Practical NC advice:
-there are definitely places you can anchor
out forever without government
-hurricanes are a problem. You will need to develop a hurricane
plan. For example, in the area I live most of the marinas
have a "list" to haul you out for a hurricane
. To get on the list is about $1200 per year, and then you get charged for the haulout as well. Most marinas
will not let you keep your boat in the slip during a hurricane and you will be fined and responsible for any damage. Or you can put down a really good mooring
that you don't own but is sort of yours. The old-timers stay on their moorings for a Cat 1 or 2 but for a 3 or above they get the heck out of Dodge.
-your ground tackle is very important. With a reversing current
and especially for storms people typically put out a Danforth in each direction due to the sandy bottoms.
-parking is an issue. Maybe a motorcycle? Or a bike? Either will dissolve to rust in one to two years.
-marinas are cheap
in NC. You can find a decent one for $300/month.
-some towns are set up to accommodate sailors with accessible laundromats, groceries, dinghy
docks etc. Some aren't.
-a good dinghy
are important. At the very least you want your bilge
pumps to run if you have to leave your boat for a while. The dinghy and especially the outboard
are at risk for theft even in NC- kids
-simple is good. There are lots of suitable boats in the 29 to 37 foot range.
-working on your boat is a lot easier at a marina.
-Can you afford to buy a slip? You can rent it out during the summer when it is easier and more fun to anchor
out. It's a bitch to anchor out when it is 25 degrees during the winter.
-doing dishes and laundry
is less of a pain at a marina.
is always blowing down your hatch
if you are anchored out. In a marina it can get really hot in the summer with no wind
-you can catch a lot of fish
, oysters, shrimp, crabs etc to eat
-it is a really healthy lifestyle with a small environmental footprint. Especially if you get a composting head
which I would highly recommend. Holding tanks
and dumping sewage are gross.
-you won't worry as much about losing a cheaper boat
-forget formal sailing lessons
. Get a manageable sized boat and buy someone beer
and pizza to show you the ropes. You are an engineer
, you can learn how to do most things solo if you can read or have YouTube access.
-the boat should have a newish reliable diesel
so you can motor
around until you learn to sail. Practice sailing at first only when conditions are ideal.
Good luck! Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock....