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Old 01-11-2013, 05:16   #1
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CaperAsh's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Cape Breton Island
Boat: Sharpie Gaff-rigged Yawl, custom, 45'
Posts: 36
From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I just lucked (hopefully!) into a 45' custom-built Sharpie with gaff-rigged main and yawl-mizzen and plan to bring her up to Cape Breton Island next May from Wicomico River.

I have daysailed several years in a wooden racing sloop, 30', in the 80's, but only recently day-sailed again this summer in a 24' Westwind Paceship sloop. I can sail but am not the world's best at it, though now am interested in becoming skilled over time. I learned more in 2-3 months this summer than in 5 years when much younger, when I used to go out, have a blast every time, and never really paid any attention to anything.

Of course there is no end of advice I might be offered here in terms of what cruising eqpt I need etc. etc. That is somewhat welcome although really most of us have to deal with that sort of thing on our own.

At this point the plan is to go up day-sailing, leaving in early am and finding anchorage in late afternoon before dark, ideally sheltered anchorages with no marinas, people etc. to reduce costs and complexity. A quiet trip up, one day at a time, basically, under sail, using 9.8 hp Tohatsu outboard only if really necessary, ideally not at all.

However, I am very interested in feedback/suggestions on three main issues:

1) Single-handing vs. having crew

2) Finding sheltered anchorages on way up - esp to Nantucket but perhaps also past N up to Maine before crossing Bay of Fundy. Is it possible or is everything on East Coast now too built up? And what is it like on the waters only a few miles off shore during the day in May? Is it packed with trawlers and freighters everywhere all the time or what?

3) Qualities of a Sharpie, albeit these vary from boat to boat and I don't have all details on this one yet (they will come in soon, though). For now I know she is 45' long ( plus optional 5' bowsprit), already cutter-rigged with one boomed staysail, self-tacking, in place, with 300lb metal centre-board and some cement ballast, probably about 1,000 lbs or so but not sure about that. Weight is about 10,000 lbs. Gaff-rigged main and yawl, tender is a 'pusher' which attaches to stern somehow and on which is the motor, so main vessel is not powered legally speaking.
I have read quite a bit about Sharpies though not (yet) sailed one (!). I know they are not recommended for blue-water sailing, albeit larger ones can be modified and this is a larger one with some ballast. But I am wondering if it would be fine - as I suspect - to cross over from Nantucket to Yarmouth if the seas are lower than 3 metres (beam is 10') and wind greater than 15 and less than 30 knots. In theory she should do about 10 knots or so on a beam reach, possibly more, and since the crossing is about 150 knots, it could be done in a long day's sail. In theory. So any stories of large Sharpies in blue water, or crossings to Nova Scotia and typical weather/wave behaviours are welcome.

4) I might also be looking for crew if can't find local person or two or family member or two. I don't have other sailors in immediate circle, just possibles. So if anyone from that area with good sailing experience would like to make the passage up with me to Cape Breton, we could certainly explore that. A lot would depend on personal chemistry for this would not be a commercial relationship.

My second choice for a Pardey prize:
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CaperAsh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2013, 17:29   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 17
Do yourself a favor and find a different boat for the trip.
Honu is offline   Reply With Quote

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