Grays Harbor is a large, shallow bay that opens to the Pacific Ocean. Two peninsula’s form the mouth to the bay with Ocean Shores at the tip of the northern peninsula and West Port at the tip of the southern peninsula. Both towns have a large fishing fleet, so plenty of good seafood all around! Shopping and sightseeing will entertain you off the water, and a steady breeze on the water. There are some RV campgrounds in both towns that also allow tent camping.
When sailing out of Westport, the boat launch in the harbor is preferred over the surf at Half Moon Bay beach. At Ocean Shores there is a spit at the RV park that will provide beach launching.
The wind is predominantly an onshore (westerly) breeze, but has enough fluctuation in it to provide good tactics. The wind can be anywhere from 5-25k, but is usually quite steady and not puffy. The bar at the harbor entrance keeps big waves out so most of the water is flat, with rollers out in the shipping channel. If the crab fishing is on then be aware of long lines of crab nets that might tangle with your rudders or daggerboards.
This site is rated: Beginner-Intermediate. Strong breeze, current, commercial shipping, and commercial fishing in the harbor require technical competence of the crew.
One thought on “Westport/Ocean Shores, WA”
First there is not a large fishing fleet at Ocean Shores as their harbor is non-existent due to it being small and keeps filling up with sand. Westport for sure is where the fishing fleet is with its large marina and excellent boat launch. Also launching off Half Moon bay is fabulous. The further you move west along the beach the smaller the waves get allowing for easily casting off from the beach. However one must have beach wheels as its a bit of a portage to the water and even longer if you wheel you boat west up the beach to smaller waves. One can also launch off the beach directly into the ocean from the many access points along the Pacific beach. Of course depending on the conditions the waves can be large at times. Sailing from either the marina or Half Moon bay into the harbor one will find some nice sand Islands to sail/surf around (make sure to check with the locals when it’s ok to access the Islands as their are restrictions when birds are nesting). There are some oyster beds in the harbor to the southeast that can mess with your rudders. Tides can be very strong so check the local tide charts.