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jameswilson29 02-08-2012 11:47 AM

Best months for coastal hop up East Coast
What would be the best months for a coastal sailing passage from Norfolk, Virginia, or Cape May, N.J. directly to Block Island, R.I?

Would May be a good month for such a passage, as it is after the peak Nor'easteries season, before the tropical hurricane season, and before the Bermuda high settles in for the summer bringing lighter winds, heat and humidity?

HUGOSALT 02-08-2012 11:30 PM

Air and water temp still a little cool in May, especially first half.
Also last year early May, on way to Maine, we were pinned down for 4 days in Point Judith waiting for 30-35 knots wind from north.
Can do in May but can be cold and you have to be prepared to
wait out for a good weather window.
If weather deteriorates not a lot of good harbors along NJ coast and once past NY harbor (Sandy Hook) no good harbors on south coast of long island.
One can option to come inside on long island sound if conditions
How about June? I like Sept. myself.

night0wl 02-08-2012 11:35 PM

June gets my vote. May down here in Florida can still get the occasional norther blowing through making the seas dangerous. June is 'cane season, but very low probability of anything brewing then. I'd imagine the same applies further up north...but with the nasty prospect of cold + norther

chef2sail 02-09-2012 02:33 AM


prevailing on shore breezes out of the S/ SE due largely to hot tmps heatung the land up greater than the water temps. Also May and early June there is a lot of Fog Block Island and north. Hurrican hisory is that most stay south and do not come up the coast till July and later


BostonSailor 02-09-2012 04:24 AM

Up in New England June is a better bet as the weather will be more reliably nicer yet the harbors haven't really gotten packed with summer cruisers.

Minnewaska 02-09-2012 07:10 AM

June, no question.

RichH 02-09-2012 10:16 AM

Late May, June, into early July is usually the best although you sometimes have to dodge intense thunderstorms. May is still a prime time for the development of severe Tstorm on the DelMarVa (Del Bay and NJ coast).
Every year is different and sometimes the springtime 'equinoctal gales' (strong NE'ers) can occur in late May ... all depends on the location of the jet stream and how strong and where the normal 'Bermuda High' is forming.

SVAuspicious 02-09-2012 11:16 AM

I certainly agree that mid-May to mid-July is statistically the most likely to be okay. If you can be flexible and watch the weather (which you will want to do anyway) I wouldn't hesitate to make the run any time. My 40' 22k# boat makes the run from Henlopen to Block in 1-1/2 days. Norfolk to Block is 2 days. That's well within a good forecast.

What boat would you be taking? What kind of speed do you usually make on a beat, close reach, and down wind?

jameswilson29 02-09-2012 12:48 PM

My Pearson 28, if I can complete my repairs and manage my schedule to allow the trip.

I would expect to average 4 knots/hr. I have had the knotmeter reading 7.2 knots on a close reach. I am looking for an asymmetrical spinnaker to improve my downwind speed.

Minnewaska 02-09-2012 01:00 PM

How long do you have? At 4 kts, you are going to spend a lot of time getting there and back. It isn't clear if you mean to sail offshore directly to Block, or you meant pounding away each day up the coast until you arrive.

I think the best way to do a trip like that is to have the boat delivered out there. Rent a car and meet the delivery crew for the swap and then sail her home. Just a thought.

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