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Old 04-11-2018, 02:54   #1
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Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

Our mast clearance is about 24 meters/79 feet. We don't mind going into a marina occasionally to see special sights/places, but only for a very short while, otherwise we live exclusively on anchor.

We're looking for good cruising areas that we can access up the east coast of the US during the summer months.

Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:42   #2
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

Lots of places on the Chesapeake bay. Some shallow areas but few mast height limitations.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:18   #3
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

There are very few limiting bridges north and east of New York. Most are commercial traffic height or super low.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:24   #4
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

If your primary consideration is anchoring out and not being restricted by mast height head for Chesapeake Bay, then jump north to Maine. One can spend an entire summer exploring either place and still leave much to do the next time.

The Chesapeake gets very hot in July and August but is absolutely beautiful May, June, September and October. Chesapeake anchorages tends to be shallow. I suspect a deep keel matches with that tall mast. A draft over 6 foot limits the number of accessible places, but there are still plenty to choose from.

Maine is gorgeous. July and August is the perfect time to visit. My personal preference would be to be heading south in early September. Nova Scotia deserves consideration also.

Between the Chesapeake and Maine are a bunch of great cruising places worth a visit. This region is full of opportunity to see big cities as well as history, to eat in some fine restaraunts, and other wise spend an entire summer exploring. Places to anchor are however rare. Most nights will be on a mooring or in a marina. Prices vary, but moorings probably average $40 per night. Marinas tend to be $2 to 4 per foot.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:27   #5
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

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Originally Posted by Sparx View Post
If your primary consideration is anchoring out and not being restricted by mast height head for Chesapeake Bay, then jump north to Maine. One can spend an entire summer exploring either place and still leave much to do the next time.

The Chesapeake gets very hot in July and August but is absolutely beautiful May, June, September and October. Chesapeake anchorages tends to be shallow. I suspect a deep keel matches with that tall mast. A draft over 6 foot limits the number of accessible places, but there are still plenty to choose from.

Maine is gorgeous. July and August is the perfect time to visit. My personal preference would be to be heading south in early September. Nova Scotia deserves consideration also.

Between the Chesapeake and Maine are a bunch of great cruising places worth a visit. This region is full of opportunity to see big cities as well as history, to eat in some fine restaraunts, and other wise spend an entire summer exploring. Places to anchor are however rare. Most nights will be on a mooring or in a marina. Prices vary, but moorings probably average $40 per night. Marinas tend to be $2 to 4 per foot.
Thanks for that. We knew about and are looking forward to the Chesapeake!!

We are a 52' catamaran and draw less than 4ft. Do you know if marinas charge premiums for cats? In the Med they typically charge double. Even if they don't $200/night isn't in the cards for us!

Are there few anchorages between the Chesapeake and Maine because it's not allowed, or because the conditions are not good for anchoring?

Cheers
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:18   #6
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

Here you go. Now you too can cruise on the ICW!!


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Old 04-11-2018, 08:31   #7
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Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
Here you go. Now you too can cruise on the ICW!!




Tough trick for a Cat

Id just go outside for the low bridges, and duck back in for the anchorages as applicable.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:46   #8
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

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Tough trick for a Cat

Id just go outside for the low bridges, and duck back in for the anchorages as applicable.
LOL. That would be tough indeed! As some others have pointed out, the Chesapeake is great if you do it other than the summer. Also, the NYC area as well as the sound is great while heading to Maine. The sound in particular has a lot of nice places to stop in. During the summer it can get rather stifling and the winds often don't come up until after noon on the sound, but it is still a great trip. I am a big fan of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, also on the way to Maine. Have a great trip!
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:54   #9
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

CookiesnTequila asked: "Are there few anchorages between the Chesapeake and Maine because it's not allowed, or because the conditions are not good for anchoring?"


The only real dry area for anchoring is between Cape May at the South end of NJ and New York Harbor. New Jersey's coast is low and the few entrances vary between narrow/hairy (for big sailboats) and very small inside (no room to anchor). Once you get to Sandy Hook on the South end of NY Harbor, there are anchorages, and once you go thru into Long Island Sound, there are LOTS of places on Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Maine. From Long Island Sound North, moorings are quite common and docks less so (especially floating docks with room for cats) - not that there aren't any, they're just harder to find, particularly in high season.


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Old 04-11-2018, 09:39   #10
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
Our mast clearance is about 24 meters/79 feet. We don't mind going into a marina occasionally to see special sights/places, but only for a very short while, otherwise we live exclusively on anchor.

We're looking for good cruising areas that we can access up the east coast of the US during the summer months.

I suspect you can actually do quite a lot of the ICW anyway... even if you do have to back-track a bit from time to time, and even if you do have to go outside to get around the 65' fixed bridges. If you look first at the decent inlets, then north and south to identify fixed bridges... you might find lots of cruising grounds actually accessible even with your tall mast. Probably that also means using weather windows wisely and so forth, but many would do that anyway.

And then, as others have said, there's the Chesapeake.

-Chris
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:46   #11
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
Thanks for that. We knew about and are looking forward to the Chesapeake!!

We are a 52' catamaran and draw less than 4ft. Do you know if marinas charge premiums for cats? In the Med they typically charge double. Even if they don't $200/night isn't in the cards for us!

Are there few anchorages between the Chesapeake and Maine because it's not allowed, or because the conditions are not good for anchoring?

Cheers

They will put you on a bulkhead, but I have never been charged extra. $1 - 1.5 per night is typical.


The inside passage and entrances between the Delaware Bay and New York are shallow and troublesome in on-shore conditions. There is also not so much to see, so most folks just go straight through. With only a 4' draft, through, much is open to you that guide books will poo-poo. A lot of times it comes down to personal taste; do you like busy towns or remote areas?
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:42   #12
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

The height of your mast pretty much precludes travelling through most of the ICW, but doesn't present much of a problem at many stops along the east coast. On your way north St. Mary's inlet gives you access to Fenandina Beach, St. Mary's, GA, and Cumberland Island. You can also get to Brunswick from there on the inside of the ICW which is a very beautiful trip. You can get into Savannah as well. In Sc, Charleston and Winyah bay (Georgetown) are accessible. In NC, Bald head Island, and Southport are accessible through the Cape Fear as is Wilmington. Wrightsville beach is also accessible through the Masonboro inlet. At the Beaufort inlet both Morehead City and Beaufort are accessible. Cape lookout bight is not far away and is a beautiful area. If you have a little adventure in your soul, You can go in the Ocracoke inlet and have access to Pretty much the entire Pamlico sound/Neuse river area. The Chesapeake has already been well discussed. I would skip NJ as it's just not worth the trouble as you can't get very far in past the inlets. I like the NY area and Long Island sound. City Island has reasonably priced transient moorings at several of the yacht clubs and on the other side of the east river Port Washington offers two free days on a mooring and only $25 a night after that. I draw 4 feet and have never had a problem finding an anchorage in any of the small harbors on the NY side of the sound. The CT side is a bit more difficult, but there are mooring fields and Marinas available though they tend to be a bit pricey. Fishers Island Sound near the east entrance to the sound is a good place to stage for going through the race. I really like Narraganset bay. The only bridge that would cause you a problem is on the Sakonnet river near Tiverton. There is a nice anchorage on the West side of the Sakonnet river at the entrance behind the point at Sachuest. I have not done too much in Buzzards bay, but Cuttyhunk has a mooring field and you can anchor just outside the harbor entrance. Once through the Cape Cod Canal, there are places to anchor out at Plymouth or Provincetown. Though there are many places to visit along the MA coast, I highly recommend going out to Provincetown and the Stellwagen Bank national marine sanctuary for some unbelievable whale watching. You'll have to go around Cape Ann, though Gloucester is nice visit. Once north of Cape Ann you should visit the Isle of Shoals. Most of the Moorings are privately owned, but if you are there on a weekday the Portsmouth Yacht Club Moorings are pretty much unused and available to the public and there are a bunch of them. If a member shows up and there are none left one is requested to vacate the mooring and anchor out. Speaking of which, the anchorages are often pretty deep north of Cape Cod, so make sure your ground tackle is good for 40 feet of water. Most of the time it will be less than 30 ft, but on occasion it will be a bit deeper. Also be prepared for tidal ranges of more than 12 feet. I usually skip southern Maine and go straight to Casco bay. There are many Islands and numerous places to anchor. I recommend a trip to Jewel Island. From Casco bay there are numerous small bays to the east all of which are accessible. I recommend the Sheepscot river for scenery. Boothbay Harbor is a bit of a tourist trap, but they have a free bus service that will take you out to the grocery store and the laundry. The mooring fields are pretty expensive and filled with lobster pots. However, there is a nice little anchorage on the east side eastern peninsula called Lewis Bay where there is a small park where you can land your dinghy. It's just a short walk over the hill where the bus (it looks like a trolley) will pick you up. There are way too many spots to enumerate here to see in the area. The next major area east is Pennobscot bay. On the way there go by Egg Island and see the Puffins. Also Monhegan for some great hiking and some beautiful views from the top of the cliffs. Penobscot bay is a cruising ground to itself. From Rockland in the South end to Belfast and Castine in the north end there is a huge amount to see and a lot going on in the summer. Vinalhaven and North Haven Island are great places to visit. Isle Au Haut is part of Acadia National Park and is pretty much undeveloped except for a small village. It's a really great place to do some hiking. The Deer Island thorofare area has numerous small Islands some of which are public and make nice stops. I stop going east at Acadia National Park and the Bar Harbor area. I suggest you get a book called "A cruising Guide to the Maine Coast" by Hank and Jan Taft and Curtis Rindlaub. That book pretty much covers everything there is to see. I've been there 5 times and have barely put a dent in it. Well It looks Like I've written a book here so I'll stop for now. The bottom line is there are plenty of places you can go and things to see with your mast.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:47   #13
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

OP says he doesn't like marinas, but how many places between the Chesapeake and Rhode Island have a dinghy culture where free dinghy docks are found? I fear he may have to pay for a transient slip anyway for his dinghy.
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Old 04-11-2018, 11:58   #14
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

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Originally Posted by ArmyDaveNY View Post
LOL. That would be tough indeed! As some others have pointed out, the Chesapeake is great if you do it other than the summer. Also, the NYC area as well as the sound is great while heading to Maine. The sound in particular has a lot of nice places to stop in. During the summer it can get rather stifling and the winds often don't come up until after noon on the sound, but it is still a great trip. I am a big fan of Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, also on the way to Maine. Have a great trip!


I was actually thinking of a lot further South than the Chesapeake, and possibly not the middle of Summer.
Summer is over, that other season is rapidly approaching.
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Old 04-11-2018, 12:12   #15
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Re: Where to cruise if you're too tall for the ICW??

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OP says he doesn't like marinas, but how many places between the Chesapeake and Rhode Island have a dinghy culture where free dinghy docks are found?
I'd guess anywhere that rents moorages, also provides a dinghy dock of some kind.
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