Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth - SailNet Community

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Old 03-21-2013
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Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth

Would anyone would be willing to offer a educated ETA to sail from Boston to Dartmouth. Looking to shove off from Hingham sometime late April on a newly purchased Freedom 30 so not sure as to her sailing speed. Guessing not more than 5 knotts under power. Would also appreciate advice as to calculate possible sail time vs. nautical miles.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth

I get about 72 nautical miles from Hingham to Dartmouth. Obviously you need to check your timing to ensure a fair current going through the canal. I don't know the exact speed that your Freedom will get but 5 knots is a fair estimate.

I have a freedom 38 and love it. Welcome aboard.
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Old 03-21-2013
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Re: Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth

Sounds fun!

I have done Scituate to S. Dartmouth in a easy day. We left around 8 AM and got to S. Dartmouth by 3:00. Higham adds about another 2 hour+ depending on where you are in Hingham (Bay).

The key to the trip is getting through the canal without bucking the current. You need to consult the Eldrich tables. Go through +/- 1h or less of slack tide. Time it so that you arrive at the Sandwich side just before the tide turns. Get there too early, just wait a few minutes in the Sandwich marina just at the entrance to the canal. The current can max around 6 kts. Be on the wrong side of it, it will be tough ride. Ride it through and you'l be pushing near 9kts SOG. The total canal length is ~8 miles.

You need to have your motor on through the canal transit. You can have sails up, but if the wind is in the SW-W direction, the sails are useless. Most folks drop there sails when going through the canal.

Once the through the canal near Onset, the current is still strong and if there is a SW-W breeze it can get real choppy. Once more into Buzzard's Bay, it's about 2.5 h at 6 kts to the entrance to South Dartmouth.

It will be cold in April, so dress warmly.
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Last edited by DrB; 03-22-2013 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth

I have done this trip a number of times and the amount of time that it takes varies widely, especially on the shoulder seasons. If you get a good breeze like a nice cold front, you can easily do it in a relaxed day as DrB states. However, if the weather is less agreeable, it can take a lot longer. April unfortunately doesn't tend to have great weather but there are usually short windows of good weather that would make this possible. The trick is to have enough flexibility to use one of these windows. Be aware that once you come out into Buzzards Bay, it can get reasonably nasty if there is a strong SW breeze creating a wind over tide situation.
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Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Sail time from Boston to Dartmouth

You may want to know that New Bedford's seafront has been overhauled considerably, and is quite cruiser-friendly. It's closer to you (by a little bit) and better protected. When we last put in to Padanaram (South Dartmouth) we found only minimal services, no shopping (for supplies or otherwise), and limited eat-out options.
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