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  #1  
Old 07-29-2006
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Cruising from the Sound to Raritan Bay

Just bought my first boat ( ADAGIO 96 Catalina 28 mkII ) and I plan to sail her from Huntington, LI to her new home on Raritan Bay. I have not been that way before and I am looking for some advice on navigating through Hell Gate, the East River, etc.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 07-29-2006
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Bob, pick up a copy of Eldridge and it will give you the complete routing along with all the tide and current information to make the trip easy. Basically, you've got a one to two hour "slack enough" to make a smooth trip through the Hell Gate and then ride the current down the east river. You *will* want to motor, sailing is rough in that section so make sure the engine is up to running well before you take the boat away. The worst that will happen if you hit HG at the wrong time is that you will stay in one place for three hours while motorsailing at full speed.
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Old 07-29-2006
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Thanks, I will definitely pay close attention to Eldridge to hit the slack window at Hell Gate. I have also heard that commercial traffic can be pretty heavy and the channel is relatively narrow through HG. Would a Sunday be better that a weekday?
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Old 07-30-2006
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Bob... the traffic is lighter on the wekends but you'll still get some good wates from the high speed ferries. The advice above is right on...from Huntington, you might want to overnight in Manhasset Bay so you are close enough to time the tidal run under the Throgs Neck etc. . The trip is sleigh ride once the tide starts pushing you south and spectacular as you pass through the city.
Since this is a new boat AND the wakes/current can bounce you around a lot I would doubly caution you to take good care to insure that your fuel and fuel tanks and filters are clean. The time to discover they are not is NOT in the East river! Have several extra filters with you and know how to use them!
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I agree with the above mentioned comments. I prefer to use the tide flow to my advantage rather than wait for slack tide. If you hit the Throgsneck bridge about 3 hours after high water at the Brooklyn Battery you will have a nice fast ride down the East River. Also, monitor Ch 13 for commercial traffic and listen for Securite calls in the river. Watch out for the construction bouys on the NYC side in the area just before the UN building.

Good luck.
Mark
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Old 07-31-2006
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Thanks for the excellent advice.. just what I need!

I will overnight in Manhasset Bay, and I was told if I leave Manhasset when the tide is High at the Battery the timing should be right for a nice trip down the East River. Does that sound right? What is the travel time between Manhasset and the Throgs Neck Bridge? I figure I can motor at about 6 knots.

Thanks for the reminder about fuel filters and monitoring the commercial traffic on Ch 13. It would peg the stress meter to lose power approaching Hell Gate, eh?

I am excited about the trip, and thanks to your advice I will be better prepared and a bit less stressed!
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Old 08-06-2006
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Depending on where in Manahasset Bay you are coming from, if around Brewer's Capri it is about 45 minutes to Throgsneck Bridge. Check with Eldridge you want to get into the East River about 3 hours after low water at the Battery

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Old 08-06-2006
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Sorry that is 3 hours after HIGH water at the Battery

Mark
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Old 08-06-2006
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"commercial traffic can be pretty heavy and the channel is relatively narrow through HG. " Sometimes, but "narrow channel" means one thing to a hundred feet of fuel barge and another thing for you. They won't be moving very quickly, so you'll all be moving remarkably close to the same speed and that means you can queue up and wait for a break in the traffic in the worst case. Just look over your shoulder on the way down the East River once in a while, and be prepared to step aside.

Less weekend traffic, but honest, I've never noticed traffic in the HG to be a real problem. Often cluttered with oblivious fast-boat drivers racing to make a BBQ on the weekend, they can be worse than the professional mariners.

The high speed ferries...well...a lot of them seem to think they own the water but the bottom line is, they don't. Take due care but don't let them intimidate you. I had the, ah, pleasure of hearing the Staten Island Ferry give a danger horn off the battery one day. I was flaking the sail on a J/24 facing aft when I heard it behind me (ahead of us) and I was not at all happy. Confused too, because I was sure we couldn't be the cause. Sure enough...one of the cat ferry morons had managed to cut off BOTH the USCG Governor's Island ferry AND the SI ferry...I suspect he got more than a polite note in the mail about that one.

If the tides are really inconvenient, note that you CAN overnight in Little Bay, which is just east of the Throgg's Neck Bridge (or Little Neck Bay) and from there just shoot on down to the Hell Gate. Ditto if you pick up a guest mooring at City Island, where the clubs have launch service and there is shoreside food as well.

In good conditions, from the Throgg's Neck to Rariton Bay should be a nice day trip. I'm assuming you have the charts because there is some shoal water in and below NY harbor. The current maps in Eldridge can help make a big difference in the time it takes you to get out past the harbor, too.

And, of course, during the week you've got more freighter traffic coming in the harbor from Ambrose Channel. Treat them like locomotives--they can't stop or turn and they come at you much faster than you think. (Fortunately, like alligators, they can't turn as fast as you can.)
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Old 08-15-2006
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Thanks hellosailor and rads for the info on my upcoming Manhasset to Raritan Bay trip.

We sailed from Huntington Bay to the Knickerbocker YC in Manhasset Bay this Sunday, and am planning to complete the trip this coming Sunday. Unfortunately the tides will have me making a pretty early depature from from Manhasset ( 0630 ), but it should be nice riding the current down the East River mid-morning!

I am much better informed and prepared thanks to your advice, and I am really looking forward to the trip.

-Bob C.
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