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Old 03-05-2007, 06:56   #1
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A very broad marina question

My wife and I started sailing a few years ago here in Colorado on lake Dillon, seemed like a fun thing to do. Now we are both hooked, badly. Taking courses, trailering our little hunter to warm places in the winter like Arizona and San Carlos Mexico. Constantly updating and improving our boat. Now it's time to move up and get some more sea miles under our belts. Ultimately we want to move to a 30+ foot boat after retirement and keep it slipped some place warm. But in the meantime we're looking to buy a 28 foot boat to stretch out on, but where. Since we live in CO any place we slip a boat is either a two day drive or plane ride. We are not set on any particular area, or coast, or country for that matter. North, south, east or west it doesn't matter.
So the question is if you were looking to be an absent owner who will fly/drive in for a few weeks at a time to sail where would you go? So Cal is nice but very expensive, same with most of FL. What about the gulf coast, any places in particular to look at? Maybe the Carolinas? San Carlos is near the top but if we can find an area in the good ole USA that would be great. We like San Carlos because you can keep a boat on the hard at the Marina Seca fairly inexpensively and safe. Want to avoid the NE and PNW since we do our summer sailing right here, however post retirement that option opens up.
I realize this is a very broad and general question but we need ideas to at least start our search. Any and all advice is greatly apreciated.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:49   #2
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What about South Padre Island? It is almost the tropics. Great winter sailing. Airfair for two on Southwest is under $400 from Denver round trip with a rental car. In the good ole USA.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:32   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmiller
But in the meantime we're looking to buy a 28 foot boat to stretch out on, but where. Since we live in CO any place we slip a boat is either a two day drive or plane ride. We are not set on any particular area, or coast, or country for that matter. North, south, east or west it doesn't matter.
So the question is if you were looking to be an absent owner who will fly/drive in for a few weeks at a time to sail where would you go?
We like San Carlos because you can keep a boat on the hard at the Marina Seca fairly inexpensively and safe. Want to avoid the NE and PNW since we do our summer sailing right here, however post retirement that option opens up.

Thanks, Bill
Yo Bill,

have you considered Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Like San Carlos, you can store your boat at the dry storage in the Opequimar boatyard. But unlike the Sea of Cortez, Banderas Bay is rated the third best sailing bay in the world, with many destinations a daysail away. International airport is a few minutes away. And there is so much more to do when you are not sailing.

best, andy
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:29   #4
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Two excellent ideas. I've heard good things about South Padre. Never even considered Puerto Vallarta. Sounds like a scouting trip is in order.
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:31   #5
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Hi Bill,
In exactly the same position... live in AZ and/or SD and keep the boat in Port Aransas TX for the time being. Great area, broad bay for sailing if the gulf is too nasty, and a bargain when compared to the left & right coasts.

Great marina where the facilities have been upgraded and the staff keeps it well maintained. $391 / month for a 54ft slip. Been there a year now - never any problems with theft or hassles of any kind.

Island Moorings Yacht Club and Marina, Port Aransas, Texas

Not affiliated with the marina in any way - just a satisfied customer. The City of Port Aransas has a municipal marina also. Slightly cheaper but a fairly long waiting list.

Great seafood & fishing all around the area. Hope to see you down there sometime!

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Old 03-05-2007, 12:06   #6
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Talking Yippeee....

I just knew belonging to this group would pay off. I just talked to the folks at Island Moorings, and they have a bunch of 40' slips available, as well as some 46'. Fees are verrry reasonable, (absolutely cheap compared to SoCal, but don't tell them that, wouldn't want them to raise the rates). Very doable if I can find the right boat.

Mark,
Any problems with weather, hurricanes??, wind, etc., or leaving the boat unattended. How are the facilities overall??? I understand there is a club/pool that is included with the membership. The fellow there also told me it is almost an 8 hour sail from Corpus to get out to the "jetties", whereas they are only 6 miles away?? I didn't realize that Corpus was that far from the bay.

Any other info? PS, what part of AZ do you live in? I lived in Tucson on and off for about 10 years, and might go back there for a short period.

If I can get a 40 or 46 slip for under $400 a month, I might just go ahead and retire and head for the water. I figure I can make that much doing contract work in San Antonio for a few months out of the year, and in 2/3 years, I'll be ready to head for the Caribbean, if not sooner.

Bill, didn't mean to hijack your thread here, but I'm getting psyched about this, thanks for asking the question, as it lead me down the same road.

RichT.
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Old 03-05-2007, 15:47   #7
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I have day sailed the Bay of Bandaras several times. It's a very nice place to sail! Winds start in the late morning and build til just before dusk. The views are exceptional and the water warmer than most places along the Pacific.
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Old 03-05-2007, 17:57   #8
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RichT, Anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico is hurricane territory. Texas is perhaps not as big a target as Floriduh but then neither was New Orleans. It is a consideration if thinking to move to this coast. We are near Houston and were based out of the Floriduh Keys for ten years. keeping our fingers crossed this season.
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Old 03-05-2007, 18:21   #9
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Thar she blows...

Chuck,
I recognize that there is the potential for hurricanes anywhere in that region. What I was really asking from Mark, I guess, is how well protected is the marina at Port Aransas, relatively speaking? Obviously, if a Catagory 3 or 4 hurricane hits it directly, one could probably expect to lose the craft, or suffer severe damage. But, if I'm living aboard, I would be able to moniter the weather, and if there were even a hint of a severe storm, I would probably head out and try to get as far away as possible to ride it out, or maybe have it hauled out, but from what I've seen, boats on the hard suffer worse than boats in the water. Any input here from those who have been through one??

Having grown up in florida, I know that even 50 miles can have a pretty significant impact on damage potential.

Quick question here, of those folks based in Florida, or on the Texas Gulf coast, how many have actually had their boats go through, ride out, suffer damage, or been affected by hurricanes? Any thoughts on this relative to a place to call home, at least temporarily? Any validity to the idea of heading for Mexico or South America during hurricane season? Suggestions???

Thanks to everyone for their ideas. Maybe I'm overlooking some potential problems here due to my enthusiasm, but the cost factor of living aboard in Texas vs. here in Califunny is significant. And, that's after a 1 to 2 year wait to even get a slip here.

Getting closer all the time....

RichT.
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Old 03-05-2007, 18:23   #10
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Sea Trek and her crew have been through 14 named storms. No damage, some from careful planning and some from blind luck.
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Old 03-05-2007, 18:46   #11
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WoW..

Chuck,
14 storms,, no damage, man, you are lucky...What kind of preparation do you usually do? Leave the boat in the soup, take it out? Tie it solid, or let it ride with the waves?? Stay near the dock, or try to get away from others???

Just wondering what to look forward to should I decide to make the move...

Rich
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Old 03-05-2007, 19:29   #12
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Rich, We have chosen to move the boat as far away from other boats as we can get and in every case we have had the boat either at anchor or in a couple of cases we have moved the boat out of its slip and ran lines ashore to tie in the middle of the marina basin. This tactic resulted in Sea Trek being the only boat in the marina without some kind of damage during hurricane Georges. We plan a safe harbor each place we settle but sometimes that does not always work. The forecasts often can't tell you where the storm is going even as it prepares to make landfall. On two ocassions the rest of the fleet ran and we stayed put. The storm changed course and we took a glancing blow while the fleet got hammered. Especially with a sail boat you don't usually have time to run. Good planning and preperations from years of experience has been our saving grace. BTW we have experienced hurricanes in Floriduh, Maryland twice, Virginia and South Carolina. Since Sea Trek is now in Texas you might want to wait until we move on. We would NEVER consider going to sea.
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Old 03-05-2007, 19:40   #13
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Unless you live 20 minutes from the boat... and you plan to do weekends or more... a few hours at the beginning or the end in order to sail in great waters is well worth it. We keep out boat 100 miles from where we live and would keep it further if we could find a summer mooring.. but it means a few hours of drive to de compress and get into boat space and the same on the way home.

But we can't do little sails for the after noon... or evening (to no where)

trade off...
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:22   #14
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More Port Aransas Info

RichT,
Here's a great website that has satellite imagery overlays. Go to YACHTMARINE - Live AIS World Ship Monitoring and from the LiveAIS World Eastern USA page select "Texas City." Then drag the image south along the coast until you see Port Aransas and Corpus Christi. Then zoom in and you get a VERY clear picture of the area.

I was able to zoom all the way in and view my slip in the marina - unfortunately PJs Song was not yet berthed there when the satellite image was taken.

A couple of notes: When you find the Port A entrance channel, the first marina you see is the City Marina. Island Moorings is due south of there - just follow the coastline south until you see it. The airport is right next to the marina. The marina entrance channel goes W/NW from the marina and meets the Corpus Christi ship channel. A STBD turn gets you to the Gulf, PORT turn heads down the ship channel west to Corpus Christi.

The facilities at Island Moorings are nice - well maintained. They've just completed a refurb of the floating docks on my pier, and I believe others are planned for different piers in the near future. Pool & restaurant are very nice. They do a good job of keeping the showers/heads clean. The only thing I wish they had is WiFi at the docks - was being investigated last year but I don't know what they decided.

Coincidently, we leave this afternoon (from Tucson) for a week on the boat so I'll be there all next week catching up on my work list. You're welcome to come down and give me a hand....

Also note that the City of CC has a large marina. Some new floating dock projects were underway a year ago. Down side is that it's a long sail to the gulf. Good news is that CC Bay has 12ft of water just about everywhere so you can day sail all you like. Also makes a great hurricane anchorage if you get in the lee of Mustang Island. On the other hand, none of the barrier islands are very high elevation, so storm surge is likely to come right across in a big storm. But it beats playing boat pinball in a marina during a hurricane...


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Old 04-05-2007, 11:26   #15
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Mark,

Thanks so much, this really puts it in perspective. I had talked to the folks at the CC city marina a couple of months ago. They had slips available and they were actually cheaper than Port Aransas, about 5 bucks a foot for a floating dock, so a 40 footer would only be $200 a month, they don't charge a liveaboard fee, and the electricity was either 18 or 28 a month, depending on boat size. For that kind of money, it might be worth the extra time to get out to the gulf, especially since if I were headed out, it would be for several days or weeks at a time, primarily over to Florida, or down to the keys, or the islands.

I notice you have a 52' Endeavor. Do you ever single hand it? I have an acquaintance here in Channel Islands who has a 43 Endeavor that he sails by himself. I found a 43 Endeavor in Florida, reasonably priced, that looks really nice, and would probably be a great liveaboard, but I'm questioning if it might be too much boat for me???? It's a 43 ketch, similar to Elusive.

Would love to come down and help you with the boat if I had the time and money available for a flight. Right now, I'm negotiating for a job here, and if it doesn't come through (they are trying to low ball me on salary), I will start a contract job next monday to try and keep the wolf from the door for a while.

Was going to go to Tucson for the state HOG rally going on this week, but had to come back home from Laughlin for some medical tests. Crap...

Have fun in Texas, let's talk sometime. PM me anytime you like. Would like to hear more about your boat....

Rich
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