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post #1 of 5 Old 04-03-2005 Thread Starter
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mini cruise

Reviving a 1968 Cheoy Lee Alden 32 and when its all complete I am planning my first (mini) cruise from Marblehead to the Vineyard via. the canal. I would appreciate any knowledge, advice and/or information regarding this trip. Thanks - thank god its spring!
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-04-2005
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mini cruise

Well...make sure the motor is in great shape and the fuel is clean and you''ve had a shakedown under power for a few hours cause you do NOT want to breakdown in the Canal.

Enter the Canal at Ebb and let the flooding tide carry you through as the current is quite stiff. If you can avoid going through on the weekend you''ll have a lot ore comfortable trip since the powerboat wakes ricochet off the sides of the canal.

Lots of nice stops along the way...Scituate and Cuttyhunk would be my 2 favorite places for a stop along your route.Good luck with the re-fit!
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-05-2005
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I was going to say the same thing as the last response. My first mini cruise was from the Marblehead area to Newport to see the tall ships in 1976. I had an old Columbia 23 with an outboard for power. The outboard went kaput in the midst of the canal transit. To this day I can remember the coastal freighter behind me giving me the 5 short blasts as it came up on me. I did not have my sails ready to hoist so it took me a few minutes to get the main up and get out of the way. In my dreams I can still see the lettering on the bow of the freighter (the New England Scout) as it went by about 100 feet away.
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-06-2005
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I delivered a boat from Boston to Newport and have completed the Newport - Elizabeth Islands - Vineyard - Nantucket trip on many occasions. The first responder is correct. As a sailboat you MUST go thru the canal at slack tide or with a fair tide. The tide RIPS through the canal so expect a relatively quick passage. Sailing thru the canal is not allowed. There is a marina at the Northern most end of the canal where you can wait out a fair tide. I dont remeber if there is one at the other end; consult your crusing guide. Two VERY important things to keep in mind going thru Woods Hole (from Buzzards Bay to Vineyard Sound and vise-versa): 1. The bouys are arranged such that the Vineyard Sound side is considered the sea. So, when you enter the Wood''s Hole, RED RIGHT RETURNING is not applicable. The red marks will be on your port side and the black marks on your starboard. Obviously, coming back red right returning holds true. The tide RIPS thru the hole. I would suggest going thru only at slack or a fair tide as the combination of tide, sometimes high winds, boat traffic, and a confusing bouy system can lead to lots of problems. Dont cut any bouys as there are rocks and dont follow any small powerboats who do. The town of Wood''s Hole is ok. There is a small supermarket downtown as well as several restuarants and bars. You can take a short taxi trip into Falmouth if you need anything major including a West Marine. There are both slips and mooring available in Eel Pond but there is no fuel there and you have to wait for the bridge which opens every 1/2 hour from about 7am to 9pm in the summer. (Check that with the Harbor Master.) If you want a different experience, head over to Hadley''s Harbor on the end of Naushon Island. There are a few moorings but most boats usually anchor. You cannot go onto the island as it is privately owned but you can go onto Bull Island. We saw deer, yes deer, swimming in the ocean from island to island which was pretty cool. Not sure where you intend to stay on the Vineyard but each town is very different. Oak Bluffs has a small harbor with both moorings and quite a few fixed docks both of which can be reserved in advance with the harbor master. Here is where you will find the "camps" and the gingerbread houses. Its not so much my style with throngs of day-trippers getting on and off the ferry there and walking by boats but there are quite a few restuarants and an arcade and stuff to do if you have kids or if its rainy day. A few shops as well. Oak Bluffs is a wet town. Vineyard Haven is a dry town with not alot going on. Try to get a mooring inside the breakwater as it can get a little rough if the wind kicks up from the right direction. On the Vineyard, Edgartown is my favorite. There is little available dock space but lots of moorings. Again. I would STRONGLY advise calling ahead to reserve. Lots of nice shops and good restuarants. The town tends to clear out in the afternoon as the day-trippers go home. The harbor is quite large and teeming with boats. MIND the Chappy Ferry which darts out from both sides with no warning. The rules of the road dont seem to apply to these guys. Be aware and steer clear. I would second the Cuttyhunk rec. above but Cutty is pretty far out of your way. Although you stated you wanted to goto MV, I would strongly suggest you consider sailing the extra miles and goto Nantucket. Its really incompareable in my opinion. Either way, good luck, plan ahead, be familiar with the charts and the tides and you will be fine.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-08-2005 Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. Important info on the engine as mine is an original 1968 perkins 4-107. As a matter of fact, so are the sails....original equipment. I am currently debating which propulsion sytem deserves the dollars, sails or motor. Any advice?

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