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Old 23-12-2011, 19:53   #16
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Rhode Island might suit. It is fairly expensive overall but there are no boat taxes. Apponaug Harbor offers good value by local standards. Details here

Apponaug Harbor Marina (rates)

Downside - the bay is quite shallow so you don't want to draw too much over 6ft
Upside - closest marina to the airport, no bridges
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Old 23-12-2011, 20:16   #17
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Don't consider the Chesapeake Bay area, there are way too many boats there already.

Safety:
For the boat - You are above "the hurricane belt" as far as the insurance companies go. Not that gives you any immunity, but just look at the charts. There are tons of places to hide out if your marina is too exposed or you can't get hauled out.
For yourself - It depends, just like most places in this world, location is everything. Pick a bad neighborhood and you might have problems. I was in Hampton for six years and never had a problem.

Expenses:
Boat yeards - You can find everything from dirt cheap to way over the top. Deltaville is indeed a popular spot and there are many, many others. The tidewater area is popular as well. With the amount of shipbuilding and boat repair work done in the area you can be pretty much assured that any part or service you need will be available to you.
Taxes - If your vessel is documented in VA there are no taxes on it. As far as personal tax, or boat tax, it varies from zero to, not too bad, to a little more than I like to pay. I was able to find a location that had boat taxes, but the rate was set so low that it was never collected. Things change, and are indeed changing fast in today's economy, no taxes today could very well change in a hurry. Call around.

Access to both public transportation and ocean sailing:
Public transportation - It's there, in most locations, but in my experiance it's not all that great. Certainly nothing compared to someplace like Vero Beach or Stuart FL.
The ocean - Depends on where you end up. If you're in the tidewater area it's a pretty short trip. Even if you end up a little farther up the bay you will still be able to do quite a bit of sailing on the bay and will have more destinations to choose from than you will ever be able to reach in a lifetime. Again, look at the charts, and don't forget to consider DC. Getting south in the winter is made easier by the fact that you can jump on the ICW if the weather "outside" is not to your taste.

Good luck,
Greg
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Old 23-12-2011, 21:33   #18
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Well, since you mentioned it........Lewisporte, NL. Beth Leonard considers Exploits Bay to be one of the three best places to sail in the world the other two being New Zealand and the Chilean channels. It sure is inexpensive.

If you want something more cosmopolitan try Halifax. Odd years is the Marblehead to Halifax race. Even years they race to St. Pierre. Many then do the south coast of Newfoundland on the way back. Spectacular.
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Old 23-12-2011, 21:37   #19
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Re: Best East Coast Location

I would say where you want to keep it on the US east coast is a matter of temperature. There are some good deals in North Carolina but winter there is not as gentle as Florida. Even in Florida, Jacksonville/Green Cove Springs gets some freezing temperatures in winter. We get them here in central east Florida - Cape Canaveral. Problem is as you head further south the temperature goes up and so does the cost of marinas, etc.
- - Central east coast Florida marinas run about $500/mo (+/- $100). And the bottom growth is phenomenal in the Indian River. That makes hauling out for storage worthwhile if you are not going to be on the boat for several months. Haul-outs and storage cost about the same as being in a slip in a marina but you don't get the bottom fouling and other problems with in-water storage. Especially in hurricane season.
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Old 24-12-2011, 07:23   #20
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Re: Best East Coast Location

What's "bottom growth?"

Not so much a problem up North.
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Old 24-12-2011, 08:04   #21
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Re: Best East Coast Location

I do not have much bottom growth here next to BC either- but the winters. Hpeer- how much would a boat really cost being in NL for 6 months of the year (Assume divided into two 2 month segments) Does the Gulf stream moderate the climate? Do you keep your boats in the water all year?
Osiris- I thought the bottom growth got less as the water became less salty, but I guess I was thinking barnacles. Do you guys hard store your boat when you are away?
I appreciate this- this is stuff I would have learned the hard way I am afraid to say.
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Old 24-12-2011, 10:40   #22
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
. . . Osiris- I thought the bottom growth got less as the water became less salty, but I guess I was thinking barnacles. Do you guys hard store your boat when you are away?. . .
I also think if you went to pure "fresh water" like a lake or way the heck up a river the problem would be significantly less. However, being on/in the "coastal flood plain" of the US east coast means being in either salt water and brackish (combination salt and fresh) water. Bridges, roads, etc., generally keep medium and bigger sailboats from getting far enough "up-river" to get to the non-salt water areas.
- - Then add in the modern increasing problem of fertilizer run-off from farms, golf courses and home lawns and you get some very prolific water which dramatically increases the rate of growth of marine organisms.
- - Being "up the river" far enough also puts you a considerable distance away from open "sailing areas." The further north you go, the more tidal rise and fall also becomes a factor in getting up and down rivers. Seems you can't win for losing . . .
- - So you need to decide what is more important, access to open sailing areas or the cost of keep the boat bottom clean. That also brings up the question of paying commercial divers to keep the boat bottom clean versus keeping the boat out of the water for long duration absences.
- - Interestingly, down here the newest marinas have installed very strong and powerful boat lifts in their slips so you can actually lift your sail/power boat out of the water when not using it.
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Old 24-12-2011, 10:44   #23
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Newt:

So if I understand it, you live in Utah, work about half time and want a place to keep your boat that you can fly in to and go sailing, preferably year round. Presumably you can take off for a week or so at a time to make it all worthwhile.

A lot depends on what kind of sailing/cruising you want to do. If you want maximum cruising with lots of nice anchorages to hang out in, then I would choose the Chesapeake and forget about sailing in the winter. I met a guy in Annapolis a few summers ago who did exactly that, but kept his boat on the hard and launched it when he came down to sail. Annapolis has good transportation from BWIA. But you can't really sail from Dec-March.

The further south you go- NC, Charleston, Hilton Head, Jacskonville or even Marathon then the winters are nicer but the summers are brutal with the possible exception of Marathon where the breezes keep keep it tolerable.

Marathon would be an interesting possibility. You could keep your boat on a mooring in Boot Key Harbor for about $300 per month. Fly in to Marathon and be on your boat in minutes. You could cruise the keys, over to Miami for a change of pace and even up to SW Florida if you have a couple of weeks. The Florida keys are a different kind of lifestyle and if it suits you, go for it.

But you have to live with hurricanes and the high insurance cost. There is no free lunch, right!!
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Old 24-12-2011, 11:57   #24
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Re: Best East Coast Location

The Chesapeake is a great place to sail and gunk-hole. There are so many places to go, you'll never run out. As far as weather, we regularly sailed into late December. A full enclosure helps, since on a sunny day you can be sailing in shirtsleeves, even though it's 40 deg F and breezy outside. The folks we sold our IP to keep in in Norfolk and sail just about every week of the year. July and August can be hot and humid with little wind, but you can still get some nice sailing in, nonetheless.

Most Virginia counties and municipalities assess personal property taxes of around 1% per annum or a bit more, but the city of Hampton got rid of it just to attract boaters. There are a couple of nice marinas there. Where we lived (Lancaster County) you only paid personal property tax if your boat was physically in the county for more than half the year. With our cruising to the Caribbean and other cruising around the Bay, we could easily and legally avoid the PP tax by providing the Tax Commissioner with copies of fuel and marina receipts or other documentation. There's no state registration requirement for a USCG documented boat.
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Old 24-12-2011, 12:13   #25
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Hpeer- how much would a boat really cost being in NL for 6 months of the year (Assume divided into two 2 month segments) Does the Gulf stream moderate the climate? Do you keep your boats in the water all year?
My annual fee, haul, launch, winter storage is something like $350.

Club Fees

Gulf does NOT moderate climate but it is a maritime climate, which is generally more moderate than not. I have been watching the weather for the last few years and through Jan it is colder in Philly than in Bonavista. Springs are a lot later.

So, that being said, we kept our local boat in the water last year, which was a cold year here. Ran the Espar a lot, kept the boat at about 42F.

1/4" steel hull so the ice is not much of an issue. We are on a canal, no standing ice but lots of flows. I've not been in Lewisporte in the winter, but the yacht club would surely give you the straight answer. Ask for Peter Watkins.
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Old 25-12-2011, 07:19   #26
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Wow, Hampton may be what I am looking for. Low dockage, no taxes, and a short romp to the Atlantic or NC sailing. Out of the hurricane belt, yet I can get to the Bahamas or set sail to Bermuda when the time comes. And first class repair facilities. Any of the yards allow DIY?
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Old 25-12-2011, 07:36   #27
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Spring Cove Marina in Solomons, Maryland is a nice place on the Chesapeake. It has a do-it-yourself boatyard that offers inexpensive winter storage. I met several people there from all across the U.S. who store their boats there for the winter and cruise the Chesapeake in the sailing season.

By the way, one of those guys also recommended a boatyard in Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas, as another spot he had left the boat for the winter (or the hurricane season). I forget the name of the yard (have looked it up on the Internet- there's only one). But this fellow gave it glowing recommendations.
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Old 25-12-2011, 08:39   #28
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Re: Best East Coast Location

Hampton, Virginia is one of my "must stop there" places whenever I cruise up or down the east coast. The downtown is small, quaint, and friendly and they have the best air&space museum a few blocks from the Hampton City Docks.
- - And you have all of the Chesapeake just north of you and you can even cross over by the C&D Canal and Delaware and Philadelphia, etc.
- - Here are a couple of links I found for Hampton taxes and Virginia "registration" of recreational vessels, including USCG documented boats. The relevant stuff is near the bottom of both webpages. I didn't delve into the nitty gritty of avoiding taxes since the rates shown are really miniscule.
City of Hampton, Assessments and Collections - Tax Rates
Boat Registration and Titling
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Old 25-12-2011, 08:51   #29
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Re: Best East Coast Location

My Chessie friends rave about the sailing there, but say that it's too hot and windless to get out much in the heat of summer. I have a friend who lives in Idaho and keeps his boat on the hard in Florida for the summer and to avoid hurricanes. He then spends the Fall and winter in the Bahamas. An option to consider might be to keep her in the Chessie and then haul for the summer. That way, you won't have to worry about hurricanes and you won't miss much sailing. If you turn out to have a lot of time free during the summer and don't want to haul, sail north to New England where the winds are better and the heat is less. Maine is no place to spend the winter, but it's a spectacular cruising ground during the warmer weather.
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Old 25-12-2011, 08:59   #30
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Re: Best East Coast Location

I'll second Hampton, VA. I live there now and it's a perfect place for sailing, whether you're just bay sailing or heading offshore. There's a few thousand other sailors to cohort with, decent city type of living. Cheap Marinas that average around $7-8 a foot per month. The City of Hampton does not allow liveaboards, but there atleast 2 marina's I know of that allow "extended stayers". Newport news and Norfolk both allow liveaboards, but at the cost of an extra $100 a month liveaboard fee...

The only thing is the haul-out locations. I have yet to find a good DIY yard with reasonable rates. I hear they are around, maybe up the York river or some commercial yard up the James river, but I haven't actually found them yet. There are a few DIY yards, but they aren't cheap at all. The two I've talked to around here expect you to adhere to STRICT environmental rules... They charge extra to powerwash your boat if you have 'too much' growth on the bottom, and they expect you to build a tent/shelter around the entire boat if you want to do any type of sanding/scraping/painting. And they will charge extra for any failure to adhere to the rules... It's understandable and I'm not against this type of thing at all, but I'm not tenting my boat for a few days stay, to lightly sand waterbased paint and apply a few coats on the bottom.

If anyone knows of a more relaxed, reasonably priced, DIY yard in the Hampton Roads area, let me know.... If not, I'll be putting off the bottom work until I head south to find one of the many backwater yards in NC (or thereabouts).
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