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Old 15-10-2017, 12:48   #16
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Re: New York State canal system gps

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I just got a boat and want to equip it with a decent instrument for depth and location. I will be traveling the nyscs and maybe into NYC via the Hudson. I'm wondering what I am really going to need to make the cruising safe and secure and stress free. Any suggestions are helpful!
Your regular Sounder is fine. The canal charts /guides are good to be aware of the locks. You do know that you need crew when going up, right? Going down is easy..done it several times alone.

Navigation simple in the canal, but get charts for the Hudson...and realize as soon as you exit the canal to the Hudson, it's tidal waters.

Check the canal web site before leaving for safety noticed.
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Old 15-10-2017, 12:54   #17
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Re: New York State canal system gps

Your regular Sounder is fine. The canal charts /guides are good to be aware of the locks. You do know that you need crew when going up, right? Going down is easy..done it several times alone.

Navigation simple in the canal, but get charts for the Hudson...and realize as soon as you exit the canal to the Hudson, it's tidal waters.

Check the canal web site before leaving for safety noticed
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Old 15-10-2017, 13:15   #18
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Re: New York State canal system gps

We did the locks in 93 was easy following the canal guide relax & take in the laid back lifestyle use gloves to fend yourselves off the lock walls. Always use the back of the gloves! Enjoy!!
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Old 15-10-2017, 13:16   #19
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Re: New York State canal system gps

Did this last year.

My suggestion, go online and search for Active Captain. You will find it is available for iPhone and Android applications that let you download charts.

Active Captain will provide reviews of shoals, anchorages, marinas and other interesting features overlaid on a chart. Good info.
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Old 15-10-2017, 13:21   #20
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Re: New York State canal system gps

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.and realize as soon as you exit the canal to the Hudson, it's tidal waters.
Almost but not quite. It's not tidal until you are south of the Troy Federal lock on the Hudson and there is not a lot of tidal action until you are down around Westpoint.
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Old 15-10-2017, 13:50   #21
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Re: New York State canal system gps

Be polite to the lock tenders, they can make the up or down easy or hard. If you find you are making the trip with an A-hole, with more money than brains, or think they have, wait for the next opening. The tender can open those ducts as little or as much as they like. A couple of 2X4s for disposable fender boards wouldn't hurt. JMHO
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Old 15-10-2017, 15:38   #22
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Re: New York State canal system gps

A standalone depth sounder will work just fine for what you are doing. The depth sounders associated with Plotters are more about finding fish than depth. They do give better idea of what the bottom is but no big deal. Either is going to require a transducer, either through hull or in inboard.

We sailed to SoPac with nothing but a few xeroxed large scale charts, When there made up our own charts from tracings etc of other cruisers charts which in many cases weren't a lot better than the mark I eyeball. Had a great time but a good description of our navigation was we were always lost, it was just a matter of just how lost. I'm a relatively recent convert to GPS and wouldn't leave home without it. You don't need a 15" plotter. Currently have a 7" on one boat and a 5" on another. Both work fine. If I wanted to spend more money think I'd move up to 8"-10" for these tired old eyes and especially if I had radar, which I don't, for split screen work.

In any case, following the nav aids, when availale, is necessary. The GPS will locate you within a 100' or less in most cases but that may not be enough accuracy. Also had an older GPS that I have lie to me to the tune of almost 60 miles off course. Still don't know why it was so far off but it was persistant over a week or so but now seems to be working just fine.
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Old 15-10-2017, 17:05   #23
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Re: New York State canal system gps

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Not really suggesting that it was the best way to do it ,but perhaps our desire for a guarantee of success can hold us back. There is a happy medium . BTW when did you do that .


1979. It was great.
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Old 15-10-2017, 19:23   #24
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Re: New York State canal system gps

I've done it few times and it is very easy. Operators are friendly and helpfull. There are many town offering docking(free) where you will find many conveniences. One recommandation however: The sides of the lock are very ugly, dirty and full of asperities that would scratch your nice and clean fenders. The trick it to make a board(2x6 x 8 ft) that you would suspend with ropes between your fenders and the wall. This will serve as a protection between the wall and your fenders. Have fun!
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Old 19-10-2017, 04:10   #25
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Re: New York State canal system gps

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When I was 19 I sailed through the Grenadines without charts. Does not mean it was a good idea or that I would not have enjoyed myself more if I had had them.

Sometimes "overthinking things" is better than not.
Huge difference between: What's that island on the horizon? vs Don't run into the banks of the channel.

Not suggesting having a GPS and charts is a bad thing but it really is dead simple to navigate the canal without electronic aids.

A depth sounder is a good idea though.
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Old 19-10-2017, 04:46   #26
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Re: New York State canal system gps

Our GPS had us plowing a lot of corn through the canal. If you look carefully you can see where the charts are stitched and note that there can be an off set of a 100 meters of so.

That’s not a fault of the chart or GPS but an artifact of how and when they were created.

FWIW I noted that frequently there were shoals where a stream or drainage culvert entered. They make a little bar.
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Old 19-10-2017, 05:01   #27
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Re: New York State canal system gps

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Emptynest.
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