LI Sound vs. NY Harbor - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 09-21-2009 Thread Starter
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LI Sound vs. NY Harbor

I'm in the process of researching a place to moor a baba 40 in the new york area. We currently keep it in Maine, which is great during the summer months, but makes for a very short season. The idea would be to keep her either in the Sound (City Island, Manhasset Bay?), New Jersey or maybe somewhere off Brooklyn (I live in Brooklyn) in order to stretch the season to include April-May/June then sept-october/november - summer months would be back in Maine.

I was hoping someone could give some insight into the relative merits of L.I. Sound versus outer New York Harbor from a sailing perspective (although any ideas about harbors/mooring fields/yards would also be appreciated).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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Late and early sailing on Long Island Sound tends to be on the cold and windy side , sure you get some great normal days BUT theres plenty of 20 knot + days

My friend keeps a boat in Whitestone right under the the Throgs Neck Bridge and when sailing in this area you really have current issues all the time compared to going a bit futher east like Manhasset Bay

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post #3 of 40 Old 09-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks - it's those 20-30/35 knot days and getting a bit wet that I'm looking for! Appreciate the heads up on the currents - definitely one of the things I'm trying to figure out as i'd prefer not to throw a lot of shifting currents on top of the higher winds for now..
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post #4 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewMac View Post
Thanks - it's those 20-30/35 knot days and getting a bit wet that I'm looking for!
That's what I'm talking about!

When I first saw this thread I thought we had a competition on our hands!

I've hung out with some of those Long Islanders. Dudes can sail. Don't know about the Harbor guys.


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post #5 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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Folks who sail in NY Harbor have to know what they are doing in order to deal with all the commercial traffic, currents and the occasional airplane dropping down. It is a fun place to sail but I would not want to keep my boat there just because it is always a fairly stressful situation.
LI Sound is nice because it is a fairly well protected stretch of water although the western end is fairly tight and there can be a lot of traffic there as well. As you head out east in the Sound there is a lot more sea room. Commuting to a boat on LI by car can be a bit of a PITA though.
With your boat (40' Baba) Sheepshead Bay is likely an option as well. The ocean waters outside Sheepshead Bay is known as the NY Bight and can have quite confused seas because of the 2 shorelines that are nearly at a right angle to each other.
Your call.

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post #6 of 40 Old 09-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks! I had been thinking about Sheepshead Bay area, but had not heard about the New York Bight. I'm leaning towards the Sound for a lot of the reasons you mentioned - ferries/tankers/tugs/water taxis and currents, but don't want to be schlepping too far out east at the same time, so been thinking about western end of the sound and have been worried that I'll just run in to much of the same obstacles as it looks tight - don't know about the currents there...
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post #7 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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I sail my Eastward Ho 31' out of Sheepshead bay. I've heard that in general the winds are a bit stronger on the south side of LI compared to the sound. I haven't really noticed a problem with the currents, but I'm relatively new to sailing. I choose Sheepshead bay because clubs tend to be a bit less expense than the sound.
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post #8 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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I would also go for being closest to home and the shortest path to air. The western end of LI sound is known as where wind goes to die. Being closer to the ocean gives more regular access to wind.

If you're south of the Verazano, the commercial traffic is a lot easier to manage. The ferries are the problems with the northern end of the harbor, much more so than tugs or freighters.

Sheepshead Bay would be my recommendation. It would be close to your house (certainly more so than City Island) and gives ready access to Raritan Bay. If you join either of the two clubs in Sheepshead Bay (Sheepshead Bay or Miramar YC), you get 6 nights of free moorings at each of the other clubs in the Interbay Association. You can see a list here:
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post #9 of 40 Old 09-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Great feedback - thanks.
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post #10 of 40 Old 09-21-2009
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Are you daysailing or looking for easy places to go overnight? NY Harbor is an awesome place to daysail. True, there are currents and traffic, but there is plenty of room, and needless to say, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Also, there is wind, just about all the time.

On the other hand, if you want a home berth where you have easy options for overnights, weekends, etc., then NY Harbor and the south side of Long Island generally is not so hot. Just not that may places to go.

Long Island Sound has the virtue of being a very nice body of water that is well protected, and there are numerous good harbors with lots to do. The wind is lighter in the western sound, but one benefit to global warming is that the wind is becoming more consistent (at least it has the last two years). It's not SF Bay by any stretch, but most days you will see in excess of 10 knots. Don't underestimate the value of having a variety of good, fun, nice places to go for weekends, particularly if you have kids or a significant other that would want to do something other than go sailing for the day and then return home.

If you live in Brooklyn, I'd suggest looking for a place on the Long Island side, rather than City Island or the north shore of the Sound. You've got Manhasset Bay (Port Washington), Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, Huntington or Northport, all within a reasonable driving distance, all things considered.

Good luck!

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