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I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????

Thank you
 

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Nice easy trip that time of year.

125 miles without stopping
26 hrs averaging 5 knots

Straight down the Chesapeake inside-
Possible stops- dstances from previous pt

Solomons- Zanheisers-40 miles
Cockrell Creek-45 miles
Norfolk- 45 miles
Each is 8 hors at 5 knots


Either go straight through the night in one day or get past the Potomac on day one and and be in Norfolk day two. It takes forever to go acriss the mouth of the Potomac ( 3 hours) and can be an adventure if wind opposes tide.

Or take three days


Dave
 

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Headed north I would go outside to Cape May, Block Island and then possibly Cuttyhunk to wait for the tide through the canal. However, on a new boat you might want to do the East River LI Sound route.
 

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Leaving from Norfolk to Boston right?
Do not go up the Chesapeake it will add many miles and the trip down the Delaware stinks.
Weather will be your guide. I go into inlets safe for commercial shipping. Your next stop after Norfolk can be:
Cape May 140 miles
Atlantic City 30 miles north
Sandy Hook 75 miles (NY harbor entrance)
after that decide on inside or outside
 

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For Norfolk to Boston -
Mid May is still slightly 'chancy' for an 'equinoctal gale' but not as prevalent as late March or April. Watch the development of weather systems, looking for the physical position of the Jet Stream (500 mb charts for Western Atlantic @ Ocean Prediction Center - Atlantic) ... if the Jet Stream is far to the north and fairly straight-line then OK; if the Jet stream is 'undulating' then stay close to the inside/coast.

Ditto to where any HIGH pressure system close to the coast is located .... If close to the coast off New England, then expect NorthEasterlies ... and a 'slog' beating, so stay 'inside' or close to the coast.
If the H is off the coast and located near towards Bermuda or 'south of you', then expect SE to W-SW and smooth downwind/reaching sailing going 'north' going 'outside'.

If inside/coastal, here's some invaluable tips from a "tug driver" on passing through "hellgate" in NYC:
General.
Use Eldrige Tide Tables to plan to cross Hell Gate at SLACK WATER.
Your best bet is to plan the trip so as to keep moving, if you're ahead of schedule run slower rather than just stopping. As a tug guy I want any pleasure craft to be predictable, I am relying on it really, which means not going in circles in confined areas. If you must stop for a bit, going east through the river I would wait well north of the battery. From there south there is just too much current as well as tug, ferry, and dinner boat traffic to be tacking or motoring around with no purpose. People do, but you asked.
Coming the other way there is plenty of room anywhere east of the Brothers, but you need to be aware of the little stuff, sand scows etc. coming off moorings, coming and going from Flushing Bay, and the other little creeks. Most traffic is passing trough.
Listen to channel 13!! Most tug guys dont really want to talk to you, but they probably will. Your best bet is to listen so you know what is happening around you. If you want to talk make your life easier by making your transmissions short, and knowing the difference between one whistle and two both meeting and overtaking. Plenty of recreational passes through everyday. Its really not a huge deal, but if you do decide to hit slack water in all likelyhood you will encounter a greater number of commercial vessels.
Another radio hint, listen to vessel traffic, the east river is channel 12, anything moving through the East River checks in at the Throgsneck or Brooklyn Bridge, and each time somebody checks in they get a rundown of all the traffic and their locations. It would be kind of like listening in on a weather net. Channel 12 is also anchorage control and the Kills south of the AK Railroad Bridge so dont get you landmarks confused.
Most of the commercial traffic especially the big stuff tries to hit slack water or within 30 minutes to an hour either side of it. Thats not to say there wont be traffic at all stages of the tide, but it is not uncommon to have multiple units on both sides of the gates stacked up waiting on each other to get through. A week ago I was fourth in line on my side coming around N. Brother Island.
You need the current tables for slack water, the tide tables wont help you here. I would agree that if your boat can manage it ride the flood through planing to be at least to Rikers Island and hour before Slack at the gate, beware of the current from pier 17 through the Williamsburgh bridge as they are very strong here and you will not want to be against them.

Going North start your trip at the Battery 2 hours after the low.

Going south start your trip from Throgs Neck 2 hours after high at the Battery.

Wear PFD's, stay in the center, have a sharp lookout for barge traffic coming around corners. Have your VHF on Ch13 and an aitr horn handy. Know what one blast means, as distinct from 2. Have a camera ready at all times for magnificant views, and 2 days after a heavy rain,a boat hook ready, if you see any bodies or other debris that may foul your passageway."
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????
Can we assume that if it only needs a light refit it is in good shape? Or are you saving heavy work for Boston?

Do you have an EPIRB? Has the registration been changed? Life raft? What kind of crew? What are you doing for weather updates underway? If all you have is NOAA VHF weather radio get some good weather counsel before heading offshore. It's only a day out of VHF range.

Annapolis to Norfolk is usually about 18-20 hours under power on that boat. I'd leave Annapolis between noon and mid afternoon so you arrive in Norfolk in daylight. If you haven't picked a place yet I'm fond of Vinings Landing Marina. Good services, walking to restaurants, grocery, and West Marine. Easy access to Norfolk airport. Also easy access to the Atlantic when you leave.

Norfolk to Boston should be around 3 days (all "days" are 24-hour days, not daylight hours) straight through in most conditions. Winds permitting and boat condition allowing I'd sail the rhumb line to a point off Cape Cod.

If you want to hop your way up (small 30 gallon fuel tank, no jugs) you're likely to be five-ish days WITHOUT nights at anchor. You'll chew up a lot of time just getting in and out of port.

Regardless back off on engine speed. You should be able to get down to around 0.6 gph which will stretch your range substantially. If your boat has a JH Yanmar around 1800 rpm is good. You can go almost two days on a tank. Two or three five gallon fuel jugs wouldn't hurt.

If you can make Norfolk to Cape May you should be able to make Cape May to Manasquan, NJ (watch for wind over tide -- currents are strong also). Atlantic City is an easy inlet but a pretty short day. AC to Sandy Hook. Manasquan or Sandy Hook through the East River to LI.

Manasquan is a tricky inlet and does deteriorate quickly when the weather is bad.

Don't let people confuse you with discussion of tide. You don't care about tide. You care about current. There are much better sources of information today than the old "so many hours before high tide" approach to current prediction. See Tidal Current Tables .

I usually time my NE-bound transits to go through Hellgate between slack before flood and full flood. If you time it right you'll have a favorable current from Sandy Hook, through NY Harbor, up the East River, and well past City Island. It's another day from CI to Newport. At that point you might as well do the Cape Cod canal - more current issues.
 

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Wow..... drooling :)

Congratulation. Nice and fast boat. :)
If boat is good shape, crews are level headed and competent and good weather window, I would go outside.

Best is
Norfolk to Block Island to Hyannis to Cape Cod canal
If needed, stop by Cape May or Sandy Hook to LIS.

Like other said, use 5 kn per hours or 120 nm a day is a good number to judge your traveling time.

Good luck :)
 

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I just purchased a Beneteau First 38 down in Annapolis. The boat is heading to Norfolk for a light refit and then I will need to get it up to Boston. I've never done this length of trip and was looking for some answers and tips.
1. How long is the trip?
2. Should I go up the Chessapeak or go outside? Mid May is the timeline.
3. Suggested stopping points to fuel up maybe take a break maybe not?
4. Anything else????

Thank you
1) That depends on how quickly you want to do this "delivery", of course...

2) Same answer as #1... Outside is far quicker, and saves you from having go go around Cape May Point on your way back down the Delaware... However, as you say you've never done a trip of this length before, and the run outside will involve an overnight off a desolate coast with no real bail-out options, it may not be the wisest idea to attempt that the first time out on a boat that is brand new to you...

3) If you do elect to go outside, choose your weather wisely, that is no place to be if an onshore blow develops... Likewise the Jersey coast... Sounds like you have no prior experience running inlets, avoid doing that run with any significant swell running. Chances are you'll wind up in Cape May either way, a very nice stop... From there I'd recommend Barnegat, then up to NY harbor...(I detest Atlantic City, and Manasquan is distinctly unaccommodating to sailboats) Again, going out around Montauk will involve another overnight, crossing 3 shipping lanes, so with your level of experience you'll probably be better off going up thru the Sound. Besides, the trip thru NY harbor is always a thrill, never gets old... Play the tides/currents right on the Sound, and it's not all that much longer than the run offshore...

Get yourself a copy of Eldridge, good luck, and enjoy...
 

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I would definitely consider staying inside (Chesapeake to Delaware Bay). This will give you a chance to learn the boat, and give you plenty of places to stop if you find things that need to be fixed, or things you don't have aboard. My last few trips down the Delaware have actually been quite pleasant as I was lucky enough to have the wind and current in my favor. Stop at Cape May for fuel, provisions, and rest up before going off shore. (I usually stay at the South Jersey Marina and eat at the Lobster House which is close by.)
 

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(I usually stay at the South Jersey Marina and eat at the Lobster House which is close by.)
Lucky Bones is excellent. My friend is a local, he only takes me there.
 

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Best is
Norfolk to Block Island to Hyannis to Cape Cod canal
If needed, stop by Cape May or Sandy Hook to LIS.
If going outside why fool with Block or the Cape Cod canal? Go out and around.

Like other said, use 5 kn per hours or 120 nm a day is a good number to judge your traveling time.
Units are important. Don't denigrate them. Knots are nautical miles per hour. Therefor knots/hour are nautical miles per hour per hour or units of acceleration. Meaningless in this context. The same applies to those who confuse amps and amp-hrs. Units are IMPORTANT.

Furlongs per fortnight make more sense than knots per hour. Please understand this stuff. It is important.

From there I'd recommend Barnegat, then up to NY harbor...(I detest Atlantic City, and Manasquan is distinctly unaccommodating to sailboats)
Can you elaborate? The First 38 draws nearly 7' if I can use Google correctly. I had a heck of a time with a shoal draft Passport 40 in Barnegat recently. The marina on the North side of the Manasquan channel (Hoffman?) right before the railroad bridge is fine and the fuel dock is on the t-head. In and out isn't bad at all. I agree they don't really understand sailboats (or weather for that matter) so I wouldn't plan to stay there, but as a fuel stop it seems more attractive to me than Barnegat.

Please educate me.
 

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If going outside why fool with Block or the Cape Cod canal? Go out and around.
I have never gone around Cape Cod. I am perfectly happy just to skip Chesapeake bay, Cape May, and Sandy Hook.

There is no law saying that you must go out all the way to Greenland. Who is minding my business.

Units are important. Don't denigrate them. Knots are nautical miles per hour. Therefor knots/hour are nautical miles per hour per hour or units of acceleration. Meaningless in this context. The same applies to those who confuse amps and amp-hrs. Units are IMPORTANT.
Yes, my bad. I don't know why I typed kn/h. I actually paused, but somehow I forgot to come back to proofread it. I am sure everyone know what it meant. I didn't expect someone will ever care.
Have you ever made mistake you or misspoken? :)
 

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I brought my 35 footer home to Mystic from Florida a number of years ago. We came in at Beaufort, NC and stayed inside for a while with a stop at Annapolis. The trip up the Chesapeake included a harbor of refuge at Pt. Lookout. Beating past the Potomac in NW winds in the upper 30 kt range got old real fast. Yes, you do want to consider the wind forecast. With a new boat, you might want the Chesapeake for a proper shakedown, as someone else mentioned. Annapolis is a good place to look for repair parts. I got a new belt for my AP there.

From Annapolis, we went through the C&D Canal and then to the Cape May canal. From Cape May we went directly past Montauk and into Fishers Island Sound. In your case, you would head for Block Island and give yourself a break. From there I would head for Buzzard's Bay. Depending on your endurance, you could stop at Cuttyhunk (short day) or Onset just outside the western end of the Cape Cod Canal if you needed to wait for a fair current.

Going outside Cape Cod instead of the Canal? SVAuspicious can't be serious. You do need Eldridge's to work the currents. from Block Island until you get past the Cape Cod Canal.

I made the trip from Cape May to Mystic in 2 1/2 days in mid May and motored the whole way, due to light air. The shipping was not the problem I expected, but you do need competent watch standers.
 

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Can you elaborate? The First 38 draws nearly 7' if I can use Google correctly. I had a heck of a time with a shoal draft Passport 40 in Barnegat recently. The marina on the North side of the Manasquan channel (Hoffman?) right before the railroad bridge is fine and the fuel dock is on the t-head. In and out isn't bad at all. I agree they don't really understand sailboats (or weather for that matter) so I wouldn't plan to stay there, but as a fuel stop it seems more attractive to me than Barnegat.

Please educate me.
You had a hard time in Barnegat Inlet and the anchorage ( Meyers Hole 1 and 2). Thats where we usually anchor, It is just past the channel leading back into Barnegat Bay on the starboard after transiting the back of the inlet.

The channe lmarked by small reds and greens past the first anchorage goes back toHigh Bar Yacht Club where we have also stayed and usually carries 8-10 feet back to the second anchorage. That is our normal stop over on our trip up the Jersey coast to the LI Sound every summer. Did some of it shoal in from Sandy? W took a trip there on land and it didnt look like they got much in the way of damage. Barnegat Bay areas did though I understand.

Dave did it change?

For those who have never done Barnegat, it can be a tricky inlet unless you know what you are getting into when you are going in it and can be dangerous in NE and E winds.

Manesquan( Cape May and AtlanticCity ) is one of the three good Jersey inlets we have found in terms of getting in. Virtually no shoals alongside the way in creating breakers across the channel. There is no anchorage area, Dave is correct on Hoffmans for overnighting at the bridge and also the fuel dock there. Face the current at the fuel dock as its fairly strong there. There also is a nice Marina after the first two bridges also. We generally aviod Manequan and going north push on to Atlantic Highlands.

We always stay at Utches so we can walk to everything, besides they are family friends of 30 years now when I used to live in the South Jersey area.

Luck Bones is a fairly good restaurant within walking distance. Lobster House inside is a tourist trap, but the outside take out deck is cool and the fresh fish market cannot be beat for avriety, price and freshness. Our next meal is at achorage heading north ( Usually barnegat) and its always a nicely grilled fish steak from there.

However three of the best restaurants in New Jersey are in Cape May proper.
The Ebbit Room in the Virginia Hotel, 410 Bank Street, and Frescos. The last two are owned by the same people and are next to each other. Fescos is Nnorthern Italian cuisine. Also the beats breakfast is at the Mad Batter...try their blueberry banana stuffed french toast with vermont maple syrup for decadence.
 

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If going outside why fool with Block or the Cape Cod canal? Go out and around.
I don't know, Dave - someone comes here asking "how long is the trip?", and "where are some good places to stop?", and sounding like they may never have done an overnight passage before, well... I'm not sure I'd be too comfortable sending them out and around Nantucket Shoals, and outside the Cape... (grin)

Originally Posted by JonEisberg
From there I'd recommend Barnegat, then up to NY harbor...(I detest Atlantic City, and Manasquan is distinctly unaccommodating to sailboats)

Can you elaborate? The First 38 draws nearly 7' if I can use Google correctly. I had a heck of a time with a shoal draft Passport 40 in Barnegat recently. The marina on the North side of the Manasquan channel (Hoffman?) right before the railroad bridge is fine and the fuel dock is on the t-head. In and out isn't bad at all. I agree they don't really understand sailboats (or weather for that matter) so I wouldn't plan to stay there, but as a fuel stop it seems more attractive to me than Barnegat.

Please educate me.
You may be right, I thought the First 38 was also offered in a shoal draft closer to 5.5', but who knows what he's bought?

I'll admit, I haven't been in Barnegat post-Sandy, but since the big scallop boats are still operating out of Barnegat Light, I'd imagine getting his boat inside to the anchorage would be do-able... Where did you have your problem, exactly?

My recommendation is based somewhat on the assumption that he'd likely stop in Cape May, and from there AC is a pretty short day, and Manasquan a pretty long one, so... You're right, if he's just making a pit stop for fuel, then Manasquan is probably preferable, certainly a quicker in and out...
 

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If you do decide to go outside and it gets snotty remember deep water is your friend.

I would be VERY reluctant to run an unfamiliar inlet. If you feel you HAVE TO then there is no shame in asking for someone to pilot you in. I remember well having to enter at Cape Fear and although it was buoyed and one of the easier inlets I was VERY glad that I called up a passing shrimper and he slowed down to let me follow him in. [ and he threw a lb of shrimp into my cockpit. Me and the cat were well fed before I slept that night.

If in doubt stay out.
Too many boats and lives have been lost trying to run an inlet in less than optimum conditions.
 

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If you're buying the boat in Annapolis and taking it to Norfolk for some work, then from Norfolk to Boston. I don't know if I'd go back up the bay to the Delaware after heading down.

As Rich says this is a trip at that time of year that will be dictated largely by the weather
(aren't they all? ) So as jsaronson says, I'd consider my option to look at going offshore to Block island..or making a jump to Cape May then on to block. Then up toward the cc canal.

Another alternative is to head to the Highlands from Cape May and then make a decision from there whether or not you want to stay inside or go outside to block.

There's a dozen ways to do this trip...level of experience, weather, crew, soundness of vessel are all going to be deciding factors. If you go outside from norfolk, you'll be out of VHF range at points for anything but nearby traffic, certainly out of cell phone range, so long range communication would be prudent if not essential. as would life raft, epirb etc.

Were you planning on having someone who has offshore experience onboard? The overnight from Norfolk to Cape May might be a good test of your offshore tolerance. ( weather permitting)
 
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