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Old 29-04-2014, 05:35   #1
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Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

Have a 38 C&C (hopefully) to bring from Maine to Rhode Island with a 5 foot draft, what concerns and problems should I consider in the Cape Cod Canal area, and any other areas?

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 29-04-2014, 05:44   #2
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

The main problem I can think of is the current in the canal which can run up to 6 kts. Time your transit for a favorable current. If you exit the canal against a SW wind with the current behind you it can get a bit choppy (or a lot choppy in strong winds and strong current) until you exit the Hog Island Channel.

There are rocks and shoals all over the New England waters but they're all pretty well marked. Just pay attention to your charts and channel markers.
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Old 29-04-2014, 05:53   #3
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

I agree with the previous poster to time your canal arrival for the current. If you get there at the wrong time, don't try to make it against the current -- tie up in Sandwich for a few hours and wait.

Leaving Freeport, the greatest hazard is fouling your prop on a lobster buoy.

You don't say when you'll be making the trip, but you'll be going against the prevailing winds until you get through Buzzards Bay. There are many harbors and coves along the way to duck into if the going gets rough.

There are plenty of aids to navigation along the way -- just pay attention to them and the charts and don't cut any corners (I'm thinking of Brenton Reef).
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Old 29-04-2014, 07:59   #4
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

Ditto on getting current tables before setting out. Check in with Canal Control on channel 13 when you enter the channel. It's not required under 65', but they'll let you know about any commercial traffic you might need to watch for. The Army Corps has a good brochure about navigating the canal at their web site.
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Old 29-04-2014, 08:39   #5
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

You shouldn't have any problems at all. As has been mentioned, you'll want to time your transit of the canal with the current. It can get a little rough near the entrance if you try to go through against the current with any significant winds out of the north. So, just do it with the current and don't worry. You can monitor channel 13 but even if there's big traffic coming through, there's plenty of room for you to get out of their way. If the wind is favorable, you can motorsail, but must have your engine running. There's a marina in the canal where you can stay, but I never have bothered with it. If you are just doing a delivery and don't want to waste time but need to get some sleep, as you exit the canal there's a relatively shallow area just out of the channel on the left side. You can anchor there, right out in the open only about 100 yards from the well marked channel. But it's only about 10-15 feet deep so no worries about getting run over by one of the big ships passing by in the night. Enjoy!
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Old 29-04-2014, 08:56   #6
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

You don't say when you're planning to make the trip and how long you're planning to take (delivery or short cruise). It can be cold for the next few weeks. Much more pleasant after Memorial Day.

I agree with observations about the CCC. As long as you attend to your charts and weather and stay off the rocks, it's the only part of the trip that requires planning. If you check in with Channel 13, they can also let you know when/if the railroad bridge will be down so you don't have to wonder. If you are anticipating a strong Sou'wester when you leave the canal, be aware that the current shifts from west to east. As a result, by the time slack water hits Sandwich at the east end, the current is already hard against the wind at the Buzzard's Bay end. Six foot waves on a 2-3 second interval will let you know if there is any gunk in your fuel tank before you get clear. (Ask me how I know this. ) The old channel breaks away north from the main channel just after Mashnee Island and runs along the Cape Cod side of the canal. It has a lot less chop and less boats.

If you're planning on taking a few days to make the trip, good stops are at Gloucester, Scituate and P'town north of the Canal, and, as mentioned, Sandwich right at the entrance. Scituate harbor doesn't officially open until May 15th so you may be on your own getting to shore. If you want to stay in Sandwich, give them a call the morning you'll arrive to reserve a spot. Once you get through the canal, there are lots of options in Buzzard's Bay. However, we like to try to get out to Cuttyhunk to give us a shorter run to Narragansett Bay the next day. If you run into trouble getting out of the canal and want a quick layover to change filters, Red Brook Harbor on the Cape side or Onset on the mainland side are close to the western entrance.

This is an easy and very pleasant trip. Where will you be bringing the boat in RI?
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:25   #7
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

WOW, thanks for all the info. The reason I have not posted a date is because we don't actually own the boat yet!!! We made an offer that was accepted yesterday, but the boat is in dry storage right now. Has to be rigged and we need a good sea trial. The boat is in Freeport, Maine, right now we live in Providence, RI, with our Catalina at Port Edgewood.

We have taken the ASA 101 and 103, but I think we will need either a delivery skipper (with one or both of us along to learn) or a good old salt to captain her for the ride home.

So, anybody out there know anybody like that??? (Again, we don't actually own her yet, but we do need to start making plans if all goes well!!)

Thanks,
Melanie
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:43   #8
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

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Originally Posted by tartansail View Post
You don't say when you're planning to make the trip and how long you're planning to take (delivery or short cruise). It can be cold for the next few weeks. Much more pleasant after Memorial Day.

I agree with observations about the CCC. As long as you attend to your charts and weather and stay off the rocks, it's the only part of the trip that requires planning. If you check in with Channel 13, they can also let you know when/if the railroad bridge will be down so you don't have to wonder. If you are anticipating a strong Sou'wester when you leave the canal, be aware that the current shifts from west to east. As a result, by the time slack water hits Sandwich at the east end, the current is already hard against the wind at the Buzzard's Bay end. Six foot waves on a 2-3 second interval will let you know if there is any gunk in your fuel tank before you get clear. (Ask me how I know this. ) The old channel breaks away north from the main channel just after Mashnee Island and runs along the Cape Cod side of the canal. It has a lot less chop and less boats.

If you're planning on taking a few days to make the trip, good stops are at Gloucester, Scituate and P'town north of the Canal, and, as mentioned, Sandwich right at the entrance. Scituate harbor doesn't officially open until May 15th so you may be on your own getting to shore. If you want to stay in Sandwich, give them a call the morning you'll arrive to reserve a spot. Once you get through the canal, there are lots of options in Buzzard's Bay. However, we like to try to get out to Cuttyhunk to give us a shorter run to Narragansett Bay the next day. If you run into trouble getting out of the canal and want a quick layover to change filters, Red Brook Harbor on the Cape side or Onset on the mainland side are close to the western entrance.

This is an easy and very pleasant trip. Where will you be bringing the boat in RI?
Quick edit to my earlier post -- the old channel on the Buzzard's Bay side of the CCC is south of the main channel which makes it easier to get to the Cape Cod side.
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:15   #9
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liunatic View Post
WOW, thanks for all the info. The reason I have not posted a date is because we don't actually own the boat yet!!! We made an offer that was accepted yesterday, but the boat is in dry storage right now. Has to be rigged and we need a good sea trial. The boat is in Freeport, Maine, right now we live in Providence, RI, with our Catalina at Port Edgewood.

We have taken the ASA 101 and 103, but I think we will need either a delivery skipper (with one or both of us along to learn) or a good old salt to captain her for the ride home.

So, anybody out there know anybody like that??? (Again, we don't actually own her yet, but we do need to start making plans if all goes well!!)

Thanks,
Melanie
Your situation reminds me of about 20 years ago when I sold my Maine based Pilot 35 to a Connecticut based person with no sailing experience. He bought it under the condition that I would sail it back to his home harbor with him and teach him about the boat and sailing along the way. I had never been through the Cape Cod Canal and as we approached the CCC I was constantly referring to, and trying to interest the buyer in the local area chart, tide tables, Eldridge, and a couple of cruising guides I had onboard to glean every bit of info about passing through the canal I possibly could. The new buyer commented that he thought I was being awfully "anal" about the whole thing so I told him that he needed to get a lot more "anal" if he wanted to keep the boat off the rocks, etc. About two years later he sailed the boat back up to Maine and called me to try to meet up somewhere and obviously still remembered our somewhat testy exchange because he volunteered that he knew I would be relieved to hear that he'd become a lot more "anal" now that he had a couple of years (and a few "incidences") under his belt of the boat being his sole responsibility. Funny how that works....

But that was in the days before tide and current info being available on your cellphone and Internet forums to ask pretty much any question that comes to mind. I bet you could do it just fine all by yourself. But not a bad idea to hire a more experienced person to come along on your first delivery of this boat. Soon it'll be a real nice time for that trip so I bet you'll find someone pretty easily. Not that you really need someone, but with a boat that's unfamiliar to you, it will seem nice to not also have to worry about navigation or wonder if you're missing something, even if you're not.
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:48   #10
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

Liunatic, If I were you, and I had the time, I'd make a cruise out of it and enjoy the ride. You can head down the coast in short half-day sails and explore some of the area. I (and others) can suggest many great harbors and anchorages between Casco and Narragansett Bays.
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Old 29-04-2014, 11:26   #11
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

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Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
Liunatic, If I were you, and I had the time, I'd make a cruise out of it and enjoy the ride. You can head down the coast in short half-day sails and explore some of the area. I (and others) can suggest many great harbors and anchorages between Casco and Narragansett Bays.
+1

Also, the prevailing afternoon sou'westers are at their most rambunctious during late May and June. They're nothing your boat won't handle, but beating for several days isn't a fun way to experience great sailing grounds. Breaking the trip up by leaving early in the day with light winds and finding somewhere to drop the hook in mid-afternoon for a break could turn a delivery into a great initial cruise.
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Old 29-04-2014, 11:33   #12
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

I agree with others, this is not a complicated cruise/sail, so I wouldn't think adding a "salty" captain is necessary. I would checkout the radar very carefully though and make sure its in good working order before departing.
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Old 29-04-2014, 18:19   #13
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

Thanks for all info, Great reading. We will probably motor to maintain at least 5kts trying to run 40 miles/day. I haven't looked at charts yet but I'm thinking its about 120 miles which equates to 3-days? Am I in the ballpark or am I missing something? Motoring due to time constraints!

Thanks
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Old 29-04-2014, 18:36   #14
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

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Originally Posted by Liunatic View Post
Thanks for all info, Great reading. We will probably motor to maintain at least 5kts trying to run 40 miles/day. I haven't looked at charts yet but I'm thinking its about 120 miles which equates to 3-days? Am I in the ballpark or am I missing something? Motoring due to time constraints!

Thanks
Richard
Well that changes a lot as you can not take a very direct route that way and the normal southwest winds will be on your nose.
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Old 29-04-2014, 19:08   #15
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Re: Freeport, Maine to Providence,RI

I understand sw winds on our nose, but what do you mean you can't take a very direct route? le
Leave early with light winds what are your suggestions
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