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Old 01-01-2017, 05:13   #1
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Post East Coast cruise suggestions required

First of all: HAPPY NEW YEAR to Sailors!

My partner and I are going to cross the Atlantic from Canarie to Guadalupa next week and, our project, our dream, is to sail up to the east American coast, if it is possible, until NYC, with our Jonathan Livingston, X-512, 51ft LOA and...9,5Fft draft.

We plan to sail from BVI direct to Bahamas, Florida and up.

I should have a million of questions, but, the most important are regarding two main issues:

Could you suggest some nice place where we can stop?
Any suggestion on for the route, anchorage and Marinas?

Looking on the maps, it seems there is nothing really until Chesapeake bay

Thanks in advance.
Stefano
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:17   #2
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Skip Florida, get straight into the gulf stream. Good stops are Charleston, Cape Lookout, Cape May NJ. Get up there quick and use the fall to linger on way back down.
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:58   #3
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Stefano, search for threads about traveling the Atlantic IntraCoastal Waterway (AICW, or commonly, just ICW).

The AICW is a protected inner passage, so you have the option of ocean sailing ("outside") or ICW sightseeing ("inside")... and you can mix and match depending on weather or attractions or other factors (occasional low bridges, tall masts).

Then you can also research guide books on all that, and check ActiveCaptain (activecaptain.com) for clusters of marinas and anchorages.

-Chris
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:00   #4
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

The biggest issue is your deep draft, however there are deep water ports all the way. Much of the ICW and many smaller harbors are shallow. Check the harbor charts and you will find the deeper water.

Also, NYC only has a few marinas for pleasure boaters, and they're expensive. There are numerous threads about where to stay in and close to NYC - use the "Google custom search" feature of this site to find them.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:12   #5
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Stefano,
Your mast height will also prevent you from taking the ICW in stretches where there are fixed bridges. There are many that open. The fixed height bridge clearance on the US east coast ICW is typically 65 feet, although some major bridges are higher.
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Old 01-01-2017, 07:27   #6
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Get to Maine. Go straight to Newport RI and skip everthing before it. Maine is the best cruising for a draft like yours on the east coast.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:06   #7
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Buy an East Coast cruising guide at Cruising guide. About $45. Do an internet search to find it, the link that pops up here is not it.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:22   #8
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Agree with Bleemus. Shoot thru the Mona passage, head for the gulf stream (take temperature readings so you know when you're in it) and all the way past Hatteras, Long Island (Montauk), duck in at Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Canal to Cape Cod Bay then head Downeast to the best cruising on the planet. IMHO Maine cruising in late spring, summer and early fall is better than anything along the US East Coast. Also, all along the coast you'll find great boatyards with craftsmen that love sailboats and usually don't rip you off. I've sailed in the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, East Coast US. If you are a dedicated cruiser, trust me, Maine is where it's at for serious sailors.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:27   #9
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
Skip Florida, get straight into the gulf stream. Good stops are Charleston, Cape Lookout, Cape May NJ. Get up there quick and use the fall to linger on way back down.
I'll second that advice. Charleston is one place you should certainly stop. It's lovely, with great food, great historical sights, etc. ICW, besides being boring, is out of the question given your water and air draft, as are pretty much all of the estuaries along the east coast. Pamlico/Albermarle would be a nightmare with a 9' draft, as would, in all honesty, 95% of the Chesapeake. That said you could hit some interesting places, among them Oxford, St. Michaels, Annapolis, and Baltimore. Then scoot up the canal to the Delaware river and around to Cape May. I'd go outside up to Sandy Hook, given that the inlets in between can be a nightmare and there's not much there in any of them anyway, and then on up the East River to Long Island sound.

Another option, if you're not set on visiting NYC, and what I would consider far preferable, would be to head straight to Block Island from Cape May and then explore eastern Long Island Sound. Block, Cuttyhunk, Naushon, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket are all worth a visit. Then from there scoot up straight to Maine for sure. Amazing cruising up there.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:31   #10
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Rather than sailing up the East coast of the US, Consider only sailing down it. Your draft is too deep for the ICW and even some of the Bahamas. Your best cruising itinerary which I have done several times is to sail offshore from the USVI direct to New England (Newport) with a "must stop" for a week or so in Bermuda.
The best East coast cruising grounds without doubt are New England and Maine. Do the Chesapeake on the way south in mid September and October. Plan on Annapolis in early October for the world's most incredible 'in the water" sailboat show (not to be missed). Baltimore Inner Harbor also a good visit.
Once at the Southern entrance to the bay, pick your weather for going off shore around Hatterass or visit Norfolk first if you like. When cruising South along the coast, you have the option of stopping at many ports, some of which are more interesting than others.
As far as visiting the Bahamas, you have two choices. Cross over from Miami or the Keys once you are South or depart from farther North (Charleston? / Palm beach?).
All in all the above itinerary, for the most part keeps your cruising in one direction without back tracking. Also Bermuda is a special port for sailors which I consider a must stop.
Have a great cruise.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:14   #11
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Thanks to all!

We already know that ICW is not suitable for our boat, and even boring (only motor I suppose) and the idea to go straight to Bermuda is also not bad.. we will think about it.
Hummm Maine... never considered... but it is not too cold?
Consider we plan (only plan) to stop somewhere for the winter season, because we don't like to sail with too cold temperature.
We also saw that the WW Memorial bridge has not the clearance we need, so, we cannot reach Washington. Chesapeake bay is nice to see, other than reach Baltimora Annapolis, is it a good sailing place? Anchorage or only harbor? @YARGO: you suggest to do the Chesapeake on the way south in mid September and October: it is for the wind / weather conditions in this area?
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Old 01-01-2017, 13:03   #12
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenit View Post
......
We also saw that the WW Memorial bridge has not the clearance we need, so, we cannot reach Washington. .......
It's an opening bascule bridge with 70ft, 22m, clearance. The opening requires calling in advance to schedule.
The East coast US will take some serious planning with your air and water drafts. While Maine is pretty cruising, the history available by the shores of the lower states is really interesting for those that don't live in the area.
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Old 01-01-2017, 13:26   #13
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

I don't know why so many people think that going to NYC in a boat has to be expensive. Port Washington has mooring balls free for 2 days then $25/day after that with launch service. You can take a short train ride into the city. City Island has several yacht clubs that rent empty mooring balls to transients. Harlem yacht club had a deal 3 days for $40/day and get 4 days free. Going in at Sandy hook and up the east river is no issue at all if you time the tides right. After NYC going up Long Island sound there is plenty of deep water and no bridges.
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Old 01-01-2017, 13:50   #14
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

USEC South of NY Harbor, is shallow. Some deep harbors but no place to day-sail once there. ICW is out due to water draft and air draft.

Once into Long Island Sound (LIS) things get better. Newport is first class. Best cruising is Maine. Truly remarkable. From Boston to mid-coast Maine is an overnight in our Aphrodite 101. A day sail in your boat? Allservices plus transport and provisions in the city, referred to as "In Town."

Have fun. You swill run aground. Relax, we all do.
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Old 01-01-2017, 14:09   #15
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Re: East Coast cruise suggestions required

My experience is that the Chesapeake would be fine for your boat. There are some places where you would not want to get too close to shore , but for the most part there is plenty of water. Going into some of the places like St. Micheal's, Oxford, Cambridge, and Solomon's you will have to stick to the marked channels but that is no real challenge. One can go out the C&D canal and down Delaware bay with 9 ft of draft with no problems.
My preference is to go to Maine fast and start south about the second week of September. I find the Chesapeake a much more pleasant place in October rather than in the heat of the summer.
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