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  #1  
Old 08-26-2008
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Best way to schedule a 3 day trip

Slip is in Westbrook Ct.
Went to Block Is last year. This year Captain wants to push it a little further. Wants to go to Cuttyhunk.

I'm not sure this is doable in a three day weekend.
What would be the best strategy?
We have a 30' Catalina.
We could leave Fri after work regardless of current or wind.
Or we could try to time the current.
But since it is going to take more than 6 hours the current will be against us some of the time anyway.
Then of course their is the race which I'm not sure we can even get through if we have contrary current.

I'm concerned because we went out for 6 hours last week and it seemed like we were doing about 5 to 8 knots the whole way but after checking our distance covered it averaged out to about 3 knots.

Is 3 knots a good average for planning purposes.?
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Old 08-26-2008
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You really need to plan so that you have fair currents with you as much as possible. That makes a big difference in how fast you can sail. If your boat can sail at 5 knots, but you have a 1.5 knot current against you, you've lost 30% of your boat speed over ground. However, if you go with that 1.5 knot current, you've effectively doing almost 86% better speed over ground compared to having the current against you.

Three knots is probably a good speed for planning purposes, since it leaves you some wiggle room. I use six knots for my boat, but need less wind to go that fast.
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Old 08-26-2008
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Planning any trip that is at the far edge of your time frame is always iffy. All it takes is one thing going wrong, to screw up the whole weekend. That doesn't mean not to go for it, but you should definitely have plans for not returning on time, and/or an alternate plan, if the original becomes not doable. If you can't average 3 knots, then you should probably looking at another plan.
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Old 08-26-2008
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Quote:
We could leave Fri after work
First of all, never leave on a Friday.
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Old 08-26-2008
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David...while you won't have a lot of time in place...it is not really much further than Block is for you. I would plan on 4kts. for your boat as you will be helped and hurt with the tide and should be able to average that much if not more.
Normally I tell folks never to push the time frame on a cruise since that is when thing get dangerous. But this is a coastal trip with lots of places to duck into and you can make decisions along the way if bad weather crops up. I say go for it!
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Old 08-26-2008
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Check the Eldridge Tidal Current Charts for the Race

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
We could leave Fri after work regardless of current or wind.
Or we could try to time the current.

Is 3 knots a good average for planning purposes.?
These charts show currents approaching 5 knots at The Race. I am certain that you can time your departure to be at The Race with a favorable current.
Westbrook is close enough to The Race (15+ nm) that if you leave there 3 or 4 hours AFTER FLOOD starts at the race then by the time you get there the current will be pushing you through and not against you. This way you have a mildly adverse current for 2 - 3 hours. I like to use 5 kts as an average when planning so in 3 hours you should be 15 nm closer to the race before the current turns in your favor. Motor if you have to.
5 knots is probably an optimistic speed for planning a trip through this area of strong currents. On the other hand once the current is in your favor you should be able to do > 5 knots for close to 6 hours.
Keep in mind that there will be a New Moon on 8/30 which means that the currents will be pretty strong around then. The moon is also at its perigee (closest orbit) and at its furthest north declination now.
The Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book is well worth the $12.95 it now costs.
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Old 08-26-2008
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Not only is there strong current at the race, the currents from Westbrook to the race are in the 2+ knot range. I think everyone around in that region would know that and bear it in mind on any outing.
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