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Help me plan my cruise North!

16931 Views 165 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  T37Chef
We are planning on venturing out of the Chesapeake (for the first time) with the intent to head north, hopefully to Marthas Vineyard, then stop a few places in between on the way back.

We don't have a long time, 16/17 days total leaving July 4th and returning to Rock Creek/Patapsco River by July 19th or 20th.

I am finishing up a few last projects and should be ready to cast off in time.

Any thoughts and suggestions on places to stay(like should I make reservations asap), must see, things to know, etc...

I need/want to get an EPIRB, should I rent a liferaft? The furthest from shore we'll be looks about 50 miles or so during our straight shot from Cape May to the Vineyard...otherwise the rest will be inside LIS or along the Jersey coast on the way back.

Thanks...I look forward to hearing what you experienced folks have to say.
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I've found that containers need to be restricted from sliding as well as held down. Being polyethylene, they are slippery and like to overturn when they slide and the top strap yanks them over. Something to stop them from sliding is necessary. They are pretty difficult to restrain.
I bring bananas aboard and I leave on Fridays, too, so I must be triple hexed.
Uhhh, you do realize it's possible to sail using a headsail and trysail, or even under a jib alone, right? Hell, many folks sail most of the way across the Atlantic Ocean under headsails alone, after all... :) Plus, what's so appalling about the prospect of having to rely upon an engine in a pinch? The overwhelming percentage of professional mariners worldwide do so 24/7 :) I'd bet if you tallied the number of boats in the ARC, for example, that are carrying spare mains, the percentage might easily be under 10% of the fleet, and largely confined to the largest of yachts...

Sorry, but I think you're simply not appreciating the way most people use their boats... Assume a family of 4 is making the same trip as you, in the same boat. Do you seriously think they're gonna be stuffing the vee berth full of spare sails?

I'm presently packing my boat for my trip this summer. She has considerable interior volume for a 30-footer, and I've configured her with extended cruising in mind, building in oversized water and fuel tankage, and the effort to maximize and make 'creative' use of storage space. The sails I'll have aboard are a main, 130% genoa & staysail that both live above deck on furlers. and a trysail bagged at the base of the mast when heading offshore. Otherwise, it gets stowed below with a storm jib, spinnaker, and a Code 0...

Never ceases to amaze, how much crap I wind up stuffing into that boat for a cruise, and how quickly much of it occupies the limited available space. After wedging my folding Northill into the big locker beneath the forward berth, then laying my folding bicycle on top, a lot of that space is gone... Sure, I could stuff a spare main in there instead. But considering I have yet to EVER have the need of a spare mainsail, I'll take my storm anchor, and bicycle along instead...

I'll be headed north, so I'm dragging along a lot of cold-weather gear. Multiple sets of foul weather gear, survival suit, series drogue and para-anchor, 800' of shore lines, liferaft, a large ditch bag, Honda 1000 generator, sufficient oil for 2 complete oil changes, tools and spares coming out the wazoo, a 6-gallon jerry can for fuel, another for water, an outboard motor, 5 large fenders, a massive pile of paper charts and enough books to get me thru the summer, the list of items of considerable bulk just goes on and on... Since I'm obsessive about keeping my decks clear, ALL of that crap goes in the lazzarette/cockpit locker, or the quarter berth/garage below... Would I swap out any of those items to make room for a spare mainsail? Hmmm, I don't think so...

Obviously, your choices work well for you, for the sort of sailing you're doing at the moment... But, I think if you do find yourself starting to really go places with that boat, and needing to carry the sort of gear, stores and provisions required to be self-sufficient for longer periods of time, you'll realize there simply isn't room for all those spare sails you're carrying today...
I've found a good way to minimize space and keep winter clothes from getting damp is with drybags. I have a bunch of them from canoe/kayak equipment that I keep my warm clothes in. They almost act like compression bags and can be vacuum packed.
Beth and Evans cruise offshore without a liferaft and their reasoning for not having one seems pretty solid. Obviously everyone has to make their own decisions and find their own comfort level when it comes to these things, but the failure rates they report certainly make me think twice about how and whether to prioritize buying one.
That's a real consideration. The size, weight, and maintenance of a liferaft are all big negatives. Also, in a pinch, people may deploy a raft too soon. I have one but would sure like to have the space it hogs up and not have to re-trim the boat according to where its weight happens to be. Then again, as a last resort, as the boat went under, it would be really nice to have:)
We escaped the great whites and enjoyed a swim...probably didn't bother us because we had not showered in a few days. Then again?

We left BI Sunday and got our asses kicked by the sound on our way west. It all started fine as we were riding the current and enjoyed a great ride until the winds kicked up to the high 20s right on the nose as we slowed to a pitiful 2-3 knots. I should have fallen off and headed for a place along the Connecticut shore but was determined to make Port Jefferson...ended up going into Mt Sinai harbor. NOTE: Entering Sinai at night with a strong current and gust to 30 for the first time can make for a surprisingly entertaining time. ;-) All was fine but those are some impressive sand bars in there!

We're in Liberty Landing Marina now and are waiting till Tuesday to head back south as the weather and winds are supposed to turn in our favor.

It's been a great trip so far...we hope to make Cape May by Thursday and spend two days there and head up the Delaware Saturday.

You did well to get into Mt. Sinai at night. That's where my boat was before I bought her and where I have spent a lot of time in years past. The inlet is pretty narrow and the channel is not at all obvious, running close along the beach on the turn east. Have a good trip the rest of the way.
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