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Old 02-10-2019, 16:30   #1
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Massschusetts to New Jersey

Hi all,
Purchased a 30 foot sailboat in Massachusetts and looking to sail it to New Jersey by the end of October. Thinking of heading to Long Island sound, down the East River and then to Raritan Bay in New Jersey. Other option would be open water along Long Island . Just wandering if someone has any experience with these particular routes, pros and cons and things to look out for.
Thanks
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Old 02-10-2019, 19:16   #2
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

I have used both routes recently.

Outside in the ocean requires an ocean ready boat and crew. With a good weather window it can a wonderful ride, and October has a good chance of nice weather. I would want to be very confident of the boat before heading out in the ocean.

Heading out into the ocean at Montauk and sailing straight to Raritan Bay is certainly an option. Having crew that can trade watches will be helpful in avoiding fatigue. Be mindful of large commercial vessels running 5 miles or so off shore or anchored.

On the ocean side Montauk to Shinnecock, Shinnecock to Fire Island Inlet, then Fire Island Inlet to Raritan Bay are hops that can each be done during daylight. Plan arrivals in Shinnecock and Fire Island Inlet to coincide with an incoming tide. Both places have substantial current. There are places to anchor just inside both inlets making easy in and easy out. Be prepared to be self sufficient at these stopovers.

Going inside Long Island Sound is less weather dependent. and there are abundant options for repair services if needed. Lots of nice places to layover for the night.

There is a notable current at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound, just plan for it. Of course the East River at the western exit of Long Island Sound is famous for it's very large tidal current. Catching the tide through the East River is an experience to savor.

With a new to me boat I might favor the Long Island Sound route just to avoid the rigors of ocean conditions with a boat I was not fully familiar with. I would try not to hurry, taking time to enjoy some nice stops.
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Old 04-10-2019, 20:07   #3
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

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Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
I have used both routes recently.

Outside in the ocean requires an ocean ready boat and crew. With a good weather window it can a wonderful ride, and October has a good chance of nice weather. I would want to be very confident of the boat before heading out in the ocean.

Heading out into the ocean at Montauk and sailing straight to Raritan Bay is certainly an option. Having crew that can trade watches will be helpful in avoiding fatigue. Be mindful of large commercial vessels running 5 miles or so off shore or anchored.

On the ocean side Montauk to Shinnecock, Shinnecock to Fire Island Inlet, then Fire Island Inlet to Raritan Bay are hops that can each be done during daylight. Plan arrivals in Shinnecock and Fire Island Inlet to coincide with an incoming tide. Both places have substantial current. There are places to anchor just inside both inlets making easy in and easy out. Be prepared to be self sufficient at these stopovers.

Going inside Long Island Sound is less weather dependent. and there are abundant options for repair services if needed. Lots of nice places to layover for the night.

There is a notable current at the eastern entrance to Long Island Sound, just plan for it. Of course the East River at the western exit of Long Island Sound is famous for it's very large tidal current. Catching the tide through the East River is an experience to savor.

With a new to me boat I might favor the Long Island Sound route just to avoid the rigors of ocean conditions with a boat I was not fully familiar with. I would try not to hurry, taking time to enjoy some nice stops.
Thank you for the info
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:39   #4
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

I have done the Long Island Sound route many times
and it would be my choice in a new to me 30.
Buy and study an Eldridge tide and current book.
You must time your transit thru the “Race” to go thru at slack before
flood when heading west.
The next bit to think about is Hell Gate at the beginning of
the east river. Here slack before ebb is when you want to go through.
Be under the Throgs Neck Bridge 90 minutes before Ebb starts at
Hell Gate and you will ride the tide all the way to Raritan Bay.
Make absolutely certain that your engine is reliable
the East River, Upper and Lower Bay are no place you really want to
dilly dally through.
Passing the Statue of Liberty in a small sailboat is something
Really special
Enjoy your trip and keep a sharp eye out for all the
Ferry’s in the harbor
Cheers
Neil
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:11   #5
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

I agree with Time2Go If you have never done it the East River Trip is still one of my favorite boating memories. I do the offshore trip now just because it is easier to manage when going south but I look back on that trip as a “must do”. The guests we had aboard still talk about it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:56   #6
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

I agree with LIS as the recommended route, especially with an unfamiliar and untested boat. It's more sheltered and there are harbors with repair/haulout facilities every 5-20 miles (more on the CT side, especially in the eastern end).

These are my home waters, and although I don't disagree with him -- I think perhaps Time2Go is being overcautious about the currents. At the eastern end of LIS in The Race, no need to time it for slack current unless the wind is running in the opposing direction to current (this can kick up a fierce steep chop, like being in a washing machine). To a lesser degree, this applies to all of LIS because the peak currents run 1-2 knots everywhere. I generally go through Fishers Island Sound which is much calmer and more sheltered. (Also some nice places to stop via that route such as Stonington and Mystic). The East River and Hell Gate deserve a bit more caution because of the ship traffic and tight spaces, so I agree with Time2Go on that one.

If you can take advantage of favorable currents you will do the trip much quicker.


Clarification Edit: It is important to time The Race for favorable current or slack.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:01   #7
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

+1 for going up the sound. Timing the tides will be critical. I would approach the Verrazano at the last of the outgoing. With only 30’ you need to go as fast as you can to get to the Throggs Neck with a favorable tide. Otherwise the last leg out to the Sound can become a fight.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:30   #8
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

+1 for the Sound & East River. Many places to tuck in along the way and a few shore venues to enjoy. We spent a few days anchored behind Hog Island. Very peaceful. Mind the heavy traffic as you approach the ferry docks and helicopter pads. If the UN is in session you probably will have to pass to the East of Roosevelt Island.

Skip 79th street basin on the Hudson in my opinion. Worst place, nastiest people running it ever.

We anchored in the lee behind Sandy Hook heading south.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:42   #9
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snore View Post
+1 for going up the sound. Timing the tides will be critical. I would approach the Verrazano at the last of the outgoing. With only 30’ you need to go as fast as you can to get to the Throggs Neck with a favorable tide. Otherwise the last leg out to the Sound can become a fight.

He's heading south.

BTW the section between the Varrazano and Raritan can be pretty rough also, in a wind-against current scenario.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:30   #10
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
He's heading south.

BTW the section between the Varrazano and Raritan can be pretty rough also, in a wind-against current scenario.


DOH. Flip it around. Hit the T-Neck at the last of the tide.
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Old 05-10-2019, 19:56   #11
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

Please do not try to go east of Roosevelt Is. down East River.
Low bridge, about 40 ft.
If question about East River passage when UN in session give coast guard a call.
Usually just have to stay x distance
away from UN
I don't bother to check anymore unless it's the week when they have all the heads of state in attendance,
which just passed last month.
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Old 05-10-2019, 20:46   #12
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

I just came back from Mystic and sailed around Cape May into the Chesapeake. If you use a weather routing service such as weather routing Inc, you would be able to time your passage window accordingly if you wanted to go outside. The advice you're getting about a new to you boat is very sound. Out in the ocean mechanical failures do occur and if you're in any kind of weather you could be in trouble. Also, do not underestimate the stress and fatigue of single-handing through the night. If you're by yourself or with an inexperienced crew, fatigue is very real. Therefore, if this is new to you I would also recommend a passage that allows for overnight stoppages. You can go outside and stop at shinnecock, then manasquan, then Absecon inlet, then Cape May.

I also agree that you will absolutely need an Eldridge and need to time the tides leaving Massachusetts as well as going through Long Island sound or even exiting the race at Montauk Point.

if you stay inside and go through New York, you most definitely must time the tides.
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Old 05-10-2019, 20:51   #13
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugosalt View Post
Please do not try to go east of Roosevelt Is. down East River.
Low bridge, about 40 ft.
If question about East River passage when UN in session give coast guard a call.
Usually just have to stay x distance
away from UN
I don't bother to check anymore unless it's the week when they have all the heads of state in attendance,
which just passed last month.
True? We are 80 ft. Air draft. They were not in session during our passage. I was told by several sources we would not have been allowed to pass had they been in session. The river is not that wide there to stay away.

Did someone sell us Florida swamp land?
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Old 05-10-2019, 20:54   #14
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

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Originally Posted by bensolomon View Post
I just came back from Mystic and sailed around Cape May into the Chesapeake. If you use a weather routing service such as weather routing Inc, you would be able to time your passage window accordingly if you wanted to go outside. The advice you're getting about a new to you boat is very sound. Out in the ocean mechanical failures do occur and if you're in any kind of weather you could be in trouble. Also, do not underestimate the stress and fatigue of single-handing through the night. If you're by yourself or with an inexperienced crew, fatigue is very real. Therefore, if this is new to you I would also recommend a passage that allows for overnight stoppages. You can go outside and stop at shinnecock, then manasquan, then Absecon inlet, then Cape May.

I also agree that you will absolutely need an Eldridge and need to time the tides leaving Massachusetts as well as going through Long Island sound or even exiting the race at Montauk Point.

if you stay inside and go through New York, you most definitely must time the tides.
Thank you all for the advice. I have experience sailing and my wife had some. I'm thinking of "taking it easy", planning on a 5 day trip, no overnights. Just stopping every night at a marina and enjoy the sail. I'm not in a rush, rather be safe and take my time
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:41   #15
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Re: Massschusetts to New Jersey

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Originally Posted by cla6665 View Post
Thank you all for the advice. I have experience sailing and my wife had some. I'm thinking of "taking it easy", planning on a 5 day trip, no overnights. Just stopping every night at a marina and enjoy the sail. I'm not in a rush, rather be safe and take my time
If you want any specifics about passage planning or where to stay from Massachusetts to the Chesapeake, let me know. My wife and I sail in a similar fashion to what you are planning. Just left those waters last week.
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