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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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  #31  
Old 04-18-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

Heading southbound, once we clear Roosevelt Island we stay down the East side of the East River. That keeps you out of the way of most of the ferries, the seaplanes, the Staten Island ferry terminal.

Its an amazing ride so take your camera.
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

The Admiral and I are planning a paddle around Manhattan Island this season. We will take our 18' 6" Sawyer Charger, the boat we use to paddle around Cape Ann in the Blackburn Challenge race out of Gloucester, MA. Our biggest problem is deciding which direction we want to go. Timing is flexible. We can paddle @ 5 mph in still water. Finding a place to launch and leave our car for the day is a problem, too.

We are considering starting and finishing at Columbia University's dock and paddling ccw. We would start very early on a Sunday and head down the Hudson to return back up the East River.

Any suggestions will be welcome.



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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

There are several paddling/kayaking outfitters in NYC providing all types of services, including trip planning and launch/river access. Also NYC Parks maintains several access points.
New York City Water Trail : New York City Department of Parks & Recreation : NYC Parks
Downtown Boathouse
Manhattan Kayak Company
New York Kayak Company
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  #34  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

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Originally Posted by CrazyRu View Post
There are several paddling/kayaking outfitters in NYC providing all types of services, including trip planning and launch/river access. Also NYC Parks maintains several access points.
New York City Water Trail : New York City Department of Parks & Recreation : NYC Parks
Downtown Boathouse
Manhattan Kayak Company
New York Kayak Company
CrazyRu,

Thanks for the information. We are looking forward to our paddle. I haven't been around Manhattan by boat since my dad took me on the Cricle Line when I was 5 years old. That was over 60 years ago. Ha!

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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

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I might vote for Inwood Hill Park as your launch site. Only because there's supposed to be parking, there's one subway line, and you can avoid driving through most of Manhattan that way. I'm guessing your trailering the boat, so trailer access (commercial roads) will be needed.
Cannot overemphasize that NYC Parks Dept. is NOT A RELIABLE SOURCE. Make sure to call ahead or email ahead when you first make plans, and then contact them again a month out, and the week before, to confirm they aren't closing the site you plan to use, for any reason.

And you'll want a copy of Eldridge, or anything else that shows the tidal currents around Manhattan, because it is tidal all the way around and your choice of date, route and starting point may be very much affected by this timing. The connection from the Hudson, above Manhattan and down to the Hell Gate, is also called the "Harlem River".

The current timing is all usually based on "High tide at the Battery" or a similar point, so as long as you can find one set of the tidal charts, as you probably know you can offset them from that, you don't need "this year's" book.

There are (or were) some collegiate rowing and sculling clubs on the Harlem River, and there are active canoeing/lkayaking locations on the lower Hudson side, so you won't be alone. There are also a couple of mass water events (swim races) every summer which you want want to miss.

And of course, if you come within a hundred yards of the UN on the East River, the USCG will probably show you no mercy.

Should be one heck of a fun trip though!
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

Thanks to all for info on Hell Gate. Sounds like it will be a highlight of the trip.
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Re: Hell Gate

Hellosailor,

We will bring a few of our cruising tools (vhf, gps and flares). Eldridge is already on my desk. No trailer. We carry our boats on the roof of our old Saab. I appreciate the caution about the reliability of some sources. My dad was a proff at Columbia a long time ago and I am hoping that connection will get us consideration to park behind their fence. I will certainly check Inwood Hill Park. The UN caution is also appreciated.

I took my son to watch a shuttle launch many years ago. We carried a canoe and a 16' P-Pod on the roof of the van. It is a Kevlar pod I built light so I can roof top it. We rowed out from the causeway to an island to watch the launch. The boundaries were clearly visible and we did not intrude into restricted space. In spite of our care a large black outboard powered cat visited us at very high speed. We were the only craft in sight. The three guys on the boat explained we were O.K.. We had a Maine flag flying from the stern. They had never seen a boat rowing along the river and wanted to check it out. It was a beautiful launch. I had previously been present on the beach for Apollo 11 and on the river for 13. We will steer clear of the UN for sure. Thanks for the reminder.

I am wondering about negotiating the Hudson. It looks like ferry traffic has some fairly specific paths. On Sunday morning early I am hoping that won't be very busy. I am thinking we will stick near the eastern shore.

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Re: Hell Gate

Cartopping an 18' boat ? Wow. Yes, if you can contact someone at Columbia and get their blessing and invitation for the day, that would probably be ideal. There used to be a "Dyckman Street Boat House" on the upper Hudon side as well, I have no idea what the current state of that is.

The harbor ferries, the big ones that went out from the Battery, ride on rails and because they are so unmanueverable, they basically can't do anything to avoid traffic. They own the harbor. All the little commuter ferries? They may not like it, but they're subject to the same rules of the road as everyone else, because they are not constrained by draft and "I've got a schedule you know" doesn't appear in ColRegs. I'd say you'll have plenty of time to see then and avoid them, they're all fairly small anyhow.

And of course, since we still have geese at the airports...you know, just keep looking over your shoulder for inbound aircraft. (G)

Everything inside the bulkhead line (end of piers) is private on the Hudson side of NYC, but the folks at the Intrepid Musuem never used to mind folks ducking in to admire the ships up close. FWIW.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Hell Gate

Lower Hudson and East River will present most of the traffic. The area around the Battery to Wall Street is the busiest.
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Re: Hell Gate

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Cartopping an 18' boat ? Wow.

It isn't about the length so much. I have built an aluminum rack that supports them well. The are all either Kevlar or graphite so they don't weigh much. The new Pro boat is all carbon, 18' 6" long, 27" wide at the 3" wl and weighs just 31 pounds. Not a serious strain. The heaviest boat is about 50#. The Admiral usually helps me load that one now. Ha!
Quote:
And of course, since we still have geese at the airports...you know, just keep looking over your shoulder for inbound aircraft. (G)
You never know, do you?
Quote:
Everything inside the bulkhead line (end of piers) is private on the Hudson side of NYC, but the folks at the Intrepid Musuem never used to mind folks ducking in to admire the ships up close. FWIW.
We have no plans to stop but likely will find some of the stuff along there deserves scrutiny.

I grew up down that way on the Croton River and used to ply the waters of Haverstraw Bay as a kid. It looks much smaller now.

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