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Old 09-24-2020, 12:50 PM   #1
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Potential trip from Southwest Harbor to Charleston

Hi folks, considering a trip from SW Harbor to Charleston in last week of October.

I know there are multiple voyagers here who have done just this trip. Your input will be appreciated. Yes, I know some of these will sound very uninformed, even down right dumb to the seasoned salts, but I do appreciate this forum just for this type of help.

Here are some questions:

Is this too late in the year for a small 30 foot 8 knot pocket trawler to make this trip? What is the latest in the year you would go?

Do you mind sharing advice on a route, particularly from Maine down to Norfolk that you liked?

How do you travel down the coast of Maine and the other states until you get to the Intercoastal? I am assuming in a small trawler like this you would interweave between the Islands in Maine, staying just off shore and of course under good conditions. I think this boat will be brutal in a beam sea due to itís full displacement hull.

I still may ship this boat by road, but think it will be a missed opportunity.

Anyway, thanks captains for your advice to a greenhorn. BTW, I have boated most of my life, mostly on lakes with a 1967 Chris Craft Commander, and 1969 Hatteras hull number 10 of the sportfish model that we took from Stuart FL to Beaufort, and another sports fish from Marco Island to Charleston. That was long ago, and of course we did not know what we were doing then, and no Trawler forum existed for advice.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:19 AM   #2
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I assume that is Southwest Harbor Maine to Charleston, SC??? Remember, this is a global site.
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Old 09-29-2020, 10:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
I assume that is Southwest Harbor Maine to Charleston, SC??? Remember, this is a global site.
Yes, thank you for the reminder. Yes, Maine. I would like to do this trip but I am afraid time is not my friend this year and since it is at this end of the season.
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Old 09-29-2020, 11:39 AM   #4
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I have done that trip several times, once as late as mid September which was fine, even better than leaving in August, but never as late as the end of October.

Your boat as I understand it has a pilot house but it is open to the sides unless you also have curtains on the sides and back. In any case it can and will be cold and/or windy in late Oct in at least Maine but probably Mass and LI as well. Dress warm. Do you plan to anchor out or stay at marinas mostly. If anchoring you need a way to warm the cabin.

The route is to wiggle around the islands as you say until you get past Portland. Then head for the Annisquam R which cuts through Cape Ann, Mass to Gloucester. Then head past Boston down Mass Bay and Cape Cod Bay to the Cape Cod Canal to get you into LI Sound.

Then work you way along the N or S shore or zig zag west through LI Sound and then through NY harbor. Then around NJ and go inside at Cape May, through the canal and up the Delaware River. Then through the C&D Canal, down the Chesapeake to Norfolk. From there it is all ICW to Charleston. You could make some offshore legs at least past Beaufort, NC if the weather is just right.

This trip will take at least two weeks and put you into Charleston in early to mid November. Weather is ok down there that time of year but you probably already know that.

Good luck if you make that trip.

David
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
I have done that trip several times, once as late as mid September which was fine, even better than leaving in August, but never as late as the end of October.

Your boat as I understand it has a pilot house but it is open to the sides unless you also have curtains on the sides and back. In any case it can and will be cold and/or windy in late Oct in at least Maine but probably Mass and LI as well. Dress warm. Do you plan to anchor out or stay at marinas mostly. If anchoring you need a way to warm the cabin.

The route is to wiggle around the islands as you say until you get past Portland. Then head for the Annisquam R which cuts through Cape Ann, Mass to Gloucester. Then head past Boston down Mass Bay and Cape Cod Bay to the Cape Cod Canal to get you into LI Sound.

Then work you way along the N or S shore or zig zag west through LI Sound and then through NY harbor. Then around NJ and go inside at Cape May, through the canal and up the Delaware River. Then through the C&D Canal, down the Chesapeake to Norfolk. From there it is all ICW to Charleston. You could make some offshore legs at least past Beaufort, NC if the weather is just right.

This trip will take at least two weeks and put you into Charleston in early to mid November. Weather is ok down there that time of year but you probably already know that.

Good luck if you make that trip.

David
Fantastic, thank you!
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:50 PM   #6
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Do you know about Active Captain- https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/Map

Click on Home to register and then go back to Map which shoes virtually all marinas with info and reviews and lots of anchorages.

David
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM View Post
Do you know about Active Captain- https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/Map

Click on Home to register and then go back to Map which shoes virtually all marinas with info and reviews and lots of anchorages.

David
I have not explored that yet, I did begin to play with Navionics. Will look at it now...Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:35 PM   #8
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The Navionics online chart app has one big advantage over ActiveCaptain/Garmin, it has the ability to plot a route point by point and give you distance. It may also let you download that route to a Navionics chart on your chart plotter, but never tried it. Active Captain used to have similar capability but Garmin didn't want to play ball with others and deleted it.

David
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Old 09-29-2020, 03:49 PM   #9
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Only thing wrong with your plan is the fixed date. Wait for settled weather.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:01 AM   #10
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I think it's very doable, provided you can wait for weather windows. If you HAVE to go in a certain window, then I think you are likely to have problems.


There was another similar thread, and I'll caution here as well that marinas will be starting to close down. You will be able to get fuel, but will probably need to look a bit harder. What might be more problematic is getting water because it starts getting shut off around Columbus day. Docks and dock power will vary too. It's doable, just plan ahead.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:25 AM   #11
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One good thing, I believe with his shalliw draft and protected prop.....that boat could easily do the NJ ICW so waiting for a weather window to get around NJ may not be as big of a deal and give more options.

That is of course if they fixed the Atlantic City railroad bridge.

My thoughts mostly concern weather. The first part of Oct can be fairly settled. Fronts start pushing through making the trip down to Cape May, NJ a bit more weather dependent starting around mid Oct. Once to Cape May and up the Delaware, most of Nov is a breeze....cool breeze at that and by Thanksgiving, donr be suprised by a rare brief, snowstorm.

The average cruiser I talked to always recommended being to Norfolk by 1 Nov. I have made the trip 2011 to 2019 from Cape May to Florida, starting mostly in early December, but sometimes in Oct and Nov. The Oct and znov were much better than the Dec starts.
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