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Old 04-23-2008
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Merrimack River Help

Looking for wisdom/advice from anyone familiar with the Merrimack River/Newburyport area in MA. My boat is on the hard at Overland Boatyard in Newburyport. Launch date is in two weeks.

Will need to bring boat back to the home port of Marblehead. The million dollar question is when to get out of the Merrimack? My vote is to go out just after slack tide on the on the start of the flood tide to help keep steerage. Other idea is to go out at slack tide towards the very end of high tide. Obvioulsy a strong onshore wind will make things interesting at the mouth in any condition.

However, I heard that going out with the ebb tide and the current is okay too, but another person side that steerage is hard to maintain because the river current during the ebb flow between the jetty will be extremely fast (as much as 6 to7 kts) making steering very difficult and there is a good chance of broaching. There is not a lot of room to go through with a 6 foot draft boat during a falling tide and the deeper part of the channel is near the jetty wall. Loosing steerage there could mean a crashed boat.

Experiences? Tidbits of wisdom?

Thanks.

DrB
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