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xjgeneral 02-12-2007 06:28 PM

Conn. River to Maine
Hi everyone,
I just bought a Bristol 32 currently at Deep River Marina on the Conn. river and plan to sail it to my mooring near Cundy's Harbor ME. I need to start this sail on March 10th. Any info about possible anchorages, transient slips, ice concerns or gen. info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ryan

sailingdog 02-12-2007 06:37 PM

I hope you have a good drysuit, as the weather will have the potential to be really quite nasty in early March. I would recommend getting this book, which is an excellent resource for pretty much your entire trip. Be aware that many marinas are either closed or offer much reduced services for the winter, as the season doesn't generally start until April 1.

I would also look to rent an EPIRB if you don't currently own one. BoatUS/West Marine has an EPIRB rental program that is fairly reasonably priced. Otherwise, you can buy an ACR GlobalFix GPS-integrated EPIRB for about $700. I'd also signup for BoatUS's TowBoat program... just in case.

I would also recommend that you do the first section as coastal hops, and get as familiar with the boat, how to reef the sails and how it is rigged as you can. Definitely want to take the Cape Cod Canal, versus going around the Cape. Once you're clear of the Cape, you could go straight up to Cundys Harbor, rather than coast hopping.

My guesstimate is that the trip is about 275 miles or the most direct route, using the CCC. Winds along the southern coast of CT, RI, and MA, will probably be predominantly westerly, so you'll have that in your favor. A run to Buzzards Bay and the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal, and a beam reach up to Maine... if you're lucky.

Two major questions for you
—how many days were you planning to take to move the boat??? and are you going to have an experienced crew???

Maine Sail 02-12-2007 06:54 PM

Give yourself..
Plenty of time to duck in somewhere and ride out the weather. March and April can be nasty! The earliest I have sailed from the Cape Cod canal to Maine is April 12th and it was cold and nasty with 8-10 foot seas and 20-27 knots on the nose! You never know you could hit a weather window but give yourself at least a week to do it.. In settled weather Cape Cod Canal to Isle of Shoals is one VERY long day maybe two and Isle of Shoals to Cundy's is another long day. I don't know how far you are from the canal but that should give you some idea. March is very early I'd eat another month of yard bills if I were you....

camaraderie 02-12-2007 06:55 PM

XJ....Still pretty early in the year for that trip. Dress warm.
Suggest you get a copy of the Waterway Guide Northern edition as it will give you good advice and the numbers of marinas and moorings you can use along the way. Are you gonna have crew or do the trip singlehanded?
Assuming you are gonna keep the traveling in daylight...there are plenty of places to pull in along the way. Some favorites include Newport RI, Cuttyhunk Moorings, Scituate Harbor Moorings. Salem Moorings. Portmouth NH is kind of a must stop on the way though expensive, and finally Portland is a nice town but I assume you know your way from there.
The only tough spot you need to plan for is the Cape Cod canal...with a brisk wind and tide against each other and all the traffic, it get get pretty damn uncomfortable. Be sure to plan your arrival there for slack tide and use the northward ebb to carry you along as it is a struggle otherwise.
Good luck with the trip and the boat. She should look real pretty on a mooring in Maine! As you do your planning check out for a closer look at the marinas along the way.

xjgeneral 02-12-2007 07:05 PM

Thanks guys,
I really have to get the boat in the water by late march because it was the last boat out so it needs to be the first one in. My crew has the week of the 10th off so thats our week. I'm sure it will take some time to get used to the cumbersome, roller reefing setup and all the other gear however my crew has well over 20 years of coastal cruzing exp. We are not going to push too hard the first few days but once we get east of the cannal we would like to make a 24 hour push straight to Cundy's.....

sailingdog 02-12-2007 07:09 PM


Originally Posted by camaraderie
XJ....Still pretty early in the year for that trip. Dress warm.

That's an understatement Cam... :D

I'd second the Cuttyhunk moorings, as it is beautiful there...

The one real danger you have to watch for is a late season Nor'Easter blowing in off the water... That will put a huge monkey wrench into your plans. Definitely practice reefing on the new boat...and get the kinks worked out of the gear, or at least find out what they are on the first couple of days.

paulk 02-12-2007 10:58 PM

possible stopovers
Cuttyhunk may be a tad lonely in March, with not much in the way of supplies or other warm things you may be looking for should you get there. Mainland stopovers might be better advised. Bring ALL your ski gear (including goggles) AND waterproof gloves. The trip will be colder than you believe possible. Is there a cabin heater on board? From the CT river in a boat your size & speed, you may want to check out Stonington CT if the weather is nasty at the outset. Point Judith isn't much further along either, but as a fishing port, is likely to have marinas open there too. A bit further along is Wickford, which offers more protection without having to get as far off -track as going all the way into Newport. If the timing/distances work out well, Padanaram (So. Dartmouth, MA) is a good spot, along with Mattapoisett. Onsett is up right by the entrance to the Canal, but apparently offers little other than holding ground - I haven't been there. Use the guides suggested in other posts (Embassy, etc.) to verify that places will be open and what services they offer when you plan to be there. Some may not be operating on a 9-5 basis that early in the season, and may not have launches in the water yet.

xjgeneral 02-12-2007 11:04 PM

I would agree, It is a little early for this sail however we do not take our boats out of the water in Maine and sail at least once every month of the year. Last month I was hanging from the trapeze of our Tempest @ 17*F and 25 kts. Last week we were on the Cape Dory 24 with fresh air. Dressing warm makes the temp. almost irrelevant to a point and anything past that point is taken care of by rum and whiskey. All of the links have been a help and thank you all for the help, Ryan

camaraderie 02-13-2007 12:36 AM

Paulk...I was trying to think of Matapoisett...thanks for jogging my memory. That is my preferred stop before the canal as well.

damek 02-13-2007 09:00 PM

xj, sounds like one hell of a trip. I did that trip a few years back on my windsurfer--it took me 5 days, and March was pretty cold. You should let me know if you need a hand, I would like to see what that trip is like in a REAL boat. One more thing, in one of your replies you refered to a Cape Dory 24, I've heard of a 22, 25 and 25d, among others, but never a 24. Could you elaborate on the 24?-------------Damek

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