The Verrazano Narrows, charted simply as The Narrows, is the gateway from New Yorks Lower Bay into the busy crossroads of the Hudson and East rivers at the south end of Manhattan Island. Named after the Italian explorer who sailed these waters in 1525, the Verrazano Narrows carries hundred of thousands of boats - commercial and recreational - to and from New York City every year.
The distinctive Verrazano Narrows Bridge (198-foot fixed vertical clearance) crosses the inlet between Fort Wadsworth (Staten Island) to the west and Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn) to the east. Once you have cleared the bridge, Manhattan, Governors Island and teh Statue of Liberty will slowly become visible. There are marinas on the Hudson River side of Manhattan near Chelsea, and also across the river in Jersey City. East River does not have any accessible marina facilities until you pass Hell Gate.
Use NOAA Charts 12334 and 12402.
Verrazano Narrows and Upper Bay are approached from the south via Lower Bay west of Coney Island. After exiting the Ambrose Channel at flashing green (red) gong buoy AC and flashing red buoy 18, set a course for quick flashing green gong buoy 21 southwest of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and then line up for the center span toward New York.
When you transit the any portion of New York City waters, you will be confronted with a melee of traffic from all directions - ferries moving to and from different stops, commercial freighters plowing along and helicopters transporting executives from meeting to meeting. The operative word is caution. Proceed at speed, but make sure you are aware of everything going on in front of, and also, behind you. It is easy to get distracted with all the sights and sounds.