I am not too familiar with anchorages
as I do not keep my boat here. People do go out and anchor
, but the ones I know about have motorboats. The most popular places are behind the barrier islands which can be accessed by going outside and coming back in or from the ICW
in some cases. It is pretty--especially at this time of the year. Draft
is a major consideration. Despite its size, Charleston Harbor is not deep outside the shipping
channels plus we have a 5' tide. Get and look at the chart of Charleston and the harbor. And of course the ICW
has issues, so do NOT buy a deep draft
boat for the LowCountry. You can go up the rivers, especially the Cooper or Wando, for several miles. Wonderful scenery. In summer months, you will need a/c. You most definitely MUST HAVE it for summer living. Also, we have tons of waterways with bridges of all kinds. Be sure to consider air draft. My boat with an air draft of 65' really cannot be used here and I would have to bring it down from VA on the outside, going around Hatteras. Not a big deal in good weather
, and it saves time, but the ICW passages are interesting.
I'm sure some slips can be found for $500, and while that is a cheap house payment or rental payment, it is on top of whatever you pay for your boat.
There is an active and good racing
scene here, both in harbor regattas (small boats) and in the ocean. IF that is your thing, then you will find lots to do. But cruising has problems. You could sail to Winyah Bay (Georgetown) in a day or the Beaufort
area in the same time, but any where else is a longer run. There is a Cruising Guide to the Low Country (that is the title or damn close and available on Amazon) that will shed some light on things, but just look at the chart and you'll see.
Anyway, if you are thinking of buying
a boat to bring here or have one, call the county tax assessor to get an idea of the taxes before committing. The taxes are serious and breath-taking. But CHECK. On the plus side, the sales tax for anything is currently capped at 6% or $300, whichever is higher. So if you are going to buy a boat to bring here, make sure you pay the SC sales tax which will be $300. I don't know of a cheaper place for sales tax.
and have a big boat--one I could live on, a Moody 46. For reasons I have stated, we keep it in VA on the Chesapeake. We are retired now, but both my wife and I taught, so summers were free plus some breaks, so we could head
to VA and from there to places for the summer for lengthy periods, cutting down on the driving nuisance, which made it feasible to keep the boat in VA. Being retired now means we can go to the boat and stay as long as we wish, so that eliminates some of the hassle of driving and keeping a boat far away. With a job that allowed only weekends off, keeping a boat at a distance is really not feasible nor desirable. Even now, with unlimited time at my disposal, I wish my boat were closer, largely for maintenance
Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds in NC offer opportunities for cruising, but have no detailed or personal knowledge. People in this forum will.
So, to summarize, I think Charleston and environs are a wonderful place to live and work for many, many reasons. For me, it does not make sense to keep my boat here. I do not live on it. Those ratings placing the city number one in many categories have a sound basis. For harbor cruising, get a shallow draft
boat and maybe by factoring in the boat mortgage, taxes and slip fees
, it will work. If you are living aboard
, you won't have a house payment on top of all the boat expenses, and that may make the difference. Just be aware of the real costs and that the region is not a cruiser's paradise like Long Island Sound
or the Chesapeake. But we have things ashore they do not and a far gentler climate. But be sure to get a/c. There is a reason far fewer people lived in the south until after WWII when a/c became universal.