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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Delware Bay up the Jersery coast someday
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Thread: Delware Bay up the Jersery coast someday Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-19-2007 10:44 PM
deniseO30
Thank you!

Now thats what I was wanting to hear about! Yes it will be a planned trip when the someday finally comes along! There are 2 C30s and a Erikson 32 the club here and they have all come from new england when purchased by the owners. they are the ones that say "just go"

Fair winds!
04-19-2007 09:35 PM
Sabreman That's her on the left in the photo. Great boat handler & sailor too!
04-19-2007 09:32 PM
Sabreman Oh yeah - I forgot to say. New Jersey is great sailing. My first date with my wife in 1978 was a night sail out of OC; it must be good sailing because she married me. The wind in summer is 10-15 from the south mostly. There's lots to look at from a few miles offshore and every harbor is a resort, so there's lots to do and eat.
04-19-2007 09:29 PM
Sabreman Denise,

First - do the trip.
Second - Prepare for it and you'll be fine.
Third - The Oday 30 if well maintained, is fine for the trip.
Fourth - Have recent charts for every inch of the transit.
Fifth - Be in by 1500 to avoid t'storms (but not as common as in the Chesapeake)
Now for specifics.

I grew up in Ocean City, NJ and sailed my father's Catalina 30 from OC to Newport, RI with two friends when I was 20. I've also done the OC to Annapolis trip several times (we're on the Bay now). We went directly from OC to Block Island deadrecon-ing (it was 1978 and we didn't even have Loran). For purposes of the thread, I won't recommend this route and will stress that for a new cruiser, I'd only go in summer when weather is mostly fair. Assuming that you want to stop at night, I'll give you our return itinerary. From Cape May, your only real option is to stay about 5 miles offshore until you get to OC or head another 5 miles to Atlantic City. There is nothing in between that's safe (except maybe Townsend's Inlet). OC's inlet (Great Egg Harbor) can get bad in bad weather, but on a good day, is easily navigated (my brother-in-law does it weekly in his CD-25D). AC is a much easier entrance, but the slips are pricey from what I hear.

From AC, you can make a long day's run to Manasquan. It's a small harbor but holding is good. I've not been into Barnegat, but it's entrance can be bad. As with OC, Bernegat has quite a bit of local traffic so it's manageable in good weather with local knowledge.

Frome Manasquan, it gets tricker. You can go all the way through NYC to Manhasset Bay where you will definitely be one of the smaller boats, but it's fun if a bit pricey. In NY harbor, keep a keen eye for all sorts of traffic. Not difficult, but follow the rules of the road, stay out of the way, and definitely get a tide chart for the East River (can run ~3kts).

From Manhasset Bay, you have lots of options on the LI Sound. Decide how long you want to transit and pick a stopping point from your Coast Pilot (get one) or Chartbook. We stopped in New Haven and New London. Beware of of the "Race" which is roughly between Montauk Pt and New London. LI Sound narrows at at the Race and if you have a falling tide and an East wind the water can get BIG. An anecdote: we transited westbound in 20 kts going downwind with no reef in 8' seas at 12+kts. We broached, gybed, blew the goosneck apart and tore the main 4' up the luff. I learned to sew that day. If the weather is up, stay in port or I think tha you can go behind Fishers Island but will defer to anyone who has local knowledge.

Go to Block Island. It was magical. I hope that it hasn't changed, I haven't been back but want to.... VERY cool place. You'll anchor in the Great Salt Pond. Have a motor or strong arms. Not sure if there is a marina with slips. There wasn't when I was there.

Newport is a must-stop. Annapolis of the north. Try for reservations before arriving at a mooring or in a marina. Otherwise, it can get real crowded. Newport is a far north as I've been so I have nothing further to offer.

Good luck, it's a great trip and very feasible. Out and back took us two weeks but we were rushing and did some very long days.
04-19-2007 08:21 PM
deniseO30 Ummm... I was hoping to hear more about the actual sail along the Jersey coast. Is it just a boring sail? is Atlantic city a good stop along the way?
I know that most of the inlets and bays are exstreamly shallow down that way (i've kayacked some of barnaget)

thanks all!
04-16-2007 11:42 PM
Yamsailor Denise,

I would suggest getting a copy of the tidal current tables and tidal tables 1 2 and 3 to plan your trip. If you do not know how to use them I suggest learning before making the trip. The Tidal range and current velocities increase as you sail towards higher latitudes. Additionally I would recommend downloading The Coast Pilot Nos 2 & 3. Office of Coast Survey - United States Electronic Coast Pilot download

The Coast Pilots will tell you alot about what you need to know. It does help to know how to pilot a vessel. In fact I would not take an extended voyage without having someone on board who knows how to navigate WITHOUT a GPS.

Yamsailor
04-16-2007 07:33 PM
Wayne25 Denise:

Here is a good site to plan those tidal currents in the Delaware Bay an coast.
FishWeather.com - DE- Delmarva Wind Data
As you can see, the fastest tide currents are in the center shipping channel. Plenty of water to sail in less current outside of the channel.
04-16-2007 07:26 PM
Wayne25 Denise:

I fish the Delaware Bay out of the Roosevelt Inlet in Lewes, DE. Yes it can get choppy if the wind picks up and is against the current. But most of my trips have been nice. I now have a Helms 25 now and plan to sail the bay many times this season. Take a look at the chart of the bay. There is a lot of deep water for great sailing. I would say the river section to where the bay opens up is you biggest concern with shoals, current, ship traffic etc.. Like anywhere else, plan your trip. Take a look at current, tide and wind. A stop over at Lewes might be a nice addition to your trip depending on the time you have. Its a nice town. You'll have to cross the bay to get to Cape May though, but a great 18 mile sail. At least your starting to plan your trip.
04-16-2007 06:51 PM
sailingdog Well, according to the Nor'Easter that is currently clobbering the New England area... winter ain't quite done yet.
04-16-2007 06:43 PM
deniseO30 thanks guys... good advice and encouragement on all points.. Yes on the currents... the Delaware up here has 5-8 knots too. the big ships ply the channels up here too all the way to Trenton and they are big! But they don't scare me like the sportfishing boats do. (they don't try to head off a sailboat intentionally) Funny .. Delaware Bay is always the discussion. I looked at the charts and see how shallow it is but again everone here that's sailed it tells me it's not that bad, and you can tack across the bay and not run aground I dunno.. just what hear is all. Certainly it's not a bay to be dilly dalling on.. just get point a to b and back again. Lately I'm thinking about the Cape May jazz fest coming up soon. but geeze!! when will spring arrive???? LOL.
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