View Full Version : Boating in PA

12-17-2011, 01:55 AM
I'm relocating with my company to Lancaster Pa. Anybody have any insight into boating in this area? It looks like there arn't many lakes or big rivers near by. The upper Chesapeake Bay is about an hour away. Is this my only option that's reasonably close?

Dr. Dan
12-17-2011, 06:11 AM
Welcome to Central Pa - depending on what you want to do...the Bay is not that bad of a drive, shoot down 222 South to Route 1 and bang a left...head into Rising Sun, take a right on 274 and your 15 minutes from Anchor Marine's Launch Ramp .. I am there almost every weekend. We will have to hook up.

As far as the Lancaster area, really only the Long Level - Lake Clark as they refer to it is the closest option, for a short splash or water test...only about 10 to 13 miles of running in that Basin Area of the River, alot of current and debris after rains...just too small for my taste on either of my boats.

Raystown Lake is over towards Altoona, and although nice and a great escape, its about as convenient to drive to as your In Laws on a Rainy Day? I never go there...about 2.5 hour drive til you can launch.

Up in the Reading area is a small lake - Park area - Marsh Creek - which again is small, but ok for a quick test or water skiing.

To be honest the Bay is the best choice, there are several of us who boat down there every weekend...a diverse crowd of boats, some Donzis and all nice people that will all help you out if ya needed it.

Undertaker (Eddie Schumacher) and I are the closest Donzi Net guys to Lancaster, I live South in Shrewsbury...but I'm in Lancaster almost every day...I am in sales and travel 222 to the TurnPike alot.

Feel free to call me or email me and we can tip a beer or wine...and discuss the finer points of Depreciating Assets...like our boats?

The Iron Hill Brewery is kinda central off Harrisburg Pike and has good food and scenery...

Good Luck in the move and Merry Christmas.

drdan93@comcast.net :cool!:

12-17-2011, 07:11 AM
Welcome to PA. Besides what was already listed above there is Lake Wallenpaupack in the Scranton area, it's owned by PP&L and run by the PA. Fish Commission. If the Marsh Creek listed is in Chester County it does not permit power other than elec. motors.

12-17-2011, 07:50 AM
Actually its called Blue Marsh located just outside of Reading...I go there only to do some prop testing once in awhile, IMO to small to do any real boating....

Welcome to PA, look forward to meeting you and running with you on the bay....

Undertaker (Eddie Schumacher:))

12-17-2011, 09:57 AM
Never been to the bay but the pics that I have seen from Dan and Ed look awesome

Jaybird. I have heard conflicting reports on wallenpaupack. I have heard they aren't go fast friendly and there are no restaurants or pubs to go to on the lake. I have also heard the opposite. The lake would be about a 2 hr trip for me and a few friends would like to make a day trip. Just want first hand knowledge to see if it would be worth it


Dr. Dan
12-17-2011, 01:43 PM
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Blue Marsh - thats right Ed ...I had a brain fart...

Matty its a decent Lake, its a locals lake, there are restaurants around the Lake, just not alot or any to drive up to... its good water ski lake, many idiots at the ramps...so bring your patience....I water tested the Pantera there 3 times to see if it floats.

Nice little lake though actually....alot of New York and Jersey folks own property up there...alot of history tied to the area...if I lived closer I would have a place there...

Like any small lake, alot of Jet Ski's at times, Holidays are a bit over the top like a Mad Magazine Cartoon. IMO.

We saw more morons in 15 minutes nearly kill themselves at the ramp, either going in or pulling out....it was really amazing...I thought we were being filmed....I'll tell ya the story when I see in LG this year.

Good Picnic areas around the lake, ramps are nice, plenty of parking...

Danny :spongebob:

12-17-2011, 04:58 PM
Alright, so now I'm not so worried. I had visions of me visiting my boat on the trailer for the next few years. I'll be living within 25 mins of 283/30 merge near Lancaster. Anybody have an idea on storage? My boat is about an hour away where I am in Northern VA now so I'm ok with that but I'd prefer water and electricity if I need it. And closer to the bay.
Danny, over the last few years I've been to Lancaster dozens of times and Iron Hill is always a must. Very nice wait staff.

Thanks guys


John C in PA
12-17-2011, 05:32 PM
Hey Dan (OP), welcome to PA. I'm a ways north of you in Bath, PA. Other than the Bay (2.5 hour tow for me) there isn't much in the way of big water in the state. We go to blue Marsh on the weekends since its only about an hour drive. But its only 1,000 acres with a lot of that a no wake zone. So a WOT circuit of the lake lasts only about 5 whole minutes :frown:.

If you want to boat in some BIG water, the Thousand Islands is probably a 6 hour tow for you.

John C in PA

12-17-2011, 06:18 PM
Is the Upper Chesapeake a bad place? We were on the Sassafrass River for 5 years with our Sundancer and loved it. Moslty Brackish. There are alot of great rivers up there and deep water everywhere. Plenty of bars and restaurants. Jellyfish Joels is the spot!

Dr. Dan
12-17-2011, 06:38 PM
:spongebob:[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

Well now that my little boat is back running...we can probably get a few Donzis together and others in the Northern Bay this Summer.

I love the Bay because the water is always different, the places to go are numerous...even the Inner Harbor is only a 45 minute run at 55 mph or so if the weather is cooperating.

Lately I have been frequenting the Chesapeake Inn on the C & D Canal, incredible food, beverages and scenery of all varieties. If you get a VIP Card($35 one time fee) good for life, no renewal fee, you never have to pay for docking ....you earn points against all your annual purchases towards food, clothing or whatever. I just got a $75 Gift Certificate in addition to the 1500 points I have to cash in before year end.

Jelly Fish is ok, Kinda like Loyds Creek with a Bar and Beach...later in the afternoon, the water can get rough heading North... I put in at Anchor Marine, most of the Northern Bay is all Fresh Water until very late in the Season.

Latley its been wet wet wet, so its fresh and fun. Sassafras is great, alot of cruisers....but I do my top speed runs coming around Ordinary Point - on the way up the River towards Skip Jack Marina...

Many times we run down to Still Pond, bring Picnic Lunches and Beverages and hang all day...then come back in and do dinner somewhere....if we make a weekend of it, we'll get a Hotel Room for Friday and Saturday Nite, makes for a nice escape.

As far as storage, there are several Storage and Warehouse Facilities in the York, Lancaster area...just be patient and look. I keep mine in a Bunker in New Freedom area in Southern York County....

How big is your boat?

We can hook up and meet at Iron Hill or do breakfast at the Lyndon Diner at 72(Manheim Pike) and 30 ... decent food.

My cell is 717-512-3656 text or call ...email is drdan93@comcast.net

Talk Soon

Danny :cool:

12-17-2011, 08:16 PM
Go east to Philadelphia and there is the Deleware river with all the great boating you wish to do.
Then there's always the Southern New Jersey sea-shore resort areas if you don't mind doing some traveling...

12-17-2011, 08:33 PM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]
Dr Dan,
Still pond is right below the sassafras and by far our favorite anchorage.. Best sunsets ever. We kept our boat at Skipjack cove for 5 years. Great crabcakes!
Chesapeake inn is a crazy place. Great food and always a good time. They have a party there one day a year and its insane. Boats from 16 ft to 80.
Jellyfish Joels has a wicked current and the channel runs rught up to the beach then you have to make a hard Starobrd turn... Fun just sitting there watching people screw it up and yell at eachother..lol
In south Jersey we go to the Mullica river, Its near Hammonton Nj and leads out to the great bay.

12-17-2011, 08:49 PM
Mattyboy, Wallenpaupack is about 13 miles long with a 52 mile shore line. Eherhart's is about the only on lake watering hole so BYO. I run a 22 LE Blackhawk and have a bit of fun, never had a problem with noise or speed, I do respect the few no wake zones there are. Mid week you may have the lake to yourself.

12-17-2011, 08:55 PM
Dan. Jaybird thanks for the info. Once I get the new performance trailer under The boat we plan on a few day trips or an over nighter. We plan on Wallenpaupack and a few Hudson river trips

12-17-2011, 09:05 PM
I never ventured up north. Im in Voorhees Nj, Kinda between Phila, and Atlantic city.
Are there places where we can trailer to and possible overnighter?

12-17-2011, 10:47 PM
Dr Dan, I'm not in PA yet. Still in Northern VA. I've gotta be in Lancaster Jan 16. Hopefully I'll figure out where we're living in the next couple weeks or daddy will be in ye ole extend stay hotel for awhile. Right now the least of my worries is boating but thinking about it makes everything else easier.

I've got a 22zx, probably about 28' on the trailer prop to tongue. Coming into Lancaster I've seen several "Indoor RV Storage" places along 283. I'd like to keep it indoors, but honestly I don't know if I'll be able to afford it. I'll be renting for the first year or two so a house with a place I can stick a trailer is a definately what I'm looking for. If you know of any rentals within about a 25min commute let me know.

12-19-2011, 10:01 AM
I don't like making recomendations when
I am not sure what kind of boating style you have , cruise ,wot ,raft up ,anchor ,beach,destination or scenery looker.

there is nothing really north of you that will compare to the local waters you have in a lake well not within what i would consider a day trip or overnighter. Liberty landing in Jersey City would be something you may look at it will bring the hudson and the local NYC rivers even the LI sound into play as well as the night life of the city and hoboken. long island maybe a choice as well again maybe a tad far for a day trip. then the lakes of upstate ny are there but that would definitely be longer tow times and not real practical for an overnighter. search for liberty landing and www.boatupstate.com (http://www.boatupstate.com) which is a forum on upstate NY boating.

my rule of thumb for a day trip is no more than 2 hrs tow time one way , that makes it a 12 hr day 4 hrs on the road and 8 hours on the water leave by 7am home by 7pm. Where I am that brings in the hudson the sound and some lower upstate lakes. where you are located anything north will be at least 3 hrs with traffic which means overnighter on the lower hudson that can be kind of expensive.

the first overnighter this season will be with a few boats and leave out of the haverstraw stony point area of the hudson( 45min-1hr tow time) travel 40-50 miles north on the river during the day running,drifting maybe beaching for lunch as we take in the scenery . then dock and stay at a hotel have dinner an drinks all by foot or cab then breakfast in the morning and take a half day to go back 40-50 miles south.

sometimes it is hard to travel when my lake is at the end of the block and I can be on the water in 10 minutes but Marie and I like seeing other places. It looks like wallenpaupack fits a mid-week day trip for us as well. That lake is in the middle of the poconos so I am sure I can talk Marie into a quick get-away

12-31-2011, 09:28 PM
Welcome to PA!!! I am located 30mins south of Lancaster in Oxford, PA. Plenty of boating in this area if you like to travel a little ways. You have the Chesapeake, NJ shore and the Delaware beaches! I do all my boating in the Indian River Inlet and bay, Rehobeth Bay, Lewes and also travel a short way down to Ocean City, MD. My only advice to you is to stay out of the Delaware River around Philly! I have experienced everything from submerged railroad ties, tires, trees and other debris! Friend of a friend sunk their boat due to a railroad tie he never saw. If you do venture be very careful!

Again Welcome!


01-01-2012, 12:43 AM
When boating on the Deleware river here in Philly the very least of your problems are the half submerged trees, logs, & railroad ties.

It's the "Floaters" that come to the surface just after the annual spring thaw~~~

Especially if the Philly mob & gang boys have had an especially active winter.

Don't ask me how I know this.~~~

I have been boating on the Deleware river for 50 + years.

Dr. Dan
01-01-2012, 07:02 AM
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:clap: Oh Boy...I have a buddy who came across one in the C & D Canal....which ties the Delaware to the Chesapeake Bay...luckily I have not had the experience of finding one...that would really creep me out.

I almost never boat in the Delaware...I've got some buddies in Pennsville N J and Ive put in from their ramp a few times...

I have heard some stories....yuk.

I still vote for the Chesapeake...the only bodies ya see over here are the ones with less than more clothes on them in all the right places...and they're still breathing....so thats a good thing.

Matty you should consider coming down to NorthEast with Marie....its not that far...if you're willing to travel a few hours...then its very doable. Exit 100 off of I-95 - Route 272 to NorthEast/Rising Sun. We have a West Marine, a Flying J Truck Stop for quick fuel top off, a Beer Distributor across the street with an awesome Sandwich Shop attached, the Peir One Restaurant has awesome Egg Sandwiches...and there are 3 Hotels right there...Comfort Inn, Best Western, and a Holiday Inn Express.

I'm considering doing a small gathering this Summer sometime...we'll have to see where there are openings...likely a July or August weekend.

Happy New Year....

Danny :woot:

01-01-2012, 10:09 AM
Philly is now a normal stop for me about a 2 hr ride. I can make
dundalk sparrows pt md in about 4 hrs. Looking at it NE would
be around 3hrs a tad more towing. Not a bad trip at all just about the same
windshield time to Lk George.
First thing spring brings will be a new tandem trailer I rebuilt the old one but I just can't seem to find the confidence to tow a single. I have been spoiled
by towing a performance tandem trailer all these years

Dr. Dan
01-01-2012, 11:37 AM
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:clap: Cool...if you're ever down and know its going to be in advance...I can schedule my travel to meet you for dinner or drinks. Philly itself is not in my territory...but all around it is...so I'm down that way alot.

As for the Dundalk areas...thats basically Baltimore...I don't run the little boat down there...but I do on occassion run down to the Inner Harbor...usually at an end of a Poker Run for the Insolent Minx (28 Pantera).

From your area I come down 287 to 78 to Allentown and down 476.... all the way down to 95 or cut off in King of Prussia to 202 South to 95 in Wilmington...it avoids the cities and drama associated with that....but if business takes you to the North Jersey area...and Philly proper...then just cruising down the NJTP or 95 is far simpler.

I am a strong advocate for Bills - Performance Trailers, especially the Torsion Axles and Dual Disc Brakes...I will be putting some new Rubber on mine in Spring...its sat for 3 years + , I replace my tires every Third Season regardless of condition...just cuz I tow sooo much when the boats are behaving that it is a little less of a worry.

I've only ever had one flat...on my way home from Winnie one year...before my little Cardiac Drama Episode....I was getting my Trailer fully rebuilt from Bill, thanks to Donnie and Haver... we determeined the 2004 Trailer had over 100,000 miles on it....at the 15 to 20,000 miles per year...it destroyed the Brake Actuator Hardware Mechanisms....damn thing...was just getting broke in?

Look forward to seeing everyone again... should be a great year....might actually have 2 running boats simultaneously? What a concept?

Danny :bonk:

01-01-2012, 12:08 PM
Back in 2004, I was transferred to Lancaster, PA for a few years. Brought my Formula out from Ohio and started with a lift slip at Jackson Marine. Later moved to Tome's Landing in Port Deposit, MD, kept the boat inside year-round and used their outstanding in-and-out service. Went down from Lancaster in less than an hour and would call ahead to have the boat pulled from the building and put in the water.

01-01-2012, 12:40 PM
Imo, you can't beat the Chesapeake!

01-01-2012, 01:04 PM

your performance rides on radials or ply's ?? mine was on ply's and on solid axles with leaf springs it was over kill for a 16 but it didn't work hard and held up well , it towed great. The benchseat i figure is going to run about 3500lbs fully loaded but with the tank shifted back will be light up front so all of the weight will be over the wheels .

Dr. Dan
01-01-2012, 06:42 PM
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Radials of course...whatever you do spend the money for Torsion Axles, I dont care what he charges...the added benefit also is you can drive one tire/axle up on a 2 x 4 and change a tire...no need for a jack. Jus sayn....ask me how I know this... :smash:

The handling is top knotch... I regularly drive at speeds reserved for Porches and Cars usually referred to by initials and numbers ... and I have never had a handling or performance issue.

Disc brakes also....the net cost diff is negligible ...save somewhere else....its the best money I ever spent on the donzi...other than whatever I spent with Holden and Jason Saris...this past offSeason....which will be witnessed next year by a few peeps.

Gonna try to squeeze full hydraulic outta my wallet before April....already talking to Bill Naumann at Diamond Performance for parts....Havers doing the install, seeing he's done 7 or more systems in the last 3 years.

Tomes Landing is top knotch, I have several buddies who use their service. I would love to do that someday when I settle down...I'm always going somewhere...so I like to go and touch and feel my hull...when the urge hits me if ya catch my drift? :spongebob:

Good Luck Matty....I'm sure it will be nice...

Danny :drive:

01-05-2012, 01:46 PM
Hey Dan,

It would be great if you organized a gathering in the upper Chesapeake. Jackson Marine has not had their All Donzi Poker Run for 2yrs. I really miss the people.

I usually stay in the sassafras river. Great place to boat.