New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-19-2017 Thread Starter
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New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

Hi there -

I see that some of you have quite an amount of posts about the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, and was hoping to pick your brain about a run from the Sassafras River to Cape May.

So, a little rundown on my side: I just became the owner of my aunt's former 1976 27' Catalina and am looking to take it from Georgetown YB on the Sassafras to Cape May Inlet. My own sailing skills have been stifled as I haven't been on a boat regularly for almost a decade. Before that I was working on an 80' schooner as a summer job, along with using the Catalina referenced above.

Now, the boat is sitting dry-docked, hasn't been maintained in years, and I have....quite a few challenges ahead of me, to say the least. I'm weighing whether I should keep the boat dry docked for a while and do my repairs/cleanups and wait till next season to launch for Cape May, or whether I should have a mechanic at Georgetown do a basic inspection of the boat and let me know if I'm in decent enough shape to make the run this season (I'd rather pay for a place I prefer to be than overpaying to sit idle).

I guess my questions are:

1)Any chance any of you know of any reasonably priced marine mechanics near Georgetown YB that would be less money than Georgetown's staff?

2) Any chance any of you know of any reasonably priced boatyards in Cape May that dry dock boats for not an exorbitant amount of money?

I know the bilge probably needs to be replaced, so that's a priority.

My ideal plan is if someone - with more knowledge and expertise than me - can tell me if the engine is stable enough to make the run down to CP; install a new bilge; dock the boat in the water in CP for the summer and enjoy doing my cosmetic improvements while having a place to sleep at the beach; then dry dock the boat in CP every winter, and wait to paint the hull this coming offseason.

Any answers to the above would be greatly appreciated - thanks!
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

JearlPam ... do a search on this site for "C & D Canal" or "Delaware Bay" for some precision in transiting both the Canal and the Del Bay so you get the 'best' ride down to Cape May.

The C&D can be problematic if you transit when the tidal flow is in the wrong direction ... and also the Del. Bay can be a VERY 'snotty' place when the NW or SE winds are strong and against the direction of the tidal flow. You should find all you need in those archived posts.

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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

Where do you live?

Why take it to Cape May?

You can always winter the boat in one place and the move it to Cape May for the season.

There is Delaware City Marina, a do it yourself yard with a decent mechanic at the east end of the C&D.

Then there is Greenwich part way down to Cape May with haul facilities. It's on the Jersey side. Also do it yourself hard.
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

Delaware Bay and River is no place to take a boat which hasn't been thoroughly checked out. The Bay can become a very challenging pounding ride if the conditions are not ideal. We have done this trip over 50 times. That being said the advice to search the forums for advise on this transit is good advice. Auspicious and I have posted many times about this trip.

Utches in Cape May is a family owned marina which will allow DYI stuff. However I think more sailboat knowledge is available where you have you boat on the Chessie.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-20-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

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Where do you live?

Why take it to Cape May?

You can always winter the boat in one place and the move it to Cape May for the season.

There is Delaware City Marina, a do it yourself yard with a decent mechanic at the east end of the C&D.

Then there is Greenwich part way down to Cape May with haul facilities. It's on the Jersey side. Also do it yourself hard.
Good point.

I live in Philadelphia. I'll have to look into those yards - there really isn't anything holding me back from using a different location for the winter.

I want to take it to Cape May because I've grown up in the summers going either down the shore or to Maryland. I prefer spending the summers down Cape May/the Crest. So I see it as a cheaper alternative to buying a house down there, though I know it's not cheap in its own rite. I've always loved the easy in/out to the ocean from Cape May Inlet as well.
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

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Delaware Bay and River is no place to take a boat which hasn't been thoroughly checked out. The Bay can become a very challenging pounding ride if the conditions are not ideal. We have done this trip over 50 times. That being said the advice to search the forums for advise on this transit is good advice. Auspicious and I have posted many times about this trip.

Utches in Cape May is a family owned marina which will allow DYI stuff. However I think more sailboat knowledge is available where you have you boat on the Chessie.
No, you're right. I fully appreciate the challenge of this - especially since I haven't been on this boat regularly for nearly a decade. I'm not leaving Georgetown until I feel confident enough to do so, even if that means not departing until next season. That said - if I can fix the bilge, boat doesn't leak, make sure my electronics are up-to-date, and the engine is reliable then there's a fair chance I'll leave as soon as I can.

And I'll be sure to keep in mind the direction of the wind and the tides so I don't have to fight either while getting nailed by some nasty waves.

I'm familiar with Utsch's, good people there.

Thanks again for the replies. I'll be sure to keep researching older posts on the subject.
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

If you live in Philly (we did) and want to sail Cape May then Greenwich is closer. It's also a pretty are.

OTOH there is not much right close to Greenwich. At Delaware City there is a West Marine and various supply sources relatively nearby. Graingers and such. It might be more convienient if you are going to do a lot of work yourself. Not sure but the drive times may be similar.

Good luck.

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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

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No, you're right. I fully appreciate the challenge of this - especially since I haven't been on this boat regularly for nearly a decade. I'm not leaving Georgetown until I feel confident enough to do so, even if that means not departing until next season. That said - if I can fix the bilge, boat doesn't leak, make sure my electronics are up-to-date, and the engine is reliable then there's a fair chance I'll leave as soon as I can.

And I'll be sure to keep in mind the direction of the wind and the tides so I don't have to fight either while getting nailed by some nasty waves.

I'm familiar with Utsch's, good people there.

Thanks again for the replies. I'll be sure to keep researching older posts on the subject.

Wind in the afternoon is predominantly SE to S onshore, which when riding the current down the river bay is opposing.

Long fetch to boot creates square short interval choppy waves


I am from Bryan Mar originally and I lived in Ocean City , NJ for 18 years
Moved to the Chessie because having to sail only in the ocean and no places to visit and anchor got old. The SJ inlets are impassable and dangerous except CM and AC. The Chessie has many anchorages and places to go to.

That's what made my choice


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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Wind in the afternoon is predominantly SE to S onshore, which when riding the current down the river bay is opposing.

Long fetch to boot creates square short interval choppy waves


I am from Bryan Mar originally and I lived in Ocean City , NJ for 18 years
Moved to the Chessie because having to sail only in the ocean and no places to visit and anchor got old. The SJ inlets are impassable and dangerous except CM and AC. The Chessie has many anchorages and places to go to.

That's what made my choice
Nice. I grew up in Lansdowne.

Don't get me wrong - looove the Chespeake, but for the foreseeable future we're looking at the boat as more of an HQ in Cape May/Wildwood Crest with the bonus of going sailing.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-20-2017
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Re: New Boat Owner Trying to Get to Cape May

I've been to the shore for a week or two every year for the last twenty years. I'm quite looking forward to the boat on the Chesapeake

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