Originally Posted by scarduner
OK I am intrigued and will open the question - how is the sailing in Beaufort and on the Neuse different? Beaufort you go out into the ocean and the Neuse is a river a few miles wide? Sorry I am moving someplace I have barely seen... When you say the sailing better you mean sailing in Pamlico Sound?
It really depends on what kind of sailing you like to do. The water around Beaufort available for sailing on the inside of Shackleford banks is extremely limited due to depth
. To the west in the MHC area you are essentially limited to the ICW
channel. This means that you basically have to go out in the ocean. After you get to the ocean the only place to go in less than a full day is Cape Lookout or just tooling around the ocean. This is not neccesarily a bad thing if that's what you like to do. It also somewhat depends on your personal weather
limitations. When the wind
is opposing the current
in the inlet you get some pretty big steep waves. I don't think they're particularly dangerous, but you can get a bit of a wild ride, especially when the big sports fishermen are throwing 4 foot wakes at you at the same time. If this doesn't bother you then it's not an issue, but if you prefer a more comfortable ride you will be more limited in what days you go sailing at Beaufort.
In the Neuse one can take short day trips to a number of different places. To go to the ocean does require a rather lengthy trip through the Core
Creek Canal, but there is a huge sailing area available without going to the ocean. You can also visit a number of small towns and undeveloped areas. The winds are much more dependable in the Neuse. The local heating
of the land tends to produce nice sailing winds much more often. For the most part the water is plenty deep, with the exception of a few well charted shoals which don't move around. The town of Oriental is known as the sailing capital of NC is located on the Neuse for a reason. There are more sailboats in Oriental than permanent residents. While there are some sailboats in the Beaufort-MHC area you will find it is dominated by power boats. I'm not suggesting that you put the boat in Oriental as that would be a pretty long drive from where you are staying. I would second the opinion that you look at the Matthews Point Marina. It is in the southwest corner of the Neuse about half way to New Bern. It would give you fairly easy access to your boat and to great sailing grounds. You should also note that there is a significant difference between the upper Neuse and the lower Neuse when it comes to sailing. The upper Neuse is that portion of the Neuse which runs from the NW to the SE. I kept my boat in New Bern for a couple of years and found that I was often becalmed in the upper Neuse while there was great sailing wind
in the lower Neuse. About half the time I would have to motor a couple of hours to the lower Neuse before I could actually sail. We eventually moved our boat to Whortonville on the lower Neuse. If you like sailing do not put your boat in New Bern. In the Neuse itself you have the option sailing to a number of destinations including the whole Pamlico Sound system without having to transit the Core
Creek Canal. Going through the Core creek canal in a sailboat is a very slow process if you don't hit the tides right and because they are mostly wind driven on the Neuse side the actual direction of the current
is not always something you can time well. The downside of the Neuse is that because it's shallower than the ocean the waves tend to be shorter and steeper than in the ocean though obviously not as high.
Again it depends on what kind of sailing that you like to do and your personal limitations. If is a matter of how often you'll be able to sail, you get a lot more sailing in on the Neuse than you would in Beaufort.