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Old 26-09-2017, 08:52   #1
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Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

Hi everyone,

I am glad to be a part of the forum finally finding the boat I was looking for..:-)

SO, I have the "new to me" 97 Maxum SCR 2800 since June. The first marina I found near Ocean CIty NJ was a bit of a letdown, people were awesome water was not so much. I have found what seems to be the perfect marina for my family and need to get the boat there. Definites are, I have no experience with: Traveling this distance.
The waterways after Cape May. Once I get to Cape May it is all brand new.
The path would be the Delaware up to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal then down the Elk River to Fairlee creek - Chestertown.

Has anyone done this trip and or do you think it is unwise to attempt having only one season in my past?

The other option is to have it Hauled at around 1000.00.

Thank you for any info...

James
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Old 26-09-2017, 09:43   #2
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

There isn't much complicated about the trip. I suggest going offshore around Cape May and not messing with the canal. It won't take much longer if any. Watch out for crab traps in the Delaware Bay.
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Old 26-09-2017, 10:00   #3
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

James. In a 28 ft express, rounding Cape May, heading up Delaware Bay, across the C & D Canal, then down the Elk River would be, by far, your best bet. That is, as opposed to passing Delaware Bay, staying on the outside and then heading up Chesapeake Bay.

Whether taking her on her own hull or having her trucked, that is up to you. It's roughly 1 mpg, give or take. At the price of fuel, it's maybe 1/2 price or less than trucking. If you're going in multiple days, toss in the cost of slips and food.

If you take the cost factor out (or if both are equal) it is a great learning experience.
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Old 26-09-2017, 12:32   #4
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

Thank you very much for the replies, I wanted to take the trip myself rather than truck the boat. I just wasn't sure what the gotchas may be. It would be just my wife and kids so I wanted to be safe first. I appreciate the advice about the crab traps Fahtcha!! Thank you Shrew, I feel more comfortable doing this now.
Just curious as to your thoughts on wind being a factor. I can't seem to nail down a forecast, so winds could be between 8 to 19 MPH this Saturday. For my boat what would be "too windy" ??

Thank you again for the replies.

James
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Old 27-09-2017, 04:29   #5
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

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Originally Posted by 4n6PI View Post
The waterways after Cape May. Once I get to Cape May it is all brand new.
The path would be the Delaware up to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal then down the Elk River to Fairlee creek - Chestertown.

Has anyone done this trip and or do you think it is unwise to attempt having only one season in my past?

The other option is to have it Hauled at around 1000.00.

I haven't been on the NJ side, but otherwise it's a pretty easy trip.

It's also easy to break it up into smaller segments, enjoy the coffee (or roses?) along the way... and your crew may enjoy that a bit more anyway.

NJ to Lewes, DE. Dock at the City Dock, enjoy the town, have a meal, whatever.

Lewes to Chesapeake City on the C&D. Ditto all that stuff. (The hotel marina in the bight on the south side of the Canal is fun.)

Delaware Bay can be snotty, so weather could indeed be a factor. Wind speed per se isn't always the problem; usually it's wind speed in relationship to tide or current (opposites suck). Check the NOAA forecast for predicted wave height, and you can use apps like windyty or windy.com and so forth for predicted wind speeds and directions. 2' waves and a short wave period will likely suggest that segment could be some work but doable without too much discomfort; just match your speed to waves as best you can. 3' waves and a short waver period might not be great for a first trip with family; not necessarily unsafe -- often the boat will take more abuse than the crew -- but might not seem like great fun, which might in turn influence their future outlook on boating.

Do NOT cut short your entrance to the east side of the C&D; review charts in advance. Not difficult, but you have to honor the markers.

Chesapeake City to Fairlee Creek. (Mears Great Oak Landing?)

The entrance to Fairlee can be a bit daunting, your first time. Conceptually: enter the fairway and drive the boat up onto the beach. Erp, just before you hit the beach, turn 90° to port and drive the boat up onto the beach. Erp, just before you find yourself parked in Jellyfish Joel's tiki hut, turn 90° to starboard and power through the short gap (sometimes outbound current can be surprisingly strong).

Ignore all the sightseers watching; they'll raise their scorecards after they assess your arrival. 9.9 9.6 9.8 9.5 etc.

Just kidding. A bit. Once you've made that entrance the first time, all that will be clear... and it'll be easy afterwards.

You can work out the mileage and potential times for those legs, even if you don't stop at each point. You can use ActiveCaptain to look up marina info, etc.

-Chris
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Old 27-09-2017, 04:35   #6
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, James.
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Old 27-09-2017, 06:12   #7
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

Key here is not to do the trip according to anyone's shore schedule, e.g., soccer practice or dinner with Jones Family. Leave yourself a multi-day window and pick your weather. Don't mess with Delaware Bay in a blow and you will be fine. Have fun.
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Old 27-09-2017, 07:18   #8
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

In your Maxum this will be a ridiculously easy (and quick) trip. You could possibly do it in one day if you don't mind burning some fuel and timing your trip up the Delaware right. You cruise at 20 knots and the trip is @ 125 miles. Your range is @ 200 miles so you don't even need to stop for fuel. If you want to divide it into two days logical stopping points are Cape May and Chesapeake City (along the C&D canal).

Some thoughts:

You have no air draft, so you can enter Cape May and take the canal into the Delaware river, cutting off a big chunk of distance (vs. going into the Delaware at the mouth).

Time your trip up the Delaware to take advantage of the flood tide. Otherwise you'll have a few knots knocked off your speed.

The Canal is a piece of cake. I'm fairly certain you can make it under the railroad lift bridge even when it's down. It's up by default and only lowers for rail traffic. Do however keep your eyes peeled for barges and tugs and monitor channel 13. They move at a good clip and expect you to get out of their way. Oblige them. I would advise doing the canal in daylight if possible as it is often sprinkled with inebriated power boaters at night, particularly on weekends.

The rest of the trip is straightforward assuming you have a chart plotter.
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Old 27-09-2017, 07:43   #9
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

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Just curious as to your thoughts on wind being a factor. I can't seem to nail down a forecast, so winds could be between 8 to 19 MPH this Saturday. For my boat what would be "too windy" ??
You're going to have N winds 10-15 with gusts to 20 and 3 ft seas (expect 4). You should be running with it, heading down to the mouth of Delaware bay. Running downwind in a following sea should make for a much better ride than if you were pounding into it.

We wouldn't have thought twice about those conditions. That boat will handle that just fine. We've had her out in much worse. However, I can't speak for the crew.

Review paper charts carefully to familiarize yourself with the route and markers. Plot it on the GPS ahead of time. Make sure to zoom in to make sure you're not cutting markers anywhere.
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Old 27-09-2017, 08:01   #10
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

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Just curious as to your thoughts on wind being a factor. I can't seem to nail down a forecast, so winds could be between 8 to 19 MPH this Saturday. For my boat what would be "too windy" ??
Just be vigilant entering the inlet at Cape May. If the wind is against the current it can make for some tumultuous water, although less so than some other NJ inlets.

As for your boat and what is too windy, it's a matter of what the sea state is, which is a function of how the wind has changes in the hours leading up to departure. If it starts out 8 and builds to 19, you'll be more than fine. If it's lumpy you may need to slow down for a comfortable ride, though. YMMV.
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Old 27-09-2017, 08:27   #11
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

If you have a north wind with gusts, and you are traveling the Delaware on a flood tide, you will get pounded. Close, tall waves. Are you familiar with coastal navigation? I would go to Cape May and go through the CM canal, and take quite a bit off the trip. If you want to split the trip up, CM is a good stop over. Several marinas, and walking distance to The Lobster House and Billy Bones. Then, weather permitting, early start and up the Bay to the C&D.
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Old 27-09-2017, 08:39   #12
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

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If you have a north wind with gusts, and you are traveling the Delaware on a flood tide, you will get pounded. Close, tall waves. Are you familiar with coastal navigation? I would go to Cape May and go through the CM canal, and take quite a bit off the trip. If you want to split the trip up, CM is a good stop over. Several marinas, and walking distance to The Lobster House and Billy Bones. Then, weather permitting, early start and up the Bay to the C&D.
+1. That's what I would do. Should be a fast, easy trip in that boat if you pick your weather.
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Old 28-09-2017, 19:26   #13
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

Hi Ranger42c thank you for the heads up on the City Dock and all the info very much appreciated. Yes, Great Oak. We think it will be a fantastic marina for next year, especially for the kids. Thank you for the welcome gordmay. Appreciate the advice Drew13440 :-) wasn't planning on letting that get in the way. :-) Also, appreciate to heads up from Suijin on the canal..will do.
Shrew, always love hearing from you on this stuff, beyond appreciated..
No, keepondancing I was not aware of coastal navigation, I assume you mean the online courses? I did, however, look it up and will be taking them over the winter. Thank you for that info. Peregrine1983 thank you for the vote of confidence, a bit nervous but, very excited to take our first "real" trip since we got the boat...!! Will be as cautious as possible, and try to enjoy it as well..

thank you!!
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:15   #14
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

So, tail between my legs but, I wanted to reply to share my trip. The intercoastal cruise to Cape May was beautiful. Had lunch at the Lobster House, which was fantastic!! Once I got to the Delaware is where it went south really fast. As I came out of the Cape May Canal Jetty the waves and wind were not what we were expecting using the apps that we had checked earlier. The first wave hit hard then the second and the third (or fourth) threw the boat into the air, this is no exaggeration, it felt like we came out completely...no way to know for sure and actually don't care. I was out of my league and knew it right away. I decided to try and time the next wave, turn around and get back into the canal. Thankfully, I was able to execute the turn and power up enough to complete it. I am not sure what I could have done differently, I realize I need much more experience and am very glad I did not make a tragic mistake. Very humbling slightly embarrassing but glad it all worked out.
Waiting for the quote from the hauler. :-)
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:08   #15
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Re: Ocean City NJ to Chestertown MD for the first time

I'm not sure what apps you're referring to, but we pretty much live by the good old NOAA marine forecasts. NDBC - National Weather Service Marine Forecast FZUS51 KPHI

They're not infallible, obviously, but they weigh heavily into the decision making about coastal cruisies we do.
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