Brooklyn One° 15 Marina – The (Soon-to-Be Poor Man’s) Way to Do NYC

While we certainly loved (and would prefer) taking in NYC via a train ride from Port Washington leaving our boat to sit gently on a protected mooring ball while we whoop it up in the Big City, there’s something to be said about stepping off the boat right onto Brooklyn’s Peir 1 waterfront Park.  As we’ve mentioned before, while NYC is surrounded by water, there’s not really any good places to come into NYC by sailboat – not many docks, marinas, or anchorages to speak of.  So, when Phillip and I heard from fellow cruisers while making our way north up the east coast last year that a new marina was opening up in Brooklyn, we were intrigued!  There was also talk of state-of-the-art attenuators the marina and its design team engineered to tame the aggressive wake and waters of New York Harbor.  Phillip and I decided mid-summer last year that we had to give this fascinating new marina—Brooklyn ONE 15—a try, so we booked a week in late September October for our Big Brooklyn Splurge! 

September-October 2022

Traveling through Hell’s Gate from the Long Island Sound to New York Harbor, we’ve heard, can be treacherous if not timed right with the tide as there are wicked swift currents that rip through that narrow channel.  Thankfully, Phillip (our chief navigator … I’m chief dishwasher) has planned it perfectly for us both times and we enjoyed a fun, sunny, sightseeing motor over from Port Washington, NY to the ONE 15 Marina in Brooklyn.  

We were excited to see the effects of their groundbreaking attenuators for ourselves in the marina. Interestingly, we learned their system is comprised of custom-made floating barriers, anchored with precisely located pilings which cushion the marina against unwanted wave action while still allowing for the natural flow of tidal waves to reduce any environmental impact.  You can read more about ONE 15’s high-tech attenuator system here.  

Once docked, Phillip and I were thrilled to find ourselves right on Brooklyn’s Pier 1 Park with incredible walking/jogging grounds just a step off the boat.  Not to mention rows of amazing restaurants, an exceptional wine store, coffee shop, laundromat, even a Trader Joe’s—all within a radius of just a few blocks from the marina!  And, can we just talk about this evening view? 

The ability to step out of Ubi’s cockpit and stretch our legs on a dinner outing or just an afternoon or evening walk and take in the entire skyline of NYC was just mesmerizing.  What a treat for cruisers living on their sailboat, huh?  

Phillip and I even got the benefit of a free fireworks show one night over NYC that we could view from Ubi’s cockpit!!  I mean … really?  The occasion?  We had no clue and—frankly—could care less.  For all we knew, those fireworks were just for us!  

Sometimes the coolest part about living the seemingly flexible (albeit married to the weather) life of a cruiser taking the world in by boat are the random shows you get to see that you didn’t even have to buy tickets for.  In our travels, Phillip and I have stumbled into: wine festivals, interpretive dance performances, local production plays, art exhibits, concerts, comedy shows, beach volleyball championships, weightlifting competitions, you name it.  It’s amazing what you can find just walking around in new cities, reading flyers on windows, and talking to the locals.  That’s honestly one of my favorite aspects of cruising.  And, in that regard, Brooklyn did not disappoint.  Here’s what we enjoyed during our stay in Brooklyn:

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (which is now only open to foot traffic, not bike traffic on the main thoroughfare, a nice upgrade) to New York City.  Such a feet treat!  

Brushing off our flat-skates-skills at Flippers Skating Rink at the Rockefeller Center.  I was surprised I can still skate backwards … sort of.

Picking up some incredibly unique middle eastern spices, breads, and vegetables (while enjoying several decadent deli lunches) at Sahadi’s just a short walk from ONE 15 Marina: 

Discovering New York City’s favorite cookies (for real) at Levain Bakery.  After a day perusing Central Park, this intoxicating chocolate and dough smell pulled us down 74th Street where we discovered a bakery tucked three steps down from the street.  Got a cookie.  I thought Phillip was going to die from flavor pleasure.

Taking in a really unique and cool view of east New York City and the East River taking a gondola, better known as the “East River Skyway,” back from NYC to Brooklyn.  

Feeling like true Brooklyn Heights “locals” dining on the bench looking out the huge picture windows of River Deli onto Joralemon Street.  We also found the most exceptional Sardinian wine while we were there.  We’re still looking to find this gem again … 

Taking what I believe is one of the best photos I have ever captured at the Washington Square Park Arch in NYC.  I’ve considered having this printed to canvas to display on the boat.  I couldn’t stop smiling and singing along to this exuberant drummer “Go Alan Go” who regaled us with his singing talents, his exuberant curly hair, and his infectious joy, while we were there.  I adore street performers.  

Pillaging through Trader Joe’s in the heart of downtown Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue, an incredible gem for cruisers with all of its unique nuts, trail mixes, snacks, and more.

Taking the ferry over to NYC and biking around the Hudson River Park, a wildly expansive green space perfect for walking, jogging, strolling, and flash dancing.

Strolling through China Town and indulging on the most exceptional dim sum and dumplings we have ever put in our mouths at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (a recommendation from our fellow Outbound owners and cruising friends, Peter and Patty on s/v Serendipitous, with whom we spent our first 4th of July aboard Ubi in 2021).  P&P, you did not disappoint.  

Meanwhile in Florida … 

Sadly, while Phillip and I were having all this fun in Brooklyn/NYC, Hurricane Ian was ripping a swath through Port Charlotte/Ft. Myers.  While you never want to wish hurricanes on anyone, living on the coast with so many friends, family members, and fellow boaters in your community, it’s impossible to not wish it away from you.  We had been watching Ian form and move over the Gulf and were hoping it did not set its sights directly on our home port of Pensacola like Hurricane Sally did in 2020.  Our hearts and thoughts go out to those, however, who suffered damage from Ian in southern Florida last year.  The storm was so big it brought its wrath all the way up the U.S. to Phillip and me and Ubiquitous in NY, thankfully only as a tropical storm/depression by then.  

Even in its diminished capacity, Ian still kept us rained in on the boat in Brooklyn for days and extending our stay unexpectedly at ONE 15.  Thankfully, no boats were coming and going in the heavy winds, rain, and sea state, so they had slips available to just let Ubiquitous stay safe and secure in her slip while Ian finally blew himself out.  We were incredibly grateful.  It wasn’t a cheap two-week stay, but it was a necessary one as there was no way we were going to take Ubi out in that gnarly mess.  Although we did venture out to wash a few loads of clothes.  Laundry day on Ubi be like … 

For those of you curious about the attenuator and the wave action in ONE 15 Marina, Phillip and I found it was pretty rolly in the marina (albeit less than it would have been without the attenuator) and we did have to take into consideration that we had a pretty gnarly tropical storm roll through and sit on us for days while we were there which contributed to the wave action.  But, for the view and convenience of the city—where we understandably spent more of our time as opposed to aboard Ubi—the tolerable motion was well worth it.

Once the weather cleared, Phillip and I got Ubi provisioned up (thank you Trader Joe’s!) and moved over to an anchorage near Coney Island to stage up for an offshore run from NY down to Norfolk, VA.  It was fun to run into our friends, Jamie and Sheryl on s/v Pacific High—with whom we have spent time on many east coast anchorages: Beaufort, NC, Wrightsville Beach, NC, Charleston, SC, and (as featured in a not-so-long-ago blog) Martha’s Vineyard—in Coney Island and spend a fun afternoon on the hook together.  

Check out Phillip in his “business up top, board shorts on the bottom” Cruising Lawyer getup.  All evidence (on this blog) to the contrary, Phillip and I do work—often and a lot—while cruising.  It’s all about the balance.  

The last chore we were going to undertake before we headed offshore was going to be a bottom scrub (you know, to get that extra knot of speed!).  Phillip and I had invested in a Brownie’s Third Lung air compressor dive unit to allow us to scrub Ubi’s bottom (more meticulously than by free-diving, which I am not good at … add it to my bucketlist), perform prop and shaft maintenance, and/or other bottom repairs, as well as dive deeper reefs when we find them.  We found it was a solid investment for the performance.  Simply crank the generator, turn on the inverter, plug the Brownie’s (110V) unit in and *BAM* you can breathe underwater and take all the time you need to make sure your boat’s bottom is safe, smooth, and pristine.  

Just like that … except for Phillip and I, there was no Bam.  There was no bottom job that day.  Our generator would not crank.  Hmmppfh.  While we would always prefer to have one of our more critical power generation systems working smoothly before heading offshore, it wasn’t worth it to lose the weather window we had.  We decided to leave our generator mystery for another day, head out into the Atlantic, and set our sights on Virginia.  

In all, our stay in Brooklyn was convenient, exciting, and exceptionally memorable.  It was not cheap, but it was worth it.  If any of you venture through, let us know what you think.  Next up on the blog, we’ll start our trek south last year and share with you our generator woes and a major fix we underwent in Virginia last fall.  Stay tuned!

3 thoughts on “Brooklyn One° 15 Marina – The (Soon-to-Be Poor Man’s) Way to Do NYC

  • Ms. Dike, your YouTube channel lead me to this blog. What a wonderfully written chronicle of your cruising adventures. I’m going to savor reading all the previous posts. Looking forward to your next post with the same excitement I had as a child on Christmas morning.

    Wish both of you continued health, happiness and prosperity.


    • Well savor away, John! We have many posts for you to explore. I did YouTube for a couple of years but then found I enjoy writing about my adventures far more than filming and producing them, but there’s plenty of both mediums at HaveWind for you to enjoy. I think you’ll like the Atlantic Crossing movie. That’s a fun one. Have fun perusing, and welcome to HaveWind! : )

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