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  #1  
Old 04-17-2007
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Question Cape May, NJ & CD Canal

Cape May is actually my home, but I have little cruising experience there and am about to buy a boat so would like to know more about it as far as anchorages and slips at marinas go. The boat will draw 5'7" and has an air draft of 48'.
I plan on delivering my boat, a 1981 Scylla 36' Center Cockpit Ketch, from Annapolis up the C&D Canal and down to Cape May in June. Any suggestions? How long will it take, anything I need to know before hand? This will be my first trip after doing some cruising in the Chesapeake to work out any kinks.
Thanks for your help!
Jake
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Old 04-17-2007
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Good idea to work out the kinks in the relatively benign confines of the Chesapeake, rather than say on the Delaware river... where things can get interesting awfully fast.

Make sure the fuel system is in top shape... polish the fuel, check the raw water strainer and impeller, carry several spare filters for the Racor—it does have a Racor, right?? You'll probably be motoring on the canal and on the Delaware quite a bit.

Get tide tables for the Delaware, because the current is fairly strong there, make sure you're going with it as much as possible.

Watch out, the New Jersey coast isn't really friendly if the weather is bad... so check your weather window twice before committing to going out.

As far as anchorages and slips, there was a recent thread that had it pretty well covered. Check these three threads: LINK, LINK, LINK. I believe they have it mostly covered for ya.
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Old 04-17-2007
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Jake,

If you need a hand and I am free, be glad to help you bring her home. I live about 45 minutes from Cape May.

Paul
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Old 04-17-2007
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I have done a similar trip a number of times but it's been a while. My recollection is we left Georgetown on the Sassafras River early in the morning, went through the night and arrived in Cape May early the next morning, 24 hours. Obviously a lot depends on the weather and how you play the tides. Chesapeake City on the C&D Canal is a good place to put in for a rest over night if you want. Delaware Bay can get nasty and so check the weather. There is a river below Salem called the Cohansey? that you can also run up if you need to. I don't know anything about anchorages. Quite a bit of ship traffic on the Delaware River and Bay and so radar and a good GPS are very helpful.
I'm planning on moving my boat to Cape May next summer, a Tayana 42 drawing about 5'10". Any marinas you would recommend?
Tom Shannon
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Old 04-17-2007
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thank you all for the quick replies. this is obvioulsy a VERY exciting time for me, survey getting done tomorrow and could own my first boat by the end of the week. any other suggestions I would appreciate.
Freesail 99 I will keep you informed as it gets closer to my plans for the trip, thanks for the offer
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Old 04-17-2007
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We're planning on doing the trip from Annapolis to Lake Champlain by way of the C&D Canal, the Delaware, the New Jersey coast and the Hudson River starting May 7th. I'll post up here what I found and how it goes...
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Old 04-18-2007
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Good luck with the purchase!
If you want to stay in daylight...you can make it to the C&D in one day and down the Bay to Cape May the next IF the tides are right to help you! The time of year is good and you should be able to duck in the "back way" to Cape May without needing to go out into the ocean and through the inlet. Shakedown on the bay is an excellent idea. Much easier to deal with issues there than in the Delaware Bay shipping channels.

Utchs's Marina is very nice there but not cheap. Are you planning to keep her in Cape May?
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Old 04-18-2007
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I actually have a family home in stone harbor on the bay and for the summer will probably keep it there unless I know I am going to make a trip the next day, then I might bring it to cape may for ease of getting out. The transit into the mini icw to stone barbor from the ocean will be a little tricky, and have to be done at high tide to get over some sand bars, but I am pretty familar with the area.
I think I saw somewhere that there is a spot right around the C&D canal to stay overnight, and that is probably what I would do.
Thanks again for everyones help!

ps survey went very well today and it looks like I will be closing the end of this week/early next week
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Old 04-18-2007
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Careful coming in the back way to Cape May from the Delaware. The bridge clearance could be a factor depending on your mast height. If you get to the bridge and have to turn around, it's a long way around to the ocean inlet.

You can stay 2 places in the C&D. Either at Shaffer's on the canal in Chesapeake City or in the small anchorage basin directly across from Shaffer's. There is a WICKED current at Shaffers, so take care to tie up well and put out lots of fenders. Could be a bit bumpy as the boat shifts around on its lines in the current. Ship wakes may be a factor. In the basin, the holding is good, but the entrance can be shallow and you may touch bottom depending on your draft & the tide. Don't anchor all the way in the back of the basin, there is a current from the creek that drains into it and you could wrap your anchor line.

Watch out for freighter traffic on the C&D, it can be VERY unnerving sharing the canal with 600' of ship, but you WILL both fit. By law, you can not sail, and must have your motor on (sails can be up, but you'll be ghosted by the high embankments on both sides of the canal, so it's hardly worth it). MAKE SURE that you have clean fuel and clean filters before transiting. No anchoring in the canal.

Depending on weather, a long day from Annapolis to Chesapeake City and another to Cape May. There are a few rivers on the NJ side that you can ditch into, but nothing on the Delaware side. Either way, expect a long day on the Delaware (leave no later than 0600 from Chesapeake City and try to catch a falling tide on the upper Delaware). I once anchored in front of the Salem Nuc plant at 0030, but we lost the anchor at 0300 when the anchor parted after wrapping itself around the keel due to the current. So don't anchor in the Delaware!

Good luck - it's a nice trip. I don't mean to sound terse, but I've been typing all day and am tired....
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Old 04-19-2007
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Mast height the back way is restricted to 55 ft
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