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Old 10-19-2008
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C&D Canal Transit

I am a relatively new sailor. I need to transit the C&D canal Nov 6-8, in a 30' sailboat with a 13 hp engine. I am concerned about the current, which I have heard can be at least 3mph. I would appreciate any advice as to the time I enter the canal and the relation to the tides. I will be going from the Chesapeake Bay out to the Delaware. Thank you !
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Old 10-19-2008
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My Reeds Almanac gives the current predictions for the C&D Canal. You want to go through on the flood if you are heading to Delaware Bay.

Nov 6---Flood starts at 0925, peaks at 1.5 knots at 1221, ends at 1519
Nov 7-- Flood starts at 1025, peaks at 1.6 knots at 1319, ends at 1635
Nov 8-- Flood starts at 1121, peaks at 1.7 knots at 1419, ends at 1749

Have a good sail!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
My Reeds Almanac gives the current predictions for the C&D Canal. You want to go through on the flood if you are heading to Delaware Bay.

Nov 6---Flood starts at 0925, peaks at 1.5 knots at 1221, ends at 1519
Nov 7-- Flood starts at 1025, peaks at 1.6 knots at 1319, ends at 1635
Nov 8-- Flood starts at 1121, peaks at 1.7 knots at 1419, ends at 1749

Have a good sail!
Isn't it ebbing when it's running out?
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Old 10-19-2008
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You will need to acnchor at Chesapeake city and you will need to leave bucking the last of the flood tide. If you wait until the tide turns you will not make it all of the way. Once the current turns you start to fly. And be careful about anchoring as the holding is not the best.
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Old 10-19-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dashman View Post
I am a relatively new sailor. I need to transit the C&D canal Nov 6-8, in a 30' sailboat with a 13 hp engine. I am concerned about the current, which I have heard can be at least 3mph. I would appreciate any advice as to the time I enter the canal and the relation to the tides. I will be going from the Chesapeake Bay out to the Delaware. Thank you !
I just did it in an Etap 26 with 9 Hp on a Saturday in August. We left the Bohemia River about 9 AM and entered the C&D at right at low tide, making about 5 knots, and we were going 7-1/2 knots when we came out the other end. We didn't see any ships in the canal that day and it was very pleasant leisurely trip. Spent the night at the marina in Delaware City before catching the high tide going south on the Delaware.
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Old 10-19-2008
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Be sure to have your VHF radio on the working channels of C&D canal and be listening closely. And broadcast when you are entering the canal and at any radio check points while going through it. Power through the canal also.
If there is a VTS (vessel traffic service) check in with them as a safety measure for yourself.
Think of yourself on a child's tricycle and those ships as large eighteen wheelers. And hug the bank as close as you can...
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Old 10-21-2008
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I went through on the 11th. Left Annapolis at 7:45 AM and motored into the wind and current all day. We hit the C&D late in the afternoon and had a following current most of the way through. Anchored off Pea Patch Island on the Delaware about 8:00 PM. Continued our trip up the Delaware the next morning with a following current. You did not mention where you are going once through the C & D, but currents are a major consideration on the Delaware too. Try to catch a following tide/current and ride it up or down the river.

We planned the trip to catch the current going our way. You can find all of the data you need here: Tidal Current Tables , follow links to Delaware for the C & D Canal predictions and Pennsylvania for the Delaware River predictions. The charts shows flood and ebb time and current. Going from the Chesapeake to the Delaware through the canal, you need to go through on the flood (a 097 true heading).

The RR bridge on the C & D is normally open, I have made the trip quite a few times and only had to open it once. If it is convenient, a stopover in the basin at Chesapeake City is nice.

Have a good trip.

Herb DuBois
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