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Old 20-09-2010, 08:57   #1
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Puget Sound Marinas - Winter-Over and Live Aboard

We have a 42' sailboat we need to store for the winter in our cruising grounds - the Puget Sounds, WA - when we go back to Florida for the winter - we are now snowbirds for the first time.

We plan to be gone most, but not all of the time, between Thanksgiving and March. We'll come back occasionally to go skiing, enjoy the area in general, and check on our boat.

We need a marina that will be safe from high winds and waves in the winter and hopefully won't get a lot of freezes, will let us live aboard when we do come back, and that has clean, pleasant facilities and staff and is complemented with ample marine support facilities and shopping close by - preferably within walking distance.

So far in Puget Sound, we have stayed at 3 marinas including Blaine Harbor marina, City of Des Moines marina and Swantown marina. City of Des Moines marina isn't really set up for live aboards, and Blaine Harbor marina gets 90 mph winds about 3 or 4 times every winter. Blaine Harbor marina has an excellent rock breakwater that stops all wave action, but the wind and freezing climate are problematic for an absentee boat owner imho.

Other marinas we have seen while looking at boats include Shilshole, Semiahmoo, Everett, Bellingham, Anacortes, all with various issues such as lack of protection from wind and waves, being very large and public, or just not accepting new tenants or liveaboards.

We have heard good things about the Roche Harbor marina for a winter over, but haven't seen it yet.

Our most favorable experience in these marinas has been the Swantown Marina in Olympia, WA. We'll be checking with them today and inquiring. If anyone has any comments on this marina, I would appreciate hearing them.

Swantown is very clean with great facilities and is adjacent downtown Olympia with all the good attributes a city has to offer - dining, entertainment and interesting art studios and galleries - plus cheap mass transit. There is even a lovely Farmer's Market within 15 minutes walking distance.


Anyone have anything to offer on Puget Sound marinas for a winter over?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 20-09-2010, 09:46   #2
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Winter storage

If your boat is not wood, I would look into putting it on the hard over in Everett at Dagmar's. PNW climate will foul your bottom and grow moss on the top sides. It is always a bunch of work in the spring if you don't keep up all winter. You can count on a week or two of temps in the teens and winds up to 40 knots or so frequently in the winter. It helps if you have a full cover but even that is not a panecea. If you leave it in the water you will need to pay someone to check on the boat and keep up with things.

Todd
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Old 20-09-2010, 10:05   #3
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How much does Dagmar's cost? I know they will put you on the hard here in Bellingham for about 280 a month, with 250 for haulout and replacement. Best deal I have seen so far in the Salish sea.
Roche harbor is beautiful, but I didn't see any haulout while I was there.
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Old 20-09-2010, 10:26   #4
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Newt you may be correct. I was not even aware that there was dry storage in Bham. Perhaps the OP should look into both. I am sure that the cost in dollars and time (spring refit) will be less than overwintering in a slip.

Todd
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Old 20-09-2010, 11:04   #5
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Hello First Mate: I think that Westshore Marine in Gig Harbor, WA fits your bill perfectly. Protected, no freeze, good facilities, walking distance to shops and restaurants. Regards, Dijon
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Old 20-09-2010, 11:26   #6
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When I checked last week, there was a waiting list of 7 for 50-foot slips at Swantown, though once you're ON the list, you can use guest moorage off-season. I did not raise the live-aboard issue.

Westbay is nearby and is pretty casual about that (well, about everything, really) but is a different level of facilities quality. But there's a congenial restaurant on-site and folks are pretty friendly.

I just checked out Skyline a couple days ago; it's about the most gorgeous setting around, though almost all land-based resources are a drive to town. And I haven't figured out the various effects of the condo-ized slips, though I'd worry about the inability to move if you want to.

No LA in Gig Harbor that I was able to find, alas...

Agree about Blaine - I kept my tri there a few years ago, and the facilities were first-rate. But dang, that wind... one guy left his roller-furler loose and barely tied off, and it snapped into full deployment with a sound like a shotgun, then sailed itself right over a dock and onto another boat.

Pleasant Harbor, if you don't need to be near town, is pretty sweet... good price, friendly, and they have a hot tub. Not so sure about being stuck in Hood Canal, and the Brinnon culture is not for everyone... and a huge battle is raging about a planned massive resort development.

My own quirky needs involve not only LA in a 50' slip, but nearby powered mobile-lab parking... I'll post in a few days with the final decision about where I'm moving (not to be coy, but it's a scarce resource!).

Steve
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:24   #7
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Size limit

Dagmars will only host 35' and under.
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Microship View Post

My own quirky needs involve not only LA in a 50' slip, but nearby powered mobile-lab parking... I'll post in a few days with the final decision about where I'm moving (not to be coy, but it's a scarce resource!).

Steve
Wow it seems like some spot down on the Duwamish would fit the Microship. Nearby tech goodies like autoclaves and NC machines, hordes of raw materials, trained technologists all over. Powered mobile lab would be welcome for sure. (Still awaiting the RBT)

Todd
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Old 20-09-2010, 13:10   #9
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Todd - a bit industrial for my tastes, but thanks for the tip! You're right about the tech resources, though I hopefully won't need much on that level. At this point, it's mostly geekery below (electronics, consoles, circuit boards, software) - plus a little plumbing and such. The two big metal projects are in the hands of my welding guru (solar array and RBT).

Cheers from Nomadness!
Steve
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Old 23-09-2010, 21:19   #10
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wow. and I thought would I not get much response.

thanks for the suggestions. We are still looking.

Swantown said we could winter over and LA on the temp docs, but the !#$#@ seagulls have just really made those docks absolutely filthy. They're wide open so the birds can fly though those slips with ease and congregate in the water. they eat the mussels off the pilings and drop them from the air onto the concrete docks to break them. then they poop purple guano over everything. the docks on the transient moorage are unspeakably filthy. The spouse doesn't want to stay there for that reason.

we are considering Bremerton and maybe Eagle Harbor. I'll send this link to the spouse for the other locs everyone has discussed.

thanks!
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Old 23-09-2010, 21:35   #11
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I've heard that Bremerton's marina itself is nice and new, but with parking challenges and a somewhat dodgy neighborhood... but that's very much second-hand info and might be obsolete or wrong. Pretty sure they have space available, since there was recent news that the community was annoyed about the bond issue and insufficient return on investment. I'd be curious to hear an update.

Eagle Harbor is sweet, though when I looked into it I had difficulty getting responses and had a general sense that it's pretty full/busy. I love hanging out on the linear moorage when passing through, and Winslow is a great town (with very expensive, but excellent, groceries). There is a marina across on the south side of the harbor, considerably less convenient to town and with construction going on, but it's much less expensive and had space when I checked last year.

Poulsbo is worth considering. Didn't work for me since I need powered parking for my mobile lab, but I really liked the feel of the place (and it's less expensive than Eagle).

I've just signed up at Everett and am moving my boat this week... so far I am very impressed with the facilities and people.

Steve
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Old 23-09-2010, 21:57   #12
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we have one more requirement that makes it tough

Quote:
Originally Posted by Microship View Post
I've heard that Bremerton's marina itself is nice and new, but with parking challenges and a somewhat dodgy neighborhood... but that's very much second-hand info and might be obsolete or wrong. Pretty sure they have space available, since there was recent news that the community was annoyed about the bond issue and insufficient return on investment. I'd be curious to hear an update.

Eagle Harbor is sweet, though when I looked into it I had difficulty getting responses and had a general sense that it's pretty full/busy. I love hanging out on the linear moorage when passing through, and Winslow is a great town (with very expensive, but excellent, groceries). There is a marina across on the south side of the harbor, considerably less convenient to town and with construction going on, but it's much less expensive and had space when I checked last year.

Poulsbo is worth considering. Didn't work for me since I need powered parking for my mobile lab, but I really liked the feel of the place (and it's less expensive than Eagle).

I've just signed up at Everett and am moving my boat this week... so far I am very impressed with the facilities and people.

Steve

we fly a lot - spouse is retired ground crew from a major airline.

so we have to have a place to leave the vehicle this year when we are away traveling. preferably not in the airport paid parking or local parking lots next to the airport - too spendy.

so the spouse is thinking that some marina with ferry service to Seattle or close to SeaTac would work. Once in Seattle, there is a train from downtown for $2.40 each way to the airport. (Seattle has such wonderful mass transit systems.)

If there is a bus or train service that runs from Everett or Olympia to the airport, that would work.


Guess we should check out Everett, since you are not the first to mention it.
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Old 24-09-2010, 01:32   #13
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Bremerton is right next to the Ferry, 1 hour ride to downtown Seattle.

They also run the Port Orchard marina, not as nice, but more competitively priced. There is a foot ferry from right next to that across Sinclair Inlet to the Bremerton ferry dock.

There are several other marina's in Port Orchard, and at least one around the other side of Bremerton, but I don't know anything more about them. But pretty much every little town up and down the East coast of the Kitsap Peninsula has some type of Marina of varying size and quality, Gig Harbor, Poulsbo, Eagle Harbor, Kingston, etc.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:40   #14
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Re: Puget Sound Marinas - Winter-Over and Live Aboard

hi steve! lenny mason here from olympia we met a few years ago at swantown boatworks and westbay marina. i hope your well mate. still on he sound?
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