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jboat73 09-05-2012 03:57 PM

Delaware River Marina questions
I'm looking for advice on which marina along the Delaware River to use.

Here's what I'm thinking:

1. I'm looking for a wet slip for a Flying Scot, 19 foot daysailor.
2. I live in downtown Philadelphia, and want to be close to the boat. I'm planning on mulitple short sails, like just a morning or afternoon. With other commitments and family, I don't see full days being an option too often.
3. I'd like to be able to extend the season, and maybe take advantage of those beautiful days that come up each winter (like 65 degrees in January); possibly keep the boat in the water through the winter.
4. I'm not planning on hanging out at the marina, so don't really care about cable tv, wifi, etc.
5. I do care about it being well maintained and safe (knowing that nowhere is perfect).
6. I need somewhere to keep the trailor.

The three candidates seem to be (in no particular order):

a. Phila Marine Center. Just north of the Ben Franklin bridge, next to Dave & Busters; about 10 mins from home. Seems fine, but probably noisy. Pricey.
b. The Piers Marina. Just south of the Ben Franklin bridge next to condos; also about 10 mins from home. Seems more cozy, maybe better protected. Seems to have more sailboats. Same price as Phila Marine Center.
c. Anchorage Marina. In Essington area, near the aiprt; about 30 mins from home. Protected area by Tinicum Island. Noise from the planes. Further away, much less expensive.

I know there are some places on the New Jersey side and also further north on the river, but they're all a bit further away.

Any opinions out there or other marinas close to downtown that I've missed?

Also, what do you think of keeping the boat in the water through the winter?

Thanks in advance.

Ulladh 09-05-2012 06:09 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
I have often thought about keeping my boat at Phila Marine Center or Piers, I could take a bus to within 4 blocks of the boat. Both marinas have very good wake protection.

But no haulout and for you no trailer storage. The closest trailer launch ramps would be the Frankford Armoury, or Essington.

There are a number of power and sail boaters who summer at Phila Marine Center and haul out at Fox Grove Essington or Neshaminy at Croyden. Both Neshaminy and Fox Grove offer trailer storage.

There are also power and sail boaters who stay in the water through winter at both Phila Marine Center and Piers.

Anchorage does not have a trailer launch ramp and the travel lift has not worked for years, also no on site boat or trailer storage.

jboat73 09-05-2012 11:18 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
Thank you very much for the feedback.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of hauling for the winter?

My understanding is that much further south the norm is to keep the boat in the water year-round. Of course, the climate is quite different in Philadelphia than say Miami!

I wouldn't have thought the river freezes enough to harm the boat?

Is the concern debris in the water? Would the marinas be protected against this - it seems that Phila Marine and Piers are both quite protected. Maybe higher winds tipping the boat?

Thanks again.

Ulladh 09-06-2012 08:40 AM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
The Delaware River at Philadelphia and below rarely has a really hard freeze, but does get large chunks of ice washing back and forth with the tide. Large pieces of debris are more common in the spring with snow melt in the Lehigh Valley and the Catskills and heavy rain in the watershed.

The wake protection at Piers and Phila Marine Center also protect those marinas from ice chunks and debris.

Essington is protected from most chunk ice by Little Tinicum Island, but does get debris. Fox Grove is exposed down river to Commodore Barry and does get debris washed back with the tide. Floating dock A gets the most and C the least.

Anchorage gets debris in its up river floating docks, but dock A (fuel dock) and dock B are well protected from debris driven by both flood and ebb tides. Most in water over winter boats at Anchorage relocated to docks A, B & C. I spent one winter at C without problems, but would be reluctant to stay in the water at Fox Grove.

I have sailed on the river as late as the 1st week of December and as early as the 1st week of March. It is usually to cold for me in January and February.

TakeFive 09-06-2012 11:33 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
As for sailing on those 60 degree days in January, realize that the water will be in the low 40s, making rescue of a MOB very difficult. This becomes more of an issue for smaller boats and smaller children, due to the greater hazard.

I tend to be on the cautious side, so I do not like going out when the water temperature dips below 60. On the Delaware, this pretty much corresponds to an April-October sailing season. If I had a larger, more stable boat with a dodger and/or enclosed cockpit, I would likely extend this to March-December in this area. But a Flying Scot would be very raw sailing during winter.

jboat73 09-07-2012 04:52 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
Thank you both for the responses. I appreciate the focus on safety - that's what I'm most concerned with as well. That's why I'm asking lots of questions - I figure there's a reason people aren't doing what on the surface looks great.

Out of curiosity, I looked at a marinas in the upper Chesapeake, and the season runs April 15 to November 15, so an extra month compared to the Delaware River around Philadelphia.

I also came across some information for canoing around Delaware Water Gap (Poconos) and it was talking about the river freezing completely.

Ulladh 09-08-2012 10:35 AM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
The start of winter weather and end of pleasant fall weather in this area can be anywere between the end of October and end of December and the begining of pleasant spring weather can be early March or late May.

So no guarantee that if you keep the boat in water you may go sailing between October and April.

The river above Trenton is not tidal and is shallower than below Trenton. This section of the river frequently freezes solid and when it breaks up is the source of our ice chunks further down river.

<a href=""><img src=" %252C_MMA-NYC%252C_1851.jpg" height="410" width="640" /></a>

Washinton Crossing the Delaware about 25 miles up river from Trenton

chef2sail 09-08-2012 02:04 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
Many boats on the mid Chesapeake like ours stay in the water year round. Our sailing season usually starts March 1 and ends December 15 when we winterized our water and engine systems.


TakeFive 09-13-2012 10:44 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions

Originally Posted by jboat73 (Post 918572)
...Is the concern debris in the water? Would the marinas be protected against this - it seems that Phila Marine and Piers are both quite protected. Maybe higher winds tipping the boat?

I spoke to Chuck at The Piers Marina yesterday about getting a transient slip this weekend, and he said that there is severe shoaling in the marina right now, and expected to stay that way until they dredge. You should keep this in mind, and don't sign a contract until you've confirmed that their dredging is compete and successful. He said they have their permits and should dredge this fall/winter. But do your due diligence, because these things have a way of being delayed for months or years.

The configuration of both of these marinas (surrounded on three sides) makes them very protected from currents. Debris will find its way in gradually and stay there forever until somone hauls it out. Silt will deposit gradually until they dredge, and then will start to deposit again. It's not a deal killer, but you need to be sure they stay on top of it.

The Piers is surrounded by buildings on three sides. This could protect pretty well from winds and gusty storms, but could also make it really bake in the summer. But I'm not speaking from any personal experience with these particular marinas, so try to get local knowledge from someone. When I was looking for marinas I hung around and walked the docks talking to people.

For this weekend we decided to try out the newly renovated Penns Landing marina. The bathrooms and showers are more remotely located there (if they exist at all - but Monica said they have them), but this isn't a big issue for a one night stopover. Looking at the satellite pic, it looks like a pretty neat setting to take a slip along the seawall only 100 feet from Moshulu, with River to the east and skyline to the west:

<iframe width="640" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";t=h&amp;ll=39.942811,-75.140659&amp;spn=0.002792,0.003433&amp;z=18&amp;o utput=embed"></iframe><br /><small><a href=";t=h&amp;ll=39.942811,-75.140659&amp;spn=0.002792,0.003433&amp;z=18&amp;s ource=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

Ulladh 09-14-2012 12:32 PM

Re: Delaware River Marina questions
Admiral Dewey's flagship Olympia and the submarine Becun both across from the slips at Penn's Landing are well worth a visit.

I have not been in the restaurant on the clipper ship Moshula for a few years but that is also well worth a visit.

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