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South Shore Long Island Inlets; the good ones? the bad ones?

Discussion in 'Marinas & Waypoints' started by cleanslate, Jun 10, 2018.

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  1. cleanslate

    cleanslate Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Hello, I am looking for someone with personal experience who recently used, or uses , any of the following inlets ; East Rockaway , Jones and Shinnecock Inlets.

    I am coming up from Cape May on a trip to the south shore inside route and on to the twin forks of LI.
    My boat is a 42' Ocean Yachts aft cabin, not a sport fish,twin DD 471TI power. She draws 3.5 ft. and yawls with a moderate following sea, which is not fun.

    Any info would be appreciated. I'm shooting for Jones Inlet right now....
    Thanks!
  2. cleanslate

    cleanslate Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Having just done the trip in June/July I though I should answer myself....it may help someone out there.
    Before I left I contacted Jones Beach Coast Guard on there F.B. page and the told me to avoid East Rockaway and use Jones Inlet.
    That's what I did. Jones was well marked with 9/10ft depth mostly, one low spot about half way in..6.5ft. Went in during outgoing mid tide , light seas. Was easy. Got very deep once in .

    Then on our return trip I went out Fire Island Inlet. That was also well marked. With incoming mid tide, light wind. Mostly had 10ft depth but had an onshore swell that made waves get tall midway out. Channel was a bit wider too, compared to Jones. But still not bad and easy.

    All being said, they are not a good choice to use during a bad storm.

    Then there's the Shinnecock Canal with it's lovely white water,eddies and boils....THAT's the nasty one to watch and plan your passage, regardless of your vessel's power! This is New York's real "Hell's Gate".
  3. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    992
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    On the South Shore of Long Island.

    My Inlet order (best to worst)
    1. Shinnecock
    2. Jones (close tie w FI)
    3. Fire Island (close tie w Jones)
    4. Debs/East Rockaway
    5. Morriches


    I actually prefer Shinnecock inlet.
    It is a straight wide run from the Sea Bouy.
    Generally, not a lot of surprises and plenty of water.
    No Dog leg and no shifting channel, Just stay off the west bar and avoid outgoing low tide against wind, if possible.


    I wont transit Morriches. I know there are some SFs and charter boats that run out of there.
    There is no water inside. also trying to move a boat of any size east of morriches on the inside is almost impossible. You can get out and walk in some spots!

    Fire Island Inlet can also be a challenge and there are some insane low spots at low tide.
    Sometimes, It breaks right across the inlet at low tide and you can see the bottom.
    Fire Island has a dog leg that is constantly shifting.
    If you follow a paper chart or chart plotter you will end up a few hundred feet up the beach.
    A good thing about FI, A lot of SF, pleasure, and some commercial boats transit this inlet constantly.
    There is a lot of pressure to keep the inlet open because of the frequency of use.

    Jones also has a west bar and a shifting channel from year to year. Jones breaks as well.

    If I had to, I would duck into Debs or East Rockaway Inlet, but it is close enough to run to Jones if there was an issue.
  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I just ran the entire inside up and back from Jones Inlet to Shelter Island/Greenport/Sag Harbor and back inside to Fire Island inlet.

    Yes Morriches inside is nuts...had to stop the boat, and wait for a Coast Guard boat out on patrol to pass me by and they took me around till I got to the Charted markers...Latest chart and gps was useless for about two miles there. Then on my return through there I was greeted with 1/8mile vis. fog....just followed my previous gps track, radar on, and idle two in gear dead slow...fun!
  5. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    1,357
    Location:
    Cold Spring Harbor, NY
    I run Shinnecock fairly regularly. Straight shot in and out. If you have a strong southerly wind, you definitely do not want to use in on the ebb. On the inbound, keep ahead of the seas and stay a bit too the west. You may have to run a bit hard, The water will all of sudden go calm, and walla there is the fleet of inlet fisherman. They understand the drill, but I try to pull back as soon as I can.

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