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Old 05-02-2016, 13:23   #1
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Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Hello!

We've been living aboard our 1987 Jeanneau Sun Kiss 47 for a little over a year now, and despite extensive systems work and a good bottom job, after cruising down the coast from Philadelphia this fall, we realize we have quite a bit more work to do.

We're currently in Merrit Island, Florida and are looking for a decent DIY/liveaboard marina to do some work in for about a year. It seems that the further south we go through Florida, the more expensive and less live aboard friendly marinas are getting. We're looking for something between New Jersey and Florida that is live aboard/DIY friendly at a rate of around $10/ft. in water. An ideal situation would be somewhere that was reasonably close to a hospital as well - my wife is a nurse and would looking to get a job through the process. As an aside, she's been hunting through Florida for one, but has been really striking out despite 10+yrs experience in Philly hospitals!?!

Any ideas? Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-02-2016, 13:36   #2
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Drake roberts youtube videos catalogue some good marinas on the east coast.

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Old 05-02-2016, 13:53   #3
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Oriental, NC! Nice quiet little sailing town with good people. Two boatyards w/ slips to choose from, both well respected. Maybe the cheapest area of the east coast, or right up there. I believe there is a hospital in Pamlico County, but it would likely be something of a hike.
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Old 05-02-2016, 13:58   #4
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

In FL you might try Oasis in St Augustine. Been there a few times nice clean yard that allows liveaboards and DIY I believe. Not sure on the rates thou. Other then that you will probably get better deals in the south Carolina North Carolina area. Tends to get a bit pricier once you get up to the Chesapeake and above.
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Old 05-02-2016, 14:00   #5
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Green Cove Springs (near St Augustine and Jacksonville) is about as cheap as it gets. It's kind of run down though, and I don't know many women that would tolerate it for long.

There are several yards in St Augustine and you might find one that would work for you. I once negotiated the deal of the century at Xinedes - if the owner likes you he'll be willing to talk.

Indiantown I think will let you work on boats, though they are not cheap. There's also Glades Boat Storage west of Okeechobee on the Caloosahatchee canal. Very cheap storage and has a DIY boatyard too.

I hauled out at Crackerboy in Ft Pierce one time. They were decent people and maybe would negotiate a good rate if you are going to be there for a while.

These are all boatyards, rather than live-aboard marinas.
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Old 05-02-2016, 14:23   #6
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

@Sun and Moon - I actually called Green Cove Springs and they said they stopped allowing liveaboards in 2012. I was pretty disappointed as the Mayo Clinic is right there and the Active Captain reviews were really good for DIY. I've heard Indiantown has some options, and am looking into that. When we passed through St. Augustine, I tried to call Xinedes several times over the course of about two weeks - never got a call back?!? Called Crackerboy - no room at the inn either!

@Colin A - I actually went to Oasis when I was in St. Augustine. That town is an idea situation. Their rate wasn't exactly cheep, but more importantly there was no room at the inn. The woman I talked to wasn't too stoked about our kids either. Kind of a weird vibe, although we talked at length to the woman who ran the shuttle when it was still running who lived there and she said not to take these things too seriously. But, again, no room at the inn. I also think you're onto something about North and South Carolina.

@laika - I've heard really good things about Oriental, but when we passed through there it seemed a bit run down, almost like it was a town on it's way out. There's not much there aside from the one marine store, and buying groceries from a Walmart is depressing...

Thanks for the suggestions so far - it really seems to be a hard thing to find! I may have to start scouring the chart in the North and South Carolina areas...
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Old 05-02-2016, 14:38   #7
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

It's kind of a pain, but I think you may get different answers if you show up and talk face to face. The easiest thing to say on the phone is 'no', while if you are there they may suggest some way to meet your needs. Especially after they fall in love with your kids :-)

Have you considered places outside of the US? Rio Dulce, for example.
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Old 05-02-2016, 14:41   #8
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

I haven't. I'm not really familiar with doing that. I wouldn't be opposed if it was affordable. That actually sounds a lot more interesting that what I'm thinking now...
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Old 05-02-2016, 18:39   #9
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

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Originally Posted by Jebrown215 View Post
@laika - I've heard really good things about Oriental, but when we passed through there it seemed a bit run down, almost like it was a town on it's way out. There's not much there aside from the one marine store, and buying groceries from a Walmart is depressing...
You're partly on to something there. Walmart moved in and the local grocery store quickly went out of business. A couple good local restaurants, a good hardware store, a small west marine, and two excellent boatyards scattered about..that's about it. I would often drive to New Bern to get groceries at Harris and Teeter. A Food Lion about 10 min out of town. The quality of the yards, the people, and the cheap cost of living is what it's got.

Another good area albeit not as well known to me is Deltaville, VA.
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Old 05-02-2016, 19:00   #10
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

@laika - It is sad what's happening to Oriental. We actually stayed at River Dunes when we went through there. It's a little north of Oriental, but a five minute driver in their courtesy car. River Dunes was probably the weirdest experience of our trip south. This place is an honest to god brand new "Pleasantville" like resort. Not a blade of grass out of place and every amenity imaginable (leather/fireplace ridden library, cabin-like gameroom with cathedral ceilings, fireplace, and legit pool table, pool, sauna, etc) at like $1.25/ft. It was the kind of place you'd find a brand new 50+' Shannon at local shrimp dock prices.

Have been to Deltaville. It is absolutely my first choice. Deltaville marina is second to none for community, amenity, price, staff, and resources in a distraction free location. But, my wife is trying to score a nursing job at a local hospital and there isn't one in Deltaville.
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Old 05-02-2016, 19:51   #11
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebrown215 View Post
@Sun and Moon - I actually called Green Cove Springs and they said they stopped allowing liveaboards in 2012. I was pretty disappointed as the Mayo Clinic is right there and the Active Captain reviews were really good for DIY. I've heard Indiantown has some options, and am looking into that. When we passed through St. Augustine, I tried to call Xinedes several times over the course of about two weeks - never got a call back?!? Called Crackerboy - no room at the inn either!

...
Hi JE,

My boat is at Green Cove now and I can give you the straight scoop. The piers used by the marina are technically condemned and they are not supposed to allow liveaboards docked at the pier. All the piers and grounds are owned by the Reynolds family (yes I do believe it is "that" Reynolds family) including Holland Marine (not as DIY friendly as GCS), Reynolds Yacht Club (liveaboard docks about $400/month but repairs need to be inside or non intrusive) and a couple of commercial marine operations.

At GCS the rule is you are allowed a couple of days prior to or after haul/launch tied at the pier for boat prep then you're suppose to move, either to a mooring or another marina.

HOWEVER............ Sometimes or some people manage to experience delays in their refit and overstay the limits. It is sometimes (definitely not always) overlooked. You can stay on a mooring and live aboard right off the piers with good dinghy docks, a so-so bathroom/shower and reasonable parking. Lots of people around so I feel pretty secure there. as well if that's a concern.

Downside. The local town isn't much but it's not too far to St Augustine, JAX or Gainesville. Gainesville is just over an hour but has several hospitals including the regional VA. Shands Hospital has a level I trauma center and is connected with the UF school of medicine.
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Old 05-02-2016, 20:00   #12
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Breaking news:


Walmart Express closes in Oriental leaving no grocery stores in town | WNCT
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Old 05-02-2016, 20:36   #13
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

Marina Cove Boat Basin right near Langley air force base on the back river.
For 37 feet I pay 150 per month hauled out and 100 per month in the water, electricity and water is free. You haul out for free, pay when you go back in. My haul out was I think ~400 total.
This is a mix of waterman and rec boats. Hampton also has no boat personal property tax. At least 3 large Hospitals, Sentara, Mary Immaculate, Riverside, and then all the ones southside in Norfolk.
Erlin from Norway runs the place. This is no fancy place, but is a DIY yard. They do have people you can pay to fix stuff and the workers have lots of experience.
Here I am going back in, they have 2 travel lifts, this is the smaller one.


Erlin is the guy with the hat. Here I had hauled out.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:16   #14
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

How about Indian Town marina west of Miami, or Flag Harbor in southern Maryland?
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:37   #15
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Re: Best affordable east coast DIY marina for refit...

We hauled and stayed aboard in GCSMarina in Jan 2013 for 6 weeks. I give the marina high marks for helpful folks, VERY good prices. VERY excellent prices on parts and supplies. DYI and skilled tradesmen available. We used Enterprise rental for car needs occasionally....they pick you up. Cruisers from all over the world hauled here, occasional pot lucks and super friendly staff. The marina and grounds: FUNKY, not for the prissy. Unfortunately our boat sank at Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach days after we left GCS.
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