Jones inlet is where I sail out of. Currently the inlet is in desperate need of dredging, but politics. We recently had to fight to get the CG and ACOE to survey
and move the channel. The JI safe water
bouy it's supposed to be moved a mile west. The inlet has changed dramatically in the last year. I have not put my boat
in the water
yet, so I can't give you first hand local knowledge yet, but I have some friends and Facebook people who have gone out the new channel. It's tight, and there's one spot that is shallow. Do not attempt to come in at low tide if there's any swell, it will be breaking across the inlet.
If you come in to East Rockaway (Debbs Inlet), it's marginally better. There's a spot you need to watch it for but should be ok. You can motor
inside, but the Wreck Lead bridge (LIRR trestle) is a pain in the ass. They refuse to open fully because of lack of maintenance
. They claim to have to call the yard in Jamaica
to get permission to open more, which last time I went through, it took 1.5 hours, because then two trains came. I stopped going that way about 5 years ago because of that, but the bridge just underwent a major repair
, so I may pass through in a couple of weeks. I'll report back. Also, if hailing them on the VHF
, they will not respond to anything but "wreck Lead", you will be ignored.
As far as marinas
go, the Town of Hempstead East Marina is right in Point lookout, just inside the inlet. This is your best bet. They don't advertise transient slips, but they do it. They also have a marina in Freeport
. Both are adequate, but are also in serious need of being dredged, but politics! There's about a 4.5 foot tide, so just don't come in at low. My rule
is at least 1.5 hours either side of low tide, I draw 6 foot. This season it may be 2 hours. You have to call Town of Hempstead Conservation and Waterways. Ask for Patty or Brian! What size boat do you have, length and beam?
You can also drop anchor
in Zach's Bay right next to the theater, but there's no where legally to tie up a dinghy
. There's a beach you can land on, and walk to the theater. It becomes a zoo there on the weekend too. If there is a west wind
, you can hear the concert in the bay.
Another place is the Sore Thumb, which is just inside Fire Island Inlet, which is in the middle of a $1.7B dredging project
. Same thing with Zach's Bay, there's no place to tie up a dinghy
legally, and its a zoo in the weekends. There's a beach where you can land a dinghy near the parking lot of Oak Beach, but I can't speak to the security
of your dinghy overnight. An Uber can pick you up from there. Unlike Zach's Bay, there is no speed limit and people will be flying by you. But it's a nice place to hang out, and its empty at night. We go here often for an easy weekend away.