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jasper 01-14-2009 09:58 PM

DE, Cape May, to New England, single handed, looking for advice
A boat which I like is down on Delaware Bay,, I've never sailed there.. but if
I buy the boat I will be bringing her home.. wonder if you can walk me through the trip.. first stop looks to be Cape May.. anchor? .. then the NJ shore.. where can one go in for the night? Since I will be single handing, I'd like to do the trip in day trips.. short ones if possible. Any advice, etc.


cbreeze42 01-14-2009 10:16 PM

Atlantic City is great fun but try to avoid Manasquan in N.J.. Current is terrible and train bridge annoying. Have a great trip.

chef2sail 01-14-2009 11:33 PM


What size boat are you bringing back and from where on the Delaware. What is the mast height.

I have done the trip from the Chesapeake to NY and various Jersey inlets 12 times. I actually lived in Ocean City NJ for 18 years before moving here in the Baltimore/ Annapolis area.

Assuming you can make Cape May in one day (the current is fierce when against you on the Delaware River) If your mast is less than 55ft you can duck in the Cape May Canal and save 3 hours from going around the whole Cape and not have to enter Cape May harbor from the Atlantic side. You will be motoring the whole time on the Delaware to beat or run with the current.

There is a good anchorage near the Coast Gurd Station. There are lots of fishing boats and a good tide change (5 ft or more) and a good current to anchor there. We usually stay at Utschs Marina a very friendly family owned place at the foot of the Garden State Parkway Bridge. Nice restaurants a food markets close by also.

Since you are single handing I would suggest 40mi approx trips and coming in inlets. There are really only 3 relatively safe inlets in NJ if you dont have local knowledge. They are Cape May, Atlantic City, and yes Manesquan. Manesquans tides and current are no stronger than Atlantic City or Cape Mays, The train c breeze talks about can be annoying but lets up after 9:30 pretty much. Since I have lived at the Jersey Shore 18 years and have also done Barnegat, Little Egg, and Great Egg Inlets many times I have good local knowledge, but all three can be very treacherous with sifting shoals as wells as very rough in the afternoons usuallly with opposig outgoing tides and on shore breezes. I avoid all except Barneget and only in good conditions there. We plan on our trip to go from Cape May to Barnegat, but will duck into AC if we dont think conditions will be good when we would get up there. It is a very dangerous inlet with a shoal in the middle forcing you to skirt the rock jetty.

Your route should be Cape May to Atlantic City to Manesquan to behind Sandy Hook or Liberty Marina at the foot of the Hudson, Battery and East rivers for the trip up to the LI Sound.

There is an intercoastal route very narrow from Atlantic City to Manesquan behind the islands which is very very narrow and 8 bridges from Toms River to Manmesquan which must open if the weather is truly miserable on the ocean. I have done this a few times also, but the channel although well marked is very very narrow. The point Pleasent canal is also got a current.

I have lots of info on Marinas and great places top anchor, eat, fuel up if you want to PM me.

Single handed,,,new boat...I might look for someone to help or even hire a captain to split the duties with. You may even get some volunteers here if you ask for some of the legs.


jasper 01-15-2009 10:44 AM

dave,, would like to e mail off line .. i would like more info..
tom of nh .. e mail me at :: hillbridge at yahoo dot com

chef2sail 01-15-2009 08:37 PM have yahoo mail..**:**)

SOUNDBOUNDER 01-15-2009 09:39 PM

I bought my boat on Delaware Bay and sailed it north to LIS two years ago.
If you are single handling the trip, you should try to familiarize yourself a certain amount with several inlets in case of a failure or poor weather.
I made it from Salem NJ to Cape May the first day. Leaving before sunrise, I made it to Manasquan inlet the second day (long day), and then reached NY Harbor and the Sound on the third.
You should have a backup harbor for each day in case you don't reach your intended destination.
Also you need to keep the tides in mind for Hell Gate and the East River.

Where are you starting out from on the Delaware???

jasper 01-16-2009 12:28 PM

Since it is 0* outside,, I am reading and researching ..

The boat is near Rehoboth beach .. as I look at the google map,
don't have any charts yet .. the first crossing is the Delaware river.

So,, tell me about the Delaware.. what to expect crossing from Del to
Cape May NJ..

Will build from there

SOUNDBOUNDER 01-16-2009 12:46 PM


Originally Posted by jasper (Post 432982)
Since it is 0* outside,, I am reading and researching ..

The boat is near Rehoboth beach .. as I look at the google map,
don't have any charts yet .. the first crossing is the Delaware river.

So,, tell me about the Delaware.. what to expect crossing from Del to
Cape May NJ..

Will build from there

I have never "crossed" Delaware Bay, I have made several trips between the C&D Canal, Salem NJ, and Cape May. There are numerous shoals on the Cape May side, so it is important to study the chart well. Also, you need to be on the lookout for the Cape May/Lewes Ferry that goes back and forth in these waters. Delaware Bay also has a good deal of commercial traffic, so you should be prepared for that as you cross the approaches to the shipping channel. I am guessing you are going to enter Cape May Inlet, but if you are using the canal, there is a fixed bridge with a vertical clearance of about 50 ft.

Wayne25 01-17-2009 12:58 AM

Crossing the Bay
It sounds like your boat is in Lewes as there are are no marinas in Rehoboth and Indian River Inlet has a 35' fixed bridge. I know the waters across the Delaware Bay very well since I fish there a lot. You need to study a chart of the area well. You will probably come out of the Roosevelt inlet at Lewes. The inlet is usually very easy to negotiate. There are submerged rock jetties on either side marked well by large markers. You will be taking the same route as the Cape May/Lewes Ferries. Its almost a straight line from Roosevelt Inlet to Cape May but with hazards on each side of your route. About 4 miles out from Roosevelt inlet you will be between The Sheers (a shoal) on your north and the rock piles (also known as the haystacks) and the mile long breakwater stone wall to your south. The sheers are fairly deep with the shallowest about 12' in a small area. The break water wall is marked, but the rock piles are not, but are 4' to 10' above the water. The Ferries go pretty close to these on their way to their docks in Lewes.
Next you'll go through the south end of the ship anchorage. There are usually several tankers anchored there waiting for pilots to take them up the bay. To your south at this point are bouys 8A and 8B. They mark the edge of the shoals that go across the mouth of the bay.
The main shipping channel going north up the bay will be next. The channel is not that wide and you'll cross it quickly. Brown Shoal will be to your north just before the shipping channel and runs north and south dividing the anchorage and the shipping channel. The lowest point on Brown shoal is about 10' and could have breaking waves depending on wind and tide, but you will be just south of brown shoal. After the shipping channel, is Brandywine shoal and has a light house a few miles north of your route marking the shipping channel's east edge. From there the shoals along the mouth of the bay will be on your south and you can sail into the Cape May Canal. I believe a bridge across the canal is 55', but check it out on the chart. Take my description above and locate all those areas on your chart. Once you have identified them you'll see it really is almost a straight run.
An important note. The tide will be running either north if its coming in or south if it going out. It runs fast at its peak, possibly 3 kts at some locations, so calculate for that in your navigation. I know from fishing the area, it takes about an hour for the tide to change direction and you'll have slack water for that hour. So an hour before change would be the best time to make your crossing.

CalebD 01-17-2009 01:13 AM

There are on-line charts that you can use to lookup some of the shoals mentioned in the previous post by Wayne:
NOAA BookletCharts
NOAA's On-Line Chart Viewer
Good luck if you do buy the boat and do this trip. Ask for crew if you want it. There are plenty of decent people here who might help you out.
Where in New England would you be bound for?

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