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Old 06-16-2017, 06:40 PM   #1
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Cape May to NY Harbor

Hello!
We arrived in Cape May and hoped to go outside to NY harbor, but it looks like at least a week before weather settles. How advisable is it to use the NJ ICW for this? Our boat is a 411 Meridian sedan bridge. We draw 4' and need just under 20' bridge clearance. I am most worried about running aground. Active Captain has many shoal areas indicated. Local knowledge from captains who have made this run would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Roger
411 Meridian 2008
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
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Go slow, travel the last 3 of the rising tide and the first 3 of the falling tide....for security, but if going slow, you can travel most of the tides with 4 foot draft.

There are deep stretches where you can speed up, but if not sure, slow and steady.

Been an assistance tower in the Cape May to Ocean City area for 14 years.

If you stop near Avalon, let me know and I can point out some typical trouble spots.

Just follow the marks carefully.

My 40 foot, 4 foot draft trawler had a drive train failure this snowbird trip north, and I had to tow it from Cape May to Avalon, about 13 miles up the ICW. Cant be that bad.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:59 PM   #3
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Hello!
We arrived in Cape May and hoped to go outside to NY harbor, but it looks like at least a week before weather settles. How advisable is it to use the NJ ICW for this? Our boat is a 411 Meridian sedan bridge. We draw 4' and need just under 20' bridge clearance. I am most worried about running aground. Active Captain has many shoal areas indicated. Local knowledge from captains who have made this run would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Roger
411 Meridian 2008
Waterway guide warns of many shoals too and we just had a member who touched with a draft of 3'6". I would say 4' even requires care and diligence and use of tides. I'd also keep in contact with other boats and talk to some tow captains while transiting, if I decided to do so.

Current shoals shown at Miles 5, 17, 29.5, 31, 46, 53, 57 and 60 and I'm sure there are more. Here's a partial list too, from Waterway Guide.

NJICWW Light 4 (LLNR 34995).
NJICWW Light 38 (LLNR 35115).
NJICWW Daybeacon 45 (LLNR 35165) & Daybeacon 46 (LLNR 35167).
NJICWW Daybeacon 49 (LLNR 35108).
NJICWW Junction Light LB (LLNR 35420) to Light 109 (LLNR 35430).
North side of Tow Island at NJICWW Daybeacon 129 (LLNR 35530).
NJICWW Light 145 (LLNR 35590) to Light 163 (LLNR 35655) Black Point on the red side.
Between NJICWW Daybeacon 206 (LLNR 35825) and Daybeacon 209 (LLNR 35835) IVO Bader Field.
IVO NJICWW Daybeacon 221 (LLNR 35867).
Between NJICWW Light 233 (LLNR 35905) and Daybeacon 243 (LLNR 3535945) Broad Thorofare.
IVO NJICWW Buoy 263 (LLNR 36007) and Buoy 263A (LLNR 36009) Shooting Island on the green side.
Between NJICWW Daybeacon 272 (LLNR 36035) and Daybeacon 282 (LLNR 36070) in Peck Bay.
Between NJICWW Light 383 (LLNR 36420) Daybeacon 399 (LLNR 36470).
Between NJICWW Buoy 417 (LLNR 36517) and Buoy 424 (LLNR 36535) Great Channel.
Between NJICWW Light 449 (LLNR 36625) and Light 453 (LLNR 36639) Grassy Sound.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
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Take the time to read each hazard marker on AC and their comments. The conditions of each marker evolve over time. Try to understand each from original to current status. I see trawlers every day in the ICW behind Wildwood. You can tell who reads the AC hazards and who doesn't. Make sure you have updated AC to the CURRENT data.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:03 PM   #5
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Take the time to read each hazard marker on AC and their comments. The conditions of each marker evolve over time. Try to understand each from original to current status. I see trawlers every day in the ICW behind Wildwood. You can tell who reads the AC hazards and who doesn't. Make sure you have updated AC to the CURRENT data.
I'd highly recommend looking at Waterway Guide as well. In some places, they are more current.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:05 PM   #6
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I did that trip outside a month ago. The forecast was for seas of 3-5' but if you stay a mile or two offshore they are about half of that.

Yes, Sunday and Monday look bad with seas forecast to be 7'. I wouldn't go outside in those conditions. But Saturday is ok at 3-4 with the wind on your stern. Why not leave tomorrow and make it to Barnegat, hang out there for a couple of days and continue to NYC on Tuesday.

Or travel the NJ ICW inside. You still will have to deal with the short leg outside from Manesquan to NYC. Where do you want to hang out, Barnegat or Manesquan before continuing on Tuesday?

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Old 06-16-2017, 09:12 PM   #7
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Wirh an easterly wind swinging south and increasing tp 15 to 20..I will bet the seas will pretty miserable and right uo to the neach.

I only ever notice it calmer near shore if there is a westerly component to the wind.

Patchy fog, so even the ICW will be no picnic.

Just got back from ungrounding a 25 Sea Ray behind Avalon, even I could hardly find the channel to pull him into.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:19 PM   #8
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I did the NJ coast about a month ago. Drawing 4'6", I didn't want to do the lower portion of the ICW. Went out at Cape May; came in at Barnegat; ran the ICW to Manasquan inlet and then back outside for the last part. Have friends in Brick, NJ, so went in to see them. Don't remember any bridges 20' or less in that stretch, but best to check. Charts indicate shallower water, but that is for extremely low tides. If you do Barnegat inlet, aim for high tide. The inlet isn't a problem, but shoaling in the channel over to the ICW could be a problem at low tide.

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Old 06-17-2017, 07:14 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone. It's tempting to go outside today since it appears best we'll have for a while. But, the offshore bouy shows 5 footers and with wind out of the east it's probably not much better close in. I guess we'll hang here in Cape May (nice place too) and watch for a few more days. If it doesn't settle in a week we'll need to try inside using tides AC and WWG as suggested. Thanks again.

Roger
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:38 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Mr. 275. I know absolutely nothing about the area BUT I commend your decision to remain in port given the snotty conditions. Well done!
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:24 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. It's tempting to go outside today since it appears best we'll have for a while. But, the offshore bouy shows 5 footers and with wind out of the east it's probably not much better close in. I guess we'll hang here in Cape May (nice place too) and watch for a few more days. If it doesn't settle in a week we'll need to try inside using tides AC and WWG as suggested. Thanks again.

Roger
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Yesterdays fog was solid heavy until about 1100. The wave heights were all gentle swell until the wind kick up around 1400. Good choice staying put.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:08 PM   #12
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I made this same passage on the outside the first week of May with small craft warnings and a south west wind of around 20 to 25 knots. Stayed in fairly close to shore and it was not a bad ride at all in a 38 foot boat.
I suspect that a one day shot from Cape May to the NYC area is easily done in your boat, and in a boat your size Small Craft Warnings probably just mean expect the seas and weather will not be good but probably not unsafe in a boat your size.
If you stick your nose out from Cape May to head North and find it is bad stop in Atlantic City, or Manasquan farther north if you think either you or the boat needs a safe harbor.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:26 PM   #13
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Like many situations in boating, a few degrees in wind direction is everything.

You can hug the Jersey coast in total comfort, even in gale warnings as long as they are a fall NW wind after cold front passage or similar.

But the difference in S, SW, WSW and W winds even at small craft warning levels is huge.

Many have learned the hard way that pleasure in pleasure boating dissapears quickly when it gets uncomfortable offshore. It can get dangerous with small emergencies....as I found out on my return from Florida...only 1.25 miles from relative safety. Loss of single engine propulsion due to dampner plate failure. Anchoring beam to (current won) in a bad 3 foot chop was dangerous, plus moving around was dangerous and some equipment shifted causing minor damage.

Everything seems fine till it doesnt, and snotty but not normally dangerous weather is often the culprit.
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Old 06-20-2017, 01:09 PM   #14
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Roger,
I think what basically everyone is saying in their own words is we all typically go boating for fun (we dont get paid to do this after all). When, and if, the conditions are such that it is unsafe to be on the water the boating fun shrinks faster than a balloon pricked with a pin.
If it does not look safe to sail forth then trust your judgement and stay put in a safe harbor. Far better to lay over a few days and turn a potentially dangerous and no fun trip into a safe and pleasurable cruise.
We all seem to eventually end up with some of those well planned good trips which unfortunately turn bad; best to avoid the potentially bad trip which could quickly get even worse ..
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Old 06-20-2017, 03:02 PM   #15
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I run outside from Cape May to Atlantic Highlands, NJ at 10 knots in one day during daylight this time of year.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:20 AM   #16
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We had a great run from Cape May right up to Statue of Liberty then East River. Anchored in Oyster Bay today!
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Old 06-23-2017, 02:03 PM   #17
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Nj icw

We have done the entire NJ ICW from Cape May to Manasquan in the past two weeks in our lobster yacht that draws 4'. We did run aground at one point while right in the middle of the channel. It was a non-event, and we easily floated off in about 30 minutes. Your best bet is to try to plan your day so that you start your leg a low water so you always have a rising tide.

Bridges are a concern, but easily manageable.

We did get stuck in Manasquan for an extra day due to seas (5'-7'). The next day seas were predicted to be 4'-6' so we decided to go out an take a look. As it turned out, a few miles offshore the seas were only about 3' and more than 8 seconds apart, so the ride to NYC was essentially smooth.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:38 AM   #18
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We have done the entire NJ ICW from Cape May to Manasquan in the past two weeks in our lobster yacht that draws 4'. We did run aground at one point while right in the middle of the channel. It was a non-event, and we easily floated off in about 30 minutes. Your best bet is to try to plan your day so that you start your leg a low water so you always have a rising tide.

Bridges are a concern, but easily manageable.

We did get stuck in Manasquan for an extra day due to seas (5'-7'). The next day seas were predicted to be 4'-6' so we decided to go out an take a look. As it turned out, a few miles offshore the seas were only about 3' and more than 8 seconds apart, so the ride to NYC was essentially smooth.
Thanks Camden Jack!

Info on the NJ ICW was what I was looking for. We managed to finally have a good day for running outside but we may have to go inside heading south in September.
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