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Old 22-08-2007, 06:23   #1
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Navigating 'Hell Gate' NY

I will soon be moving my vessel from Maine to the Chesapeake. I will be going through LI Sound and East River on my way south.

Where is a good anchorage just outside of the East River to prepare for the trek through the Gate? What is the optimum tide time to go through?

Once I get through into NYC harbor, are there any safe anchorages to wait out the next good weather window for making Cape May? Any reasonably priced places to find a mooring or dockage?

Thanks for your help!

HERON
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Old 22-08-2007, 06:44   #2
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City Isldnd is close enough to wait for the tide. You can anchor on the east or west side of the island.

Sandy Hook, no? Staten Island, too.

Reasonable?

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Old 22-08-2007, 14:44   #3
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HERON I started a similar thread on the SSCA board and got some pretty good information.

SSCA Discussion Board :: View topic - Southbound From Maine

The boat is almost ready - we hope to start south in the first part of Sept. When are you leaving?
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Old 22-08-2007, 15:03   #4
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Hi John and Cheryl,

We have written to each other before! Did you ever make it to Penobscot Bay? We plan to head south sometime around the 4th of September. Will go to Tenants Harbor first day and prepare for the non stop to Provincetown. Will we see you along the way?

HERON
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Old 22-08-2007, 15:44   #5
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HERON We did make it to Penobscot Bay in June but have spent most of the summer in Portland due to boat projects. Of course, you know this, they always take longer than expected so we did not get back up to your area like we originally planned.

We will probably be somewhere behind you if you leave on the 4th. However, we will be checking transoms and will give a Hail if we see you.
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Old 22-08-2007, 15:49   #6
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We spent the night anchored off the west side of Ellis Island with no problems. Make your approach from the south. Great views of the city.
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Old 22-08-2007, 16:48   #7
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All good advice above.

Also, I'll add that anchoring in Manhasset Bay is a nice spot if you are spending the night before catching the tide in the AM. Being from Maine, you won't have any problem with the current going through... it's just the traffic.

Standard river rapids ride as you know from the tides up here....

Watch the security boats and watch the commercial traffice as you round Hell Gate. It's a tight little hook and it's somewhat narrow. You'll have to move to one side for commercial vessels, which are always going through there.

After the East River, as was said... you have Staten Island, Jersey, an anchorage by the Statue of Liberty (Ellis Island) and you could always stop in at Liberty Landing Marina if you wanted to do a dock. It's located across the Hudson from Lower Manhattan and it's an easy few hour trip (with the right tide) from Manhasset Bay to there.

PM me with any other questions. Def Jef and I are probably some of the most NY experienced posters on here.

BTW: I'm not sure if it's prudent seamanship, but I like going through Hell Gate on MAX current! It's fun and oh so fast... ha ha ha. You'll get a blurry shot of the Brooklyn Bridge as you fly under.
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Old 22-08-2007, 17:20   #8
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Piece of cake, did it twice this year. Anchor at Sandy Hook to wait for weather. Cape May is a fair distance to do non stop. If its not rough pull into Barnagat Bay lighthouse.
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Old 22-08-2007, 17:45   #9
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Piece of cake, did it twice this year. Anchor at Sandy Hook to wait for weather. Cape May is a fair distance to do non stop. If its not rough pull into Barnagat Bay lighthouse.
Just checked out your website... very familiar stuff.

How is it going? Good charters? We had some good ones, but the bad ones were enough to make us quit (violence, drugs, damage to the boat). The more money the people had, the more likely we were to have those problems. Just a tip...
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Old 22-08-2007, 18:47   #10
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Sean,

A Hirsh 45 is more of a sled than my pudgy Westsail 32. I'm not sure I should "run the rapids" on my first pass through. I plan to get into the river at slack high tide and let the drift pull me through.

Have you sold your Gulfstar yet? What's the next boat going to be?

HERON
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Old 23-08-2007, 00:22   #11
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Heron, Our marina is just east of the East River, (1+ mi) on the sound south of City Island. You are welcome to a guest mooring (no charge) Launch monitors ch 71...call they will direct you to a mooring for a couple of hours or a couple of days...that's Steppingstone Marina at Kings Point ...use my name or e mail me ahead and I will call. Hugo

My 1st post!!!
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Old 23-08-2007, 05:19   #12
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My 1st post!!!
And what a first post! Free moorings?? I hope to see more posts like this one.
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Old 23-08-2007, 05:20   #13
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Sean,

A Hirsh 45 is more of a sled than my pudgy Westsail 32. I'm not sure I should "run the rapids" on my first pass through. I plan to get into the river at slack high tide and let the drift pull me through.

Have you sold your Gulfstar yet? What's the next boat going to be?

HERON
Gulfstar is getting closer to selling. Some serious people interested now. I found that the average Hirsh 45 spends about a year on the market. So... since we listed in June... we may have a bit to wait.

Not sure what the next boat is going to be yet. We have been struggling with that one. One thing is for sure... we sure like Maine!
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Old 23-08-2007, 14:12   #14
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"Where is a good anchorage just outside of the East River to prepare for the trek through the Gate? What is the optimum tide time to go through? "
Best place is simply "Little Bay" adjacent to the Fort Totten USCG Station, just east of the south ramp of the Throgg's Neck Bridge. No facilities--but it is a general mooring area designated as such, for vessels holding for the tide.

You'll want Eldridge or WXTides32 (free software to download) to check the slack CURRENT in the Hell Gate on any particular day.

There's another holding area just northeast of Roosevelt Island on the other side of the HG, (Potters Cove??) but the bottom is foul and that's no place to stop unless you are transiting northbound.

Once you go past the HG and south on the East River, there's no reasonable anchorage until you are outside NY Harbor. You might go into Gravesend Bay (doesn't appeal to me) just SE of the Verrazano but if time allows, you've got much better shelter inside of Sandy Hook, just watch out for commercial and military traffic coming out from the Jersey shores.

Reasonable moorage? Well, not south of City Island, although many clubs there offer reciprocity.

Dockage? On the NJ side of Manhattan's Battery area, but "reasonable" is a subjective concept.<G>

Unless you need to tie up, I'd go for Sandy Hook and then pop out from there. Or Gravesend Bay, if the wx was good but you just needed a short stop before continuing on.
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Old 23-08-2007, 15:27   #15
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Hellosailor,

Thanks for your information. Seems like you know the area well. If weather is good from Maine to City Island, I should be in the area around September 10th or so.

I went through Hell Gate a long time ago but we turned up the Harlem River as we were trying to get up the Hudson to Vermont. We did hit slack tide and had no trouble. That was back in the late 80's.

I'm looking forward to going all the way through the East River into NYC harbor. For a country bumpkin from Maine, this will be an adventure!

If anyone else wants to contribute please do as this is a good thread for others who will be doing this trip for the first time.

HERON
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