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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Destinations > US Northeast
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US Northeast New York City to Maine


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Old 01-22-2011
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Shinnecock Inlet, LI

We are looking forward to our first cruising experience in the Long Island/Rhode Island area and are considering a stop on the south shore of Long Island. Maptech's cruising guide is like "local knowledge, call the CG ...". We're a J34c drawing 5' with a 28 hp Volvo. Any thoughts/experiences about/with Shinnecock Inlet?
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Old 01-22-2011
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I've never been into Shinnecock Inlet before but I have been through Fire Island Inlet. The "local knowledge, call the CG" comment sounds about right. There are shoals that are constantly on the move, a wreck or two and the current going in and out of the inlet can cause dangerous waves, a mini-race if you will. We had 10' breaking waves leaving Fire Island Inlet with an ebbing tide on a calm day. With all that said you could probably get into the inlet in the right conditions.
Why Shinnecock Inlet?
I hope you know that the canal that leads to the Peconics has several fixed bridges going over it, the lowest is listed at 22' vertical clearance on my charts.
Fire Island Inlet, while also similarly tricky will get you into the Great South Bay. The ocean beaches on FI (and most of the south side of LI) are pretty amazing.
Good luck.
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Old 01-22-2011
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You say it's your 1st cruising experience in those waters, but you don't say how much experience you have generally. If you are not used to running ocean inlets...I would definitely rule out shinnecock on your " first date"
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Old 01-22-2011
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Been a few years since I have been thru Shinnecock or Fire Is Inlet.
There have been shoaling in most of the south shore inlets in the last few years, my nephew who fishes out of Fire Is Inlet and is familiar with Shinnecock says last
year would have been ok but inlets have been shifting and next year could be different story. Army Corp of Eng
usually dredge every couple of years but with budget issues can't count on it.
As Caleb points out there are low bridges over canal,
but there is plenty of water to anchor in the bay (before one gets to canal.) There is a channel that goes west
under a bridge (high clearance but check chart) but
only 5-6' of water in channel, also small bay that could
anchor in but not much clearance at low...and does'nt really lead anywhere.
Know this is not what you are looking for but some great cruising between the forks and in Long Island Sound.
Hugo
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Old 01-23-2011
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Army Corp of Eng. on Shinnecock Inlet...

http://nan.usace.mil/project/newyork...pdf/shinom.pdf
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Old 01-23-2011
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corrected omission of www ...below should be good...

http://www.nan.usace.mil/project/new...pdf/shinom.pdf
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Old 01-23-2011
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I will try this one more time...

http://www.nan.usace.mil/project/new...pdf/shinom.pdf
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Old 01-23-2011
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it's just not posting what I typed and sent, just look up
army corp of engineers shinnecock bay.
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Old 01-23-2011
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Thanks

Thanks for your input. Yours plus the thread from last year and I pretty much understand what I'm facing. Have either of you been thru since they finished dredging in December?

My experience is pretty extensive - from the Pacific Northwest. There the currents are faster, the tides higher and the bottom harder BUT its generally deeper.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-23-2011
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USCG Shinnecock has, in the past, sometimes refused to make any comment about conditions there in fear of liability. Honest.

You can find depths in excess of 100' outside the inlet, and shoals of less than 6' in the inlet or inside of it. If you time the run at slack current (current, not tide) it is usually smooth, but if there is any current running, and especially if that is against waves or wind on the outside...the inlet can be impassible, even for the local fishing fleet and the USCG SAR boats.

So by all means, you want local knowledge. the USCG station (if they're talking), the local jetski/boat rental company, the local commercial fishermen...whoever you can speak with. Given good weather and a slack current, you should be able to find the way in without problems. But this is definitely an inlet that breaks boats. Doesn't just ground them, but breaks them if you get it wrong.

I don't know about recent dredging, but conditions there change fast. If you do have to abandon an attempt to enter the inlet, just bear in mind there's no really great alternative without several more hours of sailing. (All the south shore LI inlets can be nasty given the wrong timing and weather.)
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