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Old 07-09-2017, 06:23 AM   #1
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Itinerary advice - Long Island Sound to NYC to Erie Canal

My parents just sold their Willard 40. The buyer, who is from the PNW, is picking up the boat next week in Narragansett Bay, heading down Long Island Sound to NYC where he has family flying in to LaGuardia, then he will go up the Hudson to the Erie Canal. He is looking for local knowledge to help plan the trip down the Sound, then up to the Canal. This is a seven-knot boat, eight at best. He is under time constraints and is not looking to cruise, per se, more of a delivery trip. He thinks of me as "local", but I've never done LIS or the Hudson so I can't help. Looking for info to pass on to him.
  • How many days should he allow to get to NYC from the Newport area?
  • What would be good/efficient/convenient stops along the way?
  • Is the Worlds Fair Marina a good choice for meeting folks flying into LaGuardia (taxi ride consideration), or are there other good alternatives?
  • How many days should he allow to get from NYC up to the start of the Erie Canal?

Go!
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:34 AM   #2
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I have done that trip several times. Cruising at 7 kts and on a delivery schedule- 10 hours cruising daily, here are the stops I would make:

Narragansett to Thimble Islands, go behind Fisher Island to avoid some of the Race's current

Thimble Islands to World's Fair Marina, Whitestone Marina or anchor at Little Bay at south end of Throgs Neck Bridge

WFM to Poughkeepsie via Harlem River- a bit dicey particularly at Spuyten Duvil RR Bridge near the Hudson during commuting hours but will save 30 miles vs East River. Lots of restricted bridges but all but Spuyten Duvil have 25' closed clearance. Check Active Captain for bridge info. Anchor in Hudson if calm, otherwise there are lots of marinas in the Poughkeepsie area.

Other wise take East River and another day to get to Waterford.

Poughkeepsie to Waterford Visitor Center- free dock.

So it can be done in four days through the Harlem River if you push it, otherwise five or more.

David
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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I suggest they get a copy of the Eldridge tide and current book ASAP as the entire trip will be in areas where currents will matter. With a nominal 7 knot speed their speed over ground will vary at least between 5 and 9 knots on the entire trip and up to as much as 2 to 12 knots or more in some spots - best tp plan these areas a little ahead of time.
Here is an older post that has some more details on that....


Harlem River


We boat out of Northport NY and some of our common destinations are equally in either direction towards Narragansett where they will leave and up the Hudson where they will be going. It is just about equal distance from Block Island to Northport as it is from Northport to Kingston NY if you take the Harlem river up - 100 nmiles each leg. There are plenty of easy in and out stops along the way so the key will be to plan your speeds which will be directly affected by the tides/currents so knowing the dates times of planned travel will greatly vary your plan.
The Eldridge book will also point out that currents even vary a lot within LI sound dependent upon how far north or south you are and other areas near NY.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:18 AM   #4
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You can ride the ebb from Narragansett bay to catch the start of the flood at the race into LI sound and be boosted by several knots. At the wrong time the reverse is also true.
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Old 07-09-2017, 09:54 AM   #5
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Did that trip in 2015, had a grand time. We took nine days, not in a hurry. Two days in Newport (Westwind Marina), then Mystic (Mystic Shipyard Marina; coming into Mystic took a lot of concentration). Then Essex Yacht Club Marina, although we went up the Connecticut River as far as Haddam for lunch at the Gelston House. I grew up there so that area is where I first learned to sail my little open cockpit Blue Jay. We took a hike up to the Nathan Hale Schoolhouse. Let's see -- then we did an afternoon at Black Rock Marina on the Connecticut side and took on fuel. Crossed the Sound and did a night at Seymour's Boatyard (marina) in Northport. Frankly I would skip that marina and try somewhere else. Northport was fun and cute, but it wasn't a good experience. Fierce wind, very crowded, we got no clear directions from Seymour's and I got blown into Mooring Ball Hell, a mooring field more crowded than Catalina. There were others on the radio who were angry also, calls like "Seymour's Boatyard, you put my 40 foot boat at a mooring ball with another boat 25' away. You either need to give me another ball quick or give me lots of fenders." And the facilities were nasty, the bathroom was in the basement of a old Victorian house from the movie Psycho, no exaggeration.

Okay, then we got an early start and headed for Manhattan. Hell's Gate was a rodeo ride but more fun than stressful. Down around the southern end of Manhattan, waved to the Statue of Liberty, then a little ways up to Liberty Landing Marina on the New Jersey side. We had a ball there, three days. Very easy jump over to Manhattan on the ferry or the PATH train from the NJ side. Then we did Haverstraw Marina (I'd skip that one myself though -- we had friends who lived near there so that's why we stopped. There are other, more charming marinas on that area of the Hudson with villages within walking distance.) We stopped at Newburgh for fuel; eh, not too much there. Next night we did Kingston. Nice stop, nice waterfront, but I'd use the bathroom and shower facilities on your own boat, the city marina facilities were nasty. Stopped for lunch at Saugerties, that was nice. The last marina we did on the Hudson was Shady Harbor in West Coxsackie. That marina was one of our favorite memories. Brand spanking new, the crew and owner were just a blast, relaxed, pool, excellent restaurant on the water, well-stocked marine store. Shady Harbor was one of the best. Okay, there you go.

At the end of our trip my wife and friends said that Essex and the time on the Connecticut River was their favorite, which I didn't expect. Dinner at the Griswold Inn in Essex was their favorite meal.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:22 PM   #6
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"He is under time constraints and is not looking to cruise, per se, more of a delivery trip."


Given that he is looking at a time limited trip I would avoid any stops that require and hour or more in and out each way with at 7 knot boat. That rules out many places like Essex and Northport but there are many others that will be accommodating once you know how far you would like to go each day and when you know the currents/tides for that day.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty477 View Post
"He is under time constraints and is not looking to cruise, per se, more of a delivery trip."

Given that he is looking at a time limited trip I would avoid any stops that require and hour or more in and out each way with at 7 knot boat. That rules out many places like Essex and Northport but there are many others that will be accommodating once you know how far you would like to go each day and when you know the currents/tides for that day.
Yep, just cataloging potential stops. You know initially we paid very close attention to wind and tides, but very quickly it didn't seem to matter. Our boat is not that big or heavy (relative to many of the boats on this forum), 14 tons, but we soon hit a sweet spot of fuel efficency and ran at 7-9 knots and 1800 rpm the whole way and pretty much ignored the tides. That day we did Essex to Northport was about 60 nm, but even that day it didn't feel like we pressed too hard. Hell's Gate shoved the boat around in odd ways but it wasn't unmanageable. We did have to ease our way out of Hamburg Cove, the wind kept pushing us into shallows (and of course the Cove is shallow anyway). The wind was the biggest challenge on that trip, constant heavy wind and our boat has a very high profile.

Now when I learned to sail my Blue Jay, completely different story. Sail and power...
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:58 AM   #8
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This is great info, folks. Thank you! I guess next time we need a thrill we'll head to Seymours...

I had no idea you could run north through the east river.

This is also good info for me and Bruce. We expect to run south down the ICW either this year or next, then head north up the Hudson and do The Loop in a few years. Great adventures to come...
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:49 AM   #9
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"Is the Worlds Fair Marina a good choice for meeting folks flying into La Guardia (taxi ride consideration), or are there other good alternatives?"

The WFM was home for a couple of winters and summers. It is a snap from LGA although the taxi driver may go on a joy ride , after waiting an hour or two a fair of under $10.00 with tip,the short trip will make him unhappy.

Newark is also a choice as public transportation is easy , almost every bus in NJ stops inbound to NYC , and its a simple train ride to Shea Stadium and a walk across the parking lot.

In summer the WFM will be Loud as the hot weather require full power to get off the short LGA runway.

An O'nite stay would be tolerable , but the raw sewage that flows 24/7 into Flushing Bay is hard to take on hot summer days.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:19 AM   #10
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"This is great info, folks. Thank you! I guess next time we need a thrill we'll head to Seymours..."


Seymours is typically not a problem at all but there are a few extended weekends a year that Northport harbor is very busy with activities that are planned well in advance. Best to try and stay on the town dock or Brittannia marina on those weekends but most importantly call ahead to the town or the town dockmaster when you are within radio range. You could also just post here and see if someone from the area could give you the information. Many folks we know have reciprocity with strings of yacht clubs and work with one of the two in the harbor - Centerport Yacht club or Northport Yacht club for a mooring. While no one can schedule the wind it is a very sheltered harbor for slips , moorings or anchoring.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:28 AM   #11
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Yep, just cataloging potential stops. You know initially we paid very close attention to wind and tides, but very quickly it didn't seem to matter. Our boat is not that big or heavy (relative to many of the boats on this forum), 14 tons, but we soon hit a sweet spot of fuel efficency and ran at 7-9 knots and 1800 rpm the whole way and pretty much ignored the tides. That day we did Essex to Northport was about 60 nm, but even that day it didn't feel like we pressed too hard. Hell's Gate shoved the boat around in odd ways but it wasn't unmanageable. We did have to ease our way out of Hamburg Cove, the wind kept pushing us into shallows (and of course the Cove is shallow anyway). The wind was the biggest challenge on that trip, constant heavy wind and our boat has a very high profile.

Now when I learned to sail my Blue Jay, completely different story. Sail and power...

We had not made any of these trips with our 34 Mainship trawler since the mid 90's as we sold it back then but the currents played a huge role when you see 5 knots or more for stretches of time. Similarly your fuel use and time on the water can be increased by 50% if your a 6-7 knot boat doing the route. I would suppose that if your boat is the one in the avatar (a 37 power) that fuel use at 9 knots would be very close to the poorest range of speeds available. Since the mid 90's we typically cruise these areas at between 16-18 knots but the currents will still affect your fuel use and times a great deal without checking ahead and planning. Each 100 mile leg is now about 6-7 hours dock to dock and that full trip would be a 2 day run if we needed to make time. Northport to Essex we had done quite often it is 64 nautical and can be a 4 hour run with the currents if you time it so you get an incoming tide at the Ct river as you approach. While it is not always possible to time the currents the proposed trip here with a 7 knot boat for wifey d it would certainly be beneficial.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:32 AM   #12
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I'd make my first stop Mattituck Inlet (N side of LI) anchor in the basin at the end. Next day to Manhassett Bay (free town moorings).
Then into NYC.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
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"This is great info, folks. Thank you! I guess next time we need a thrill we'll head to Seymours..."


Seymours is typically not a problem at all but there are a few extended weekends a year that Northport harbor is very busy with activities that are planned well in advance. ...
This is kind of thread creep since Northport is so far in that if he's doing a quick delivery run there are probably faster marinas to get to from the Sound itself anyway, and I don't mean to keep bashing Seymour's, but I found Northport very difficult. We were there the third week in May, so not the height of the summer. The channel snakes through the mooring field laid out on both sides and then turns a corner as you know. Many of the mooring balls were still empty but when the wind shoved us over, I felt like a kid who had fallen into one of those plastic ball piles at a McDonald's playland. Only by the grace of God did I not wrap half a dozen mooring ball chains around my props trying to get out of there. I had my wife on the swim step and a friend on the bow trying to guide me out of the mess. I've done Catalina on the weekends and I don't think they lay out the mooring fields that tightly. Maybe it was just me though and my lack of skill in heavy wind. Northport itself was fun though, great waterfront park and village. We had a fantastic Italian dinner I remember.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:26 AM   #14
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"but I found Northport very difficult. We were there the third week in May, so not the height of the summer. The channel snakes through the mooring field laid out on both sides and then turns a corner as you know. Many of the mooring balls were still empty but when the wind shoved us over, I felt like a kid who had fallen into one of those plastic ball piles at a McDonald's playland. Only by the grace of God did I not wrap half a dozen mooring ball chains around my props trying to get out of there. I had my wife on the swim step and a friend on the bow trying to guide me out of the mess"


Very sorry to hear that...
Most times Northport is very quiet or at least easily accommodating but there are active weekends that are plannable ahead of time - just like many larger places like Essex, Mystic and Block Island that are typically fine but have huge planned weekends during the year. Did you try the town dockmaster for a spot on the dock? Not too bad at $2 foot for dockage and power.
Our boats have always been on a mooring ball in the harbor off the town dock - never had a 'slip' in 25+ years. Our last boat was 48' with a decent amount of windage so we needed to get on and off the mooring ball many times a season and its not too bad once you are used to it - easier than many crowded marinas we have navigated to a slip.
Northport has just added a craft brewery and a separate wine tasting location right on main street - so now maybe 6 good restaurants, 5 ice cream sites and the brewery and wine tasting all within a couple of hundred yards. It is attracting a huge amount of traffic from across the sound on a regular basis now for dinner and/or overnight.
Funny how you never stay so much where your home port is.....
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:36 AM   #15
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I have done that trip several times. Cruising at 7 kts and on a delivery schedule- 10 hours cruising daily, here are the stops I would make:

Narragansett to Thimble Islands, go behind Fisher Island to avoid some of the Race's current

Thimble Islands to World's Fair Marina, Whitestone Marina or anchor at Little Bay at south end of Throgs Neck Bridge

WFM to Poughkeepsie via Harlem River- a bit dicey particularly at Spuyten Duvil RR Bridge near the Hudson during commuting hours but will save 30 miles vs East River. Lots of restricted bridges but all but Spuyten Duvil have 25' closed clearance. Check Active Captain for bridge info. Anchor in Hudson if calm, otherwise there are lots of marinas in the Poughkeepsie area.

Other wise take East River and another day to get to Waterford.

Poughkeepsie to Waterford Visitor Center- free dock.

So it can be done in four days through the Harlem River if you push it, otherwise five or more.

David

I like these options if he can make the thimbles in one day from where the boat is now. I generally do not like being on the hook in the Hudson below Kingston except for a couple of spots that really require local knowledge to get in and out. I would consider Haverstraw as an easy in and out with typically good fuel prices - or if fuel not necessary than Minisceonga yacht club (must call ahead a couple of days). If stopping near Kingston I would use RYB (Roundout yacht basin) as it also has fuel and a pool and easy to dinghy or walk to the town for a meal. I am not sure you will reach much further than the Haverstraw area if leaving WFM dependent upon currents and timing.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:57 AM   #16
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"Is the Worlds Fair Marina a good choice for meeting folks flying into La Guardia (taxi ride consideration), or are there other good alternatives?"

The WFM was home for a couple of winters and summers. It is a snap from LGA although the taxi driver may go on a joy ride , after waiting an hour or two a fair of under $10.00 with tip,the short trip will make him unhappy.

Newark is also a choice as public transportation is easy , almost every bus in NJ stops inbound to NYC , and its a simple train ride to Shea Stadium and a walk across the parking lot.

In summer the WFM will be Loud as the hot weather require full power to get off the short LGA runway.

An O'nite stay would be tolerable , but the raw sewage that flows 24/7 into Flushing Bay is hard to take on hot summer days.
OK, it's off my short list. And I'm already in NY.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:46 PM   #17
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More great info. Thanks to everyone who is contributing. I'm certain the new owner of the Willard will be grateful.
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