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Old 01-07-2011, 18:03   #1
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How Much Time at Dock Compared to Anchorage ?

Yep - it's another question from the dirt-dweller! Who is this guy polluting your nice forums with this junk?

I was just curious, for the fulltime cruising liveaboards how much time do you guys spend in a marina, or mooring field compared to in an anchorage? I imagine it all depends on your cruising budget. I envision a life of many anchorages (at least in the warmer waters), but I don't know if that's reality or not.

You all have been so generous with responding to my other questions, so really it's your own fault I keep asking more!

Good sailing to you and yours!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 18:41   #2
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

That is not an easy question as various places where cruises stop can be difficult to anchor in so taking a mooring is the only way. Other places do not allow anchoring so a marina is the only option.
- - Some islands have very steep drop-offs close to the shore line. St Lucia and St Vincent are good examples so there you take a mooring if one is available. In other areas there is simply no room left to anchor either due to the small size or because local boats have consumed all the available anchoring space. There taking a marina slip is the only option.
- - But in a lot of the places cruising stop there is room for anchoring and generally that is preferred to either a mooring or a marina. The basic idea of most long term cruisers is to get away from too much civilization and anchoring out affords that opportunity to maintain your "private space" without strangers marching down the docks oogling you and your boat.
- - So primarily it is a personal choice whether to use a marina or a mooring or anchor yourself. But in some places there is not much choice in the matter.
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Old 01-07-2011, 18:59   #3
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

Would you rather be here or at a dock?? We have probably anchored 330 days in of the last year
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:09   #4
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

Quote:
I was just curious, for the fulltime cruising liveaboards how much time do you guys spend in a marina, or mooring field compared to in an anchorage?
There is nothing typical. Some places there are no marinas and some others there are no anchorages. Most folks have the best memories of great anchorages. But I know a few destinations where we always have a lot of fun on shore too. Budget does matter but there still are preferences. I've been stuck in an anchorage blowing a gale for three nights and had a great time and I've been stuck in a marina in a near gale with rain and it wasn't so much fun. Both were places I had been to before and enjoyed in fine weather.

The budget enters into it a lot but preferences usually run toward the perfect anchorage for most all cruisers full time or part time. Learning how to anchor is a requirement to feeling secure and happy about any anchorage.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:38   #5
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

I do my best not to be in a marina, but as Paul Blais said above, sometimes you have to use marinas.

If I don't have to use a marina, about the only time we use a marina is to take on fuel and supplies..
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Old 01-07-2011, 21:18   #6
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Would you rather be here or at a dock?? We have probably anchored 330 days in of the last year
Hey Don,

Nice picture! Brings back memories of both Hanalei and of you guys and Klondike. Hope that all is well.

Cheers,
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Old 01-07-2011, 21:28   #7
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

For the OP,

For us, marinas are used only for "storing" the boat whilst we must be somewhere else (as now) or when we need a shore facility to do some work on the boat.

For the past 25 years this has meant about 30 +/- 15 days per year in a marina, the rest at anchor or voyaging. So far we've seldom been in places where you simply couldn't anchor. Sometimes it is difficult: really deep (80+ feet), crappy holding (coral rubble or bed rock) and all too often rolly due to refracted seas... but we usually manage.

Why do we do this? Partly budgetary, partly that marinas are crowded, often noisy and dirty, and partly because we prefer being somewhere else for aesthetic and cultural reasons. That is, you seldom meet interesting locals in marina environments!

Well, that's what works for us!

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Old 02-07-2011, 00:28   #8
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Re: How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

As others have said anchorages are far nicer than marinas or docks. My wife and I spend about 330 days a year at anchor. Most of the rest of the time is back home visiting friends and family.
This is what greets me in the morning at the moment.
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Old 02-07-2011, 14:09   #9
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

After two months out we came into a marina for two months starting yesterday. We'll enjoy the fulltime AC during the heat of the summer and the entertainment available bicycling to places in Baltimore. Change is exciting. After a while we will be excited with the prospect of returning to wilderness anchorages and life on the thin slice between the blue above and the blue below.
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Old 02-07-2011, 15:42   #10
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

Over the last 12 months we've spent maybe 2 weeks in marinas.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:58   #11
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

In the last 6 months and 3 days I have had 0 days at a marina and 3 x 15 minutes at fuel docks.

For the year of 2010 I/we had 13 days at marinas.
That was:
1 night Suez Canal
6 nights on the town wall, Syros, Greece... OK I better add another few days, Folegandros...
2 nights marina in Italy,
4 nights at the Riggers dock in St Martin.


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Old 03-07-2011, 09:42   #12
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

As you can see there is a "lifestyle" choice between being in a marina more than necessary to accomplish a particular maintenance problem.
- - In Marinas you get unlimited electricity to run the air conditioning, microwave, TV's/Monitors and lots of other systems on the boat including keeping the batteries fully charged. You also have unlimited water for daily showers, washing dishes and washing the boat. Yes, these normally cost extra in addition to the "slip" charges, but my opinion is - why be in a marina if you cannot get access to electricity and water. You can be anchored out and save the cost of a slip - if you are not going to have access to water and electricity.
- - One small plus of being in a marina is you do not have to use a dinghy to get ashore and you save the gasoline and wear and tear on the dinghy/motor not to mention that it won't get stolen.
- - Otherwise, anchoring out affords you - usually - better breezes; more privacy; and generally a better feeling of what living on a cruising boat is all about. You can generally leap over the side to swim (depending upon the pollution in that port/anchorage). And if you have neighbors that "irk" you you can up the anchor and move someplace else.
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Old 04-07-2011, 15:49   #13
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

Once again, another great response from the community. Since I cannot be on the water just yet, I love hearing about the life liveaboards lead. Thank you all for humoring the dirt-dweller! The responses (even about the difficulties) all make me want to hurry up the plan!
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Old 06-07-2011, 18:25   #14
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Dingy in to shore?

And for those that Anchor almost exclusively, how many days a week or a month do you dingy in to shore?
I know it depends so a wag is more then good enough.

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Old 06-07-2011, 19:20   #15
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Re: How Much Time at Dock Compared to an Anchorage ?

That is highly variable. On bad weather days, we tend to stay on board, but on most days we go ashore either to shop or to gather with other cruisers for some social function.
- - Last season in Grenada there were music concerts by locals and by musician cruisers every week and sometimes two or three times a week. So the social activity schedule was quite packed.
- - In other islands like Carriacou, there is little to do ashore besides shopping and some hiking, so there is a tendency to stay on board many more days.
- - When underway from island to island you are going ashore almost every day that you are not out at sea. Check-in/check-out and sightseeing and shopping.
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