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Old 23-02-2016, 03:33   #1
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Anchoring East Coast USA

My wife and I are new to cruising and will be liveaboards. We will be leaving in April from Miami, sailing to New England then back to the Gulf States. No rush in time. Here is the question: is there plenty of places, especially heading Miami to Maine, to anchor off shore each night and not be in the way of anything. The other is how about anchoring and going ashore from time to time for provisions. Trying to save money and not have to pay slip charges when possible
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Old 23-02-2016, 05:09   #2
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, ourlog.

Anchorages will generally be inshore, along the AICW.
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Old 23-02-2016, 05:32   #3
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Hi Ourlog and welcome to the forum,

It may be just how you are using the term but as Gord says, anchoring is not generally offshore meaning off the coast and out in the ocean, but inshore along the ICW, bays and rivers of the eastern US.

In general there are plenty of places to anchor out overnight for free. In a very few places there may be limitations due to local regulations or just lack of a place that is outside navigation channels but those spots are rare and it is easy to plan your day's trip to end in a good spot to anchor.

If you want to access shore facilities like stores or restaurants it might be a little trickier to find a anchoring spot that allows this to be done easily. Often the problem is finding a place to tie up your dinghy while you go ashore. In these cases you might want to spend a night at a marina.

I recommend you read some of the guide books written exactly for this purpose. The Waterway Guide is one and the editor is a member of the forum and usually available to offer personal advise. You can also look at their website for free.

Waterway Guide | cruising guide, fuel pricing, navigation alerts and news for boaters and yacht enthusiasts

Another good website for planning your trip is https://activecaptain.com/

Good luck and enjoy the trip.
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Old 23-02-2016, 05:48   #4
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

You also might want to try Skipper Bob's Anchorage guide.
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Old 23-02-2016, 05:58   #5
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Ourlog, We frequent this route and find anchorages at distances no greater than easy daylight passages for the entire trip from the Florida Keys to Acadia Nat'l Park, Maine.

The only reasons that you might not find as many suitable anchorages would be if your vertical clearance is over 64' or if your draft is more than 6'.

As Skipmac says, you might not find anchorages with dinghy access for provisions. Most of our anchor locations are in wilderness areas. We have never been approached by any authority questioning our anchoring over our many decades of anchoring mostly in Florida.
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Old 23-02-2016, 06:00   #6
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Really good anchoring spots along the ICW can be a challenge if you don't plan way a head . Last summer I came down from Norfolk and found it difficult because I was on a tight schedule. The two most important things you need to save money on your trip will be time and a great secondary anchor. Tides are the biggest problem, so if you want sleep ground tackle of the appropriate size is a must have. All the ICW guides will have good advice on places to anchor. The problem I had being on a schedule is that some of the distances between some of best spots didn't work with my minimum miles per day. As for finding good affordable transit docks, Google maps is your best friend. Open Google maps and type in marinas and red dots show up all up and down the ICW. You can checkout 10 marinas in five minutes because the links to their websites are right there with current prices.


Have wonderful trip, Woody
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Old 23-02-2016, 06:07   #7
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Welcome! As has already been said, anchoring out all along the east coast is very doable, but you'll want to be sure to have good equipment and know how to use it. There are several great anchoring threads on this forum (use "search" function) for you to peruse, and one recently started by Panope that has lots of videos of various anchors setting, which I find to be very useful in helping me visualize what my anchor is doing when I can't see it. Also, Fatty Goodlander has written an entertaining and informative book about anchoring that you might want to pick up. There's a lot to think about and an unlimited amount of variations on anchoring conditions and the more you can learn and the better you get at it, the better luck you'll have and the better you'll sleep at night. Good luck!
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Old 23-02-2016, 06:36   #8
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Drift Woods makes a good point regarding the limitations for anchoring if your on a "tight schedule". We sometimes elect to anchor after a short thirty mile day followed by a sixty-five mile day, because we don't want to travel for the ninety-five mile day.

Also, on the New Jersey passage, we can take short days if we like because of our shoal draft which can take us through Barnegat Bay. Not being committed to a time schedule also means that we stay in more protected anchorages during bad weather and use some anchorages with a long exposed fetch on well forecast pleasant days. Not being on a schedule also means that we can spend a day sailing in light conditions. We have taken as long as four months to travel from Florida to Maine.
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Old 23-02-2016, 06:37   #9
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Thanks all for the quick responses. I have made lots of notes and I will be rounding up books and guides. As I said I am new to this forum and this information is great and appreciated.
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:14   #10
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

If you have an iPad download the Garmin charts and add the Active Captain option and you'll see the anchorages everywhere with reviews and information added by your fellow cruisers. Worth it's weight in gold!
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:21   #11
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

If time is not a factor, plan on 50 miles a day max, and you should have no problems finding adequate anchorages. Stop at marinas to refuel, pump out and buy provisions. I made the trip from Solomon's Island. MD to Tampa, FL and it took about 24 days due to weather days!
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:22   #12
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

In addition to anchoring (free) and marinas ($), you might consider joining a yacht club. Many clubs offer free "reciprocal privileges". That usually means you can stay one night free at other yacht clubs (including enjoying their clubhouse and wifi). In addition to free dockage, you will likely find your hosts to be friendly and helpful in a million ways you never thought possible.

Your gut reaction may be that yacht club membership is very expensive. However, there are plenty of older clubs with dwindling memberships that offer very low dues or introductory fees. Just a few "reciprocal" nights would justify the annual membership fee. And it doesn't have to be a local club. Non-resident memberships are common, and often discounted.

IYC Membership information
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:24   #13
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

+1 to reading the guidebooks.
Here's an example of a free place to keep you boat when visiting NYC:

https://activecaptain.com/quickLists...NY&i=075848731
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:36   #14
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Belhaven NC. Birthplace of the ICW. Free dockage in many places along ICW, We have free transient docks, no services, short walk to Food Lion Groceries, here in Belhaven NC, come all the way in and the free docks are by the large brick smoke stack off the starboard side but if you want laundry, showers, ice, electricity, water, pump out, fuel and gas, use of electric carts for shopping etc River Forest Marina is right inside the wooden breakwater off your starboard, cant miss the sign. Great food downtown too, highly recommend Spoon River fine dining or Jacks Neck Tavern for pizza. Or you can also anchor out here too. Nobody hassles anyone here about dinghys etc, welcoming place. I keep my Gemini 3000 at RF.
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Old 23-02-2016, 08:44   #15
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Re: Anchoring East Coast USA

Welcome aboard! Ditto to all of the above, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions, especially about our guidebooks and website tools. As you’ve just experienced, Cruisers Forum has a treasure trove of helpful, experienced members.
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