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Old 18-08-2016, 06:26   #31
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

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I'd like to do this trip at slack tide. Enjoy
Nah! No need for slack. I'd time Hell Gate for the last hour of the ebb current, and that way you can go right around the bottom of Manhattan to catch a favorable current north in the Hudson.

Been through Hell Gate at least 40 times and I always go with the favorable current. Yes, the fast current can be a problem if you lose power, but I keep the main sail hoisted and go through under power. It's a fun sleigh ride .

The biggest risk is passing by freighters and barges navigating the same narrow passage. It's a squeeze. It helps to have AIS to see what's around the bend and make timing adjustments before you get into Hell Gate.

PS -- the OP mentioned October. Your biggest challenge might be weather related, as October in LIS can be quite unsettled with northeasters every 10 days or so. IMHO the winds will play a big role in determining best stops and timing.

PPS -- Someone recommended The Thimbles. IMHO the Thimbles are a not a great anchorage: Exposed to the prevailing southwesterlies, surrounded by reefs, and strewn with boulders and bottom debris (not to mention old mooring chain and cables). Also no shore access.
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Old 18-08-2016, 16:36   #32
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

Just a final thought from me.

Hellgate, as has previously been mentioned, is way overrated. It looks nasty on the surface, and if you run it at max flow, you might feel a little buffeting, but that's about it. Just south of Hellgate, you run the narrow channel between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, and this IMHO, is much more challenging. This is because:

1. It is narrower than the rest of the East River, and as has been stated, tug/barge and sludge boat traffic requires a good lookout and some maneuvering.

2. Along the Manhattan side, you have the cement wall of the FDR highway. Along the Roosevelt Island side, you have a wall of rip rap. The boat wakes just reflect and refract back and forth between the two, setting up some potentially large waves. I was on a C&C 35 that was totally covered, stem to stern, by a magnified wake wave in this area. (Secure your hatches).

3. Unfortunately, with the exception of one skipper in 15 years, I'v never seen a power boat slow down in this area. Some of the bigger cruisers throw quite a wake. See #2 above when that happens. It seems the only two throttle settings that power boats have around here are "Off" and "Full Speed".

4. The tide current runs fastest between Roosevelt and Manhattan (even faster than Hellgate). Many folks like to ride this at max flow and get a fast "yee-ha!" ride. However, the faster the current relative to boat speed, the less water pressure you have on the rudder, and subsequently less control. You should be able to maintain steerage, but your helm will be sluggish. Keep that in mind if you find yourself in heavy traffic in this area.

5. Again, given #4, I'd recommend entering the East River at the Stepping Stones either between High Tide at the Battery, or HT+1 hour, or between HT+4 and HT+5 hours. The Eldridge Guide will show the currents for each hour from slack to slack.

Depending on your timing, you may get some negative current in the Hudson, but since the Hudson is tidal all the way to Albany, you're going to face it each day anyway.

Good stopovers on your way down would be Port Jefferson, Milford CT, Mamaroneck, Oyster Bay, Huntington Harbor. If you have Yacht Club affiliation, try Blackrock and Stamford CT, Rye NY (American Yacht Club), City Island and Manhasset Bay.
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Old 18-08-2016, 21:25   #33
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

One more thought, I believe that all vessels transiting the area must monitor NY Vessel traffic Service and have a copy on board.

http://www.offshoreblue.com/assets/r...ing/vts-ny.zip

is a link for a download
It really isn't that big of a deal, time the tides and enjoy a great view of NYC
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Old 18-08-2016, 23:53   #34
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

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Nah! No need for slack. I'd time Hell Gate for the last hour of the ebb current, and that way you can go right around the bottom of Manhattan to catch a favorable current north in the Hudson.

Been through Hell Gate at least 40 times and I always go with the favorable current.


No kidding
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Old 19-08-2016, 03:27   #35
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

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No kidding
(As opposed to waiting for slack. smartass.)
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Old 19-08-2016, 05:56   #36
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

Where you overnight depends on what you are looking for.... accessible services ashore or quiet and picturesque? Of course wind direction for a anchorage is also critical. My impression was this was not a cruise to visit quaint towns along the way... but have some decent distance covered and some reasonable easy anchorages which are protected. CT shore has rocks and so on.... but it well charted and should be no problem. Anchorages which take 45 minutes to get to from the Sound, for example... may not be what you want... such as Huntington where you can't even anchor and have to pay for a transient mooring. Too much time wasted getting in an out... Key would be to have some fair winds... and in the fall you typically get NW and NE which OK.. the latter being a run.
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Old 19-08-2016, 22:23   #37
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

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but I keep the main sail hoisted and go through under power.




Watch that Ebb. Anything over the side will be history in seconds.
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Old 29-08-2016, 07:28   #38
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Re: Sailing from Mystic CT to Catskill, NY

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Also monitor channels 13 and 14 VTS, you don't want to meet a stern tow in the gate
NY Vessel Traffic is on channel 12 for the East River. Also OP should note that tugs and tows in the VTS system do not monitor 16.


Edit- most Eastbound tug traffic will transit the Gate about 1 hour on either side of slack. Some of the sanitation and stone tows will go any time. Westbound traffic will also transit any time. The cutoff for reporting to VTS is 20 meters, 100 GT or carrying passengers for hire, it sounds like these don't apply to you so you'll be fine. Paying attention on channel 13 is key.
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