Absecon Inlet, Atlantic City
Safe Harbor at any Price?

      SailNorthEast was shocked to hear of the price increases at Farley State Marina, which is a public facility owned by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry and managed by Trump's Castle Associates. Farley State Marina is in Clam Creek, inside Absecon Inlet at Atlantic City New Jersey.

      Farley currently charges $4.00 per foot in season for dockage which, to the best of our knowledge, puts it among the most expensive marinas on the east coast of the United States.

Empty transient docks at Farley State Marina.

      We believe that this incredible asking price for dockage combined with the limited alternatives in Absecon Inlet creates a safety hazard by encouraging novice boaters to gamble with the weather along the treacherous Jersey Coast rather than empty their wallets by contracting for dockage in what should be a reasonably priced New Jersey state facility. The New Jersey State Police Marine Services Unit advised us that there is no state oversight concerning rates at the marina. Rates are determined solely by the leasee of the facility.

      Experienced cruisers know that safe inlets are few and far between along the Jersey coast. The only real all-weather inlets are Cape May, Absecon (Atlantic City) and Manasquan (Point Pleasant). And there is some debate about whether Manasquan should be included in the list. It's about 33 nautical miles from Cape May to Absecon, 50 nautical miles from Absecon to Manasquan and another 22 nautical miles from Manasquan to Sandy Hook.

News Flash!
      Just at 'press' time we received word that the Shrimp Box, which used to be owned and operated by the Barmore family next to the Coast Guard station in Point Pleasant (Manasquan Inlet), was no longer allowing overnight docking. This is a real loss to cruising sailors because Manasquan Inlet doesn't offer any good anchorage and docking options are extremely limited for deeper draft boats.

      The new owners of the Shrimp Box are restaurant people rather than sailors and have been repeatedly offended by boaters who have responded rudely to employees when asked to pay a $20 fee for docking.

      If you are in the habit of docking overnight at the Shrimp Box call and ask if you can have dinner and stay overnight rather than just writing off the Shrimp Box. Perhaps we can convince the new owners to change their policy.

      The Shrimp Box phone number is 732-899-1637. Be sure to let them know that most boaters are not rude and appreciate the overnight use of their dock.

And tell them SailNorthEast.Com sent you!

      This means that sailboats and trawlers, even motorsailing at 5 knots or better, require around 6 hours to travel between Cape May and Absecon, 10 hours between Absecon and Manasquan and an additional 4 hours to reach the relative shelter behind Sandy Hook. In other words, for anyone who isn't comfortable sailing at night, each leg of the trip up the Jersey Coast requires one day's travel with no options other than nightly lay-overs inside each of the listed inlets.

      Atlantic City has no protected and/or designated anchorage. In the past anchoring was allowed in Clam Creek, but recently cruisers have told different stories about their experiences anchoring here. Some have been ignored and some have been told that anchoring is no longer allowed. Boats sometimes anchor outside the channel in the inlet itself but this area is very exposed and potentially dangerous. The "Black Hole" which is entered through an unmarked channel which leads into an anchorage to the north by Brigantine is subject to sudden and unexpected shoaling with wind and weather and is unusable except for the smallest local boats.

      Although the Coast Guard reports no noticable increase in distress calls since Farley State Marina's price increase the potential for trouble exists.

      SailNorthEast encorages its readers to make prior arrangements for alternative docking in Absecon and bypass the state marina until Farley's rates are brought back to a reasonable level in keeping with the rest of the market.

      Kammerman's Marina is one alternative to the state marina.

      Gardner's Basin Marina is another.

      Both Kammerman's and Gardner's Basin Marina are within walking distance of the Boardwalk. Ok, so it's a long walk... The exercise will be good for you. Kammerman's has showers, Gardners doesn't, but Gardners has the Flying Cloud Cafe with a great prime rib sandwich!

If you visit Atlantic City by boat:

Contact Kammerman's Marina (ph. 609-348-8418) or Gardner's Basin Marina (ph. 609-348-2880 x12) for dockage!

And tell them SailNorthEast.Com sent you!


From Colleen Manning on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 15:11:52

We dock at Farley for the year. Kammerman's is not a bad option but their slips are very limited in number and they have no pump out service. The marina at Gardiner's Basin is also nice but their slips are also limited in number and offer limited amenities.


From Ladykin on Monday, July 10, 2006 at 10:08:26

New at Gardners Basin, Web Feet Watersports Ice & Sundries that Boaters need as well as a full line of Souveniers; Sunglasses and Watersports Gear. Bike Rentals to ride the boardwalk til 11Am and a great Upstairs Gallery with local Art & beach house treasures.


From GEORGE ROBERTSON on Saturday, May 6, 2006 at 09:51:22

We keep our boat further north at Liberty Landing, another state leased marina. They also are charging $4. a foot. The state should be ashamed that they are forcing boaters to either sail past NJ or look for other spots that may not be safe overnight anchorages. I think the state needs to wake up!


From Kelly Jenkins on Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at 09:48:07

When stopping in Atlantic City and overnighting it in Gardners Basin or at Kammerman's. Dine at the Back Bay Ale House situated behind the Flying Cloud. Public transportation is available as well as Taxi Service. Great jerked wings,a complimentay Margarita Sunset toast and fabulous steaks. Tell em Kelly Jenkins sent you. Yummy.


From Dennis Burroughs on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at 11:00:24

I am an advid sailor and presently live in Atlantic City. I too abhor the rates that Trump charges at the Farley Marina. They are outrageous for the amenities offered. There is a secret spot called Delta Basin where you can "hide" in an overnight anchorage situation. As you are heading to Farley Marina keep straight for the fishing trawler docks. Hang a left right at the docks and you will see "Delta Basin". Good Luck!


From Mike Nolan on Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 14:23:03

We are planning our trip from Baltimore to New Port. Called this marina and they said it was a 2 NIGHT minimum for Labor Day Weekend? Ridiculous for a public facility. I have called the other two marina's you have mentioned and am looking at charts to determine which will be easier to get to. Thanks to your site!


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