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Old 22-06-2009, 13:13   #1
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Anchoring Near Statue of Liberty

Hello All,

Does anyone have experience with the anchoring near the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island in New York Harbor? I just spoke with the Coast Guard and they recommended that I anchor there for the night when I asked about alternatives to motoring back to Jamaica Bay after the Macy's fireworks show. I also read online that even though they enlarged the restricted zones around both islands, that recreational boaters can still anchor southwest of liberty island and northwest of ellis island.

The problem is that I really don't see much space for an anchorage on the charts. To the southwest, there's a channel and then it gets really shallow. To the north there are a number of dangerous wrecks on the chart.

I could probably poke around until I found a safe spot at a good depth, but considering the intensity of homeland security and the number of drunken boaters that are going to be out there on July 4th, I'd rather have a better idea of what I'm doing before I go. Does anyone have firsthand experience with these spots? Any advice is much appreciated.
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Old 23-06-2009, 09:25   #2
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I'd suggest a call to the Harbor Pilots Association, one of the Ferry Operators or another call to the Coast Guard. Most charted wrecks I've encountered have been hard to locate once you're there - remember the age of the chart and its survey.

Sounds like a great place to be on the 4th - I'm envious
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Old 23-06-2009, 16:37   #3
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The harbor can be a zoo on the 4th, every drunken yahoo and his brother are out there and despite the USCG and NYPD presence...you can expect a fouled anchor line or similar problems. Those two areas are used every year as mass anchorages for the 4th and somehow almost everyone survives. You're open to weather and traffic, but of course commercial traffic won't be transiting the harbor while it is closed either. So, expect to be a little light on sleep (or to keep watches) but it isn't a fearsome place. A trip line and float on the anchor might certainly be useful. Bear in mind that entire area shoals, whatever wrecks are in there are probably either well buried, or well dredged by now. Still...I don't think you could call any major urban harbor anything except a foul bottom.

I haven't needed to anchor there, the only 4th I spent in the harbor we arranged to anchor on private bottom, inside the pierlines. (And still had to gently direct the USCG over to the drunken yahoos who fouled our anchor line.) Incredible way to see the show!
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Old 24-06-2009, 07:15   #4
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Thanks! [more questions]....

Thanks a lot for the input. I called the Coast Guard a few more times and I plan on calling the Pilot's Association as well.

Hellosailor, I have a couple of follow up questions if you don't mind. Your description of the madness there is pretty much what I was imagining, but it's nice to hear that at least it's not too hostile. I'm still trying to figure out exactly where the best place to drop anchor will be. I see both anchorages on the charts, but the CG suggested that I might be better off going past the actual anchorages and closer to the shore since they might make some people move when they expand the security zone around the statue. Do you think this is a good idea? The guy on the phone wasn't that sure about it or that specific about where to go. Perhaps I would follow that channel in and head a bit north after the last red buoy? There's a pipeline area there, but it seems like I could find a spot outside it and maybe away from some of the mayhem of the official anchorages.

Then again, I wouldn't want to try anything too unorthodox. If I go for the charted anchorages, how early do you think I need to get there to stake out a spot for myself? I was planning on getting there around 2 or 3 (about 4 hours before the security zones take effect). Do you think it will already be a zoo at that point or does it only fill up closer to the show.

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement!
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Old 24-06-2009, 09:32   #5
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I'd suggest getting out there way early (like, lunchtime) and settling in. By 6PM I'd expect a crowd, by 4PM a lot of company. Hard to tell in this economy just how many folks would come out.
Dunno if the Coastie you spoke to has any real intimiate knowledge of the bottom, but the farther east you are, and the earlier you settle in, the less likely you are to be moved. I'm not too familiar with the water in the backside there. The security zones are likely to change to meet the need, but a little diplomacy can go a long way. i.e. make sure your PFDs are visible, maybe offer up some cold sodas, and perhaps say "My anchor is really fouled, moving won't be very easy." (What, did I say that?!)
Bear in mind that if you sneak in too close to shore--you may have to thread your way back out again, after others block you in. Go early, take a good book, lots of sunblock, cold drinks, relax & enjoy the show.
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Old 30-06-2009, 10:17   #6
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I have many of the same questions as Orange Crush. I am a fairly new boater. Fortunately, my home port is right nearby, at Liberty Harbor. But I plan on heading out Saturday with some friends for the fireworks show. Exactly how shallow does the water get over there? Are there any currents if I anchor just south of the Statue?
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