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Old 13-03-2012, 12:46   #1
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Single Hander Looking for Advice re. New England Cruising.

Many years ago, I enjoyed cruising with my family in Naragansett Bay, Block Island, The Vineyard and Nantucket etc. I am hoping to cruise the area again this summer, but mostly as a singlehander, and I know things have changed a bit. Back then, we anchored in most places and used a dinghy which we simply towed behind when underway. But now it appears (based on reading ActiveCaptain) that anchoring in places like Great Salt Pond at Block is more difficult, I suppose because of crowding. And getting a mooring there appears to be quite difficult.

I will be in a 30 footer and I would prefer not to bring a dinghy along as I don't want to be concerned about locking it up all the time etc. would really prefer to use moorings and launch services whenever possible and I know I can do that at Block and Newport... where else?

I may spend some time in Gardiners/Peconic as well.

Basically looking for advice from those who have been cruising this area recently.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 13-03-2012, 12:58   #2
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Re: Single hander looking for advice re. New England cruising.

I have cruised that area a couple of times, once single handed.

First, don't worry about your dinghy. I have never (well rarely) heard of cruisers losing their dinghies to theft. A dinghy gives you freedom to come and go when you want. I towed mine everywhere except for long distance passages.

Moorings in some of the places you mentioned are expensive, particularly Nantucket and the Vinyard.

You can anchor in Block, it just is further away from everything. You can also anchor in the Vinyard, either at Lake Tashmoo and walk to Vinyard Haven or out in front of the harbor in Edgartown but only in southerly weather. There is lots of anchoring room in Nantucket, again you just need to be prepared for a long dinghy ride as well as the reversing current.


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Old 13-03-2012, 13:02   #3
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Speedoo- the salt pond has many moorings and they are basically first come first serve. During the summer it can be very crowded on the weekends, but the harbor master tries pretty hard to fit everybody in. I have gotten lucky a few times circling and waiting for someone to go, then grabbing a ball, which they tell you to do if things are full.

Anchoring can be tough when the wind picks up with the light mud there, but I have seen people anchored in 30-35 knots and they were fine. I'm guessing it's down to your ground tackle and anchoring skills.

That said I have done the last couple summer vacations in the eastern long island, block, and cape cod area and use the mooring fields for the convenience. Haven't had any trouble getting one, and most places let you call and reserve ahead. There are a number of places where this will be a much better option if you want easy access to town and don't want to deal with a dink.
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Old 13-03-2012, 13:05   #4
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Re: Single hander looking for advice re. New England cruising.

Thanks David. I am a bit surprised to hear you say there is not a theft problem re. dinghies but if that is true I will certainly use one... probably a good sized inflatable with an outboard. I guess I better start looking into a locking system just in case.

I definitely want to visit places like Hadley Harbor and Quisset again, and a dinghy is needed in those spots.
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Old 13-03-2012, 14:52   #5
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Re: Single hander looking for advice re. New England cruising.

New England cruising is amongst the safest anywhere. Nobody locks their dinghies up or hauls them onboard at night, and a lot of locals leave their boats in the water all summer long with the motors, gas tanks, etc. Dinghy theft is a non-issue in New England. Most harbors you don't have to lock your big boat up if you go ashore. There is still plenty of room to anchor in most harbors. Block Island does get crowded in the summer and the water outside the moorings tends to be deep and weedy; however, I always manage to find a spot. Moorings are expensive most places. I suspect they average around $40-50 per night, but I always anchor just as I have done for more than 30 years. Nice anchorages are Cuttyhunk, Quicks Hole, Tarpaulin Cove, Hadley Harbor, Lake Tashmoo, Lagoon Pond, north of Chappy Beach at Edgartown, etc. The sailing is still great, lots of people still tow their dinghies everywhere, and there are plenty of places to anchor. Have fun!
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Old 14-03-2012, 02:22   #6
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Kettle well gave you good advice. Concur fully.

One additional point....Newport is going to be crazy this year with america's cup and tall ships in late June and early July.
George Herchenroether
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Former Sailor, now trawling
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Old 14-03-2012, 11:42   #7
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Re: Single Hander Looking for Advice re. New England Cruising.

Here's my personal Top Twelve spots from Narragansett to Nantucket - for what it's worth:

1. Menemsha, MV. No launch (short swim!)
2. Cuttyhunk. No launch
3. Newport. Launch to Anchorage
4. Edgartown, MV. Launch to Anchorage
5. Nantucket. No launch
6. Bristol (esp. July 4th). Launch to Anchorage
7. Great Salt Pond, Block Island. Launch to Anchorage
8. Potter's Cove. No launch
9. Kickemuit. No launch
10. Dutch Harbor. No launch
11. Hadley Harbor. No launch
12. Fogland or Third Beach. No launch

Bill Balme
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cruising, England, singlehanding

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