Thanks Denise and Joe! We're not entirely set on traveling, but my in-laws decided not to rent their place out any more, so we hope/expect to be there more often next season. If we're going to go to the beach on the weekends, it would be nice to have the boat close by. But, of course, having it at the beach means no mid-week sails.
Denise, I've read a lot of your posts about sailing the river (especially your conversations with Ullah and RhythmDoctor), and they are what have kept the Delaware as an option for us. I'm not sure which would be better, keeping the boat to the north or south of the city. The north seems more scenic and peaceful (if there is such a thing so close to the city), while the south seems to offer wider stretches of water. How are the winds there throughout the season? Is it like I've heard about the Chessepeake where the spring and fall are great, but the summer stays mostly calm?
In reading some more last night, I realized that Tuckerton is a bad idea if we wanted to stay in the Barnegat Bay area. However, Barnegat City (on the mainland, to the west of Barnegat light) might work. It's about as far south as you can go and still have access to most of the "deeper" water that Barnegat Bay offers.
Joe, how long have you been in Ocean City? Do you like sailing there? Do you mostly sail the bay or the ocean? The guys at the marina in Barnegat Bay are trying to convince us to stay up there, because of the huge size of the bay compared to Ocean City, which would mean more "space" to cut our teeth. But, if we keep her at the shore, Barnegat Bay is the least convenient of the places for us, and I'm afraid that will translate into even less use. We considered renting a slip from someone somewhere between OC and Stone Harbor, but with a family, we have to be mindful of access to a potty. It's true, we COULD use the portapotty that's onboard, but I'm not too keen on the idea of cleaning it! I'd rather have a bathroom that we can all use before heading out, and keep the portapotty for emergencies while we're away from the slip. I'll have to look into the marinas you mentioned. The one on Pleasure could be interesting. My brother-in-law is part owner in a house a few blocks south of there, and it would make meeting up with him and his kids pretty convenient.
I'm still really curious about the western end of the Delaware Bay. That seems almost an ideal location with lots of (deep enough) water to play in, but I worry about the conditions. I wish there was a webcam to check in on that stretch of the bay periodically!