Chelsea
CYC Burgee     Yacht
Club

Sailing on the Hudson

Cruising Long Island Sound

Transiting the Hudson and East Rivers

Going east, be at the Battery at about an hour and a half after SBF (slack before flood) in the East River. The idea is to ride the cusp of the flood up the East River so that things will be reasonably quiet at Hell Gate, but without getting ahead of it. Consider leaving CYC in the late afternoon, evening, or the dead of night because the river is a lot quieter at night, especially in Haverstraw Bay. Seeing the morning sun reflecting off the skyscrapers from the East River as you outrun the joggers is quite spectacular. Alternatively, you can pace yourself by overnighting at one of the clubs along the River, by anchoring behind Ellis Island, or by taking a slip in one of the Jersey marinas. Lincoln Harbor is a BOAT/US discount marina, but it's bouncy and the metal docks are noisy. The Liberty Marina is more protected.

As you go up the East River, be sure to go on the west side of Roosevelt Island and remember that the red and green buoys change sides once you're north of the island. Monitor the bridge-to-bridge commercial radio traffic on VHF channel 13. Tugs and lighters will announce when they're about to emerge from one of the Brooklyn side channels into the river proper and which way they're headed. If in doubt as to the intention of a commercial vessel, don't be afraid to give them a call, especially if you think they don't see you. You'll be a welcome exception to the rule. In low visibility situations and at night, put up your radar reflector. Relative to a tug's bridge, you're low in the water and your lights are barely visible.

North of Hell Gate, the east channel around the Brother Islands is the shortest route into Eastchester Bay. The buoys aren't lit though, so unless it's really clear, the safest night passage is up the wider west channel.

Because the Sound fills and empties from both ends at once, the ebb currents split and the floods meet in the far western Sound. This phenomenon isn't readily observable, but you can see it on the current diagrams in the almanacs. If you get to the mythical split point riding the flood out onto the western Sound from Easchester Bay, you can actually hook up with the ebb going east toward Plum Gut and The Race, giving you 12 hours of favorable current instead of six.

Itinerary and Schedule

Equipment and Supplies

Getting the Boat Ready

Transiting the Hudson and East Rivers

Out on the Sound

Places to Go - Notes on the Good, the Bad and the Rest

Special Topics

List of Yacht Clubs With Which We Have Reciprocal Privileges


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Alberto Guzman, Harvey Seigel, Web Editors

Chelsea Yacht Club
 Box 180
Chelsea NY 12512
Latitude  N 41° 33.190    Longitude  W 073° 58.221
Chartered in 1881 as the Carthage Ice Yacht Club
Member:
Hudson River Boat and Yacht Club Association
 Hudson River Yacht Racing Association
United States Sailing Association