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Old 03-05-2013
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Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????

Thank you
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Nice easy trip that time of year.

125 miles without stopping
26 hrs averaging 5 knots

Straight down the Chesapeake inside-
Possible stops- dstances from previous pt

Solomons- Zanheisers-40 miles
Cockrell Creek-45 miles
Norfolk- 45 miles
Each is 8 hors at 5 knots


Either go straight through the night in one day or get past the Potomac on day one and and be in Norfolk day two. It takes forever to go acriss the mouth of the Potomac ( 3 hours) and can be an adventure if wind opposes tide.

Or take three days


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Last edited by chef2sail; 03-05-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Headed north I would go outside to Cape May, Block Island and then possibly Cuttyhunk to wait for the tide through the canal. However, on a new boat you might want to do the East River LI Sound route.
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Leaving from Norfolk to Boston right?
Do not go up the Chesapeake it will add many miles and the trip down the Delaware stinks.
Weather will be your guide. I go into inlets safe for commercial shipping. Your next stop after Norfolk can be:
Cape May 140 miles
Atlantic City 30 miles north
Sandy Hook 75 miles (NY harbor entrance)
after that decide on inside or outside
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

What is the age and condition of this new to you boat?
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

For Norfolk to Boston -
Mid May is still slightly 'chancy' for an 'equinoctal gale' but not as prevalent as late March or April. Watch the development of weather systems, looking for the physical position of the Jet Stream (500 mb charts for Western Atlantic @ Ocean Prediction Center - Atlantic) ... if the Jet Stream is far to the north and fairly straight-line then OK; if the Jet stream is 'undulating' then stay close to the inside/coast.

Ditto to where any HIGH pressure system close to the coast is located .... If close to the coast off New England, then expect NorthEasterlies ... and a 'slog' beating, so stay 'inside' or close to the coast.
If the H is off the coast and located near towards Bermuda or 'south of you', then expect SE to W-SW and smooth downwind/reaching sailing going 'north' going 'outside'.

If inside/coastal, here's some invaluable tips from a "tug driver" on passing through "hellgate" in NYC:
General.
Use Eldrige Tide Tables to plan to cross Hell Gate at SLACK WATER.
Your best bet is to plan the trip so as to keep moving, if you're ahead of schedule run slower rather than just stopping. As a tug guy I want any pleasure craft to be predictable, I am relying on it really, which means not going in circles in confined areas. If you must stop for a bit, going east through the river I would wait well north of the battery. From there south there is just too much current as well as tug, ferry, and dinner boat traffic to be tacking or motoring around with no purpose. People do, but you asked.
Coming the other way there is plenty of room anywhere east of the Brothers, but you need to be aware of the little stuff, sand scows etc. coming off moorings, coming and going from Flushing Bay, and the other little creeks. Most traffic is passing trough.
Listen to channel 13!! Most tug guys dont really want to talk to you, but they probably will. Your best bet is to listen so you know what is happening around you. If you want to talk make your life easier by making your transmissions short, and knowing the difference between one whistle and two both meeting and overtaking. Plenty of recreational passes through everyday. Its really not a huge deal, but if you do decide to hit slack water in all likelyhood you will encounter a greater number of commercial vessels.
Another radio hint, listen to vessel traffic, the east river is channel 12, anything moving through the East River checks in at the Throgsneck or Brooklyn Bridge, and each time somebody checks in they get a rundown of all the traffic and their locations. It would be kind of like listening in on a weather net. Channel 12 is also anchorage control and the Kills south of the AK Railroad Bridge so dont get you landmarks confused.
Most of the commercial traffic especially the big stuff tries to hit slack water or within 30 minutes to an hour either side of it. Thats not to say there wont be traffic at all stages of the tide, but it is not uncommon to have multiple units on both sides of the gates stacked up waiting on each other to get through. A week ago I was fourth in line on my side coming around N. Brother Island.
You need the current tables for slack water, the tide tables wont help you here. I would agree that if your boat can manage it ride the flood through planing to be at least to Rikers Island and hour before Slack at the gate, beware of the current from pier 17 through the Williamsburgh bridge as they are very strong here and you will not want to be against them.

Going North start your trip at the Battery 2 hours after the low.

Going south start your trip from Throgs Neck 2 hours after high at the Battery.

Wear PFD's, stay in the center, have a sharp lookout for barge traffic coming around corners. Have your VHF on Ch13 and an aitr horn handy. Know what one blast means, as distinct from 2. Have a camera ready at all times for magnificant views, and 2 days after a heavy rain,a boat hook ready, if you see any bodies or other debris that may foul your passageway."
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Last edited by RichH; 03-05-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailphast View Post
I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????
Can we assume that if it only needs a light refit it is in good shape? Or are you saving heavy work for Boston?

Do you have an EPIRB? Has the registration been changed? Life raft? What kind of crew? What are you doing for weather updates underway? If all you have is NOAA VHF weather radio get some good weather counsel before heading offshore. It's only a day out of VHF range.

Annapolis to Norfolk is usually about 18-20 hours under power on that boat. I'd leave Annapolis between noon and mid afternoon so you arrive in Norfolk in daylight. If you haven't picked a place yet I'm fond of Vinings Landing Marina. Good services, walking to restaurants, grocery, and West Marine. Easy access to Norfolk airport. Also easy access to the Atlantic when you leave.

Norfolk to Boston should be around 3 days (all "days" are 24-hour days, not daylight hours) straight through in most conditions. Winds permitting and boat condition allowing I'd sail the rhumb line to a point off Cape Cod.

If you want to hop your way up (small 30 gallon fuel tank, no jugs) you're likely to be five-ish days WITHOUT nights at anchor. You'll chew up a lot of time just getting in and out of port.

Regardless back off on engine speed. You should be able to get down to around 0.6 gph which will stretch your range substantially. If your boat has a JH Yanmar around 1800 rpm is good. You can go almost two days on a tank. Two or three five gallon fuel jugs wouldn't hurt.

If you can make Norfolk to Cape May you should be able to make Cape May to Manasquan, NJ (watch for wind over tide -- currents are strong also). Atlantic City is an easy inlet but a pretty short day. AC to Sandy Hook. Manasquan or Sandy Hook through the East River to LI.

Manasquan is a tricky inlet and does deteriorate quickly when the weather is bad.

Don't let people confuse you with discussion of tide. You don't care about tide. You care about current. There are much better sources of information today than the old "so many hours before high tide" approach to current prediction. See Tidal Current Tables .

I usually time my NE-bound transits to go through Hellgate between slack before flood and full flood. If you time it right you'll have a favorable current from Sandy Hook, through NY Harbor, up the East River, and well past City Island. It's another day from CI to Newport. At that point you might as well do the Cape Cod canal - more current issues.
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Wow..... drooling

Congratulation. Nice and fast boat.
If boat is good shape, crews are level headed and competent and good weather window, I would go outside.

Best is
Norfolk to Block Island to Hyannis to Cape Cod canal
If needed, stop by Cape May or Sandy Hook to LIS.

Like other said, use 5 kn per hours or 120 nm a day is a good number to judge your traveling time.

Good luck
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Old 03-05-2013
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailphast View Post
I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????

Thank you
1) That depends on how quickly you want to do this "delivery", of course...

2) Same answer as #1... Outside is far quicker, and saves you from having go go around Cape May Point on your way back down the Delaware... However, as you say you've never done a trip of this length before, and the run outside will involve an overnight off a desolate coast with no real bail-out options, it may not be the wisest idea to attempt that the first time out on a boat that is brand new to you...

3) If you do elect to go outside, choose your weather wisely, that is no place to be if an onshore blow develops... Likewise the Jersey coast... Sounds like you have no prior experience running inlets, avoid doing that run with any significant swell running. Chances are you'll wind up in Cape May either way, a very nice stop... From there I'd recommend Barnegat, then up to NY harbor...(I detest Atlantic City, and Manasquan is distinctly unaccommodating to sailboats) Again, going out around Montauk will involve another overnight, crossing 3 shipping lanes, so with your level of experience you'll probably be better off going up thru the Sound. Besides, the trip thru NY harbor is always a thrill, never gets old... Play the tides/currents right on the Sound, and it's not all that much longer than the run offshore...

Get yourself a copy of Eldridge, good luck, and enjoy...
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Re: Norfolk, VA to Boston delivery

I would definitely consider staying inside (Chesapeake to Delaware Bay). This will give you a chance to learn the boat, and give you plenty of places to stop if you find things that need to be fixed, or things you don't have aboard. My last few trips down the Delaware have actually been quite pleasant as I was lucky enough to have the wind and current in my favor. Stop at Cape May for fuel, provisions, and rest up before going off shore. (I usually stay at the South Jersey Marina and eat at the Lobster House which is close by.)
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