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Old 26-10-2013, 04:02   #16
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

I'll throw my two cents in the rink. I've been living in Annapolis and commuting to the Dulles/Reston area for the past three years. It is not a bad drive depending on when you have to be at work. Try to go in early before the rush and you will get out before the rush back home hits. My trip is 58 mile each way and takes between 1 hr and on a bad day 2 1/2 hrs each way. Well worth it to me to be able to get a late afternoon sail in. Metro just would not fit my schedule so I drive a Smart car another great idea for parking in DC!! Once you get here you will figure out what works for you, we allways do! Enjoy Mark
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Old 26-10-2013, 05:15   #17
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

Steve, you can Google "annapolis commuter bus" and the links to Dillon Bus Service will give you insight into routes from out here (Annapolis area) to over there (DC). I'd forgotten they run from Kent Island, but I see that would be another possibility.

It's very much dependent on where you want to end up, though.... so a combination of bus to Metro (subway) if necessary and/or maybe downtown Metro Bus... plus some time hoofing it... may or may not work.

As Mark said, I know I can drive from here to Dulles in about an hour and 15 without breaking the law too badly... as long as I leave here before 0500. Trip back, about the same, as long as I leave there before 1430-ish or after 1900. Otherwise, it can be a 2-hour drive each way. But you won't be faced with that, exactly, if you're not working WAY out west.

I drove to Reagan a couple weeks ago in the early am. Not early enough to completely avoid rush hour, took an hour and 5 going, only 45 mins returning.

BTW, Annapolis has a mobile pump-out boat and the Harbormaster told me they've been trying to gear up to run that service over winter. They didn't make that mark last year, though, and not sure if it's gonna work this year. RR may have more current info on how that's progressing, since I know she uses the service when it's running...

-Chris
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Old 26-10-2013, 06:17   #18
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

Thanks Mark - every "2-cents" counts.

Chris - Its clear I have a bit of studying to do on commuting options...I am not afraid of the communte times and am no stranger to the 0400 LD option. Avoiding the high traffic periods is a primary TTP and one I will consider when I negotiate hours with my employer.

Had a great chat with Scott @ Capital Yacht Club yeterday - lots of local knowledge in his head Thanks Scott.

Anyone have experience with surface water ice and circulation/bubbler units? Is this a feature hat is a "must have" to prevent damage to fiberglass hull? Should I be worried about surface freezing or is it an infrequent occurrence that I need not fret over?

Steve
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Old 26-10-2013, 06:50   #19
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

I remembered that there is a small marina over by Fort Mcnair in DC. Not the best of neighborhoods, but should be acceptable. No personal experience with it. I believe there are a lot of military there.

James Creek Marina

As you know, freezing conditions result in ice forming first on the fresh water, quiet areas - exactly the areas where boats are docked. In my experience, a light layer of ice in the water will not normally cause any harm. The danger is long term cold with heavy buildup, and subsequent winds which move the boat around, rubbing the ice against the hull.

You probably will not experience an extended cold snap, but I also seem to recall the Potomac frozen over from one bank to another (and an ice breaker being used on the Chesapeake to open the shipping channel to Baltimore - a little fuzzy on the details of that). Could happen, but hopefully won't.
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Old 26-10-2013, 07:47   #20
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

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Anyone have experience with surface water ice and circulation/bubbler units? Is this a feature hat is a "must have" to prevent damage to fiberglass hull? Should I be worried about surface freezing or is it an infrequent occurrence that I need not fret over?
Most years surface ice isn't an issue in the DC area. Even if it is, unless your boat is slab-sided at the waterline it won't be a problem.

The value of bubblers or "ice-eaters" is to prevent ice-jacking of pilings. Convincing boat owners to buy bubblers is the coolest bit of slight of hand by marina owners to shift the cost of protecting their infrastructure at someone else's expense. *grin*
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Old 26-10-2013, 08:07   #21
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

Just discovered that the Fort McNair marina is not a liveaboard facility. Sorry
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Old 26-10-2013, 08:50   #22
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

You may find yourself limited by availability. Many of the marinas that have live aboards have multi-year waiting lists for a slip. That's generally true in Annapolis, and probably less of an issue the farther "out" you get. You'll just have to start calling around to find out. Also, you may be limited by your depth/draft the farther out you go, as there are simply less slips for boats over 50'. For example, Herrington Harbor South in Deale can easily accommodate you, but most of the other marinas in Deale have few spots for boats over 40' as they are up the creek with limited space.

I know quite a few people who take the commuter bus from Annapolis to DC, and they freakin' love it. The bus is comfortable, has wifi service so you can work, and the best part of it is that your coworkers know that you have to get the bus to get home so working late is rarely an option, lol. Of course, it's all a matter of how far your workspace is from where the bus arrives.

The Washington metro area has the worst traffic, in aggregate, of any city in the country, in large part because the city is itself surrounded by busy commuter areas...Bethesda, Silver Spring, Mclean, Tyson's Corner, etc. That said, if you have work ours that allow you to travel outside of traditional rush hours, you can potentially cut your commute time, if driving, by 2/3.

Ice can be a problem in the area, but it's more a matter of the docks being treacherous than your boat being overloaded. Get crampons Diesel heat is preferable as the water temp gets low enough that the efficiency of reverse cycle drops off pretty significantly. Freezing of the water around the boat is rarely an issue, and most marinas provide bubblers if you're concerned about it. You might want to consider a winter awning for your boat if you're going to be in the area long enough to justify the cost.
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Old 26-10-2013, 09:17   #23
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

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Thanks Mark - every "2-cents" counts.

Chris - Its clear I have a bit of studying to do on commuting options...I am not afraid of the communte times and am no stranger to the 0400 LD option. Avoiding the high traffic periods is a primary TTP and one I will consider when I negotiate hours with my employer.

Had a great chat with Scott @ Capital Yacht Club yeterday - lots of local knowledge in his head Thanks Scott.

Anyone have experience with surface water ice and circulation/bubbler units? Is this a feature hat is a "must have" to prevent damage to fiberglass hull? Should I be worried about surface freezing or is it an infrequent occurrence that I need not fret over?

Steve


I'd be interested in hearing about what Scott had to say; I've been considering a 2-3 month movement from "out here" to "in there" sometime just to do a bit more in-depth touristy stuff than we usually have time to do. The marina at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling (as it's now named) doesn't really seem to suit (I know an acquaintance there, he likes it, we probably wouldn't). Nor does the National Harbor marina, although it sounds very nice. Didn't know Ft. McNair has a marina... Anyway, CYC and Gangplank seem to be the best choices for what I had in mind.

Water in our marina does sometimes freeze over, but we deploy our own "bubbler" (actually, just an underwater propeller in a cage, see Kasco Marine de-icer). Easy; plug it in, secure it underwater next to the boat, no ice. Run only when necessary, or they also have optional thermostats, etc. Ours is 3/4 hp... a replacement for the previous 1/2-hp model that lasted about 15 years... That said... your hull shape may simply rise slightly with the ice, perhaps with no other affect... and the boat movement itself (when there is some) will usually mitigate ice formation, too.

Suijin's comments about the commuter base are in line with wifey's experience (and even more so that of a prior neighbor) also. She wasn't always able to play the "gotta catch the bus" card, but neighbor was. Plan B when she got stuck was Metro to New Carrolton and then I'd go get her from there; wasn't too bad, given infrequency.

-Chris
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Old 26-10-2013, 09:43   #24
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

I'll send Scott a note with a link to this thread.
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Old 26-10-2013, 20:40   #25
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Geopowers and I both live aboard at the same place. Herrington harbor south is about the best compromise if you plan on working in DC. I looked all over and here I am. 37 miles. Bus to rail. Or I just drive. Bath house close, good food restaurant nice amenities good sailing. Clean.
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Old 27-10-2013, 03:03   #26
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

I know that Port Annapolis Marina has open slips in the winter (thats where I live) and are liveaboard friendly. Yes a bit more money but lots of perks to go with the slip fee. The yard crew even cleared my finger pier off before they cleared the main walks because they know I'm up early to get to work. The livaboards all get together in the clubhouse for a potluck each Sunday. Lots to do and close to the Nappy town action while still being quite. Good chance no matter where you end up you might be able to carpool into DC with another liveboard in the same marina. Mark
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Old 27-10-2013, 05:34   #27
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

Herrington seems to be shaping up as an attractive option. I have snooped around on their website as well - both (North & South) are big operations. Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of Shipwright Harbour Marina.

Thanks for the "cold weather" insights Redsky49 and Chris. I fear that you have probibally forgotton more than I will ever know about cold weatehr livaboarding! For those interested - this move is a choice and an adventure for us. We don't have to relocate - we just want to try it and experience the east coast, Chesapeake Bay and put some diversity into our cruising background...and as a retiree - DoD contract opportunities (despite the budget woes of the country) are still attractive in the DC area.

DSDman - Thanks for throwing in - glad to have a ketch owner as a resource as we are new to the cruising lifestyle with lots to learn. I actually looked at two Nauticals during our search for the perfect ketch.

I must admit - as I type this aboard on the hook just west of the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa...a change to 4-seasons and chilly conditions will be an experience and quite different from the balmyness of Florida.

Mark - Herrington quoted me $6900.00 and some change (per year) and the liveaboard monthly. That's comparable to what I pay down here and I don't live aboard - appealing!

Steve
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Old 27-10-2013, 06:07   #28
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

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Geopowers and I both live aboard at the same place. Herrington harbor south is about the best compromise if you plan on working in DC. I looked all over and here I am. 37 miles. Bus to rail. Or I just drive. Bath house close, good food restaurant nice amenities good sailing. Clean.


Bus to rail from HHS? Interesting, what's the route? Approximate time including transfers? Nothing like that from HHN in Deale that I know of; that right?

-Chris
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Old 27-10-2013, 06:12   #29
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Re: Looking for Advice on Chesapeake Bay Area Liveaboard Recommendations

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Herrington seems to be shaping up as an attractive option. I have snooped around on their website as well - both (North & South) are big operations. Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of Shipwright Harbour Marina.

I know Shipwright Harbor. Nice enough place: boatyard, pool, clean...

Not on the same scale as HHN, though, right across the creek. Even if less expensive, I'd prefer HHN for all their on-site facilities... assuming the wallet isn't choking.

If there's a bus/rail route from HHS, that seems to trump Deale if public transport is high enough on your list.

-Chris
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Old 27-10-2013, 06:20   #30
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I miss spoke. Car over to route 4 to catch the bus, free parking. Its a few miles, then bus to le enfant plaza then metro. It would be the same from HHN or shipwright. I looked at shipwright as well. It was just not as convenient or nice. Distance to bath house is a big deal in the winter time. Showering on the boat with all the moisture build up can present problems so the bath house being close is very nice.
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