Best Time to Cross Columbia River Bar

What is the best state of tide to cross the Columbia River Bar outbound from Ilwaco WA?

Former resident of Ilwaco here. If leaving from Ilwaco you must have a very shallow draft and probably decent speed. I would wait until near slack before the ebb. Favor the red side to avoid any NW swell that may wrap around the north jetty and create a washing machine. Don’t go too fast, save yourself some RPM to straighten yourself back out should you need it.

You could always call the USCG at Cape D for current conditions. Bar pilots in Astoria would probably answer any questions as well.

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Depends on the weather

I would say wind 15 or less. Sea state of maybe 5 swell and 2 seas. Just trying to think best average conditions that could expected in May/June.

Thanks for the info. Maybe leave the dock an hour before slack?

Slack before flood is best or mid tide.

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Calm weather it’s no different than catching the favorable current from any other port. In a CTI type vessel the direction and height of the swell heaping up on the bar can cause pounding that would wipe out any time/fuel savings the favorable current would give you.

The boat is 55-foot long, fiberglass hull yacht. 400 hp. 6 foot draft.

The EBB generates more of a large swell on the bar than the FLOOD for obvious reasons. I would argue that it is not like leaving any other port in calm WX with a favorable tide. You don’t worry about fuel savings or time to cross. The object is to cross the bar safely. and that is at slack and the beginning Flood as well as mid Flood after max velocity. Good WX is a plus. .
In case of having to cross under less than ideal conditions then a call to the CG would be appropriate. and they will advise.
Also watch for crab pot buoys as they are prevalent during crab season. and seemingly right in the navigable channel.

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You apparently don’t worry about it, and good for you. Some people have bills to pay.

I’m assuming @Bloodyshitcakes misspoke when he said the ebb.