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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just found out that I may be moving in the fall to Princeton, NJ for work. We own a 22' swing keel, trailerable sailboat (Laguna Windrose) and we have been sailing for the past several years on a large lake in KY where we keep it in a marina all year. Although I am happy to move this fall, I am trying to figure out what to do with the boat; i.e. do we keep it in a marina, and of so, where? Is Raritan/Sandy Hook going to have the kind of sailing that I can handle in my little light cruiser, or do I need to trek down to the Chesepeake (or elsewhere)? Money is obviously a consideration as is distance... I would love some advice!
 

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Close to Princeton NJ would be the Delaware River, next would be Barnegat Bay NJ, then the Chesapeake.

On the Delaware; Bristol PA , Neshaminy State Park in Croyden PA both near the Burlington/Bristol Bridge or Riverside NJ near the Tacony/Palmyra Bridge are about 30 mins from Princeton in non-rush hour traffic.

Barnegat Bay is about 1 1/2hr drive

The Upper Chesapeake is more than 2 hours drive.

My boat is at a marina near Philadelphia International Airport on the Delaware about 1 hour to Princeton, but if you have to drive to the boat, Barnegat Bay would only be a slightly longer drive and better sailing. My boat is 20 mins from my house outside rush hour.

I would suggest on the Delaware at Bristol, Nesahaminy or Riverside for the 1st year while you investigate possible marinas on Barnegat Bay or the Chesapeake.
 

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Sunnndy
I am up on Long Island sound , but have sailed threw that area several times. You should be fine with your boat there. Raritan/Sandy Hook bay is very large and a nice sailing area. you can check on active captain for marinas ans launch ramps close by. unfortunately our season is only April to November, unless we get a hurricane and then it might be shorter. You are very close to NY harbor, there's nothing like sailing by the statue of liberty on a beautiful day. I get chills and excited just thinking about it. Also you are only a days sail from Atlantic city. with good weather it would be an easy trip.
So put it on your hitch and welcome to the East coast..
 

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I would trailer the boat into Princeton and park it someplace convenient, even if that means renting a spot from a storage place.

Then take some time to drive out to places, let's say within an hour or 90 minutes of your home, check them out and see what looks like it will make you happy. Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook, plenty of places where that boat will be just fine as long as you keep to good weather. Figure to spend chunks of three or four days checking them out (locations and facilities, clubs, etc.) and take a look at the charts to see what the waters are like too.

You'll have plenty of choices!
 

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Closest sailing venue to Princeton would be Round Valley Reservoir near Clinton NJ. Department of Environmental Protection No marinas

Next closest is Lake Hopatcong in Sussex County. Its about 4sq. miles of water.
Several Marinas.

Then ... Lake Nockamixon near Quakertown Pa.
State run marina with LONG waiting list.

then .... all the venues as listed by other posters

With a swing keel, the back bays to the NJ barrier islands (Barnegat Bay, Great Bay, Manahawkin Bay) would be ideal - the 'con' would the strong summertime afternoon/evening 'sea breezes' if you dont have 'adequate' reefing.
 

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I crew on a race boat on the Delaware River (near Burlington, NJ) and have my own boat on Barnegat Bay. Sailing on the Delaware satisfies my jones, but it's not ideal. Most of it is pretty narrow, it's tidal so you need to pay close attention to the switching current, the wind is often nonexistent, and there's active shipping to contend with on most of it (which does get more occasional as you go north).

Barnegat is more open (at least between Toms River and Waretown) and there are more places to explore. There's no shipping, but it can be busy on the weekends with tons of pleasureboats, and it's pretty shallow. The best thing about Barnegat for me is the wind. I'd almost always rather be reefed down and sailing at hull speed than bobbing aimlessly or running the motor in 0-2kts. I don't know Raritan Bay or the reservoirs that well, but I've sailed a Catalina 22 on Barnegat for the last 5 years and it's been a lot of fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, thanks for all of the great advice and the quick responses! I hadn't even looked at the Barnegat area but that opens up a whole new venue to check out for sure... I suppose that since we are not moving until the fall that we will have plenty of time to explore while the boat is on the hard somewhere.
 

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I sailed a Catalina 22 on Barnegat for several years. It's a perfect boat for that bay. depending upon where you are in Princeton, and when you leave you can be there in an hour or less. Just Shoot down Rt. 571 and the back roads. Tides and currents are minimal. The most wide open sailing is between the Rt 37 bridge and the Forked River. The Metedeconk river area, near Point pleasant isn't bad especially on a weekday.
Point pleasant beach and the boardwalk are close (via car) and one of the more popular spots at the shore.

Raritan bay is very manageable in good weather, there are ample ramps for launching. I'd guess that the majority of sailboats are on moorings and the marinas are more pricey, but there are slips available. Tides typically run around 4' to 5'.

I would explore Barnegat. I think you'll like it there.
 

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Ditto to the BB. Last year I lost more days to strong winds than to windless days. Good thing about the sea breeze is if it is blowing strong, it will normally calm down a bit before sunset.
We considered the river and local lakes but chose to drive the 1hr 20mins to get to the bay.
 

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SunnyD,
I used to work in Princeton (ETS) and have had boats on both the Delaware and Barnegat Bay. A lot will depend on where you live (relative to Princeton), but from there you can pick up back roads that will take you into the upper bay at Toms River, the middle bay around Forked River or to the Southern end around Barnegat. There's a mix of marinas and yacht clubs on the bay, and a wide range of amenities and prices. It really does pay to drive around and check them out.

We kept a 22 on the Delaware at G. Winters marina in Riverside, NJ for a couple of years when we were starting out. Nice place and good folks there. But the river gets boring after a while and the commercial traffic is not to be taken lightly.

Barnegat Bay is a LOT more pleasant place to sail and there's a lot more to do off the boat.

From Princeton the upper Chesapeake is a LONG drive. But with a trailer sailer you definitely want to think about the occasional weekend there. There is just a ton of great places to visit on the Chesapeake.

Jim
 
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