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Old 04-11-2013, 07:14   #46
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

thxs. Yes, although my first thought was 10-14 days in C.B and then immediately taking her up etc., thanks to input here am more likely going to simply go down and spend 2+ weeks and then decide what, if anything, to do.

Mooring fees are $500 per annum with electricity. Low-cost govt wharf on Wicomico River. No other services I don't think (haul-out etc.) Don't know the name yet. But $500 a year is my sort of price. No liveaboards but probably okay to be there a little while during 'repairing and outfitting' phase. If not, will deal with it.

If nothing else, I'll get a 2-week sailing vacation in Chesapeake Bay on a gaff-rigged Sharpie at quite reasonable cost.

In terms of possible passage though: if going up via C&D canal, which does make sense, that gives me several days, if not longer, to get more of a feel of her under way (anchoring, living aboard etc) whilst still in relatively simple situation during time of year with, I suspect, lower than maximal traffic.

The first real challenge is the open water (usually not a lee shore but of course sometimes) up to Sandy Hook. There are some real concerns, but my guess is that if she is seaworthy in the Bay, that she is okay for most close-to-shore coastal cruises and the big caveat is sudden extreme weather and what to do then. So that has to be fully addressed with eyes wide open before undertaking the passage. Still, although challenging, it should be doable.

Also, the basic Weather Pilot charts I have found seem to indicate that over 50% of the time in May there are 10-16 knot winds from South and West with 4% calm days, i.e. 1 in 20 or so.

If I avoid calms and over 25 knot days by remaining in various quiet coves, presumably most of the time this should be fine. The business about dealing with heavy marine traffic concerns me, but one can avoid most of those places and/or just get through them as quickly as possible under sail or (little) motor.

Ash.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:18   #47
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

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Originally Posted by DeborahLee View Post
Went up to Maine last year didn't find to many anchorages although I did manage some as I only draw 27". There were moorings everywhere, people are putting them in so you can't anchor in their back yard and towns are putting them in for revenue. I suggest getting some crew. We did Cape May to Block Island in about 50 hrs.
Where exactly did you not find any anchorages or where the anchorage was too crowded with moorings that you could not anchor?

I have been sailing the Maine coast for 15 years and although there has been an increase in moorings there are literally hundreds of small harbors in Maine where you can easily anchor for free. Some of the more popular smaller harbors like Camden and Northeast are full of moorings but there are plenty of harbors nearby that have room to anchor.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:35   #48
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

PS to whomever asked: she does have a little cockpit which is on the aft-most cabin deck and the tiller is there too. It's where there are backrests on either side of the aft cabin. A bit hard to see in the rather poor photos. So the aft deck where the mizzen is has storage below (not sure if there is a hatch there or not) and superstructure to hold up the mizzen boom and also the solar panel. If seas come over, they have quite a ways up to go before getting to the cockpit area a couple or three feet higher up and at least 6' from the stern. That's actually a conservative arrangement in terms of handling rougher seas.

The main boom is quite high off the deck. I like that in terms of having good visibility under sail, but don't like it in terms of raising the CE. Have no concern about having to walk all along the cabin deck, but it does make the grab handles a little redundant. In any case, am not sure if there isn't 6" between cabin and top of hull (sorry have forgotten the name for that area). Indeed, because of those grab-rails and a strip of white colour in the whole-boat photos at beginning of series (at end in this site's gallery), suspect there is such an area.

Personally I don't like stanchions - but am used to smaller boats. Am always worried that will trip over them. Would prefer harness clipped to center line with length adjusted so can't fall all the way overboard.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:39   #49
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CA keep up the chatter with the old heads here as your needs require, they have tons of experience. I would think that by May you will have a pretty good handle on your journey. When coming up the Maine coast stop in Belfast and I will treat you to a free mooring for an overnight. The harbor master will know which one. I will be bound for NS in June.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:48   #50
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Wow.. After reading thru this thread I find it a little disturbing that people are actually encouraging you to continue on this nightmare. First off buying a boat sight unseen with known problems like a bilge full of water that's flooding the cabin sole is insane. The boat is home built and designed, with scavenged material and has never been really sailed or tested and is deteriorating away in a marina 500 miles from home. What's the chances her yard and storage bills are up to snuff?
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:48   #51
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Casper Ash,

Just so as you know, my boat is a timber boat. She has always had dusty bilges, i.e. she does not leak. Timber boats do not always leak, although it it true that many do. I think the seller telling you that is just another deal of the seller telling you what he wants you to believe. The choice is yours.

Ann

P.S. I'd point out that if someone will lie to you about one thing, there's no real reason to believe any particular thing he tells you. You've been given a warning by himself!
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:06   #52
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Caper, all your points are duly noted and appreciated. At that price, for the given purpose you envision for her when you get her home, she's probably a good boat. So I'll confine any additional comments, at least until you have more information on her condition, to the challenge of getting her home. A disclaimer (as much for others reading as for you, so I don't get jumped on) that the following is in no way an endorsement of the feasibility of making the voyage with your particular boat.

As for books on weather, I would recommend "Weather for the Mariner" by Kotsch as a good general primer. Used copies are usually available on Amazon. Right now you can get one for $.01 with $3.99 shipping, which is hard to beat.

As mentioned, you should stick to forecasts of 48 hours or less. That is particularly true of the entire north east coast, as the interaction of weather systems meeting in this area is always unpredictable beyond that. If I were in your shoes, in that boat, I would stick with forecasts of 24 hours, biding my time in sheltered water for good conditions to make my next hop. In some circumstances you'll likely need to wait longer for both the weather and the tide to be in your favor. For example, you'll want to exit the C&D canal into the Delaware river early in the morning, catching the beginning of the ebb tide so that you can make it safely to Cape May in daylight before the tide turns. Consider making the trip in June when the longer days give you more daylight to work with.

You are going to want a chart plotter, period, end of discussion. Yes, you can get paper charts and an inexpensive GPS, learn dead reckoning and fuss with calculations and tide books and so forth, sucking up a tremendous amount of time, or for a few dollars more you can a GPS unit with marine charts that will show you where you are, your heading and SOG, and real-time tide and current information for the nearest tidal station. For most of your trip, with your boat, this tide and current information is going to be critical and not having to fumble with tide and current books and do adjustments and calculations for your location will be hugely helpful. If you buy a used handheld model, make sure it comes with optional charts loaded as this is what gives you the tide/current data.

You'll want a VHF radio. And if you can swing it, a subscription to TowBoatUS or some other towing service for $99/year could well save your bacon. Get caught in a bad situation where you need a tow, without the subscription, and you could be looking at fees of $500 just for them to show up.

With proper planning, preparation, patience, and good judgement you can make the trip safely, and have a great time doing it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:39   #53
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaperAsh View Post
The first real challenge is the open water (usually not a lee shore but of course sometimes) up to Sandy Hook. There are some real concerns, but my guess is that if she is seaworthy in the Bay, that she is okay for most close-to-shore coastal cruises and the big caveat is sudden extreme weather and what to do then. So that has to be fully addressed with eyes wide open before undertaking the passage. Still, although challenging, it should be doable.

Also, the basic Weather Pilot charts I have found seem to indicate that over 50% of the time in May there are 10-16 knot winds from South and West with 4% calm days, i.e. 1 in 20 or so.

If I avoid calms and over 25 knot days by remaining in various quiet coves, presumably most of the time this should be fine. The business about dealing with heavy marine traffic concerns me, but one can avoid most of those places and/or just get through them as quickly as possible under sail or (little) motor.

Ash.
You're just going to have to take your time and wait for the right window. In good weather, these hops, a mile or two or three off the beach, are pretty straightforward. There will be some swell (and porpoises!) and depending upon how your boat sails you may want to wait for beam reach conditions. For example, I would not want to be on your boat downwind in a following ocean swell. She's a potential broach just waiting to happen.

Your other concern, making it from Cape May to Sandy Hook, is going to be inlets. You're going to need to transit at least one of them. General rule of thumb: don't enter or exit an inlet when the wind is against the tide. I've seen standing 6' waves in Barnegat Inlet in even moderate conditions, and you often can't see them until you're upon them. It's a little surreal. So you'll need to shoot for a day where the wind is with the tide at the time you expect to arrive. You could, of course, consider an overnight trip from Cape May to Sandy, and you should actually prepare for that as a possible necessity if the weather changes on you mid-passage.

As far as heavy marine traffic goes, your primary concern is going to be heavy-tonnage commercial traffic, since they are moving faster than you and can't maneuver. That's really only going to be an issue in the Chesapeake, going down the Delaware River, Sandy Hook to Manhasset, and past other major ports. Stay out of the channels (easy to do with your draft), cross them only when you have the room to do so, and go directly across, and monitor your radio. Commercial traffic is predictable and visible, so it's largely up to you to stay out of their way. Always keep in mind that big ships are moving considerably faster than they look to be.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:53   #54
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Ann, good point, although I think someone saying 'well, all wooden boats leak a little' isn't necessarily a lie so much as an oversimplification. I note that this is AFTER he informed me about the leaking situation which he could have withheld. He encouraged me to come down to visit first. This just happens to be the single worst time year for me business and cash-flow wise (stocking up home and business for long winter ahead) so that wasn't possible. I'll soon find out. The way I see it is: I won't be able to familiarise myself with this boat unless he is basically friendly and cooperative long after being paid. That's asking quite a lot, I know, but most sailors and those who build their own boats to boot are usually a pretty decent lot. That's part of my gamble here. But I'll see...

Also, usually snake charmers are slick communicators. This guy doesn't like phones or email - having to go to the library for the latter - and often working late viz. the former. If he is running a big scam, he ain't very efficient at it!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:12   #55
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Thanks for weather book recommendation - will order it forthwith.

I have noticed from my sourdough baking that forecasts over 48 hours are dicey (because that is usually what I really need when planning starter amounts, fermentation timing etc.). I was hoping that marine forecasts, esp. for offshore, might be a little bit better (in terms of possible big hop over to Yarmouth).

Actually, no, that invitation from Seagull in Maine is too sweet. So no big hop to Yarmouth!

As to chart plotter, would you mind giving me a typical Garmin or other model nr? I have looked through some online catalogs (though not yet focused) but have a slightly difficult time understanding the differences from the descriptions. I was think I should get one that not only shows position and speed but also displays the charts if I can afford it (which I should be able to). Can these be handheld or is this some other sort of model? And what is the issue with handheld vs larger apart from price and screen display size?

I have FM with 16 etc.

The 6' waves in Barnegat got me sitting up. I guess inlets into Oceans are a beast I didn't meet yet. I can tell that dealing with tides is going to be a key feature on this (potential) passage. I didn't know those chart plotters had the tides too. When I used to sail alot, GPS was in its infancy so although I've seen some of the fancy displays in the boats of local fisherman, am unfamiliar with what you get for a few hundred dollars for the sailboats. Sounds like it has come a long way. And they only need AA batteries. Neat.

Heavy traffic in Chesapeake... and there I thought I'd be a Big Dog at 45'!

Am not sure yet about stern / broach business unless its very heavy. First, you can raise the daggerboard which almost eliminates the yawing etc., and second she is extremely light in the stern and light displacement generally, so I suspect she is going to be a bit like a cork bobbing, perhaps uncomfortably so. Indeed, seem to remember reading that the risk with Sharpie in following sea is pitchpoling if bow is too heavy because stern will rise up more easily than heavy displacement vessels and could then drive the nose down during a steep surf. Which again, I should not be doing.

Now if a broach only means on the beam, then I suspect that's the real danger with these babies, but not sure why that would be a major concern on a run in moderate winds that I'll (ideally) be out in. My current rule of thumb on that is not to venture in seas higher than the beam - 10' in this case, i.e. 3 metre seas.

I still look forward to learning just how seaworthy or not she is. My suspicion is that she is going to be fine up to about 25 knots and then tricky up to 35 then downright dangerous above that.

Of course with this ominous leaking, maybe she already sank this morning, a few minutes after the check was cashed!

I briefly owned a sinking boat in Jacksonville, FLA. Inherited it from Dad. 104' Trumpy called Sunset. A professional boatbuilder friend of mine in Florida kindly inspected her as a favour and said he couldn't believe she was afloat at all so next day I sold it to a 'charity' who has renovated her at a cost of millions and is now offering 1/20th shares at $500,000 (!). I should have had the administrator negotiate me one of those shares!

So sinking boats have possibilities, and maybe I'll have more luck with this one, even though she is, relatively speaking, tiny!
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:57   #56
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

PS thanks for tug tip. That's a good deal and, as long as they like dangerous, not-fit-for-use leaking Sharpies, I'll be going for it!
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Old 04-11-2013, 15:31   #57
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

As far as broaching in a following sea, I think the risk is if you get partially sideways with the sails up in a 45' boat with only a 400 lb. centerboard in a following sea, you're in a potentially difficult situation. It is all going to depend on her sailing qualities and the conditions.

I'm loathe to give you any recommendations about a GPS unit, as I think your least expensive unit is going to be a handheld that displays charts and associated chart data (in addition to the built in "world map" which is totally lacking in detail) and I don't have great familiarity with those. Built in units generally give you a larger display, a few extra functions, and the ability to integrate with other electronics (sounder, radar, AIS, etc) but are no better at the basic functions, other than perhaps having a somewhat more sensitive external antenna. That said, I've never seen a handheld fail to acquire satellites.

As far as the commercial traffic in the Chesapeake is concerned, it is all headed to Baltimore...mostly container ships and car carriers. They stay right in the channel. There is some commercial traffic farther north, headed through the canal, but it is much less frequent. There's another reason for a chart plotter...you can see exactly where the channel is and where you are in relation to it, which is not always obvious when the buoys are widely spaced, or the visibility is poor.
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Old 04-11-2013, 16:03   #58
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I'll second the recommendation on Sea Tow or Boat US. I have a feeling it may be the best money you ever spent. This Summer I towed a small boat (about 16') that capsized right at the cut in Panama City, Sea Tow showed up and wanted $600 to do anything, owner didn't have near that kind of money, so I took them aboard and towed them back to the State Park where they put in. Sea Tow of course carries a rather large pump that could have pumped the little boat dry in a minute if they had the money.
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Old 04-11-2013, 16:50   #59
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Not to overly encourage you but....Google...

"Phil Bolger loose moose". And

"Phil Bolger as 39"
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Old 04-11-2013, 16:55   #60
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Re: From Chesapeake to Cape Breton in May 2014 in a 45' gaff-rigged Sharpie yawl

Then again you could try this

uShip.com Offers Free Upfront Quotes for LTL Freight
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