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  #1  
Old 03-17-2011
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Silver Bay NJ

I'm a first time owner of a Tanzer 7.5 that I'm told draws 4 feet. I have The opportunity to keep it at a family members house in Silver Bay off Barnegat Bay in NJ. The charts for the area show 3 feet in many areas and I was looking for somebodies personal experience with the area. Would this be bad idea or would i just have to watch the tides? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-17-2011
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Assuming you'll be entering Manasquan Inlet and traveling down the ditch, I don't believe you could make it into Silver Bay. I fished out of that area many years ago and there was a lot of very thin water over a mud and sand bottom. The only deep water we could find was in the ICW channel and the ditch leading north to Manasquan.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 03-17-2011
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I kept my old 28 Islander, 4 ft drafft, in Barnegat Bay on the Toms River when I lived in Ocean City, NJ for 18 years. Occasionally we went north and Silver Bay, while it does have some spots you can go with locak knowledge is very shallow in most places and not a real sailing area for a keel boat.
Also the ICW up to Manesquan is a pain for a sailboat with a swift current and quite a few bridges. Manesquan is one of the only 3 (Atlantic City and Cape May) fairly safe inlets most novice or people without local knowledge should try inh NJ. It is straightfroward without shoals as you enter or exit. We use Manesquan as a stop off sometimes on our trip to NE or Long Island in the summer. The problem witgh Manesquan and a sailboat is there is no place to anchor without going through 2 bridges.

I would look into keeping my boat onn the south side of the bridge at Toms River. That part called Barnegat Bay is a great place with good winds to sail a shoal keel sailboat. It can be shallow there also, but there is a great N..S run there of 18 miles. You can also use Barnegat inlet once you have learned it well from others. This can be a trecherous inlet though and safety should be first when transiting it. We use Barnegat a lot.

Dave
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Old 03-17-2011
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Used to go to Silver Bay and anchor for the afternoon in an Oday 22 which I kept in Bay Head back in the 70s. No problems, but that boat only had a 2 foot draft. Getting in and out with 4 foot draft will take a bit of planning and careful navigation, but possible.
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Old 03-17-2011
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I think you’ll probably be fine, of course it will depend upon exactly where your dock is situated, but most of the lagoons in that area are of a depth greater than the waters they come in from…

I live on a lagoon off of Kettle Creek, just north of Silver Bay, and my boat draws a bit over 5 feet. Charted depths for much of Barnegat Bay tend to be a bit conservative in many areas, especially the side bays and coves. For example, most of Kettle Creek is shown on the chart as 4 feet, but in reality is closer to 5 1/2 to 6 feet… I rarely take my boat into Silver Bay, there is a bar that obstructs part of the entrance as charted, but it still shows an overall greater depth than my own cove at Kettle Creek, so I think you’ll have no problem… On summer weekends, Silver Bay is a very popular anchorage, mostly powerboats, but I still see rafts of sailboats that surely draw at least 4 feet and more…

No tides to speak of in that part of the bay, 6 inches at most. The water height is more wind-driven, and throughout most of the summer with the prevailing southerlies and sea breezes, the water tends to be higher up in that part of the bay… Later in the fall is when we can see problems with depths, the NW breeze behind a cold front will blow the water out of that area, that’s when I can sometimes get stuck, if the water gets about a foot or more below an average water level, I can have a real problem getting out of my lagoon…

You’ll go aground in Barnegat Bay from time to time, guaranteed… but it’s all soft bottom, never a problem. Bottom line, if I had only 4 feet of draft, I’d feel like I could pretty much go anywhere, at almost any time...
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Old 03-18-2011
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It wouldn't be my first choice to keep a saiboat with a 4 foot keel. But, Hey the price is right!!

Chef's right, the best sailing for that depth is south of the Tom's River Bridge.
North of the bridge you'd need to stay close to the channel or acquire local knowlege..( often the hard way).

I kept my 3'6 draft vessel in Bayville for a number of years, and found bottom on more than a few occassion. Most of the time it's muck. I've also been stuck at the dock ( on the bottom) a few times..when a good west wind keeps the bay low.

Try it, you can always move it.
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