Lake Champlain,VT to Providence,RI - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-31-2007
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Lake Champlain,VT to Providence,RI

Hi all,
I'm planning a trip from Lake Champlain to Providence this summer with my 4 kids and would appreciate some good advices. I always boated on Lake Champlain, so i know limited stuff about tides. I'm looking to get info on your past experiences, possible pitfalls, nice spot to stay/visit/anchor, tide/current advices, books, etc... My main area of concerns are Hudson River, New York Harbor, East River and Long Island Sound.
Thanks in advance for any reply
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Old 05-31-2007
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What kind of boat, Draft and how much time do you have?
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Old 05-31-2007
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We just did the trip up from Annapolis to Lake Champlain (arrived this past Monday)... through New York Harbor, up the Hudson and through the Champlain Canal to Willsboro. How much you enjoy the Hudson is dependent on the draft of your boat. Currents are wicked on the Hudson down around New York City, but they can also be to your advantage (we did close to 70nm in 7 hours on the way north one day). You also have to fit at least two full days (depending on boat size) to take your mast down and put it back up to traverse the locks (and build braces for it).

The Champlain Canal is beautiful but you need at least two strong people on the boat to get through it. The Hudson River has amazing scenery - West Point, Culinary Institute, Vanderbilt Home, etc. There's nothing like passing under the George Washington Bridge and seeing the little red lighthouse (for the fans of the book) and passing by the Statue of Liberty. The upper harbor was a lot busier for us than the lower harbor (water taxis, tour boats, tugs, etc in the upper harbor). You just have to make sure you stay clear of shipping lanes and channels when you go through the lower harbor. I haven't been through the East River. There are lots of places to visit on both sides of the Long Island Sound.

It's a nice trip (and one I'm incredibly glad we made), but it's a pain since you have to deal with taking your stick down (and the boom off, and all of the associated lines, plus taking off and possibly disassembling your bimini and dodger, etc.) and putting it back up, and not hitting your head on it (or your braces) while it's strapped to the top of your boat. Oh yeah - and making sure the ends don't hit the sides of the locks or that it doesn't get caught at the top of a lock that is going down, and the federal lock in Troy just SUCKS! That just isn't fun. But as much as I complain about the canal, it is incredible.

For guides I used the Champlain/Hudson Cruising Guide (Lake Champlain) and the canal cruising guide (http://www.nyscanals.gov/exvac/cguide/index.html). Navionics charts seem to suck for the Champlain Canal (we were frequently driving on land according to the chartplotter) but were good for the Hudson.

Do you have any other specific questions?
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Old 06-01-2007
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Going through the East River and Hell Gate (and there's a reason for that name) will REQUIRE knowing the tides. The current can run at eight knots or more, and you don't want to meet a 200' tug & tow coming down with the current while you're trying to buck it. All of Manhattan will watch you get run over, and it won't even make the evening news. For the East River and for Long Island Sound we use Eldridge's Tide Table book. It should be helpful all the way to Rhode Island as well. Generally, you need to start by the Battery at slack water with the tide turning to carry you as you head North. The barges take longer to pass you when they're going alongside you, but they're easier to avoid because you have more time to see them coming up behind you (and they can ostensibly see you too.) We had a tug pushing an empty barge cruise by us at between 75th and 86th street, about 60' off our port side. The barge's deck was up about even with our upper spreaders...
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Old 06-02-2007
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I just bought the Eldridge 2007 book 2 days ago. This was stongly suggested by an old sailor i meet earlier this week. After looking at it for 1-2 hours, i'm very glad i now have this valuable piece of information with me to make this trip. I also bought Richarsons Chart book to make this trip. I will try to find the Canal cruising guide that Labatt is suggesting. I'm planning to stay a couple of days at Liberty Landing marina, to visit the Manhattan area. I'm wondering if there's any area i should really focus in Long Island Sound ?
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Old 06-03-2007
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Maybe one of you guys familiar with Lake Champlain can suggest to me some anchorages and or places on the have to see list,I do have the Champlain Guide and charts and found very useful I will be on the Lake the first week of August. thanks in advance

CW
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Old 06-06-2007
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I have cruised LI Sound for almost 30 years - many great places to visit. My favorites include Northport and Port Jefferson on the LI side; and Greenwich, Norwalk, Thimble Islands, Westbrook/Duck Island, Connecticut River, Mystic and Stonington/Watch Hill on the Connecticut side. I suggest getting a copy of the Embassy Guide to Long Island Sound. Lots of good info on all the harbors from the Throgs Neck to Block Island.
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Old 06-07-2007
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We have a mooring on Champlain, The marina is Chipman point located just south of Fort Ticonderoga. It's one of the first full service marinas you will come to, owners and others are very friendly. Let us know your schedule if you like and we will look out for you.

Kevin
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Old 06-07-2007
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Through the East River

You must time your passage though the East River carefully; the current and the traffic can make the passage more exciting than you planned. Go west of Roosevelt Island (by the UN); the bridge on the east side is a hazard. Eldridge has a current chart for NY harbor, a must for going through the ER and the harbor. Hell gate is not the problem it was historically as the depth is fine and the rocks are gone, though the current can be tricky. Monitor commercial traffic on VHF channel 13 to find out what is coming through. If you go through early you can make Etons Neck on Long Island. If you're late City Island is convenient.
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Old 06-09-2007
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Kdstone , Chips place will be our starting point as its his RiverQueen we will be renting for the week,yes great people we have done this before,our plan is to head up to Vergenes and the up to Burlington maybe back down to Port Henry no real aggenda but will be on the lake from 8/6-8/12 if you see us out there be sure to say howdy.

CW
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