Draft? You mean height? 55' seems a bit deep...
Remember that mast height is often called "air draft."
I believe the issue with debris off the Jersey coast was vastly overstated right from the get-go.
That's my experience. The shoals have shifted around a bit but I haven't seen debris as a factor, although it has been a slow season for me and I've only been up and down the NJ coast a few times since Sandy.
I am trying to read up on the ICW and figure out the fastest route from Annapolis, MD to NYC.
This is about a two day run straight through if you time it right.
I apologize to frequent SNers for repeating my frequent speech. You do NOT care about tide
, you care about current
. The days of having to estimate the phase difference between tide and current are behind us. NOAA has current tables in addition to tide tables: Tidal Current Tables
. You still have to pay attention to other factors in places like Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound where wind-driven tide and current are a factor, but you won't get that from tide tables either.
With your draft and air draft the Cape May Canal isn't a good option at all. There is no point in going around the point and back into Cape May.
If you time your departure from Annapolis to make slack before flood at Worton Point +/- an hour and you can keep your speed through the water close to 6 kts or better you can get a boost all the way through the C&D to the mouth of the Bay. Annapolis to Cape Henlopen is usually about 18 hours for me. Remember you can't sail through the canal. Sails should be down between the traffic signals at a minimum.
There is a great anchorage inside the inner breakwater at Cape Henlopen. I'll get it on ActiveCaptain this morning. It's a good stop if you want a break before heading up the coast.
From Henlopen there is no reason not to head straight for Sandy Hook. That's about a day (24 hrs = 1 day). I use Atlantic City (AC) and Manasquan as bail-outs and not planned stops. If you want a shorter run I would do a short day from Henlopen to AC and from there to Sandy Hook. Leave Sandy Hook on the current and ride through NY Harbor and whichever river you choose.
Atlantic City is an easy inlet in nearly any conditions. The USCG moves the marks around as the shoals shift so don't let your chartplotter over rule the evidence of your eyes. Manasquan is another good inlet in most conditions except when the current is running up or down the beach and the wind is East. Then you have to crab your way between the jetties and that can be a challenge with some sailboats. Print out the current tables and be prepared to stand off until slack water.
When in doubt, go out.