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Old 17-11-2020, 13:37   #1
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Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

I am looking at a used 26' Columbia with a bubble cabin, fin keel and an out board motor. I have not sailed in 15 years and then mostly in Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay, besides one trip up Long Island Sound because the boat was in Stanford Conn. when I pick it up. I have taken the USPS classes but it has been 40 years now. I have just retired from working as a machinist all my life for the past 15 years here in Rochester N Y.
I am not concerned about the canal or the Huston by getting though NYC concerns me. Is it difficult? What should I know? From what I have read the Columbia 26 is a good boat. Is a smaller outboard not safe for a boat that size.
Can it get me out of the city and into Long Island sound? I am planning on going mid summer late June.
One catch I am hard of hearing it is hard for me to hear the radio as to receive message as say the C G. Would they receive a text message from my cell phone? I can reach them and if the message is short and to the point I can make it out somewhat. I would be alone.
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Old 17-11-2020, 13:49   #2
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

NYC is a Super busy waterway... I have a 41ft boat and it made me nervous. Tons and tons of water taxis, ferries, etc.

Having said that its really no different than any other body of water. if you have a 9.9 outboard or 15 it should be fine. There is a good current in the Hudson there, and lots of wakes from other boats but it still should be doable. just keep a good watch out and stay out of the way of the "bog boys!" and you should be fine.
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Old 17-11-2020, 13:55   #3
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Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

I am looking at a used 26' Columbia with a bubble cabin, fin keel and an out board motor. I have not sailed in 15 years and then mostly in Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay, besides one trip up Long Island Sound because the boat was in Stanford Conn. when I pick it up. I have taken the USPS classes but it has been 40 years now. I have just retired from working as a machinist all my life for the past 15 years here in Rochester N Y.
I am not concerned about the canal or the Huston by getting though NYC concerns me. Is it difficult? What should I know? From what I have read the Columbia 26 is a good boat. Is a smaller outboard not safe for a boat that size.
Can it get me out of the city and into Long Island sound? I am planning on going mid summer late June.
One catch I am hard of hearing it is hard for me to hear the radio as to receive message as say the C G. Would they receive a text message from my cell phone? I can reach them and if the message is short and to the point I can make it out somewhat. I would be alone.
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Old 17-11-2020, 14:36   #4
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

If your mast is down I suspect you could avoid most of Manhattan by transiting the Harlem River over to the East River.

Sounds like a nice trip. Enjoy.
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Old 17-11-2020, 14:51   #5
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

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Originally Posted by Jason Flare View Post
If your mast is down I suspect you could avoid most of Manhattan by transiting the Harlem River over to the East River.

Sounds like a nice trip. Enjoy.

Yes, if you keep the mast down the whole way down the Hudson that's a viable option for a shortcut. On a boat that size, I'd be curious what the total height is from waterline to masthead. Max clearance on the Harlem River is 24 feet at high tide (29 feet at low tide), so even on a 26 footer you probably can't make it with the mast up (and arranging for any of the Harlem River bridges other than Sputyen Duyvil to open requires a bunch of advance notice, etc.)
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Old 17-11-2020, 19:23   #6
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Getting safely through NYC with a small motor will depend a lot on the tides. Get a copy of Eldridge's tide tables. They explain the currents around Manhattan, the East River and Hell Gate. Once you know your transit date you need to pick your arrival time to catch the currents going in the right direction for you, both going down the Hudson and through to Long Island Sound. Watch out for barge and ferry traffic - there is a lot of it.
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Old 17-11-2020, 21:07   #7
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Yes, timing the tides will be important with a small outboard. I took a 25 footer with a 9.9 from Nyack to City island riding the ebb to the battery and the flood up the east river. You want to hit the battery an hour or so after slack and you will squirt up the east side and through Hells Gate. Fun ride.
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Old 18-11-2020, 10:45   #8
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

In addition to tide times, time of day makes a difference. When I came through NY harbor there was very little traffic. We arrived late in the day, around 5 or 6 pm and stayed at very expensive Liberty Landing and left early the next morning before 7 am. The only traffic that morning were ferries, a few tugs, and a cruise ship. Once N of the midtown the traffic dropped off.

The ferries move at a good clip and follow an exact route. They may appear to be randomly moving, however, they are not. Before entering the harbor learn where the ferry terminals are, you'll be able to predict their movements with a fair degree of accuracy.

Trying to be a good seaman, we hailed one ferry to tell them our intentions. No response, other than a CG boat suddenly showed up and watched us for a few minutes.

We did not sail on the East River, so I can't advise you on that trip.

On your way to Oswego and the Canal, Fair Haven is a good stopping place. Fair Point Marina can easily unstep the mast.
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Old 18-11-2020, 10:51   #9
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Forgot to add. Regardless of apparent wind, plan on motoring up east river and carry extra gas. You do not want to run out anywhere in the harbor.
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Old 18-11-2020, 10:59   #10
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 115jcurtis View Post
I am looking at a used 26' Columbia with a bubble cabin, fin keel and an out board motor. I have not sailed in 15 years and then mostly in Rhode Island, Narragansett Bay, besides one trip up Long Island Sound because the boat was in Stanford Conn. when I pick it up. I have taken the USPS classes but it has been 40 years now. I have just retired from working as a machinist all my life for the past 15 years here in Rochester N Y.
I am not concerned about the canal or the Huston by getting though NYC concerns me. Is it difficult? What should I know? From what I have read the Columbia 26 is a good boat. Is a smaller outboard not safe for a boat that size.
Can it get me out of the city and into Long Island sound? I am planning on going mid summer late June.
One catch I am hard of hearing it is hard for me to hear the radio as to receive message as say the C G. Would they receive a text message from my cell phone? I can reach them and if the message is short and to the point I can make it out somewhat. I would be alone.
Just time Hells Gate on the East River right for the Sound and harbor tides. Does not sound like you will have the power to hit it wrong. If you do it right you can ride the incoming up the river and the ebbing to the Sound. Best of luck.
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Old 18-11-2020, 11:12   #11
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

We took a 22' Westerly from Geneva, New York (in the Finger Lakes) down through New York City and on down to Baltimore in June a few years back. The canal was delightful, though more than once we were held up for more than a day for lock repairs. We stepped the mast a little south of Albany, but had the wind on our nose most of the way. The tides run the Hudson in both directions, and with our little Volvo 7 hp inboard, we had the cheerful necessity of enjoying the little towns along the way when the tide ran against us. Crossing the Tappan Zee at night to ride an outgoing tide got a little confusing ("Wait a minute--how come that buoy's showing red when it should be green, and that other one's green when it should be red? Oh my! Oncoming barge dead ahead!" New York Harbor presented no problem, but as we neared Sandy Hook a thick fog rolled in, and after we heard a fog horn blast from the second approaching ship, the boat began to shake badly--the motor mounts having sheered off from all that unaccustomed running under power, but that's another story....
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Old 18-11-2020, 12:40   #12
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Good Advice above and I have done the East River/Hell Gate on many distance trips. Plan your trip so that you arrive near the GW Bridge Sunday -Tue and rest overnight. Then go the remainder down and around the Battery and up the East River on Wed or Thursday. Strongly advise not doing that part on Friday thru Sunday during the summer. There will be too many boaters showing off and making the biggest waves in those areas. It can be a beautiful trip.
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Old 18-11-2020, 12:54   #13
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

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Originally Posted by 115jcurtis View Post
I am planning on going mid summer late June. ...
I would be alone.
I am looking for a similar boat. I am very close (Montreal), so if mine doesn't work out and yours does, I would be happy to help.
I've gone down the Hudson from Lake Champlain and stopped at the 79th St. Boat Basin for a few days, then offshore...

Hopefully COVID will be over by then...
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Old 18-11-2020, 15:54   #14
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Hey, I am a retired FDNY captain and water rescue instructor, the coast guard does not respond to vessels in distress within the city limits, they are strictly a military presence in NYC ......if you get in a jam call 911, they do get texts, NYPD can get to you within 5 min with a heli, and FDNY will be there within 10 min on safeboats.
Best accommodations are at Liberty landing marina inside the city (very pricey), also best place to catch the incoming tide to get down the east river and though hell gate.
Start out an hour after the tide changes and you should rocket though the city,..take care to be on the WEST SIDE on Rosevelt island you will de-mast your vessel on the other side.
Non of the vessels in the harbor will try to communicate via radio other than the FDNY stay on your right and close to governors island as you pass the staten island ferry terminal.
Good luck, God Speed,well done and congratulations on retirement.
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Old 24-11-2020, 09:41   #15
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Re: Going from Rochester NY by the canal and NYC how hard.

Wicked fast currents around NYC, your little outboard might be OK in calm conditions, but any wind driven waves or wakes will cause the outboard to cavitate and loose forward momentum. Make sure you pick good weather and slack tides
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