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Old 21-12-2020, 10:40   #1
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Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

Hope I'm posting in the right forum!

My husband is an experienced sailor. As a surprise, I want to charter a bareboat for him to sail with seven other people in July. I'm hoping to put the whole thing together, but I'm a bit lost (I'm not a sailor). Was hoping someone had some advice:

1. Is there a recommended place to charter the boat (can be either in or out of NYC, but in the general NYC area)? It would be for 8 people total. Bareboat/no captain as my husband is experienced. Would it be less expensive to book outside NYC?

2. He is the only experienced sailor and would be with three other adults and 4 teens. The adults are all strong and two, in particular, would be very helpful (e.g. strong, athletic, fast learners). Is there a recommended type of boat for that type of group?

3. I have read on the forum to use the moorings at New Harbor. As it is first come; first serve, is there an ideal time to arrive?

4. Any other considerations I am not thinking about? Am open to any suggestions!

Thank you for any advice!
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Old 21-12-2020, 11:36   #2
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

Lucky man, that sounds like an excellent gift.

I don't have advice on where to charter from, but in terms of a mooring @ block island, yes a mooring in the great salt pond is the right idea. That time of the summer will be busy, but I believe it is first come first serve. (I typically anchor there though). If you can arrive mid-week, there are a lot more moorings available vs fri-sunday.

If I were cruising from NYC to block with a crew of non-sailors, personally I would make it a 2-3 day leg to get there (otherwise real long days under sail). That being said there will need to be some consideration into anchorages/mooring fields along the way. CT coast has plenty of options, the northshore of long island not as much.
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Old 21-12-2020, 11:53   #3
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

NYC, unless you leave from City Island, could be a hassle to leave from because of the tides and currents going through Hell Gate. There are not a lot of firms doing sailboat charters. I found one out of City Island, but a quick glance caused major sticker shock. $750 for a quarter-day? Longer-term might be more reasonable, but probably still not a bargain. Pricing might be better out of Connecticut or Rhode Island, and would put you closer to better cruising grounds at the outset. Going up (and back down) Long Island Sound can be slow because of the lack of wind. Motoring just to get there is not fun after the first five hours, and people can start to get cranky. The wind is better further east, and there are lots of places like Newport, Mystic, Sag Harbor, Greenport, Cuttyhunk, Stonington, Watch Hill, Fisher's Island, Martha's Vineyard and Essex that could be reached if you didn't have to spend days going up and down the Sound. Avoiding weekends and holidays on Block Island makes getting a mooring easier. The marinas there do rent slips that can be reserved ahead of time, but they're not cheap. Eight people on a 40' boat is a lot - the equivalent of a full racing crew. You might need something bigger to fit everybody into bunks at the same time. Finding a boat with double aft cabins might help provide private spaces for maintaining sanity and allowing people to not be on top of each other all the time.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:52   #4
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

Hello there, I actually live in the RI area and have sailed with my family and kids for years to BI and know it well. Here are my thoughts:

1 - I know of very few charter companies in the NYC area though there are some sites where you can find private boats for charter. For that matter there are not many charter companies that I know of south of RI.

2 - Agree with the previous responses that it is a long trip from NYC to BI if you are only chartering for a week. you will burn up at least 2 days each way back and forth.

3 - Even though your husband is experienced and the rest are strong fit teens and parents etc. that is not a trip I would undertake with only one experienced sailor.

4 - Lastly as also mentioned above 8 people is a lot. You would at least be looking at a 46'> boat to charter with 4 cabins and those are pretty rare to find up here in the NE outside of the Caribbean. Even if you did find one everyone would still have to double up in a small cabins. I can personally vouch for this as I did charter a 46' 3 cabin Benetteau once for a week with my family (6) and another couple. It was very tight and we had to have people sleep in the saloon - drop down table. While we made it work it was less than ideal. Then there will be the provisions to consider. Even the newer boats have very limited storage and refrigeration space and for 8 people (and especially hungry and thirsty teens) you will have coolers bags/boxes of stuff all over the place. And then of course if you factor in your situation with 4 adults and 4 teens and most likely a boat with only 2 heads...need I say more

So what's the alternative? Well I would suggest that you charter a boat out of Newport, RI. There are two good charter companies there, Bareboat Charters and I have chartered from Bareboat Sailing for probably ten years and they were very good and located right at Fort Adams so you literally turn the corner and are out on the ocean in 20-30 mins.

The BI is a only about 14 miles out and an easy day sail or 4 hour motor sail if no wind.
Easy trip for the the level of experience of your crew and they would maximize their time on BI. Additionally the other benefit is that if the weather is good they could sail to an Island called Cuttyhunk (again a half day sail etc.) 2 nights there, then sail over to MV (again half day sail), and then to BI which would be a full day sail 2 nights there and then back to Newport. I have done this route with my family almost every summer.

So good luck hope you can figure out a always comes down to time, money, and experience
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Old 04-01-2021, 21:12   #5
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

Frankly my advice is DONT! Block island is a ZOO in season. You are not the only one that has thought of this. My family would drive up and take the ferry over from Portsmouth and do the island for three years running until we sailed our 40 foot boat up there in mid July. Never going back again. Good luck getting a mooring or even dropping a hook in the great salt pond.

Donít get me wrong Block island has the most beautiful beach on the eastern seaboard called crescent beach and the view from the Bluffs is to die for but when you arrive and canít grab a mooring you will be in a raft up 6 deep in a dock with drunk sport fishing boats that drink and smoke all night.

Weíre I to set off from NYC I would take the southern route and sale through the night in the open ocean to the vineyard. Itís a much better sailing experience than Long Island sound, much more relaxing and enjoyable.

But this all a moot point because I donít know where you will find a 40 foot boat to charter bareboat around NYC. The only place I know of would be sound sailing but there in Norwalk ct.
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Old 05-01-2021, 04:53   #6
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

I have sailed from Port Washington to BI
many many times. If conditions are good itís less
than a 24 hour sail. I however go in the shoulder seasons
early June or after labor day. As stated before
BI is a zoo during the summer.
You have to time the race otherwise itís a
relatively easy sail.
Port Jefferson is an easy in and out.
Matituck is also nice but a bit snarky to get in and out of.
Iíd find another sailor and make it a more fun and safe trip.
I can see a lot going bad with 8 on board
where only one is experienced.
Martha's Vinyard can be reached from BI in a day
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Old 05-01-2021, 05:00   #7
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Re: Advice on sailing from NYC to Block Island

A couple of years ago I had family that chartered a 45' catamaran out of RI. That would suit your group as far as cabins.

BUT I second the caution about Block Island. Summer especially weekends AND worst of all the 4th of July the place is a zoo. Jammed up, all the moorings taken, boats anchored up wall to wall AND the harbor is notorious for poor holding and dragging anchors.

Lots and lots of other places to visit in New England that won't be quite so mobbed.

If you want to go farther afield Maine is amazing but you have to deal with 6 million lobster pots so keep a close lookout. From RI you have all of Long Island sound, Narraganset Bay (including Newport), Buzzards Bay, Martha's Vineyard, etc.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
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Advice, Block Island, nyc, sail, sailing

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