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Discussion Starter #1
A new job will likely take us to New Jersey, work location probably Newark. We were in the early stages of planning a move to the SE coast, perhaps Charleston or Savannah, but that''s unlikely now. Are there yacht-friendly towns on the southern NJ coast that are commutable (even a long commute) to Newark? We plan to purchase a 40-50 foot boat within a year, spend another year or so fitting up and learning, then pull up stakes and go.
 

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Not many sailboat locations for berthing, etc. in Southern NJ. Inlets in SNJ are too shallow and shifty for regular passage, those that are sailboat ''passable'' will only allow daysailing: Atlantic City, Barnegat/Waretown (''nastiest'' inlet on the entire Atlantic coast), Manasquan and Cape May. Its either Raritan Bay, etc. or a commute to the Chesapeake (Sassafrass R., etc.).
 

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I have sailed out of Toms River for years. As the previous response indicated "it is shallow". I have a 43 Irwin that gets around on Barnegat Bay. It is a shoal draft of 4''11". Not bad for a 43 footer. We plan to do the same thing - take off in a couple of years and come back to the area in summer. All in all my boat is a little too big for the area, but we can get in and out and still have some nice day sails or weekends and longer trips north or south. The inlet choices are Barnegat to the south (choose your weather carefully) or Manasquan to the north. The only other options are Raritan Bay (North) or the Hudson River and Jersey City where there are a couple of urban marinas. Good Luck
 

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Dave,
Manasquan Inlet is reasonable as long as you can find a slip east of the railroad bascule bridge otherwise it can be quite challenging navigating during a busy weekend. I worked as a Marine Police for a few summers in Manasquan Inlet and people found all sorts of new ways to wreck their boats on the drawbridges. There is no shortage of fishing boat activity so be prepared for some bumpy going in and around the inlet. There is howeve a Coast Guard station on the Point Pleasant side of the river which is good for having some piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Chuck, Bob, Rich,

Thanks for the insight-- it will help me focus my search. In general, how difficult is it to find a decent slip? I assume most marinas have incredibly high demand.
 

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Dave,
Marina slips are at a premium. My marina was full (at least the bigger slips) for the past 2 years. I have to believe that with this bad economy, some will be opening up though.
 

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Dave, I think that your best choice is either a marina on the Hudson, i.e. Jersey City, or Hoboken, or even better, there are some full-service marinas in South Amboy NJ, deep enough to accommodate your needs, and you can do some sailing on Raritan Bay, which is the south shore of Staten island to Sandy Hook.
 

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In my opinion, you would have liked the South over NJ. Born and raised in a small NJ coastal town, Brigantine, i can vouch that it is not as good as my current location in San Fransico Bay, but i would still consider it excellent. I have an Irwin 34 (4''6 draft) and had frequently sailed it and many others on the back bays from Toms River to Cape May since I was age 14 (now 42) . I kept the Irwin in Somers Point and had fantastic weekend sails from Ocean City and Atlantic City to Cape May (where we often anchored overnight by the yacht club and enjoyed the Lobster House Restaurant). Also raced everything from Sunfish, Lasers, GP 14s, to 55'' schooners (from Atlantic City to NYC), in the area so to say the sailing is poor is an ignorant statement. Although, I do prefer S.Jersey over N.Jersey. What is poor is the docking fees. For the 34'' Irwin, I would spend $2,000 to 3,000 for a 4 mo season. Absurd considering the West Coast is is under $200 a month for far better slip accomadations.
True, tidal areas in the back bay are narrow in some areas, but the tides only vary 4'' on avg. A boat the size you are considering would be best suited for coastal cruising on the Atlantic ("outside" as the locals call it). In Summer, on avg, the wind is SW 7 - 12 then shifts to NE or NW when storms come up. I found the Atlantic Coast a delight to sail. Sailing is also great trolling speed for awsome fishing in the Atlantic. Great short cruises would be the Chesapeake Bay (safely reachable through a canal S. of Phili) or NYC and New England to the North. All a 2 to 3 day sail away. I would recommend considering Atlantic City for slips. It has a deep inlet, well maintained by the Corp of Engineers. The Coast Guard has a station there and the marinas are easy to get to from Newark - NJ Parkway to AC Expressway. Check out Trump''s Castle (casino) Marina. It was known as the best Marina in the area a few years back and is well protected and a few hundred yards from the Ocean. Can''t beat the nightlife if boat gets too quite. In closing, in NJ, we miss the best seafood (clams, lobsters, blue crabs, fresh fish),phili cheese steaks, and white sandy beaches in the country.
 
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