Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Delaware River Anchorages
I've anchored a couple times behind Little Tinicum. I've never done it long enough to contend with the 180 degree tidal swing. Actually, I've really only done it to practice setting the hook. We have little desire to stay anchored there because of the plane noise - and of course we have our slip there anyway. The east end - near Anchorage where I keep my boat - is well protected from the river fetch, but very noisy due to low-flying jets. The west end by Corinthian and West End Club are a little less noisy because the planes are higher at that point, but the fetch is worse.
When we want to relax for a few hours, we go to the cove at Riverwinds. It's nothing like the serenity of the Chesapeake, but it's the closest thing we have, it's well protected, and as a small cove it does not have too much current except at the mouth. It's only an hour sail, so it's very reachable for us. You might have difficulty getting in any time besides high tide - not sure what your draft is, and I haven't checked out the depths much once inside. I haven't ever anchored there because RiverWinds YC has set mooring balls there and we have reciprocal privileges. So I don't know how the hold would be. Also, not sure whether overnight anchorage is allowed, although the chart shows no restrictions. If you could get in there and dinghy to the small beach, there's a pretty decent restaurant on shore.
If you want to spend time in downtown Philly, you probably need to take a slip. The Penns Landing Marina was renovated a couple years ago and is a real cool location. We stayed there one night last September and had a wonderful time. There is city noise and parties on Moshulu and at the Hyatt, but you're right in the middle of the city next to the Independence Seaport Museum, but out along the seawall it's open enough to get whatever breeze is available off the river. The girl on the phone told me they have bathrooms and showers on a remote location that they'll take you to in their golf cart, but the dockmaster claimed it's for employees only "but I'll take you there if you really want to" - but not after 5 pm, when he's off the clock. They need to get their act together on this. We only stayed one night, so we didn't bother with the showers. Also no fuel or pumpout there.
The Piers marina is a dump, and severely silted in. It's also very stagnant air, since it's surrounded by buildings (pier warehouses converted to condos/restaurants) on 3 sides.
Philadelphia Marine Center has a better reputation, but I have no personal experience with it. It may also be surrounded by piers.
Check ActiveCaptain for other possible locations. Wiggins Park across in Camden has gotten mixed reviews - at best.
It is nothing like the Chesapeake. As you know, the main benefit it holds for me is that it's 12 minutes from my home (which we'd invite you to). But Philly is a nice place to visit, and if you can find a decent marina it's a nice place to have a floating hotel for a couple days.
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)