Thursday, September 3, 2015

Where To Anchor In NYC


Anchorages that don't break the budget in NYC.


When we first started to plan our trip to New York we were a little deterred by the lack of affordable places to stay. Marinas were running at $4/ft/day, that's $176 a night for our 44ft. Some might say that's cheap for staying in a big city but we are trying to stick to a budget. This was a little more than we could afford. So what were our options? 

This whole area is an incredible cruising ground, especially when you get into the Long Island Sound or up the Hudson River. There are a huge amount of anchorages and pretty places to stop. But what about when you want to explore the city itself? 

79th Street Mooring field
http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/marinas/10
N40° 47.3  W73°59
After investigation and talking to several people this is the obvious option. They have a fair sized mooring field and small marina that are centrally located at 79th Street. The moorings are $30 a night which includes use of the dinghy dock, showers, laundry etc. For the price, you can't get a more central location. But they only allow monohull's of 40ft or less, so if you are over 40ft or a catamaran you have to anchor out. Sounds easy enough but currents run at over 2kts. We anchored there for 4 days and though we were satisfied the anchor was in, leaving the boat all day in the changing and strong currents was a little nerve wracking to say the least, we were always grateful that our boat was still there when we got back at the end of each day. You can only anchor at the back of the mooring field so its a half mile run in the dinghy. You need to have high confidence in your outboard engine against the currents or time your movements with slack tide or favourable currents accordingly. If you anchor you still need to pay $25 each day for use of the dinghy dock etc. There is a lot of wake during the day from boat traffic but the anchorage/mooring field is comfortable at night. The moorings are a good deal if you are a 40ft or less mono. Though we have seen some boats larger than 40ft stretch the truth about their length. The marina is $3.50/ft transient rate.
The mooring field at 79th Street Boat Basin
Liberty Landing anchorage
N40° 41.70  W74° 03.75'
We did not stay at this anchorage but we have friends that did. It's a fairly small anchorage that can get a lot of wake but this dies down at night. It's a 1hr walk to the ferry across the Hudson at $12 each way. Or I believe if you have bikes you can cycle to Staten Island ferry terminal and get the free Staten Island ferry. But that's a bit of a trek. It would make a good stopping point though.


The narrow enterance and anchorage at Liberty Landing

Liberty Landing Marina
www.Liberty Landing marina.com
Rates
Under 75ft $4.00ft/day May - Oct
Under 74ft $19.00ft/weekly May - Oct


Port Washington, Manhasset Bay, Long Island
N40° 49.6  W73°43
This was our choice. Port Washington is in Manhasset Bay about 10 miles up the Long Island Sound. Here you can pick up a yellow mooring for free for 48hrs and $25 thereafter which then includes free water taxi. Or you can anchor outside the mooring field for free. There are two dinghy docks, a free pumpout station and water on one of the docks. Ashore you have a Stop and Shop supermarket, a West Marine and a couple of launderettes and an Ace hardware at one end of town and plenty of restaurants and station at the other end. We took the Long Island Rail Road into Penn Station when we wanted to go into Manhattan (off peak $7 each way per person when you buy a ten trip ticket) plus a metro card in town ($2.75 each journey) - we shared a LIRR and a Metro card - making sure it had enough credit on each time. This worked out cheaper then 79th St for us as we only paid the train fair when we went into town. It's a 20 min uphill walk to the station and a 40 min train journey. We didn't mind this in the least but we are used to a bit of a trek. The bay was comfortable and safe and a few times we got back after midnight without a worry. The only nuisance being if the wind was up it could be a wet dinghy ride back. But you'd have that where ever you stayed. I flew back to the UK and left Sim at anchor for a few weeks there and he was perfectly happy.
Arial view of Port Washington, Manhasset Bay, Long Island
The red circle depicts the mooring field where you can anchor outside of.
The red line shows where Port Washington is located.

Sandy Hook NJ 

N40° 25  W 74° 1.4 
Worth a mention as its an obvious stopping point on routes north or south. As we entered from the south we found the green marks awfully close to land. Inside Sandy Hook you can anchor depending on wind. Either off the coast guard station approx N40° 28 W74°00.08, or by Horseshoe Cove. Or inside the breakwater, outside of the mooring field at Atlantic Highlands N40°25 W74° 1.4. The diesel was reasonable at $2.35/g (1st Sept 2015). The town is cute with shops restaurants and supermarkets. It also has the 25 mile Henry Hudson trail that runs from Highlands to Freehold. Access can be gained at the Atlantic Highlands marina.

Showing areas where you could anchor in Sandy Hook - Atlantic Highlands marina, moorings and anchorage
are behind the breakwater shown by the bottom circle.
Notes on Hudson and East Rivers

Coming up the Hudson River past the Verrazano Narrows bridge (or coming from the other direction) is all part of the "NYC experience". It's easy to get distracted as the spectacular Manhattan skyline approaches and the Statue of Liberty comes into view. But this is a busy harbour with a lot of marine traffic, especially big barges and ferries moving about. The busiest point is where the Hudson meets the East river. Once past the junction on either route traffic dies down a little. When trying to get close to the Statue of Liberty for the photo shot take your turn with the tourist boats. If you can - sail with a buddy boat so you can take pictures of each other with the Statue of Liberty or Manhattan skyline in the background. If you have friends you want to share the moment with at home, there are various webcams you can get them to take a look at. 
The East river and Hells Gate passage needs to be well timed to ensure the current is in your favour as it can run up to 5kts in places. We were doing10kts with the engine only just over tickover. 



What is your experience of NYC? 
Leave any helpful comments or queries below.


Wandering Star motoring past the Stature of Liberty.


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