I passed that coast twice this season. Once Northbound, once South. Both times were super annoying, but the payoff of NY Harbor, LI Sound, Cape Cod
, and Maine
were well worth it.
Northbound I stopped in Cape May, then sailed straight on to NY Harbor. I had crew aboard and it took us a little over 30 hours in maddeningly light winds.
Southbound I intended to stop in Shark River Inlet, since I was single-handing and didn't want to go all the way from NY Harbor to Cape May. However, when I reached Shark River, it was dense fog
and a decent swell. I didn't feel good about the shallow entrance combined with the bridge right at the inlet, so I pressed on to Atlantic City. I believe Shark Inlet would have been practicable, but I wouldn't have wanted to do it in a real storm. Atlantic City was easy as could be, and definitely doable in most, if not all, conditions. Even so, it took me 20 hrs to sail NY Harbor to Atlantic City with favorable conditions the whole way.
I've also heard Mannasquin (sp?) is manageable, but I never tried it.
Bottom line is the Jersey coast is a pain in the a$$, and you should be patient about getting a good weather
window to blow past it.