New York City Amphi?

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wick68355@aol.com

Guest
Holy cow!
We were on vacation there in June. We took the ferry over to the
statue of liberty. I remember it taking about 15 minutes by ferry and the
water was rough. Much traffic and the traffic is large. There is also one
hell of a lot of junk floating in the water. Sounds like a nice idea but
count me out.
Tim Wick
snowing in Wisconsin


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G

Gman144@aol.com

Guest
Also the area of Liberty Island is fairly close to the ocean. The river in
that area is about half salt water or more. Not a good combination for the
Amphi

Gary
 
C

chris_skeeles

Guest
Crazy idea, but I want to talk about it here.


Picture a group of Amphi's in the water with the Statue of Liberty
in the background, or the Empire State Building with the Manhattan
skyline.

This can be done from the Hudson River.

Lets discuss how one would get into the river (local public ramps in
N.J. perhaps) and the legal aspects of navigating these busy waters
and the statue itself with our Amphis. Also has anyone had experience
in these waters to share average wave height etc...

The more I think about this the less crazy it sounds.

Chris '63 Canton, Ohio
 
E

Ed Price

Guest
----- Original Message -----
From: chris_skeeles
To: amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 6:29 AM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] New York City Amphi?




Crazy idea, but I want to talk about it here.


Picture a group of Amphi's in the water with the Statue of Liberty
in the background, or the Empire State Building with the Manhattan
skyline.

This can be done from the Hudson River.

Lets discuss how one would get into the river (local public ramps in
N.J. perhaps) and the legal aspects of navigating these busy waters
and the statue itself with our Amphis. Also has anyone had experience
in these waters to share average wave height etc...

The more I think about this the less crazy it sounds.

Chris '63 Canton, Ohio



Allow me to offer a few comments, having pushed both planing & displacement
hulls around that locale back in the early 70's.

Liberty faces East, so that makes a view of Manhattan available only from the
South, over her right shoulder (torch hand). It can be done, but it isn't easy.
You can get a view of the rear of the statue from the New Jersey mainland
(there's Liberty Park across a short stretch of water).

But sight-lines are the least of your problems. That harbor is a working port.
Think tankers and container ships, banana boats piloted by dozing
third-worlders, ferries piloted by New Yorkers, military vessels and tugs.
EVERYBODY is much bigger than you, and their wakes are awesome. The water is
filled with debris, everything from packing crates the size of a desk to tree
stumps to pier pilings (40 foot long, 18" diameter water-logged poles). The tide
and wind often push the debris into miles-long ribbons of floating trash.

Visibility into the water is just about zero. Greasy green globs of unknown
marine fauna alternate with jellyfish (both natural and synthetic; let's just
say that used condoms float). Manhattan used to have several huge raw sewage
outfalls that empty directly into the Hudson and East Rivers. Now think about
getting splashed by the river water. This is NOT Lake Geneva.

The tidal range is about 6 feet. There are a lot of rocks and ledges and goo
banks, some even uncover at low tide. Years of oil spills and bilge pumping have
created tar deposits; another reason to not get out of the boat. Also remember
that the port has been in use for over 300 years, and many piers were built into
the rivers. Broken, submerged pier pilings dot the harbor, and you need to be
very careful about your navigation.

Due to the tidal range, the currents can get up to a few knots. Remember how
slow an Amphi is? Further, the currents, the wind, and the big boats combine to
create a short chop that will surprise you. Maybe even nauseate you.

Legally, you are allowed to be there, with just as much right as any other
vessel. Assuming your Amphi is properly registered, and has all the right
equipment (lights, flotation devices, etc), then you are OK. But......, there
are some loopholes. The Coast Guard may not have the authority to prevent a
vessel from leaving port in the face of a hurricane, but I'm sure that some
brand of harbor police could find grounds to hassle you. (Not that they might
not be more knowledgible of the local conditions, or even have more common
sense; it's just the concept of you and the wife and kids driving into the water
in a tiny boat that makes them parse the definition of reckless endangerment.)

Still, the sights available make cruising the area worth it. (Maybe.) I had one
boat moored in Newark Bay, on the West side of Bayonne. (Amazing how all the
diesel oil never harmed the huge mosquitos.) Averaging about 6 knotts, I could
get from Newark Bay, through the Kill van Kull, and near to the Statue of
Liberty in about an hour. That part was usually smooth as glass. As soon as I
came out into the upper harbor, a chop would build and you had to watch your
piloting and watch for other traffic.

It was a nice day trip to then cruise northeast, toward Battery Park, passing in
front of Liberty (Liberty island is part of New York, even though it's
completely inside New Jersey territory). This would give guests a great photo op
of the statue, and also get some close-ups while dodging the Staten Island or
Liberty Island ferries. (Don't try to visit Liberty Island in an Amphi. Although
there are two piers, the immediate waters are studded with pilings. And you
would need some very serious bumpers and fenders, as you wouldn't want to have
your Amphi woking on the barnacle and slime covered pilings.)

I would then go up the Hudson, with the George Washington Bridge another
beautiful sight. At the northern tip of Manhattan, I would then duck into a
little channel called Spuyten Duyvil Creek. This led into the Harlem River, a
source of perverse joy. In that area, the bridges were all center-channel
pivoted swing bridges. My boat had a 42' high mast, and since the Harlem River
was a federally navigable waterway, those bridges had to open on demand to allow
my passage. It must have taken ten or twelve minutes for each bridge to cycle to
let me through, and you could see the traffic piling up. My guests usually
though this was such a nice experience, and would be standing on deck taking
pictures and waving to the crowds. I always thought it best to stay in the
wheelhouse, well out of sight.

This route takes you past the UN building, and also Hell Gate (the choppy
confluence of the Harlem & East Rivers; watch out for the rock in the middle!)
Once under the Brooklyn Bridge, you can get some really great pix of the garbage
barges. And then you're past Battery Park, and time to head back. It might be
tempting to head South from here, toward the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Again, a
beautiful sight. But the Narrows is the dividing point between the Upper and
Lower harbors, and also sees ocean wave influence. I always found this to be the
location with the worst chop, and in a tiny vessel, this might be too exciting.

This Manhattan circumnavigation would be a very nice Amphi trip, but weather
conditions would have to be favorable. Although there are many piers and inlets
of refuge, I don't recall very many ramps. This harbor is really the home of
boats what don't get hauled out at the end of the day.

Regards,

Ed
El Cajon
67 Rust Guppy


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