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Old 25-04-2016, 11:21   #1
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Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

Does anyone have suggestions for cruising Narragansett Bay in a Cape Dory Typhoon Weekender solo for a few days before the Memorial Day weekend this year, mainly in the vicinity of Aquidneck Island. I live in Virginia and am unfamiliar with New England waters. I would need to launch the boat from its trailer upon arrival Monday or Tuesday, park the truck and trailer while on the boat for three or four days, then get the boat hauled out and put back on the trailer during the day on Friday. I've got a cruising guide and have searched the Internet only to find myself overwhelmed by all the information/possibilities. Thanks in advance for ideas/suggestions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:42   #2
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

What are you looking to do while you're here? Anchor out, marina, mooring? Sail all day, explore the towns, hang on the beach? That will help narrow it down.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:16   #3
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

In addition to the questions from hoehn000 which will help narrow the suggestions I have a question about the boat and launching. When you say "get the boat hauled out and put back on the trailer" do you mean get it done by a boat yard or will you do it yourself and need only access to a ramp?

If the later then obviously you're looking for access to a ramp and parking for your tow and trailer. I'm not familiar with the entire area but I moored in Bristol RI for a summer and there is a boat ramp right in town. Parking is slightly tricky as all the streets right next to the water are limited but I parked just 3-4 blocks away with no problem.

Bristol is also a very nice town to visit. Herreshoff Museum to visit (with a free dinghy dock) restaurants and shops. Also not too far from other towns and places to visit.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:41   #4
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

By the way, if you are looking for boat ramps here's a web site and map.

Boat Launch Mapper: Rhode Island Blueways
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:54   #5
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

Thanks for asking,@hoehn000. My first concern is the logistics of launching (Monday) and retrieving (Friday) the boat with the trailer, and where to park the truck and trailer during the week. The place would have to be a marina, since I need a crane or travel lift to at least get the boat hauled and placed on the trailer. The trailer's not set up for floating on, although the boat could probably float off, with a steep ramp, even though there's no extension for the trailer. The Typhoon has an eyebolt at the top of the keel down in the bilge that can be used to hoist the boat with a crane, which is probably cheaper than using a travel lift.

I have a daughter living in Portsmouth who probably will join me during the week for a few hours of sailing. I would need to be docked temporarily that day while providing her transportation with the truck to and from the marina, and also for boarding and unboarding the boat. Also, I made reservations to camp for the Memorial Day weekend at Melville Ponds campground in Portsmouth, so that's the area I like to be near when the boat is back on the trailer Friday.

From a New England cruising guide, I see there's the Pirate Cover Marina, Brewer Sakonnet Marina, Standish Boat Yard, New England Boatworks, Hinckley Yacht Services, and Hunt Yachts all in the general vicinity. None of them seem to have a ramp, which is okay, since I can't retrieve using a ramp anyway.

My first preference is to anchor out Monday through Thursday nights. I don't need electrical hookup or pump-out services. Or course, a mooring would feel more secure and probably worth it, if it only costs a few dollars.

Most of my daytime hours would be sailing or at anchor, with occasional visits ashore for sightseeing. If there's time, and with favorable weather, I'd like to circumnavigate Aquidneck Island and maybe sail down past Newport out into the Atlantic and back.
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Old 04-05-2016, 13:00   #6
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

@skipmac It turns out I don't have a float-off/float-on trailer; otherwise, Bristol does sound like a good destination. Hopefully, things ashore won't be too crowded during the pre-Memorial Day Weekend week.
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Old 04-05-2016, 13:41   #7
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

Here are the areas I would hit if you're looking for a decent tour of the lower bay. If you're going to need the truck on Aquidneck for you daughter then you have to start and end in Newport...probably the most expensive place to launch and haul and most difficult to find a long term parking spot.

I would hit Newport, Bristol, Prudence, Wickford, East Greenwich (much more to do than Wickford) and Jamestown. Doesn't really matter which way you make the loop, I prefer to head north from Newport with the prevailing out of the south to south west on a long run. All areas have good anchorages, or mooring balls and plenty of marinas. Lots to see lots to do, but the sailing will probably be the best part.

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Old 04-05-2016, 14:32   #8
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

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@skipmac It turns out I don't have a float-off/float-on trailer; otherwise, Bristol does sound like a good destination. Hopefully, things ashore won't be too crowded during the pre-Memorial Day Weekend week.
The area is big enough that you should have plenty of places to go, even Memorial Day itself.

There area number of boat yards in the area that could do lift on/lift off for you. Maybe someone will chime in with recommendations, otherwise I would call around and check rates. You could also probably find one that would let you park the trailer in the back lot. Bristol has a free town dock where you can tie up for a while to pick up your daughter.
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Old 04-05-2016, 16:28   #9
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

Hoehn000 gave you a good set of options to check out. Jamestown (Conanicut Island) has good harbors on the East and West sides. The West side is Dutch Harbor which is one of our favorite anchorages. Moorings at the south end and good holding at the north end. The restaurants and bars are all towards the East Side, but it's not a long walk. There are moorings in the harbor on the East side.

The Herreshoff Museum in Bristol is an absolute gem. The only danger is that it's hard to leave. If you go to Bristol, send a PM if you want some walkable restaurant options.

Your biggest challenge may be getting in and out of the water. This is prime launching season so the marinas are going to be busy. Unfortunately, the weather has been lousy which tends to slow the process down so they will be backed up by the week before Memorial Day. Call around and see if you can get onto someone's schedule. Emphasize your shoal draft. That will mean you can get into some of the places that only launch larger boats at higher tides. You have a good list to start. I would add Bristol Marine as well. Good folks and they are often slow at low tide.
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Old 04-05-2016, 21:15   #10
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Re: Cruising Narragansett Bay at end of May

you might be able to get launched and picked out if you go to clarks marine in jamestown. call them first though, 401 423 dock, not sure how much they'll want but as long as you're ready to go they're good. another place to try would be pleasant st wharf in wickford, 401 294 2791, both will also have moorings. when in jamestown if you go to dutch harbor you can take a hike around dutch island, lots of cool old forts.( just bring lots of bug spay, the ticks are bad) and don't forget about block island, its not to far a sail and totally worth it. everything will be starting to open and you'll have the island almost to yourself.( i hope to be there next week as long as i can get in the water, not sure though as there is a boat in front of me and it doesn't look like he's gonna be ready) don't forget your fishing rod, lots of bass and squid showing up, and most harbors are good spots.
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