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post #1 of 22 Old 07-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

I'm planning a trip from Newport to Maine and maybe Canada. Hopefully leaving in a week. Ill be single handed.

Could someone describe the differences in the trip via the canal vs sailing around the cape? I'd love to sail around ideally. That said I'd like to get north sooner than later.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 22 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

Hmmm.. perhaps an extra 100 miles or so? Heading single handed for a coast know as one of the prime graveyards of the Atlantic? The govermit spent all the dough to build a canal to avoid the distance and nastiness associated with outside the Cape, and you ask if you should give it a shot? Sort of a scary question.

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post #3 of 22 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

Use the canal. Much safer, quicker, more convenient, etc.

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post #4 of 22 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

We've gone both ways. If your plan is to hop along the coast, or even just do an overnight deadhead to anyplace in Maine, definitely go through the canal. If your plan is for an initial landfall in Nova Scotia, then going "around" the outside is an option, but you need to plan on 2 (unless you are wicked fast!) or more nights offshore before initial landfall if you are headed towards Yarmouth, Lunenburg, Shelborn, etc. Draw a rum line from NS to the canal entrance...NS is a lot of East, not so much North. If you decide on the outside trip, check the weather, there's no place to hide on the back cape, and you'll be a bit offshore for the rest.

Either way, check currents for the canal and/or Vineyard/Nantucket sound.

Best of luck with your trip.
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post #5 of 22 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

You'll need to time the tide through the canal as the current can be quite swift. Since it will have to be in your favor it will also be a great time saver.
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post #6 of 22 Old 07-08-2013
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Inside

As other's have said, the difference between inside/outside is almost 100 NM, with inside being the shorter. If you had crew, great weather, and the desire to explore. I may have said outside.

Going around, you really don't have a lot of "duck in ports" for weather. Hyannis and Martha's Vineyard are probably the last ones on the upper cape. Dennisport maybe could take you if you have a shallow draft. Harwichport is tiny and not really a suitable place. Chatham is doable if you can negotiate the ever changing sand bars/shallows. Not easy to get into if you need to in a hurry. After Chatham, your basically on your own, 40 NM, until Provincetown (P-Town), but there you need to basically do almost a complete 360 as you need to go around all the way around Race Point/P-Town to get into the harbor which is on the Bay side.

Using the Canal (inside), once through you have a lot more options for weather. Sandwich on the Bay (east) end oft he canal, Plymouth, Scituate (a favorite of mine) are within a few hours of the canal. P-Town is only 25 NM or so from the canal.

If your goal is not to circumnavigate Cape Cod, I really don't see any reason to go outside. Inside is easier to navigate, safer, quicker, and has more weather options.

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post #7 of 22 Old 07-09-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

Thanks that settles it. Canal it is.
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post #8 of 22 Old 07-09-2013
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

I was reading the navigational information. and looking at the charts of the CCC. It Looks at least if not easier then transiting the C&D down this way, which I have done a few times. I can only dream of such trips going north. What type boat do you have Sully?
I picture me in a 38-42ft full keel boat someday with a NEW engine would be so cool.

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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Thanks that settles it. Canal it is.
Slow down for the big tugs, barges, etc. They push up a frightful bow wave.
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Re: Cape Cod Canal vs sailing around

AND.. big displacement hull sports fishing boats with blind fly bridge "captains" on the helm LOL

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