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murphbmurph 09-04-2011 04:49 PM

Sailing on the NJ shore
I'm looking for ideas for beach towns on the Jersey shore with sailing close by. I currently sail at Lake Nockamixon in Bucks County, and would like to bring my boat to the shore in future summers. I'll probably be getting something trailerable soon, 18 -20' or so. Intermediate skills.
When my kids were young we vacationed in South Jersey - Wildwood Crest, Cape May, Stone Harbor. I've read more about venues farther north - Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, etc.
Any suggestions?

Ulladh 09-04-2011 05:50 PM

On the ocean side the issues of concern are timing at inlets for optimal tide, current and weather and sea state.
On the back bays the primary issue will be limitations due to shoal water.

Inlets including Cape May/Ocean and Cape May Canal/Bay are just plain nasty in an under powered boat which I assume most 18-20' trailerable boats are.

This past July I based my 20ft boat with 6hp outboard at Bayway Marina about 5 miles from Cape May Courthouse (route 47 mile post 12.1) and had good access to the lower Delaware. The only limitation for the slip I was at in the marina proper was touching bottom with a 4ft keel about 1 hour either side of low tide. Bayway is a very friendly marina with a good collection of sailboats, but more oriented to power boats and fishing.

Some very pleasant long day sails with good constant direction wind.

The only problem I had was a 2mile walk to the closest convenience store, and a 4 mile walk to a bus stop.

deniseO30 09-04-2011 06:38 PM

Murph while it's nice to get to the shore, don't rule out the Delaware River, It's a long ride by boat to the bay but the activities are many and varied for sailors on the River. Since your in Bucks Co I'd invite you to vist my YC and meet some of the sailboat racers from the area. (East End Yacht Club) look it up.
welcome to sailnet!

murphbmurph 03-03-2012 07:51 AM

Since my last post I bought a Precision 185 centerboard model - haven't gotten it wet recently, and it's 29 long days til Lake Nockamixon marina opens.
I'll be staying in Bay Head, NJ for a couple of weeks in July. Hinckley's Marina, at the west end of the Mantoloking Bridge will rent me a transient slip for $350 for that time.
What is sailing like in that part of Barnegat Bay? I've been told weekends are tough because of motorboat traffic. This will be my first time taking my boat into a salt water bay, and I'm trying to cover the bases re. info, charts, safety equipment, etc.
NOAA charts, VHF radio, GPS/depth finder, horn --- what all should I be looking at?

Ulladh 03-03-2012 09:18 AM

I sailed that area for one summer a few years ago. A depth sounder will be your most valuable piece of equipment.

Take paper charts and practice locating your position from features on land.

An easy afternoon sail would be the Metedeconk, mostly 6ft to 7ft and wide enough for practicing tacks.

A longer trip would be through the bascule bridge to upper Barnegat Bay.

I always had a good breeze, so great place to get to know your new boat.

Power boats will be an issue, more at weekends than during the week, but think of them as another learning experience, and you may need one of them to pull you of a mud flat.

tempest 03-03-2012 10:37 AM

Murph, That end of the bay ( north of mantoloking bridge) is pretty shallow and narrow.
As Ulladh says the best sailing is to head up to the Metedeconk. IF you are there for a few weeks...I would sail during the week on weekdays! During the week, you can often have the entire bay/river to yourself. On the weekends, the powerboats will kill you.

Going south, the bay opens up south of the Mathis bridge and there's some nice sailing.

Donna_F 03-03-2012 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by murphbmurph (Post 839593)
This will be my first time taking my boat into a salt water bay, and I'm trying to cover the bases re. info, charts, safety equipment, etc.
NOAA charts, VHF radio, GPS/depth finder, horn --- what all should I be looking at?

Congratulations on the new boat!

As for safety equipment, start with what you legally needed and should have had on the lake. Lake or salt water, makes no difference. Pennsylvania requirements mirror Federal requirements.

I know you said that you'll trailer your boat to New Jersey, but things change so keep in mind should you decide to keep your boat in New Jersey longer than 90 days and register it there, you must have a New Jersey boating safety certificate. They no longer have reciprocal agreements with any other state and do not accept the online courses.

Good luck with your new sailing grounds.

chef2sail 03-03-2012 01:45 PM

You will really enjoy Barnegat Bay. I kept my 28 Islander there for almost 8 years while I live in Ocean City NJ as it has consisitant winds and lots of great places to sail.

I would look to keep the boat just south of Toms River Bridge going over to the Island. We stayed at Dillons Creek, but there are lots of ramps, marinas up the Toms River.

Dont let th PB traffic bother you as there is plenty of room and depth as you come out the Toms River and head south. You have at least a 14 mile run down to Forked River
which is wide open and lots of room east to West for whart you are sailing. Anchor out some day/ night at Tices shoal and swim accrooos to the Island Beach State Park and hang out on the beach. We anchor behind Barnegat Light House on our trip to new England from the Chesapeake every year.

The prevailing winds are S- SE in the summer when the onshore ocean breeze kicks in so it is usally cool temperate in the afternoons. If you jkeep your boat north like Toms River you ride home to port will ususally be a fast broad reach. North of the Toms River there is sailing up through Silver bay and Meteedaconk, buit the current inthe canal will run quick enough to overpower your boat I beleive if you are running opposed to it.

Toms River and Barnegat Bay is an awesome place to keep a boat of your size and there is plenty of room.


murphbmurph 03-05-2012 07:54 PM

Re: Sailing on the NJ shore
Thanks for all the great suggestions.


tempest 03-05-2012 08:19 PM

Re: Sailing on the NJ shore
New Jersey has approved at least 2 online courses... Boat Ed's (Nj course is one.) I think it costs $39.00. After that, you'd have to take an in-person exam that you can schedule through the online provider for $ 30.00

IF you're a seasonal visitor, and have taken a state approved course in another state, or a nasbla approved course and can provide documentation, you can operate in nj for up to 90 days. A Coast Guard license is also accepted.

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