Originally Posted by ntolst
I strongly disagree with the statement that the Cape May inlets are nasty.
I entered those inlets many times in various weather conditions on my Catalina 30',
Niagara 35', and Bayfield 36' boats and never had a slightest problem. One time, however, entering Absecon inlet and not paying attention I almost run aground north of the channel.
Good luck and fair winds!
I think the poster mentioned in his sentence that those inlets are nasty in a " underpowered boat" and he was also refering to tide and current suggesting entering at slack tides in the larger discussion. Since I know the poster and his boat which doesnt have the same engine as yours or my larger boats his suggestion was spot on. He will in fact struggle against the 3 knot current out of any of the inlets including Cape May.
I have transited the CM, Absecon (AC) Inlets over a couple hundred times having lived in Ocean City, NJ for 18 years before moving to the Chessie 12 years ago. We use them on our annual trip to the LI Sound and NE every year. Cape May, Absecon ( Atlantic City) and Manequan are the relaitively safe inlets in NJ. They don not have entensive shoals on both sides leading out 11/2 miles and the shoals dont shift like many of the olthers do. We also use Barnegat Inlet, but that should be done with great care as it is tricky, shoaled, has some counterintuitive turnes and markers, and needs to be avoided in any NE component of wind. All other inlets the CG may moved the bouys on a daily basis based on shifting shoals.
To run aground at Absecon you must have really not been paying attention. I can only think it must bhave been in inside the jetties or perhaps you cut to close to the north side where Brigentine is. Further back near Clam Creek it can get tricky too.The Southern route is wide open close to the shoreline and the old piers of AC. It is a pretty benign inlet in foul weather as long as you give wide berth to the north edge shere it is shoaled outward 1/2 mile and some rollers come across part of the inlet in NE wind component storms.
If you enter from the south you dont have this issue as they have dissipated by that time. Sometimes its worth it if tansiting in from the north to continue little past the inlet about a mile out and then come in from a better angle.
We call Cape May the Indianapolis/ Daytona Inlet as the many fishing and deep sea head boats come roaring through there, waking any size sailboat not to mention a 23 footer. They take sport in watching you rock back and forth I think. Couple with a 3 knot current I can see where thats a pain in the ass for the poster.