Sailing from Westerly RI to Manhattan - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-25-2010 Thread Starter
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Sailing from Westerly RI to Manhattan

Hi,
I'm sailing from Westerly RI to the 79th St. Boat Basin in Manhattan on a 1987 O'day 27 LE (draft 3 feet). Does anyone
have suggestions about a route, what to look out for, experiences you've had doing a similar trip. Thanks for the input.
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-25-2010
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I've gone from the east end of LI back up (or down) to NYC a few times.
I assume you are not planning on going around LI and into the ocean to get to NYC as there are so many more places to duck in for the night on the LIS on either shore. I have also found the Maptech chart book for the LIS to be a valuable resource as it has contact info for every marina that you might consider using along the way.
What to look out for? Catch the tide going through 'The Race'. Get the 'Eldridge Tide & Pilot Manual' that has the current charts and tables that will help you plan your trip through the Sound and East River. Watch out for the Thimble Islands that will be along your way. Also watch out for tugs pushing or pulling barges and other commercial traffic. Fog is another obvious concern.
It should be a fun trip. I would plan for at least one extra day in case the weather is not cooperating. Try not to be on a schedule. Make a plan but be willing to adjust to alternate plans if need be.
Enjoy.

"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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post #3 of 27 Old 04-25-2010
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Are you planning to stop at night or sail through? There are more places to duck in to on the Connecticut shore of Long Island Sound as you head West. The big hurdle will be Hell Gate, at the East River. Get a copy of Eldridge's Tide Tables, which explains things pretty well. For overnight stops from Westerly you might want to consider Fisher's Island or New London, Westbrook, Guilford (though it's a bit narrow), Branford (NOT New Haven), Milford, Stratford (though it's a bit of a hike in), Black Rock, Southport, Darien, and Stamford. A lot will depend upon the wind and how much sailing you want to do in a day. To get the tide right at Hell Gate, you'll probably want to overnight near the end of the Sound, possibly in Rye, Larchmont, Port Washington or perhaps City Island, NY. If you pick the right day, you can leave early in the morning, catch the tide going through Hell Gate, and then round the tip of Manhattan when the current changes so you'll be carried up the Hudson as well. Make sure your engine is in good shape! We've been through a couple of times, and the wind is never that helpful.
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightsky View Post
Hi,
I'm sailing from Westerly RI to the 79th St. Boat Basin in Manhattan on a 1987 O'day 27 LE (draft 3 feet). Does anyone
have suggestions about a route, what to look out for, experiences you've had doing a similar trip. Thanks for the input.
Hi,

Las June I sailed from Mt. Sinai NY to the 79th st boat basin. I did it in two days (Mt. Sinai to Port Washington on day one, Port Washington to 79th St BB on day two). The trip is very easy and simple until you get under the Throgs Neck Bridge.

As mentioned above, the most important thing is to time the tides as best as possible. The current in the east river can be very strong. If you hit it wrong, you won't make much progress. Also, be prepared for a lot of traffic in the east river, everything from pleasure craft to barges, ferries, law enforcement, helicopters, etc. There will be large wakes, and vessels moving in all directions. Keep your eyes wide open and you'll be fine.

Note that the BB is exposed to large wakes from boats moving all day. There is no sea wall and the wakes roar through the marina. The boats and docks move around a lot. Also, the current flows through the marina at a high rate and that makes getting and out a challenge.

The marina people are nice, the price is great and the location is excellent.

Let me know if you have any particular questions.

The views are amazing.

Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #5 of 27 Old 04-26-2010
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You basiclly have two areas to be concerned about currents and tides - Fisher Island Sound/Eastern Long island Sound and Hell Gate/East River. Time your departure from Westerly and you will have 6 hours of the current with you, getting you to about the CT River. From there on the currents aren't quite so critical until you get to Hell Gate. It's essential you time that correctly or you will go nowhere. Anchor or get a mooring at City Island while you wait for the tides.
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-26-2010
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If you are going to overnight, three places on the CT side come to mind, depending on how far you want to sail the first day. Closest to Westerly is Westbrook; Pilot's Point is a large marina with every conceivable amenity. If you want to go cheap, you can also anchor inside the breakwaters just outside the harbor behind Duck Island. Depending on how many others are mooring there at the time, you might want to use a Bahamian anchor. Further along is Branford, where the Bruce and Johnson marina also caters to transients, and also has all the bells and whistles (showers, restuarant, pool, chandlery, etc.). The Branford Yacht club is also there if your club has reciprocal privileges. Further on still is Milford Landing in Milford. This is a town-operated facility that caters to transients only. Not as plush as the Brewer's chain marinas in Westbrook or Branford, but plenty nice. The cool thing about the Landing is that is very short walk to dowtown Milford, with lots of bars, restaurants and stuff like that. Have a great trip.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-26-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the helpful input.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-26-2010
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Would you recommend north or south of Fisher's Island on the way to Westbrook?
I've been South of Fisher's a few times on the way to Block but never North.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-27-2010
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Eldridge. Timing is everything, and if you check out the charts you'll also find there are many "general" and "special" anchorages marked. The ones marked "GEN. ANCH. 110.155" are usually available free of charge for anyone, so if you need to hang out and await the tide...that's a place to drop anchor. (LIttle Bay, SE of the Throgg's neck Bridge, being a prime example.)

Barge and tow traffic, from Execution Rock west, can keep you on your toes.
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-27-2010
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I would go south of Fisher's. North is do-able, but requires careful navigation - lots of rocks and foul ground. Depends on how mch of a challenge you want early in the trip.
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