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Old 09-24-2022, 06:01 PM   #1
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Long Island Sound - Overnight Passage?

Hello,

Was wondering if an overnight passage from Cuttyhunk to Port Washington would be a good idea, not being very familiar with this area probably not.

I dont have to do it but was just gonna ask the gurus here.

It would of course depend primarily on the weather conditions.

Comments welcome.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:08 PM   #2
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My biggest concern would be lobster pots.
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Old 09-24-2022, 06:54 PM   #3
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Not a lot of lobster gear out there any more. Stay outside if the fish trap area along the Mass / Rhode Island shore. Maybe stay a little further south of Point Judith (favor Block Island) to avoid any lobster pots. Pick your weather and it should be a nice cruise. Point Judith is pretty much always a washing machine weather day or night. Look at your tide charts (Eldridge) and do your best to time it for fair currents.
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Old 09-24-2022, 07:10 PM   #4
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Not a lot of lobster gear out there any more. Stay outside if the fish trap area along the Mass / Rhode Island shore. Maybe stay a little further south of Point Judith (favor Block Island) to avoid any lobster pots. Pick your weather and it should be a nice cruise. Point Judith is pretty much always a washing machine weather day or night. Look at your tide charts (Eldridge) and do your best to time it for fair currents.

+1 on the pots but you still see some. Less once past Pt. Judith. Do try to time the current for a "downhill" ride. Eldridge is your friend.

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Old 09-25-2022, 07:10 AM   #5
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Should be a relatively easy run. when in doubt favor the Long Island side. Less rocks. Free town moorings in Port Washington if you didn't already know.

A good backup plan might be to stop for the night in West Harbor of Fishers Island. Pirates cove has 5 moorings in the harbor and they won't be collecting this time of year. And they will most likely be empty.
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Old 09-25-2022, 07:26 AM   #6
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You are probably already aware but there is plenty of commercial traffic between Newport and the race continuing into the sound. Keep a good lookout and monitor 13 / 16.
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Old 09-25-2022, 08:56 AM   #7
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How fast can you cruise? That trip is about 150 NM so if you can go 15 kts, you could make it in daylight with a dawn departure.

I know that the single Yanmar MS 400 can't do 15 kt. Maybe the twin can.

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Old 09-25-2022, 08:58 AM   #8
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How fast can you cruise? That trip is about 150 NM so if you can go 15 kts, you could make it in daylight with a dawn departure.

I know that the single Yanmar MS 400 can't do 15 kt. Maybe the twin can.

David

That's a good point. Even if you can't speed up enough to make the run in daylight, I'd be inclined to leave early in the morning (in the dark) and plan to speed up when the sun rises (arriving before dark). Much less running in the dark than an overnight run with a morning arrival (and typically easier on the crew if you're not used to overnight runs).
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:09 AM   #9
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There is also Mattituck Inlet available if you can’t make Port Washington. Nice anchorage at the end of the long narrow inlet. Easy to navigate in daylight wouldn’t do it in the dark unless you’d been there before.
That’s on Long Island.
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Old 09-25-2022, 04:24 PM   #10
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If you keep going pass the harbor there are expansive areas to anchor at Judith further in. They are fully protected and make for a quiet night. I need my beauty sleep. See nothing wrong in doing this in as many jumps as you want. Remember schedules kill. There’s multiple places to stop on both the NY and Connecticut sides if you get tired. As regards which side often will just stay on the side that’s in the lee side of the prevailing winds so least fetch to the seas. It isn’t a big deal to cross over to the other side if that’s where you want to end up. This is a nice trip in the fall. Don’t feel pushed to do the whole thing as one big jump. We’re lucky as both sides of LI Sound have so many harbors. As an aside Stonington is a lovely little town with good restaurants.
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:48 PM   #11
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My biggest concern would be lobster pots.
Hmmm, since 99% of the lobster industry died out due to warming water, ignore this comment.

You will have no issues doing this. I've done it dozens of times. There is commercial traffic but always well lit, good radar targets and no problem. The ferry from Port Jefferson to New Haven is equally well lit and may be part of your early morning sighting.

Port Washington has town moorings, yellow bouys, which are free for the first night and just $30 a night after that. Free pump out too. Jamie the pump out guy will take good care of you.
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:50 PM   #12
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How fast can you cruise? That trip is about 150 NM so if you can go 15 kts, you could make it in daylight with a dawn departure.

I know that the single Yanmar MS 400 can't do 15 kt. Maybe the twin can.

David
Err, this is a trawler forum. Slow and long

Oh, one more thing..... you need to time the tide for 'the race' as it can run 5+ kts either way.
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Old 09-25-2022, 05:50 PM   #13
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I'm guessing the massive decline in lobster pots is fairly recent? I remember them still being quite significant around 10 years ago.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:00 PM   #14
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Err, this is a trawler forum. Slow and long

Oh, one more thing..... you need to time the tide for 'the race' as it can run 5+ kts either way.
There are a lot of boats here that can go faster than trawler speed.
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Old 09-25-2022, 06:36 PM   #15
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I'm guessing the massive decline in lobster pots is fairly recent? I remember them still being quite significant around 10 years ago.
They are still out there. But not nearly the numbers like in the past.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:50 AM   #16
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I'm guessing the massive decline in lobster pots is fairly recent? I remember them still being quite significant around 10 years ago.
Since around 2015 - 6 there is a significant reduction. The water warmed up.

I never worried too much about the current at the Race even at my 6.5 knot cruising speed. It just takes an extra 15 minutes or so to go thru the worst of it. Just be wary of the fishing boats that are drifting with the current.
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Old 09-27-2022, 11:39 AM   #17
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Agree with jleonard. If you’re worried about that personally think the entrance near RI/Conn border is easier. Similarly don’t worry about timing the LI Sound tides. 6h it’s with you but 6h against. Worry more about daylight this time of year and hitting places while they’re still open.
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Old 09-30-2022, 01:48 PM   #18
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head for the dark part

Can't help but remember my first night trip down LI Sound. We had just taken delivery of a new sailboat off a freighter in Port Elizabeth...when we shot out of the East River and past City Island around midnight - heading for Stonington, CT (which would make a lovely stopover about midaway on your trip btw) I asked the broker accompanying us, a more experienced boater than I, what course we should steer....without hesitating he replied:


"How should I know, Just head for the dark part"
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Old 09-30-2022, 02:51 PM   #19
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Hmmm, since 99% of the lobster industry died out due to warming water, ignore this comment.
I do the majority of my boating in the Sound and would not ignore the warning about lobster pots. Sure, there are not as many as in the past, but it only takes one to ruin your day. I am on the lookout for them every trip and often have to avoid 1 or 2. I even added a line cutter on my shaft this year because even in daylight you can come up on one that's not well marked and partially submerged due to waves and current.

Not sure why you want to do this trip at night especially if you're unfamiliar. As others have said there are many dozens of great places to stop on both sides of the sound. A 2-3 day trip w/o pushing yourself would be a lot more fun and less risky.
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:49 PM   #20
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Tidal current through ‘the Race’ (west end of Fishers Island) is definitely a factor at trawler speeds. Going against it you’ll be lucky to make 4 knots. I’ve traversed the sound three times (east to west) in the past year, will be doing it again in a couple weeks. I haven’t seen that much traffic, but do keep an eye out for the ferries - New London / Block Island, New London / Orient Point, and Bridgeport / Port Jefferson. Be extra careful going at night your first time out (I advise against it). Also, Navionics will take you close to the Middle Ground shoal. Steer clear!! (Between Bridgeport and Port Jeff.)
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