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Old 08-06-2018, 10:55 PM   #21
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I do have a radar and AIS. I know Maine is one of the most beautiful states but I might get frustrated if I can't see it I know you can get socked in for days at a time but does it normally come in the morning and give way in afternoon. Thank you all for posting your comments
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:48 PM   #22
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Maine is one of the most beautiful cruising grounds on the entire east coast of the US (Chesapeake Bay comes in second). We have both an AIS transceiver and radar - both handy in Maine; AIS is helpful, but not as helpful as radar, IMHO. Lobster buoys don't have either! Lobster fishing boats don't have AIS but some have radar. Many days cruising there over three different trips (one into the Bay of Fundy) would have proved difficult without radar.

FWIW, you'll encounter fog frequently along the NJ coast and in Long Island and in Massachusetts Bay, Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay, as well as all the other great bodies of water getting up to Maine. Cold water and warm air all over the place in the summer!
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Old 08-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #23
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96: You'll be passing by my marina (Marina Bay, Quincy) on the way up north...unless you run straight across from P-town.

If you do pass by Boston, then drop me a line. You can fuel up, pump out and grab a bite at my spot. Always lots of transients available.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:47 AM   #24
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First Time to Maine

We are on our first trip to Maine and having a wonderful time. We purchased the Taft Guide to Maine and have enjoyed reading about the places to visit and then planning our route and visits. We primarily anchor and have found some wonderful places to relax and enjoy. Meeting the people and experiencing the food has been a highlight.
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:55 AM   #25
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The lobster gear can be a bit of a challenge if you are not used to it. You do have to be aware of it 100% of the time. However, there are some things you can do to minimize problems.


1. Turn the autopilot OFF. You can't run straight line courses without running over gear.


2. Don't get into the trap of only looking at the close in gear. If you look ahead you will be able to see patches of clear water and steer accordingly. Lobster traps tend to be set in what are called strings - i.e., lines of traps. Once you identify the orientations of strings you can run parallel to them relatively easily.


3. Look at your charts before making a run. Gear tends to be concentrated at shoals and relatively shallow spots. By shoal I mean a bottom feature shallower than the surroundings like a 100' spot in otherwise 125' deep bottom.


4. Be aware of toggles. What are toggles? A toggle is a trap with two floats. The first float supports the line down to the trap and is normally an unmarked, relatively small, white float. In deeper water or areas of strong currents these small "toggle" floats may be below the surface by a foot or two but they do pop up periodically. THe second float is attached to the line below the first float by a second line anywhere from 15 to 40 feet long. The attachment point is from 3 to 6 feet below the "toggle" float. The second float is always larger and colored. You can tell a toggled float from a normal single float because the toggled float lies flat on the water all the time while a normal single float will pop up from flat on the water to vertical when waves hit it. The second colored float will be down wind (or down current) from the toggle float. The line between the two floats is "supposed" to be sinking line so it will normally form a loop under the water. Even so, do NOT run between a toggle and its attached colored float. The safest thing to do is run on the down wind/current side of the colored floats. Also toggles floats tend to be in deeper water (100+ feet) and areas of strong current. The idea of the toggle is that the lobster fisher can gaff the colored float without having to deal with the weight of a couple hundred feet of line since there is no load on the colored float. If you see one toggled float it is best to assume that all the floats are toggled and steer accordingly. Finally, always consider windage and current when going through lobster floats. Choose the down wind/current side of floats if you can so the current or wind doesn't put you on top of gear.


5. Running into the sun. This is mostly an issue if you are heading east in the morning or west in the afternoon. When you run into the sun ALWAYS wear polarized sun glasses. Even then the lobster trap floats will be hard to see so keep a very sharp lookout. It is also a good idea to look astern now and then so you can see how much gear there really is. You will be surprised (if not terrified) at how much you don't see when looking into the sun. If you must head into the sun adjust course by 15-20 degrees away from the sun.


6. Lobster gear is everywhere. In Maine there are no restrictions on where traps can be set. They are where ever lobster fishers think there are lobsters. I have even seen traps set in the fairways between docks in my marina (someone was making a point). Only the owner of a trap or a marine law enforcement officer can legally touch a trap (or float). The marine LEOs are harbor masters and the Maine Marine Patrol (there are not a lot of marine patrol boats).


7. If you get hung up on a trap line and have to cut it, tie it back together if you can when you get free. There will be anywhere from one to three traps on that line. Traps cost about $100 each so if you cut a line and don't retie it you cost the fisher real money.
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:03 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDunn View Post
The lobster gear can be a bit of a challenge if you are not used to it. You do have to be aware of it 100% of the time. However, there are some things you can do to minimize problems.


1. Turn the autopilot OFF. You can't run straight line courses without running over gear.


2. Don't get into the trap of only looking at the close in gear. If you look ahead you will be able to see patches of clear water and steer accordingly. Lobster traps tend to be set in what are called strings - i.e., lines of traps. Once you identify the orientations of strings you can run parallel to them relatively easily.


3. Look at your charts before making a run. Gear tends to be concentrated at shoals and relatively shallow spots. By shoal I mean a bottom feature shallower than the surroundings like a 100' spot in otherwise 125' deep bottom.


4. Be aware of toggles. What are toggles? A toggle is a trap with two floats. The first float supports the line down to the trap and is normally an unmarked, relatively small, white float. In deeper water or areas of strong currents these small "toggle" floats may be below the surface by a foot or two but they do pop up periodically. THe second float is attached to the line below the first float by a second line anywhere from 15 to 40 feet long. The attachment point is from 3 to 6 feet below the "toggle" float. The second float is always larger and colored. You can tell a toggled float from a normal single float because the toggled float lies flat on the water all the time while a normal single float will pop up from flat on the water to vertical when waves hit it. The second colored float will be down wind (or down current) from the toggle float. The line between the two floats is "supposed" to be sinking line so it will normally form a loop under the water. Even so, do NOT run between a toggle and its attached colored float. The safest thing to do is run on the down wind/current side of the colored floats. Also toggles floats tend to be in deeper water (100+ feet) and areas of strong current. The idea of the toggle is that the lobster fisher can gaff the colored float without having to deal with the weight of a couple hundred feet of line since there is no load on the colored float. If you see one toggled float it is best to assume that all the floats are toggled and steer accordingly. Finally, always consider windage and current when going through lobster floats. Choose the down wind/current side of floats if you can so the current or wind doesn't put you on top of gear.

In my experience cruising Maine this advice is spot on. It took me a while to understand these things but it makes it a LOT easier once you do.



Ken
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:11 AM   #27
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Now dealing with lobster boats. Almost all lobster boats haul on the starboard side. Yes there are a very few boats set up for port hauling, but they are few indeed. When a lobster boat hauls a trap the fisher approaches, gaffs the float and puts the line over the hauler winch. While they are hauling the boat will be in neutral. Once the trap is hauled, cleaned out and rebaited it will be pushed over the side. When a lobster boat hauling on starboard drops a trap it will ALWAYS make a fairly sharp turn to starboard to swing the stern away from the gear. Once the trap is dropped the boat will proceed to the next trap to be hauled. That next trap may be close or it may not. Lobster boats are supposed to display a float with their float colors. If you can see their display float it will allow you to see where the traps that boat is hauling are located so you can stay away from them. Unfortunately not all boats display their "colors" in a way that can be easily seen. The display float may be years old and very faded or lying flat on the cabin top behind stuff. Other than the turn to starboard after dropping a trap, lobster boats are very unpredictable. They MAY head toward the easily visible next trap or they may head off in pretty much any direction, normally at high speed if they have decided to move to distant traps. So give them plenty of room.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:42 PM   #28
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Thank you all for great advice!!!
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:37 PM   #29
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This is my first post on this site. Despite driving a Nord47 for 11 years I have somehow missed this nice resource.
We have cruised Maine for many years and would like to make a couple of points.
Under no circumstances should you let any of these comments keep you from cruising this most amazing place. Yes there are some issues but nothing you canít overcome with a little patience.
First of all we are not going to contradict the locals who have weighed in here but the whole fog thing is overrated. In our 10 years of cruising the NE weíve spent more time sitting out the fog in Buzzards bay, Cuttyhunk etc than anywhere in Maine. Altogether we reckon we have had to cancel or delay a trip maybe 10times in 10years. Radar is helpful but wonít really let you make a trip when the fog is at its thickest due to the lobster bouys. If you donít have radar still go! Just allow a little more time for the trip. You are cruising after all. Not on a schedule we hope. Wherever you get to to spend an extra day will still be a great day.
We have arrived SW Harbor as early as May 1 and left as late as Nov 1. We prefer the cruising after Labor Day as most of the fast boaters are gone back to NY by then. Yes, many restaurants close but they are not the ones you want to go to anyway. It is a little strange to be run out of a mooring field so they can pick them up for winter. And sweeping snow off the decks is a fun thing for Texans.
Just a few hints to add to all the great things already mentioned.
If you have stabilizer fins pin them in the neutral position as you weave through the lobster pots. You donít want the lines to get between the fin and the hull.
This will require a swim in 50 degree water to cut them away. You will collect a pot now and again. Itís unavoidable and just a part of doing business. Stop the boat, back down slowly, wait a minute and most pennants will drop off.
The best cruising is east of SW Harbor all the way to Eastport if you are fairly self sufficient.
Lastly, just go. Itís the best.
G and K
Former N47-33 Imagine
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