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Old 05-26-2019, 02:24 PM   #1
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Shinnecock Canal RR Bridge Clearance

I am planning to help a TF member bring his new to him boat up from Baltimore to a marina at Riverhead, LI. The closest route is through the Shinnecock Inlet on the S shore of LI and then through the canal and locks and on to Riverhead.


I have seen lots of conflicting information about the clearance of the RR bridge just before the locks. All charts say 22', but Active Captain reports that the lock master says 19' 8" and there are signs noting the 2' lower clearance. Another reference says that the bridge was raised some years ago and is perhaps back to 22'.


Anyone know for sure? The boat is about 22' high. We can go the LI Sound route but it is another full day of cruising, not all bad of course .


David
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:28 PM   #2
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I am planning to help a TF member bring his new to him boat up from Baltimore to a marina at Riverhead, LI. The closest route is through the Shinnecock Inlet on the S shore of LI and then through the canal and locks and on to Riverhead.


I have seen lots of conflicting information about the clearance of the RR bridge just before the locks. All charts say 22', but Active Captain reports that the lock master says 19' 8" and there are signs noting the 2' lower clearance. Another reference says that the bridge was raised some years ago and is perhaps back to 22'.


Anyone know for sure? The boat is about 22' high. We can go the LI Sound route but it is another full day of cruising, not all bad of course .


David
I'd suggest calling the lock master. The comments in AC are now nearly 3 years old.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:07 PM   #3
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I will but I am not sure the lock master will understand that the dimension I need is from MHHW just like the basis of the charts. But I will call him tomorrow.


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Old 05-26-2019, 09:52 PM   #4
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I will but I am not sure the lock master will understand that the dimension I need is from MHHW just like the basis of the charts. But I will call him tomorrow.


David
Generally lockmasters have a great understanding of that need.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:01 AM   #5
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Well, yes I guess I agree. Lockmasters seem much more attuned to boater's needs than bridge tenders. I have talked to some bridge tenders who were just out of it, chip in their shoulder or just didn't give a s&%$#.

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Old 05-27-2019, 06:37 AM   #6
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I have talked to some bridge tenders who were just out of it, chip in their shoulder or just didn't give a s&%$#.

David
Makes me think of the Old Lyme (CT) RR bridge tender.
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Old 05-27-2019, 06:54 AM   #7
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David,
I just asked a boating friend who travels thru a couple of times each season.
He said it is NOT 22 feet. It is 19 ft at high water.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:19 AM   #8
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Jay:


That is exactly what I was hoping for, real current info. So, it looks like we will be taking the long way around- through NYC, out LI Sound, through Plum Gut and around Shelter Island to Riverhead.


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Old 05-27-2019, 09:23 AM   #9
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:23 AM   #10
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I need 18' for my clearance and I know there isn't much extra, so low tide you "could" get 22'
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:39 AM   #11
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Govt charts are incorrect?

??
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:26 AM   #12
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??
I think you had your answer in your title, "Gov"....
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:42 AM   #13
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BoaterEd - Shinnecock Canal cruise

These guys run it all the time with larger boats - perhaps ask over at that site.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:51 AM   #14
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Jay:


That is exactly what I was hoping for, real current info. So, it looks like we will be taking the long way around- through NYC, out LI Sound, through Plum Gut and around Shelter Island to Riverhead.


David
Being from the area, I'm sure you're aware, but I'll risk it anway. I would take the pass between Plum Island and Great Gull unless you can time Plum Gut at a slack tide. It's worth the little bit of extra time.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:58 AM   #15
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Being from the area, I'm sure you're aware, but I'll risk it anway. I would take the pass between Plum Island and Great Gull unless you can time Plum Gut at a slack tide. It's worth the little bit of extra time.
Hmm, I have gone through the Gut maybe 6-8 times and never had a problem. Done it in 6-7 kt boats of about 35'. Yes the current can boil up a bit, but with a 43' boat doing 15 kts, I don't think it will bother us. Also its almost 10 miles out of our way to go through east of Plum I.

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Old 05-29-2019, 01:39 PM   #16
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Being from the area, I'm sure you're aware, but I'll risk it anway. I would take the pass between Plum Island and Great Gull unless you can time Plum Gut at a slack tide. It's worth the little bit of extra time.
I am also from the area but never had an issue with a 7 knot boat.
I think many people make the gut out to be worse than it is in reality.
Same with "the race", which I have been thru probably 100 times, sometimes at slack, sometimes during the boil, I just suck it up and wander thru. Its over before you know it.
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:02 PM   #17
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Looks like we aren't going through the Shinnecock Canal after all. The boat owner discovered that the marina he was planning to use only had 30' long piers and his boat is 43', so too way much overhang.

So it will either be someplace inside Fire Island Inlet or in a mooring field on the north shore of LI near Port Jefferson. To be determined.

I agree about the hype. There are four places I have been through that people always say only go through at slack: Plum Gut, The Race, Woods Hole and Hell's Gate and I never had a problem with any of them even in a moderate speed sailboat at full boil.

Hell's Gate was probably the closest to a problem, but I just firewalled it for a minute so I had good control and got through fine. Woods Hole can also be a problem if you don't know where you are going as it all happens very fast with full tide running. But plan ahead, study the chart and you will be fine.


FWIW I rarely go through The Race. I always go inside Fisher Island which is about the same distance when you are heading east or west along the north shore of LI Sound.


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Old 05-29-2019, 04:33 PM   #18
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I'd certainly prefer the north shore (Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay et al) over the south; much better cruising destinations at hand, be it for a day or two weeks.
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Old 05-29-2019, 05:12 PM   #19
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I'd certainly prefer the north shore (Port Jefferson, Oyster Bay et al) over the south; much better cruising destinations at hand, be it for a day or two weeks.

I agree and made that point to the new owner. He is weighing cost, convenience and location to find the right spot for his yacht.


David
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