Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-04-2013, 08:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New England
Boat: 1978 O'day 30
Posts: 22
Where to Move to get into Sailing

Hi all! I have been reading through this site and need some advice on an upcoming life decision. My wife and I currently live in Detroit but want to move nearer to the ocean with the intent of getting into sailing. We have narrowed down to two options, Boston or Washington D.C. These two locations appeal to us from a job and size standpoint.

What I am wondering is if anyone can provide some feedback about the sailing communities in both cities. Access, cost, people, sailing conditions, etc. Anything that might sway my decision one way or the other. I appreciate anyone's input.
__________________

__________________
cnsutter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:05   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Both are interesting, vibrant areas, with terrible traffic, high costs of living, and interesting sailing grounds. If you live right in Washington you have a minimum of an hour drive to reach interesting harbors on Chesapeake Bay. Forget living on the Potomac River, unless you really don't care about sailing and just want to live aboard. It is a very long way down the river to the Bay. You can live in the center of Boston and be onboard a boat and sailing in less than half an hour. There are some major marinas right on the downtown waterfront. There is quite a bit of sailing right in Boston harbor, which includes several different communities, islands, parks, etc. Of course, the season is much shorter in Boston, and winters tend to be cold and wet. Most people haul their boats out of the water from November through April, while many keep their boats in the water all year in the Chesapeake. Summers in the Chesapeake are hot, humid, and often lacking in wind. The best sailing months in the Chesapeake are spring and fall, when the weather is a bit more pleasant. There are thousands of places to sail and keep a boat right in Chesapeake Bay. From Boston you are close to the great cruising area of Maine, or Buzzard's Bay and Cape Cod to the south.

My personal preference is Boston as a city. For sailing I think you can't beat sailing out of Annapolis or one of the many nearby harbors, but that is a minimum of an hour drive from Washington, and often two hours. Despite Boston's terrible reputation for traffic, I think Washington's is worse. One thing with Boston is the metropolitan area is more compact, and you can more quickly escape the pure urban environment. For many years I lived in southeastern Massachusetts on Buzzards Bay and commuted into the Boston suburbs.
__________________

__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:08   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New England
Boat: 1978 O'day 30
Posts: 22
That is some great info! Thanks so much. I personally loved Boston and the quick access to the water.
__________________
cnsutter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:12   #4
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

I lived in DC for three years, and was constantly frustrated to be so close to good sailing grounds and yet so far away. I suppose if you're from Detroit the District seems close to the Chesapeake, but in reality it's a big of a slog, often through terrible traffic. If you want to sail, far better to relocate to Annapolis.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:21   #5
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

florida.
__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:47   #6
Registered User
 
SeaBuffalo's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Galveston, Texas
Posts: 72
I know it's out of your list but Houston, Tx has wonderful sailing just south in Clearlake and Galveston Bay. Our sailing season is pretty much year round and we even still have a DIY boat yard.

The cost of living is low and so are marina prices compared to most.

Plus we have one of the lowest unemployment rates.
__________________
SeaBuffalo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:50   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,352
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Annapolis is a stones throw from DC. The Chesapeake is great.
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 09:52   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, cnsutter.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 10:14   #9
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,886
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

I live in DC and will be moving to Annapolis in a month or two and living aboard. I lived in Boston for a couple of years when my wife was in graduate school up there.

From a pure sailing perspective they both have their pros and cons. I grew up sailing around Long Island Sound and and there are dozens of amazing destinations. The Cape, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Naushon Island, Cuttyhunk, Block Island, and sailing in Maine is an experience that everyone should have in their lifetime.

The downside to Boston is that if you're not from Boston, they'll never let you forget it. You'll never feel like you're from Boston. That is largely true of any of the cities on the east coast that have real neighborhoods and a sense of place.

Washington benefits from the fact that no one is really from there. People come and go based on political winds and so forth, and it is a much more welcoming community in general. It's also much MUCH more diverse ethnically, and much more tolerant and communal in that respect. In short, Washington is friendlier than Boston.

The traffic in DC is rated, as I recall, as the worst in the country, exceeding even Atlanta which is hard to imagine. That said, the public transportation system is second to none and I know plenty of people who don't even have a car and are extremely pleased with their ability to get around. Outside of rush hour it's a 40 minute drive from Washington to Annapolis.

I also know quite a few people who live in Annapolis and commute to DC for work. Most of them ride one of the subscription bus services that cater to commuters, with very comfortable seats and wifi and other goodies. The buses depart a few times in the morning and a few times in the afternoon early/evening. They all say the best benefit is that if someone wants you to stay late at work you just say "Gotta go and catch my bus or I won't get home at all. Bye!" lol

Another benefit of the Washington area is that the economy is virtually bulletproof. Between government spending and the various industries that cluster around the city the job market is always strong. The most recent downturn was pretty much nothing but a speedbump for us.

I think for "getting into sailing" that the Chesapeake is probably a more accommodating place. The Chesapeake is a bay with a fractal outline that gives it about 2,000 miles of coastline. It's semi-sheltered (although the chop when the wind kicks up can be fierce) and you can get to interesting destinations with a few hours of sailing. The sailing season is longer since it's a bit warmer than Boston and it's not uncommon to get invited out for a sail in November or March.

I don't buy that the wind is worse in the summer than in the NE. I base that on more days than I can remember of being becalmed bobbing around off Nantucket.

One huge upside to the Boston area is Cape Code. The beaches are magnificent. It's a three hour drive from DC to the nearest beach on the Atlantic and they don't hold a candle to the Cape's beaches.

Either location has ample sailing opportunities and helpful communities for the beginning sailor. If I were in your shoes I would choose based on which place fit my professional and social needs.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 10:30   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New England
Boat: 1978 O'day 30
Posts: 22
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Thanks a ton for all the wonderful responses. Either choice will be significantly better than Detroit.

So, if in DC you guys would generally recommend keeping a boat on the Chesapeake Bay and driving to and from it rather than sailing in the Potomac?
__________________
cnsutter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 10:52   #11
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnsutter View Post
So, if in DC you guys would generally recommend keeping a boat on the Chesapeake Bay and driving to and from it rather than sailing in the Potomac?
Absolutely! Gunkholing in the Chesapeake you can sleep in a different anchorage every night for years without repeating yourself. From the Potomac, once you've crossed over to Alexandria for a drink, you've pretty much done it all.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 11:01   #12
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,030
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnsutter View Post
Hi all! I have been reading through this site and need some advice on an upcoming life decision. My wife and I currently live in Detroit but want to move nearer to the ocean with the intent of getting into sailing. We have narrowed down to two options, Boston or Washington D.C. These two locations appeal to us from a job and size standpoint.
I apologize for the slight drift cnsutter, but isn't Detroit a good sailing city? Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are right there, and Huron is not far off. If you're just testing the waters, so to speak, why not spend a season or two sailing the Great Lakes?
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 12:01   #13
Registered User
 
Gelfling's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Stingray Point, Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Ericson, 28+
Posts: 294
Send a message via Skype™ to Gelfling
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

One good thing about the DC area is that if a job doesn't work out in the DC Metro, Baltimore is just a 'drive' up the road. You being from Detroit (well the Detroit I remember), if you are okay with the traffic there....the DC area isn't much worse. Like Detroit, the distance you see on the map isn't always the only factor to consider when driving the area. I lived and worked in the DC metro for 4 years....and I would have to be offered a whole heck of a lot more than I was making to do it again. Cost of living is stupid high compared to the rest of VA. Focusing on the Baltimore area will probably keep you 'closer to the water', the bay part that is....IMO. But you could also through the VA Beach area into your job search, it is quite the megatropolis these days.

I don't know much about Boston....but I know it can get cold....and I don't do cold well. But I wouldn't imagine it to be much colder than Detroit can be.

+1 to what Bash said....there is really a lot to explore in the Chessy. I hope to one day explore it full time for a couple of years before heading south.

Welcome to the forum!
__________________
Gelfling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 12:24   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New England
Boat: 1978 O'day 30
Posts: 22
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I apologize for the slight drift cnsutter, but isn't Detroit a good sailing city? Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie are right there, and Huron is not far off. If you're just testing the waters, so to speak, why not spend a season or two sailing the Great Lakes?
I know there is plenty of good sailing in the Great Lakes. We were actually thinking of getting a boat last summer, but decided to hold off due to a desire to move. We have both lived in this area all our lives and we need something new. Staying in this area isn't an option on the table.
__________________
cnsutter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-04-2013, 12:27   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,949
Re: Where to move to get into sailing

Boston sailing--there's almost always wind that builds from late morning and then dwindles after sunset. South of the Cape Cod Canal, in Buzzards Bay and Nantucket Sound, is the best pure sailing in the Northeast. From Block Island to Cape Cod there is almost always wind in the summer afternoons, often building to reefing level in Buzzards Bay, then easing off after dark. Strangely, there is more wind south of Cape Cod than north, on average, but I have numerous times had fabulous overnight sails from the Cape up to Maine and back. Temperatures are much cooler on average in the summer than the Chesapeake, though there can be hot stretches too. The big difference is you can swim in New England, while a lot of the Chesapeake is plagued by nettles. Water north of the CC Canal is quite bracing, in Maine is out and out cold, but south of the canal is nice swimming in July and August.
__________________

__________________
Kettlewell Cruising
Kettlewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blue Oyster Sailing School / Costa Brava Sailing School. Eazy duz it Training, Licensing & Certification 24 30-01-2014 02:20
Sailing Anyone ? David SW General Sailing Forum 12 06-09-2012 16:38
Can I Learn Sailing Theory Virtually ? Mirabilis General Sailing Forum 32 19-11-2011 01:17
Sailing Charlie Seamanship & Boat Handling 5 08-08-2011 22:10



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.