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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 05-12-2010
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Kent Narrows - Local Knowledge Needed

Greetings all. I am looking for some local knowledge for navigating Kent Narrows. My current plan for Memorial Day weekend is to sail NE from Annapolis, around Love Point, and then due S to the Narrows, under the Route 50/301 bridge and pass through the drawbridge. I know that the current can be quite strong and should attempt to pass during slack tide. If I can't hit slack tide, should I err on the side of ebb or flood tide? How much reliance can I place on the tide forecasts? Any other help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My boat draws just shy of 4 feet, LOA is 30 feet with a beam of 11 feet, and bridge clearance is 44 feet. I have charts as well as the Chesapeake cruising guide for 2010. Many thanks in advance.
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Old 05-12-2010
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i think fighting a current is easier, as you can have almost no forward mmotion and still have steerage
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Old 05-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
i think fighting a current is easier, as you can have almost no forward motion and still have steerage
I have not found the current to be a big problem either way - go fast and down the middle - but waiting for the bridge is easier fighting it than backing, and traffic may be an issue that weekend. Alternatively, if you have to wait, just turn the boat so you are facing up-stream.

There is some local stuff on my blog, if you are interested.
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Old 05-12-2010
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I've been though "The Narrows" many times on our 4.5' draft boat with no problems. Take it slow through the chester river entrance and watch that you're centered in the channel as much as possible. Once in the basin on either side of the drawbridge you should be fine waiting for the tender to open the bridge (call him just to be sure he knows you're there, I think they fall asleep once and a while ). There is a good current, I do circles or find that at about 1000 rpm keeps me still. The most anxiety will come as you pass through the drawbridge with what seems only a few feet on either side of your mast

One note: It will be an absolute Zoo over the Memorial Day Weekend, Red Eye Dock Bar attracts many cigarette type boats and other large stink potters that have little concern for sailboats, if it were me I would avoid KN on any holiday weekend, especially if it were my first time?

Just curious, why are you going that way from Annapolis anyway?
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Old 05-12-2010
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Last year, friends went to St Micheal's via the narrows. A few days later (Loved hanging out at Great Oaks!) we just sailed down the bay under the bridge and into the Miles R from the bay. but that's me.. why stress about the narrows when it's more fun to sail the open bay.
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Old 05-12-2010
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I've done it a couple times, but NEVER on a weekend and especially a holiday weekend, as there are way too many drunken power boaters zooming in and out. (Same goes for Knapps Narrows)

Why are you sailing North to Kent Narrows to go South?
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Old 05-12-2010
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Thanks for the info. Several questions as to why I am sailing North to go through the Narrows. I wanted to take the shortest route as I will have my dog on board. She's fine for 8 hours or less. It is significantly shorter sailing around the North end of Kent Island than around the South end, as I will be at Wells Cove (at the North end of Prospect Bay) for the weekend. I am now re-thinking my route and considering sailing South. When we head back to Annapolis on Monday morning, I may give the Narrows a shot. I really do appreciate everyone weighing in here! Thanks again.
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Old 05-12-2010
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I will echo all especially the Chefs suggestion. We transit the narrows frequently on the way to St Micheals. The advice on the north entrance from the Chester River is good. Very small channnel, but once inside I you see good water. I always turn and face the current if is behind me and hold my place in line by throttling the RPMs to match. May be very crowded with "gold chainers" memorial day weekend.

Last time there we lined up right in front of the bridge as we were first there with a 10 minute wait. Current was behind us (averages 2.5 knots) so we turned and faced it and held in place waiting for the bridge tender to open.
Big 45 and 50 fott power boaters came in behind (front) of me and started blowing their . .horns at me telling me I was facing the wrong way and blocking their way Screaming in fact. They revved their engines an made many handgestures. When the bridge opened they tried to "rush me" but had to wait behind me as I passed through going south...6 knot speed limit for almost 1 mile, so they kept running up to me and backing off. Finally it widened and they roared by us "waking" us. Marine Police saw them do it and pulled them over. Rememeber those with the current get preference..usually.

I would head around Bloody Point and enjoy a sail from Annapolis there. It has to be no further where you are going and less troublesome.

Dave
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Old 05-12-2010
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I only went through the actual narrows was when I took my asa 101 class. It was like a 2 lane highway and the owner of the boat I was driving kept say go toward the middle and honking his air horn. He was afraid of grounding and I was afraid of hitting one of the massive power boats going the other way. I remember going through the draw bridge at 50 when we bare boat chartered 2 years later. There was a current which made waiting for the bridge to open a little tricky.
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Old 05-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Big 45 and 50 fott power boaters came in behind (front) of me and started blowing their . .horns at me telling me I was facing the wrong way and blocking their way Screaming in fact. They revved their engines an made many handgestures. When the bridge opened they tried to "rush me" but had to wait behind me as I passed through going south...6 knot speed limit for almost 1 mile, so they kept running up to me and backing off. Finally it widened and they roared by us "waking" us. Marine Police saw them do it and pulled them over.
Dave
Yikes! Sounds like a great weekend Chef. It is nice to justice served though.

New England manners: last time up the Mystic River in CT we all sat there, power & sail waiting for the lift, chatting it up and "just getting along".

Wayne
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Last edited by wwilson; 05-17-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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