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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 07-23-2007
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hell gate nyc

Will be taking a 27' catalina thru Hell Gate from LI Sound to New Jersey and back again (Jersey to LI Sound) this weekend. Timing is tight and I would like to know tide timing to get fastest passage.
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Old 07-23-2007
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I would suggest timing for "safest" instead. I've always gotten into trouble when I dictate the schedule instead of letting tides, currents & the boat do it.
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Old 07-23-2007
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You want--you need--a copy of Eldridge, which has all the tide and current information in it.

Fastest passage is something you will have to calculate based on more than the time of slack in the 'gate. Slack can be an hour long, sometimes twice that, but you need to chug down the western end of LI Sound (typically against current) to hit the slack, and then ride the outbound current down the river for a speed boost. Except, if you are riding with the current you will have less steerage and at high current you can hit some nasty square standing waves in the East River. And the wind shooting out through the skyscrapers gets real twisty--your engine needs to be reliable.

Trying to go both ways on the same weekend also usually means some odd hours with at least one crossing between midnight and dawn, but again that's all listed in Eldridge.

And you'll need to know your speed, with or without sails, so you ccan figure your progress hour by hour to see how hitting it sooner/later at one point will impact the currents you hit two or three hours later, up/down river.

It's an interesting piece of navigation if you decide not to simply play the slacks. We spent a full hour traveling less then 100 yards in the 'gate one year, because the skipper was held at work and we had no choice about getting off on time. One hour, motorsailing at better than six knots, covering only 100 yards.

Here's the basics:
Hell Gate (East River), New York Current
Units are knots

Saturday 2007-07-28
Sunrise 5:48 EDT, Sunset 20:15 EDT
Moonset 3:50 EDT, Moonrise 19:47 EDT
Slack Water: 3:28 EDT -0.00
Max Flood: 6:24 EDT 3.23
Slack Water: 9:27 EDT -0.00
Max Ebb: 12:13 EDT -4.40
Slack Water: 15:37 EDT 0.00
Max Flood: 18:40 EDT 3.45
Slack Water: 21:48 EDT -0.00

Sunday 2007-07-29 Full Moon
Sunrise 5:49 EDT, Sunset 20:14 EDT
Moonset 4:59 EDT, Moonrise 20:24 EDT
Max Ebb: 0:40 EDT -4.67
Slack Water: 4:11 EDT -0.00
Max Flood: 7:07 EDT 3.41
Slack Water: 10:11 EDT -0.00
Max Ebb: 12:58 EDT -4.60
Slack Water: 16:20 EDT 0.00
Max Flood: 19:24 EDT 3.62
Slack Water: 22:33 EDT 0.00

from a freeware program called WXTide32 that you should still be able to find on the web. To see what the currents are doing outside of the gate...you'll still need other software, or Eldridge. Even if you get an old one, you can match up the other current charts to the slack times shown here.

Last edited by hellosailor; 07-23-2007 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 07-23-2007
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Thank you. I will get the Eldridge book. You have been most helpful.
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