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Old 19-02-2014, 16:48   #1
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Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

So begins the next step in a series that started with lurking on this forum several years ago. . Let this be a warning/inspiration to all the lurkers/dreamers out there!

Step 1 was get the family on a largish sailboat for an overnight trip. Roaring success (Thanks Steve and Sue!!), which led to Step 2; buying a 23' trailerable boat and go exploring. Another roaring success over the last 2 seasons. Step 3 is relocating to salt water, which brings me to the actual question (Thanks for hanging in there! )

I starting a new job in the western suburbs of Boston (Lexington), and am looking at options for keeping both the boat and trailer. Ideally, we will end up renting somewhere with some room, likely somewhere between the North Shore and Lexington, but for now I assume that I will need to pay to park the trailer.

I really want to keep the boat on the water vs storing it on the trailer, but would like to be close to a (public) boat ramp to pull her out for a quick trip somewhere, like up the coast to go look for puffins.

Anyone have any suggestions for anywhere north of Boston that I should look closer at? Owned moorings seem like a popular choice by looking at Google maps, but how hard is it to get permits? Would also consider slips that don't cost more than the value of my boat pr. year. Also, any thoughts on good sailing areas for a smaller, coastal centerboard boat would be welcomed.

Although plans are definitely subject to change, Step 5 in my master plan is to upgrade to a larger boat that we can move aboard before casting off for good. (Step 4, for those keeping track is probably chartering somewhere)

Any other idea or thoughts for a soon to be New Englander?
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Old 20-02-2014, 16:18   #2
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

I've been googling up a storm, and some moorings have up to 30 years waiting lists! Best I have seen so far on lists that are published online is still several years. . Very depressing.

Anyone have any suggestions? What do you guys do with your boats during the years of waiting? Is the only option paying for a slip? If so, I'd love some ideas for affordable Marinas..
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Old 20-02-2014, 16:58   #3
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Welcome to Boston!

Sounds like a great plan to me.

Here are a couple of suggestions.
  • I would look in the Beverly/Salem area for starters.
    • Salem has a large number of moorings but I am not completely sure how you rent them for a season.
    • Hawthorne Cove Marina is a great spot. Talk to the people there about slips and moorings. We stay there usually about once a year and they are great. The Brewer run marinas are some of the tops in the northeast.
    • There are three marinas in Beverly that would be worth looking at too.
    • You might be able to get into a deal due to the short length of your boat. Most marinas have an under 26 foot deal but that will still run you around $2000 for a season to keep your boat in a slip. Typical prices for slips run between $100-150 per foot for May 1 through Oct. 31.
    • I can't be of much help on mooring cost because we keep our boat on a slip and only looked at mooring costs in our area.
  • Marblehead may be one of the most gorgeous harbors in Massachusetts. But you are going to pay for that area. If you are concerned about cost, I would just visit here on weekends and not keep your boat in that harbor.
  • The New England Boat Show starts Saturday. That is usually the best place to find deals. So if you are in the area over the next two weeks you should go. (if you go on this Saturday the 22nd, look for me at the Catalina Owners of New England booth).
  • From there, Constitution Marina might be your best bet, but that is located right in Boston Harbor. Will run around $140/foot.
  • Next would be going down to the south shore. Probably not a bad ride from the western suburbs. About the same as Beverly depending on where you start from.
    • For a slip, Captain's Cove in Quincy will be your cheapest. $95/foot. They might have some specials.
    • Marina Bay in Quincy is really nice. Some shops and restaurants. Rumor is they have been loosing boats lately so you might be able to find a deal here. I heard of one guy who got a deal at $1500 for his 20 foot fishing boat.
    • Bay Point Marina is around the corner from Captain's Cove but I think they run higher.
    • A little bit further south and you get to Hingham Shipyard (where I am) and Turn Harbor Marina. Both very nice but can be a little pricey. I am on the ghetto docks; they go for $110/foot. The nice docks are $140/foot. They did have a under 25 foot special for like $1900. Both of these marinas have moorings. Hingham Shipyard is around $55/foot for a mooring.
When you get in the water there will be plenty to do. There are lots of islands in the harbor area that you can sail to with different places to hike or old forts to check out. There are a couple of really nice protected anchorages for swimming. Or you can just sail straight out to go whale watching. You won't get bored with this area for years.

I hope this gives you some things to start with. Let me know if you have any questions. I don't know what you are using to search, but I would recommend ActiveCaptain.com.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 20-02-2014, 16:59   #4
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Start checking craigslist now. There are rental moorings around here in RI, but it's word of mouth and craigslist. I expect it's similar up there. You might look up the mooring installers and give them a call.

My first RI mooring was at an inexpensive yacht club. They were too far up the bay for the trimaran to get anywhere without a ton of tacking. The second one was in a harbor in my town that had room in the mooring field for a shallow draft trimaran. Then I moved to the other side of the bay and that one wasn't practical anymore. Now I have one of those with the long waiting list. But you know what, they removed me from the list for some reason, but I went down there one April and they had two moorings available due to non-payments. So keep checking! In my current harbor, the town maintains and rents the moorings...the minimum fee is $1100 now. Boston area is probably higher!


Getting a mooring permit sounds so cheap until you factor in the $500 or more to install it (usually the town won't let you do it yourself) and the re-inspection fees every two or three years, and then you might be like me and relocate far enough away that you don't want it anymore.
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:00   #5
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

I have been keeping my boat the past 6 years in Salem at Hawthorne Cove Marina on a mooring. They also have Salem taxi that has moorings at a lower price and there are a couple others rentals in Salem. Salem is a good location from Lexington and is a lot quicker out into the open that Boston.
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:02   #6
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

I also think there is public ramp over at Winter Park in Salem.
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:24   #7
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Welcome to Boston! As others mentioned Salem/Beverly area is probably your best bet commuting wise. You will find that getting from North Shore to South Shore is not easy...especially in the summer. I also agree that word of mouth, calling the Harbor Master or just showing up might be a good way to approach finding a mooring or slip. A friend of mine got a mooring last year in Marblehead by shear luck--MH is quite possibly the most difficult place to get a mooring.
Also consider that many towns do not allow boats/trailers to be stored on property where it visible to neighbors. Not sure about Lexington, but you may have no choice but to keep it in the water. Good luck and welcome to the neighborhood!
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:36   #8
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Those are some great suggestions, JK n Smitty, bethflkys and sailorboy1. Salem and Beverly are definitely high on our list of places we are looking at. Sounds like Hawthorne Cove will be one of the places we'll be calling. How is sailing around the islands out from Salem/Beverly?

Also good to know about possible under 25 discounts and searching Craigslist. I don't fly in until March 7th, so unfortunately I will miss the boat show.

Very much looking forward to coming out and start exploring !!
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:45   #9
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

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Originally Posted by monstads View Post
. How is sailing around the islands out from Salem/Beverly?
Good. Short trip out from inner harbor (can be sailing within 1/4 mile). A few islands over at the outer harbor, 3 mile to out into wide open but a large semi protected harbor if rough out. 20 mile to Boston Islands
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:47   #10
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Jsol, Thank you for the welcome. I am coming out in a few weeks, and am thinking of staying in Woburn for a few months in order to scope out areas to live as well as keep the boat. Sounds like I will be spending some time chatting up harbor masters and walking the docks in and around the Salem/Beverly area. Maybe I'll run into some of you guys!
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:48   #11
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

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Good. Short trip out from inner harbor (can be sailing within 1/4 mile). A few islands over at the outer harbor, 3 mile to out into wide open but a large semi protected harbor if rough out. 20 mile to Boston Islands
Sounds like fun!
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Old 20-02-2014, 17:59   #12
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

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Jsol, Thank you for the welcome. I am coming out in a few weeks, and am thinking of staying in Woburn for a few months in order to scope out areas to live as well as keep the boat. Sounds like I will be spending some time chatting up harbor masters and walking the docks in and around the Salem/Beverly area. Maybe I'll run into some of you guys!

If your in Woburn, you may also want to consider East Boston. It's 13 miles and a straight shot down I93. I'm at Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina and there is a small boat dock. Winthrop becomes a possibility as well....good luck and keep us posted....
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Old 20-02-2014, 19:38   #13
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

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If your in Woburn, you may also want to consider East Boston. It's 13 miles and a straight shot down I93. I'm at Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina and there is a small boat dock. Winthrop becomes a possibility as well....good luck and keep us posted....
Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it ! I am initially moving to Woburn for a couple of months to scout things out. Just me and a couple of suitcases. The family, boat and everything else will be coming later, once I sweet talk some harbor master into giving me a dirt cheap mooring in an awesome location.. ok, maybe just a decent location.. :-))
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Old 20-02-2014, 20:20   #14
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

Good advice in this thread. Salem and Marblehead West Shore are your best bets for something reasonable (the Marinas are $$$) in a rental mooring. You will also have good access with public launch service. Hawthorne Cove is one easy option with some facilities. You could also try http://www.midharborlaunch.com/ and Salem Water Taxi | Seasonal Mooring Rentals & Launch Service. You should have no problem getting something.

Sailing out of Salem Harbor you have a few nice day trip options: Gloucester, Manchester and Misery Islands. With a trailerable boat you could tow it some more interesting cruising grounds such as Casco Bay or the Massachusetts South Coast.

Best of Luck.
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Old 21-02-2014, 11:20   #15
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Re: Moving to Boston area, ideas for location?

There are moorings to be found. Even in one of the busiest areas (cape cod) with very long wait lists, we were still able to find one. You just have to go through a marina as they owned it and rent it. I did find it would have been easier and less costly had we chose to keep the boat off cape, but we have family on the cape and wanted to be there.
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