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Old 22-11-2011, 13:22   #1
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Sailing Down to NYC

I am moving to Greenport, Long Island and am investigating motoring/sailing from Oswego down the Erie Canal, to the Hudson River, through NYC harbor and out the Long Island Sound around to Greenport. I have a few months to plan and am looking for anyone who has done all or part of this journey and can help in my planning.
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Old 22-11-2011, 13:31   #2
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Re: Sailing down to NYC

From the convergence of the Hudson and New York Harbor North and east it will be a Great ride,Just make sure to time your tides want them with you going thru,Pull up active captian on the internet download all marinas,stops of intress has it all,Have fun.
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Old 22-11-2011, 13:41   #3
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Re: Sailing down to NYC

Some Erie Canal locks were severly damaged due to Irene. It is possible that the repairs might take more than a few months to be completed.Check first!!!
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Old 22-11-2011, 13:59   #4
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Re: Sailing down to NYC

Definitely need to check the tides once you round the Battery and head up the East River. Around Hell Gate the current can hit 5 kts, going south on the ebb, north on the flood into LI Sound. Need to time your passage to hit the Battery around slack tide just before flood starts. Will have a similar issue at Plum Gut on the other end but not quite as intense and it's a shorter bottleneck to get through than the East River.

After the East River it's wide open and easy going. Lots of places to anchor for the night. There are a number of shoals and rocks but well charted and most have markers or buoys.

Altogether a very nice cruise.
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Old 22-11-2011, 14:07   #5
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Re: Sailing down to NYC

Take your mast down at the Oswego Marina. Put it back up at Riverview marina in Catskill. Many use the diy crane at Castleton to step their masts but I have seen an accident or two there so I used Riverview after the first few trips.The canal trip is very pleasant and hopefully all the locks will be operational in the spring. If possible delay the trip till July or later, the spring run-off will be over by then. Take your time, maybe five or six days to get through the Oswego and Erie canals. You can tie up every night at a lock. I used to pick the ones by small towns so I could do a bit of checking things out.

Once you're in the Hudson you can either anchor or visit marinas or yacht clubs every night. I always anchored as there are some nice anchorages, mostly on the west bank as the squalls come from the west and the protection is better. You can try sailing down the Hudson but I have found the valley funnels the wind and it is either on the nose or behind you. For me it was usually on the nose. The Hudson is deep all the way (ocean going boats go up to Albany) but watch the marks as there are bars and the river snakes a bit.

Make sure you have a hand-held vhf or an emergency vhf antenna that you can plug into your main vhf. All the locks monitor vhf and usually the lock-keeper will phone ahead and tell the next lock you're coming. Keep an eye on this site http://www.canals.ny.gov/index.shtml before you set out and you'll have a good idea of the canal conditions. One other thing, always tie up for the night on the high side of locks. Much more pleasant and the boat won't be pushed around when the lock is dumped.

I've only been in Long Island Sound a couple of times on deliveries so don't know anything about it except we never did worry about tides, just get up and go. Same for up and down the Hudson. Why wait half a day for the tide?
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Old 22-11-2011, 15:42   #6
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Re: Sailing down to NYC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Take your mast down at the Oswego Marina. Put it back up at Riverview marina in Catskill. Many use the diy crane at Castleton to step their masts but I have seen an accident or two there so I used Riverview after the first few trips.The canal trip is very pleasant and hopefully all the locks will be operational in the spring. If possible delay the trip till July or later, the spring run-off will be over by then. Take your time, maybe five or six days to get through the Oswego and Erie canals. You can tie up every night at a lock. I used to pick the ones by small towns so I could do a bit of checking things out.

Once you're in the Hudson you can either anchor or visit marinas or yacht clubs every night. I always anchored as there are some nice anchorages, mostly on the west bank as the squalls come from the west and the protection is better. You can try sailing down the Hudson but I have found the valley funnels the wind and it is either on the nose or behind you. For me it was usually on the nose. The Hudson is deep all the way (ocean going boats go up to Albany) but watch the marks as there are bars and the river snakes a bit.

Make sure you have a hand-held vhf or an emergency vhf antenna that you can plug into your main vhf. All the locks monitor vhf and usually the lock-keeper will phone ahead and tell the next lock you're coming. Keep an eye on this site The New York State Canal System - Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga Seneca Canals before you set out and you'll have a good idea of the canal conditions. One other thing, always tie up for the night on the high side of locks. Much more pleasant and the boat won't be pushed around when the lock is dumped.

I've only been in Long Island Sound a couple of times on deliveries so don't know anything about it except we never did worry about tides, just get up and go. Same for up and down the Hudson. Why wait half a day for the tide?
Agree with Vasco's advice. Made this trip up and back from Long Island in 2002. Very nice journey would like to do it again. Strongly recommend you pick up the 2012 Eldridge Tide and Pilot book before you start. Will help you time the tides and currents from Albany all the way through Long Island Sound. DO NOT attempt to buck the currents up the East River through Hell Gate. Use them don't fight them. Arrive at the Battery two hours after low tide to have a fair current that will take you up into Long Island Sound. Using the currents in the Sound can increase your speed by a knot or more too.
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Old 22-11-2011, 16:11   #7
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Re: Sailing Down to NYC

Never had an issue at the battery or up the east river, Hell's Gate does have a bunch of current and whirl pools but you can power thru them.

Of course try and time it but you can bail out at South Street lower Manhattan, after going under the Throgs Neck Bridge your in the Sound.

First possible stop is Glen Cove or Manhasset harbors, you can get a mooring or drop a hook.
Going ashore there are plenty of restaurants.

On the LI side next is Huntington or head over to the CT side try and catch the out going tide as you head east, but you can go against it without a big issue.

If you go to the CT side try and stop at the Thimble Islands.

Going thru the Gut is no issue at all swing around and go to Greenport or Shelter Island.

That whole area is great cruising grounds.
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Old 22-11-2011, 18:32   #8
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Re: Sailing Down to NYC

Not that it maters to you, but the canal is temporarily open right now for about a week to allow boats to escape that were trapped by the Irene damage.

The canal corp is saying everything will reopen on schedule in the spring on or around May 1. We plan to be heading the opposite direction around then so we'll give you a wave when we pass :-)
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Old 24-11-2011, 10:41   #9
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Re: Sailing Down to NYC

Thanks! I did not expect so many replies so early. I am planning to go around mid-May at this point. I will keep posting. Happy Thanksgiving!
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