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Old 04-09-2014, 02:24 AM   #1
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Takin a trip

Our trip in the Apollo starts in a week. I believe I have the majority of the kinks worked out on Sully. After being on the hard for a number of years, there was a solid weeks worth of work to be done; changing impellers of all sorts, put in a new hot water heater, fresh filters all around, new oil,some new electronics, etc. the admiral and I performed a three hour shakedown last week with great success. The head quit working, but that was due to an impeller being shot (the only one I didn't replace). After being a house boater for a number of years, I was absolutely amazed at the fuel economy of a single screw diesel. The boat is in Toms River, NJ and we are moving it to Baltimore. I feel we have a good float plan in place, with the trip taking three days: Cape May the first day, Chesapeake City on day two, and then into Baltimore on the third day. It could possibly be done in two days, but I'm definitely not pressuring myself into it, as we have the whole week off. The open water portion on day one, from Atlantic City to Cape May, frightens and excites the crap out of me all at the same time. After much hard work preparing, weather/tide checking,and diligent planning with no pressure to execute to the letter, I feel we are prepared. So, experienced cruisers, what am I missing?
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:18 AM   #2
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Assistance towing policy?

The Delaware River can be a little unfriendly especially with a 15 knots or more of Northwest wind and the incoming tidal current. Are you planning to catch the tidal current ride up the Delaware River? You can get a 1-2 knot assist for over 6 hours if you catch it in Cape May just right.

There's plenty of water along the north side of the shipping channel so I alsways stay out of it till I cross it to get to the C&D canal near Salem, NJ.

Chesapeake City has a free municipal dock...pretty nice. Electric is $15, water is $10.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:55 AM   #3
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Definitely have towing assistance package from Boat US. The tides are going to be tricky, as daylight takes precedence over riding tides, but there's windows throughout each day where they will benefit us, according to the tide charts I am looking at.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:47 AM   #4
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Do you have a chart plotter? I plot my trips in advance on a PC and then upload them to the chart plotter. This makes it much harder to get lost or take a wrong turn. Of course you still have to use your eyes and follow the markers and the depth sounder over your pre planned route.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:58 AM   #5
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Definitely have towing assistance package from Boat US. The tides are going to be tricky, as daylight takes precedence over riding tides, but there's windows throughout each day where they will benefit us, according to the tide charts I am looking at.
Are you looking at tide charts or tidal current charts?

The current continues to flow in a direction (or doesn't change direction) sometimes till well past the actual tide change.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
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I have a chart plotter, a chart plotter app on my iPad, and I have paper charts. I was only looking at tide charts. Perhaps I should be looking at more?
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:30 PM   #7
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I have a chart plotter, a chart plotter app on my iPad, and I have paper charts. I was only looking at tide charts. Perhaps I should be looking at more?
If you go slow...like 6 knots as I do...a couple knots is the difference between a day trip and an overnighter up the Delaware River.

I suggest getting a program with tidal current vectors in it (a free one like OpenCPN the one I use is good enough). Then I look to see when the greatest current going in my direction peaks and plot a couple scenarios to see when I get there the fastest based on the favorable current at several waypoints along the way and my estimated speed (with current).

Takes a bit of effort but from Cape May to the Canal at 6 knots...it can be something like an 8 hr trip or a 15 hr trip.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:53 PM   #8
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My last trip I did at 7 knots... Seemed to be the most comfortable and economical. I'll look at OpenCPN. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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My last trip I did at 7 knots... Seemed to be the most comfortable and economical. I'll look at OpenCPN. Thanks for the tip.
Since I am usually dealing with tidal currents and they may reverse two or three times during one day. I usually travel at a set RPM (2K for me) that gives me about 7 knots in still water. That translates in practice to anywhere from below 5 knots to above 9 knots.

You should probably take the current direction and speed into consideration for your trip. Fuel burn is related to speed over water.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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I believe I need to do more research on this. Im having some difficulty figuring out what all I am looking at, on these tide charts.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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The Delaware on a nice day is kind of like the Hudson but not nearly as benign, mostly because the downward current is constant and stronger. If the moon lines up right you can surf up and down it with a free knot or two (or three or four going down stream). Wind against tide, fugeddabowit, especially something southerly against the ebb; stay in Cape May and enjoy the many pleasures of the town. If it's calm, screw the current and enjoy the trip.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:22 PM   #12
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I believe I need to do more research on this. Im having some difficulty figuring out what all I am looking at, on these tide charts.
Here's a good "median" station to use.

http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/get...=150&footnote=
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:50 PM   #13
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You can do whatever you want...but if I have the choice of going 9 knots or 5 knots for almost 8 hours in a body of water that there's not much to see and if you miss the tide and the wind picks up...it can be pretty miserable.

Don't use a singular tide reference station...especially when you have a program that allows you to figure your push all the way up with the flick of a finger and a few notations to let you know when you should be hitting each one and whether you are outrunning the push or falling behind.

Its not complicated...you just have to organize the data into an understandable bite.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:51 PM   #14
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thanks. looks like i have a lot of reading to do.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:20 PM   #15
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It sound to me like you have a specific planned date to leave. Having done those sections many times over the last decade, that would scare me a little. Be prepared to wait for good weather. If there has been 3 days of easterly winds off NJ and you decide to leave on the appointed day because it was planned for that day, you might very well end up selling the boat when/if you ever make it. Instead, give yourself 6 days to make your 3 day trip - 1 extra weather day for every planned travel day.

The journey is the reward. Don't get hung up on dates or destinations.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:48 PM   #16
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If the weather is bad...you can still do the NJ intracoastal...my suggestion for some stretches (particularly Ocean City to Cape May)...you just run the last 3 hours of the incoming and last 6 of the outgoing to avoid the really shallow channel spots...but it's not that bad if your draft is less than 4 feet.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:28 PM   #17
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I'm in no hurry, I have 7 days off. if I cant get it done in that time, she can stay where she is until I can resume the voyage. I'm not one to be pressured by timelines, although I do have to go back to work at some point!
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:16 AM   #18
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If you think those knots are theoretical...I have pulled a few barges some days where I thought I was going backwards. That's my home waters and know it well from working it commercially and moving boats up and down it for decades.

OpenCPN - max flood at Cape May Channel today 1500, max flood at eastern end of C&D Canal (Reedy Point) 2000. Todays flood is only about a knot but by Apr 18th it is 2 kts.

While I like a calm day too... doubling my ride time up the bay could make me take a little worse weatherwise.

The info is out there for anyone that searches for it and wants to get the best push....
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:37 AM   #19
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Apologies, I messed up my prior post, mind getting ahead of itself. I was trying to explain why for the OP's trip, using the bottom of the bay as the base station yields best overall result. What I meant to say, and completely bungled, is that at 7 or 8 knots, starting out a little after slack you will stay on the flood all the way up from Cape May to the C&D, and like wise back down on the Ebb. So you end up at the C&D at the virtually same time of current stage as when you left. Hudson works very similarly.

Personally I would rather transit when it looks like this, and give up a knot or two, rather than take a beating and for practical purposes give most or all of those knots up.





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Old 04-10-2014, 11:56 AM   #20
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Again not really...going down the bay the you can't ride it as long as you can coming up the bay.

A lot of this planning has everything to do with what still water speed you are going to set your throttles at...or how much you are willing to change the throttle setting to maintain a given SOG.

My whole point is for a 7 knot boat...it's worth an hour or so of planning to see when leaving a certain spot makes it he "best" ride for you and yes that would include weather. I'm staring at my departure weather for the Bay this Monday...looks like anther day in Chesapeake City for me as the winds as of now are forecast to be 20G25 SSE with a decent ebb....ca you spell 5-6 footers at the Bay entrance?????? So no I'm probably not even going to move the boat on Monday.

But with computer tidal current charting software...its very easy to pick 5-6 current data points and play with ETAs and current velocities to figure how much you think you can shave off your "still water speed" transit time....for me whent the days are short...it means arriving in daylight or not by a longshot.
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