from the west-northwest direction.

As always, just keep an eye to the weather for any changes.

Tip of the week is that springtime is the time to inspect and prepare your boat before the busy summer season is upon us, and complete those repairs deferred from last year. Many boat-repair shops and mechanics are usually not as busy this time of year, unlike in the summer season when customers are demanding their repairs finished in time for the next weekend's cruise.

I am constantly asked where to begin when getting a boat ready for the season, and I always start with a checklist so I do not miss any items. Many boaters begin on the exterior, and the hull always needs attention, especially after the winter season.

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