Moriches Inlet vs Fire Island Inlet - SailNet Community

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Old 08-12-2007   #1
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Moriches Inlet vs Fire Island Inlet

Planning a trip out of the Great South Bay to Block Island.

We usually take the Fire Island inlet to get in & out, but I wonder if we should take a shortcut thru the Moriches inlet.

Any opinion on which inlet is safer?
Does anybody have direct recent experience?

We are sailing a Beneteau with a winged keel drafting less than 4 feet.

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Old 08-15-2007   #2
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I was just at Block today and now my boat is in Greenport after a nasty sail into some heavy winds. Anyway though I usually keep my boat in Patchogue and what I did was take it out to Shinnecock Bay this past Saturday, stayed overnight in a real nice anchorage in Shinnecock Bay and then Sunday sailed out Shinnecock inlet the next morning and it is about a 9-10 hour cruise to Block Island. The only tricky part about the trip is making your way through Moriches Bay so you have to plan it so that you go through there at high tide. That part of he trip was actually very very pretty and it only took about 5.5 hours to get to Shinnecock Bay from Patchogue. Shinnecock Inlet was a breeze.

Two weekends ago I went out Fire Island inlet and hit some big steeping waves as it is a long trip out that inlet but from what I hear is it is nothing compared to Moriches Inlet. A bunch of my friends who are the crazy fisherman type with twin 300hp outboards even say don't go out Moriches unless you have optimum conditions and you have been out it before on other boats. That inlet has a nasty reputation but I guess just like anything else if you plan it right and have good conditions you will be fine. If you are thinking about Moriches I would juse make the trip out to Shinnecock as it is only 3 more hours through nice, well marked channels and then you are a lot closer and have an easier inlet to go through.

Block Island was a blast though. It was my first time there and I loved it. Have fun on your trip!
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Old 02-02-2014   #3
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Re: Moriches Inlet vs Fire Island Inlet

I know this is an old blog and I don't sail I cruise
I also have a small biz because I love boating and boaters .......however always go out of fire island inlet rather than moriches if traveling to block island ....shinnecock is safer than moriches and yes it's a beautiful Cruise in a blow boat. channel is not what it appears on chart plotter Theres always shoaling, I would go on mid tide on incoming so if you do start clamming tide is coming in. Moriches is considered unnavigable by the coast guard for one
It can get nasty quickly for two and third it's always filled with fisherman many who don't know rules of the road some who anchor in the channels and inlets and many who are just two stupid to give sailboats there due. Just saying
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Old 02-02-2014   #4
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Re: Moriches Inlet vs Fire Island Inlet

It may be an old thread but thank you for posting your more recent local knowledge on those Great South Bay inlets.
Hurricane Sandy certainly moved a lot of sand over the barrier beaches of NY/NJ making the back bays & channels shallower.
A few years ago I helped a buddy of mine deliver his sailboat from near Patchogue to Yonkers. We used Fire Island inlet on a calm day but with an ebbing tide that created 8 - 10' breaking waves out of the 3' ocean swell. Exciting to say the least. I'd take your suggestion to exit or enter FI Inlet on a flood tide as well. There is quite a bit of current in FI Inlet for a blow boat though; perhaps enough to halt forward progress.
Maybe slack tide would be best.
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Old 02-03-2014   #5
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Re: Moriches Inlet vs Fire Island Inlet

What many people call "channels" are not channels as far as navigation law is concerned. Unless a channel is a marked and designated channel on the NOAA charts, it is not a channel as far as the laws are concerned.

I've seen plenty of confusion over this from all sides, and the bottom line is that if someone is anchored in a channel or obstructing it, a call to the nearest USCG station will get the next available response and whoever is obstructing a marked and designated channel will get a summons for it.

But Shinnecock Inlet routinely eats boats, even the USCG will not run the inlet at times. Marked channels inside the inlet could be meaningless, as the water changes so quickly even without storms.
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