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Old 02-17-2020, 02:47 PM   #1
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Getting Boat From NYC Harbor to Cayuga Lake, NY

So, moving a "new" 1986 trawler from NYC to Cayuga Lake, NY in May.

The need is to get a 40 foot dual screw Albin Trawler to Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes, NY. The current owners offered to take it with me from Chester CT to New York harbor... Going through Throngs Neck then under the Brooklyn Bridge and the more narrow pasage that goes under Route 478 in front of Battery Park, then around Lower Manhattan. Thus between Statute of Liberty and Battery park... Once we get to the Hudson River he said he would turn it over to me.

I would like someone with knowledge of this area and experience with a 40 foot trawler to "captain" the boat from there up rest of way through the harbor, up the Hudson River to Waterford, through the first locks of the Erie Canal. Then either have them stay on or I will get someone else to take it with me the rest of the way.

Anyone know someone I could hire for this?
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:17 PM   #2
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Transit the Hudson

If you have some contact information I can get you the name of a retired river pilot Iím friends with who can help you out.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:17 PM   #3
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I've got a busy summer so I can't offer to do the trip, but if you've got any specific questions, I'm happy to answer whatever I can. I did almost the same trip this past summer from Stamford, CT to Lake Ontario. My route was Long Island Sound -> East River -> Harlem River -> Hudson River -> Erie Canal -> Oswego Canal -> Lake Ontario, so lots of overlap with what you'll be doing.

What's the cruise speed on your boat? That'll give an idea of how much ground you can cover each day, so I can probably suggest some options for night stops.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:01 PM   #4
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I've made that trip a few times until the Oneida. But I am not a licensed captain, so if we were to hook up it would be for free. Issue #1 is, have you verified the boat will get under the bridge leading into Cayuga? Around 16' IIRC
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:16 PM   #5
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Getting to the Hudson is a simple cruise. Go under,Throgs neck bridge, Whitestone bridge, past brother islands, into Hell Gate{ a non issue for that boat}
Hang a right and go up the Harlem River or the tourist route , down the East River and around lower Manhattan.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:14 PM   #6
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I've made that trip a few times until the Oneida. But I am not a licensed captain, so if we were to hook up it would be for free. Issue #1 is, have you verified the boat will get under the bridge leading into Cayuga? Around 16' IIRC
Good point on bridge clearance. 16 feet looks correct for normal water level at the lowest bridge near lock CS1.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:24 PM   #7
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With the mast down the boat is 14' 6". I was told the 16 or 17 footer is just before Seneca Lake, not Cayuga coming from the east.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:27 PM   #8
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If you're 14'6" with the mast down you'll be good anywhere in the canal system. So you might have to drop it, but you'll definitely fit.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:07 PM   #9
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So, moving a "new" 1986 trawler from NYC to Cayuga Lake, NY in May.

The need is to get a 40 foot dual screw Albin Trawler to Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes, NY. The current owners offered to take it with me from Chester CT to New York harbor... Going through Throngs Neck then under the Brooklyn Bridge and the more narrow pasage that goes under Route 478 in front of Battery Park, then around Lower Manhattan. Thus between Statute of Liberty and Battery park... Once we get to the Hudson River he said he would turn it over to me.

I would like someone with knowledge of this area and experience with a 40 foot trawler to "captain" the boat from there up rest of way through the harbor, up the Hudson River to Waterford, through the first locks of the Erie Canal. Then either have them stay on or I will get someone else to take it with me the rest of the way.

Anyone know someone I could hire for this?
I maybe interested,depending on the timing with your schedule and mine. Tug capt with 20 plus years in NY up to Albany. Not been through those locks but been through at least a hundred others in US and Canada.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:34 AM   #10
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There is very little skill required to do any part of this trip.No hidden dangers.

Have you operated a similar sized boat in the past ?

Hell Gate and the East river is easier done at HI slack water , but it is not a big deal at any time

After going past Battery park the Hudson is probably a mile wide , and plenty deep.

There is a tide that mostly flows out , but going a bit slower is not dangerous,just slower.
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:36 AM   #11
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Hell Gate, particularly heading to the Harlem River (haven't done it continuing down the East River) isn't too bad unless you're at peak current and in a slow boat. I went through it against the tide over the summer, but not at full current. The biggest thing I noticed was a loss of about 1.5 kts over ground. No weird currents noticeable at that amount of current. But at the same time, I went through it up on plane, somewhere around 16 - 17 kts through the water, so you may get pushed around a little more at low speeds.
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:03 AM   #12
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Last time I went thru Hell gate I was bucking the current making less than 2 knots headway. No biggie, just slow.
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:21 AM   #13
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It is a new boat to me and I have not done this trip in any boat hence I am operating with abundance of caution. I do not have experience with a boat this size. Hence again the abundance of caution and seeking to travel this with someone who does. I've never done a lock. I certainly understand the concept and the procedure for the boat, and I grast that it is not hard at all, but again having never actually done it abundance of caution urges that someone with actual experience be at the wheel. At least the first one or two. This boat has twin 135 HP Lehmens. So not a speed boat. But strong. And I am not worried about going against current. I just want someone on board with a good deal of experience in this area/conditions and with a boat this size.

Thank you for all the very helpful replies and the useful information. This Trawler Forum is truly a fantastic respource, and the participants are stellar people!
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:49 AM   #14
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Locks seem a bit scary at first, but especially with a little help, you'll pick it up quickly. If you've got a crew of 3 total, locks are super easy, as the person at the helm doesn't have to leave the helm for line handling, so there's no rush while getting in position. Person at the helm just lines the boat up and the other 2 people handle lines. Doing it with 2 wouldn't be bad. You line one person up to start with lines, then leave the helm to assist.

When I did the trip this summer, none of the 3 of us on board had done locks, so we just had some advice from others. By the end of the Waterford flight, we had the process down perfectly.

From a navigation and boat handling perspective, you'll have plenty of time to get a feel for things as you head up the Hudson. And the lower parts of the Hudson are wide and easy to navigate, so you'll have a good few hours under your belt before you get into anywhere that requires a bit more attention to navigation and maneuvering.

I'd suggest trying to time your run up the Hudson to get the most tide push, as that'll give you a decent advantage in speed (2+ kts compared to fighting the tide in a lot of the river).

Figuring you'll make somewhere around 7 kts, you can save a good 1.5 - 2 hours if you go through the Harlem River instead of around Manhattan.

At your speed, I'd expect 2 days up the Hudson. From the Harlem River to Kingston should take you about 9 hours, so that would be a decent stopping point unless you want to run longer days. Another 9-ish hour day from Kingston will get you through the Troy lock and to Waterford, so you'd be ready to start the Canal push when the locks open the next morning at 7.

Figure about 2.5 hours to get through the Waterford flight (I plan based on 20 - 30 minutes per lock on average). So conservatively, you're out of the flight by 10 AM. You'll have a break on the way to lock E7, should arrive around 11:15 or so. Riverlink Park in Amsterdam (shortly before lock E11) would be a good stopping point around 4:15 - 4:30. You could push through E11 if you wanted (you'll make it before 5 PM), but there isn't much for good places to stop between E11 and E12.

For the second day in the canal, if you get to lock E11 close to 7 AM, you'll comfortably make it through E17 (the tall one) and can stay at Little Falls Canal Harbor arriving around 4 PM. If you want to push and can make it through E18 by 5 PM, you can stop at Ilion (nothing too fancy, but I spent a night there and made a perfectly good stop).

On day 3, assuming you leave from Little Falls and time it to hit E18 at 7, you'll arrive in Sylvan Beach around 4:00. This puts you right before the Oneida Lake crossing, which will be about 2.5 hours for you. You can either do that and then tie up before lock E23 for the night, or even push a bit further (E23 is open until 10 PM), but you'll be running out of daylight. Or you can stay in Sylvan Beach and make the crossing in the morning.

I'm not as well versed on the Canal west of Three Rivers, so I'd have to do some more digging to give a timeline for the run to the Cayuga-Seneca canal and down to Cayuga Lake. If you push across Oneida on day 3 of the canal section and stop around lock E23, I'd expect day 4 will get you to Cayuga Lake, but I'm not 100% on that right now.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:08 AM   #15
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Ahhhh yes going to the Hudson via Harlem River instead of around Manhattan is most likely the course we will take. Thank you! That makes far more sense.

The other info you provided on times and layovers is useful, too. Thanks. I have not been to Oneida Lake in years but my father had a small fishing boat when I was a kid and I have many fond memories of fishing that lake on a boat. Saw my first dogfish there... I also recall when the wind came up that lake could get very choppy fast.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:16 AM   #16
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I also recall when the wind came up that lake could get very choppy fast.
I've heard that one many places, so if the timing works out where you can choose to cross in the evening or the next morning (without much change of overall schedule), that gives you the best chance for a smooth crossing without a delay.

When I crossed last year it was pretty nice. Light west wind, maybe a 6 - 8" chop at the east end of the lake and pretty much flat by the west end. I took this picture probably about half way across at 17 kts.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:17 AM   #17
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The above is certainly one itinerary, but it seems a little too aggressive to me based on my experience in a 40 Albin with a single engine.
Even Chester, Ct to NY harbor in a day can be a stretch unless everything lines up.
Not trying to be agumentative here, just having done most of that trip several times I would approach it a bit more conservatively.
For example I would make Manhasset Bay my first day goal. Hook up on a free mooring or get a slip.(City Island might be an alternate location)
Have your crew change here.
Day 2 might get you to Kingston (Rondout Creek) but there are closer places if you need one.
Day 3 maybe Waterford, but there are also other places if you run short of time. (Shady Harbor or Coeyman's landing or Albany Yacht club.
Tough to judge time on the Erie if there is traffic because sometimes they wait for the slower boat so you may have to play that by ear.
Regardless, look at your guide books and charts and have a couple of plans.
Take your time and enjoy the ride.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:28 AM   #18
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The above is certainly one itinerary, but it seems a little too aggressive to me based on my experience in a 40 Albin with a single engine.
Even Chester, Ct to NY harbor in a day can be a stretch unless everything lines up.
Not trying to be agumentative here, just having done most of that trip several times I would approach it a bit more conservatively.
For example I would make Manhasset Bay my first day goal. Hook up on a free mooring or get a slip.(City Island might be an alternate location)
Have your crew change here.
Day 2 might get you to Kingston (Rondout Creek) but there are closer places if you need one.
Day 3 maybe Waterford, but there are also other places if you run short of time. (Shady Harbor or Coeyman's landing or Albany Yacht club.
Tough to judge time on the Erie if there is traffic because sometimes they wait for the slower boat so you may have to play that by ear.
Regardless, look at your guide books and charts and have a couple of plans.
Take your time and enjoy the ride.
Yes, I hear you. And partly why I am starting early with a discussion about this adventure. All the feedback is certainly valuable and its most revealing to learn about various options and alternatives. Yes I do intend to enjoy the sojourn and not try to jam it. All good posts and all good on reading the viewpoints of people who have actually done this trip. The two Ford Lehman 135's will be better than a single.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:28 AM   #19
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The schedule I estimated is definitely a bit on the aggressive side, but do-able with minimal unexpected delays, figuring 30 minutes total (wait + lockage) for each lock and a 7kt speed.

FWIW, running 6.5 - 7 kts in slow areas (except for the few short stretches where you're limited to 5 mph) and then getting up to run 16 - 17 kts anywhere we could, we managed Haverstraw, NY (got held up there due to a transmission issue) to Schenectady Yacht Club between locks E7 and E8 in a single day, although it was a long one (pushed off the fuel dock in Haverstraw at 9 AM, tied up in Schenectady with fading light around 8:30 PM). We basically ran at delivery pace doing 10+ hour days and did the whole canal section out to Lake Ontario in about 29 hours of running time. Arrived at Waterford at 4:30 PM on Thursday, cleared lock O8 into Oswego Harbor at 11 AM Sunday.

Realistically, if you're ok with running long days, I'd plan for 8 - 9 hours a day on the canals (unless you're not in a rush), figuring that you've got 10 hours where the locks are open (except for a few with longer hours), so typically around 10.5 usable hours to travel in a day. Planning for 8 - 9 hours means you're unlikely to need to move a night stop unless you get delayed significantly somewhere.

Plus, along the Hudson and the canals, there are a lot of places to stop, so if you decide you want to stop early one day, it's easy to do that as a last-minute decision. On my trip, we didn't really have night stops planned (that plan got tossed when the trans issue happened and we were trying to make up time). We just ran as far in the canals as we could get each day and picked a night stop around mid-afternoon once we knew what the last lock we could make for the day would be.

If you're not in a rush, you can easily plan to do 4 - 6 hour days and keep the stops a bit closer together.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:45 AM   #20
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The schedule I estimated is definitely a bit on the aggressive side, but do-able with minimal unexpected delays, figuring 30 minutes total (wait + lockage) for each lock and a 7kt speed.

FWIW, running 6.5 - 7 kts in slow areas (except for the few short stretches where you're limited to 5 mph) and then getting up to run 16 - 17 kts anywhere we could, we managed Haverstraw, NY (got held up there due to a transmission issue) to Schenectady Yacht Club between locks E7 and E8 in a single day, although it was a long one (pushed off the fuel dock in Haverstraw at 9 AM, tied up in Schenectady with fading light around 8:30 PM). We basically ran at delivery pace doing 10+ hour days and did the whole canal section out to Lake Ontario in about 29 hours of running time. Arrived at Waterford at 4:30 PM on Thursday, cleared lock O8 into Oswego Harbor at 11 AM Sunday.

Realistically, if you're ok with running long days, I'd plan for 8 - 9 hours a day on the canals (unless you're not in a rush), figuring that you've got 10 hours where the locks are open (except for a few with longer hours), so typically around 10.5 usable hours to travel in a day. Planning for 8 - 9 hours means you're unlikely to need to move a night stop unless you get delayed significantly somewhere.

Plus, along the Hudson and the canals, there are a lot of places to stop, so if you decide you want to stop early one day, it's easy to do that as a last-minute decision. On my trip, we didn't really have night stops planned (that plan got tossed when the trans issue happened and we were trying to make up time). We just ran as far in the canals as we could get each day and picked a night stop around mid-afternoon once we knew what the last lock we could make for the day would be.

If you're not in a rush, you can easily plan to do 4 - 6 hour days and keep the stops a bit closer together.
The plan right now is "delivery schedule" thinking, so as long a day at the helm as we can making progress. Currently we are looking at 3 or 4 people onboard. Making food and keeping the crew fueled with coffee and tea and fluids as we make our way. I have done a great deal of travel in various ways and in various machines, not so much in a Albin Trawler yet, however familar with taking it all in stride and in maintaining a flexible itinerary, and dealing with things as they come up with a can-do attitude.

BTW: Last night I watched "Horatio's Drive", a Ken Burns documentary on the first cross country trip ever undertaken in an automobile. Highly recommend it for the advernturer in all of us.
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