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Senior Smart Aleck
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Discussion Starter #1
What would be the best months for a coastal sailing passage from Norfolk, Virginia, or Cape May, N.J. directly to Block Island, R.I?

Would May be a good month for such a passage, as it is after the peak Nor'easteries season, before the tropical hurricane season, and before the Bermuda high settles in for the summer bringing lighter winds, heat and humidity?
 

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Air and water temp still a little cool in May, especially first half.
Also last year early May, on way to Maine, we were pinned down for 4 days in Point Judith waiting for 30-35 knots wind from north.
Can do in May but can be cold and you have to be prepared to
wait out for a good weather window.
If weather deteriorates not a lot of good harbors along NJ coast and once past NY harbor (Sandy Hook) no good harbors on south coast of long island.
One can option to come inside on long island sound if conditions
deteriorate.
How about June? I like Sept. myself.
 

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June gets my vote. May down here in Florida can still get the occasional norther blowing through making the seas dangerous. June is 'cane season, but very low probability of anything brewing then. I'd imagine the same applies further up north...but with the nasty prospect of cold + norther
 

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June

prevailing on shore breezes out of the S/ SE due largely to hot tmps heatung the land up greater than the water temps. Also May and early June there is a lot of Fog Block Island and north. Hurrican hisory is that most stay south and do not come up the coast till July and later

DAVE
Dave
 

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Up in New England June is a better bet as the weather will be more reliably nicer yet the harbors haven't really gotten packed with summer cruisers.
 

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Late May, June, into early July is usually the best although you sometimes have to dodge intense thunderstorms. May is still a prime time for the development of severe Tstorm on the DelMarVa (Del Bay and NJ coast).
Every year is different and sometimes the springtime 'equinoctal gales' (strong NE'ers) can occur in late May ... all depends on the location of the jet stream and how strong and where the normal 'Bermuda High' is forming.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I certainly agree that mid-May to mid-July is statistically the most likely to be okay. If you can be flexible and watch the weather (which you will want to do anyway) I wouldn't hesitate to make the run any time. My 40' 22k# boat makes the run from Henlopen to Block in 1-1/2 days. Norfolk to Block is 2 days. That's well within a good forecast.

What boat would you be taking? What kind of speed do you usually make on a beat, close reach, and down wind?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My Pearson 28, if I can complete my repairs and manage my schedule to allow the trip.

I would expect to average 4 knots/hr. I have had the knotmeter reading 7.2 knots on a close reach. I am looking for an asymmetrical spinnaker to improve my downwind speed.
 

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How long do you have? At 4 kts, you are going to spend a lot of time getting there and back. It isn't clear if you mean to sail offshore directly to Block, or you meant pounding away each day up the coast until you arrive.

I think the best way to do a trip like that is to have the boat delivered out there. Rent a car and meet the delivery crew for the swap and then sail her home. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
It's 200 miles from Cape May, N.J. to Block Island, R.I. At 4 knots/hr, it will take me 50 hours. I would prefer not to motor.

One of the purposes of the trip is to gain more ocean sailing experience so I would not consider paying someone for a delivery. I have already done the Cape May, N.J. to Chesapeake Bay entrance in a smaller boat (P26). This seems to be the next, easiest, logical step more challenging than day sailing from port to port up the coast, which would be fun, but would take even more time.

I would most certainly wait until an advantageous weather window. I would not take my wife and young son with me on the ocean portion. I know the P28 is not a bluewater boat. I wouldn't take the P28 on an extended offshore trip, say to Bermuda, and I would be more concerned about sailing South around Hatteras than North to Block Island.
 

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Enjoy it. If your measurement is a straight line, I'm sure you will consider that you can't always point and shoot and tacking/gybing will add time. If you stay off shore, I think almost a week will be spent just getting there and back in your boat. That assumes the weather permits it. If you go coastal and only sail during daylight, you could double that. If you are sailing through the night in open water, I suspect you will reef and slow down greatly then as well.
 

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You can pull up historical wx data on the sea buoys online, and that will give you some idea of the actual wind and water and temperature conditions for years going back. No guarantee that this year is an 'average' one but it gives you some real numbers to look at.

Do consider that from south jersey across to montauk, there's also no good place to duck in from bad weather except ny harbor itself. All the coastal inlets in north jersey and the south shore of long island can get outright impassible in the wrong weather, fwiw.
 

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We go from Cape May to Barnegat (72 miles) Then to Newark (68 miles) Then in the LI sound. It takes longer, but we dont kill ourselves as we love the journey. We usually have 3 weeks for our trip.

dave
 

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JW29 - it's all about weather windows. Last Spring was a horror with the tornadoes and storm fronts moving from the mid-west across the country and out to the Gulf Stream. Boats heading north were stacked up along the coast and Bermuda ran out of mooring, anchoring and docking room. It was a miserable year.

Having said that, I'm taking a 28 sloop up from Florida to Martha's Vineyard starting in early April and will wander my way up with a close eye on the weather. If it looks right, I will run outside from Norfolk to MV. If not, I will wander up the Chesakeake and then decide whether to go from Cape May to MV. The key is -as I work part time - that I have the time to do this. If you need to lock in a period of time due to vacation scheduling, then later in June is the best % guess from my prior experience.

You will - however - get a bit of blue water time out of the trip, in any event. Best of luck.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Auspicious: what boat do you have?
My own boat is a Hallberg Rassy 40. I'm a delivery skipper and move all kinds of boats. For the Pearson I think 3(ish) days from Norfolk direct to Block is reasonable. Two people with good offshore experience would be fine. Three if there is a learning curve. It's a great run most of the year.

James/Jim - give me a call if you want to talk it over. My number is at AuspiciousWorks - Communications / Yacht Management / Deliveries Worldwide . No charge - I like to see people build their experience base. Heck, you might end up on my crew list!
 

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I'd figure about 1100 miles from Maine to FL, which could be 1500 miles tacking, with a boatspeed of maybe five knots you've got something like a 12-day trip under optimum conditions.

A 22' boat in the open ocean is going to need a weather window for that trip, and if you stay offshore you won't be easily able to duck in if you need shelter, since the inlets can be outright nasty or inconvenient. On the brighter side with a two foot draft shoal inlets won't be as big a concern for you, but still, that's an ambitious trip.

If the boat and crew can take it...you're still going to be stretching provisions and everything else for that trip. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
P28

Yes, the Pearson 28 was designed by William Shaw and released in 1977 in regular and shoal draft:

PEARSON 28 (1977-80) sailboat on sailboatdata.com

A second version of the boat, the P28-2, was released in 1980.

PEARSON 28 (1980-82) sailboat on sailboatdata.com

Well known marine surveyor Jack Hornor, who owned a P28-2, published a review of the boat:

BoatUS.com: Boat Reviews by Jack Hornor, N.A. - Pearson 38

The P28 was designed as a cruiser/racer and is very similar in design and numbers to the very popular P26 and P30 models. The typical phrf rating of the P28-1 at 198 is half way between the P26's phrf of 216 and the P30's phrf of 180, while the P28-2 was much closer to the P30 at 186. The P28s never sold as well as either the P26 or the P30, probably due to the greater popularity of those two models as one-design/club racers. It appears William Shaw refined some of the issues that arose with the P26 and P30 on the P28 by replacing the problematic spade rudder with a deep, vertical, skeg rudder and designing a keel-stepped mast (which developed its own galvanic corrosion issues) instead of a deck-stepped mast. In addition, the trailing edge of the P28's keel is more vertical than the swept-back keels of the P26 and P30 (derivative of the C&C 27 keel). The P28 displays more of a 70's IOR look than either the P26 or P30, with higher freeboard, straight sheer, a more-pinched raised stern, and a short, blocky cabintop. The interior is fairly plain and practical, typical of the cruiser-racers of the 70's. Compared to today's production cruiser-racers, the P28 has a fairly heavy displacement (7,800#) for its length, a high ballast-to-displacement ratio (44%), rounded bilges, and large J. It is not a light air boat. Typical of the William Shaw Pearsons, it is initially tender, tightens up at 15-30 degrees, and sails best to weather on its ear in moderate winds (15-20 knots). It can carry a large conventional spinnaker and is somewhat squirrelly downwind.
 
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