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Old 02-05-2019, 09:55   #1
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Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Hi all! Within two years I plan to move from the midwest to the east coast of the United States and it would be a big plus if the location had a strong sailing community, reasonably priced marinas, and plenty of water to explore. Having never sailed on salt water I am a little inexperienced to be able to judge so factors, especially from afar.

I keep gravitating to Rhode Island for its 350+ year nautical tradition but Norfolk, VA out into the Chesapeake Bay or the Carolinas are high level options. Main requirement is to be able to find jobs but my wife and I are professionals and should not have any issues with that.

So...any recommendations?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:15   #2
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

I've sailed Newport and Norfolk. Great places.

Newport short sailing season, and it gets real cold in the winter, I mean cold, cold.

Norfolk, can get cold, but sailing season is easily mid Feb to mid Dec. Chesapeake has almost too much sailing ground and then you go out to the Atlantic.

Newport not as much sailing ground, but in the summer great sailing into the Atlantic, Block Island, Long Island, Cape Cod.

I would go with Norfolk and sail to Newport in the summer.

Jobs are not a problem in Norfolk area, not enough workers is the problem.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:18   #3
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

If you're looking to work, a lot is going to depend on what you do.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:20   #4
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Pretty much anywhere on the Chesapeake Bay gives you access to a large cruising area, lots of history and plenty of sailing camaraderie in the season.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:59   #5
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

I don't think you can go wrong with any of these options.

I love the Chesapeake Bay, but Newport is really nice in summer, and I really like the New Englanders. If you go Chesapeake Bay, you'll invariably get sucked into the Beltway and it's large gravitational force (powered by $$$).
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:49   #6
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

If your life is to revolve around sailing then you may not want to have your boat on the hard from at least November to April every year as is common in the Northeast. We lived on and sailed the Chesapeake for years and cannot recommend it more highly. But the season is May to October. We now live in south Florida and enjoy Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys twelve months a year. The drawbacks here are: 1 - cost and 2 - nail-biting potential for hurricanes from June through November.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:24   #7
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

We were faced with the same question when we retired. We ended up in Annapolis, great boating community and an infinite number of interesting destinations. As the state capital, it offers possibly a bigger range of employment opportunities than Virginia, its not even an impossible commute into DC. But pretty much anywhere on the Chesapeake would be great.

There's some great sailing around Newport, RI, as well. Hard to go wrong.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:25   #8
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Are you set on the east coast? The PNW has year round sailing and is a pretty good place to find work in many professional fields.

Just sayin' ...
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:03   #9
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

If I had money to spend for year round sailing I would move-it to Southern California. Ventura, to San Diego with many nice facilities. On a budget Savannah Ga looks good. With no budget Palacious Tx, Gulf of Mexico sailing, you would be on your own in that area. Also like the PNW but it is basically cold and damp there as the norm. Believe my nationwide spot would be Del Mar Ca if funds are no object.
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:33   #10
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

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If I had money to spend for year round sailing I would move-it to Southern California. Ventura, to San Diego with many nice facilities. On a budget Savannah Ga looks good. With no budget Palacious Tx, Gulf of Mexico sailing, you would be on your own in that area. Also like the PNW but it is basically cold and damp there as the norm. Believe my nationwide spot would be Del Mar Ca if funds are no object.
I'm partial to Dana Point, I'll be going out this afternoon again even with the cold front blowing thru, 65 degrees, I'll have to wear a sweatshirt if the sun doesn't come out.

A friend relocated to the Chesapeake and loved the sailing but couldn't stand the winters, worked very hard to return ASAP.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:22   #11
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Two things to consider that might tilt you a bit toward the Newport/Now Bedford area. One is that in addition to Block Island and points south, you can sail to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island, both very pleasant places to visit.
The other consideration is that (from my fairly limited experience in both places) the wind conditions in Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and the surrounding area are likely to be much better than in the Chesapeake, especially in the summer. The big downer is the winter in New England really does shorten the season, but if you ski you can survive that!
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Old 03-05-2019, 14:04   #12
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Oriental, NC is on the Neuse River where is is 4-5 miles wide and 20 depths...also the ICW passes through here. Sailing is very good and affordable marinas.

Employment available in New Bern (30-40 minute commute) and Morehead City (45 minutes to an hour).
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Old 03-05-2019, 15:42   #13
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

Great plans but not sure you can get all your criteria in one location. Some places have some things but not the other.

A general overview of your preferences.

- New England.

PROS. Great cruising grounds. Hard to beat. Lots and lots of places to go and see. Can cruise for years and not run out of places.

CONS: Weather. Short season, usually no more than six months. NOT CHEAP. If you're looking for a marina unless you end up in the far north boondocks of main or some other very out of the way place. If you can live with a mooring and dinghy or water taxi to the boat you can get by for a lot less but a lot of the more popular areas have a waiting list for moorings.

- South CA.

PROS: Great weather, good sailing

CONS: Limited cruising, basically south to Mexico or off to Catalina or the other 3-4 nearby islands. EXPENSIVE and limited marina space.

North CA

PROS: Great weather, good sailing (although can blow like stink at times)

CONS: Cruising OK. SF Bay and the CA Delta have a lot to see but offshore again limited options. Generally expensive but cheaper slips can be found in the outskirts or up the Delta.

Chesapeake:

PROS: Good cruising, Not expensive.

CONS: Somewhat limited season.

FL East coast.

PROS: SE you have the Keys and Bahamas. All east coast FL pretty much year round sailing. NE FL affordable

CONS: NE cruising limited to up and down the the coast but south FL isn't that far. SE FL very expensive.

FL West coast.

PROS: Reasonable cruising options. Year round sailing. Most areas are affordable.

CONS: Can be hot, hot hot in the summertime. Some areas very expensive. Cruising is OK but not the best. Lots of shallow areas.

PNW: Good cruising but lots of the year it can be cool and damp.
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Old 14-05-2019, 17:24   #14
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

A short sailing season unless you don 't mind colder temps. Coastal Maine is extremely hard to beat. But beware as a long time Maine resident and coastal curser friend of mine says " If you haven't hit a rock you haven't sail the coast of Maine".
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Old 14-05-2019, 18:30   #15
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Re: Suggestions on moving to area with good sailing (not liveaboard)

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A short sailing season unless you don 't mind colder temps. Coastal Maine is extremely hard to beat. But beware as a long time Maine resident and coastal curser friend of mine says " If you haven't hit a rock you haven't sail the coast of Maine".


Hey. Ive only hit one rock in Maine so far. Well maybe three. Whos counting.
Maine is beautiful , a fantastic cruising ground, and a three day push from Newport RI.
Chesapeake is beautiful. Not as quiet as down east. But some people want more people around. Im near Boston and for coastal tend to alternate north (physical beauty and small ports) and south ( still pretty but bigger communities and more social scene)
Its all good.
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