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Old 15-05-2010, 03:50   #1
Neo
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Boston to Martha's Vineyard

Hi, I am planning a cruise from Boston Harbor to Martha's Vineyard in a Ranger 23 in the late summer or early fall. The ranger has a double reef main and an outboard motor.

I have 5 years experience sailing a Rhodes 19 and just completed a basic cruising class in a Seafarer 30. We were lucky enough to get a day with 25mph winds (gusting to 40) during the class so I have some heavy weather experience. It was awesome.

I am looking for some advice on how long it will take to complete the trip, where to moor and where to stop along the way. I am not even sure this is an adequate boat for the trip, but I canít afford a charter this year.
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Old 15-05-2010, 07:03   #2
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Hows this for a revelation - it depends on the weather.
Seriously, pick a good day and it's an easy day trip, done it many times. If you get slowed down or tired, Cuttyhunk is a good place to hang for the night.
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Old 15-05-2010, 07:04   #3
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A Ranger 23 will get you there if you watch the weather. Your first stop will proabably be Scituate. Take a mooring there for the night. Or if the current is faborable keep going on through the Cape Cod Canal.

Plan your passage so you go through the Cape Code Canal on the tide. The current runs up to 5 kts at peak. Make sure you have plenty of gas for your outboard.

Then depending on the time of day either stop and anchor in Pocasset or keep going and spend the night in Hadley Harbor. HH has free moorings inside but the anchorage outside is good as well.

Then plan your passage through Woods Hole. Same current as the CCC.

A good place to anchor is in Lake Tashmoo. Walk about a mile from the public dinghy dock to Vinyard Haven. Then if you want to, sail over to Edgartown and take a mooring inside. During the summer you will certainly need to reserve one in advance, especially on weekends.

Active Captain is a great resource for planning and knowledge of anchorages and marinas.

David
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Old 15-05-2010, 07:07   #4
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Doable? Yes but you will have to plan with the weather and tides. I would make my first stop in Plymouth and time my transit through the Cape Cod Canal with a favorable current, if you time it wrong you will never get through the canal as current is quite strong. My next stop would be just on the other side of the canal, Catumit, (sp) is a nice spot and they have moorings for overnight. Third day I would head down to Cuttyhunk and pick up a mooring there, great spot and the raw bar at sunset is great. I would avoid going through Woods Hole and go through Quicks Hole which is a cut near Cuttyhunk and then head to the Vineyard. It's a nice trip if conditions suit your boat but at 23' you really need good weather as it can get pretty snotty real quick.
I think if this is going to be my first cruise I would sail to Ptown from Boston which is a nice day sail about 37 miles and spend some time down that area, as a trip to the Vineyard will need a lot of time and those sw winds can really kick up.
Hope this helps I'm sure others will reply
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Old 15-05-2010, 08:09   #5
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Although my current boat's a good bit bigger, years ago I did this trip several times in a 23ft SeaSprite. Great trip.

You can't fight the tide at either the canal or Woods Hole. Plan your trip around it (even the days you leave). Ask at local marine stores for a copy of "Eldridge" - it has all the current information you'll need - a bright yellow book.

Be sure to have a radar reflector. The fog can close in quick. A lot of boats around.

You might want to consider a night in the Sandwich Marina in the tiny "harbor of refuge" basin at the east end of the canal. This isn't pretty (next to a power plant) but you may not care after a long day. Showers and pretty good restaurant. No anchorage space - you need to call for a slip reservation.

Buzzards Bay can be really rough in the afternoon when the a southerly sea breeze is up and the tide's going out. Duck into Onset if that happens (Onset is a very good alternative to Cataumet).

You will probably decide to go through Woods Hole because it's much more direct. It's not hard (and kind of exciting) as long as you and your crew study the charts carefully first and then confirm each buoy number as you go through. There are a lot of buoys and it can be confusing. Again - can't fight the tide - over 5 knots at times.

Four days is probably the best pace. 1 - Scituate/Plymouth, 2- Cataumet, 3 - Hadley's Harbor, 4-Vineyard Haven.

Adding a day for Cuttyhunk is great fun.

Getting to the Vineyard could be upwind all the way. This can feel really long. If you get a northerly day make all the miles you can. Also, motor a few hours in the early morning if the wind hasn't come up - you'll be glad you did at the end of the day.

Carl
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Old 15-05-2010, 18:55   #6
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Thanks David. That's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I have another question born of ignorance. Is it necessary for me to bring a dinghy or will most marinas have launch service to get us to and from our boat.
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Old 15-05-2010, 19:06   #7
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Captden, a maiden voyage to Provincetown is a great idea, I'm sure to learn a lot my first time out. The vineyard will be my second cruise. During my cruising class it was blowing up to 35knts out of the East and the instructor suggested if we couldn't beat back to Charlestown we could fly to ptown in about 5 hours.
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Old 15-05-2010, 19:13   #8
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Eldridge and a radar radar reflector are now on my list. Many Thanks. I have been looking for a resource that provides current data for the canal.
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Old 15-05-2010, 21:28   #9
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There is very little launch service on the Boston to Marthas Vinyard route. It is very necessary to have a dinghy. For your size boat that can be a problem. Consider an air floor 9' dinghy that you can roll up and stow on deck somewhere. It will take a while to blow it up and launch it, but I don't see any alternative. You will also need a small outboard. A 2 hp will be ok for everywhere you are going.

David
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Old 16-05-2010, 06:05   #10
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David, that is good to know. We normally anchor and just swim to the harbor islands from our rhodes19, and that just wouldn't do at a marina or busy anchorage.
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