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Author Topic:   Help with navigating Long Island
aubv posted 03-21-2002 09:04 AM ET (US)   Profile for aubv   Send Email to aubv  
I'm going to be taking a 23' boat, by water, from NJ to MA sometime between the end of April and the beginning of May. I anticipate making the trip in one day but need to have alternative plans available. I am looking for any help or suggestions regarding routes? Does anyone have GPS marks for entrances to inlets? I will have Charts and GPSChartplotter but local knowledge is a big help.

Can anyone make suggestions about Marina's with transient slips that are also near a hotel / Motel and restaurant. I am looking for places on both the north and south shore.

Is the Great Peconic Bay reachable through Moriches or Shinecock Inlets? Has anyone traveled from East Rockaway Inlet to Great Peconic Bay, inside?

Also, what are the waters like in the Great South Bay, Moriches Bay and Great Peconic Bay when it comes to navigation and depth?

Thanks in Advance,


jimp posted 03-21-2002 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Brian -

Wow, great trip! What boat are you taking?

I doubt if there will be a lot of traffic in late April, early May. Water should be clear, mornings cool, warming in the afternoon. Many marinas may not be open yet.

If you go through the the Peconic Bays, you're going through some great areas (I've only got 47 years of boating experience in the Bays). You can get there through Shinnecock Inlet (or Moriches), then through Shinnecock Canal. The Peconic Bay charts are good - buoys positions accurately mark hazards, distances are fairly short, and you can usually see the next buoy from where you are. Depths are good.

Shinnecock Inlet is tough on the ebb with weather coming in - watch locals and watch before you cross.

Shinnecock Bay is shallow - follow the charts and bigger boats! Narrow by the CG station.

The Canal is fun... When the tide is higher in Great Peconic Bay, the locks stay open and flow into Shinnecock Bay. If Shinnecock Bay has a higher tide, you have to lock through - very easy, follow the traffic lights on the right side of the channel. The Canal also has many gas pumps and marinas.

Many marinas - look in cruising guides, etc. Many marinas have transient slips & showers. Not sure of availability of motels & marinas together. Greenport may be your best bet, or Shinnecock Canal.

We did East Rockaway to Great Peconic Bay in 1963... can't tell you much about it, I was only 10. But its doable and sheltered. Likely speed restrictions in busy areas.

Great South Bay is shallow - stay in the channel (I don't have a lot of experience there).

Another option is to run through New York and down Long Island Sound - its longer.


aubv posted 03-21-2002 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

I'm taking a 2001 23' Boston Whaler Outrage.

Are there any time restrictions on the Shinnecock canal?

The cruising guide is a good idea.

I was planning to go direct from Brielle NJ to MA which is 217 miles as the crow flies. This route puts me very close to the south shore of LI for a long distance and depending on conditions I could duck into anyone of the south shore inlets.

I have looked at going up the East River and along the north side of LI.The northern route leaves a big expanse of water after Port Jeff with the exception(?) of Mattituck
After looking at a regular road atlas it
appeared to me that the south shore inside route might be the way to go just for interest, so I am rethinking the direct route.

Knowing nothing about the inside route prompted me to ask the questions.

Thanks for the input and please add anything else you might think useful.

jimp posted 03-21-2002 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Brian -

One drawback is I'm doing this from memory. I'm up in Alaska now. I'll be back in Mattituck on Great Peconic Bay in June (college hunting for daughters in New England).

There may be overnight restrictions on Shinnecock Canal, but I don't know. Their summer hours may be different than their winter hours - when they change, I don't know. But I've never heard of them being entirely closed, unless for maintenance. Check the First Coast Guard District's Notice to Mariners.

One heads up, you might find great weather during your time frame - go the south route. But if the Atlantic has been rough and has a residual "lump", consider hugging the NJ coast and going Long Island Sound. If its blowing from the south, the south side of the Sound is great - many places to put in until Port Jeff. The run from Port Jeff to Mattituck isn't that bad with a south wind - tough with a north wind. Running the Sound, you're protected until you get to The Race, then you're out in Block Island Sound & open water.

But Great & Little Peconic Bays are still great. Gee, stop in New Suffolk and see the first submarine base in the United States!

For the south shore of Long Island - you can go inside the whole way, but the speed restrictions in some areas may slow you down and lengthen your trip.

If you get a cruising guide, make sure you check what season places are open.

Have fun, but be safe!


ffk posted 03-21-2002 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for ffk  Send Email to ffk     

I live on the north shore of eastern LI and do alot of boating in Peconic Bay. Jim has accurate advise even after being out of town for awhile. If you want to sit down with charts out one evening I can review the Peconice and LI Sound areas with you. Let me know if there is anything I can do to assist. Have a great trip.


aubv posted 03-23-2002 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for aubv  Send Email to aubv     

Thank you for the generous offer. I am seriously considering taking you up on the offer. It's just a question of time. I have been thinking about driving out to the canal area prior to taking the trip. If I do, I will drop you a note and see if we can meet someplace for lunch or dinner.


ffk posted 03-24-2002 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for ffk  Send Email to ffk     

Let me know when you get some plans together. There are a few days that I will be out of town on business but hopefully we can get together. I'll get my phone #s to you via e-mail.


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