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One of None
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When motoring, Up here on the tidal Delaware River it's always a consideration when going up or down river. Most sailboats can only do 2-3 knots against the flow, however when running with, it can be 7-9 knots combined with the flow and motor.

Now the C&D canal, I've not really figured out yet. Does the tide spilt in 2 directions?

When sailing and or motoring do most sailors account for tidal flow on the Bay?
 

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On the hard
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I don't sail on the your side of the continent but out here in the PNW, I sail by the tides. Most trips are planned according to the tides out here or ya don't go far fast. If it's a long trip, you plan your route in a fashion to where the opposing tide has the smallest effect if possible.
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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I second Charlies opinion. I live by the currents, plan departure times by them, etc. When I find myself fighting current I study the charts to see where the back eddies should be and use them. Using the currents to your advantage vs. fighting them can make a two day trip into a single day around here. Of course, if you're not actually trying to get anywhere it's irrelevant, and it's fun to be sailing hard and going backwards at times :D
 

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In mid-Chesapeake Bay, we pay little attention to the tidal currents. Sometimes what little there is is with you, sometimes it's against, sometimes both (many routes take you down one river and up the other before the tide turns). It doesn't matter a very great deal one way or the other.

Tidal depth (as opposed to current) is more of an issue, particularly when skirting a bar or feeling your way into a shallow creek.
 

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One of my first important lessons was current. Being new we sailed out the Golden Gate with little wind. Eventually the wind completely died. We turned back with the motor. Little by little I noticed we were slower, and slower. I was pushing the throttle forward until we were nearly wide open.

Finally we were at a stand still, and I realised it's time for another move. We put the boat so close to the beach you could throw a stone at it, but it was the only place allowing forward movement. Slowly we made it under the bridge, and a lesson was learned. I began to use the tide tables until I got the rythum of the bay.........i2f
 

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"Nevis Nice"
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I agree with John. In all the years that I sailed on the Cheasapeake, I never worried about the tidal current. It's so small that it's not worth agonizing over. I think the most I ever saw was a knot, usually less.

My one experience coming up the Delaware Bay convinced me that it can be a huge factor there, as you say! We entered the Bay at Cape Henlopen, right at sundown. The tide was just beginning to flood, and we rode it all the way up to the C&D Canal, through the Canal, and down to Tolchester Beach in the Cheaspeake before it went slack at about 10 am the next day. We were getting a good 2 knot boost most of the trip. Quite a ride, but it would have been Hell if it were against us!
 

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I know most of you have all the fancy electronics but no US East Coast Cruiser should be without this essential, user friendly book.
Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2009
"Singularly, the most important compact volume of tide, current, weather, basic safety and navigational information for east coast waters available to the prudent mariner. No recreational vessel can be considered a 'well founded' boat without the current years version at the navigation station.Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2009 (Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book) Douglas Rothkopf S/V Ciao" $14.00 well spent.
Amazon.
 

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This is a great little program you can have free on your computer for tides anywhere and for anytime. There are also some tools for a Mac near the bottom of the page.

WXTide32 - FAQs
 

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WM use to give away the little books when I first started sailing. It had drawings of the currents, directions, eddies, and speed based on every hour before, and after slack. After getting caught on the outside of the Gate I
 

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for my day to day sailing on the Potomac south of Mason Neck I don't worry too much but I do check since it can affect docking strategy.

But when going downriver towards the Bay or upriver to the marina in DC for painting it makes a huge difference (4 hrs. v. 6 hrs. to/from DC, 5 kt. SOG v. 7 kt.) and I try to time trips with the tide.
 

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Very simple, really - it depends on the Delaware only.

When motoring, Up here on the tidal Delaware River it's always a consideration when going up or down river. Most sailboats can only do 2-3 knots against the flow, however when running with, it can be 7-9 knots combined with the flow and motor.

Now the C&D canal, I've not really figured out yet. Does the tide spilt in 2 directions?

When sailing and or motoring do most sailors account for tidal flow on the Bay?
A slight over simplification, but the range on the Delaware is SO MUCH greater than the range of the Chesapeake, the Delaware dominates.

If it is high on the Delaware, the current is towards the West, low, to the East.

Figuring out the currents and tides in the upper Chesapeake is more complex, because of this interaction of 2 bodies.

On the Chesapeake, in general, tides are strong near the mouth and in the Elk river area. Otherwise they are 1 knot or less and make some difference. On the Delaware you plan your day around the tide, on the Chesapeake, generally not.

Generally.
 

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pdqaltair said it correctly. The tides will be a huge factor in the C&D canal as thery are on the Delaware. The canal is a narrow body of water and accentuates the speed of the tidal current. Once you get past their influence (Elk or Bohemia River) where the Bay begins to widen out, there is no need to worry about the tides when traveling, consult them when anchoring in 6 feet of water at high tide and draw 5 ft. I use Eldridge extensively. One nice thing about the C-80 Raymarine Chartplotter I have it can be set to show the tide current as a vector arrow with its speed. It can visually explain why on the Delaware you are standing in front of the Salem Nuke Plant for 4 hours making only 4 knots SOG or your fly by it at 10 knotss SOG. (Electronics can be a great aid to navigation and information but should never replace the tide tables and charts)

Dave
 

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Aeolus II
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I agree with John. In all the years that I sailed on the Cheasapeake, I never worried about the tidal current. It's so small that it's not worth agonizing over. I think the most I ever saw was a knot, usually less.quote]

I sail mostly in the central Chesapeake Bay, from Annapolis to the Choptank River. Tides are not a consideration. But the first time i was sailing in the Northern Bay (in the years before GPS) I was sailing on a beautiful day and i noticed everyone else heading North was motoring. I laughed and kept sailing. I was in a new area and was marking the chart as I passed channel markers. On one tack I marked the buoy and sailed across the Bay and back and as I went to mark the chart as I passed that marker I noticed I had passed it earlier! I lowered sails and joined the motoring fleet!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
 

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Up here in SE Alaska ..tides are big ,sometimes twenty footers .
Minus four foot some times .
The fishermen tought me to ride the tide where you are going .
If it take s another few days to ride ..it saves time in the long run ..And fuel.

This time of year it doesnt matter what time of day ,you can see seventeen hours in the twenty four clearly. the rest is the gray dawn before day light .
 

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the only time the currents really matter in mid Chesapeake is at Kent Narrows. There can be a pretty strong current there and you need to watch it doesnt put you on the drawbridge before it opens - nothing that cant be overcome but it is good to be aware of which way it is going
 

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Tartan 37C
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the only time the currents really matter in mid Chesapeake is at Kent Narrows. There can be a pretty strong current there and you need to watch it doesnt put you on the drawbridge before it opens - nothing that cant be overcome but it is good to be aware of which way it is going
Same is true at Knapps Narrows, Smith and Tangier Islands.
 

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On the hard
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Up here it's imperative all of the time as the currents can top 7 knots in some places. I've done some sailing backwards with the knotmeter reading 5 knots of forward progress. Kinda strange to be doing 5-6 knots as you tack up the bay only to keep reaching the same point of land while watching the anchored crab pots outrun ya to windward.
 
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