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Old 04-06-2015, 05:41 PM   #1
City: Newport, RI
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Cruising Guide, NY to Boston

Anyone have thoughts as to the best cruising guide(s) covering NY City up to Boston? I'm looking for three things, ideally in one volume but more if necessary:
  • Backup charts to my various electronic ones
  • Backup to ActiveCaptain for phone numbers, local resources, etc.
  • Sections on "general information" such as tips for crossing the Race, transversing the Cape Cod Canal, watching out for ferry traffic in Boston Harbor, etc.

My googling suggests the Maptech Guides, are those well received?

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Old 04-06-2015, 07:41 PM   #2
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City: North Carolina for now
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Great cruising grounds!

We really liked the Waterway Guide , for that region and elsewhere. Has the kind of info you are looking for. We also had the Maptech Embassy Guide which while good, we seemed to default to the WG. If you can get to a marine store and check them both out.

Also a good web site and weekly cruising news e-mail.

Our preferred charts were the Maptech Chartbooks.


"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 04-06-2015, 10:05 PM   #3
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It's an easy trip. Basically, transiting the Long Island Sound eastbound is a piece of cake. Go through The Race with the tide in your direction; ebb is out of the Sound and flood is into the Sound. Next issue is Buzzards Bay. Pick the weather as it can get rough. Travel the Cape Cod Canal with the current going your way. Then turn north to Boston Harbor.

Lots of routes into the harbor so check your charts and pick one. Commercial traffic is present so a watchful eye is necessary. You will also encounter many very small sail boats as there is at least one sailing school in the harbor.

You will love the trip. Good luck. Howard
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:21 AM   #4
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I would second Waterways Guide and the Maptech chart book, but as backups. Activecaptain and electronic charts are best IMO.

Other than watching you charts as you would anywhere, the only thing I can think of to watch for is the approach to the cape cod canal on the buzzards bay side. There is a couple mile long approach channel and on an outgoing tide against an opposing SW wind, really nasty standing waves develop that will kick the crap out of you. Ask me how I know. I'd guess winds in the mid to high teens are when it would start to get nasty, but maybe someone more local could comment. I only experienced it once and it really sucked.

Other than that I think it's just normal cautions. I haven't found the canal itself to be a problem with an unfavorable current, just slow.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:10 AM   #5
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The Eldridge tide and pilot book 2015 (well utilized) explains it all, it is the traditional coasters bible.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:17 AM   #6
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A Cruising Guide to the New England Coast by Duncan & Ware if you want to savor everything on the way.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:49 AM   #7
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We carried Eldridge as well, but seldom used once browsed through a few times, nice to have the tide information back up though, and visualize how it all worked, especially in the New York City Rivers, Harbor and LI Sound complex. Speaking of the latter, understanding how the tide shifts work there is important, with Hell Gate exhibit A, and using the current to navigate the rivers, especially the Hudson, as exhibit B.

If you are going to explore the Elizabeth Islands, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and the southwest MA coast (which you definitely should!), again, understanding currents and a few of the harbor entrances is valuable.

I found the format of the Waterway Guide easier to navigate than AC, but that's a personal user interface thing. Do not hesitate to call harbormasters for local knowledge.

We could have spent three summers easily exploring the waters involved here, just to get an overview of each worthy place, let alone enjoying in depth.

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:04 PM   #8
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Some really good apps with tide and current flow directions, good info for transiting the Cape Cod Canal, you do want to be there at the right time.

I third Waterway guide. I also have the large paper Maptech chart books.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:27 PM   #9
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You should make sure to have one of the apps like Garmin, Navimatics, Coastal Explorer, Nobeltec, PolarView, Plan2Nav, MX Mariner, Nuno Navigator, Aqua Map, Sail Timer, or others that keep ActiveCaptain offline. With that, no internet connection is needed - you have all the content from the entire website offline and accessible at any time.

I also like Wikipedia a lot for general town information along with websites from towns themselves. You can often get a lot of current information about events and special things happening to help with your planning.

The areas along the Long Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Buzzards Bay, and through the Cape Cod Canal up to Boston come alive in the summer. The hardest part will be limiting what you can do based on the time you have.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:03 PM   #10
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I have been transiting the race many times each season for 20 years.
I never plan the current I go when it's convenient for me. Other than taking a little more time (or less) I don't think it matters much. It's always a little sloppy unless you are lucky enough to hit it at dead slack.
I like the Maptech book for information abut each port.

Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
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