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Old 18-02-2013, 08:26   #1
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Great Lakes to East coast for winter....flotilla?

I want to live aboard.

I somewhat liveaboard during the warm months(Lake Erie/Port Clinton).

This is "very", simple. I winter at my brother's house(he's often home for an hour or two every few days . . . sometimes not for a week), and I hate winter more and more every year.

I can't be simpler....

I do a little sailing here and there, but I'm on a limited income, so all these transient docks and moorings(like at the islands), are out of the question . . . at least on a "regular" basis.

I am looking to summer in the Great Lakes, spend maybe 1-2 months transiting the Erie Canal(each way), and seeking the freeze line on the east coast for the winter(somewhere where the normal winter temps are about 50+ degrees) . . . then returning to Lake Erie for summer.

Most Marinas give decent(comparatively), rates for stays of a month or two, so I plan on the Erie portion to be in a Marina, and I hope for the winter months to also be in a marina.

I have no interest in going to foreign lands . . . not even Bahamas. I just want to stay in the United States. This keeps things simple and leaves me with many more opportunities regarding health and finances.

I want to do this, but I'm not so sure I want to do it completely alone . . . I wonder about the idea of a flotilla of a sort?

Are there others out there . . . in the Great Lakes region that similar ideas to do the same thing that also feel like not really wanting to do it totally alone . . . that might be more interested in a sort of flotilla way of travel?
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Old 18-02-2013, 13:20   #2
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Re: Great Lakes to East coast for winter....flotilla?

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........................................

I want to do this, but I'm not so sure I want to do it completely alone . . . I wonder about the idea of a flotilla of a sort?.......................
I have no experience along your route from the Great Lakes to New York City, but we've taken short hops along the coast and in the ICW from Maine to South Florida with seasonal traveling for many years. We don't organize into any formal flotilla, but we do travel among the same boats that sort out in their travels each day. We met on the VHF with those other sailboats or slow trawlers that move at our own pace and often discuss anchorage plans, inlet conditions, bridge schedules and weather. We often depart our anchorages at first light and have a familiar faster motor yacht pass us at mid morning. The same faster boat may pass us mid-day for several days, as we are the "tortoise" and they the "hare" and early into a marina. We often write down the names of the vessels ahead of us after passing so we can call them to inquire about the conditions and depths that they found at areas prone to shoaling. Often people will gather by dinghy at sundown to a hosting boat for an evening toast. In addition to the shared favored anchorages, there are a number of free or inexpensive docks where people gather en route. We've made 21 trips along the US East Coast route and many more around the Florida Coasts. There's a large group of seasonal cruisers here, but not so big a group that we don't come across old friends ocassionally. Your "flotilla" awaits!
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Old 19-02-2013, 20:40   #3
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Surva69 that is exactly what I want to do only I'am planning on doing it on the inland rivers. The upper Mississippi during summer & fall then south to Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama or somewhere else far enough south to avoid ice except in a cocktail. Memphis is one place on my tentative list as a place to spend the winter then head back up river in the spring. I would like to avoid marinas except for water, pump outs, fuel & provisions. Would have to leave the boat in a marina for a month or so while I go home for the holidays. Good luck
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Old 19-02-2013, 20:58   #4
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Re: Great Lakes to East coast for winter....flotilla?

You'll soon hook up with fellow cruisers going your way when you get to the canals as long as your timing is right. Plan to be in Annapolis in early October for the boat show and if you haven't already done so you'll be with dozens of other boats heading south. Get out of the Chesapeake by Halloween and keep heading south until the weather suits you. Even southern South Carolina can get cold snaps down to freezing, but will generally be warm enough for just a sweater or less during the day. It doesn't get what I would call really warm until you reach Florida, and a lot of snowbirds won't spend the winter north of Vero Beach. Believe it or not I've seen snow flurries in Miami in February--unusual, but it can happen. If you get to Florida you can anchor out all the time, and maybe cross over to the Bahamas with the money you save on dockage. Myself, I don't like to sit one place too long, and I'd rather move along, even if it is only lazily sailing a few miles to the next stop.
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Old 20-02-2013, 05:10   #5
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Re: Great Lakes to East coast for winter....flotilla?

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You'll soon hook up with fellow cruisers going your way when you get to the canals as long as your timing is right. Plan to be in Annapolis in early October for the boat show and if you haven't already done so you'll be with dozens of other boats heading south. Get out of the Chesapeake by Halloween and keep heading south until the weather suits you................. .
Good advice from Kettlewell; however, some have a plan to avoid the "pack". We usually travel about two to four weeks ahead of the crowd and never arrive in Annapolis during the boat show. We also enter Florida ahead of all those with the insurance restrictions that don't permit them to cross the state line during hurricane season. You can choose the size of your "flotilla" with timing.
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