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Old 09-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #1
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New Jersey ICW

Has anyone used the New Jeresy ICW recently ?? Any real issues that we should know about ? Any good anchorages we should know about ? Any bad ones ? Thanks Guys -
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #2
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Have a friend that used it coming north to CT. He has a 36' trawler. In a word he said "harrowing" and advises against it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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Has anyone used the New Jeresy ICW recently ?? Any real issues that we should know about ? Any good anchorages we should know about ? Any bad ones ? Thanks Guys -
Helpful if you post the draft of your vessel. Most of what I have have read about the ICW in NJ had to do with lack of dredging in a number of areas.

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Old 09-02-2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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I am an assistance tower out of Avalon,NJ (about 20 miles south of Atlantic City)

Most people have said most of the Sandy debris are cleared from the channels.

Has some shallow spots...especially between Atlantic City to Cape May. Should have no problems running from mid to high to mid tide (6 hrs every day) if you can time it.

Plenty of anchorages...just avoid the Atlantic city and Cape May ones that are right off the USCG stations if it's gonna blow NW hard...have seen too many up on the rocks through the years.

Most cruisers avoid the NJ ICW... which to me is a mistake if you are willing to go slow and plan around tides. There's as much to offer there as any other stretch of the ICW all the way to Florida.
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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To hmason - vessel is a 1990 - 36' Grand Banks drawing 4' - 0" - To psneeld - nice & slow and easy works for us - add leisurely too !
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Old 09-02-2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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Has some shallow spots...especially between Atlantic City to Cape May. Should have no problems running from mid to high to mid tide (6 hrs every day) if you can time it.
Care to offer a maximum draft recommendation based on the above?

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Old 09-02-2013, 12:44 PM   #7
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At high tide you can have a 6 foot draft and get through the shallow spots...a little HP might be necessary but a 4 foot draft is no problem.

There are some fixed bridges with 35 foot heights...so that is an issue for sail/tall power boats.

Many of the inlets aren't as bad as many have you think...except in some weather.

You have to pay attention to the channels and zigzagging from mark to mark is not really as safe as it used to be. Learn t read the undercut/steep sod banks from the gradual side...not foolproof but works most of the time.

You have to pay attention in South Jersey when crossing the large shallow sounds as often the wind and tide are carrying you at a diagonal to the channel which may only be 50-70 feet wide in places...so looking aft to see your (leeway and set) is important.

The real good thing about the NJ ICW is that the rest of the ICW to FLA is a piece of cake. Just went to FLA border and back last winter and never bumped bottom once!

Just kidding...avoid the ICW if you easily stress out...if you don't...come on down as there's a lot you might enjoy but will miss if you stay outside the whole way.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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Learn t read the undercut/steep sod banks from the gradual side...not foolproof but works most of the time.

Guru - what does the above mean exactly ?
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:55 PM   #9
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Just like canoeists/kayakers are taught/learn.....usually but not always...the outside of a cut is where the faster current is so often it is deeper and undercuts the bank (you'll see chunks of sod falling in if it's deep and steep..

But the bottom isn't always the same material so the deeper water can be anyplace the bottom is softer...meaning no rule of thumb is absolute.

I always try to picture the area between the sod banks with no water in it...then by reading the banks and the depth finder...I see which way is the depth trending. Then I look to see if there's a breeze going opposite the tide...is the faster current where the deeper water is?...if it is there will be bigger wavelets on top. So I'll wiggle around and see what the depth finder is doing. I'll look for water color changes near the inlets where the water is cleaner. Mix all the inputs together and hopefully I'm where the deepest water is.
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Old 09-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
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Thanks Guru - I'm fine with all of that - very simular to the marshes on the ICW in Georgia & South Carolina - shouldn't be a problem - my interest in the ICW is, the boat is new to me & I am new to the boat - in spite of many years and 1000's of blue water miles, a new boat is like a new girlfriend - " the're all a little different which always makes for an interesting time " !
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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Well actually the NJ ICW is a bit smaller scale and shallower for much of it...many cruisers do bypass it.

I chalk it up to people having the wrong opinion of NJ to begin with..like there's nothing to do or see....and being uncomfortable with the notion that it's impassible or don't want to work around the tide.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:33 PM   #12
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Nj icw

Ran from Cape May to Ocean City 2 weeks ago. Left CM 1 hour after high tide and had SEVERAL areas that were less than 1 ft. (My trawler draws 3') under running gear. Go to Active Captain - reports were spot on except directly behind Ocean City. Next time I make the run, I am going to leave 1 hour before high tide in Cape May.
Good Luck.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Ran from Cape May to Ocean City 2 weeks ago. Left CM 1 hour after high tide and had SEVERAL areas that were less than 1 ft. (My trawler draws 3') under running gear. Go to Active Captain - reports were spot on except directly behind Ocean City. Next time I make the run, I am going to leave 1 hour before high tide in Cape May.
Good Luck.
Definitely try to travel +/- 3 hours of high tide if you draw 4 feet....The good news is most of the areas are mostly mud/soft sand so slow speed will usually not involve any damage.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:07 PM   #14
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psneeld: I've never really read anything about the places to see along the Jersey ICW. If you know the road, maybe you could make some suggestions for those of us who might dare to do it. My boat is 3'2", and I'm patient.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:47 AM   #15
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psneeld: I've never really read anything about the places to see along the Jersey ICW. If you know the road, maybe you could make some suggestions for those of us who might dare to do it. My boat is 3'2", and I'm patient.
The NJ intracoastal takes you along a combo of densely populated resort Barrier Islands and wildlife refuges that are barren for miles....in between is sparsly to medium density residential shore towns with small shopping stretches (I mean just a few blocks) and packed with decent (although touristy expensive) restaurants. I would put up many of the seafood restaurants with any that I ate at along the way to Florida last winter...my seafood palate is spoiled and I don't think many restaurants under 4 stars do it justice but the Jersey ones are as good or better than many).

Things along the way that some people might enjoy and other may hate...

Cape May - which usually is a stop even if people don't use the NJ ICW...are the "national register" blocks and blocks of Victorian homes/hotels, the USCG boot camp.

Wildwood has a Coney Island stretch of boardwalk

Avalon/Stone Harbor/Sea Isle are upscale towns with quaint shopping areas and better restaurants...Stone Harbor gets the nod for it's town center.

Ocean City/Somers Point (on the bay side) - Nice coastal towns, OC is a dry town and very family oriented with a nice friendly boardwalk and not too commercialized. A run up the Great Egg River is a nice hide hole for storms...It's where I rode out Sandy at the bulkhead and it was one of the first "wild/scenic rivers" though people who have travelled a lot will giggle at the comparison with most of those rivers).

Atlantic City is what it is.

Brigantine wildlife sanctuary is maybe 100 square miles of undeveloped march just north of Atlantic City...you can sit there in solitude yet see the casinos on the horizon....not paradise but and interesting mix to some.

On top of Great Bay and the back water is Tuckerton where they are putting together a waterman's museum...haven't been there and not sure what Sandy did to it but it would be a mini-Mystic or similar to the one in St Michaels, Md.

The rest of the ICW is a larger open bay called Barnegat and I know this area was harder hit by Sandy but much has been restored. Thogh getting from the back bay to Barnegat Inlet I hear is difficult as the hannel definitely changed/fill in with Sandy. The southern part of the bay is less densely populated and the farther north you go the more it is...to give a flavor of what is around the marinas. Active Captain or a google overflight will show what types of towns things to do there are.

The NJ ICW is sort like the whole ICW from Norfolk to FLA crammed into about 60 miles or so. Everything from quiet remote creeks (in the summer you may have to wait till after dark till the jet skis disappear during the Summer)...to Atalantic City and other fairy developed towns. Travelling in the fall/spring you won't see much besides a few fishermen and as the season rolls on the restaurants start to only be open weekends then not at all....but some are open all year as even the shore towns are becoming all year round residence towns.

There are a few wineries inland that have tours..it's no Napa Valley though.

So all in all..if you are truly cruising and like to see things and not in a rush...not a bad stretch to see and enjoy. If you are trying to make time and are a nervous Nellie about bumping bottom....then you may want to pass.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #16
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Great, psnead! Now everybody is gunna be coming 'down the shore'.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #17
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Not enough slip spaces in the summer to accommodate more than a few...

Plus the NJ rep will keep most away and the reality show probably sealed the fate of some more that are stupid enough to believe that those people are very common...they exist...but aren't common.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #18
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ah,but you forgot to talk about the famous greenheads in little egg!!
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:31 PM   #19
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greenheads are the state bird...Little Egg has a few compared to Fortesque...the gulf coast of NJ.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:50 PM   #20
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Very informative. I only knew Wildwood, Atlantic City, Stone Harbor and Cape May, and by land only. Like anywhere else, things look different from the water. Thanks for sharing your local knowledge. Since we've got a shallow draft boat, I think we'll try it.
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