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  #11  
Old 10-14-2011
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Jim,

I sailed a 22 out of Winters on the Delaware for two seasons. Nice marina. Unfortunately after work sails were a rarity, but they were peaceful. On weekends your best bet is to get out siling early. In the afternoon the powerboats come out on that part of the river and you're dealing with more wakes. That may be an issue for the little guys.

If I remember correctly you have about a 2 1/2 foot draft on your boat so you can get in and out of the Winters/Riverside channel regardless of the tide.

We're on Barnegat Bay now out of Forked River and really like it. There's a lot ot do on the bay. You could shorten your time into Tom's River by taking the 537 exit off of 195 but you'll still be a long way from your place in Avalon.

The Delaware Bay off Cape May can be rough and might not be a good idea for your wife's first sailing season.

Here're links to the NOAA charts online. That will give you an idea of how much sailing room you'll have at each destination.

NOAA Charts Online
Chart 12324, Barnagate Bay
Chart 12316, Little Egg Harbor
Chart 12304, Delaware Bay
Chart 12311, Delaware River, Smyrna to Wilmington
Chart 12312, Delaware River, Wilmington to Philadelphia
Chart 12313, Delaware River, Philadelphia & Camden Waterfront
Chart 12314, Delaware River, Philadelphia to Trenton

One final thought. My wife and I took a beginners course together at a sailing school in Annapolis. It gave her a lot more confidence and eased her mind about seasickness. She loves being on the boat but might not if I'd tried to teach her myself.

Jim
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2011
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I've already given Jim some advice on another forum here and here, so I'm not going to repeat that here. You can look for yourself if you're curious what I said. But I have a couple of additional comments based in things posted here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
...I'm already planning to visit Winter's, and I want to visit Corinthian and Delaware River Yacht Clubs...
You should also visit West End in Essington (I'm a member and would be glad to meet you there to get you in) and Anchor in Bristol (Denise is a member and I'm sure she'd host you there too).

Please let me know what you think of Corinthian. They're 100% sailing (good!), and real big into racing (also good!). But, they seemed more oriented toward finding "rail meat" for their J24 fleets that already have assigned skippers. And they were a bit "standoffish" about membership (emphasizing how many months it would take for me to become a member). Their dues were 10x the dues at West End. I felt like the dues were subsidizing their fleet and their gorgeous, huge, but very high-maintenance clubhouse. YMMV - I may have just talked to the wrong person.

West End also has a very nice marina that will become viable for sailboats once our $500,000 dredging project is complete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
Why not Nockamixon State Park? ... about 20 minutes from Lansdale? 10X the size of Lake Galena. ....Delaware River is a PITA because of the current flow and it 'narrowness'..
I think it's misleading to knock Delaware River because it's too narrow, and then suggest Nockamixon. Nockamixon is about 1000 ft wide at its widest point. It's larger than Galena, but nowhere near 10x the size. I took my Phantom there once and felt it was too narrow in that boat. I'd never consider a 25 footer there. Maybe, if I lived 10 minutes away from there, I'd think differently.

You'll see some of my other suggested locations in my linked threads above.

As I said there, there is no one correct answer to the best place to sail. Everyone has a different balance between quality of the environment vs. distance to travel. For some of us, that balance tips the scales in favor of the closest waters, despite the compromises that requires.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
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Last edited by TakeFive; 10-14-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2011
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FWIW
Lake Galena only has ~175 acres of 'sailable' water .... about 1/4" sq. mile.
Nockamixon has 1600 acres, mostly all 'sailable' .... about 2.5 sq. mile.

I live right next to Galena and keep a large sport boat at Nockamixon 15 minutes away, ... and a 'big' boat on the Northern Ches. I used to sail the Del. River but there are too damn few places to anchor and the currents can be tremendous, especially if there is heavy rain or flooding on the upper Delaware as has been the case for the past 6 weeks.
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  #14  
Old 10-14-2011
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When I was stationed at Ft Dix we kept a Sailmaster 22 in Toms River and truly enjoyed our sailing experiences there. We didn't have to spend a lot of time transiting between the marina and the sailing area, there are lots of places to go see, the winds are pretty good almost all of the time and with a shallow draft it was easy to get away from the big wakemakers.
Later, we died and went to heaven (the Chesapeake) for even more and better sailing experiences.
The Delaware looks like a lot of work by comparison, but sure will get you up to speed on navigating in currents and around shipping lanes.
If I were you, I'd take another look at Toms River.
Happy sailing,
John
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  #15  
Old 10-14-2011
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jimgo - Jim McGee's concerns about rough water on the lower Delaware is worth further discussion, but if you're looking for a place within easy driving distance from Avalon, it's hard to think of a better place than Bayway. I've never been there, so I'm just posting my reaction to Ulladh's recommendation. (By the way, Jim McGee is the one who sent me the helpful comments on Barnegat marinas that I forwarded to you.)

We've driven through Toms River on the way to Island Beach State Park many times over the last 30 years. When I lived near Princeton we took I-195. From the Philly area we've always taken Rt. 70-37 through Toms River. It's only a two lane highway through the forested part east of Medford, but the driving is about as relaxed as it gets in New Jersey. That might be a longer route from Lansdale, though. (And be aware that we've never made the trip on a Friday afternoon.) From viewing it over the Rt. 37 bridge, Barnegat Bay looks like a fascinating place to sail, and I've been wanting to rent a daysailer there (or bum a ride off someone else - hint-hint) for awhile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post
...the currents can be tremendous, especially if there is heavy rain or flooding on the upper Delaware as has been the case for the past 6 weeks...
I think this is an exaggeration. We have not had tremendous currents for the past six weeks. I view the glass as half full: Despite rainfall that has shattered all-time records, the currents were above normal only for a few days after Irene, and a couple days after Lee. You can check NOAA's current station data to verify. But during that same time the Chesapeake also a lot of silt (which can clog water intakes) and large debris (which can inflict obvious damage), so neither body of water was well suited for recreational use during that time.

Aside from those few days, there has been no noticeable increase in the strength of the currents over the past six weeks - or at any other time this season or last. There has never been a time that I said, "I can't go out because the currents are too fast."

It can be argued that the only reason one would want to sail the Delaware is because it is close to home for some of us. But that can be a compelling reason for those of us who know we wouldn't sail if we had to drive longer distances. And it's still sailing! There are many other places where sailors contend with - and do enjoyable sailing in - much swifter currents than we have on the Delaware.

If you're a frequent cruiser, and you need to get "from point A to point B" on a particular day within certain hours, the current can be a killer. But if you're a daysailor, and you only need to get "from point A to point A", and you're willing to pick your route (upriver vs. downriver) to suit that day's currents and the slackwater schedule, the currents are entirely manageable.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 10-16-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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  #16  
Old 10-15-2011
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Ocean City NJ sailing/lifestyle

Moved back here in 72, after spending summers here, life in the military, europe, colorado and florida. Sailing here since 72. I sail mostly solo, as i'm never certain when the sailing time slot will open. rather than wait for crew, i jump on board and head out.
I'm a bayrat when i'm limited on time or the conditions warrant staying out of the ocean. its a 5 minute run to the inlet and the old bascule bridge was replaced allowing me a straight shot to the sea. probably 70-30 favoring the ocean. in my current boat, its almost always ocean. Here's a vid from a pre Irene sail:
stiletto 23 single handed - YouTube

When I returned to the island in 72, it was because i was happiest here. safe place to raise a family, always in mother nature's lap, everywhere you looked. i try to start the day with a sunrise from the beach and finish with sunset on the bay. I enjoy my sailing time and cut it short this season, as I hauled early due to Hurricane Irene. I've put the Stiletto up for sale and will find a replacement that will allow some overnights at sea.

re the noreaster marina, a friend has a 30' slip that she rents.

lots of choices. pick what's most important and go for it.
safe sailing.
joe




Joe, how long have you been in Ocean City? Do you like sailing there? Do you mostly sail the bay or the ocean? The guys at the marina in Barnegat Bay are trying to convince us to stay up there, because of the huge size of the bay compared to Ocean City, which would mean more "space" to cut our teeth. But, if we keep her at the shore, Barnegat Bay is the least convenient of the places for us, and I'm afraid that will translate into even less use. We considered renting a slip from someone somewhere between OC and Stone Harbor, but with a family, we have to be mindful of access to a potty. It's true, we COULD use the portapotty that's onboard, but I'm not too keen on the idea of cleaning it! I'd rather have a bathroom that we can all use before heading out, and keep the portapotty for emergencies while we're away from the slip. I'll have to look into the marinas you mentioned. The one on Pleasure could be interesting. My brother-in-law is part owner in a house a few blocks south of there, and it would make meeting up with him and his kids pretty convenient.
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Last edited by Bermudahigh; 10-17-2011 at 12:04 PM. Reason: remove sale link
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2011
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I lived in OC,NJ for over 18 years and as my friend Joe says you can't find a better town for the beach or raise a family. My daughter went to her whole school life there and gym class was on the beach or with the surf team. Nice family town and atmosphere. OC is great for a hobie cat or small boat, but not where I would keep yours. We had a hobie on the beach in front of our house, but kept our keelboat at where you first mentioned, Dillons Creek marina on Barnegat Bay. We also did one year at Great Bay in Tucherton, but the bugs, power boaters, and scenery left much to be desired.

Barnegat Bay is great for learning. Predictable ocean breeze at 12 every day with no wave action. Expansive N to S run of 15 miles or 3 hours. Places tvo anchor ( Tices shoal, Forked River Toms River and even Barnegat Light behind the lighthouse. very few bugs. Your family would like it as beaches are close as is boardwalk on the island as are stores. Nice marina also. We kept our first keelboat there for 8 years before we got bored e. Very little motoring
Ocean city. Great town no sailing room in the Bay. Huge number of powerboats. Tricky inlet and can be rough in a small keelboat with outgoing tide and onshore breeze every afternoon. Great ocean sailing, but not where I would learn or introduce the family. Lots to do also

Cape may great place easy inlet great town. Traffic nightmares . Delewre Bay, no way. Steel choppy waves. Rough ride. Huge amount of Mosquitos and green heads, fish traps. Good for experienced sailor, but can be extremely crough. We all joke about the famous square Delawae waves every 4 seconds stopping your boat dead in the water

Upper Delaware s nice scenic, but there are days the current tides prevent you. From going anywhere. Not many an heaves either.

Chesapeake. The best. Why I moved here. Too far to learn though

Go t o Barnegat Bay. Best place to learn. Family will like it. No traffic going north on Parkway on weekends. Nice anchorages and scenery, good marina. Friendly Sao layers ( don't minimize the co rackets of keeping your boat with other Sao boaters in the beginning years in terms of learning from others, help and esprit decor and meeting other sailing families. You want your first years and your wife a families introduction to sailing to be a positive experience. Then you will get the big boat bug like most of us later with a partner.

PM me if you want more info on Barnegt, Ocean City or even Chessie and Delaware Bay

Dave
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2011
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Thanks everyone! It's disappointing - that stretch of the Delaware Bay looked ideal! Maybe in a few years and in a bigger boat. []

Joe, that looks like a lot of fun. I'm hearing impaired and wear hearing aids, so I have an inherent dislike for catamarans and their propensity to topple, but your video made the idea of a ride like that very appealing. Good luck with your sale, and let us know what you decide to sail!

Dave (chef2sail), I agree that Great Egg Harbor is small. I'm just wondering if I can "suck it up" and make the most of my time there, in exchange for getting more and easier access to the boat (given our "base(s) of operations"). Your point about northbound traffic on the GSP is interesting. Maybe finding a spot near Barnegat would work (some place like Mariner's Marina. That would put us at the Southern end of Barnegat Bay. That would shave some time off of a trip from/to Avalon, and get us closer to route 73 so we'd have an "alternative" route. Although, realistically, the move down to Barnegat only saves us about 15 minutes.

Another idea was to join a Delaware River yach club with the intention of wintering her there, and doing some early/late season sailing there. Then if the weather permits (or if I can find a trailer), moving her to the Jersey Shore for a few months during the summer.

We toyed with the idea of Nockamixon, but it's as far/farther than the Delaware, and I think the Delaware offers more opportunities to sail, explore, and learn. Plus, as I mentioned above, we don't have a trailer, so sailing her to there is gonna be tough! []
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Old 10-16-2011
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Have you though about trailering, Stepping the mast would be the hardest part,but not imposable. I trailer my smaller 19 ft boat and love it. I can be in any water in a few hours.
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Old 10-16-2011
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We thought about a trailer, but can't find one at a reasonable price. We'd love to find one, though.
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