tidal flow, do you ignore or use it?? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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  #1  
Old 06-13-2009
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tidal flow, do you ignore or use it??

When motoring, Up here on the tidal Delaware River it's always a consideration when going up or down river. Most sailboats can only do 2-3 knots against the flow, however when running with, it can be 7-9 knots combined with the flow and motor.

Now the C&D canal, I've not really figured out yet. Does the tide spilt in 2 directions?

When sailing and or motoring do most sailors account for tidal flow on the Bay?
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Old 06-13-2009
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I don't sail on the your side of the continent but out here in the PNW, I sail by the tides. Most trips are planned according to the tides out here or ya don't go far fast. If it's a long trip, you plan your route in a fashion to where the opposing tide has the smallest effect if possible.
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Old 06-13-2009
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I second Charlies opinion. I live by the currents, plan departure times by them, etc. When I find myself fighting current I study the charts to see where the back eddies should be and use them. Using the currents to your advantage vs. fighting them can make a two day trip into a single day around here. Of course, if you're not actually trying to get anywhere it's irrelevant, and it's fun to be sailing hard and going backwards at times
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Old 06-13-2009
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In mid-Chesapeake Bay, we pay little attention to the tidal currents. Sometimes what little there is is with you, sometimes it's against, sometimes both (many routes take you down one river and up the other before the tide turns). It doesn't matter a very great deal one way or the other.

Tidal depth (as opposed to current) is more of an issue, particularly when skirting a bar or feeling your way into a shallow creek.
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Old 06-13-2009
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One of my first important lessons was current. Being new we sailed out the Golden Gate with little wind. Eventually the wind completely died. We turned back with the motor. Little by little I noticed we were slower, and slower. I was pushing the throttle forward until we were nearly wide open.

Finally we were at a stand still, and I realised it's time for another move. We put the boat so close to the beach you could throw a stone at it, but it was the only place allowing forward movement. Slowly we made it under the bridge, and a lesson was learned. I began to use the tide tables until I got the rythum of the bay.........i2f
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Old 06-13-2009
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I agree with John. In all the years that I sailed on the Cheasapeake, I never worried about the tidal current. It's so small that it's not worth agonizing over. I think the most I ever saw was a knot, usually less.

My one experience coming up the Delaware Bay convinced me that it can be a huge factor there, as you say! We entered the Bay at Cape Henlopen, right at sundown. The tide was just beginning to flood, and we rode it all the way up to the C&D Canal, through the Canal, and down to Tolchester Beach in the Cheaspeake before it went slack at about 10 am the next day. We were getting a good 2 knot boost most of the trip. Quite a ride, but it would have been Hell if it were against us!
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Old 06-13-2009
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Tides and Currents. Use them when you can. Fight them when you have to. Don't ever ignore them.
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Old 06-13-2009
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I know most of you have all the fancy electronics but no US East Coast Cruiser should be without this essential, user friendly book.
Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2009
"Singularly, the most important compact volume of tide, current, weather, basic safety and navigational information for east coast waters available to the prudent mariner. No recreational vessel can be considered a 'well founded' boat without the current years version at the navigation station.Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2009 (Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book) Douglas Rothkopf S/V Ciao" $14.00 well spent.
Amazon.
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Old 06-13-2009
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This is a great little program you can have free on your computer for tides anywhere and for anytime. There are also some tools for a Mac near the bottom of the page.

WXTide32 - FAQs
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WM use to give away the little books when I first started sailing. It had drawings of the currents, directions, eddies, and speed based on every hour before, and after slack. After getting caught on the outside of the Gate I
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