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Old 06-07-2017, 09:12 AM   #1
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Harlem River

Any local knowledge other than most bridges are 25' closed.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:51 AM   #2
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Please call the Spuyten Duyvil bridge authority ahead of time to make sure they are operating - especially if you are approaching from the South side.


There will be a number of 5 mph zones near the NYPD south side and the rowing/college area near the north side.


Often one or more bridge areas are closed one side for construction/remodeling watch the signs carefully in these area.


The tides can be 'very forceful' (up to 5 knots) both in the HR and at both ends - especially near Hells gate (mill rock) and towards the brother Islands heading to LI sound. We buy the Eldrige tide book for like $10 which helps plan a good tide experience.


If you are on a limited speed boat and/or towing a dinghy pay special attention when passing thru the Suyten Duyvil bridge where the current will swing.


It is much more relaxing to pass through when 'traffic' is lower as it is a popular transit for the tour ferries and many recreational boats alike.


If you have any other questions please ask - we typically went through the HR 4 times a year for a couple of dozen or more years - it has improved greatly since the early 90's.
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:47 AM   #3
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Looked at the Harlem river for a side trip while in NYC. Concluded that it would be challenging because of currents and bridges with little scenic benefit.

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:08 AM   #4
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Looked at the Harlem river for a side trip while in NYC. Concluded that it would be challenging because of currents and bridges with little scenic benefit.

Ted

Hello Ted,
All the bridges except Spuyten Duyvil are a non issue unless you have a huge air draft - we cruise through with no issue with many boats in our group.
If you are traveling from the Hudson to LI sound or reverse the HR saves 32+ miles and is not so congested as the other path.
We also visit NY harbor and that would take you into an area where there is tons of commercial traffic and becomes a 'bathtub' of wake during busy times- it depends upon when you go there.
Currents run both ways - we have been able to time the tides from mid long island sound to Kingston NY where they add speed for 90+ % of the trip. This offers a savings of time and fuel if that is what you choose - hence the idea of the Eldridge tide book.

Pluses and minuses to each but if you are not intending to visit NY harbor for both legs it makes sense to run the Harlem river.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:16 AM   #5
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I anchored behind the Statue of Liberty for a night and then left at 6am on Saturday morning to avoid all the traffic. Felt I could easily do the Harlem river, just didn't think it was better if you time the tides on the Hudson.

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:22 AM   #6
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I anchored behind the Statue of Liberty for a night and then left at 6am on Saturday morning to avoid all the traffic. Felt I could easily do the Harlem river, just didn't think it was better if you time the tides on the Hudson.

Ted

Most everyone that asks us about the Harlem river are transiting from LI Sound to the upper Hudson river area or the reverse. The OP may be an exception but I did not read it that way - you likely were not making that transit either. The Harlem is not nearly as 'unscenic 'as it once was since there have been so many improvements.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:26 PM   #7
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I have used the Harlem on several occasions when cruising up the Hudson because it cuts off lots of time.
I never had an issue with a 22 ft air draft and a 6.5 knot single engine trawler.
(except when I lost power because of a fuel issue, ,but that's a 2 beer story).
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:02 AM   #8
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So it looks like when the current is running south in the East River and Hudson, it is rand west running north on the Harlem from Hells Gate. I have to figure Port Washington to Hells Gate, Hells Gate to the Hudson (Harlem River), then to north of the Tappan Zee for and anchorage.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:11 AM   #9
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Sounds like the kids have stopped throwing things down from the bridges onto the boats below ? ?
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:40 AM   #10
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Sounds like the kids have stopped throwing things down from the bridges onto the boats below ? ?
I've heard that too but in my 6 or so transits I never even saw anyone on a bridge.
Urban legend.

I always like anchoring in Haverstraw Bay.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:42 AM   #11
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So it looks like when the current is running south in the East River and Hudson, it is rand west running north on the Harlem from Hells Gate. I have to figure Port Washington to Hells Gate, Hells Gate to the Hudson (Harlem River), then to north of the Tappan Zee for and anchorage.

I do not have an Eldridge book handy so this is from memory.....
- The small 'book' has three sections that will help your plans
- Two of them have both a chart of days/times as well as maps
- Those two are for the LI sound and for the NY area (Harlem river etc)
- Each of those has a map for every hour of the tide , all 12 of the
- Each map shows the currents direction and speed at various spots along the path
- You look up the day/time in the charts and refer to the map(s)
- The third section is charts only of the Hudson river with points along the way that reference both tidal times and speeds of current along the path

If I remember correctly we would leave Northport fighting a slight tide so that we could maximize the tides the balance of the journey - you will always hit some head tides with this cruising route the idea is to minimize the negative tides and maximize the following tides.
We often left Northport around 5:30 Am at first light and arrived and tied up at Kingston about noon - we cruised at about 16-17 knots mostly.

As your routes distance and boat speed vary from ours your best time to make the cruise will likely vary as well - we a bit before full low tide in Northport.

Please remember that the Hudson runs down longer and harder than it runs up so the 6 hour tidal swing is not 6 hours on the Hudson.

Please also note that the tides in Pt Washington /Northport /etc can easily swing 9' or more so if you are not used to these swings consider that with anchoring or with fixed docks.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:47 AM   #12
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I've heard that too but in my 6 or so transits I never even saw anyone on a bridge.
Urban legend.

I always like anchoring in Haverstraw Bay.
The area has changed in a big way ....
- Shanty huts along the path are no more
- No refuse along the banks, no trees, refers, tires, etc
- No easy access from the bridges, pedestrian trails and paths are fenced
- No more deserted /demolished marina, replaced with new decks and paths for nature preserve
- Another poor areas was replaced with a rowing club with long new docks and a huge dock house (5mph)
- All of the bridges and associated land banks have been upgraded and afford better space and signage.

It is really nothing like it was when we started to make that trip.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:21 PM   #13
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I bet the riverside still is as great area an for local kids to go "Submarine Race Watching" as it was when I was a kid in The Bronx.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:51 PM   #14
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Slight hijack. Sorry.

I rowed competitively on the Harlem (and East River and Hudson) while at Columbia in the mid 1960s. The water and the river banks were disgusting. When launching the boats from the semi-submerging floats at the boathouse near Spuyten Duyvil human waste would wash over our feet. We'd catch "white fish" (if you don't know what those are, stay ignorant) and occasionally a dead body on our oars. When I sank an "eight" in the East River (another story) and nine of us went into the water we had to get shots for nasty possible diseases. And, yes, kids did occasionally throw things at our boats from the bridges.

My father went to Columbia in the 1920's and rowed. He said that the river banks were actually quite nice then and families would picnic on the grassy banks and watch the crew races.

I'm very heartened to hear that the environment seems to have improved.
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