The Shinnecock Canal is a man-made channel (one lock) that leads from northern Shinnecock Bay on the South Shore of Long Island north to Great Peconic Bay in the area of Long Island known as The Fishtail. The canal cuts a significant amount of distance off the journey to Great Peconic bay when compared to the distance involved in navigation out and around Point Montauk to the east.
Inside the canal are seven marine facilities and at least three of them have facilities available for transient guests. There are no moorings and anchoring is not allowed inside the canal at any time.
The Shinnecock Canal has a project depth of six feet (mean low water), and a fixed bridge about midway along the length of the canal that limits overhead clearance to 22 feet. For those boats that can handle the draft and overhead clearance, the Shinnecock Canal shortens the typical journey from the Shinnecock Inlet to Peconic Bay by over 80 miles by eliminating the passage out and around Point Montauk and back into Long Island Sound.
From Shinnecock Bay, pick up the dredged channel on the east side of the bay at flashing green buoy 25, near Ponguogue Point. From here, you will head to the north toward Cormorant Point and flashing green buoy 29, making sure to honor green can 27 along the way.
Once you have picked up flashing green buoy 29, head toward green can 31, making sure you give the mark a wide berth (a two-foot-deep shoal rests just to the other side of green can 31). Farther up along a series of unlighted buoys, the channel will make the north turn into the canal at quick flashing red 34.
In the canal itself, there are no aids to navigation, but the channel is wide and relatively deep in most places. About midway on your journey north to Peconic Bay you will have to navigate the only lock in the canal, which is 250 feet long and 41 feet wide. If the traffic is busy here, larger boats and commercial traffic will normally be put through first.
Local Notices to Mariners are available online from the U.S. Coast Guard.