Cruising on the Hudson

I have just moved to Newburgh, NY and eventually would like to do some cruising on the Hudson. Is there any one out there with experience (or experiences) on the great estuary?

What is the name of the club north of the bridge? I have been trying to get linked up with someone here. I crew on racing boats - mainly Thistles and Lightnings and have hooked up with some of the people at Nyack for that - and doing some crewing on a Sonar out of the Noroton Club at Darien, CT, but for daysailing and cruising on my Scot I would like to hook up with local folks here in the Newburgh area.

By the way - re your comment about a motor. I have the motor, but cannot find a motor mount bracket that goes with the 30-year-old fittings on my 1969 Customflex (#1554). Any help would be appreciated.

Certainly appreciate your comments earlier this summer. I found the Chelsea Yacht Club and have joined. Great group - once had a large Lightning fleet and quite a few Scots as well, but now has very few dinghies of any sort except for some Lasers and Jr. sail activities. In any case, it is a great venue from which to launch my Scot. Makes getting out with the grandkids much easier. The public docks at Newburgh are hell on weekends.

I have nothing but good things to say about sailing on the Hudson in the "Newburgh Bay" area. You are only about 10 or 15 miles from these options that I know of.

1. Chelsea Yacht Club. You can either drysail or wetsail. I believe the wetsail buoy space is limited, so drysail is probably the better option. You can keep mast up and boat largely ready to go and either launch from lift with bridle or use your car and launch via ramp. It is a working club, so you would have work obligations in addition to membership fees. Great group of people and nice facility to enjoy with family and friends. Check out

2. Immediately adjacent to the CYC in Chelsea there is a public ramp in pretty good condition. There is a dock there during the sailing season. It is a rather tight space and it is shallow, but not bad at all for a Scot. There is little space to rig and to keep your towing vehicle and trailer after you launch. It seems to be under utilized, probably because not many people know it is there and because of the space problem.

3. You could join the Beacon Sloop Club in Beacon immediately south of the Newburgh-Beacon bridge and just across from the train station. It is very difficult to launch at Beacon, but you can set up an arrangement with Tony Monahon, the Harbormaster, to put in a mooring for wetsailing. If this is of interest, I can provide Tony's phone number. You will have to buy all of the tackle needed to set up a mooring. Check out the specs in a Chapman to get an idea of what this entials. Also, if you are a member of the Beacon Sloop Club you might enjoy sailing on their 38 foot gaff-rigged sloop, Woody Guthrie. I crew her most Friday nights.

4. You can launch from the Newburgh public ramp. During the week for most of the season this is really not a problem, but on weekends or holidays is is a real madhouse. This is a good ramp and deep water. It is adjacent to a floating restaurant and used very heavily by power boats who are not used to dealing with the needs of sailboats. Again, this is a good option on week days most of the time.

5. There is a yacht club in Newburgh that I know little about. I think is all large sailboats and power boats and perhaps a bit pricey.

6. There are two marinas at the Newburgh watefront with rental slips. I have not asked about their fees. They are mostly used by power boats, but there are a few sailboats of 20 feet or much more. I can get you some phone numbers if you are interested

I do not know what drawbacks you have heard about sailing on the Hudson, but she is nearly a mile wide at Newburgh and a beautiful place to sail. If you are not used to dealing with current, you will have to learn to take this into consideration, but I do not have a motor on my Scot and I do fine, even though almost exclusively a lake sailor in the past. There is some commercial traffic and one does not argue with the tugs and barges, but I have not found this a real problem. It will be different from the wide open spaces of LI, but much closer and lots of fun. There is a heck of a lot of river to sail from the narrows just below Bannerman's Island up to Danskammer Point north of the Beacon Bridge. An experienced sailor such as you would probably explore the river well beyond these points.

Sailing season is approaching - much to slowly- in the Hudson Valley. If any of you are still interested in opportunities to sail your Scot in the mid Hudson area, please let me know. I would certainly like to show you around the Chelsea Yacht Club or to assist you with locating other places to launch and sail. I would very much like to see an active fleet of Scot (or similar dinghy) sailors in this region for either crusing or racing. The Hudson is a truely beautiful place to sail.

PS - I am also active in the Beacon Sloop Club and invite y'all to come sail on the Sloop Woody Guthrie this summer. She and the Clearwater are now the only regularly active sloops now on the river. I crew her on Friday nights and she goes out Monday through Friday every week when the season begins. It is a great opportunity to sail on an old ferry sloop and a wonderful way for families and friends to get out and enjoy the river. Woody scheduling is done by Susan Berliner 845-297-7697 and she leaves the dock around 6:00 pm each day. Yes, it is free! Yes, they would be interested in having you become regular crew.

Customflex #1554