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Old 18-10-2018, 00:21   #1
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Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

TL;DR: Iíve been stuck in NYC for months with ever-dwindling supplies resulting in a deteriorating mental state. I need advice on how to get my boat and myself south to VA before winter and need advice on how to do so.

Hello all, I could really use some advice. I recently bought a Pearson Coaster 30 in NYC with the ultimate goal of living aboard in the Norfolk, VA area. The original plan when I moved out here was to take the two weeks on the hard I was granted to make sure it was seaworthy then set sail for Norfolk. I was launched at the end of that two weeks with no problems and towed through the mooring field to a spot they figured I could anchor near a couple other people that lived aboard as well. The intent was to set sail around Long Island and put New York to my rudder immediately, making my way south along the coast to the Chesapeake Bay and go to Norfolk where I would anchor until I could find a marina to dock at and continue the process of refitting the boat as I saw fit.

In a few words, things didnít work out as planned. Many more words follow.

I had met and befriended several people involved in the yacht club that sold me the boat, one offered me the opportunity to exchange some work for sailing lessons, a chance which I, of course, leapt at. Being a new sailor I knew I was inexperienced and could definitely use the learning experience.

That went well, I already had a little experience sailing small craft, so applying that to a larger vessel was fairly intuitive, and I took to it pretty quickly. Iíve had a couple other lessons since which included sailing in some pretty heavy wind and surf. Being in the Long Island Sound, I know it wouldnít be like sailing on the ocean, but still good experience to get under my belt.

I ended up crewing for the same guy moving a large 64í motor, not sail, boat from Brooklyn to Staten Island, where I was able to glean some temporary employment for the owner of that boat working on it for him, grinding, painting, and other such tasks.

So by that point I had already ended up staying in NYC two weeks longer than I planned. Florence went through shortly thereafter and I thought it would be prudent to wait that out as well, but honestly it ended up being a disappointment after the havoc I heard it had wrought down south, in fact I slept through it.

Now through all this I have been staying at anchor, 150 to 200 yards offshore with only a kayak to take me ashore. My supplies that I had brought with me were beginning to dwindle, so with what looked like a weather window opening for me to get south, I bid farewell to those few I befriended and began my final preparations to leave.

As I was preparing myself and the boat, I was contacted again by my friends and advised against attempting the voyage for reasons mostly relating to my inexperience. At first I was reticent to follow their advice, but ultimately succumbed, feeling very defeated.

Depression has always been an issue for me, so having had my hopes so high to get my life down south started get dashed on the rocks after already being delayed by a month, sent me in a downward spiral. Since being here Iíve been unable to obtain the medications I was prescribed for it where I had come from. If my plans had played out as envisioned, it wouldnít have been a huge deal, though now it has become an increasingly urgent matter. I had these things figured out for when I arrived in Norfolk, but had no plan for here in NYC.

Resigned to waiting longer, I tried to elicit a little more work with those I had already worked with, as I needed to replenish my stores. I had little success, but was able to provision myself for a little longer.

My situation now, as it stands, is essentially the same as it was. Work has been sparse and inconsistent. My supplies are being depleted. My mental health is deteriorating further without access to treatment. Kayaking to shore is tiresome, and even once I get ashore, I need to walk four miles to get to a store or for work. The weather is getting colder, bringing concerns of exposure-related problems, like hypothermia if I get wet on my trip to shore, into a very real possibility.

I feel like Iím at the end of my rope and need to get south as soon as possible because wintering here is not an option. Iíve been convinced that voyaging south on my own is too dangerous, but at this point Iím about ready to risk it anyway. Iíve even considered abandoning my boat to try and hitchhike to VA or even taking it to deep water and sinking it, though I am loathe to do either because I love my boat, Iíve put a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into it, and additionally I AM environmentally conscious and would hate myself if I helped contribute to mankindís seemingly continuous destruction of the oceans. Other more seriously dangerous options have been considered due to my mental state.

Ultimately I really love living on my boat, I love my boat, and I have had a great time sailing it so far, so I know itís possible to do this. If Iíve gone through this much already, I can certainly handle things once I get to VA, however I need to get myself and my boat there quickly for my own well being. I could really use some advice from you all. Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading your replies.

Lauren
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Old 18-10-2018, 03:32   #2
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

TL;DR just scanned.

Money removes such difficulties, focus on hustling for that however you can, couch surf napping between shifts if the liveaboard isn't conducive?

Or find other ways to persuade an experienced driver to help you get South ASAP, but of course vet them carefully.

I'd say get further south than VA, follow the 60-70's.
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Old 18-10-2018, 06:49   #3
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Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

You got towed. Does that mean you donít have a functional motor? Where are you specifically around NYC? Brooklyn? Manhassett? NJ? Does the boat have heat?

If no motor, then you are between a rock and a very hard place given you donít have the skills to make the trip under sail alone.

The only ďhardĒ part of the trip, relatively speaking, is getting to Delaware Bay. Going down the East River would obviously be more expedient but is out of the question with no motor. Do you have to get to Norfolk or are other destinations acceptable?

Some more specific details about the boat, your skills, and your financial situation might lead to concrete tactical advice from those reading this thread.
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Old 18-10-2018, 06:58   #4
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Can you borrow an experienced sailing friend or two for a few days, and put them on a bus back home once you get a little further south and more experienced?

I'm not sure if it is easier, with the confined waters and risk of grounding, but you can do the trip almost entirely in sheltered waters - down the New Jersey intercoastal waterway, up the Delaware Bay, across the C & D canal, and then down Cheasepeake Bay to Norfolk.

You'd need a functional motor to do that safely.
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Old 18-10-2018, 07:12   #5
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Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by saghost View Post
Can you borrow an experienced sailing friend or two for a few days, and put them on a bus back home once you get a little further south and more experienced?

With no motor on a 30í itís going to take at *least* a week to get to the Delaware. She (?) has to go all the way east to Montauk and then along the south shore back west or direct to Cape May. Add in waiting on weather and timing currents through the Race etc and it could stretch out significantly longer.

If she could get a tow past the Verrazano it would simplify/expedite the trip and her options dramatically.
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Old 18-10-2018, 07:31   #6
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
With no motor on a 30í itís going to take at *least* a week to get to the Delaware. She (?) has to go all the way east to Montauk and then along the south shore back west or direct to Cape May. Add in waiting on weather and timing currents through the Race etc and it could stretch out significantly longer.

If she could get a tow past the Verrazano it would simplify/expedite the trip and her options dramatically.
I'll defer to your experience on the timing part. I think even a few days at sea with an experienced crew would be greatly helpful in terms of skill and confidence, even if they don't cover that much ground.
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Old 18-10-2018, 07:47   #7
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

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I'll defer to your experience on the timing part. I think even a few days at sea with an experienced crew would be greatly helpful in terms of skill and confidence, even if they don't cover that much ground.

No doubt, but Iím not confident it would be enough for them to make the rest of the trip safely. There are some technical aspects to making that trip that can be moderately demanding:

- Navigating Long Island Sound currents which are ever present and quite strong at the east end

- Sailing at night along LI south shore

- Crossing at times intensely busy shipping channels into NYC/ NJ harbors

- Navigating through the commercial fishing boats that operate at night south of Long Island

- General unfamiliarity with sailing in ocean waters. They would be night sailing on top of that within their first day out.

They really need to find a way down the East River at this point. I donít see any other viable option short of experienced (not to mention willing) crew all the way around the island.
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Old 18-10-2018, 08:00   #8
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Hi Lauren..
I have been where you are many times in the past.. bar the depression.. Well occasionally..
One thing I have found every port will produce the doomsayers.. x by 10 if its your first time doing the trip.
It is scary and for me its every trip.. will the boat hold up.. am I good enough.. am I losing my edge..???
You obviously felt confident enough in your abilities to start prepping but let yourself get talked down.. a habit you will have to break if you want to actually go sailing.
I am only vaguely familiar with that coastline and the atea concerned but cannot be much more complex than taking a boat from say Grimsby to Poole.. strong tides, traffic, shallows etc.
Plan your trip with overnight stopovers in easy 35 to 45m legs if possible at the start running with the currents as much as possible.. so get your tide tables in order and work with them and the weather.
Llook at it this way.. you could go out every day for the next week practicing and coming back to the YC every night.. Or.. you could make say 40nm towards your goal every day and practice at the same time.. also.. your not on a voyage, just another daysail.
You go to and have faith in doctors.. all they do is practice..
Like every trip I take its a 50/50 chance of success.. for a vast variety of reasons.. some of which are out of my hands..
Lifes Like That..
Had a look at the specs and they had gas engines so could be engineless.
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Old 18-10-2018, 08:50   #9
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Suijen
No, thereís no motor or heat in the boat besides my cooking stove and gas lantern. Iíve been anchoring near City Island and New Rochelle, NY. Other southerly destinations might be acceptable, but I have family in Norfolk which is why I was heading there.

My financial situation is basically I have no finances, and no sure way to bring more in. As far as my skills, I can get my boat to move in the direction I want it to go and I have taken it out for a few solo trips into the sound and back to where Iíve been anchoring. No certs if thatís what youíre asking. Having not been on the ocean Iím not sure what kinds of emergency situations could arise or how to handle them without knowing to think about and/or practice dealing with them.

Saghost
The few people I know who are more experienced sailing than I am are who Iíve met since coming here and are either unable or unwilling to make the trip with me. And like I said to Suijen, I have no motor unfortunately or I wouldnít have as many problems.

Boatman
I actually had planned anchorages on my way south in similar increments my biggest problem being the NJ coast. I also lack some safety gear like an EPIRB and a second battery with which to keep the radio on and the bilge pump is untested, which is another reason I let myself get talked out of it... my life doesnít matter to me, but it does to others. And thank you very much for your vote of confidence.

Thank you all for your input,
Lauren
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Old 18-10-2018, 08:54   #10
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Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

As another potential option, what kind of logistics would be involved in transporting the boat over land to VA? I have contacts and favors owed me from some people who do some heavy hauling but no experience with hauling boats either on their end or mine.

At this point I would consider giving up actually sailing down for just getting there somehow...

Lauren
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Old 18-10-2018, 09:46   #11
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The mast would need removing and a travel lift/crane to load hull onto a flatbed.
Stands made up to support and lashings.. also if over a certain width you would need an escort.. 8ft 6in I think.
Reverse the process at the other end.
Oh.. Chuck a few buckets of water in the bilges..
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Old 18-10-2018, 09:56   #12
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Hi Lauren
Just so you know
Your Life Maters To Me
and we have never met
So Please forget about this trip and this boat
at this time
There are many many boats out there
and you sound young so have a whole life
in front of you.
I have done your planned trip many times
and you are just not prepared or ready.
My advice, try to find a place to leave
the boat over the winter or donate it
and try again in the future.
Cheers
Neil
Feel free to PM if you just want to have an ear
to hear you
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Old 18-10-2018, 10:45   #13
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Lauren,

You cannot traverse the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal (the second busiest canal in the world I have learned) without a motor. That means sailing down the coast to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Can it be done? I'm sure it can. Should it be done by someone with as little experience as you say you have? It sounds very risky to me unless you have someone else on board with more experience.

Others have weighed in with their advice. I just wanted to make you aware that you cannot traverse the canal under sail.
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Old 18-10-2018, 12:05   #14
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Lauren,

Your life is very important to me.

I'm also a multi-year lurker on this site. It provides wonderful therapy, and often some great amusement. I'm thinking the time for me to head into what you are doing has passed me by, however. My plans also haven't worked out exactly the way I planned.

I want to write to encourage you to set some priorities to help you work your way through this jungle. These are my opinion, so take my advice for what it's worth.

First, you need to resolve to take care of your own health first and foremost. Without that going for you, nothing else matters, and it will be just that much harder, maybe even impossible to work things out. An inexperienced skipper on a boat of questionable safety is frightening for all of us. The same situation, except with a skipper who doesn't care if she lives or dies? A recipe for disaster, which likely would risk other people's lives as well.

So what does that look like? Resolve in your mind and heart that your life is more important that all the yachts in the entire world. That's not hyperbole--it's God's honest truth! If something bad happens to your boat while you are absent, so be it.

Button her up, get in the kayak, get to shore and get to an urgent care or emergency room. Don't worry about anything else until you've been evaluated and are getting the care and meds you need. After that, you can begin to logically sort through your life from a better and healthier perspective.

Second, once that is accomplished and you are on the mend, you will doubtless feel better about the situation and life itself. Then it will be time to evaluate. Give up this boat or not? Either answer presents its own different decision tree so you can see that the first priority has to be a clear head that is more at peace.

If your decision is to abandon it, next question is, sell, donate, store, scuttle or abandon? Most of those have a fairly simple set of consequential steps that are predictable and more or less easily taken.

That choice then leads to the next question: stay in NY or head elsewhere? Again, the choice leads to more steps to follow and more decisions.

You see where this is going. Right now everything seems hopelessly complicated; your plans didn't work out, you are losing confidence in your sailing abilities, you have doubts about the boat, the weather, the situation where you are and where you may be...

All of this points (me at least) back to your most important, first and foremost task: You absolutely must regain your health and mental stability. You need to realize how precious life is, and especially your own. Imagine the people who know you who would be devastated if you lost your life. Beyond that, your life is precious to many whom you've never met, including me, and will be even more so to some you will meet in the many tomorrows remaining for you.

God speed and fair winds, Lauren!
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Old 18-10-2018, 13:00   #15
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Re: Advice for transporting my boat and myself to VA, USA

Lauren,


It appears your immediate dilemma is to find temporary work and living quarters until you can find a way to get the boat down south. You will definitely need an engine, so it's a matter of finding one. A cheap alternative to an inboard diesel would be to mount an outboard (10 -15 hp). Once that is accomplished, and assuming the boat doesn't leak anywhere and that the rig is strong, you should be set to go. Unfortunately, it'll be cold so you may have to spend the winter here.


Just across the Bay from where you are anchored there is the SUNY Maritime College. It is on the Bronx side of the Throggs Neck Bridge, just west of the bridge's main bastion. Go there and seek some advice - they accept boats on donation and may offer you some $ for it. Alternatively, they can most likely hook you up with the various local sailing clubs that may be able to assist you in finding work; preparing the boat (motor!) and maybe even locating a place to bunk. Another suggestion - there are many Yacht Clubs where you are and on City Island. Try posting on their bulletin boards for a "mentor" willing to assist you in your situation.


Good luck, and keep us posted. We care - otherwise we wouldn't be writing to you!!


Stay in touch and the very best of luck to you.
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