Long before the
first European settlers landed on what centuries later would be known
as the Jersey Shore, the Unamis branch of the Leni Lenape Indians summered
along the banks of the Man-A-Squaw-Han River. After exploring those same
environs, Sir Hendrych Hudson noted in an entry dated September 2, 1609,
in the log of the Half Moon that the land thereabouts was “a very
good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see.”
How right the Dutch captain was. From Sandy Hook to Cape May, the Shore
comprises some 130 miles of beach coastline, and among the many picturesque
towns that dot the strand, Manasquan is one that offers the cruising boater
a safe harbor. It has full-service marinas, great restaurants, beautiful
beaches, and access to some of the finest inshore and offshore fishing
anywhere. In addition, its central location makes it accessible to the
popular nearby cruising grounds of Point Pleasant, Bay Head, the Metedeconk
River, and Barnegat Bay.
Many visitors like to stroll down Manasquan’s busy merchant-lined
Main Street or lunch on the porch of one of its many historic Victorian
hotels. Whatever you come for, Manasquan is sure to be one of your favorite
HOW TO GET THERE
Approaching Manasquan Inlet is easy thanks to a pair of 30-foot towers
with navigation lights and a horn that mark the entrance. However, when
the tide sets against the wind, running the inlet can be a little scary,
as the seas can pile up and move quickly. If you have a fast boat, it’s
best to time your speed with that of the water and ride through on the
back of a wave, making sure to avoid going over the crest. With a slow
boat, throttle down and let the waves pass under you. In addition, from
May through September—especially on weekends—the high volume
of pleasure and commercial traffic demands a slow bell.
You’ll need NOAA charts 12326, 12324, and 12323.
Due to the heavy inlet traffic, anchoring is not a practical option. Try
these marinas instead.
(732) 528-6160 has a TraveLift and pump-out station and can perform many
hull and prop repairs. It can handle vessels to 90 feet.
Brielle Marine Basin (732) 528-6200 has two TraveLifts, does engine,
hull, prop, and shaft repairs, and has 20 transient slips. It can accommodate
boats to 100 feet.
Brielle Yacht Club (732) 528-6250 has slip space for vessels to 85
feet in length but does not have repair facilities. It does, however,
have a great outdoor bar.
Crystal Point Yacht Club (732) 892-2300 offers 10 slips for vessels
to 100 feet, full services and repairs, and a swim club.
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