• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Ocean City MD, Chincoteague, Assateague

Jun 14, 2010
978
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Has anyone cruised through those areas? I'm thinking of a cruise down the coast from LIS and back to eastern CT -- wondering if the destinations are worthwhile, coming by boat with no ground transport, and whether the entrances are too "iffy" (weather dependent). We can bring folding bikes. We can take 2 weeks, so that should give us time to enjoy the journey.
From LIS via East River and NY Harbor, some likely stops:
  1. Atlantic Highlands
  2. Absecon Inlet
  3. Cape May or Cape Henlopen
  4. Ocean City
  5. Chincoteague
  6. return
Any thoughts or suggestions/alternatives? We draw 3.75 feet with centerboard raised and rudder down, but would prefer not to test the limits. :)

So, is this juice worth the squeeze? :) Alternatively we will cruise southern New England (as usual, but we love it).
 
Last edited:
Feb 11, 2017
437
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I did a trip through that area many years ago, but it was a delivery so we didn't stop to smell any roses along the way. We made that part in two hops, from the Delaware river (just south of the C&D canal) to Atlantic City and then to NYC. I'd skip Atlantic City unless the waterfront and harbor has been cleaned up in the last 30 years.
Really, I just wanted to follow this thread to see what other people have to say ;)
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,245
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
A couple of years ago I did a delivery from the C&D Canal to Albany.

The sail up the coast of NJ was interesting, we did it night.

In Cape May we were impressed by all the multi-million dollar sport fishing boats and were treated somewhat civilly by the marina folk when 3 grubby old men in a beat up old sailboat stopped for gas.

The area around Atlantic Highlands was nice for being so close to NYC. The marina tolerated us as we bought gas, but they were really more interested in the boats that were buying gas by the hundreds of gallons. Don't try to drive there, the roads are a traffic nightmare. If I was to go back I'd look to anchor rather than go to the marina.

Sailing through NY Harbor is impressive and I'd do it again.
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,783
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
I e been to chincoteague and Assateague many times by land and can say that they are charming and different and most definitely worth a visit. I have also sailed out of kipptopeake and it is a nice stop over and easy in and out of the bay by boat
 
Jun 14, 2010
978
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
@dlochner I’ve sailed NY Harbor more times than I can count, and yes the East River is always a bit exciting and it goes by too fast. Been to Atlantic Highlands and AC by boat a few times, and view those as overnight rest stops, but nothing attractive ashore. Never stopped in Cape May so that might be interesting, and Cape Henlopen is just an interesting anchorage I’ve seen on the charts looks like easy in/out which might have some appeal. Most of NJ is lacking appeal (as a cruising destination), unfortunately.
@rgranger thanks for the info on the points south, as that’s where my real interest lies. Any tips on going in by boat? Would you recommend we rent a car or cart, once there?
 
Jan 22, 2008
7,104
Beneteau 323 Annapolis MD
Sunset Marina in Ocean City Md is nice. There is a boardwalk shuttle lot a couple/3 blocks from the Marina. My Beneteau club stopped there for 2 nights a few years ago. Restaurant at Sunset Marina.
 
Nov 26, 2008
1,890
Endeavour 42 Cruisin
Atl Hilands has several places to anchor and if it's stormy you can anchor or take a mooring behind the breakwall.

Atl City has an anchorage to the north of the inlet. Tight entrance but great protection. Anchoring near CG station can get sporty and holding is iffy.

Barnegat inlet is pretty tricky. Do not try with wind and waves from the NE. Big sandbars on the north side create big beam seas at the entrance.

Utches in Cape May is good for fuel and if you anchor out you can tie up your dink to go ashore. Bike into town to see the old architecture is a good day. Beach is $8/person.

Cape Henlopen is a very good anchorage tho exposed to NW. Anchor close inside the breakwall. Dink to the ferry terminal and pick up the bus (cheap) to go to town, which is nice. Dink to the park to go to the ocean beach.

No knowledge on other places.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,361
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
If you are into horses, the round up and annual swim to auction of the wild horses on Assateague to Chincoteague can be entertaining.

While there is a lot of water on the west side of Assateague island, I was told it is shallow with drifting shoals. I saw power boats using the bays and your under 4 ft draft would be better than my boat.
 
  • Like
Likes: Will Gilmore
Jan 8, 2015
334
MacGregor 26S, Goman Express 30 Kerr Reservoir
I e been to chincoteague and Assateague many times by land and can say that they are charming and different and most definitely worth a visit. I have also sailed out of kipptopeake and it is a nice stop over and easy in and out of the bay by boat
My wife had us stop by Chincoteague Island when we were in the area recently so she could see the wild horses. They have scooters for rent cheap so no need to bring your bicycles. I would definitely add as one of your destinations. Especially if you could make it during July 24th.

"Wednesday July 24, 2019 will mark the 94th year of Chincoteague's annual Pony Swim"

http://www.chincoteague.com/pony_swim_guide.html
 
Jan 19, 2010
6,783
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
@dlochner@rgranger thanks for the info on the points south, as that’s where my real interest lies. Any tips on going in by boat? Would you recommend we rent a car or cart, once there?
Chincoteague is a quaint backwater harbor town. Many of the restaurants and shops are still mom & pop. Assateague is a wild life refuge. It is not built up at all although there is a nice bath house for necessities. It is mostly wild and natural. There are also very nice trails that run through the refuge. I have rented bikes and rode through Assateague several times.
 
Jun 14, 2010
978
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Chincoteague is a quaint backwater harbor town. Many of the restaurants and shops are still mom & pop. Assateague is a wild life refuge. It is not built up at all although there is a nice bath house for necessities. It is mostly wild and natural. There are also very nice trails that run through the refuge. I have rented bikes and rode through Assateague several times.
I think it sounds like a place I'd like to go. Perhaps by car sometime for a long weekend or mini-vacation. Maybe we would trailer our larger dinghy down there (12 ft RIB with 20HP OB) and gunkhole the shallows.
The NJ coast is a linear run and the stop overs don't seem as attractive, and there are very limited options if the wind and weather are unfavorable. I spoke with my wife about this and she would prefer the variety of harbors we can normally visit in Southern NE, and considering the many options we can also head in many directions depending on which way the winds blow.
Thank you everyone for your input.
 
  • Like
Likes: jssailem
Jan 19, 2010
6,783
Hunter 26 Lake Martin AL
@Captain Larry-DH

If having a lot of fun stop overs is your goal, consider coming through the Delaware harbor into the Chesapeake Bay. You then have hundreds of fun little places to stop over and lots of ghunkholes to hide in if the weather goes sideways. You could easily get an Uber to or a taxi to drive you across the pennisula to Chincoteague from an anchorage on the west side of the DelMarVa pen.

upload_2019-6-12_14-25-34.png
 
Jun 14, 2010
978
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
@rgranger I'd want more than 2 weeks to do the Chesapeake, from my home base in LIS. We'd still need to get over the Jersey Shore "delivery mode" phases to get there and back. (Plus it adds Delaware Bay -- a miserable stretch IMHO. I consider Delaware Bay the boating equivalent of driving through the NJ Meadowlands from Newark to Giants Stadium, but it takes almost a whole day to get through it.) :frown:
 
Jul 12, 2011
799
Catalina 36 Bay City, MI
I assume that you've checked out the YouTube posts of various Chesapeake sailors that cruise that area regularly, and have documented their cruises and stops? Many good offerings out there for planning purposes.
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,361
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
sounds like a place I'd like to go. Perhaps by car sometime for a long weekend or mini-vacation. Maybe we would trailer our larger dinghy down there (12 ft RIB with 20HP OB) and gunkhole the shallows.
That was my opinion. It would be a great area for a Boston whaler with a 40HP Yamaha on the back. You could get into a lot of trouble.

The area "Captian's Cove" on the west shore from Chincoteague had a nice dock and club bar open to the public. Looked like the bridges would inhibit sail boat traffic, but I am not certain.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,402
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
I went around the Delmarva, going in and out of many of those inlets, a number of times in my Stiletto 27. That the OP has a Dragonfly (shoal draft) puts a whole new perspective on it.

Ocean City is just loud, IMO. We generally anchored just south inside the inlet, using OC only as an overnight spot.

Chincoteague is a good deal of fun. There is a city bulkhead, and if you can fold, there are motels that can take you in their marinas.

Watchapreague is another inlet that works fine with shoal draft.

You might also consider going down around Cape Charles and up the Chesapeake Bay, as a different return. The Chesapeake and Delaware Bays are connected by a wide, sea level canal that is quite simple (C&D Canal). The Chesapeake is legendary for the variety of places to stop. That would (does) fill a book.


There is a bunch of stuff on the area in my blog, listed in my signature.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2009/10/circumnavigation-delmarva-pensinsula.html
 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2010
978
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
I went around the Delmarva, going in and out of many of those inlets, a number of times in my Stiletto 27. That the OP has a Dragonfly (shoal draft) puts a whole new perspective on it.

Ocean City is just loud, IMO. We generally anchored just south inside the inlet, using OC only as an overnight spot.

Chincoteague is a good deal of fun. There is a city bulkhead, and if you can fold, there are motels that can take you in their marinas.

Watchapreague is another inlet that works fine with shoal draft.

You might also consider going down around Cape Charles and up the Chesapeake Bay, as a different return. The Chesapeake and Delaware Bays are connected by a wide, sea level canal that is quite simple (D&D Canal). The Chesapeake is legendary for the variety of places to stop. That would (does) fill a book.


There is a bunch of stuff on the area in my blog, listed in my signature.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2009/10/circumnavigation-delmarva-pensinsula.html
What a great blog! Thanks, @thinwater
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,123
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
If you are still interested in that southern trip, don't dismiss Barnegat Inlet. There are always several boats anchored inside the inlet that are passing through every time I anchor there. If you are looking for a nightlife scene, you won't find it there. It is at the very quiet end of Long Beach Island. There are just a handful of restaurants and everything seems to close by about 10 pm, even on weekends. Everybody there is basically there for the beaches and that's about it. The beaches are very nice and wide open with a ton of open space between the houses behind the dunes. Very wide beaches and pretty empty. To get even more empty, you can dinghy across the inlet channel to Island Beach State Park. This is an area of the Jersey shore that is more remote than you'd think. It's a good place to get out kayaks or paddle boards.

If I was doing the trip that you are talking about, I would do healthy jumps from Atlantic Highlands, Barnegat Inlet, then Cape May. I would skip Atlantic City unless that's your thing (not mine by any stretch of the imagination).

I'd think that in the middle of summer, Barnegat Inlet is not as bad as it's reputation. There are commercial fishing boats and sport fishing boats of every size going in and out every day at every time of the day. The anchorage is small but holding seems to be fine and it is protected. If you want to sail in flat water and are looking for wind, get into the bay and you won't find it lacking for either. Barnegat Light has the lighthouse, which is an interesting visit, a handful of family-style restaurants, the Coast Guard Station. You won't find any nightlife. The commercial fishing boats and party fishing boats come and go at all hours. The anchorage can get a bit noisy and rolly when they are passing thru, but it doesn't really bother me. I thought about anchoring on the other side of the "dike" for seclusion sometime.

There aren't any marinas that will cater to you. There is Lighthouse Marina, but they charge $20 per hour if you want to tie up there for a day. I don't know what services they offer to transients, but they seem to cater to the fishing boat crowd. We always paddle our kayak to a public dock & small boat launch at the south end of the little sedge island in town. The staff seems very friendly and inflatable kayaks and dinghys seem to be perfectly safe there while we go to the beach or walk around town. Another option, if you carry bikes … there is a beach at the end of the residential section in High Bar Harbor that is more convenient to the anchorage. There is a path that leads from the end of the street to the beach where nobody seems to mind if you gain access. There are always a handful of people on that beach, but this is a very quiet area with a laid back attitude, it seems. It's a little bit of a hike on foot to get to town, but probably very pleasant with a bike.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,123
Starwind 27 Barnegat, NJ
If you consider New Jersey shoreline as simply an obstacle to get around, I would guess that setting Chincoteague as the destination would probably not be worth the trip. If you consider most of the stops as a highlight in their own right, then I think it would be a great trip.

Speaking only from the standpoint of destinations in New Jersey, I would consider:

Liberty Harbor, near the Statue of Liberty - you can anchor there or you can use a marina and have access to NYC or Liberty State Park in NJ.

Atlantic Highlands - I don't know if there is anything all that appealing there except a lot of boating activity in general. You could always anchor at the tip of Sandy Hook, which might be more appealing and an easier getaway location. The Highlands is the highest headlands on the North American Atlantic Coast from Maine to the Yucatan at only about 266 feet above sea level. I bet not many knew that!

Barnegat Inlet / Barnegat Light for all the reasons I mentioned. It really is a nice area. It doesn't have those quaint New England towns & packed harbors, snobby yachties, and packed sailor bars. It's just a family-oriented beach environment and pretty quiet. But if you make your own fun and activities, it's a pretty nice place with some scenic beaches.

Cape May - Don't miss. Sailing Cloudy Bay did a nice video shoot there that pretty much highlights what the area is like. It's a livelier scene there in the summer, I think. The town really is something special. It is definitely worth the stop.
 

TomY

Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
1,870
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
If you consider New Jersey shoreline as simply an obstacle to get around, I would guess that setting Chincoteague as the destination would probably not be worth the trip. If you consider most of the stops as a highlight in their own right, then I think it would be a great trip.

Speaking only from the standpoint of destinations in New Jersey, I would consider:

Liberty Harbor, near the Statue of Liberty - you can anchor there or you can use a marina and have access to NYC or Liberty State Park in NJ.

Atlantic Highlands - I don't know if there is anything all that appealing there except a lot of boating activity in general. You could always anchor at the tip of Sandy Hook, which might be more appealing and an easier getaway location. The Highlands is the highest headlands on the North American Atlantic Coast from Maine to the Yucatan at only about 266 feet above sea level. I bet not many knew that!

Barnegat Inlet / Barnegat Light for all the reasons I mentioned. It really is a nice area. It doesn't have those quaint New England towns & packed harbors, snobby yachties, and packed sailor bars. It's just a family-oriented beach environment and pretty quiet. But if you make your own fun and activities, it's a pretty nice place with some scenic beaches.

Cape May - Don't miss. Sailing Cloudy Bay did a nice video shoot there that pretty much highlights what the area is like. It's a livelier scene there in the summer, I think. The town really is something special. It is definitely worth the stop.
This is the cruising info you can't get in a cruising guide or on 'cruising media' online sources.

Local knowledge: You have to hunt for it in various sources mostly sailing, but sometimes not. Take Barnegat Inlet. There's lots of info available in cruising guides and online on Barnegat Inlet, all negative.

90% I bet is posted from sailors that have never been there. You may not want to try it (especially in adverse conditions), but it's nice to hear from someone that has used it.