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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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  #1  
Old 06-28-2010
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Eldridge Tide and Pilot

Ok, I am being cheap and do not want to buy another Eldridge for 2010. Besides I only use the current charts and really nothing else in the book beyond the occasional general reading. Typically we sail in Nantucket and Vinyard sounds and occasionally Block Island Sound. I use Eldridge for sailing with favorable currents. This year I was wondering if I just print the tide table for Boston Harbor off the web (more or less free) would the current diagrams in Eldridge hold true? That is, if I know the time of the tide at Boston Harbor would the estimated current velocities shown in Eldridge be constant more or less each year? Understanding that different moon phases will also increase or decrease the current strength. Any thoughts would be helpful.
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Old 06-28-2010
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You can use the annual NOAA tables, however my recollection is that the Nantucket and Vineyard Sound current charts reference Pollack Rip , not Boston. See Tidal Current Predictions
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Old 06-28-2010
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Eldridge is all of $15... it has far more information in it than just the tide and current tables. I wouldn't call it being cheap... but stupid... not having a current version of Eldridge or other nautical almanac aboard is just foolish IMHO.
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Old 06-29-2010
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I see your point and will get the latest version.

FYI- Sailingfool the current velocities do show Boston or Pollack Rip.
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Old 07-17-2010
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If you were planning a trip from Cape May or NYC to Maine I'd say get it. But if you are mostly in familiar waters it's not real necessary. Which way the current is flowing is in most instances common sense (speed is a little tougher to estimate). I've got one onboard but can't remember the last time I used it. I pretty much confine my sailing between Boothbay Harbor and Penobscott Bay with an occasional trip to Bar Harbor. With the tide charts and currents on a lot of chartplotters and handheld GPS units and the tides on VHF you can get by without it in most instances. I'd have to have three or four systems fail not to get the tides.

I check the tides (mostly when anchoring or going through a shallow passage) far more often than the current. If you are going through a constricted chanel with large bodies of water on either side its a good idea to check the current (kinda like the Cape Cod canal if you know what i mean)

Last edited by LinekinBayCD; 07-17-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 07-18-2010
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I did pick up a 2010 Eldridge and the estimated current velocities shown at different stages of the tide are the same as 2009. Obviously just the time of the tides, moon and sun change. I can also get tidal information from several sources that can be used to determine ebb and flow. I agree that current direction can be easily determined but when I am sailing it is easier to plan to sail with a 2.3 knot current than buck it, at least in my 34' sabre. I think there is a lot of good information in Eldridge, I just do not need much of the same info year to year. I will probably only update every few years, unless I can get online like at ACK Weather: Nantucket Weather, Wind, Waves, Webcams, Radar, Tides, Currents and Buoy Data

Last edited by ambianceack; 07-18-2010 at 06:36 AM. Reason: wrong url
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Old 07-21-2010
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Hate to be a curmudgeon or something, but don't buy three beers this summer and buy Eldridge instead. They've been keeping useful/crucial information for sailors for generations and every year they put in a couple of new bits of information that I didn't know or hadn't thought about. Yes, I'm conservative, but with the currents, rocks, shoals etc in New England, I get an annual book - and with a sailboat and an auxiliary engine, I do want to know the exact start and end of favorable currents - think Wood's Hole, CC Canal, passage from Nantucket through the Race into LI Sound. Etc. My opinion.
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Old 07-22-2010
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I agree with sailingdog and malkin. I sail that area out of Fairhaven and would feel insecure without Eldridge on board. But, I understand your question and you might want to check out the free chart program OpenCPN, which just added a feature in latest release that you can click and it will lay on graphic arrows showing current direction (I don't know about flow rate) at time and day of your choosing.
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Old 07-22-2010
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Free access to the NOAA site for tides and currents with data not available in Eldridge. Much better and greater info online. If you plan ahead you can print pieces out or take notes. Easy choice to me. I use the NOAA site all up and down the East Coast.
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Old 03-22-2014
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Re: Eldridge Tide and Pilot

I'd agree about buying Eldridge each year: one for home and one copy for your boat. It's (not that much) money well spent...
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