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Traveling & Sailing from St Michaels MASCF to B&B Messabout


Steve W

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I got this idea to sail from the Mid-Atlantic small Craft Festival to the B & B Messabout this October. The MASCF ends on the 8th so I'd likely leave that afternoon. The Messabout starts on the 20th, giving me only 12 days to make this trip. It's about 365 NM so I'd have to average 30 miles per day and that is if every day is good, which I'm sure it won't be. I see Graham averaged 19 on his Delmarva peninsula trip and he's surely a better sailor than me, but he had some weather days. I don't want to make this trip grueling, but I love sailing with a destination.

 

I do have some options. I could have a friend haul me down after the festival south to Crisfield or even Cape Charles to shorten the trip. And I also have the luxury of having a few retired friends who would find me with my car/tow rig if I come up short and bring me to the festival.

 

I did get a new Suzuki 6 hp motor as I've been feeling the 2.5 was a bit underpowered at times and holding for bridges with no reverse and lots of other boats has been an adventure. I haven't had a chance to test it, but that might come next weekend. 

 

I'd like everyone's thoughts on this idea. 

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That's a lot of mileage per day.  I think you would have three types of days:

1.  Days when you should not be sailing that long (either fatigue or weather) but you feel like you need to.

2.  Long days using the motor instead of sailing to make sure you get your miles in.

3.  Great sailing days where you feel pressure to keep going to make up for other days.

 

None of that sounds fun to me.  Since you'll have spent a few days on the Chesapeake already, if it was me I would drive about halfway and leisurely make my way to B&B.

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Well I think you can do it easily. Dont listen to those guys. He said he had ppl who could get him if he comes up short so not really anything to lose trying. Also the 20 is faster than the 17. 30 miles is only 6hrs at 5kts. In any fresh breeze you'll be doing 6-7kts and could easily make the miles. You will have to cross your fingers for some northerly winds however. And plan on storms. There's always storm's in the bay. Shoot I'd do it.  

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I'm available to help you out resupplying or anything else you might need.  Heck, I might even try to join you when you come by my house.

 

Winds are predominantly from the North and Southwest in October.  Generally speaking, the wind is quite good in October (sometimes too good!).

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Steve,

 

It sounds like a great challenge. The big unknown quantity is the weather, at that time of the year it can be excellent or horrendous. 

 

Your boat is at least 10% faster than mine which will increase your cushion. I like the idea of trailing the boat south to give you more time but it would be nice to save unrigging, loading the boat and then reverse it when you are all ready to sail off.

 

The fact that you have a get out jail card with your friend to come and get you if time runs out, I think that I would just go for it. I presume that the friend is going to drive down and bring you home.

 

I can recommend Amos as having the best pit stop on the coast.

 

The 6 hp motor will be nice. I hope that you have some solar power. I would also want to have an autopilot. 

 

 

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The important thing is to post a trip report or several.

 

I've heard it said "It's great to have a destination but not a schedule when you go sailing". If you start sailing the whole course you can have a great cruise for wherever you decide is the final destination. 

 

As for an autopilot,  I would use one if I was motoring a long stretch in calm conditions. On a 34' boat I had a self steering wind vane for sailing conditions and that was great because the boat was ballasted and it reacted well to wind shifts. But I am skeptical of even a wind vane on a boat that could capsize.

 

Maybe some users of the B&B wind vane could chime in.

 

Good luck with your trip. It is a great challenge. 

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Thank you. Lot's of great advice.

  • No autopilot and probably not going to have one in time.
  • I haven't tested Skeena's new c-board configuration, but I should have many sails in by then. 
  • Amos, where are you and joining me for any part of the trip would be encouraged. That goes for anyone else. 
  • I gave little weight to Alan's "Shoot I'd do it." advise.  He circumnavigated Florida on a sailing tricycle. I'm not that crazy hardy. 🤪

I'll watch the weather and make decisions based on that. Unless things look amazing, I will probably re-launch at Janes Island State Park as I've already sailed much of the waters from St Michaels to there. 

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  • Steve W changed the title to Traveling & Sailing from St Michaels MASCF to B&B Messabout

You all might notice I changed the title from Sailing to Traveling & Sailing. Here's the deal:

 

This past summer my wife and I moved about 14 miles from a place out in the country with a fabulous basement shop I built two B & B boats in, to an older house on the Erie Canal in Pittsford, NY, that has no shop. It's a  great location and the good news is that over the next couple of years we will be building a new house and a shop next door to headquarter the next build. (Graham/Alan: ever get requests for a canal boat design?) 

 

I made the centerboard mod to Skeena before I knew I was moving and pressed to get it done before I moved, knowing I wouldn't have a shop. Unfortunately, moving from a house we lived 25 years in and raised three kids in, all while running my own business was way harder than I thought. This week I will finally finish the last of the finish work and if the weather cooperated I'll do a first test sail and then I'll continue to test it by sailing as much as I can.

 

I love sailing with a destination and the idea of sailing from St. Michaels south to B & B is very intriguing, but October and the MASCF is approaching fast and the days are getting much shorter. When I made this original thread I assumed I'd be further along with testing.

 

I talked to a family member this weekend who is a meteorologist and he expects unsettled weather right into late November, due to the unusually warm water temperatures in the Caribbean.  So I'm modified my itinerary. I've decided to stay totally flexible and work my way down from St Michaels, with a few destination sails that start and end at a launch ramp on my way down. 

 

This will allow me to be a bit more cautious and react to the weather. It will also end up in me having a car on the last day of the Messabout at B&B. This will allow me to hustle home as that following week I have to travel to Houston and there is a wedding that next weekend in Buffalo.  

 

I'm open to suggestions for good two or three day trips and parking ramps on the way down. And I'm happy to have anyone join me for any of these. I'll post my Garmin link here so folks will know where I am. I'm taking a 2.5 week vacation with nothing to worry about but Skeena and myself. Pinch me.

 

The goal is to be in Messabout waters early. When I finished Skeena in 2019 I had no idea all of the things that would get in the way of making it to a messabout. I'm looking forward to having Alan/Graham out for sail and seeing al those others who make it.   

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I'll keep an eye on your location and try to join you at some point.  Personally I would skip sailing the whole Norfolk area unless lots of commercial barge traffic, multiple shipyards, and biggest Navy base in the world is something you want see.

 

This is the boat ramp I normally sail from; very little boat traffic, plenty of room to rig/unrig; locals are friendly, everything is well maintained and in good condition.  I've left my truck/trailer there overnight multiple times with no issues.  Doesn't matter whether you sail north or south, there are plenty of good anchorages.

 

https://goo.gl/maps/WLnboELCzFCRQoQQ9

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Hi Steve;

 

Ditto on Amos’ comments, 2 thumbs up. I have also sailed out from Harbortown boat ramp on the Pungoteauge Creek and it was quite nice and laid back, very little boat traffic and a quality ramp. 
 

If you’re looking for a location south of Norfolk and much closer to Vandemere there’s a small park on the Pasquotank River called One Mill Park. It’s south of Elizabeth City sorta in the boonies however it’s a lot closer. Before going there Id check to see if it’s OK to leave vehicle/trailer there for multiple days. I haven’t been there but it looks pretty suitable as long as there’s not a big Southern breeze. 
 

Look forward to seeing you at the Messabout.

 

Todd

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: I am going to the MASCF next week and staying until Monday the 9th. There are Lots of options for the rest of the week, but at some point, Amos are going to leave from his location near the north end of the Dismal swamp canal and sail our CS20.3's to the Messabout.

 

We both looked at Graham's Delmarva trip for time and we think 4-5 day should do it. I'm praying for the weather to cooperate.  I'm giddy. 

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