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Old 06-16-2018, 04:59 PM   #1
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How far off the Jersey coast?

Is 3 miles considered far enough offshore when you are cruising down the Jersey coast?
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:27 PM   #2
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We travelled about 1 mile offshore if I remember correctly. Stayed in about 40 feet of water or so.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:41 PM   #3
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Far enough? For what?
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:48 PM   #4
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Some of the shoals extend out from some inlets a good bit.

Notably Little Egg inlet north of Atlantic City was one of the farthest.

Because the coast is not absolutely flat, picking a particular spot to measure from is going to be different for different people.

There are buoys that keep you seaward of most inlets...just follow those.

You may not want to be 4 miles off if you dont have to be and there is a West wind.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:05 PM   #5
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Three miles is a good safe number for the inlets or if water depth <20 ft you are too close to trouble.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:13 PM   #6
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Follow the charts, mind the weather. As Psneeld mentioned, the close the better on west winds. One time we moved in to get a closer look, we could hear music from the beach all along the way. A cruising buddy once said, "as close as being able to smell the suntan lotion".
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:33 PM   #7
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You can travel a lot of the Jersey coast in a gale, in comfort, as long as its a westerly and you tuck in tight.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:35 PM   #8
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If the chatter on the VHF is in Portuguese, you're too far.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:55 PM   #9
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If you run in deep water 100 fathoms or so, you get a better ride. As swells come into shallow water, they become steeper and closer together. That may not be reasonable on short trips, but if you're running to Florida it's a lot more comfortable in deep water. I like to pass Cape Hatteras at least 35 miles out.

Also, it's safer farther out, not closer to land. If for some reason you need to stop and work on your engine, you don't have much time in 3 miles with the swells pushing you in. Not all the rocks are plotted, as the captain of the Costa Concordia found out. And that rock had ships sailing by it for thousands of years.
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Old 06-16-2018, 11:23 PM   #10
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At 3 miles you may stand a better chance of seeing whales, at least that was my experience.

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Old 06-17-2018, 06:10 AM   #11
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No real rocky shoals off NJ as its mostly sand........and way too much boat traffic for centuries has plied the coast as well as modern surveys to worry about an uncharted rock in a small vessel.

Whales have come in pretty close in recent years, within a mile of the beach.

Sea conditions dont change much from beach to 100 fathoms here as the continental shelf reaches out 60 miles or so till you get close to NY.

The things that make a Jersey passage uncomfortable are heading south into a southerly wind and strong seasonal sea breeze (usually within 5-10 miles of the beach), easterly quadrant winds in excess of 12 knots if you have a rolly boat, inlets where the outgoing tide hits that afternoon breeze, scattered fishing pot floats and boat/shipping traffic in general.

And you might hear all kinds of foreign languages spoken on multiple radio frequencies...everything from large commercial ships to local fishing vessels.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
No real rocky shoals off NJ as its mostly sand........and way too much boat traffic for centuries has plied the coast as well as modern surveys to worry about an uncharted rock in a small vessel.

Whales have come in pretty close in recent years, within a mile of the beach.

Sea conditions dont change much from beach to 100 fathoms here as the continental shelf reaches out 60 miles or so till you get close to NY.

The things that make a Jersey passage uncomfortable are heading south into a southerly wind and strong seasonal sea breeze (usually within 5-10 miles of the beach), easterly quadrant winds in excess of 12 knots if you have a rolly boat, inlets where the outgoing tide hits that afternoon breeze, scattered fishing pot floats and boat/shipping traffic in general.

And you might hear all kinds of foreign languages spoken on multiple radio frequencies...everything from large commercial ships to local fishing vessels.
This. Expert local knowledge, not hearsay or speculation.
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:36 PM   #13
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I grew up on Long Beach Island...my dad still lives there. Little Egg was my home inlet. As others have said, depending upon the winds, you'll get about the same ride just off the beach or 20 miles out. When there's a land breeze, a westerly, you can cruise just outside the bar in 20 to 40 feet of water. With an onshore flow you'd want to make more offing, of course, just for peace of mind in the event of a propulsion failure. Commercial ships and tows are commonly seen 3 miles out and beyond, so we always liked to stay inside them a bit. There are no coastal shoals per se other than some of the inlets, which do require the most current charts updated with local Notice to Mariners.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:25 PM   #14
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No issues
Straight line from Cape May inlet to AC inlet outside buoy plus .5 miles
AC to Barnegat Inlet outside marker - CAUTION: LE buoy has been removed and if you are using old charts - you will see it but it won't be there!!
LE Inlet/Beach Haven Inlet is the only real concern due to shoaling past what one would consider "normal" on the Jersey coast. - but do stay off BI marker a bit.
BI to Sandy Hook - No issues either. You can stay 2.5 miles inside the "magenta" line
Once past Sandy Hook, you can take the "inside passage" to NY Harbor or following the main channel.

Not sure what you speed is, but Wx from one end of Jersey to the other can change during your trip so suggest that you plan/review AC Inlet, BI, Manasquan. ( I would stay away from Shark River)
Good Luck
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