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First Time NE Coastal Run this Weekend

Old 05-13-2019, 06:00 AM
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Default First Time NE Coastal Run this Weekend

We purchased a 1984 26' Fortier Hard Top over the winter and she was just launched and cleared wet test and inspection this past weekend. We are now ready to run her from Osterville Mass up to our moor in Harpswell, Maine.

The boat has the original well maintained 240hp Perkins diesel and the mechanic seems confident we shouldn't have any issue with the trip.

The plan is to run west from Osterville Saturday AM, around Woods Hole and through the Cape Cod canal. From there straight to Glouchester for an overnight at Cape Anns.
Sunday AM we will run up to Harpswell and hopefully have the boat on moor by mid day.

Trip is about 70 miles each day, boat cruises around 16 knts.

I've been fishing/running boats offshore for the last 10 years or so down in Florida, my father in law and brother in law are boat rookies, who will be with me.

We have the normal compliment of Florida saftey gear (PLB, inReach, VHF and CG stuff).

I do have a couple ?s:

Do most guys up in NE carry survival suits and or lift rafts for coastal boating/fishing?

What speeds should I expect to run in the canal, I assume there will be a fair amount of commercial traffic?

Will we have cell coverage for most of that run? (Verizon and ATT on board)

Anything special about getting in/out of Glouchester/Cape Anns?

Good lunch on Sunday on the water in Portsmouth?

We planned to get a Sea Tow membership going, unless Boat US is better up there?

Anything else a Southern Boater should know that I wouldn't think of?

Thanks, Adam
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:03 AM
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I always liked the looks of that boat. Good luck with her! Congrats.

Unfortunately weekend weather always sucks. It's those damned west coast and gulf storms. They always seem to end up arriving on a weekend.....
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:16 AM
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Yea, windfinder is showing favorable conditions so far, we planned to scrub if winds get over 15 sustained or seas over 5ft, but looks like sub 10 MPH and 2ft so far.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:31 AM
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Cape Ann Marina is up the Annisquam river. You will be going through the Blynman bridge. At low tide you might be able to get under but otherwise will need to request a bridge opening. It is a narrow under the bridge and the current rips through there. You will need to use some power to fight the current and keep her straight. Boats exiting the river have preference as they are running with the current, so make sure you are clear to enter. If you are heading north from there, do you plan on running the rest of the way through the Annisquam and out the other side into Ipswich Bay? Make sure you stay in the channel in the river. There are some shallow sections and some tight turns.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:31 AM
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Knight: Have you done the run from Woods Hole through the Canal before? How long was your sea trial?
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:35 AM
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Great hull. GL with trip.

A few answers-

I always have a raft aboard, but only because I go offshore. I don't carry survival suits, but water is still COLD. I would throw raft and/or suits aboard for that trip.

Canal limit is 10 mph. I did not say it, but very likely you can run at cruise without incident or worst case a verbal warning. Monitor ch 13/16 going thru. There likely will not be much commercial traffic on a given transit, especially this time of year. Check the currents and try to avoid wind opposite current at both ends. Prevailing is SW and west end, especially, nasty if wind/current opposite. Good/easy gas option at sandwich marina inside east end with access to restaurants, etc.

You'll not be far offshore thru the canal and should maintain cell. My experience is it holds through most of CCB, but have had drops and a few areas off ptown without cell coverage. Can't comment further North.

Safe travels!



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Old 05-13-2019, 06:53 AM
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Portsmouth is a bit out of the way to run up the river for lunch maybe cape porpoise? or wentworth by the sea ? for easy in and out. nice boat I grew up in Harpswell that is a nice ride going north bound is always easier you should have the wind behind you
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:00 AM
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Reply to ? as to if I have run through woods hole before:
I have not no, first time in the area. I know we have converging currents there, trying to hit it close to high tide, 8:30 or so. Any tips?

Sea trial was about an hour, engine temp came up to 180 and settled nicely there.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:11 AM
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Watch the tides or you will be slogging against the canal current. What time are you planning to be at the canal entrance?

just noticed around high tide west end. You should be fine.

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Old 05-13-2019, 07:15 AM
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At entrance to canal maybe 9-10, seems to put me on the later half of the falling tide and should switch as we make our way through the canal, so would be with it for the later half of the canal.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
At entrance to canal maybe 9-10, seems to put me on the later half of the falling tide and should switch as we make our way through the canal, so would be with it for the later half of the canal.
If high on the west side is at 8 then 10 is too late. You will be at slack and facing a turning tide. You have your assumptions backwards on the current direction.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:54 AM
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Your first day will be the more difficult of the two. Woods Hole and the canal are a PITA for this north of Boston boater.

After clearing the Annisquam on day two, I would plot a course to run outside of Star Island and stay several miles offshore all the way to Cape Elizabeth and then plan your approach in to Harpswell. You'll avoid lobster pots and other obstacles staying outside. I've gone in and out of Dolphin Marina in Harpswell several times and that is a pretty easy approach, I am not familiar with the other Harpswell boat yards.

Unless you need fuel, I would skip Portsmouth or Kittery for lunch and just press on to Harpswell. Get some sandwiches or provisions in Gloucester (note correct spelling).

Be sure to take pictures and post a follow-up report next week.
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:49 AM
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Great boat...have always loved those Classic Fortier Lines. I did a similar trip last September when I took delivery of my new to me boat.
Gales Ferry CT to Newington NH which in total was approx 210 miles in a Grady White 272 Sailfish.
Broke it up into 2 days as you are wise to do. Our 1st night was at Red Brook Harbor and we caught the canal tide perfectly the next AM.

We lucked out with flat clam seas all the way to Gloucester where it started to kick up to 3' for a little bit. The weather this wknd looks really nice.

If you are making good progress and wanted to push on to the Wentworth your 1st night I'm sure they could accommodate a last minute transient and Wentworth is real nice spot could grab a dock or mooring (they have launch service and restaurants right there)...still many boats up here under wrap and my marina 7 miles up the river is just starting to wake up.

I agree that I wouldnt come into Portsmouth just to grab lunch...if you want lunch either get before u head up or stop at Little Hrbor/Wentworth as the current is easy in/out. They have fuel there as well
Have fun and good luck!
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Old 05-13-2019, 08:58 AM
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Navionics is showing high tide at 6:40 AM, so falling until 12:40, is it really worth waiting for low to hit the canal?

Maybe I'll get a later start on the morning and get to South canal entrance around noon. Out of the canal at 1 PM, that would put me in Gloucester around 4pm I suppose.

Other then the loss of speed, is the canal dangerous or hard to navigate on a 4 knt tide?
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:07 AM
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Unless the table,I am using is wrong, piney point which is just west of the west end shows high tide at 8:12 am on the 18’th. It will be flood in the canal until around 10:12 am and then ebb at full flow a couple hours later. Like I already said, there is a roughly 2 hour delay from slack at the top of the tide on the west side versus the canal.

This current website may help you

https://tidesnear.me/current_stations/1762
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:09 AM
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See answers below...

Originally Posted by knightmare1 View Post
We purchased a 1984 26' Fortier Hard Top over the winter and she was just launched and cleared wet test and inspection this past weekend. We are now ready to run her from Osterville Mass up to our moor in Harpswell, Maine.

The boat has the original well maintained 240hp Perkins diesel and the mechanic seems confident we shouldn't have any issue with the trip.

The plan is to run west from Osterville Saturday AM, around Woods Hole and through the Cape Cod canal. From there straight to Glouchester for an overnight at Cape Anns.
Sunday AM we will run up to Harpswell and hopefully have the boat on moor by mid day.

Trip is about 70 miles each day, boat cruises around 16 knts.

I've been fishing/running boats offshore for the last 10 years or so down in Florida, my father in law and brother in law are boat rookies, who will be with me.

We have the normal compliment of Florida saftey gear (PLB, inReach, VHF and CG stuff).

I do have a couple ?s:

Do most guys up in NE carry survival suits and or lift rafts for coastal boating/fishing? Answer: No, most do not. Commercial fisherman and those that venture further offshore typically do.

What speeds should I expect to run in the canal, I assume there will be a fair amount of commercial traffic? 10 knots. Typically not a ton of commercial traffic. Monitor channels vhf channels 16 and 13 in the canal

Will we have cell coverage for most of that run? (Verizon and ATT on board) answer - yes but can be spotty

Anything special about getting in/out of Glouchester/Cape Anns? answer - yes, the drawbridge warrants focus. It is narrow, with current and can have significant boat traffic.

Good lunch on Sunday on the water in Portsmouth? answer - cannot help you...

We planned to get a Sea Tow membership going, unless Boat US is better up there? answer - both are good

Anything else a Southern Boater should know that I wouldn't think of? answer: Watch for lobster pots! There will be a bunch of them...

Thanks, Adam
Hope this helps.. JSeas

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Old 05-13-2019, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Unless the table,I am using is wrong, piney point which is just west of the west end shows high tide at 8:12 am on the 18’th. It will be flood in the canal until around 10:12 am and then ebb at full flow a couple hours later. Like I already said, there is a roughly 2 hour delay from slack at the top of the tide on the west side versus the canal.

This current website may help you

https://tidesnear.me/current_stations/1762
OK, so assuming your chart is correct, what time should I shoot for being at the western/southern entrance? The more I read about the canal it seems a bit of a complex thing to figure out the flow given the tide condition. Sorry if this is a stupid question, I fish out of Port Canaveral and the Keys typically, not strong tide environments as far as navigation is concerned.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:31 AM
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I suggest stopping in Provincetown on the first night if your progress is slowed. It's basically on your route and you can get fuel, etc.

as for the trip overall, search on this site for tips and things to avoid. For example at the canal, you should avoid at all costs an opposing wind and waves/tide situation, especially at the west end. Be sure all safety gear is checked. I'm just being honest here, but no way would I take 2 rookies in an
older but new-to-me boat on this trip this early in the season. You're going to have to keep an eye on them and your boat. There haven't been any parts made for that old Perkins in many years - although their reliability is legendary. What you need- more appropriately, WHO you need, is a mcguiver-type boat guy who can keep that engine running with duct tape and hose clamps if necessary.

get seatow, check your anchor and make sure if had to deploy it quickly that it won't be bound up and that the rode, including connections, shackles/chain are in good shape. Lastly check your bilge pump(s).










Last edited by Jim Beam; 05-13-2019 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:36 AM
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Don't overlook Woods hole. Can be tricky if you've never been in there. Just remember that you are returning so red's stay to your right even when exiting the channel into Buzzard's Bay. So if your going to use broadway don't go to Starboard of the red nun or you will run up on red ledge.


but don’t let people scare you. Not that hard of a run if you pick a day with good weather.

Last edited by 32regulator; 05-13-2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:44 AM
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That boat was built for that trip,best of luck..
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