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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > atlantic city to cape may to d & c Canal
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Thread: atlantic city to cape may to d & c Canal Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-15-2009 08:14 PM
ekenna
final trip update

Final trip update
Took another day off from work. Got down there at 9:00pm on thursday. Set alarm time for 4:00 am however did not arm the alarm. woke up at 5:40 (The time I wanted to be at the end of the canal). Scrambled and was moving by 6:00 am trip under the bascle bridge and through the canal went ok. Not really pushing the engine. Get to the bay and winds are out of the north east. It was supposed to go to 13 knots so I decided to use the working jib. Put both sails up,kept the engine running and we are moving along.

Thanks to whoever was in the sail boat ahead of us as they provided a good target to aim for to keep us on course when the land disappeared. Northeast wind continued until we neared the cohansey at about 1:00 pm. At time the gps was reading 7 knots. That was going to be our original destination but we decided to push on. Shortly after that the wind dies. I drop the jib (did not have time to fix the jib). Wind picks up only coming for the south. Going by the nuclear powere plant seemed to take forever. Finally go in behind reedy island and wind is from south so no protecting. Decide to go to delaware city. Its now 3:30. It takes 2.5 hours to go from reedy island to the marina. tide was really running. With wind coming from directly behind we were crawling. So I tack to a broad reach. Marina was ok. After dinner watched someone else get towed in. I think their engine died.

Next day planned to get up at 6. Got up at 5. Was at the canal entrance at 6:45. Thought we needed to ride low tide to high tide again. Wrong! should have waited for high tide. We crawled at like 1 knot. I go to the far right (within 20 feet) where to current would be less but had to turn into the waves of passing boats which removed all headway until I could get her back Close to shore. About 2 ish the tide turned and we were making 4.6 knots from about cheasapeak city to welsh point. Put the sails up then and did some tacking as winds were against us. Winds were blowing 20+ finally dropped jib and inched clost to shore to avoid the big waves. Finally make two river marina about 6:00 pm spend half hour searching for our mooring.

After dinner see thunder storm. Next day try to call son to pick us up no t mobile signal. Spend time looking at jib. Attached a 6 inch length of rope to tack and was able to roll up the jib finally. definitely haylard wrap like don radcliffe said. thanks for the link it really helped. Spent rest of day waiting for son and doing to pick up car in cape may.
07-14-2009 10:10 AM
MJBrown For those of you that go around Cape May Pt versus the canal; any suggestions on avoiding the shoals? How far out do you go? Do you cut inside and work your way through them? I'm doing the trip in two weeks and this will be the first time going around the point.
07-07-2009 03:53 PM
fordo The jammed furler sounds like "halyard wrap", when the jib halyard winds around the furler at the top, jamming it. A permanent fix requires a trip up the mast to increase the angle between the halyard and the forestay, but sometimes making the halyard very tight will fix it.

You didn't say what kind of engine you have but check that enough water is coming out with the exhaust. If not, check for blockage in the thru-hull and the water strainer. Change the impeller in the water pump if it is more than a year old. If it isn't that call a mechanic. ( When I broke down in Atlanic City Mark Schrenk of Mid-Coast-Marine got me going and taught me alot about my old Atomic 4. 609-266-3115).

The brass knob on the mast prevents the slides from coming off the track. There should be a hole in the sail (a cringle) in the luff in line with the reef points. Tie a loop of line through this and hook it to the reef hook at the gooseneck, then secure the rest of the reef.

Get 2 bilge pumps, manual and electric. If the stuffing box drips more than 10 drops a minute try tightening the nut at the end. (I'm told that if you over tighten it you may score the shaft.) If that doesn't work have it repacked.

The C&D canal should not be a problem if you are careful about the current. Start at low tide at you end and ride the tide right through. The canal is deep and wide so it should be no problem if you have power.

Good luck with it. My first trip in my "new" 1978 Tartan 30 had breakdowns in the C&D, at Atlantic City, at Barneget Light and 20' from the dock at my home port in Raritan Bay. Five years and I'm stiil sailing, with a new Yanmar, and still loving it.
07-07-2009 03:06 PM
donradclife Thanks for the trip update! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your problems, as I have been there, done that. Now you know why delivery skippers get the big bucks, as many times they are delivering boats which have been sitting around and have maintainence issues like yours.

Chances are your roller furling problems are caused either by the spare halyard getting caught in the furler near the masthead, or by the jib halyard wrapping around the forestay. See UK Furling Considerations

However, if the boat has been sitting around for a while, you should check that both the top and bottom swivels on the furler are not frozen.

Securing the main tack when reefing can be done by a line or a hook on the gooseneck, wich should go through a reinforced eye on the sail. If the stack of sail slides prevents you from using the hook, then use a simple lashing around the gooseneck as a temparary measure, and make up a webbing strop through each reefing eye with rings on each side for the hook as a permanent fix.

Your GPS speed should not jump around more than 0.1 knot. Read the manual and set the averaging to the longest setting if you can, and get a new GPS if you can't. If you haven't done it already, you will benefit from bringing a laptop withe the free downloads of Seaclear and the NOAA electronic charts of the area.

Get the engine running and the water inleakage fixed before you set out again, as the Delaware and Chesapeake are both notorious for light winds. Bring someone more experience with you, and plan on moving at night--its beautiful at night, but there is a lot of ship traffic and you need to know how to read running lights/charts/monitor CH 13 & 16 and predict where the commercial traffic is going, or you will have more adventures to write about. The AIS system, connected with a chartplotter or SeaClear, is really worth the $200 it costs around the bays and canal.

The biggest concern should be your wife. If she got yelled at while you were in crisis mode, you may be sailing the new boat alone.
07-07-2009 01:41 PM
camaraderie Nothing to add to what others have said except to wish you luck!

As an aside...this is a new boat to you...was it surveyed and sea trialed before you bought her?
07-07-2009 10:01 AM
joethecobbler Keep working at it. It sounds like your getting a fair dose of "new owner"
You've got alot of catch-up to do in the sailing and maintenance areas , coupled with the time/stress factor it probably seems overwhelming.
I had similiar issues when I first started out as well. All the mechanical stuff is a pain , if you stick with it and ask alot of people alot of questions you'll figure it out , hopefully sooner than later.
The tide and wind issues take a little getting used to. Only time and experience will solve these mysteries.
Watch the other sailors and see who sails and who motors. Follw the sailors. they won't be fighting the elements. they will be following them.
People have been sailing far and wide with much less capable sailing rigs/designs than we have today. Also, without the convenience of engines.
Check out Cohansey creek fo a shorter hop from cape may. Both marinas have lifts and yards. there was alot of work being done when I came through in 07. I'm sure there are people there who would be willing to offer advice.
07-06-2009 10:11 PM
chef2sail ekenna,

Dont give up. We all have had our misadventures, but it seems yours all came in one trip. I would suggest you get a reliable motor and solve that problem first. Take someone experienced with you. You will learn faster that way and follow the tide up the Deleware. Once you get out of the Bay and into the river it is not so fierce. YOU can ride with the tide up the river at 7 knots an hour if your motor cabn make 4 at slack tide. Anchor Spots are Cohaneassey River, Reedy Island as mentioned before. Both are acheivable for you. I would not waste my time tacking and trying to make distance but follow a direct path. The Delaware is tough to sail with a destination. We usually wind up motorsailing it. Once you hit Reedy it will be easy. You time the tide into the canal and get pushed through in 3 hours. Once on the Chesapeake side there are many stop off and anchoring places. Rememeber the British took their sailing ships up the Delaware without motors.

Dont give up. Your boat is not as sound as you thought, but all boats have their problems. You just fix them and improve them. It is a constant game as well all know.

Dave
07-06-2009 03:52 PM
ekenna
trip update

Trip update. Bought the boat (first mistake). Thursday sailed across great bay. Tried to roll the sails up but the roller gets stuck. Started intercoastal to atlantic city with both sails up. Ran aground had to call boat us to get off. Dropped sails at this point its low tide. Boat US guy guides us through the shallow spots. Almost got stuck again but managed to get it free. Stayed at at marine next to a restaurant which played music until 11:30.

Friday get up at 6 wife run aground again while I am trying to get the sailed up but manage to get it free again. Set sails head down coast. wind and wave build to 15+ knots (not quite in the right direction) and 3 feet. Try to reef main but I can not get the reef tack down to the boom. Again can not roll the genoa up. decide to drop jib. I get the jib down but not secured and the port upper shroud comes loose swinging wildly. I laying on the heaving deck with my legs on the jib to prevent it from blowing over board trying to catch the shroud with out getting hit in the head. I get the shroud secured and the jib secured and wired the turnbuckled that I could. The starboard lower shroud does not have any holes so it can not be wired (moused or siezed?). Run motor and full main only and were are moving maybe 3.5 knots. I look down and fuel gauge is on e. Shut down engine main only now moving maybe 2 knots. Can see wildwood ferris wheels. Call Boat US at 5 for diesel. Diesel arrives at 6:30 problems with cell phone and gps. should have just taken tow. Ben says its 7 mile to cape may. 7 mile at 4 knots 2 hours right wrong. One hour later I over heated the engine and it just died. Call Boat Us again for tow. Winds are calming put up jib. Ben gets there just as it is getting dark. Drop sails. still 3 foot wave almost get leg broken trying to fend of boat. We noticed when we ran the engine for a couple of hours we would get about 5 gallons of water in the little access spot for looking at keel bolts. Stuffing box is doing more than a drip when the motor is running. No automatic bilge pump. Ben (Boat US guy) is now towing us faster that the boat as probably gone in its life in the dark. He had arranged for us to get pulled to two mile marina for the night. $2 per foot. We get the boat tied up and I step into the cabin there was 4 inched of water in the boat. Spend half hour filling bucket and dumping water overboard. Get needed shower and go to bed.

Saturday get up late find key broken in switch. Take switch out to get part of key out. Jim and Mary (slip neightbor) help get it fixed. now water temperature gauge does not work. but engine will start. Head down or up cape may canal to delaware bay moving slow not pushing the motor. blowing 15 gusting to 23. Avoid the ferry. Get out of inlet experiencing 4 foot waves. Turn around. Stay at utches marina $2 per foot.

Sunday buy hand held radio (onboard radio is not working) and delware chart. I get the spinner pole off the front of the mast and try to get the rolling furler working. Low tide supposed to be 12. Winds east shifting to south. Decide to try to maurice river. Do not push motor have sail up head out 10 ish takes 2 hours to get to bay. Need to go exact north wind now out ot the south very light. moving very slow and need to go 14 miles to maurice river. Dark cloud to south. oil pressure goes to 0. Decide to go back to two mile marine.

I had to be back at work today. I plan to find a mechanic to look at engine, fix water temperature.

I have the following questions/concerns.

Any ideas on the rolling furler working? There were some lines crossed at the top which I think I have straightened out. There are 2 halyard running up the front of the mast. I am wondering if thr prior owner hooked up the wrong one. The one we have been using goes over a pulley at the top and into the mast then it comes out lower on the mast. The other halyard does not appear to go in the mast at all. I took the non active halyard and bungied it away from the active halyard yesterday but that did not work. The roller turn freely without the sail but it binds at the top with the sail on it.

The main has 2 reefing points in it however as I said I could not get the tack point down to the boom. In the track there is this big brass knob blocking the track that the maiin sail connectors go in. Below the brass knob the track has a big gap on the port side. I am guessing I needed to remove the knob to get the reef point down to the boom but I could not turn it. I am guessing the gap in the track is how you attach the sail to the mast but I wasn't going to mess with it bouncing around on the deck.

This engine does not have a tachometer. How am I supposed to tell when I have reached top cruising speed? Is it possible to add a tachometer?

Does anyone know a good trustworthing mechanic in the south jersey area that could check my engine out. At the very least I need the water temparature gauge fixed and I would like them to check out the oil pump/pressure.

When I overheated the engine I was showing roughly 4.5 knots on my gps (hard to tell because it jumps around a lot). After talking to people I am having my doubts about getting this boat up the delaware and through the canal. I do not know how far I can motor its certainly less than 4.5, maybe its 4? I thought were were doing more like 3 into the wind and waves. After how poorly the boat performed coming down from atlantic city I know it is not possible to make the 50 mile run in a day . I was thinking about going to the maurice river which is a 17-18 miles trip. One guy was saying the bay can have tide and current greater than 5 knots faster than I can motor and 1 knot less than my boats top sailing speed. So fighting the tide and current is out of the question. He said my best bet is to try to get to fortescue in one run from low to high (not sure how far that is) anchor and wait for the next low to high. I would have to wait 18 hours because I do not want to run at night for the next cycle. I would have to get out to the end of the canal (which took 2 hours on saturday and sunday with the tide against us both ways) right at low tide and have favorable winds and preferrably less than 2 foot waves. The directions is due north for maurice river and maybe like 340 to 350 for fortescue south wind is a dead run (slow), west/southwest wind would put us on the leeward shore with bigger waves. East or southeast I am guessing would be the best direction. and now for the hardest part how do I get all this to happen on a weekend? Any ideas on how I get the boat to the d & c? and can I then get through the d & c on a 4 knot motor?
06-29-2009 10:23 AM
joethecobbler I did the Delaware both ways in 07 and both way I experienced quite a blow and 6-8' waves. in my face from c&D to Cape May and following from cape may to C&D.
We (crew/family) and I were anchored in the chesapeake city basin (great place) and talked to several sailors anchored there. One sailor claimed extensive experience and talked aout the Delaware as if it was something to be wary of, and that there were no opportunites to seek shelter on the Delaware (not accurate). This scared us a bit. we stayed in the basin a few more days and spoke w/ other sailors who had made the trip before, and the city was handing out the previous years guide books covering the Delaware. Upon looking in the books I found 2-3 possible places to seek shelter.
As we exited the C&D towards Cape May we experienced building seas and increasing winds on the bow and decided to seek refuge into Cohansey creek on the east side of the Delaware about 1/2 way down to Cape May. It was a deep creek w/ a swift current and depths at the mouth of 40' we spent 2 days in there "hiding" from the blow and even went as far up as we could before grounding ! there are also 2 Marinas a mile or so in you cannot miss them. even pryed my wallet open and spent one night at one of them to give the crew a little shore leave.
I would suggest looking at the satalite shots of these areas on google earth or similiar maps , I wish I had looked more at these along the way it gives you a different perspective on the inlets and channels. Also you can Zoom in to the point of identifying actual sailboats ! when I see big motorboats and sailboats in locations it usually indicates good access.
Hope this helps.
06-29-2009 12:26 AM
ekenna Well this coming weekend I hope to do the trip from nj to the chesapeake. Hope to leave great bay on thursday or friday depending on the weather.
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