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Hi Everyone, I am going to attempt the sail from long island sound to the barnegat bay this upcoming weekend. I can't seem to find much information on the point pleasant canal. Does anyone know if the bridges are operating and how to go about navigating the canal? any information would be appreciated, as well as any information/help on the trip in general. Thank You, Todd
 

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TLF, I haven't been through in awhile. I used to transit the canal fairly regularly though.

1st.. Here's the list of bridges in NJ with contact info and schedules:

Drawbridge Schedule, Commuter Information

Since you're 1st entering through the Manasquan inlet I would suggest that you try to time your entrance around slack current ( high tide) if possible, or just at the beginning of the ebb.

I typically liked to have a little current against me when I entered the river and canal. I didn't like having the current pushing me toward the bridges. It's easier to stem the current that's against you than try to hold yourself in reverse while waiting for the bridge to lift.

If you have to go in with the current pushing you, I like to call the operator to announce my arrival, so they can look for you.

Also, before you get to the canal there's a RR bridge on the Manasquan river that's has a narrow opening. At full flow it takes a firm hand on the tiller/wheel and good speed control. Again, I'd rather buck a "little" current here.

The current in the canal turns a bit after the river.

Check Eldridge carefully. The currents here are based on the Entrance to the Delaware Bay ( page 24 of the 2014 Eldridge) And Page 141

Weekends are of course the busiest time. I preferred to transit during the week. But if you're going on the weekend..the earlier the better. Beside the current It's also the amount of boat traffic that churns up the water in the canal, and they are often not considerate of auxiliary engines.

It looks like you can arrive at the inlet as early as 8 a.m. +/- on Sunday the 27th.


Where will you be staging yourself the night before? The Highlands..Sandy Hook?
Or did you plan on running straight through from LIS ?
 

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Tempests post is spot on. He should know best as he sails in that area. We have done the first part of the canal and his evaluations of the current are correct. The RR bridge he refers to is a commuter line also and you may have to wait. The route to Barnegat Bay through the Canal is a narrow one also, so a good depthfinder is helpful. I am also sure Sandy rearranged some of the shoals there also.

You didnt mention the size/ draft pof the boat you will be taking.

We take the trip to the LI Sound from the Chessie every summer and transit Barnegat Inlet. While it can be a trecherous inlet it is passable and with good pre knowledge is easily navigated.

What/ where is your final destination?
 
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TLF, Chef makes a good point, You didn't mention your draft etc.

Once you clear the PP Canal into the upper Bay it's very shallow Anything much over 5 ft gets dicey. You need to make sure you are in the channels up there. The Main channel is marked with Single poles ..alternating greens and reds..They also have the yellow intracoastal markings on them. So you have to look behind and ahead to imagine yourself in the channel. So depending upon your draft and final destination you may be motoring in the channel for awhile.

I forgot to mention the Rt 35 Bridge over the Manasquan River, it's on the list. Check their times I think it's 1/4 before and 1/4 after the hour. So a half hour wait if you miss it. Better than my bridge..which is an hour.

Hopefully on the weekend the RR bridge will remain up, more than down since the commuters are off.

If you do have to go in on the Flood.. try to get there just around the turn. The currents in the canal can run 4 + knots at full flow.. It's hard to stem that in a sailboat and there's little room to turn around in the canal. Doable, if the traffic is not too heavy..but no fun.
 

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Tempest and Chef Thank you very much for the information it is very helpful. I am sailing an O'day 25 swing keel out of Stamford CT Friday afternoon to city island. Then I hope to ride the current down the east river early Saturday and out towards sandy hook. I will decide whether or not I can make it to point pleasant and through the canal during daylight. if not I will stay in Sandy hook and if I can my ultimate destination is lavallette nj.
 

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TLF, if all else fails, NJBoatHauler.com is based in Toms River. They were great with my Catalina. The short distance to/from your boat, plus the short distance of the move from Sandy Hook to Lavalette should make the cost relatively low.
 

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Sounds like you'll be getting into Manasquan on Sunday, weather permitting... Make sure you know what the current is doing before getting too close to the Brielle RR bridge, it can run pretty good thru there, with a slight bit of a side set...

with your boat, I'd suggest trying to hit the canal not too far either side of slack current. First time thru the canal, you don't want to be riding the max flood, it can be a bit hairy if you have to wait on the bridges... On the other hand, if you hit it at max ebb, it will be a LONG trip thru there, the current runs pretty good...

For Sunday, Max Flood is at 0725, Slack water at 1000, Max Ebb at 1445, and slack again at 1705...

Just before you enter the canal, it's prudent to give the first bridge a call. It's called the Route 88 bridge. The bridgetenders in the canal tend to be pretty good, always aware of what the current is doing, and the difficulties it can pose for sailboats. But Rt. 88 is a major thoroughfare, and it's on the route to a nearby hospital, so sometimes he might actually have to abort an opening for ambulance traffic. So, it's worth calling before proceeding into the canal. After you clear that bridge, he'll usually advise the next bridge - called the Lovelandtown bridge - that you're on your way... Also, the bridges in the canal are both lift bridges, so it helps if you let them know how much clearance you need, and ask them to give you the go ahead - no matter what your mast height, those damn things NEVER look like they've been raised high enough... :)

There are very few boats out on the water down here yet, so traffic even on a weekend shouldn't be too bad... But, if you do have to wait or mill around at any of the bridges, be advised that the overwhelming percentage of powerboaters around here are pretty clueless and lacking in courtesy - particularly as regards sailboats. They tend to have no understanding of your lack of speed or maneuverability, so don't expect anyone to cut you any slack in tight quarters, just 'drive defensively'...

Good luck, enjoy the ride...
 

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still cannot understand why anyone would choose to subject themselves to the canals and bridges and having to motor when a full on sailing option exists.
why bother owning a sailboat?
 

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Joe, your suggestion of heading for Barnegat inlet is certainly a viable option . I think we were simply responding to the op's request for info. re the canal route. His final destination is Lavalette.

Coming in via the Manasquan River, from the Highlands and on to Lavalette is roughly a 43 mile trip +/-

Going down to Barnegat and back north to Lavalette is roughly 67 miles +/-

Your point about the not having to deal with bridges is a good one...to me It's just a much longer day..arriving barnegat inlet later into the day, when one is likely more tired.
The op would also have to get to the rt 37 bridge before 11 pm. or provide 4 hour notice

This sounded more like a delivery than a pleasure cruise. But there's no reason why it can't be both.
 

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still cannot understand why anyone would choose to subject themselves to the canals and bridges and having to motor when a full on sailing option exists.
why bother owning a sailboat?
By going past Manasquan down to Barnegat, then all the way back up to Lavalette, he would be adding roughly 25 miles to the total distance of the trip... And he's not gonna be sailing thru Barnegat Inlet, or the Oyster Creek channel back into the bay, so there's a good possiblity he'd wind up doing as much, if not more, motoring by going via Barnegat anyway...
 

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25 MILES that would be better than the bridges,current and canal issues, IMO. but I do understand what you're saying.
why can't he sail that little 25' swing keel into the inlet, I sailed my 32' in there without an engine in a gale.
that 25' swing keel would be a blast!
and it would be a good sail from NYC.
 

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Thank you everyone for the information. Joe I've done the barnegat inlet many times on another boat I owned and never had issues even in a decent swell. The extra time and distance is the real problem. I don't have an extra 5 hours to spend sailing Sunday night unfortunately.
 

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25 MILES that would be better than the bridges,current and canal issues, IMO. but I do understand what you're saying.
why can't he sail that little 25' swing keel into the inlet, I sailed my 32' in there without an engine in a gale.
that 25' swing keel would be a blast!
and it would be a good sail from NYC.
The forecast for Sunday is NW 15-20...
Low tide at Barnegat Inlet is around 1330...

Not exactly the ideal scenario for sailing into Barnegat Inlet, and tacking up the Oyster Creek channel to the end of the purple line, against the ebb current...


 

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The motoring distances are going to be about the same, as Jon indicated. I figure about 6 miles of motoring regardless of which inlet you enter. I can usually set some sail shortly after clearing the Mantoloking bridge. ( roughly 6 miles from the inlet) a NW breeze..would be ideal heading south to Lavalette
 

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TLF, if all else fails, NJBoatHauler.com is based in Toms River. They were great with my Catalina. The short distance to/from your boat, plus the short distance of the move from Sandy Hook to Lavalette should make the cost relatively low.
Hey Jim, i haven't heard back from them with a quote yet, but with the winds looking like they are going to pick up this might not be a bad idea. would you be able to provide any information on the cost and distance of the move they did for you? Thanks

And anyone that has had a boat moved feel free to add some input about price and distance. thank you
 

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TLF, they moved our Catalina 25 from Dillon's Creek Marina in Island Heights to Harbour Cove Marina in Somers Point, NJ. It cost me $500. The owner of the company was the guy who did the move for me. Watching him move the trailer around was really incredible. I don't have a lot of good pictures of just how tightly packed the boats were, but this should give you an idea:


You can see how the bases of the jack stands overlapped each other. He still managed to get the trailer in there (the marina didn't move anything):



The really amazing part to me was that there was BARELY enough room for the trailer and the rig, yet he backed the thing in on the first try, without any wiggling, etc. I don't think it took more than about 15-20 minutes for him to clear the jack stands and get the boat situated. Then he pulled to a more open area and he walked the deck with me, tying everything down better and making sure everything was OK for the trip. He was quick and efficient, but very professional and I felt comfortable with him hauling our boat.

When he moved us in 2012, his wife and he were the only ones working for the company. They had built it up to be one of the largest fleets on the east coast and had a great business, then sold it to an employee so they could retire. The employee ran into some personal issues, and the company crashed and burned. They were supposed to be paid over time by the former employee, and now that wasn't happening, so they moved back to NJ to start again. Given the slow economy, I'd guess that he's busy but probably not enough to hire a 2nd driver. He's the one who does the pricing, and if he is on the road, it may explain why he hasn't responded.

Anyway...they were among the least expensive quotes I got, but I was very pleased with them.

Hope this helps!
 

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if I'm understanding, you've got a 25' swing keel boat.
why not buy a used trailer for a couple hundred and tow it yourself?If it's because you don't have a tow vehicle just rent one.
This way you still have a trailer to use next time or sell and recover a few dollars if you feel you won't need it again?
 

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Joe that would be ideal, I do have a vehicle to tow it all set up, just couldn't find a trailer. if anyone knows of one for sale or for rent in the nj, ny, ct area please send it my way. additionally if anyone owns a trailer that would fit my boat I'd be willing to pay a couple hundred dollars just to borrow it for one day.
 
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