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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Sailing the Hudson River NY
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-24-2013 11:45 PM
CalebD
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

I think we are splitting hairs here on where the Hudson officially begins and ends. The entire Hudson up to Troy is a tidal estuary although the halocline or where the salt water reaches to, changes from year to year. Usually the salt water does not go above, say Beacon and is normally not higher than Haverstraw Bay. Salt water fish species are routinely found in the southern third of the Hudson but it is still the Hudson River, which is a tidal estuary.
NY Harbor begins at the Battery, or Liberty Landing Marina on the west.
Does the East River also begin at the Battery or the Brooklyn Bridge or Buttermilk Channel? I am not sure I care.
The East River is not a river but a tidal straight but the Hudson is a river.
/end of nonsense
02-24-2013 08:24 PM
peterconway
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

I just traveled the Hudson back in Sept. you are in for a nice trip. Of course the key is to go with the flow, but it is a beautiful ride passing many historic sites. I was fortunate to be with locals who could point out what I was seeing and tell me much about it. We passed manhattan just after dusk and the city was well lighted. For your own sake, do som research just to enjoy the scenery. We anchored near sandy hook, and made our way out to the Atlantic the next morning. The water is deep, wide, and we had little company as far as other boats, a few ferries and a tanker. Enjoy
02-24-2013 06:31 PM
Tempest
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

Hello...all true... I lived on the Hudson in Newburgh, went to school in Hyde park and worked in cold spring.. I used to sit in class and watch the ice flow up river with the tide.
I always thought it was tidal to Albany, but now understand that it's as far as troy..?

I gave lessons out of Jersey City for two summers, one just after Irene. The river looked like chocolate milk for 2 weeks afterward and yes..I saw parts of houses and their contents float by..as well as whole trees.
02-24-2013 01:13 PM
hellosailor
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

Tempest, as a native I wouldn't call the Battery or the Upper Bay "the Hudson River". Not till you got past the Battery itself. The traffic south of the Battery can be real fun, we used to watch the Governor's Island ferry (property of the USCG and therefore at the right hand of God) duke it out with the Staten Island ferry, the commercial traffic, the recreational traffic, and the real fun, when the "new" high speed commuter ferries started up they figured THEY were at the right hand of God because they had to maintain their schedules. Ah, nope, a coupla folks got some nasty surprises from their "elders" on that.

But it still can get busy out there.

Problem on the Hudson proper is not off Manhattan but way further up. Think West Point and all the twisty places where the river is subject to shifting winds, tight curves, constrained drafts. Now add the barge tows, and when they come around a corner if someone is towing (not pushing) the tow is going to swing and you may not be aware of which way it is coming, or where other traffic is going to go to avoid it and keep in deeper water.

Some years ago a sailboat made the mistake of anchoring overnight on the Hudson, not in a designated anchorage. IIRC they got run down and the owner killed. Of course there have been accidents from long tows in the Sound as well, but at least there's usually lots more manuevering room on the Sound.

And some of the stuff that sails upriver, like the Tropicana Banana freighter (literally) is bigger than you would expect, with a matching blind spot under the bow.

Then sometimes after heavy rains, you will find bits of houses and whole trees coming down, just like Mark Twain's tales on the Mississippi.

There IS plenty of room for all, but daylight and a radio and some planning ahead might all be useful. And a camera.(G)

I think technically, the Hudson River ends someplace surprisingly high up like Kingston. South of that it is technically the Hudson Estuary, a flooded river where seawater comes up twice a day, tidally. And you can often see the tidal bore.
02-24-2013 11:03 AM
Tempest
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

Actually there's quite a bit of crossing that goes on around lower Manhattan. Not so much further North as Minne says where it's more north and south. The commuter ferries and the Statue/Ellis island ferries, and other tour boats zig-zag across all day long around lower manhattan from about Weehawken down. Still, it's not an issue. They are big enough to see and if you know where they're headed ( the terminals) you can keep clear. What I find around lower manhattan is that while watching and dodging the ferry traffic you can easily forget to look for the tug and barge that is slowly lumbering up or down the channel.
02-24-2013 08:50 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

Eldridge for sure!

I didn't find the Hudson commercial traffic to be much of a worry. They don't cross the river, so its easy enough to slide past them north or south bound (or let them pass you). Have a radio handy.

The white knuckle part of this trip is the East River, Hells Gate and Western LIS.

Very doable, but read up.

If you're unfamiliar with seawater, I presume that means open water. Don't let LIS fool you, it can get treacherous in bad weather. The Eastern portion of LIS up to Buzzards Bay can get as churned as the deepest blue water passage in some cases.

Just read up on weather prediction and get access to some sites like Sailflow or PassageWeather to keep an eye on things. It's done all the time. Have a great trip.
02-23-2013 10:56 PM
hellosailor
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

Waterbug-
If you buy a copy of Eldridge (from any chandlery) it will lead you NYC to Boston step by step. There's no better local guide for LI Sound and NYC.
Coming down the Hudson, mainly just watch out for commercial traffic and tows, tows also being a hazard for the entire route but on the Hudson they can be harder to duck.
02-23-2013 10:33 PM
waterbug
Re: Sailing the Hudson River NY

How did it go?
I brought my father's (now my) 30' O'Day from Lake Superior thru to Albany last fall, and planning to bring her home to moor in Boston this spring/summer.
I am a little green also, especially sailing in seawater, so would love any suggestions you have regarding navigating the Hudson/NY stretch.
05-28-2011 09:43 PM
Spyder I sail frequently near the Tappan Zee Bridge (about 30 mi N of the Battery). Here the current runs north for 5 hrs, then south for 7 hrs (roughly). It's just the effect of river current against, or with, the tide.

If you need boat supplies or boat work in the Tappan Zee area I'd recommend Westerly Marina in Ossining (eastern shore). If you'd just like a nice meal the Tarrytown Yacht Cub is a good bet. It's right at the Tappan Zee.

You'll want to be heading south at the Tappan Zee 4 1/2 hrs before Eldridge shows low tide at the Battery. Otherwise you won't make it north on the East River to Long Island Sound. I have a 23 ft Catboat and my wife has a photo of it's GPS showing 11.7 knots on that river.

Once past Execution Rocks the current begins to relax, so I'd leave the Tappan Zee early in the morning to make the North Shore of Long Island in time for a casual anchoring. Believe me, you won't be dallying around NY Harbor. It's fun but quite hectic: helicopters, Staten Island Ferries, Cruise ships, police boats, fire boats, and commuter ferries that run like waterbugs...not to mention a rare passenger aircraft in the Hudson (Capt. Shelly).

Feel free to contact me if you need more info about the area.
Cheers,
Dick Hare, Ossining, NY
05-27-2011 11:48 PM
CalebD ... and the Eldridge "Tide and Pilot Manual" has intuitive current charts for both the East River and The Race and Gut for about $15 including tax.
Yes, it can be a fun ride by Roosevelt Island into Hell Gate but the several times I've done it but the currents were no worse or stronger then my experiences going through the Plum Island Gut except there is usually less room to maneuver in the East River so extra vigilance is required.
The trip around Manhattan will be fun and your GPS just might hit 10 knots if you get a strong current near Hell Gate. The trip through the Erie Canal is something I've wanted to do. PM me if you stop in NYC (I'm in lower Manhattan, 1 mile north of The Battery).

I'm surprised I haven't plugged the club where we keep our boat yet as a stopover point on the Hudson. Our boat is at the Nyack Boat Club on a mooring and they have some guest moorings that are something like $25/night. The club has a launch and showers and the village has restaurants. It is about 25 nm. from the Battery in NYC. Since it is a sailing club there is no fuel dock per se and the local fuel and pump out is in Tarrytown but it is more of a motorboat club and is in tight quarters.
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