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Boat delivery from New England to Virginia

Apr 1, 2018
63
Hunter 41AC 1 Charleston
Nice trip if in fair weather. I grew up on Barnegat Bay, so number 9's advise looks right to me. Manasquan's approach is right on, inside the inlet is the train bridge which can be tough during a strong current, then the Point Pleasant Canal out into Barnegat Bay down past Long Beach Island to AC, where you have to go outside again. The route is dotted with marina's and easy anchorage. Going from Boston you will take 2 days to have time to shake out the boat before cutting across to round Long Island assuming you stop at night. Onset or Marion harbors after the Cape Cod Canal are great places to pick up a mooring.
Not to doubt you but I think some of the bridge heights might me under a hunter 41 air draft of close to 65 feet when including the vhf antenna . I would make sure you check all bridge heights.
 
Aug 28, 2018
1
Beneteau 473 Marthon
i would fly down and help you through the delivery but i am waiting on my wife to get here and need to keep the hut warm
 

BrentS

.
Jan 3, 2020
2
B&B Yachts Princess 26 Chesapeake
All:

A part of me that says it's actually a lot safer to come down the coast including New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula rather than coming down the bay. My concern stems mostly from sailing down the Bay at night (if we do so) because there are so many things like crab pots that you can run into.
Lots of good comments above.

Having made the run out of New England to the Chesapeake a number of times, I like the offshore route if the goal is to just get there. Coming out of Narragansett Bay if the weather was good I would round Block Island and head for the mouth of the Chesapeake. This route is more than 100 miles shorter than going up the Delaware Bay and through the CD canal and once departed there is no shuffling to catch the right tides. I try to stay at least 5 miles off shore to minimize obstacles but the straightline course from Block Island to Cape Charles will take you many more miles offshore, which I find beautiful. With good weather this is a very nice trip. As others have noted this is not the best choice if you have not had a chance to build confidence in the boat. But if the boat and you are ready it is a delightful cruise.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with running Long Island Sound and the East River or heading up Delaware Bay /CD canal/ Chesapeake. Lots of wonderful places to stop along the way. We often hole up at Atlantic Highlands to wait for weather to run the New Jersey coast. From there plan for 20 hours to Cape May. Rest in Cape Henlopen, then depart at the beginning of the rising tide to go up Delaware Bay. About 7 or 8 hours later you are in the Chesapeake. From there is a beautiful trip down the bay with many places to explore.

Sailing at night through the Delaware Bay, CD Canal, and down the Bay is actually simple. Stay out of the channel in Delaware Bay, leave that for the big ships. Use channel 13 to monitor traffic in the CD canal. Consider calling canal control to check for traffic in the canal that is of concern to you. The CD canal is very well lit, and I like going through there at night. Enter the canal with the falling tide, and an hour later you are in the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake has a well marked channel that is typically free of crab pots and other obstructions. I would have no hesitation to run the Chesapeake channel down the bay in the dark if need be.

If you want a licensed captain to help during your trip, send me a PM.
 
Jul 6, 2017
111
Hunter H 41DS Hampton, VA
All:

We are taking possession of a Hunter 41DS. The boat is located on the hard in Rhode Island and I am moving it to Hampton Virginia.

If I do this myself I will eventually need some advice for navigating the Long Island sound, the East River and along the Jersey coast.

Thanks all.
OK Captains. The time for this trip is just a few weeks away. If anyone has some advice for coming down the Jersey coast I would appreciate it.

1. If we need to duck in anywhere where are some OK spots, if any? (5' draft and 62' air draft). You have told me Atlantic City and Cape May.
2. How far off the coast would you stay? The commercial shipping lanes are 8+ miles off shore.
 

SG

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,669
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
How many people on board? What skill sets.
How is the boat equipped for navigation and safety gear?
Is time an issue for you (can you let a few days slip, if necessary; or, could you get up to RI and, instead of putzing around up there, jump off earlier, etc., etc)?
 
May 17, 2004
2,600
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
1. If we need to duck in anywhere where are some OK spots, if any? (5' draft and 62' air draft). You have told me Atlantic City and Cape May.
AC and Cape May are considered the easiest. Sandy Hook is a pretty easy place too, but further out of the way depending on what route you’re taking. I’ve done Barnegat in a small cuddy cabin style powerboat without trouble, in good weather, but never tried it in a sailboat. With a 62’ air draft you won’t be able to transit between any of these on the inside, so they would be purely stop ins to dodge bad weather, then back outside again.

Did you decide on going through the Chesapeake or outside yet? I’ve been sailing on the upper bay a couple times this year and haven’t seen any significant numbers of crab pots or driftwood. Not sure how it is lower down the bay though.
 
Apr 8, 2011
250
Hunter 36 Deale, MD
Lots of good comments above.

Having made the run out of New England to the Chesapeake a number of times, I like the offshore route if the goal is to just get there. Coming out of Narragansett Bay if the weather was good I would round Block Island and head for the mouth of the Chesapeake. This route is more than 100 miles shorter than going up the Delaware Bay and through the CD canal and once departed there is no shuffling to catch the right tides. I try to stay at least 5 miles off shore to minimize obstacles but the straightline course from Block Island to Cape Charles will take you many more miles offshore, which I find beautiful. With good weather this is a very nice trip. As others have noted this is not the best choice if you have not had a chance to build confidence in the boat. But if the boat and you are ready it is a delightful cruise.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with running Long Island Sound and the East River or heading up Delaware Bay /CD canal/ Chesapeake. Lots of wonderful places to stop along the way. We often hole up at Atlantic Highlands to wait for weather to run the New Jersey coast. From there plan for 20 hours to Cape May. Rest in Cape Henlopen, then depart at the beginning of the rising tide to go up Delaware Bay. About 7 or 8 hours later you are in the Chesapeake. From there is a beautiful trip down the bay with many places to explore.

Sailing at night through the Delaware Bay, CD Canal, and down the Bay is actually simple. Stay out of the channel in Delaware Bay, leave that for the big ships. Use channel 13 to monitor traffic in the CD canal. Consider calling canal control to check for traffic in the canal that is of concern to you. The CD canal is very well lit, and I like going through there at night. Enter the canal with the falling tide, and an hour later you are in the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake has a well marked channel that is typically free of crab pots and other obstructions. I would have no hesitation to run the Chesapeake channel down the bay in the dark if need be.

If you want a licensed captain to help during your trip, send me a PM.
Having done this twice in the last few years with an experienced friend on his J42 I think Brent S has the best info here. Both my trips were outside from NE, then into the Delaware, through the C&D, and down the Chesapeake to Annapolis. One at night thru the C&D and down the bay, the other during the day; one after overnighting in Cape May during rough weather offshore (we all needed 4 hrs of sleep to keep going), the other continuous with good weather. I wouldn't do it with less than 3 people - 1-2 of which are experienced offshore sailors. Visual watchkeeping, radar, AIS will help you avoid the big guys easily. In good weather one good watchstander on 2-hour watches is fine. In bad weather, at least 2 on deck. Pick a weather window, come into Delaware Bay reasonably close to slack/incoming tide, and do your best to time the C&D, though you may be at the mercy of schedule, in which case, just motor on through it. Plenty of places to duck into if you want in the Chesapeake, but you can also do it at night close to the shipping lanes and avoid crab pots. Again, watchkeeping, radar and AIS. The Chesapeake at night near the shipping lanes isn't a problem with regard to crab pots. If you DON'T have to rush it, that's an AWFULLY cool trip to do with stopovers.

Lastly, does your new 41DS come with full set of cockpit cushions? If not I have a set in good condition I'll give you for free if we can meet up in the Annapolis/Deale area. I might even meet you on the water in transit ;).
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,455
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
I think the warnings against Barnegat Inlet are overblown. Hundreds of boats, large and small are in and out of there just about all the time. There is a Coast Guard Station just inside, a good-sized fishing fleet and sight-seeing boats in and out of there routinely. @Ward H and I went out last fall in 18 to 20 knots from the north with no discomfort. Labor Day weekend I went out BI to Atlantic City (Brigantine Inlet) without any problems (15 to 20 knots from the north). It was lumpy both times but no breaking waves in the Inlet. Barnegat Inlet didn't seem any more problematic than Brigantine during my trips.

Just make sure you follow the outer markers in and DON"T even think about cutting the corner at the north jetty. That's the danger that gives Barnegat Inlet a bad rep. The fixed marker is on rocks that will be submerged during high tide and break the surface at low tide. The width of the inlet is plenty wide and in a sailboat you will want to use the markers that will keep you to the north edge of the Inlet. The greens are set pretty much in the center of the inlet so you will want to keep them to your port side going in and stbd going out. Depth in the channel will not be a problem for you. Tidal range is just about 2.5', so not significant at all and current may get up to about 3 knots, but shouldn't really be a problem. Ward and I came in with 3 knots against us and it wasn't a big deal, just a little slow. Barnegat Light is a good overnight anchorage, but a little noisy & rolly from the fishing fleet and party fishing boats that are coming and going at all hours. Every time I stay at Barnegat Light there are sailboats in the anchorage overnight from transiting up and down the coast. Barnegat Inlet is the closest place to the midpoint between Sandy Hook and Cape May so it is a good place to stay overnight. The anchorage at Barnegat Light is very convenient for access to the Ocean, but it is small and good only for a handful of boats. You anchor pretty close to a lee shore ("The Dike") with an east wind and it can make you a bit uncomfortable if you aren't real confident in the holding. I've found the holding to be good and have not had problems in 20 knots of wind overnight (using a Danforth anchor in sandy clay). You can see all of this clearly on Google Maps.

I hope to be following your tracks later in June but my destination from Cape Cod will be Barnegat Bay! :cool:
 
Jul 6, 2017
111
Hunter H 41DS Hampton, VA
Well team:

We did it. 10 days from Portsmouth RI to Yorktown VA. I did it with my 16yr old son and the trip was great. long days and some nights and some great sailing and sights. We did the LI Sound, East River, Jersey coast, Delaware Bay, C&D canal, Chesapeake Bay route.

I cant say enough good things about Active Captain and its reviews of anchorages and also having a backup of your Navionics account on an IPad. That was invaluable. (The C-80 MFD didn't perform so well).

We were really surprised how little marine traffic we came across the entire trip.

Thanks for all the input and advice.

Next, a pile of upgrade projects.
 

Attachments

Jan 19, 2010
537
Catalina 34 Casco Bay
Were it I, the route would be out to the south side of Long Is with Shinnecook Bay the first leg. Then across to the Jersey shore and south from there. Unless you want to deal with the NYC marine traffic...
 
Oct 22, 2014
12,581
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Congrats Tim. What an opportunity to spend time with your son, on a new boat. One of those lifetime memories.

Good luck with your new boat. One of the best times in your life. A new boat.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,455
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
Beautiful! I'd love to hear about all of the stops you made. Sue and I will be leaving on our new purchase from North Falmouth MA to Barnegat Inlet in less than a few weeks. We are the happy owners of a Catalina 320, which we have yet to make our own yet. This weekend will be our inauguration!
 

splax

.
Nov 12, 2012
641
Hunter 34 Portsmouth
I have done the trip from Connecticut in the sound out Montauk point to Atlantic city to little creek. the cross currents outside Delaware Bay are an issue I was in a 31 foot boat with ten foot seas at night
 
Jul 6, 2017
111
Hunter H 41DS Hampton, VA
I have done the trip from Connecticut in the sound out Montauk point to Atlantic city to little creek. the cross currents outside Delaware Bay are an issue I was in a 31 foot boat with ten foot seas at night
A more detailed summary of the trip:

This was a big deal for my son and I. It was a new boat to us, in unfamiliar waters, in unfamiliar conditions where I have not done night sailing. The rout required night sailing along the coast of New Jersey because I didn't want to stop along the coast and take any risks at those inlets.

Before we left I changed the alternator belt, fuel filter, oil filter and raw water impeller and ran the engine hard for a day just to give myself some comfort that we wouldn't have engine trouble. We left two days after we arrived at the boat in Portsmouth RI to get it ready to go south.

I bought a three month subscription to PredictWind and an updated Navionics CF card for the C-80 chart plotter. Also, the Navionics iPad app is cheap and fantastic. We had quite a few problems with the C-80 chart plotter crashing and the iPad saved us more than once. We also had backup charts both on cell phones and paper charts as well. For the night sail we both stayed in the cockpit and took three hour shifts.

We had a bit of a regimen where every three hours we checked and wrote down:
whether
GPS coordinates
condition of the bilge
checked the rigging
check the state of the batteries

Each day we checked:
engine oil
engine coolant
transmission oil
raw water strainers

For safety we:
purchased an EPIRB
rented a six person life raft in a satchel from Vane Bros.
installed jack lines
required each of us be clipped in our harness AT ALL TIMES outside of the cabin until we got into the Chesapeake Bay.
emailed or texted our float plan and progress each day to someone at home.

We watched the wind conditions using PredictWind and monitored the tidal current forecasts using the Navionics iPad app which showed precisely when the currents were favorable in and out of New York and in and out of Delaware Bay. We timed our trip to go through some of the tough areas such as "The Race" entering Long Island sound and "Hell Gate" entering New York City at slack tide with a following push and it worked perfectly every time.. We also used the app to predict the incoming tide up Delaware Bay and were able to ride it in and do 8 knots all the way up the bay in 15+ knots of wind and it was perfect.

The toughest part of the trip was getting down to Cape May New Jersey. We had run all day from Port Jefferson Long Island through the City down to Sandy Hook New Jersey and was going to spend the night there;......... however the wind forecast called for steady 30 kn winds the following afternoon and for the next three days. So rather than getting pinned down in Sandy Hook for three days we decided to continue on and leave immediately for Cape May at 8 PM in 20 kn southerly winds trying to get south before the high winds kicked up the following day. That turned out to be a long 36 hour run from Port Jefferson Long Island to Cape May nonstop except for a quick stop at Sandy Hook. We didn't quite get to Cape May before the winds picked up and spent the last three hours in 30 kn winds on the nose in fairly steep waves but we got there just fine.

We had left Sandy Hook with two reefs in the main and no jib and kept the the engine running all night just to be prepared for anything. We generally stayed 3 to 5 miles off the shoreline and tacked down the coast all night in southerly winds and could see the lights along the shore the entire way. Fortunately a nearly full moon rose at midnight which help light the way. I wouldn't want to do this in a storm or fog or complete darkness.

The boat does not have AIS which my other boat did. This is a first priority upgrade because it lets you see so much more than just radar does. IMHO.

We left Cape May the following morning in the same 25+ knots of wind and rough seas but it was only an hour and half to get around the Cape and into Delaware Bay where conditions turned out to be perfect.

The second day down the Chesapeake we were able to run with the spinnaker all day. That was great.

When we couldn't sail we motored or motor sailed. We planned on about 60+ nautical miles a day but some days did 90+ and some days did less.

This time of year it starts to get light at 4:30 AM so we left at 5 AM and no later than 6 AM most days.

Active Captain (get an account if you don't have one) syncs with the Navionics app (both owned by Garmen) so you can find all kinds of anchorages with comments from other sailors and cruisers as well as information such as phone numbers and details about anything along the route including dangerous locations. The Active Captain Internet site is also really good.

You want to anchor as close to shore as you can but not too close. The closer to shore you get the more likely you are to be attacked by gnats, or worse, mosquitoes.

The Navionics IPad app will also do automatic route calculations and keep track of your speed and give you an estimated time of arrival for each leg of your trip as long as you have an Internet connection. This helped us determine at what point along the trip to stop, usually 30 minutes before sunset. My iPad has built-in cell service so we had cell service along the entire trip.

We had no delays to speak of. The wind, sunrise and tidal currents controlled our schedule.

We did begin to make a list of issues with the boat as we worked our way south. These include:
1. The C-80 chart plotter is a bit sketchy. I have already decided to upgrade it.
2. The main halyard line clutch slips and wouldn't hold the main halyard tension tight enough so under certain conditions we had to rig the main sheet to another winch. This was a pain but we were able to work around it. I have since rebuilt the line clutch with new Spinlok parts.
3. The stereo stopped working on day one. turned out to be an inline fuse.
4. A number of the Bomar deck hatches leaked badly in rough weather.
5. The single-line reefing system is poorly designed. I should've known this because my other boat had the same system and there's so much friction in it that it makes reefing almost impossible at times. I'm adding a number of blocks and replacing the running rigging to eliminate a lot of the friction in the system to fix this.

God bless.
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,625
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Tim, if you want to pass the C80 on, I'd be interested. My first one lost the screen, this second one is doing better so far. You passed Annapolis and didn't stop for some crabs???
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,348
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
The Navionics IPad app will also do automatic route calculations and keep track of your speed and give you an estimated time of arrival for each leg of your trip as long as you have an Internet connection.
Great report. Thanks for posting. I've done that trip but not with the headwinds you described.
As for the Internet connection -- not needed while underway. You can pre-load the chart areas you intend to sail and then no connection needed. Yes, Navionics will tell you if your charts are out of date, but it will let you proceed if you dismiss the warning.
 
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