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Old 29-11-2018, 10:06   #1
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Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

Hi everyone, I purchased a used sailboat, which will be arriving in Chester, PA in mid December. I'll need to get it up to the LI Sound.

I'm just looking for any insights into making this passage in the winter. I haven't done any winter sailing.

The boat is a Salona 38.
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:22   #2
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

It is going to be a rough trip no matter how you cut it, IMO.

I have to ask: surely storage is cheaper on average where you are vs the sound. Why not move it in the spring, when you'll enjoy the trip and the boat more?

Do you have a heater on board?

Not sure how experienced you are with the NJ coast, but winter can make things rougher than usual, and every inlet here tends to be unforgiving even during fair weather.

I don't feel that this is a good shake-down cruise for a used boat, but that's just me. Things will break and you'll be more uncomfortable and tired than during a better season, and if it is a new boat you may not know how to fix things, and you're not going to have many safe harbors on the way up.

Why not wait a few months?
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:26   #3
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Originally Posted by odonnellryan View Post
It is going to be a rough trip no matter how you cut it, IMO.

I have to ask: surely storage is cheaper on average where you are vs the sound. Why not move it in the spring, when you'll enjoy the trip and the boat more?

Do you have a heater on board?

Not sure how experienced you are with the NJ coast, but winter can make things rougher than usual, and every inlet here tends to be unforgiving even during fair weather.

I don't feel that this is a good shake-down cruise for a used boat, but that's just me. Things will break and you'll be more uncomfortable and tired than during a better season, and if it is a new boat you may not know how to fix things, and you're not going to have many safe harbors on the way up.

Why not wait a few months?
Thank you for the insight.

We are definitely considering leaving it there for the winter, or hiring a captain.

The main purpose of bringing it up would be to get started working on it earlier in the spring and closer to home. We also have very affordable in water storage just a few miles from my house.

I'm not experienced at all with the NJ coast. I grew up running the (more forgiving) inlets on the South Shore of Long Island.

edit: the on board heater is not working at the moment.
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:34   #4
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

Anything is possible, but would you want to do it?

Maybe someone would be willing to do such a delivery, I don't know.

You'll definitely have to read up on the NJ inlets, unless you plan on skipping all of them and taking a straight shot at it from Cape May.

I wonder if calling local delivery captains and running this by them would be a good fruitful? I suppose it would not hurt.

Definitely read up on the NJ coast. Lots of people get themselves into trouble navigating some of these difficult inlets.
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:49   #5
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Anything is possible, but would you want to do it?

Maybe someone would be willing to do such a delivery, I don't know.

You'll definitely have to read up on the NJ inlets, unless you plan on skipping all of them and taking a straight shot at it from Cape May.

I wonder if calling local delivery captains and running this by them would be a good fruitful? I suppose it would not hurt.

Definitely read up on the NJ coast. Lots of people get themselves into trouble navigating some of these difficult inlets.
Thank you for the tips, I will definitely call some delivery captains and do some reading on the inlets.

The idea would be to make the run non stop, 48 hours or so.
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Old 29-11-2018, 12:08   #6
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

Non-stop would probably be the best bet if you were to do it. At least non-stop from Cape May to NY Harbor area/Sandy Hook while you wait for a window for the east river.

I don't have anywhere near as much experience as a someone who has done deliveries in the area has, so I think that's your best shot! Good luck!
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Old 29-11-2018, 13:36   #7
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

If it's being shipped in by boat (I'm assuming), why not put it on a trailer and truck it up to LI?


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Old 29-11-2018, 13:44   #8
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

I grew up on Long Island and IMHO, winter there is not the time for a shakedown cruise on a vessel that is new to you. Things that the surveyor missed will become manifest, devices and systems can fail, and do you really want to be outside (and likely wet) in cold conditions for extended periods of time? Why not store it, and make the trip in May, when you can enjoy it?
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Old 29-11-2018, 14:18   #9
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Originally Posted by svenskflicka View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The idea would be to make the run non stop, 48 hours or so.

I believe this is a foolish idea to consider this trip. I agree with the new-to-you boat issues and the literally treacherous coast (I used to live in NY).


But think of it this way: No heat.


Try driving around in your car with the heater off for an hour in even 45F weather.


Should answer your question.


Good luck pondering.
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Old 29-11-2018, 15:03   #10
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

This is a really dreadful idea.
Aside from possibly freezing to death, itís quite likely youíll encounter new boat gremlins at the worst possible moment.
You couldnít pay me enough to do this trip in December.
Be patient.
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:44   #11
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
If it's being shipped in by boat (I'm assuming), why not put it on a trailer and truck it up to LI?


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Cost, would have to remove the mast and restep it again when it arrives.
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:56   #12
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Originally Posted by svenskflicka View Post
Cost, would have to remove the mast and restep it again when it arrives.
I'd take the mast down anyway so you can look at it closely. I've seen some nasty things on rigging and fixtures. Used boat? You don't say what year/model.

On the last 2 boats we bought we moved them on their own keels. It was a mistake both times, spent more in the long run than trucking would have cost.
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Old 30-11-2018, 04:05   #13
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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I'd take the mast down anyway so you can look at it closely. I've seen some nasty things on rigging and fixtures. Used boat? You don't say what year/model.

On the last 2 boats we bought we moved them on their own keels. It was a mistake both times, spent more in the long run than trucking would have cost.
Thank you for the advice everyone. I am definitely strongly reconsidering the idea.

It's a 2013 Salona 38.

The initial (now being reconsidered) idea was to wait for a 2-3 day weather window (40-50 degrees, seas 2-3ft) and basically motor sail up in one shot.

I'm well versed in cold weather camping/skiing/hunting, so the prospect of being in near freezing temperatures for 48 hours isn't the biggest concern.

What you all said about it not being the time/place for a shakedown cruise is resonating with me though and I think you are right.

How much "nicer" would the ride be in April though? The sea temps are probably similar, if not colder in April (air temps are another story).
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Old 30-11-2018, 05:58   #14
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

I live on LI, I've sailed and cruised this coast. All of my winter sailing has been daysailing. December can be treacherous, so can April. In April, the weather is generally improving, though I have encountered gales twice coming north in April. One of your challenges in December is the instability of weather, and of forecasts. Just this week a one day gale warning became a two day gale warning after it had started. I think this can be done if you are very cautious and have time and experience. The most common hard winter winds are NW, in which the NJ coast will create a lee.
What is your flexibility? There is never such a thing as a five day forecast, in winter two days is all you can hope for. It's already a cold autumn, and blustery. Can you watch the weather every day and choose to go on a moment's notice? Another problem is that facilities close in winter, finding a dock if you need one might be hard. Also, the fresh water systems on board should be drained. I find that an Aladdin Lamp and the propane oven provide decent heat onboard. I use a CO detector and don't leave anything burning while I sleep.
I might investigate both options: find a yard that will pull you as late as the first of the year if you can, and plan a trip north if you get a weather window.
Good luck with the delivery whenever you do it, good luck with the new boat.
Maybe I'll see you on the Sound.
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Old 30-11-2018, 06:37   #15
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Re: Chester, PA to Long Island Sound - Winter

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Originally Posted by WanderingStar39 View Post
I live on LI, I've sailed and cruised this coast. All of my winter sailing has been daysailing. December can be treacherous, so can April. In April, the weather is generally improving, though I have encountered gales twice coming north in April. One of your challenges in December is the instability of weather, and of forecasts. Just this week a one day gale warning became a two day gale warning after it had started. I think this can be done if you are very cautious and have time and experience. The most common hard winter winds are NW, in which the NJ coast will create a lee.
What is your flexibility? There is never such a thing as a five day forecast, in winter two days is all you can hope for. It's already a cold autumn, and blustery. Can you watch the weather every day and choose to go on a moment's notice? Another problem is that facilities close in winter, finding a dock if you need one might be hard. Also, the fresh water systems on board should be drained. I find that an Aladdin Lamp and the propane oven provide decent heat onboard. I use a CO detector and don't leave anything burning while I sleep.
I might investigate both options: find a yard that will pull you as late as the first of the year if you can, and plan a trip north if you get a weather window.
Good luck with the delivery whenever you do it, good luck with the new boat.
Maybe I'll see you on the Sound.
Thanks for the reply. I'm very flexible when it comes to the date, I can basically go any day that's not over the Christmas Holiday and any time after that.

Hope to see you on the Sound too and thanks for the good luck!
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