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Transiting the C&D Canal

Old 06-09-2019, 05:48 PM
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Default Transiting the C&D Canal

I'm looking to make a day trip and transit the C&D canal and back. The plan is to launch at the marina in Salem, NJ, cut across the river and through the canal. Haven't decided what to do on the other end.
What are the typical water conditions outside of current during high/low tide? How choppy can the canal get or is it for the most part smooth?
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:04 PM
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I’ve never seen the canal too rough, but I haven’t been in it when the wind was very strong. I would think that it stays pretty calm. Chesapeake City has marinas on both sides with bars and restaurants. There are some slow speed zones, so watch for them. Don’t get too close to large ships as their wake can be dangerous. Tidal current is strong, but shouldn’t matter if you operate at planing speeds.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:34 PM
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There are about 4 boats that go out of Salem threw the canal and go to loyds creek to raft up almost every weekend you should get together with them they are from south jersey I know one is a farm hand and another one is in the operators local in the area. Seams like a good group they are all in the 25-35 yrs old range. Just food for thought.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:11 PM
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Have you ever come out of the salem river? There are a couple sand bars there.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:46 AM
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Yes but usually in the winter, for duck hunting at supwana medows
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:51 AM
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Chesapeake City, left side of the canal, great restaurant with marina (forget the name but they rock away at night). C&D canal isn't wide enough to get rough, even if the winds are aligned with the channel.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:11 AM
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Stay on the Jersey side until just about the mouth of the canal, especially at low tide. There's a giant mud flat on the west side of the canal prior to the entrance. Aside from some potentially big wakes from ships using the canal, its a piece of cake. It's actually very pretty in the fall when the leaves change.

At the end, just before the Elk River, there's the town of Chesapeake City on the the left and right. The south side has all the shops and a couple restaurants. The best one in town is Prime 225 without question. It's very expensive but you get what you pay for and if they have their snapper soup on the menu its a must try. The Bayard House is okay, great view with mediocre food. The Chesapeake Inn is the party spot there, easy docking and a typical on the water restaurant. Outside is a tiki bar with decent bar food, inside is a little more formal with nicer entree's. The north side of the city has Schaeffer's Canal House restaurant, food is good but their dockage sucks as it's directly on the canal.

Past the city is a couple no wake zones before getting into the river, be mindful of them.
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by HunterH View Post
Have you ever come out of the salem river? There are a couple sand bars there.
This would be the first time, but from looking at the charts, I see you pretty much have to follow the markers out to the main channel in the river before cutting across.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dime View Post
The Chesapeake Inn is the party spot there, easy docking and a typical on the water restaurant.
Looking at their website, do you pay a transient fee if you are just docking for a bite to eat?
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:03 PM
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NO, only over night fees, but most people tip dock hand. (who will tell you where to dock so looking for guy with green tees on). When are you planning on going? What size boat.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by HunterH View Post
NO, only over night fees, but most people tip dock hand. (who will tell you where to dock so looking for guy with green tees on). When are you planning on going? What size boat.
I'm thinking this weekend for father's day. I have a 20ft bow rider.
My main concern is the winds when crossing the Delaware River over to the canal. Looking for a somewhat gentile ride for my mom's sake. Me and my family can handle a bouncy boat, but my mom is in her 80's. Looking at the forecast, winds will be from the SW 10-15 mph, but it's only Monday.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:18 PM
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You will be fine. Sometimes the inn fills up, one other side is Schaefers it also has floating docks, and a little closer is Grain h2o. But the walk up to grain is no walk for an 80 year old. The inn will bring food and drinks to your boat.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by badrano View Post
Looking at their website, do you pay a transient fee if you are just docking for a bite to eat?
The Chesapeake City dock is right next to the Chesapeake Inn docks (right at the bottom of Pell Gardens Park). The municipal docks are free and first come-first served. If you want electric power you pay at the town office on the corner of the street. We spent the night there last spring.

There are free dinghy docks. You can anchor in the harbor and boat over to the Inn for free.

https://www.chesapeakecity-md.gov/boaters/
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:20 AM
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The canal is an easy run. The last time I went through which was early June last year, the entrance from the Delaware was pretty nasty for a bit. Current was screaming hard into the Delaware against the wind which was about 20-25 knots from the ENE. Watch the winds and current, and it should be ok.
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:27 PM
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Looking at the forecast for Saturday. Winds roughly from the SW near 15 mph. What are the waves like in that part of Delaware river? I have a feeling it may be a little choppy.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:26 AM
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Forecast? They just throw darts. wake up and see the actual wind speed DE Bay can be very choppy indeed.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:47 AM
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Last June we were trying to make Cape May from Annapolis in a 44' Cruisers and had to find a place to stop because the Delaware River was too rough.







.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:06 AM
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Made the trip...mom stayed home which was good because crossing from Salem to the Canal was CHOPPY. Once in the canal is smoothed out and we could plane out.
Went to the Chesapeake Inn....good food....had to anchor in the basin and take the water taxi in which was a neat experience...never did that before.
Despite the forecast, the return back across the river was choppy but no where near as choppy as in the morning....I was expecting the same or a little worse.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:23 AM
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Glad you enjoyed the trip.
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