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New Jersey sailing

5253 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  hpeer
Hi all we are looking for some info on sailing in the New Jersey area.
My wife an I have just moved to New Jersey from England and will hopefully be staying for the next three years.
We have sold our sailboat in the UK (Pegasus 800) and would like to sail in NJ.
I understand that a licence is required and would like to know how to obtain this.
We are looking for a little trainable weekender. Something seat of the pants ish to get a bit of exorcise and generally enjoy the water.
We do not want to spend to much as we will need to get rid of the boat when we go back to the uk in three years time.
I have completed the day skipper course In The uk but a long time ago and we have been sailing the east coast of the uk for a few years.
Any advice would be appreciated.

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I am a land locked old man. All the information you want and more, from several perspectives is forthcoming from those on this forum who know something.
Personally I hope you will tell us something about fiberglass sailboats in the UK.
Hi Denek,

Welcome to NJ. There's some excellent sailing here. Depending upon where you are you have several options. Having something trailerable opens them all up to you. Feel free to PM me when you get sufficient posts here to allow you to do that and I can go over some of your options with you.

With regards to the license thing. Yes, Nj has specific requirements. And because it's NJ nothing can be simple. I'll try to outline the basics.

If you're going to operate a motorized vessel upon NJ waters ( and you're staying here for awhile) They require an 8 hour boating safety course and a proctored exam. More on that later.

It gets a little complicated because NJ distinguishes fresh water and salt water requirements. However both require the course above.

At the successful completion of a boater safety course and exam, you will receive a "Boating Safety Card" from the State Police ( no expiration, no annaul fee). That card allows you to operate in Tidal waters only. You'll get a temporary paper one from your instructor when you complete the exam, until the permanent one arrives

If you want to operate a motorized vessel ( auxillary engines included) in Fresh water, (lakes or resevoirs) you would need to take that boating safety card to the Division of Motor Vehicle and they will add a "B" endorsement to your NJ Driver's License if you have one. Will you? If not they will issue a Boating license only. These are what are called licenses. There's a fee for the endorsement and it gets renewed with your drivers license.

For the course itself, you have a few options. You can find an in person Classroom course and exam. They can be 8 hours straight or two evening classes. OR, NJ has approved a few online courses that you can take. Boat ED is one of them. at the completion of an online course ($39. last I looked) Boat US is not one that's approved.

You then look on their website for a proctored exam site nearest you pay an addition $30 for the exam (total $69) and schedule your exam and print that receipt. Take your course completion certificate and receipt to the exam site and take the exam ( an hour or less) and you'll get your Boating Safety Certificate. I see someone giving exams for Boat ed in many of the West Marine stores.

IF you're going to obtain a NJ Driver's license, take the boating course 1st so that when you go to the DMV, They can add the B endorsement on your original license. If you do it later, you'll have to pay the replacement fee, and the endorsement fee.

Hope this helps. Be happy to answer any questions.
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If fresh water sailing on a 1200 acre lake in NJ appeals to you then consider Spruce Run in Clinton. It is a state park with 2 ramps, summer storage for 300 trailerable boats (you can leave them rigged), winter storage for 150 boats. Also the home of the Hunterdon Sailing Club with a racing program for one designs including Sunfish, Force 5s, Flying Scots, etc. Boats must be < 25 ft and motor < 10hp.

I've been sailing there for 6 years and it's a very nice, peaceful place. Fixed keel draft < 2 ft strongly recommended for launching though.

What Tempest wrote, NJ requires Safe Boater Card.

Any American Sailing Association (ASA) sailing school will provide the course and testing. Use a school in the area you want to sail to pick up some local knowledge as well and maybe information on local used boats. Most of the ASA schools will also rent out their boats if you take their courses.

Which part of NJ; near Raritan Bay, near Barnegat Bay, near Delaware River and Bay?
A little more information would be helpful. As has been mentioned, where in NJ do you live and where would you like to sail? By weekender, do you mean a small cruising sailboat with a cabin? I grew up in NJ and started sailing there. Began with a daysailer which I trailered to local lakes, then a 22 foot ODay which I kept on Barnegat Bay and spent weekends on. The Jersey Shore is a great place to spend summer weekends, but the traffic can be brutal. However I have some great memories of learning to cruise in the relatively benign waters of the Bay and the winds are more reliable compared to my current location on Long Island Sound. Better cruising here however.
If you're only going to be here for 3yrs, then I would suggest renting the boats when you want to go. there are many places along the shore that rent 22' and 25' boats.
Or you can drive a bit further, to NE PA, where you don't need to do any of that ehhem, stuff.

We're just a lake, 13 miles long, Lake Wallenpaupack... if you are in northern NJ, then it's not to far.. if you are in eastern NJ, you'll likely do better following their exams, etc, and hitting saltwater... Spruce run is good, Lake hopatcong is a motor boater breeding ground.... Greenwood lake on the NJ/NY boarder is nice, but again if that is close Wally is probably close too... So I guess I should ask WHERE in NJ you are.

After the first week of May feel free to stop up at ironwood point on Lake Wally (Ironwood Point Recreation Area Campground and Marina) and myself or someone from the sailing club would be happy to take you out, and you can get a feel for the lake.
Welcome to New Jersey and welcome to Sailnet.

As others have said a lot depends on where you're located in New Jersey.

We received our boating certificate from a local boating school which made the process easy. The course material is simple for anyone who's been boating for a while.

A popular spot for day sailing that wasn't mentioned is Lake Nockamixon near Quakertown PA. It's easy to reach if you're north of Trenton in the western part of the state.

You'll find no shortage of daysailers for sale. Some places to look are and and

Next week is also the mid-winter boat show in the Atlantic City convention center. A lot of the marinas at the show will have lists of brokerage boats for sale.

Enjoy your boat shopping!
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for such a small state, NJ has a -lot- of coastline (all but the border to NY is water) and sailing and boating varies from the heavy traffic of the NYC harbor to long reaches of lonely beaches with very few navigable harbors, to the heavy currents and chop of the Delaware bay.

Freshwater we have many lakes and rivers and many many tidal areas where you really need to keep an eye on the tide and how close your bottom is getting to the mud
Hi again and thanks for the help. I have posted a few replies but they don't seem to be appearing so I'll try again.
We are living in Voorhees township so we are a little over an hour from the coast but jimscal mentioned traffic is this on the water or getting threre ?
I guess we are looking for something between 15-20 feet.
Look like we will need to do the course and get the licence which is ok.
We are I the UK at the moment sorting out our visa and we fly back on Sunday so will miss the boat show.
In typical summer traffic most of the Jersey shore is about 2 hours from Voorhees, more on holiday weekends.

If travel time is not an issue look for marinas on Barnegat Bay, it will probably be the most enjoyable sailing location.

Closer to Voorhees, about 30 to 45 mins, on the Delaware River is Winters Marina at Riverside NJ. Good river sailing up river from most of the shipping traffic but still with some shipping traffic.

Over the Walt Whitman Bridge and just down river from the airport are the marinas at Essington PA where I am, about 1 hour from Voorhees in light traffic, but can be a lot longer in rush hour traffic.

Camden NJ and Gloucester NJ also have marinas but in areas with a lot of shipping traffic.

Winters at Riverside may be the best place to start, then investigate locations on Barnegat Bay.
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Actually being in Voorhees you're in a good spot for New Jersey boating.

You're about 15-20 minutes from G. Winters & Riverside marinas on the Delaware River.

You're an hour from most of Barnegat Bay (even with summer traffic). Popular launch spots would be the town of Barnegat or one of the many marinas along Forked River.

Traffic becomes an issue if you want to go out to the barrier islands where the beaches are located. On summer Saturdays traffic onto LBI (Long Beach Island) can add a half hour to your drive. When we boated there we made sure to be on the road by 7 AM to avoid the crowds.

Two hours driving will get you to places like Rock Hall on Maryland's Eastern Shore to sail the Chesapeake Bay.

We sail Barnegat Bay and love it. But with a trailer sailer there a lot of great options to explore.

Best of luck,
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I live pretty close to there and both race on the Delaware River (as crew, on someone else's boat) and have my own boat at the shore. There are lots of decent options around.

The Delaware is closer, but it's smaller, the wind isn't usually as good, and you sometimes have to contend with shipping traffic. There's a tidal current to keep an eye on too. Barnegat Bay is a little further away and can get crowded with pleasureboat traffic on the weekends in the summer, but there aren't any ships, it's a little more open than the river, and has excellent wind.

Even the northern Chesapeake isn't that far, which is huge and has lots more places to explore.
I grew up in Manahawkin, Little Egg Harbor. Spent a good part of my youth mucking around out there.

Thanks for reminding me why I left.
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