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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm planning on bringing my Ericson 27 to the Hudson River from the Great Lakes in a few months and was hoping for some information.

I plan on coastal cruising out of Jersey City, NJ and keeping the boat registered in Michigan. As I'm new to salt water, I was wondering what the best source of current information for the Hudson and East Rivers would be. I already picked up Richardsons' Cruising Guides for LI Sound and the south shore. Any other useful cruising charts I should look for?

As well, are there any regulations I should be aware of? I see NJ has a mandatory boat license, but I can't determine whether it's required for tidal waters (the information looks conflicting to me). As well, I remain with a Michigan driver's license, so I suspect I can skip that.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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You'll need the Eldridge Tide & Pilot book, published annually. Also check out activecaptain dot com for lots of local knowledge, marina and anchorage info.

Mike
 

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Welcome

Both to Sailnet, and to the area.

There are a few things to note for you.

1. A very good cruising guide for the lower Hudson, New York Harbor and all of Long Island Sound is the Embassy Guide by Maptech. You can get it online from Defender, West Marine, Landfall Navigation, or any other Marine Chandlery. It's chock full of good information and will provide great winter reading.

2. New Jersey's licensing law is new, and it's getting a lot of attention because it purports to apply to all boaters in NJ waters, not merely those who live there or who have a NJ driver's license. It purports to apply to transients, so if you are going to dock at Jersey City or any of the marinas on the Jersey side of the Hudson, this is very likely to impact you.

3. Exactly why are you planning to dock there, if I might ask? If you want to live aboard while working in NYC and you are going to commute, then it's a good choice, but short of that, I'm not so sure I'd pick that as my base for the area. There's not much to cruise along the Jersey coast, so I assume you would be heading more east. If that's true, then I strongly suggest you consider making one of the harbors on Long Island Sound your temporary homeport. From there, you still can come back into NY Harbor if you want, but from a LIS base you would have pretty good sailing, and easy (and I mean EASY) access to dozens of harbors with great places to stay and things to do. Everything from Port Washington, to City Island, Oyster Bay, Huntington, Northport, Port Jefferson, Milford, Westbrook, Mattituck, Essex, Old Saybrook, Mystic, Sag Harbor, Greenport, Shelter Island, Block Island, Newport, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and the list goes on and on. For a 28' boat it's probably a 6+ hour trip from NY Harbor up the East River, through Hell Gate and into Long Island Sound. If you base yourself in NY Harbor, that's a haul that likely will discourage you from going (and be just a plain hassle besides). Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips!

I have work in Manhattan and keep an apartment in JC. The prospect of being within walking distance of my boat is too great to pass up. Although a 6 hour slog up the east river definitely does not delight, evenings sailing in the Hudson should make up for it.
 

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Raritan Bay and the Jersey shore are an easy run from JC. Atlantic Highlands and the Navesink River, Red Bank especially, have nice restaurants. Point Pleasant, same thing. Not as nice as LI Sound, but a nice alternative. You could, of course, do a lot worse than Lower NY Harbor..The Statue of Liberty, Manhattan...all great. One of my best sailing memories was a tour around Manhattan by boat when I came back. I'm a Jersey boy by birth but I lived in Michigan for a long time but I came home and brought my Pearson 30 from Toledo to NJ via the Erie Canal. It' a great trip. You have to drop your mast at the entrance to the Canal in Buffalo and there is a club in the Hudson just below the chain of locks where the Canal enters the Hudson. When I did it about 10 years ago it cost me $30 to use their crane and re-step the mast. It's a great trip and you will love it.

Best regards and good journey,

Dick Pluta
AEGEA
Nassau Bahamas
 

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1977 Morgan OI 30
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Check Hudson River Canal website

We were the first boat going south 2 years ago from Lake Champlain to New Jersey. We had planned to start on a Wednesday but because the locks still had ice in them, we had to wait a couple of days. This was in early May. I joined a Hudson River Canal System website that sent e mails regarding the opening of the river and locks so you may want to check that out. Hudson River - NY Canals - Guide to New York's Erie, Oswego, Champlain, and Cayuga-Seneca Canal System

:puke I can't imagine N.J. tagging transients in these 'times'... :cool: yes I guess I can.
 

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Both to Sailnet, and to the area.

2. New Jersey's licensing law is new, and it's getting a lot of attention because it purports to apply to all boaters in NJ waters, not merely those who live there or who have a NJ driver's license. It purports to apply to transients, so if you are going to dock at Jersey City or any of the marinas on the Jersey side of the Hudson, this is very likely to impact you.
I just looked up their boat safety manual. It's very similar to Ontario with some minor changes mostly as regards alcohol, competency rquirements and reporting of just about anything to the state police. The one thing that was glaringly missing was a manual bilge pump or hand bailer requirement. I know we all take them for granted but everywhere else I can think of, has them as mandatory.
 

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Another Michigan escapee.

I do not think you will be able to keep your boat registered in Michigan long term. Most all states have some sort of 60 day or 90 day rule that if you exceed that time limit, you need to register in their state. Make sure you have your tax receipt from your purchase so you don't have to pay taxes again!!!

I'll 'me too' the point about the Erie canal. Spring can be a very tricky time to get through with runoff. I've read accounts of being stuck for a week or more when they close the canal to control runoff. And spring runoff goes into early June. Doesn't mean the whole time there are problems just that at some point in time there usually are some problems.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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I second Mazzy on the Eldridge Tide & Pilot manual. The current diagrams around Manhattan & NY Harbor, the Narrows etc. are invaluable for planning any trip around this tidally influenced area (currents can reach near 5 knots in the East River). Get this publication and read what text it has from cover to cover so you know all that is in it.
As for Jersey City, were you thinking of using Liberty Landing or Newport marina? Liberty Landing is better protected from the wakes of ferries and commercial traffic but can be noisy on weekends due to the outdoor bar across the creek (you say you have an apt. so maybe this is a non-issue). I have stayed at LL but never at Newport but I have heard that Newport is a bit open to the commercial wakes of river traffic. We even had a commercial airplane come down the Hudson recently - the river traffic is quite busy.
NYC Parks operates a small mooring field just south of Pier 40 (Canal St.) which offers moorings for about $35/night but their seasonal rates are quite high (like $3K/yr). I would choose LLM if money were no object as I think there are more sailors there and it is a fairly full service marina compared to NYC Parks Pier 40 which has toilets if you can find them.
I used to work in Newport/Jersey City and live across the river in Manhattan from there. I keep a sailboat up at Nyack, NY and a smaller sail boat out on LI just off the Sound.
I haven't a clue what the recent NJ law will mean to you. If you ever took a Power Squadron or CG Auxiliary safety course try to find the card they issued you (can't find mine). If you have a CG license then fuhgeddaboutit!
Keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The Eldridge manual sounds like a must have.

I'm heading for Liberty Harbor, not Liberty Landing. Depending on your perspective, there are some pro's and cons between them and Newport. I raced with the club a couple seasons ago out of Newport and came to loathe the place. It's actually closer to my apartment, but the wake, current and tidal affects make it miserable. Even the facilities are generally poor. Although, it is very close to the Newport/Pavonia PATH station.

Liberty Landing seems to be the fancier of the two marinas. Based on a brief conversation with their service manager, their service staff sound competent and professional for repairs. It is very slightly more expensive and they won't allow certain tasks to be done by you as they are on state land. Bottom painting, for example, has to be done by their services department.

Liberty Harbor has the advantage of being on the north side of the former Morris Canal, closer to Jersey City proper. It also has the noisy, Jersey-spray-tan-big-bleached-hair-twentysomething-crowd bar. But, a couple short blocks away is the Golden Cicada, run by a rather interesting guy with a more laid back crowd. Either way, I won't be sleeping in the marina.

My need to paint the bottom and otherwise get everything in order puts me at Liberty Harbor. They are reasonable about letting people do their own thing as long as there isn't a disaster, or at least some people have told me. There is also a little community of folks who are there during the winter, part time (they tend to hang out at the Cicada), and the facilities are still open as they have a year-round RV park on the same grounds.

Anyway, that's how I came to the conclusion.
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Yes, the Eldridge manual makes for some good reading in the cold months.
http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|9489|38715|803256&id=1109638
I had no idea that there was another distinct marina up Morris Creek. I thought the whole creek was LLM but now I see the error in my ways. You have obviously done your homework.
 

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Although I now sail out at the end of Long Island, I can well understand proximity to the boat as being an overriding factor in the decision. When you are in the area, there is some nice sailing down in the Lower bay, in the triangle formed with the Verrazano Bridge at the apex, Coney island (part of brooklyn) on one side, Staten Island on the other and down to Sandy Hook. Lots of big ship traffic, but lots to see as well. I sailed out of great kills harbor in Staten Island many years ago (more than 25) and there was a lot of sail, with the Richmond County Yacht Club doing a lot. Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and Miramar Yacht Club there was also active.
 
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