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post #31 of 83 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

I thought I'd post an update - the cargo ship arrived on Saturday and "Zanshin" was discharged on Sunday morning and towed to a mooring in Newport. I've given up on the Mercruiser/Mercury/VW Marine shops and ended up going into Providence to talk with a specialized VW car shop and they immediately identified the fuel pump for me; they are coming out later this week to ensure that my problem is really the injector pump and will bring in the replacement (the same pump is $1700 for a car but $4700 for a boat...) so I think that I will be ready to motor to Annapolis next weekend. I'll go inside the Long Island Sound and traverse Hell's Gate and the C&D Canal to Annapolis.
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
.....I think that I will be ready to motor to Annapolis next weekend. I'll go inside the Long Island Sound and traverse Hell's Gate and the C&D Canal to Annapolis.
Will you have a mast by then? LIS can be very rough, especially when wind opposes current. Going outside NJ, which you must do, is also notoriously roughly. Just had a buddy trying the overnight from the Delaware to Block and he bailed to NYC. It would seem to be extraordinarily unsafe without a mast, as the boat will pendulum.


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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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Will you have a mast by then? LIS can be very rough, especially when wind opposes current. Going outside NJ, which you must do, is also notoriously roughly. Just had a buddy trying the overnight from the Delaware to Block and he bailed to NYC. It would seem to be extraordinarily unsafe without a mast, as the boat will pendulum.
I have motored my 35 ft boat from Annapolis to Mystic. The winds were not right to sail and the weather was not bad. Took 3 days, including an overnight stop in the Delaware and overnight at sea from Cape May past Montauk. It looks like Zanshin would have to go around Cape May with his draft.

The offshore route past Montauk would be simpler if the weather gods cooperate. I didnít have any problems with ship traffic many years ago. The boat would be incredibly stiff without a mast, so that should not be a problem IMHO.

I do wonder, however, why not recommission Zanshin in Rhode Island, with all its facilities? Cost, compared to Annapolis?
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

I am heading to Annapolis to get a mast, so will be motoring down. All of the literature and from those who have done it state that motoring a sailboat without a mast is uncomfortable but Minnewaska is the first to use the term "extraordinarily unsafe". A friend in the BVI motored from the BVI to St. Martin without a mast in a ~40 foot Beneteau and that passage always has 6+ foot Atlantic seas and 15+ knots on the nose for 90 miles and he admitted that the voyage "sucked" - that is going to be rougher than going inside the long island sound.

I have to head back to work while work is being done on the boat, and need a project manager I trust. I have one in Annapolis, and don't have one in Rhode Island, hence my peregrination southwards.


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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Zanshin-
Beware of the weather and the NJ coast. It can be a dangerous shore and the inlets are impassable, even for the USCG, when conditions are bad. Because the water is fairly shallow for a long distance offshore, you want to stay well off. Coming down the East River and NY Harbor, you'll want that engine to be 100% reliable, there's no place to really duck out of the currents and traffic without one. (Which is presumably old news to you.)
If you don't have a copy, pick up "Eldridge" tide/pilot book, a yellow/orange paperback. That has detailed instructions for the trip, point to point bearings, and best of all, the tidal current charts for LI Sound. Sometimes you can gain an extra two knots by playing them.
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Thanks for the reference, the Eldridge is on my shopping list at West Marine. I've been looking at the tidal references for Hell's Gate and it should be fun to use the 4-6 knot current plus 6 knot boat speed to zip through!

I'll be waiting for the right weather window to transit from Newport to Annapolis, this Friday looks like exactly the wrong day to start but several days later the swells and weather systems will have calmed down to allow for an effortless trip. I've also been looking into the various marinas and mooring fields on the way - but the 8.5" draft makes several of them unusable for me.


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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

No matter how you time the Hell's Gate, the tide won't be optimal at one end or the other. Bear in mind there may be commercial traffic, including fuel barge tows, coming through at the same "best" time, and going with the current also means "no brakes". Depending on the weather, times can be off a bit, and I've got no idea whether they are still playing with hydro generators in the main (west) channel of the East River. If you need a place to anchor and kill time, look at Little Bay, on the east side of the south end of the Throg's Neck bridge. (Not to be confused with adjacent Little Neck Bay.) That's a free general anchorage located just off a USCG station, no shore facilities but a convenient place to drop the hook for free before going further on. With that much draft, you can only fit in the northern (open) part of it.
If you're unfamiliar with the US Northeast, any "general anchorage" is just that. Anything marked "special anchorage" usually means someone is in charge, there are restrictions on who can use it, there's a fee...always something "special".
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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I'll be waiting for the right weather window to transit from Newport to Annapolis, .

I just sent you an email. can you check your inbox?

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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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.....Minnewaska is the first to use the term "extraordinarily unsafe"......
Perhaps I was being too dramatic. I've been in enough tight seas on the beam, off the Northeast coast, with a mast, to consider doing so without one. YMMV.

Having friends who sail in Annapolis, their recounts make me believe you can find less expensive trades there than in RI. Pricey, but less pricey.


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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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Perhaps I was being too dramatic. I've been in enough tight seas on the beam, off the Northeast coast, with a mast, to consider doing so without one.
Most sailors know that sailing provides a much more comfortable ride than motoring. However, motoring a sailboat is much like motoring a displacement hull powerboat, except that the deeper keel of a sailboat would dampen the roll more. And not having a mast would further increase the righting moment.

The conditions next week look to be about 15 kts or less out of the SW, which would be on Zanshin's nose on the offshore route from Newport, past Montauk, to Cape May. That doesn't look so bad, IMHO. Given the choice, and having no particular reason to stay in LIS, the outside route would be a lot less complicated and would probably save some time in transit. On the other hand, I would want to know that the motor was properly checked out, otherwise the inside route might be more conservative, should motor issues resurface. Hopefully Zanshin has had the fuel polished or replaced by now.
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