Summer is a-coming in

Eventually. But now, as this issue of SAIL is arriving in your mailbox, is the time to start making plans for Summer ’09 if you’re thinking about a charter cruise in southern New England. The cruising grounds range from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to Connecticut, and the waters are chockablock with iconic destinations: the big, inhabited islands (Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Block Island)
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
marthas_vineyard_sf

Eventually. But now, as this issue of SAIL is arriving in your mailbox, is the time to start making plans for Summer ’09 if you’re thinking about a charter cruise in southern New England. The cruising grounds range from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to Connecticut, and the waters are chockablock with iconic destinations: the big, inhabited islands (Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Block Island) and the smaller ones (Cuttyhunk and the Elizabeth Islands), the towns of Cape Cod and the Connecticut shore, and the many attractions of Narragansett Bay.

There are a number of good reasons why, generally speaking, most cruising here isn’t suitable for beginners. Many of the popular destinations involve open-water passages of some length (though with plenty of attractive stopping places in between, depending on your route); fortunately, there are plenty of options that will keep you closer to the coast and covering shorter distances. Then there are the inevitable New England challenges: rocks and shoals, big tides and currents, the possibility of fog, and plenty of other cruisers competing for moorings.

And then there’s the good news. Sailors have been cruising these waters for centuries. There are plenty of good cruising guides to help keep you out of trouble, among them Maptech’s Embassy Guide (New England Coast) and the Waterway Guide (Northern). If you’re looking for inspiration, track down a copy of Anthony Bailey’s lovely memoir, The Coast of Summer. And if you’re looking for shelter, cruise Narragansett Bay.

Good news #2: Although there aren’t that many charterboats in southern New England, you’re starting early enough to find one. Plan to make your calls in January or early February; Brian Blank of Bareboat Sailing Charters says he is 80 percent booked by the end of February. Contacts: Bareboat Sailing Charters, Newport, RI (bareboatsailing.com); Sailboat Charter, Bristol, RI (sailboatcharter.net); Sail the Sounds, Mystic, CT (sailsounds.com); Sound Sailing Center, Norwalk, CT (soundsailingcenter.com).

An option: Hope Swift is a charter broker who represents privately owned boats that can be chartered without a skipper, if your credentials are approved; they range in size from 32 to 46 feet (the fleet changes annually) and are usually located in the harbor of the owner’s choice; sometimes the boat can be delivered to the harbor of your choice. Hope grew up sailing in the area (and still does), so she’s familiar with all the fine points. swiftyachts.com

charter_advertiser_info

Related

Tilly-1

Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue Tilley Sailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. ...read more

Sand-TOWEL_MODEL-3

CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone! The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly ...read more

01-Blowup-Tiwal2_sailing-(3)

Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up Boating A few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an ...read more

Koozy

Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer Koozie For all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North ...read more

Cool-Specs

Gear: Gill's Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool Specs Is there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of ...read more

North_new

Gear: North Sails Waterproof Pack

A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in its new roll-over waterproof ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Sort the charts  Lying here on the cockpit seat is my iPad, loaded with Navionics charts. It’s a classic example of the benefits of GPS-assisted paper chart navigation and the wonderful electronics ...read more