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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-23-2009
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Middle River to Baltimore

I'm new to sailing. I've taken a few lessons but am still a novice. I recently bought a 22' Catalina in Middle River, but I need to get it to a slip in Baltimore. I'm nervous about sailing that far in the near future, but the boat needs to be moved.

I could get a slip in Middle River, but that's not really where I want to stay. Any one have any thoughts on making that trip?
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Old 06-23-2009
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You said you are new to sailing so I can understand your reluctance to make the voyage. From Middle River to the Inner Harbor is roughly 20 nautical miles if you go to the outside of Miller Island. So it could be a long day trip. If you are planning to get a slip in Baltimore I would suggest asking around the marina. Perhaps there is someone with local knowledge that could make the voyage with you. Or the other choice is to leave the boat in Middle River and drive back and forth to your boat until your do feel comfortable.
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Old 06-23-2009
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Do you have a reliable outboard? If so...just pick a nice calm day and do it. This is a no problem trip and you can use chart 12273 ....
Chart 12273...

...to cut behind Miller Island in the marked channel and then round up into the Patapsco River and follow along the edge of the shipping channel into Baltimore. Should take around 6 hours under power on a calm day. Rig your mainsail to help stabilize the boat. No need to worry about sailing it...you can practice when you have the boat "home".
Main thing is to pick a light wind day...have an anchor ready and a good radio to call for assistance if the motor breaks down...and of course, stay tethered in if you are alone and carry the required USCG equipment.
Welcome aboard and good luck!
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Old 06-23-2009
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Ditto what Cam said, and go early to avoid any late afternoon thunderstorms. Watch the shipping traffic and the big power-boaters and you will be fine. There's many crab pots south of Hart & Miller and they can be overwhelming to navigate through sometimes. Be sure you have all the proper safety equipment on board, including your VHF and a chart. Someone should go with you if at all possible, even if they're a novice too

I would offer to go with you or tag along nearby but just don't have much free time right now
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Old 06-24-2009
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Thanks for the advice. I might try making the trip this weekend. The first time I tried going out on a boat without an instructor was last Sunday -- and the winds were too strong.

Have you guys taken the channel on the south side of Hart-Miller? I've been using the online charts and have 12278 on the way. But both charts, make it look like a tough path on the south side. Is it pretty easy to get through with a 4ft draft? BTW, have signed up for sea-tow but needing isn't appealing.

Also is the island worth stopping at? I read that it has moorings and a decent beach.
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Old 06-24-2009
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The channel on the south side of Hart Miller is fine. There is a little beach right by the channel, but no moorings. There can be a bit of current there, so I would not recommend stopping and anchoring at the beach as a first time anchoring experience.

I would also second other folks advice to get an early start, not only to avoid afternoon thunderstorms, but to avoid getting waked by all the power boaters going through the Hart Miller channel on a summer weekend.

What marina are you going to in Baltimore?

Last edited by NautiG; 06-24-2009 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009
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It looks like we're going to Harborview. I've called around and they seem fairly cheap. Plus they're right next to Downtown sailing where my fiance and I are members.

Thanks for the advice on the channel. Going around the north of the island was where I expected to have the most problems.
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Old 06-24-2009
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There are a ton of crab traps once you pass through the Hart Miller channel, so keep a sharp eye out, especially since you will be motoring. Also, try to stay out of the shipping channel. Tugs and freighters will come up on you fast. One minute they are a speck on the horizon, the next they are breathing down your neck.

Since you are passing through the Inner Harbor, be prepared to be stopped by the coast guard for a safety check. You can do an online quiz to make sure your boat is compliant at Vessel Safety Check

White Rocks is a good place to anchor or marina, if you want to break the trip into two days. Have fun on your first sailing adventure!

Scott
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Old 06-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwollenweber View Post
It looks like we're going to Harborview. I've called around and they seem fairly cheap. Plus they're right next to Downtown sailing where my fiance and I are members.

Thanks for the advice on the channel. Going around the north of the island was where I expected to have the most problems.
Greetings! I am a former long-time member of the DSC, though I "dropped out" when I bought my own boat. I still stay in touch with some of the members and occasionally visit the open sails' after-sail gathering at Little Havana.

Have you thought about asking one of the DSC skippers to help you with the boat move? I know that some members have boats (or did last season) up on the Middle River and I'm sure they'd know that channel well. I can't imagine you couldn't round up someone from the DSC to help you move the boat.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2009
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if you want to come pick me up near the harbor i will come along, you buy the soda. i have made the trip many times, including the channel at miller island, i sail out of the harbor.

i can do the trip sleeping, well okay maybe napping.
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