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Old 09-05-2017, 20:41   #1
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DC to Annapolis

So for the last few months we have been prepping the boat for a two week trip down the Potomac and up the Chesapeake from DC to Annapolis. I have the boat just about ready to go. We have a Bayliner Discovery 246 that we will be trailering up from Florida in about 4 weeks. I have added a few things to the boat to make it a little more self sufficient when we are out. I will probably make a separate thread for our boat projects, but long story short is I managed to cram in a decent sized battery bank, a 3000 Watt inverter, 450 Watts of solar, as well as a dinghy on davits controlled by an electric winch.
But my main question is that I'm looking for comments or tips on our itinerary. So far we plan to reach the DC area on a Friday afternoon... I'm sure it will work out to be during rush hour... as if itís ever not rush hour there. We will put the boat in the water at the Gravely point boat ramp. We are then going to drop the boat off at the Gangplank Marina, and catch a ride/walk/uber back to the boat ramp and take our truck and trailer to a friendís house in Maryland, where we will catch a ride back to the nearest metro and get back to the boat. We will spend the next 4 days or so being DC tourists ect. and use the boat as a hotel.
On the following Wednesday we plan to head down the Potomac and stop at Mount Vernon. After that we will head another 30-40 ,miles downriver depending on how long we want to run, and will then anchor up for the night, I was thinking we would be somewhere around Aquia, or Najemoy Creek.
The next day, Thursday, we will head to Saint Maryís and stay on the hook there for the night.
On Friday we will make our way around Point Lookout, (and probably stop there for a bit) and up to Solomons. We will spend the night on the hook there unless for some reason we need to recharge the house bank, then we may get a slip. Either Way we will top off on Fuel and Water there.
Saturday we will head to Annapolis where we were planning to anchor up at the Annapolis south anchorage. Iím a little concerned that it may be crowded getting there on a Saturday evening.
On Sunday we are having some friends join us and we are planning to head to St. Michaels for a day or two. They will get a Hotel, and we will stay on the boat. We have a few more days after this to enjoy, if there is anything thatís a must see around the Annapolis area, please let me know. We will definitely be going on the Naval Academy tour. Also, if there is anything along the Potomac that we should see that would be great. We have a New Chart Plotter with current Garmin Blue Charts, and we will be using active captain to help with anchorages. Being that we only have a little over two weeks for the whole trip and seeing that towing up there is going to be a logistics nightmare in itself, and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-05-2017, 22:54   #2
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Re: DC to Annapolis

I've had a restful night at Mattawoman, but that's only 10 miies from Mt Vernon. I might try poking up Nanjemoy or Port Tobacco a bit to get out of the main Potomac. Smith Creek is good--you can drop the pick near the marina or take the lefthand fork. Solomons has good spots to anchor up Mill/St Johns creeks.
South anchorage in Annapolis is pretty crappy--its been dredged deep and holding is poor. If you can't get a city mooring, the anchorage off the academy is shallower, even thogh the holding is really soft mud.

Keep your eyes open on the upper Potomac and don't run it at night--there was lots of floating logs when I was there.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:30   #3
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Re: DC to Annapolis

Your best bet for Annapolis is to get a mooring on the far side of the Spa Creek bridge or go to Eastport. You can anchor need Jabin's Marina and there is a dinghy dock nearby.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:54   #4
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Re: DC to Annapolis

Thanks, I was wondering if the spot I was looking at in Annapolis was going to be a problem. Do the city mooring balls usually fill up on the weekends in June?
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:57   #5
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Re: DC to Annapolis

I would stay away from the south anchorage, or the middle ground anchorage in your boat. They are fine for bigger boats but for a smaller powerboat it's going to be rolly and rough if there is any sort of easterly wind.

As suggested, I would anchor in Back Creek, anywhere from where it widens down all the way to Jabins. It's protected and has good holding except where it narrows between Port Annapolis Marina and Watergate apartments. There is a good dinghy dock right next to Davis' Pub which is also a two block walk to The Boatyard. It's a short walk to downtown Annapolis from there as well. Or, call the water taxi on 16. I think it's $5/head or something.

Make your hotel/B&B reservation in St. Michael's NOW.

If you're in Annapolis on Wednesday or Thursday early evening, check out the end of the races, right from the bridge where the finish line is. Usually around 6-7pm.

Leave time for the Naval Academy Museum, which is super cool. And be sure to get down to its basement where the model ship collection is. It's not well marked but is an extraordinary collection.

And if you're into history, leave time to simply wander around the historic district, which has the largest number of 18th century brick buildings of any city in the country.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:47   #6
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Re: DC to Annapolis

Thanks for all the help! I have a couple days left to fit something in. Other than St. Michael's, what else is within 20-30 miles of Annapolis that would make a good overnight stop for families. We will have a few kids with us, 3-5 years old as well.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:39   #7
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Re: DC to Annapolis

Just a question, is your house bank not on a switch so your engine can charge it?
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:24   #8
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Re: DC to Annapolis

It is, but I haven't upgraded the alternator yet so it can take a while to charge if we use a lot of power, and it's hard on the alternator. I have only gotten a couple weekends on the inverter so far so I'm not sure how much power we will typically use.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:30   #9
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Re: DC to Annapolis

It's a 500 amp hour bank.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:59   #10
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Re: DC to Annapolis

Wow, I only have 75 usable amp hours my my similar sized boat. I think you will be just fine
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Old 11-05-2017, 11:43   #11
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Re: DC to Annapolis

We occasionally run the a/c from it down here. That eats it up pretty quick. I imagine we won't use that up there. Since I only use the boat for weekend trips, I have my inverter set to deep discharge the batteries since I'm not cycling them often. I don't need to get 1000 cycles out of them. So I'd rather have less batteries and be harder on them. If I went by the 50% discharge rule I would only have a useable bank of 300AH. At the rate we use then they will probably still die due to old age rather than from discharging them.
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Old 16-05-2017, 05:29   #12
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Re: DC to Annapolis

I have an update on the solar/ battery bank for anyone interested. We spent friday- Sunday on the boat, it was the first weekend where it had actually been fairly hot. We used the A/C from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am both nights, and from 1-3 pm on Saturday and Sunday (kids nap). The batteries held up. We did run the motor for about 1.5 hours at cruise speed from one location to another on Saturday. But the rest of the power came from solar. I just thought someone might be interested. When I started the inverter project I basically found information saying that you can't run an air coditioner off batteries and solar, but so far it's working. And yes I know it's hard on the battery bank, but like I said previously, we aren't discharging them daily since this is a weekend boat so I don't need them to hold up to 500+ cycles.
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