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Old 10-08-2023, 18:38   #1
GRH
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Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Hey everyone,

I'm planning on buying my first keelboat early next Spring. I'll be going for something relatively simple like a Pearson 26 or Catalina 30, and given how shallow the water can be in the NJ bays, I'll shoot for a draft under 5 feet.

If there are some experienced NJ sailors on the forum, where are some of the best towns and marinas for smaller keelboats like this? I just want to be in an area that has some protected waters ideal for day sailing. Eventually as I gain some more cruising skills, I'd like to do some coastal cruising.

I'm trying to download charts so I can get a better idea of water depths and areas suitable for day sailing. I'll be staying on the boat three to four days each week; so I will essentially be a liveaboard.

Thank you in advance for all helpful replies. Also, thoughts and prayers for the people in Maui.
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Old 10-08-2023, 18:44   #2
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Try active captain, zoom in and out and has comments:
https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-CA/pois/19134


Or the book /app Waterways Guide Northern https://www.waterwayguide.com/ship-s...ubscription/80 and you can subscribe to Navionics, or similar and download charts to a phone or ipad so can study them away from the boat too..
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Old 10-08-2023, 18:57   #3
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

You can also use Navionics online: https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=e...key=cbmrFppmcM

This place runs trips on a Catalina 30 if you want to see what Barnegat Bay is like: https://www.sailingnj.com/nj-sailboa...alized-cruises

We did some stuff with him years ago and he was a nice guy.
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Old 10-08-2023, 19:08   #4
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Tin View Post
Try active captain, zoom in and out and has comments:
https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-CA/pois/19134


Or the book /app Waterways Guide Northern https://www.waterwayguide.com/ship-s...ubscription/80 and you can subscribe to Navionics, or similar and download charts to a phone or ipad so can study them away from the boat too..
Great suggestions! Thanks so much. Will definitely use these links.
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Old 10-08-2023, 19:11   #5
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leecea View Post
You can also use Navionics online: https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=e...key=cbmrFppmcM

This place runs trips on a Catalina 30 if you want to see what Barnegat Bay is like: https://www.sailingnj.com/nj-sailboa...alized-cruises

We did some stuff with him years ago and he was a nice guy.
That would be fantastic to go out on a Catalina 30 in Barnegat Bay. That's definitely one of the main areas that I'm considering. My father did a lot of dinghy racing on Barnegat Bay in his younger years and had a blast. Thank you!
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Old 12-08-2023, 04:27   #6
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Anywhere up on Raritan Bay would work. Plenty of water and places to go as you expand your abilities. Barnegat Bay is way to shallow for my liking
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Old 12-08-2023, 05:49   #7
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

If you plan to stay inside and gunk hole, you would do well w/a small centerboard in the mid 20' range. This size boat would have a mast height less than 35' and allow you to explore all the way down to Cape May if you have the time.

If you are from NJ, then you already know it can be buggy in the back bays, so you will want to make a good set of full screens if you plan to do overnights.

A lot of places to explore gunk holing, so have fun.
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Old 12-08-2023, 06:41   #8
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

Hey GRH. I am a NJ Sailor who cut my teeth on Barnegat Bay




A quarter century later, I’m still here expanding my horizons. Started out with sunfish’s, hobie cats, Beneteau, Hunter’s and now a Bali Cat. We have the Bay of course, but we also have the Metedeconk river where I spent a decade as a sailing instructor at the NJ Sailing School. We have the Toms River to sail on. Additionally, you have the Manasquan River & Inlet heading out to the Atlantic. On a good day, head out that way and sail south on the Ocean for the day and test your skills and then come in the Barnegat Inlet back into the Bay. You can’t match the diversity of the waters to sail on as you improve yours skills as a sailor. Yea, it can be shallow in areas in the bay but that’s true of most bays. It’s not an issue. You should shoal up sometime. It’s a rite of passage. South of the Rt 37 or Tom’s River bridge the water depth can be more complimentary. By the way, Brick Township on the Barnegat holds the distinction of having the most marinas in the great state of New Jersey. If and when you search for a good used sailing vessel I would suggest a “shoal draft” vessel. Go for it. One of the best decision I’ve made in the past. Now we’re Bahamas bound after Hurricane season. Enjoy and feel free to check in with me in the future.



Thank you. Have a good day.
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Old 12-08-2023, 07:22   #9
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Re: Best Sailing in New Jersey?

I had an ODay 22 back in the 1970s and kept it in Bay Head at the north end of Barnegat Bay. Only drew 2 feet but still managed to touch bottom a few times. BB has a lot to offer for sailing as its protected and has reliable sea breezes. But each additional foot of draft limits where you can go. Think a shoal draft keel or keel/centerboard.
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