Hey welcome to SailNet!
We kept our boat at Mariners
for a while. On the plus side Rich does good work on sailboats. He did some work up the mast for us and his prices were reasonable. The folks in Mariners are a good group and if your 27 is a wing you shouldn't have a problem with the shoaling in the channel by the public dock - but you might if it's a fin keel. Mariners is close to the anchorage behind Barnegat Light and there's less weekend boat traffic at that end of the bay.
On the down side it's not a "destination" marina. We live aboard weekends and we thought the docks were a little spartan. You have to get in the car to go out for dinner or drinks. You also get some real wind gusts howling across the marina because it's wide open to the bay and a SE wind builds. More than once we went out in 10 knots and returned to dock in a 20+ knot cross wind. That can be stressful if you're just starting out.
We've been on Forked River
for a few years now and like it better. If you're staying aboard you can walk to a couple of different restaurants, and you don't have to worry about driving if you have a few drinks. Depending on how far up river you are you can walk to places on Rt 9. A short drive on 9 is a Home Depot and a great hardware store/boat supply called Bob's Square Deal. Silver Cloud is a Universal dealer and will have parts for your diesel.
Ted & Sons
and Silver Cloud
are good yards. I've heard Rick's
is also good but I don't have any personal experience with them.
We kept our boat for a couple of years at Southwinds
. It's a very nice marina, the closest to the Bay and has a restaurant and beach bar. We left after Sandy because of electrical concerns on the "condo" docs that still haven't been addressed. If you decide to go in there I'd look at a slip on the gas dock side. Just be aware, because you're closest to the bay EVERY boat heading out on a Sunday morning will throw a wake at you. You won't be sleeping in. We enjoyed the morning boat parade but we're usually up early.
We're familiar with Silver Cloud
because we used them for winter storage while at Southwinds. We've had good experiences with Dave and family (they all work there). There's actually three marinas and the Tall Oaks section is the sailboat section. You'd be in the basin by the dinghy racks and BBQ's. You're sheltered from any cross winds in there which makes docking easier but it you'll miss the breeze in August. Chris DuQuesnay is Commodore
of the Tall Oaks Yacht Club
if you want to get into racing and group sails - super nice guy.
Ted & Sons
is a much smaller family marina with new docks and electric. Frank (the son) runs Ted & Sons and has been putting a lot of money into the place.
We have friends in all three marinas and all are friendly places.
There's also the state marina right at route 9. It's a LOT less expensive than the others but the only service is the pump out and it's a bit dated. Scuttlebutt is there are openings there right now (it used to have a waiting list).
Some other places to consider: Key Harbor
is mostly power boats. It has a restaurant and a pool and a reputation as a party marina if that's what you're after.
We visited Dillon's Creek
up on Tom's River. It's a bit far north for us but it might work for you. Very nice place; matter of fact there are a bunch of marinas up on Toms River.
Hope all this helps -- yeah I'm bored at work and I have a bad case of spring fever