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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, we are planning our first cruise with our new boat, a Beneteau 40. I sailed a 26, 32 and the lastly, a 36 Pearson which I sold 10 years ago. I am hoping my sailing skills come back. I need some help planning out a suitable itinerary for 10 day trip Memorial day weekend. Our boat has radar, GPS, autopilot and in mast furling. There will be three of us including our 22 year old son who is very electronic savvy. We have no dinghy, though. We draw 5' 3".

We want to sail out of Noank on Sat 5/23 for Block Island (stay Sat and Sun nite)
Monday 5/25 leave for Newport
Tuesday 5/26 leave Newport for Cutty Hunk, MA (or some other port?)
Wednesday leave Cutty Hunk for Martha's Vineyard (stay Wed and Thursday nites in MV)
Friday leave MV for Cutty Hunk (or some other port?)
Saturday leave Cutty Hunk for Point Judith (or some other port?)
Sunday leave for Noank

It appears that most of the distances are 20-25 miles. The longest I guess maybe be Cutty Hunk to Point Judith, 35 miiles?

With our son on board, we prefer to be on a slip, he's not the lay around and relax type. We don't need to stop in Cutty Hunk but it looks like a good midway point to Martha's Vineyard. Any other suggestions?

As the boat is new to us, docks that aren't too hard to get into is a priority. We do have a bow thruster but no experience with it.

Does the itinerary seem reasonable for 10 days, any suggestions for slips/marina's that offer nice docks and amenities and any passage recommendations would be appreciated. Other than the race in LI sound are there any other current related considerations around Newport?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, I already have requested the reservation for BI, wasn't sure if I was being too ambitious for a first cruise either, so have not made the slip reservation for NewPort or MV yet. Our son leaves the following week after our cruise for a new job out west, so we are trying to fit in a trip that suits him. I'd prefer to spend the first three nights in BI and then head over to Newport. But he doesn't want to spend that much time there. Any idea how far to Cutty Hunk from BI or is there some other better mid way point to MV?
We have a shake out sail on May 8 and I guess if we have problems we'll just have to modify our plans. My main concern is any tricky navigation or just trying to go to far in a day. I am hoping for 4-5 hours of sailing per day, max.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all the great comments. I have called ahead to Paynes, we spent 30 days in BI on a powerboat last year and they are ready for us for the Memorial Day weekend. It does not sound like Cutty Hunk would be a fit for our son. Woods Hole would be more his kind of place but it does not offer a good midway point. He's not the type to lay on the beach, more the bodyboard surfing type or computer nerd. We like the live bands and night life of BI, we'll see how he does there. He was working last summer and missed BI entirely. I see some suggestions were to go from BI to MV but 10 hours is more time than I want to spend in one day sailing or motorsailing. Does it make sense to stop in South Dartmouth as a midway point to MV from BI? It looks to have a nice village and good restaurants. Any other ideas on a route on the way back from MV. If Point Judith does not offer much I'd rather go to another port. Anything in Narraganset MA, like a town to walk around and get a good dinner? We could probably do the Narraganset to Noank trip in 6-8 hours with the tide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I feel like I am planning a world cruise. Between tides, reservations (without knowing the weather) and learning about the various destinations my head is swimming. I think we will bypass Martha's Vineyard, this trip. I was trying to jam it all in while our son was around. It will be too much I think, too.

After all the great advice I am more inclined to spend the first three nights on Block where we can head out for day sails or do the beach, then head out to Newport for two nights, then Woods Hole for two nights and then head back, if the weather is good we go all the way to Noank if not stop, in Pt Judith.

I just ordered a card reader for our Raymarine chip and the CD planner so I can get exact miles on our laptop to plan the trip. Our boat isn't fully commissioned yet so we can't use the GPS. A good point about the water was made -- it will be cold Memorial Day weekend so land activity and Woods Hole seems to offer a lot for our science interested son.

We have a 52 gallon tank, any idea on how many hours/miles that will give us? I remember from my Pearson that most cruises were done motor sailing, the wind was never going in the right direction. I'll need to consider fueling up locations.

I think we will join the group for the sail to BI Nantucket on July 12th. Let me know the details of that. We joined the West Cover Yacht Club, I am hoping we can use the reciprocal privileges at some locations this summer too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I looked at the itinerary for the July 12th trip. It looks like we'd need a dinghy and we are not ready to buy one this year. We may meet up with you guys in Block Island though as you pass through.

I have been waiting for the car reader for your Raymarine e80, we got the platinum chip and I've been wanting to plot our courses distance wise to make some firmer plans. Right now it looks like we will be in Block Island on 5/23, 5/24 and 5/25 leaving for Newport on the morning of 5/26. We'll leave for South Dartmouth on 5/27 and for MV on 5/28, head back and leave for Cutty Hunk on 5/29, Point Judith on 5/30 and Noank on 5/31, of course with this kind of schedule the weather may make us change our plans and we may have to skip MV this trip. I don't want to do more than 3-5 hours a day of motor sailing/sailing. South Dartmouth seem a little out of the way but like a nice one night destination.

If anyone plans to be in any of these ports on the same dates let me know so we can hook up.

How many of you have two anchors on board.? Do we need another for this trip? We got a 45 Lb Delta Lewmar plow type anchor. I want to buy a second for back up - a smaller Fortress, but again am needing to curb our spending. It's all adding up fast. If the consensus is we really should I shall have to.

Any big difference between Boat US and Sea Tow for the area we sail in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
All this information is great. I wish I had had sailnet 12 years ago.

We will definitely get a dinghy and will be on the lookout this summer for one a the end of the season. If we spend as much time in Block Island as we did last summer we were going to bring over our 18 jetboat on a trailer and leave it there for the summer. We were going to use that for wakeboarding, clamming and fluke fishing. The dinghy is another thing to research -- how big, what kind of bottom rigid or inflatable, what size horsepower etc. As I recall, the Achilles dinghy I had got us pretty wet. I just have had too much going on to get serious about it now. We'll have to get by without this year and use the launch services, if on a mooring. If something comes along and I have been looking for used, we may buy sooner.

I had not considered a backup Danforth, I kind of though the Fortress was the way to go, less weight for the same holding power. Since it will need to be stored in the cockpit locker --hauling up a Danforth 25 anchor (the size we'd need for out boat) seems a bit large. The Fortress is 15 lbs. Any comments on which we should consider. How much chain and rode do you put on the back up anchor? I've looked at used anchors, they are asking the same as Defender's new price.

Good point about a shakeout sail. We shall have two days, the weekend of 5/8 to make sure all systems are working. Fortunately we'll have our MIT computer engineering grad, son, on board on the shakeout trip and the 10 day long vacation. He helped us figure out all our Garmin equipment on our last boat, a power boat, about 5 minutes after turning it on. without ever opening a manual. He's amazing with electronics. I would not attempt this first trip, this soon, without him. He's the one that wants this jam packed itinerary from port to port. He'll be gone except for a weekend or two this summer so I am indulging him.
 
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