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Old 28-03-2013, 20:25   #1
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Cruising US east coast

How is this for a before-going-cruising series of adventures? I could get my future cruising boat now and keep her on the east coast and each summer spend two weeks aboard. My two week trips would all be one-way, so that at the end of each trip I would have to find a new place to store her on the hard. I would do this for 5 summers before leaving on a two-year cruise. Does this sound like a good idea to anyone who cruises here (I have two little kids, one older teen might come)? Are there enough places for boat storage? I was thinking it could give me an opportunity to get work done at US shops and get the bugs out in my home country.
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Old 28-03-2013, 21:05   #2
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Re: Cruising US east coast

Well I live about 400 miles from my boat, and I have spent time in several locations over the years for vacation cruising. From my location, several coastal cities in 5 states are within the 7 hour driving range. There are lots of options, and while you may not want to move every year, it is certainly doable. I'd identify a place to start, make it a base, with good transportation, reasonable dockage, all the resources you need for fitting out, and good crusing grounds.

Since you are talking summer cruising, farther north might be better and out of the storm tracks - well, for the most part.

The NC sounds and Chesapeake are pretty hard to beat. I'd find some places that have nice amenities for the kids, like a pool. From experience, kids don't always like our idea of cruising. If you want your kids to keep joining you then make it fun for them. Not hard to do, and everyone gets what they want. One year I sailed up to the chesapeake offshore and the family drove up to meet me. We stayed on the boat and went to Busch gardens, the water park, Colonial Williamsburg, ate ice cream etc, AND flapped around on a steamy, windless bay some too

Two weeks is not a lot of time to use your boat, but I get you want to dial it in before cruising. Pick a place to start, then research your next destination after the first year. If it is far enough south, you could get some good winter sailing in too. Sometimes we have very mild weather, sometimes not, but usually changes every few days anyway. Just went cruising with my wife and one of the teens this week, and it was windy and cold. We had a blast anyway, just didn't cover a lot of miles. Didn't see any other boats out much.

Have fun, and keep in mind the several thousand dollars it will cost to own and maintain, even more if you won't have time to handle projects yourself. You can recon some locations while you're boat shopping.
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Old 29-03-2013, 13:16   #3
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Re: Cruising US east coast

Thank you cheoah, I had in my imagination the the coast north of NYC up thru Maine. Was not aware of the NC options--where is a good place to read about the NC Sounds? I agree with you that it would be a short amount of time on the boat, but just initially. My smaller boat which lives near me would continue to see a lot of use and eventually I would move aboard the bigger boat. The expense is the significant consideration--I do not want to get into the position where I am unable to compile a cruising kitty for a two-year trip.
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Old 29-03-2013, 16:42   #4
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Re: Cruising US east coast

Makes more sense than me. My boats 1,300 miles away.

Gotta change that!
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Old 29-03-2013, 16:49   #5
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Re: Cruising US east coast

I guess it depends a lot on how much extra money you have to spend over the time period. Having two boats is expensive and time consuming. Using the bigger one 2 weeks a year is not real cost effective. You could easily charter in cool places and get the kids really jazzed about tropical cruising, for a lot less than what the annual costs are going to be. If you get the boat a year or two before you plan on leaving, then you can spend plenty of time dumping money into it. Then take off for a shakedown cruise. Then dump some more into it. Then leave.

Having a boat a long way from home and only having 2 weeks to use it means that you'll have to pay others to keep it the way you want it - more expense and less getting educated on your boat. Only having 2 weeks to move the boat means that you'll have a fair number of weather delays and possibly end up rushing in delivery mode on the family vacation.
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Old 29-03-2013, 17:14   #6
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Re: Cruising US east coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by FecklessDolphin View Post
Thank you cheoah, I had in my imagination the the coast north of NYC up thru Maine. Was not aware of the NC options--where is a good place to read about the NC Sounds? I agree with you that it would be a short amount of time on the boat, but just initially. My smaller boat which lives near me would continue to see a lot of use and eventually I would move aboard the bigger boat. The expense is the significant consideration--I do not want to get into the position where I am unable to compile a cruising kitty for a two-year trip.
You asked.

I think five years of storage for only two weeks a year is not a good plan.

How much is four years of storage (and some maintenance)?

It may take a week to get the boat ready and in the water. Your new pull-out point can be planned in advance of course but then you are "on a schedule". Something most say is a mistake.

Wait till you are nearly ready to go. You can fit out the important stuff first and then as you coast hop you will be able to "fine tune".

You already know how to sail since you have another boat as you say. Learning the new one will not take long I would think.

This of course discounts any boats available "right now" and any "market" changes.
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Old 29-03-2013, 17:48   #7
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Re: Cruising US east coast

I think it wouldn't work for only two weeks a year. It takes me longer than that to get my boat ready each season--if I really rush. What's wrong with keeping it on the Great Lakes somewhere? Could you keep it close enough to use it more often? Even if it is just weekends in the summer and your two-week vacation that can make it worthwhile.
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Old 29-03-2013, 19:33   #8
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Re: Cruising US east coast

We have been doing something similar, got two boats, one here one there.

There is pretty darn cheap, that helps a lot.

A few years ago I started taking extended vacations, four to six weeks. It amounts to a 10% pay cut. But even at four weeks it is tough to do any kind of real cruising.

I have met other couples that do something similar, but they are taking more like three months off.

He'll, I have a tough enough time keeping up with the big boat here just an hour away. But I've been doing some pretty big for me jobs and look forward to that ending.
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Old 29-03-2013, 20:07   #9
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Re: Cruising US east coast

I would buy it and use it close to home, then transport it or deliver it when ready. I agree with the other poster that it takes more than 2 weeks a year just to lay up for winter and get ready for spring, so you'd have the yards doing the work and your overall costs of ownership will go through the roof, plus you won't know your boats systems like you should before you go off cruising. (Plus I don't trust yard workers to do work without my oversight... they sometimes overlook details that matter.)

Charter for your vacations if you want new scenery. (I was thinking of doing some commuter cruising to the Bahamas, but decided it is cheaper to charter and less stress not having to worry about the welfare of my boat far away. But I'm one of those obsessive types who checks my boat, and all those around it, before and after every big storm.)
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:12   #10
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Re: Cruising US east coast

You Americans don't take enough time off, come and work in Europe and get at least six weeks holiday a year. I have to agree with the other posts, we spend two months each summer on the boat and after five years I'm ready to do something completely different. My kid are now sixteen and seventeen and want to be with their friends. so I either get a bigger boat to accommodate them or get out. This year will probably be our last as a family so I'm thinking of sailing back to England from Boston. They are up for this but only because of the bragging rights for having sailed the Atlantic.
The east coast has been a excellent cruising ground, two seasons in the Chesapeake eating crab and parking in the center of wonderful Baltimore below the World Trade Center, recommend Paradise Cove, MD who have both a swimming pool, good restaurant and reasonable rates. Further south, Annapolis has lots to see and do and we loved the atmosphere during the summer, visited many carnivals, fairs and parties.
We did two seasons in New York and and the Sound each time starting in NY at 79th St, really nice people and exploring as far as Fisher Island, Block Island and the beautiful Gardeners Bay. Lots of rivers to explore and even some surf.
We are now in Boston having arrived with the last of Irene, explore the coast of Maine, you will never be bored. Got there via Buzzards Bay, Martha's and Nantucket Islands, Cape Cod, don't miss wild 'P' Town. You won't get a lot of wind in July - August, take playing cards, games and plenty of books and don't forget your credit cards. If we had this conversation five years ago I would have suggested a boat share, it must make a lot of sense.
Let me take this opportunity to thank all those kind, generous, hospitable people who made your time in the fantastic. What ever you decide, it's the right one, you will have a great unforgettable time. Let me know when you make it to Europe there is a life time of thing to see.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:08   #11
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In Maine I'll bet that most of the boats moored for the season don't get used more than 14 days.

There are plenty of marinas to launch,repair ,store your boat. C'mon down to Maine, the best cruising grounds anywhere.
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Old 01-04-2013, 15:45   #12
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Re: Cruising US east coast

Hi read posts # 10 and 11 as to where to go ;read # 9 as to why it is not feasible in a 2 week format.
Have tried variations on the scenario you suggest and have only found it workable when younger with almost unlimited time and no family obligations. I didn't have much money either but was young and tough so could endure the privations and setbacks that will surely be waiting any owner a after a long absence .
Now if you are able to spread money around in a big way in a first class yard they can do much to make things happen for you ,but remember these yards will have more long long standing clients with very deep pockets that will take priority over your needs .The season is very short in the NE USA and much launching and hauling occurs in a very compressed season making these yard operators grouchy and unsympathetic to your tight schedule.
If you hunger for exotic climes but have limited time and funds, then the charter suggestion is worthy of consideration. I small easily launched trailerable craft that can be launched without much fuss provided a neat solution to your dilemma for me a few years back and I sailed in some otherwise inaccessible areas from Canada to the Everglades. But traveled solo and when the wife and kids come we stayed on shore.
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