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post #1 of 22 Old 05-28-2019 Thread Starter
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Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

Planning a sailing trip to NYC this summer and want to stop at the Statue of Liberty. I see that there is an anchorage near Liberty Island, but wondering about how to get onto the island to visit the Statue proper. I assume I cant just dinghy up!

Also, any words of wisdom on sailing in the area and anchoring there? I've never sailed in the area (I have sailed into Boston Harbor as well as some busy inlets like Beaufort NC, Cape Fear NC, Charleston and St Augustine so I have experience but I suspect this will be a whole different animal)

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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
Also, any words of wisdom on sailing in the area and anchoring there? I've never sailed in the area (I have sailed into Boston Harbor as well as some busy inlets like Beaufort NC, Cape Fear NC, Charleston and St Augustine so I have experience but I suspect this will be a whole different animal)
There may or may not be a lot of traffic when you are there (4 July sucks!), but it is a lot more spacious than most other harbors you've named. Worst problems I ever had there (other than 4 July) was irrational CG boardings, and I doubt they have the budget for that these days. You shouldn't have any problems sailing in and around the area if you have favorable winds. Under power, all but Hell Gate should also be fine. That passage does require some planning unless you have 700 or so horsepower pushing your boat.
The statue area has changed since I was there, so I can't help you with that.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

IIRC there are *no* civilian craft allowed to tie up on Liberty Island, or Ellis Island. You'd have to make your way to Manhattan, Brooklyn, or NJ and then take the ferry along with everyone else. That may have changed, but a call to the National Park Service should get you the current information.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

Your best best might be to get a slip at Liberty Landing Marina. ( Look for the Colgate Clock for the entrance to the Marina.) It's pricey though, $5.50/ft. but it puts you right there within walking distance to the ferry. Welcome to NJ/NY

There is an anchorage area behind the statue, but to my knowledge, no real place to land a dinghy. And I wouldn't leave my dinghy anywhere there unattended if there were. Getting back in there is a little tricky and I wouldn't recommend it if it's your first trip to the area, I've seen many boats on the "Rocks" in there. Not Sand or Mud, Rock! You can't land or dock on Liberty Island.

Rates might be a little better further up river, Newport Marina in Jersey City, or Lincoln Harbor. in Weehawken, But they are not as nice as Liberty and you'd have to take the light rail or Uber it.

If you expect to be there for 4th of July, I think there's a minimum 3 night stay, and I'd venture a guess that they are booked already. But Call. If I think of any better other options, I'll check back.

The river closes at a certain point during the display, so you'd have to be anchored up ( if that's your intent ) well before. It's a Zoo.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

Better of anchoring a n Atlantic Highlands and taking the Sea Streak into Wall Street.
Being on a boat on the 4......insanity.

The hardest thing about NY Harbor .....and I am going trough it tomorrow, is the crazy ferry captains, the multitude of anchored ships and ship channels with cruise line boats or tugs. My AIS was very helpful.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

Very helpful info thank you all. This is very much a "country mouse goes to the city" scenario so I appreciate all of the insight.

Sounds like I want to avoid 4th of Jul, that's fine. Im sure it will be spectacular to see but I'm pretty sure Im not up for that sort of crowd.

Good to know about anchoring there! Im inclined to avoid it, and the rocks there.

Liberty landing marina sounds like a good bet, walking distance to the ferry sounds perfect. And the Sea Streak from atlantic highlands sounds like a low stress option too. Ill look into both of these.

Side note/trivia about the Sea Streak: NC Ferry Commision has rented a Sea Streak from NJ to go between Hatteras and Ocracoke Island. They are renting it because the brand new Ferry being built (in NC) is behind schedule and over budget. I was in Ocracoke in mid may and saw them testing the Sea Streak. It is *fast*, I saw it at 28 knts on AIS. Very different from our normal NC ferries that routinely do 11 knts. slower pace of life down here and all that :-)

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post #7 of 22 Old 05-28-2019
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

All good info above.
No landing dink on Liberty Is. Have to go the normal tourist route via ferry.
If you want to anchor and have lunch on board, anchor just south of the Statue
in shallow water. Great spot about 1000+ ft from Liberty Is.
Also if waiting for current or just to stay out of the fray and rest can anchor to the west
in shallow water, 15 ft or so, just south of Governors Is. off Brooklyn, will see barges anchored/moored.
Just make sure you are well lite if at night. Also if going up East River can stay to east of Governors Is.
in Butternut Channel avoiding some traffic.
Sailing in upper harbor/Hudson river with traffic, chop, current no always enjoyable.
If you are planning to go into LI Sound suggest making Manhasset bay your base (free moorings, great protected anchorage to leave boat, services, etc. and about 35 minute train ride into heart of Manhattan) These are my home waters and happy to provide more info/support if you like.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-29-2019
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

The rules were relaxed a few years ago after being tightened after 9/11.

You can anchor behind the Statue of Liberty but it's not nice or close to anything.

You can anchor right in front of it... One hundred feet from it! But you'd need stabilisers.... And you'd be yelled at by the tourist traffic. But I've seen it done.

Best way to see the statue is to follow one of the tourist board in. They kinda do a circuit around the front of it and do a slow drive-by. I just waddle around that for an hour or so while having a beer and snacks. It's really a wonderful experience to be that close to one of the world's icons.

As for visiting New York, wellllll, there's the best, cheapest, most amazing marina in the 2orld... 79th Street Boat Basin is at the western end of 79th Street (half way up Central Park).
Moorings are $26 per night for up to 40 feet monohull.
Dingy into the showers, free washing machines.
It's then about a 300 meter walk to Broadway and the Subway station that gets you anywhere NYC.

For a country person not used to crowds it's a magic, exciting time in New York.

As for the 4th of July... On land is much better than taking the boat out. The USCG keep you so far from the fireworks it's just a joke. We were over 2nms from them. Stupid. So go watch them on land.

NY and the Statue of Liberty are both amazing adventures.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

Hiya! Everyone has covered the statue pretty well. I second Mark's advice about the 79th street boat basin, it's a great location. Since I sail 2-4 time a week on the Hudson, I can probably provide some tips.

With the exception of some silted-up areas near New Jersey, the entire river is dredged. The ferries and the giant cigarette-style tour boats are very fast, but they're maneuverable and their skippers are highly competent. Just hold your course and they'll go around you. The one exception is that it's polite to stay away from the ferry terminals, which you can identify from Google Maps.

There's a good amount of shipping (and cruise ships on Sundays). They can't maneuver well; stay out of their way. The dinner cruisers are highly maneuverable in theory, but I think their skippers would rather run you over then spill a customer's drink. Give them as wide a berth as you would a barge, and your trip will be less stressful if you avoid getting too close to Chelsea Piers.

Around the 4th, there will be a lot of power boaters. Most of them are courteous and polite, but some are drunk and/or jerks. There may be jet skiers, they're fine.

Do keep a sharp eye out for kayakers. They're hard to see and have rights on you.

The environmental conditions are pretty interesting. Lake sailors have told me that it's way shiftier and puffier than any lake they've been on, and the current runs both ways up to 3 knots. I have had 180 degree wind shifts in less than 5 minutes, and 90 degree insta-shifts are not uncommon ("I guess we tacked"). If you're picking up a mooring, definitely approach it from the direction all the other boats are lying, which may be downwind! I've noticed that the vast majority of cruising boats I see are motor-sailing.

I (and hundreds of other people) learned to sail on the Hudson. While there is a lot of traffic, it's really not that bad. Just stay at the helm and keep an eye out.
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Re: Visiting the Statue of Liberty via Sailboat.

"shiftier and puffier" Typically the wind will be from the west, and if you are in the East River that leads to really nasty wind gusts between the skyscrapers. On the Hudson, not so much unless you've got an east wind and then it can be the same thing.

The biggest THOU SHALT NOT in NY Harbor is "Though shalt not piss off the Staten Island Ferry." The USCG ferries to Governor's Island aren't what they used ot be when the base was active, but the Liberty Island ferries also still run. They've basically got to run like railroads, and if you upset them...I think the phrase is "Don't tug on Superman's cape!"
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