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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > 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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  #1  
Old 08-07-2007
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ALL coastal cruisers have radar...

Right? and life rafts and flare guns and.... and... and....

Actually I'm wondering how well prepared (or not) ICW sailors along the NJ coast handle the "day trips" cape may to sandy hook and back. Or don't you really feel it's a true coastal cruise?

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Old 08-07-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Right? and life rafts and flare guns and.... and... and....

Actually I'm wondering how well prepared (or not) ICW sailors along the NJ coast handle the "day trips" cape may to sandy hook and back. Or don't you really feel it's a true coastal cruise?

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Denise
Radar definitely not, don't even have a radar reflector installed at the moment but would do if setting off across an ocean. Life raft is on board at the moment but has to go off for service so will probably live in my office after that. Will go back on board when we are leaving for a trip. Standard saftey gear always on board (pfds, flares, epirb, first aid kit etc ) plus spare handheld gps and vhf. Bungs for through hulls always at the ready. Suitable clothing always on board including spare jackets for guests.

Remember that for me a day sail is in waters where fog is not a regular problem. In Sydney we get only a handful of foggy days each year and the fog always lifts by 0900 or threabouts. Radar is therefore not as necessary as it might be in more fog prone areas.
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Old 08-07-2007
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Before worrying about not having radar, consider all the commercial shipping whose systems are down, or on whose screens you simply don't appear. (Even if you have a reflector, they're filtering out "clutter" as small as that.) If anyone is actually watching their screens at all. Last fall a freighter in Long Island Sound ran down and sank a 92' sloop, radar notwithstanding. Keeping your eyes and ears on what's out there, and staying away from it is the safest approach. At least on the ocean you can turn away from danger without running into a bank of the ICW.
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Old 08-08-2007
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Unfortunately, many of the larger ships don't keep as good a watch as they really should. Radar is nice, but not always the most useful thing. Many small sailboats will disappear into the background noise unless they have their own radar or a good radar reflector. A careful visual watch should be kept in and around shipping lanes or busy harbor approach points.
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Old 08-08-2007
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I think I see some thought patterns developing here ... I really appreciate everone's honesty. I really didn't think many gave much thought in going up and down the Jersery coast and I suppose for those that have never done so it's way more intimidating then for those that have "been there, done that"
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Old 08-08-2007
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I have an older green screen radar. I do have a flare gun, chartplotter and backup handheld gps. I am also going to get the aim radio to get my dsc working on my vhf radio. For .NJ waters you also need a very good sounder.
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Old 08-08-2007
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Denise,
Sailed the Jersey coast extensively 25 years ago. No raft and navigated with an RDF. Times have changed. I plan to move my boat to Longport next summer. It has radar and a chartplotter. I remember some hard fog in times past and wouldn't be without either now. I don't have a raft now but will have one next year. Not necassary in my opinion for NJ coastal sailing but I'd feel much better with one. I'll have it on primarily for longer trips to Maine etc.
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Old 08-08-2007
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One thing to remember is that most of the New Jersey coast line becomes a very inhospitable lee shore in bad weather, and many, if not most, of the ports are difficult and dangerous to enter in bad weather. Heading out to sea, if you are caught out by a strong storm is often safer than trying to get into a harbor.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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Old 08-08-2007
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Kinda like the PNW coast, if the storm hits, it's too late to get in.
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Old 08-09-2007
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When I took delivery of my boat, it was in Sandyhook, and we moved her to Virginia a day after the sea-trial (by way of Statue of Liberty... pretty sweet). Anyway... I had never sailed before, none of my crew had ever sailed before. The boat had just been put in the water. I didn't even know what all the switches ran too. I had never been up or down this part of the coast at all. We had a schedule that we had to make (I know... schedules and passages don't work). Didn't have a life-raft... but did have a sweet 2 person inflatable kayak... there were 4 of us on the boat.

So basically everything was new to me.

We had decent weather, not for sailing, so we had to motor alot. We got hit with a few storms... avoided a few closely. But we were pretty lucky. I did spend a LONG time prior scouring the internets, reading books, and going through the charts to find all possible spots to hide in if needed.

My impression is that it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. Getting into some spots were interesting... charts don't have up to date markings, and you have to pay alot of attention. We did ground once... but not badly at all.

It was a blast, you can read more on my blog if your interested. From my little bit of time... I could see where in bad weather, it could be a rough place... so best advice would be to listen to weather reports and then stay far enough off the coast to be safe. Then again... I don't really know what I am talking about... I have more luck than knowledge.
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