Manasquan, New Jersey

Cruising — April 2001
Cruising — April 2001
By Capt. Ken Kreisler

Manasquan, New Jersey
The Jersey Shore’s “home town” beckons boaters to stop in and visit.

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• Manasquan, NJ

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 stops.

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.

Hoffman’s (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.

The 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.

The 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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This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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