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S/V "MACKINAC"
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Discussion Starter #1
The boat I may end up with has a height above water of 46ft
So two questions
1. Can a sailboat with that height of mast motor the ICW from Cape May to Sandy Hook without "going outside"?
2. (Assuming good weather etc) how many days does it take to get to Sandy Hook from Cape May. I know I can "do the math" but have no idea what kinds of delays I would encounter that makes the math not work.
Thanks
Bill
PS. I'll tell you Tuesday if we buy "The Boat" :)
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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Answer.
1 - No. I believe the mast height restriction in the Cape May canal is 50', but check me on that with a chart. Most keel boats usually just go outside all the way to Sandy Hook.

2 - Approximately 24 hours from Cape May to Sandy Hook, give or take.
 

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Atlantic City to Cape May via ICW has fixed bridges with 35ft clearance some less, also some sections have silted to less than 2ft.

So outside is the only realistic route.
 
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The ICW starts in Manasquan Inlet and you would not be able to go on it that far south before you would have to go out into the Atlantic because of fixed bridges with a clearance of 35 Ft.

It's about 100 KMs which can be done in one hop overnight or shorter day hops to Manasquan and Atlantic City.
 

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S/V "MACKINAC"
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help
Seeing that I would be on a boat that is NEW to me I was looking at an "easy" route north. So taking the suggestions here I have made a "tentative" route on the outside. All very short days while getting to know our boat.
Cape May to Absecon
Absecon to Barnegat Bay
Barnegat Bay to Manasquan
Manasquan to Sandy Hook
Does this make sense and if so, any recommendations as to what marinas or "anchorages" we should consider at each location?
Lastly (for today)...Any recommendations as to where we can leave our NEW boat for a week or two in Sandy Hook.
Thanks...Thanks...Thanks
Bill
Maybe im taking all the fun out of sailing by asking all these noob questions..
 

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Asleep at the wheel
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Barnegat inlet can be tough. Do you have a lot of experience with a sailboat? What is the draft of your boat? How soon would you be making the trip?

In Absecon/Atlantic City, the Golden Nugget runs the state marina. It is nice, but expensive in season. There is another marina, I think it's Kellner's (from memory, sorry) that's just opposite the Farley State Marina and it is more reasonable but they were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy. They may be back up and running now.

Check ActiveCaptain.com for marinas along the way. There is a lot of good feedback in there. For reference, when we moved our Allmand, we came through Cape May and then tucked in at Atlantic City on our way to Barnegat Bay. Our 3'10" draft bumped bottom on a few occasions, and we had SeaTow warn us at one point about severe shoaling along one particular stretch. We made it without needing a tow, but it was a bit hairy at times. If you need much more water than us, you're better off staying outside. We made it from Cape May to Forked River in a day. We left early - before sunrise - and made it to the marina as the sun was setting, but we did it in a day.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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You burn a lot of time heading in and out. For "short hops" you may easily find yourself spending half of your time getting into and out of inlets. Not very efficient.

Cape May to Sandy Hook is not a big deal. You don't ever have to be out of sight of the beach in most conditions. If the weather gets bad GO OUT.

If you want to break up the trip Atlantic City is a good stop. It's an easy inlet and well protected. The anchorage (read the instructions from my post on ActiveCaptain) is easy although the bottom is a bit littered. Nothing a pair of leather work gloves can't deal with.

I wouldn't do Barnegat without solid local knowledge.
 

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S/V "MACKINAC"
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Discussion Starter #8
a quick note..
I have captained catamarans to 50 feet, in the BVI ...been doing that for about 12 years now. Prior to that ..always near and on the water..My boat will draw 3'-9". Im just trying to put myself at ease in a different coastline in a boat that i will not be totally familiar with..
Others have done it...i'm sure we can.
 

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What time of year are you planning on making the trip? How many will be in your crew?

Sorry...the marina in AC is Kammerman's. For some reason I was thinking of Kelchner's (they make horseradish).

I'd probably look at doing a run from Cape May to Atlantic City the first day. That's your shake-down day. It's an EASY run, and it should be a nice place to stop. Good facilities, good food, and if you don't want to sleep aboard (bad weather, etc.), there are plenty of hotels right there. The next day is the trip up to Manasquan. That's a (ballpark) 50 NM trip. That's a full day, but if the weather is good it should be do-able. Spring/summer in NJ, the wind is typically out of the south (or at least has a southerly component) so you're headed in the right direction.

As I said, we did make it going "inside" at Atlantic City. Once we got under the bridge, the greenheads were God-awful. We were getting eaten alive. Deep Woods Off wasn't strong enough to kill them. We had to put on long pants, socks, shoes, and jackets. My cousin was barefoot for a moment and a fly bit him on the bottom of his foot. Once the wind picked up, the flies went away and it was much better. We entered AC as the tide was going out, which was part of the problem. We would have had more water under us if we had timed it better, but we had made good time getting to Atlantic City and decided to try to make the run to Forked River the same day, rather than splitting it into two days. A 3'9" draft might work inside if the weather is crappy and you're in a hurry, but you really need to pay careful attention to the channel markers and the water color. For your intended purposes, I'd do as others have suggested and stay outside. But, it MIGHT be do-able inside given your shallow draft. Our "air draft" is about 42'. We didn't have any problems with the bridges, but we didn't go as far as you will. You'll have to wait for the Mathis (Route 37 between Toms River and Seaside Heights) and Mantoloking bridges to open. You'll also have to contend with 2 lift bridges as you go through the canal. You should check with the bridges before you leave to make sure they are working. As I understand it, the canal can be a bit tricky; the water flows through there pretty fast. Your best bet is to time it so you pass through approaching a slack high tide.

One advantage of going "inside" is that you can bail at many points. There are several sailboat-friendly marinas on the bay.

Again, I'd still lean toward going outside. I was nervous, because that was my first time sailing in the ocean (we sailed our Catalina 25 in the bay behind Ocean City the previous year), and my "crew" had never been aboard a sailboat before. It was only my 3rd day with the boat, and we had just gotten her "back" from having some fairly major engine work done. But the ride was amazing! We had great weather and the waves were perfect (2-3' and 8-10 seconds apart). If I hadn't heard horrible things about Barnegat Bay, we would have kept going in the ocean and tucked in through Barnegat Inlet. Instead, we "chickened out" and went inside. I put that in quotes because, when experienced captains like Auspicious tell you not to use Barnegat Inlet without local knowledge, that's telling you something.

Hope this helps!
 

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I did that run in a "new to me" boat. I skipped Barnegat - I went Cape May to Abescon to Manesquan to NYC. If you want to anchor, both Cape May and Mansequan have very well protected anchorages - in Absecon you look for a really dicey looking little channel on the north side of the inlet. I bumped with a 4' draft at mid-tide on my way into it, once in, though, there's plenty of water and great protection. In Manesquan you look for channel markers to the north of the inlet and go through a little lift bridge into a neat little protected harbor called the glimmer glass (if I remember). Fine with a 4' draft at low tide.

Like others have said, Barnegat looks tricky if you don't know where to go, but both Atlantic City and Manesquan are well marked and have nice big protected inlets.
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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NJ's section of the Intracoastal is woefully underfunded and maintained. It is heavily silted behind Sea Isle City/Strathmere and the bridge at 34th street in Ocean City only has a 35' clearance As the Atlantic City Expressway Bridge.

The bad part is.. there are only a few safe inlets in NJ most are badly silted or have torturous channels
 

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Well, I'll go against the grain here, and endorse Barnegat Light as the single best place to stop if you want to break up the trip along the Jersey coast...

IN SETTLED WEATHER AND CONDITIONS, of course, and timing your entrance and departure to avoid any ebb current, or with a significant swell running... Barnegat has really become a pretty stable and straightforward inlet these days, and the route into Barnegat Light and the Meyers Hole anchorage is a piece of cake in tame weather, and good visibility.

The channel is very well marked, just don't cut any corners, and don't even think about it should the fog come in... The trickiest part about Barnegat, is the Oyster Creek Channel that leads into the bay... Sounds like you'll be doing this trip early in the spring, and for that reason I'd caution against doing any of the NJ ICW between Atlantic City and Manasquan, due to the likelihood of all the nav aids being in their proper position, or even there at all... We've had a lot of ice on the bay this winter, it will probably take awhile for everything to get properly sorted out for the summer season...

But again, with favorable weather and timing, Barnegat can be a delightful stop, and I rate the anchorage in Meyers Hole as my favorite in all of NJ...




There have been several threads re Barnegat here, do a search for more specifics if you're interested...
 

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I'll second Jon's post (and cautions) and throw in that you should avoid Little Egg Inlet.

On the charts it looks like a good option to duck inside for deeper protected water up through Little Egg and Barnegat Bays. But this inlet can be VERY tricky with breakers right off the channel as you come in.

I've done it twice now in a sailboat and I'm in no hurry to do it again. I'll leave it to the power boat guys who can throttle up and ride the back side of a wave through.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Barnegat has really become a pretty stable and straightforward inlet these days, and the route into Barnegat Light and the Meyers Hole anchorage is a piece of cake in tame weather, and good visibility.

The channel is very well marked, just don't cut any corners, and don't even think about it should the fog come in... The trickiest part about Barnegat, is the Oyster Creek Channel that leads into the bay...
I agree. The inlet is not bad, and the Bay is great. It's getting INTO the Bay where local knowledge is critical and it changes often. I've run that channel with TowBoat/US on the phone the whole time because the bars shift.

The charts from GR 11 to R 40 are a fantasy. The bottom shifts with every storm. The good news is that it's all soft bottom and someone will come get you.

The anchorage inside the light isn't bad, but the hump moves around. Call a tower or the CG Station and get the latest.

All that said, these are Jon's home grounds and I defer to him. Next time in I'll call him. *grin*
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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Absecon Inlet is one of the best around. Like Cold Spring (cape may) it is a straight shot in. Little Egg is a crapshoot, Great Egg has a zigzagging channel, Corson's you can walk across. Townsand's and Hereford are hazardous if you do not have local knowledge
 
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