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capitalistnyc 11-14-2010 01:04 AM

LI: North vs South

I have been sailing the south shore out of Bay Shore and Freeport. I spent some time on the north shore today. I toured through the Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Mt Sinai area. The sailing community seemed thriving in Port J even this late in the year.

I was amazed at the beauty of both land and sea in this area. Rolling hills and fall trees lined the shore. The view across was CT just 20 miles off. The south shore looks like a swampy wasteland most of the time and I only see freighters 20 miles off. I am seriously considering jumping the island and mooring in the north next season.

Which shore do you sail and what are the pros/cons you have identified? Does anyone have experience with both? If I jump, what Ports or Marinas should I look at?

WanderingStar 11-14-2010 08:16 AM

I've done both, and they have their separate attractions. I sailed a twenty foot sloop out of W Babylon and Copaigue for eight years. Going east the water is wide, but not deep. There are interesting islands, and creeks to sail into. The ocean is never far off, for mighty dreams. The real benefit is that the wind blows every day, spring til fall. Unless a cold front or a low overrides it, the sea breeze starts mid morning and blows til sunset. It's beautiful. For eight years now I've sailed from Mt. Sinai. I get out into the Sound quickly, plenty of room horizontally and vertically (depth). The shore east is unbroken for many miles. West there is Port Jeff, sometimes fun to look in. After that not much until Northport. Cross the Sound, small towns to see on a cruise. The western Sound has many harbors and islands, also shoals. But the wind on this side, especially to the west, can be fluky or absent in summer. That same sea breeze struggles to cross the heat barrier of the island. Some days it comes between three and five. Sometimes not at all. My current solution is to keep the bigger boat on a mooring, and a trailer boat in the driveway.

CalebD 11-14-2010 12:40 PM

I learned to sail while growing up on the north shore of LI on Hempstead Harbor so that is my personal bias. John/Wandering Star has wrapped up the comparison of the north and south shores nicely. I was always amazed at how much wind they had on the south shore in the summer when the north shore remained calm and windless.
For me one of the biggest issues of keeping a boat on LI is the summer road traffic which can be horrible. This is true for both the north and south shores.
I'd recommend you take a look at the Hempstead Harbor Club in Glen Cove Hempstead Harbour Club - Since 1891
It is a working club so the costs are much less then a commercial marina or yacht club (Brewers etc.). They only have moorings though so if you want a slip you'd have to look elsewhere and there are plenty of other places to check including Oyster Bay, Hunitington, Northport, PJ and even John's home port of Mt. Sinai harbor. If you are interested in HHC I know a few members who might sponsor you for membership. There are even a few SN members from HHC.

capitalistnyc 11-14-2010 01:14 PM

Thanks, great feedback from both WS and CD.

My Pearson sits like a tank in the water and does well in the strong south shore winds. Also, I enjoy navigating the narrow channels. I do spend way to much time waiting for the loop bridge to open but outside of that headache I think I will keep her there. The H23 on the other hand, is light, fast and sails well with very little wind. She could also be easily trailered across the island. Based on your feedback, it sounds like the H23 would be a good boat for breaking into the sound? What do you guys think?

I have talked to Old Man and Ralph's in Mt. Sinai. Both seem like good options but I will look into HHC as well. Does anybody have experience working with these Marinas? Are there any others that I should look into? Should I consider Bridgeport or would the ferry be to much hassle?

CalebD 11-14-2010 04:55 PM

Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. You would have the best of both worlds (north & south shores) and keeping your P27 on the GSB makes sense if you are thinking of poking your nose out of Fire Island Inlet. Your H23 should be fine for the LI Sound in most conditions (I've seen it with 50 knot gusts on it and it ain't pretty). An ideal situation would be to find a yard that has a boat ramp and would allow you to keep the H23 with the rig up, essentially dry sailing this boat. The constraint here is tidal range.
One difference between the north and south shores is tidal range. The GSB has around a 3' tidal range while parts of the sound can have an 8' + tidal range. Many boat ramps on the north shore are fairly useless at low water in my experience.
I would also check out Oyster Bay The WaterFront Center, Oyster Bay, NY - Long Island Sound: Sailing, Boating, Marine Education, Field Trips, Recreation, Kayaking, Summer Programs
I'm not sure if they have the facilities for keeping your H23 on the trailer or not though.
Did you take a pass on that nearly 'free' Morgan? Did you get to see it?

Bene505 11-14-2010 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by CalebD (Post 666675)
...Did you take a pass on that nearly 'free' Morgan? Did you get to see it?

Yes, how did she look?


capitalistnyc 11-14-2010 05:12 PM

Thanks CD. I will look into all.

I did see the Morgan. Big project.

HUGOSALT 11-15-2010 12:00 AM

Above posts pretty much cover things. A point if you
bring your lighter, light air H23 up to the sound. You
might want to consider the larger western bays such as
Northport/Huntington Bay or Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor. Reasoning being that in light/med wind conditions...sail out to the sound and enjoy. In heavy winds you can still sail all day in the protected bays.
Out east Pt Jeff offers similiar situation, but smaller
and with ferries.
And if no wind in the sound, you have your Pearson
on the south shore.
Also in the west you have many close by destinations,
bays and great small towns both on the LI side and the closer Ct. side, and some great views and landscape.
Nothing against the eastern options (I love to sail the eastern sound).
Good luck, it's great to have options. Hugo

jjablonowski 11-15-2010 06:52 AM

NYC is an archipelago
Only one of its five boroughs is on the North American mainland. Surrounded by water, we've got Lots of opportunities.

That said, traffic is a whole 'nother issue. Me, I'd rather be sailing than crawling along behind a Hamptons-bound beemer on the Southern State.

From Brooklyn, figure out shortest drive times, if you drive. If the Sound sounds appealing, consider Manhasset Bay, or City Island. If LIRR, moorings in Port Washington are a short walk to the rail station. If you can do Metro North out of Grand Central, the Mamaroneck train station is less than a mile to some great, well-protected marinas and moorings.

Best bet: ActiveCaptain - The Interactive Cruising Guidebook - Marina Reviews, Fuel Prices, Anchoragesto map-read and scope out possibilities.

WanderingStar 11-15-2010 07:15 AM

All good points. I like living close to my boat, but sometimes it would be great to have one out east for cruising there.
Old Man's and Ralph's are both reputable family businesses that have served Mount Sinai for decades. If you do come out here, look me up.

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