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post #1 of 9 Old 12-12-2010 Thread Starter
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I am considering entering the Around Long Island Regatta in 2011 and I am in dire need some information so I can put together a race strategy. Hopefully, there is some help out there.

1. How do you plan the rounding of Montauk Point?

2. How do you plan for Plum Gut?

3. Where to you get the needed tidal flow information for rounding Montauk Point and getting through Plum Gut.

4. Do you ever opt to avoid Plum Gut? If so, why and when do you make that decision?

5. How do you plan for L. I. Sound?

Dave B.
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
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You might want to take a close look at the current and tide tables in Eldridge for the dates of the race. That's be a good starting point. If you don't have Eldridge, you might consider buying it a good first step. Also, get the charts for the areas you'll be sailing and plot a rough route....and compare that route with the wind pilot charts for that time of year.

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post #3 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
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Dave-
It can be a fun race or a long exhausting one. Conditions in the Atlantic are often poor with strong wind while the half in the Sound is often ghosting in hot humid calms, so you really want to watch the weather and be prepared for anything as the wx cast is often simply wrong.

"rounding of Montauk Point?...Plum Gut?"
Eldridge and charts. You can't really plan for them because by that point in the race, you have no idea if you'll be transiting in day or night or time of current, you need to make plans for all and then as you get closer, chose the plan that matches your arrival time.
As for course...avoid the rocks and then pick the shortest course you can, once currents and winds are considered. If it was easy it wouldn't be racing. The best prep is probably to do the course a couple of times, inshore and offshore, and get familiar with the differences. Stay close in to the south shore, and there's current often against you. Stay further out, and you've got more ground to cover and shipping to consider. If the wx turns nasty, and the inlets on the south shore get dangerous, so there's no place to duck into. It helps if you've already done this inlets.

"5. How do you plan for L. I. Sound?" OVERSTOCK ON ICE. From dawn till 4PM you can have dead air in the Sound at that time of year, making it a long nasty day until the wind picks back up. And again, read Eldridge for currents to plan where you want to be in the Sound.

If you're renting a life raft--reserve early, all the nearby rental locations get cleaned out for this race.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
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As said all you can do is have the boat fully prepared for anything

2009 was a 50 knot big sea this is no fun lets dropout while the boat is still in one piece


It took 2 weeks to dry out the boat


2010 was pretty tame with non stop sail changes every hour on the hour as the wind was between up and down 0-25 a lot



2010 pretty much like sailing on a lake but with swells



I gotta say there was really a LOT of ships to and fishing boats to dodge all the way out on the ocean leg


Stevens Maritime Center: Urban Ocean Observatory

Stevens has the best view of what the current really does

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post #5 of 9 Old 12-12-2010
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Get theTidal Current Stream Atlas for Long Island Sound & Block Island Sound
by BE CURRENT. As I recall it has hourly current prediction and charts. It is particularly helpful form Montauk Point to Plum Gut.

If you face a adverse current at Mountauk Point stay close to shore. Certainly inside of Washington Shoal. You'll be heading left to skirt the schore of Gardiners Island so it's the shortest route as well as reducing the adverse current. If you can't hear the surf fishermen's truck radios you're not close enough to shore.

If you have a favorable current at Mountauk Point venture further east.

If you have a favorable current at Plum Gut stay in the middle of the channel. If you have an unfavorable current stay right. We have crept through bouncing along the bottom while boats in deeper water and stronger current to port were spit out backwards. If you do go right you may wish to set a lookout to avoid hitting a navigation buoy while going backwards.

The choice of the CT or LI shore on the westward leg depends upon where you expect the wind to come from first. As you're approaching Plum Gut gather weather from coastl observation stations on both shores. Absent substantial differences in these observations, I'd count on an early morning breeze from CT and a late-afternoon breeze from LI.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-12-2010 Thread Starter
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First, Thanks to all of you who have responded so far. The information is great. I hope that I get more.

I know the Atlantic for I sail out of Jones Inlet. But, the only time I sailed near Montauk was when I purchased my boat. It was in dry dock on the Cape and I had to sail her down the east shore of Block Island and then west along Long Island's south shore to Point Lookout.

From the point where I come to port to pass by Montauk and go on to the finish line I am in strange waters. That means that I can also use and will appreciate any information on courses, rocks and obstructions.

I have Eldridge and have made Stevens a favorite so that I can readily access it. I will have to get the Tidal Current Stream Atlas for Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound. Are there other recommended publications and is radar needed?

On the Gut, how far off must I stay, on the right side, with a 6.5' draft?

Thanks for the videos posted by Tom. I appreciate the staysail videos and will go to Youtube to access as much as I can. So, Tom, does the staysail enhance your boat's performance?

My boat, a Soverel 36, is rigged for and has a staysail. But, I have never used it. This is a sail that has kept a question mark in my head and is one that I need to learn about. So, is there anyone who give me more information on using the staysail, please do and I will appreciate it.

Dave B.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
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keep a good bit of room as it all rocks

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post #8 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
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i did this race ones and it was great!!!! as soon as we raeched the sound there was a thunder storm!!!
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-13-2010
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Dave, IIRC the Tidal Current book from NOAA is just a bigger version (the source) of the tidal current charts in Eldridge, and since you already have that...save the money.

If you round Montauk on a moonless night, the plethora of lights to the north can be incredibly confusing, so a chartplotter, gpsmap, whatever, is incredibly useful when you're trying to figure out which rocks to miss on the way into the Sound.

As to how much room ot leave for your draft...well...if you're not rockhopping you're not going to be racing in the Sound. That's a personal choice, and a more comfortable one when you're sure of the tide state and water depth beneath you.
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