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  #1  
Old 04-19-2009
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Question Fall River to Boston Around The Cape

Good afternoon. I recently acquired a Pearson 26' and am going to need to deliver it to Boston, sans motor. I'm planning a trip from Fall River, Ma to Boston around outer Cape Cod, with an overnight stop in Nantucket. Does anyone have any advise about other harbors, etc that should be taken in?

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Old 04-19-2009
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How many days are you planning on doing this in, and how many crew will you have aboard. Assuming you and your crew are experienced enough, and the boat is in good enough shape, this is doable. A good weather window is a requirement... and trying to do this on a fixed schedule is foolish at best.

If you wanted to do it in the minimum number of legs, stopping between each, you might be able to make it in three legs.

The first leg would be from Fall River to Nantucket. This would be about 80 nautical miles and if the wind is out of the southwest, you could sail most of it. Intermediate harbors you could bail at are:

Sakonnet Harbor, RI
Cuttyhunk, MA, but this can be a bit tough without an engine.

Vineyard Haven,
Martha's Vineyard if the wind is out of the South, SouthEast, East or Northeast or
Tarpaulin Cove
on the SE side of Nashuon Island if the wind is out of the North, NorthWest or West.
Nantucket

Having the intermediate harbors to fall back on would allow you to shake down the boat a bit and get any small problems solved before continuing on.



The second leg could be from Nantucket to Provincetown. I would go North from Nantucket harbor and then east, around Great point and then go along Great Round Shoal, off the southern tip of Cape Cod, using the Great Round Shoal channel. Then north and around the tip of Cape Cod to Provincetown.

This is a longer leg and it is about 90 NM... again, if the wind is out of the southwest, it can probably be sailed most of the way. However, the stretch around Cape Cod can be a tough one, if you don't have enough crew, as the southern and eastern sides of Cape Cod can be unfriendly—especially since there aren't really any real harbors to bail out at. The only one that might be a possibility is Nauset Harbor and it's not a good choice most of the time.



The last leg would be the shortest, and is a relatively easy hop from Provincetown to Boston. It is about 55 NM. Again, there are no real places to bail out, since you're just crossing Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay.



You could also cut directly across Cape Cod Bay and stop in Duxbury or Plymouth, and then go north along the western side of Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay into Boston Harbor. However, if the wind is out of the South-Southwest, the sail from Provincetown to Boston is a nice reach...

I'd highly recommend you rent an EPIRB for this trip. BoatUS has an EPIRB rental program.

I hope this helps.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-20-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 04-20-2009
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I did this once (circumnavigated the Cape from Marblehead), but I would skip Provincetown and go to Scituate instead from Nantucket. You have to be very careful getting out of Nantucket going thru the shoals. But it was a great ride down wind to the outside tip of the Cape. At that point in didn't make sense to fight heavy seas and winds to go to Provincetown when you could reach Scituate more quickly and easily on a beam reach.

Moe
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With no engine, you'll have to time the current very well since you are entering the "graveyard" of the North Atlantic, but it's definitely doable and fun.
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I intentionally routed the passage south of Great Round Shoal, and a bit further from land, since it is far easier to go that route than to try and deal with Butler Hole and the Pollock Rip.
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I did this once (circumnavigated the Cape from Marblehead), but I would skip Provincetown and go to Scituate instead from Nantucket. You have to be very careful getting out of Nantucket going thru the shoals. But it was a great ride down wind to the outside tip of the Cape.
It depends on how tired they are, how many crew they've got and such... but either is doable... however, with a "new to them" boat, it might be wiser to stop.

Quote:
At that point in didn't make sense to fight heavy seas and winds to go to Provincetown when you could reach Scituate more quickly and easily on a beam reach.

Moe
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-20-2009
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I would try to borrow a 9.9 hp outboard and go through the cape cod canal. It's not like you can walk down to the local rental center, but at least ask around. The 9.9 is a fairly popular model and portable. Just make sure that it's reliable because you are going to need it in the canal.
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While that would be a good solution, and a lot simpler in many ways, what is the fun or challenge in doing it????

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I would try to borrow a 9.9 hp outboard and go through the cape cod canal. It's not like you can walk down to the local rental center, but at least ask around. The 9.9 is a fairly popular model and portable. Just make sure that it's reliable because you are going to need it in the canal.
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-20-2009
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I would be cautious about entering Nantucket Harbor without a motor. It's narrow with lots of ferry traffic. Check the currents in and out of Nantucket too.
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Eldridge or Reed's is a necessity for this kind of trip, and checking the currents and tides is required.

As I've said on other threads of this sort, it would be wise to make up a list of each of the harbors that you might need to enter, and note the lights and ATONs that are important, as well as the approximate times of the tides on the days you might be using them. Pre-plotting and noting the courses you'd need to run to make the harbor entrance would also be a very good idea.

If the wind is out of the Southwest... then there's no real need to actually enter Nantucket Harbor. There's plenty of good anchorage outside the harbor proper. If the wind is out of the West-NorthWest-North-NorthEast...then the outer anchorages are going to be untenable. But if the wind is Southwest-South-Southeast-East, it should be fine.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 04-20-2009
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You are proposing a risky cruise to take in a well-equipped coastal cruiser with an expereineced crew. You are really going out on a limb, in a small boat with no enigine, to try to navigate treacherous shoals crossed by strong currents in an area with no harbors of refuge.

As suggested, rent an EPIRB, that way you can get rescued if blind luck doesn't se you through.
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