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Old 02-11-2013, 18:47   #16
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Deborah, yes, I am only just beginning this. I didn't expect such rapid and intelligent response on this forum - for which am grateful. But since have barely purchased the vessel last week, obviously am not yet prepared.

That said, just from this past 24 hours, the theme definitely seems to be emerging: DO THIS WITH CREW since the anchoring-every-day notion might not be realistic. Either that or I research mooring spots with reasonable prices and factor those into the budget. Personally would prefer to stay away from too many other boats, marinas etc. 45' is large for me and without practice and strong motor many marinas will be very tricky, plus I generally don't like them and prefer dropping anchor. (When I sailed for 5 years in Mahone Bay I think I went into a marina only once!)

Actually, I first came to this forum wondering about how many people might be out there interested in crewing but since have (obviously!) not prepared the journey yet, feel it is premature to hunt around. And of course first should try with people I know though there are few in my immediate circle of friends, family and acquaintances.

This is an unusual, and somewhat challenging, vessel, and am clearly not experienced ocean or long distance sailor, so ideally will try to find more experienced sailor (or more) to come along who not only likes simplicity, but also is familiar with the terrain. This probably won't come easy, but have faith that after intention is more clearly formed that things will fall into place. They usually do.

And once over to Nova Scotia it will be much simpler terrain-wise, albeit with wind and waves one never knows...

Plenty of time though...
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Old 02-11-2013, 19:38   #17
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Cape May to Block Island - was that under sail, what were the weather and sea conditions like? I believe mine draws 24" with board up, which is one reason I am/was hoping to find some sheltered and unpopulated anchorage spots because can go where few others can. Shallow anchorages hold worse in a strong blow, but a 100lb fisherman should hold a 10,000 lb vessel pretty well even in adverse bottoms (sandy), and will have other anchors, if can afford it a Rocna.
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Old 02-11-2013, 19:59   #18
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Just a short comment: please, do not use "knots per hour." The reason is that knots defines itself.

You really do need a LOT more research, keep at it.

There's a section on this forum about Communications & Gear. Find it and read lots about obtaining internet signal while cruising. Closer inland is easier.

Charts? If you have a printer you can download them from the noaa website for free, and now in PDF format.
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Old 02-11-2013, 20:00   #19
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I will throw my 2 cents in here since I used to travel those waters. First a comment on sharpies. They vary but many are of low stability and only some are open water boats if you don't know what you have be careful. I know of one young couple who bought a sharpie on the bay and soon drowned when the boat went down in a blow. Next beware the jersey inlets. You may not be able to just day sail your way up the coast expecting to come in an inlet every night. Even in good weather without local knowledge its easy to run afoul in these inlets. If you plan to go up the waterway you really should have a good motor. I sailed and powered on this strip for > 20 years many of the channels are narrow and long no tacking esp. a sharpie. Manasqan north it's outside no other option you can go up east river and through the sound or off shore and around Long island neither is a piece of cake especially if no good propulsion sx. I am a very experienced single hander and would not attempt what you propose alone in a unknown sharpie. My advise get experienced crew-get good power-go inside even if it means mast down until Manasquan then go up east river and inside sound to New England where you can hop between anchorages where you may have to pay for a mooring.
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Old 02-11-2013, 20:10   #20
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Interesting boat, and different than most sharpies around here. Was she modified at some point? That cabin is out of character for these types of boats. I ask, because if she was, there may be additional stability issues beyond her shallow draft and light displacement.

I would not take this boat out in the open ocean on her maiden voyage, and certainly not with the level of experience you have. These boats are designed to cut through the Chesapeake chop, and usually have a length of 40+ because that spans the average wave interval here on the bay. It made for a smoother ride for watermen. That said, she is not designed for ocean passages, and it would take an experienced hand to do it safely. Also, she's an old boat and until you're secure in the knowledge that she is well found, you're putting yourself at significant risk, subjecting the hull to the kinds of stresses that the ocean might provide. Lastly, she's very under powered, and those pusher tenders are not meant to be used in any kind of a seaway...they are for getting you from the dock out of the creek, and back when you return.

So, I would strongly advise you to stay inland...Chesapeake Canal to the Delaware River, hop up outside during carefully picked days to Sandy Point, up the East River and then out Long Island Sound. One significant challenge is that you're going to need to pick your transits through the canal and the two rivers carefully to ride the tide to your advantage.

I would NOT take this boat from Cape May to Block Island. That's a 36 hour trip, and you cross some busy shipping channels in the middle of the night. Sure you can do it if the weather is perfect and you are suitably prepared. I would just not to it in a new-to-me wooden boat when I had the option of taking the coastal route.

There are plenty of places to anchor between here and your destination, where you don't need to pay for a mooring. You may need to be in a neighboring cove or what not, but don't think you'll have a hard time finding a spot to drop the hook.

You don't know what you don't know yet, and you've bought an old wooden boat that you don't know either. Exercise a tremendous amount of caution, and err on being overly careful when you can.
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Old 02-11-2013, 20:48   #21
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I sit corrected about knots per hour!

eyschul: thanks. Could you flesh out a little clearer the inland route you suggest so I can try to find it on maps?

My understanding of this Sharpie is because of cabin superstructure (and stayed masts) she will NOT be good heavy weather conditions. When well handled she will have certain resiliences different from heavy displacement vessels but I do not expect to master those and suspect that even more experienced people who accompany me on this will also not have such experience.

Suijin:
So a 9.8 hp is too small to make it up inland waterway? I agree that it's really only good for marinas etc. which is why have not (yet) considered motoring up.

Is it possible to find cheap or free anchorages on the inland route? If I understand aright, can only go inland up to around NY, and then it's out the Long Island Sound to Nantucket/Cape Cod, up the Mass coast to Maine and then over, right? There is no inland way above NYC, right?

Vocabulary: if I go up within about 3-5 miles of shore, is that what you chaps call 'going offshore'? I figure if I am out in 15-25 knots it should be fine, and if it begins to blow hard I go in under jib and jigger to nearest anchorage point. But there are many zones without easy sheltered areas which is where this simple plan may be flawed in which case the recommendation to go inland makes sense. But then that mean motoring most of the way which I will do if I absolutely have to, but would much rather not.

In any case, I agree about Block to Cape May both because of traffic and length of run and because this is the beginning of the post-Chesapeake leg, so would want to start tentatively. In this vessel am not going further than about an hour out. The problem, of course, is that land is the single most dangerous zone for a sailing vessel, so this is indeed a bit of a tricky proposition. If/when I get her up here, all will be well. But it's going to take an effort to get her up. And I do not intend to take too many risks at all, however, I do need to find a way!

I will try to use your suggested routes to find them on charts etc. so can determine best way one could pick up ICW from central Chesapeake Bay.

General question slightly contradictory: given modern weather forecasting, is it generally true that if they forecast a system / set of conditions for next 48 hours that usually they are correct? Put another way: if it looks like there will be steady 20 knot Southerlies for 48 hours, just how chancy is trying to make the run from Nantucket to Yarmouth, or is this truly hair-brained notion because gales can spring up out of nowhere and such forecasts are no reliable enough? Where I am, at least, I have found they are very reliable and haven't noticed a single day when they have really got it wrong -but then I haven't been following every single day.

(Of course at that point, after 1-2 weeks in Chesapeake followed by passage up, will be fairly familiar with vessel.)

PS this is not an old boat. Built in 2012. Owner could not keep up with maintenance so the polyurethane brightwork is already way behind. I will probably replace with marine paint, much as I prefer the more natural look of wood grain. And will not undertake this journey if initial trials in Chesapeake Bay give me the willies. I do have the option of keeping here there at marina and visiting twice a year for 2 week cruises. Not what I want at all, but in any case will not try to sail her to NS unless feel solid relationship with her as sailing vessel. So Phase One is going to be 2-week familiarisation preceding the journey to NS, either all in one shot, or in two stages more likely.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:57   #22
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Thanks for C&D suggestion. Hadn't noticed that on maps before. (Again, was not prepared for level of feedback from original post. It sure has accelerated the learning curve on my end.) That looks like a better way to start the passage. The boat was made for those waters and that gives me that much more time to learn her ways before the passage opens up into the larger Atlantic.

The suggestion to go by Long Island Sound via NY: is this to avoid exposure to At. Ocean via Fire Island?

Although tempted to make way through City - great drama - initial visualisation was to ignore crowds on land and sea. That said, am surprised at how short the distance is from Sandy Hook through NYC to Long Island Sound.

Initial thought before any research was to go from Sandy Hook area to Fire Island area, and from there make way along coast to Block Island, Nantucket etc. It also seems one can go inland from Fire Island to Shinnecock Bay, but if so, wonder how long one has to wait at the little bridges. Is this true that in theory I could do that leg inland?

So basic question is: is Sandy Hook zone to Nantucket a very dicey route via Fire Island coast for a non-blue water boat compared to Long Island Sound via NYC?

Am encouraged by post above mentioning that can find many secluded anchorages. That's the way I want to go; and have plenty of time between now and May to figure out which charting sources will use (paper, internet, download, GPS etc.). No matter what, will have access to all on board 24/7 one way or another, and also pre-plan anchorage choices with back-ups, fall-backs etc.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:45   #23
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

I think your engine would be enough to get you up the East River if you timed it right. Ask the current owner what her cruising speed is under power and you can do the calculations regarding whether you can make it through the Hell Gate before the tide changes against you.

Once you are at Manhasset Bay, you'll be in protected, Coastal waters all the way up to Cape Code. Starting out on the Long Island side and then crossing the Sound to Connecticut, there are dozens of places for you to stop and anchor, without having to pay. Yes, there are some harbors, such as Greenport, where there is no good anchorage and only an expensive mooring field but those are easily passed by for other nearby destinations that are free and sheltered. As an example, I brought my boat down from Westbrook CT to Annapolis this past spring and it never even occurred to me to pick up a mooring. There's simply no need.

I have never gone the south side of Long Island, near shore, so I can't comment on that route. I will say however that the one thing I would want to avoid in that boat is trying to navigate an inlet, such as Barnegat Light or Shinnecock, in less than very good conditions, especially for the first time. If the wind sets up against the current it can create a very localized, very bad situation in the inlet which you might not even realize until you're upon it. Exercise significant caution if you're going to frequent inlets during your trip.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:05   #24
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Exercise significant caution if you're going to frequent inlets during your trip.
To the OP: This is THE kicker in your logic: "When it starts blowing I'll head to shore and anchor." The issue is that when it starts blowing, you won't know what the current is doing at the inlets, and once the wind's against the current, the inlets will be unusable. That means you will NOT be able to get in. Please, think a lot more about this "strategy" 'cuz it plumb won't work.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:25   #25
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Best thing is to pick up a cruising guide that covers that portion of coast and inland WW. Too complex to lay it all out here. We used to make the trip in 30 ft sail boats with IB motors 20-30 HP fixed 4 ft draft. Also with a 40 ft trawler 3.6 ft draft. With your boat and no deep experience with it or the route I would suggest inside as much as possible. If your motor is a 9.8 it better be long shaft and sail drive geared with a pusher prop not a standard. 20-30 HP with long shaft and a pusher prop would be much better for the task. If you go inside plenty of gunk holes to anchor along the way. ICW is slower but much safer for you. If you run aground common on ICW no sig. danger all soft and in most places not so much tide change if not near an inlet. If you go off shore you cannot count on getting back in for safety if weather changes the inlets are often dangerous and must be respected even in good weather and good visibility. If caught out you are best to stay out and then you and your boat had best be seaworthy because it can get nasty out there. Your other option is to find a competent professional who thinks the boat is up for offshore and hire same to go with you for a straight run to a port north of Long Island Sound.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:54   #26
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

G'Day CA,

I've been following this thread from a "never sailed the East coast" point of view, and can't add at all to the route planning aspects. But, I do have some thoughts about the vessel, her crew and their suitability for the voyage.

!. As mentioned in the sharpie quotation that you posted, the addition of long, high coach roofs has bad effects upon the stability curves for sharpie designs. The pix that you posted show just such a structure. This has a real bearing on the suitability of your boat for open ocean usage.

2. From the pix again, there appear to be no side decks along the house. How in the world will you get forward safely in a seaway? There appear to be no lifelines at all... moving about the boat, say to strike the main or jib, when in even moderate seas will be very trying, and these situations will surely occur.

3. There is no inboard engine, and hence no shaft log to drip. Where is the leak that you report coming from? In a sound stitch and glue hull the bilges should be totally dry. Your reported situation is, to me, a BIG warning sign that all is not well. IF it is leaking a bit just sitting, it is most likely going to be worse, maybe lots worse, when the hull starts to work at sea.

4. Your estimated speeds are not at all realistic. It is certainly possible that sharpies can at times reach such speed:length ratios, but it would require ideal conditions, not the day to day realities of ocean passage making... especially if you are faced with winds much forward of the beam. Neither rig nor hull characteristics are good for good windward performance. If you were to average 5 knots I would say you were doing quite well for the boat and crew.

5. I don't quite understand how you use the "pusher boat". Yes, in quiet water it could be used to push you along, but what about in a seaway? How does the join between pusher and pushee work? And what do you do with the pusher while sailing at sea? Tow it? Leave it "docked" at your stern? Does not appear that you could hoist it on deck. This whole concept appears flawed for use at sea.

6. Apparently your route involves transiting areas with heavy commercial traffic. What is your plan for avoiding collisions if there is suddenly not enough wind to maneuver? And do you have a good working knowledge of the COLREGS, and how they apply to small craft interacting with large ones, often in TSS's? Can you realistically adhere to the rules? These are life-threatening situations, and I don't see how you are prepared to deal with them.

CA, I hate to sound so negative, but your plan just does not sound feasible to me, and IMO puts you and any crew at significant risk. A couple of weeks familiarization will not be adequate to overcome the inexperience that you are showing. I hope that you can find an alternative that works for you.

Good luck.

Jim
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:15   #27
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Suijin, thxs again. I am now open to looking into NYC. My grandfather some time around WWI provided greenheart wood with which many of the old docks in NYC were made and I used to go to Manhattan regularly as a kid to visit him there, so the notion of motoring up the channels past Brooklyn Bridge etc. is both appealing, as well as a tad intimidating.

I will find out more in next 1-2 weeks, but am assuming the 9.8 long shaft I have, which will be mounted in the pusher-dinghy presumably without problem, is enough to drive her well in gentle conditions, and will be almost useless in rough weather except to push her in a general direction. Perhaps after years of practice I could do better with it, but obviously that won't be the case.

Warning about inlets well taken.

This comment: "To the OP: This is THE kicker in your logic: "When it starts blowing I'll head to shore and anchor." The issue is that when it starts blowing, you won't know what the current is doing at the inlets, and once the wind's against the current, the inlets will be unusable. That means you will NOT be able to get in. Please, think a lot more about this "strategy" 'cuz it plumb won't work. "

Aye, there's the rub, and I was aware of the problem as I wrote it, though insufficiently aware of the 'inlet issue'. By happenstance, 90% of my sailing has been in wide-mouthed bays, either Buzzard's Bay (for a few days), or bays in Nova Scotia, where inlets and strong currents are few and far between, albeit we do have some tidal action to speak of (which have only noticed in very light winds).

But that is also why I posted, to get some input which will help me to zero in on the key issues. You are all being very helpful in helping me to realise what the main concerns are.

I will talk to a pro I met selling my bread at FM this summer and see if he might be interested in doing the first part - or more - with me, but am not holding my breath. Also, to tell truth, part of me wants to do this as part of improving sailing skills. There is a dance involving being rising to challenges on the one hand, and avoiding them or taking inappropriate risk through bravado or stupidity on the other. Charting such a course is what is generally called 'life', and no doubt this passage will not prove an exception to that general rule.

At this point, based purely on reading which I understand has serious limitations, my understanding of Sharpies in general in terms of my situation is that one major development was when some people started building yachts with cabins, vs. more or less cabin-less workboats whose main ballast was thick planking and, in the afternoons, mucho oysters. Generally the early models were unstayed and there are occasional photos of such boats under sail with incredibly bent-back masts. Personally, I love that sort of giving, accommodating approach and really don't like the stayed-mast model which is tension and resistance based. Anyway.

What I have is a somewhat ballasted, somewhat large (45' vs usual 20-35'), large-cabined model and therefore am assuming that, even if she is well made with well balanced sail power (as I suspect and hope is the case), that seaworthy she is not. Perhaps with a much deeper and heavier external bulb keel and re-inforced cabin and rigging she could be, but the more you go that route, the less the original hull shape makes sense. My understanding is that as a basic shell, the long, flat-bottomed shape is remarkably fast and efficient (with great displacement/holding capacity) and surprisingly seaworthy in that absence of ballast makes her float like a cork on the surface. But with large cabin structure, you have significant windage, and even she can self-right afterwards, more likelihood of a knock-down in the first place - because of both the cabins and the ballast which have lessened the strength of the basic Sharpie model, which is a flat-bottomed, long, thin, light displacement vessel.

I am open to being surprised that she is perhaps more seaworthy than most, including the builder, might think. It seems to me that the ballast and 300lb daggerboard more or less fulfill the 'what's above should be below' (the waterline) rule, in my case the cabin superstructure (basically epoxied plywood and not much more), and masts, rigging, sails. So if that's about 1,000 lbs or so, well, maybe she is pretty much still a light displacement Sharpie and, if allowed to keep skimming on the surface which is the strength of this class, she might do better in foul conditions.

But I don't want to test this out on the maiden voyage! (If at all.) So will certainly be defensive, but at same time not so defensive as to shut down the possibilities for having a great cruise up the East Coast of America, from Chesapeake to Maine. For me this could be an extraordinary journey. So want to mind p's and q's, but also do so in a way that makes for a memorable, and largely enjoyable passage.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:37   #28
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm; }A:link { } Reply to Jim Cate


I've been following this thread from a "never sailed the East coast" point of view, and can't add at all to the route planning aspects. But, I do have some thoughts about the vessel, her crew and their suitability for the voyage.

!. As mentioned in the sharpie quotation that you posted, the addition of long, high coach roofs has bad effects upon the stability curves for sharpie designs. The pix that you posted show just such a structure. This has a real bearing on the suitability of your boat for open ocean usage.

Answer: agreed, albeit there are work-arounds apparently and some Sharpies, still with shallow draft (not counting centre boards) are blue water. The builder is NOT claiming this is one of them, and I believe him. More on this later on.


2. From the pix again, there appear to be no side decks along the house. How in the world will you get forward safely in a seaway? There appear to be no lifelines at all... moving about the boat, say to strike the main or jib, when in even moderate seas will be very trying, and these situations will surely occur.


Answer: there are no lifelines. But will put in a line up centre from bow to stern to which can clip.

3. There is no inboard engine, and hence no shaft log to drip. Where is the leak that you report coming from? In a sound stitch and glue hull the bilges should be totally dry. Your reported situation is, to me, a BIG warning sign that all is not well. IF it is leaking a bit just sitting, it is most likely going to be worse, maybe lots worse, when the hull starts to work at sea.
Answer: this is my biggest concern as well. My assumption is, that this being a new boat, there is a mistake in a seam somewhere or a through-hull fitting. Of course the whole thing could be a disaster. I won't know until I go down, but I won't really know until I haul her out, ideally up here next fall. I will just have to evaluate this when I go down.

4. Your estimated speeds are not at all realistic. It is certainly possible that sharpies can at times reach such speed:length ratios, but it would require ideal conditions, not the day to day realities of ocean passage making... especially if you are faced with winds much forward of the beam. Neither rig nor hull characteristics are good for good windward performance. If you were to average 5 knots I would say you were doing quite well for the boat and crew.
Answer. Fine, but I think the speed business has been taken a little out of context. I believe the first time it came up I was speculating on how fast I might be able to 'hop' from Nantucket to Yarmouth assuming regular seas and 15-25 knot winds, more or less steady, not the whole passage. And I really don't know the speed of this one, but suspect that on beam reach it will be 10 knots or better, which is by no means ambitious projection for a 45' Sharpie. But again this is not an average for whole thing. Now if you are saying that 7.5 knots average is way too high, I won't argue. I know many 25' boats average about 5 knots over 24 hours, but these are usually blue water figures, so perhaps for coastal passages you are right and I should think more in terms of 5 knots. That does seem a tad slow to me, though. Remember that Sharpies are notoriously fast in light winds because of their shallow draft. I suspect it's going to be hard to have her going much less than 3 knots unless entirely becalmed. I will find out all this during trial period in Chesapeake at which point can make much more accurate projections. (Ideally!)

5. I don't quite understand how you use the "pusher boat". Yes, in quiet water it could be used to push you along, but what about in a seaway? How does the join between pusher and pushee work? And what do you do with the pusher while sailing at sea? Tow it? Leave it "docked" at your stern? Does not appear that you could hoist it on deck. This whole concept appears flawed for use at sea.

Answer: I don't understand either, but am looking forward to learning. This boat is not designed for being at sea so suspect your objections/caution is spot on. Until I discuss this in more detail with builder, am assuming that it is attached when using it as motor, and will be towed when not.


6. Apparently your route involves transiting areas with heavy commercial traffic. What is your plan for avoiding collisions if there is suddenly not enough wind to maneuver? And do you have a good working knowledge of the COLREGS, and how they apply to small craft interacting with large ones, often in TSS's? Can you realistically adhere to the rules? These are life-threatening situations, and I don't see how you are prepared to deal with them.


Answer: good point. I want to avoid such areas as much as possible, which is also why initial thought was to stay away from NYC for example. Also to go only in daytime. Also fairly close to shore where there is less such traffic, I believe. And where there is such traffic, to go on a day when winds are favourable. If they are not favourable, wait. I will not allow any sense of rush or panic to justify my trying to impose my own agenda on the weather and conditions. If the conditions are not good, I will wait.

CA, I hate to sound so negative, but your plan just does not sound feasible to me, and IMO puts you and any crew at significant risk. A couple of weeks familiarization will not be adequate to overcome the inexperience that you are showing. I hope that you can find an alternative that works for you.


Answer: fair enough. That said, if I had someone as 'crew' who was highly experienced, then maybe that would be fine, no? I certainly (and obviously) am not presenting myself as some sort of super-experienced skipper, and indeed don't think of myself as a 'skipper' at all. So I agree with your comment except that: I am going to find a way to bring that boat up here, unless she is too badly built or damaged to make the journey. And that way will not involve writing checks for thousands of dollars. If I had them, I probably would. But I don't. So another way will be found. That is one of the virtues of the frugal life!


Jim, yours and others reply brings up a core issue which is perhaps mainly why I first posted, namely:


with the understanding that this boat (and leave aside the leaking issue for now) is not a blue water vessel, just what does that mean?


You say if I get caught in bad weather one hour out, and given the challenges of finding decent anchorage in a blow, this is not going to work. I respect that point of view. But the question I have is: how good are the weather forecasts? My understanding has been that generally they are pretty good within 24-48 hours since they can clearly see the main pressure fronts. Now these do make surprise moves and developments, but all such things take 24-48 hours to shift significantly.


In other words, if it's a steady 20 knot day with winds from the South West, how likely is it to turn into a gale within 3-4 hours? Does that often happen? I have personally never had that experience, but as you and others have pointed out, as a day-sailor clearly am not all that experienced. Still, the question is valid because I am proposing a series of day-sails.


So the question here is: I accept what has been said above about the difficulty of finding anchorage in a bad blow - and this is perhaps my biggest concern of the voyage (vs. the vessel herself), but how likely is it that you suddenly get caught in a very bad blow without prior warning from the weather service radio bulletins and when you are never more than about 1-2 hours (tops) offshore?

Second on this: does not being blue water mean that she can't handle 3 metre seas and 30 knot winds with reduced sail (which my little 24' sloop can deal with just fine as can most small boats, although it might not be comfortable). My assumption is that it means that you don't want to be caught in a gale in Sharpie because the seas will broach/pitchpole the light, narrow hull.

But in normal conditions, surely she should be okay, no? So the question is again: how quickly do things turn from perfectly fine to thoroughly dangerous without prior warning?
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:57   #29
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Location: Cape Breton Island
Boat: Sharpie Gaff-rigged Yawl, custom, 45'
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

PS - a client of mine from Cape Breton was just over in Tasmania playing blue grass and brought back a loaf of really good white sourdough which even a few days later was really good. If I hadn't got this Sharpie but a real blue water vessel (which will do hopefully in a few years), would love to sail down to Tasmania one day to sample some more.

One of my great grandfathers was an Admiral (for the South in civil war I believe). It's in the blood. If I can't handle Chesapeake to Nova Scotia......

PPS In terms of nav rules: I used to know it all in the 80's but have since forgotten most of it. But will study up hard long before going down and it will come back.
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Old 03-11-2013, 13:20   #30
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

PPS to Jim:

re: "These are life-threatening situations, and I don't see how you are prepared to deal with them."

It is November. Trip is not going to happen until May at the earliest, maybe later. This thread - for me - is the very beginning of preparation. Only purchased the vessel last week!

One possibility am considering is: taking one week off shore skipper course in Annapolis and then sailing Windhorse (my new Sharpie) for a week in Ch. Bay. And then maybe coming down again and sailing her in Bay for a month. Or even not making the trip up until 2015. (But that is clearly a more expensive route. And am not yet convinced that I cannot do just as well by 'learning by doing'.)

Frankly, I am hoping to find a much more experienced sailor through extended circle of acquaintances who can do the passage with me. Then it becomes a 3-week learning cruise. But first I have to do some homework myself.

Also, although your contribution is greatly welcomed, I don't think I need lectures about what to do or not do. It's more helpful to gather information from those with more experience and from there figure out the best approach. (Challenging questions are fine in this regard, including those you raised.)

It's generally not a good idea either to tell others what to do or to listen to others telling you what to do. Violates some basic principle of self-responsibility, or Liberty, or dignity or whatever you want to call it.
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