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Old 16-09-2012, 07:53   #1
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Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Friends, I'd really appreciate your suggestions for potential places for my family to live on our 46ft sailboat. We are thinking generally of the area from South Carolina to Florida. Worried that the Chesapeake might cramp our style in the Winter.

I am a CPA and my wife is a Spanish teacher. We both have lots of experience in the restaurant industry as well, so could bridge gaps with waiting/cooking. Our two sons are 10 and 12. I also have a CG OUPC (six pak) and have experience with small boats.

Here are our ideal parameters:
-mild winters
-clean community with modest economic activity
-enough to support several small bookkeepers or CPA's (I would plan to work for an established company - maybe part time or seasonally)
-highschool nearby for potential teaching jobs
-place where boys can explore and fish (sometimes on their own)
-easy access to ocean
-generally deep enough for 6'6" draft in and around marina
-since we plan to work ashore (at least seasonally) we will need a reasonably priced marina - with great showers and laundry

Look forward to your suggestions!
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Old 16-09-2012, 07:58   #2
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

www.sunsetbaymarinaandanchorage.com/ is in Stuart, Fl. Greeat marina and staff, liv-a-board friendly. Nice town with a small town feel. Not like the attitudes that exist farther south . It meets your criteria well.
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Old 16-09-2012, 08:00   #3
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Will check out Stuart - the boat is in Ft. Pierce currently - so man that would be close!
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Old 16-09-2012, 08:58   #4
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Key West, although pricey, is a great town to live in. Sometimes the City gets a bad rep from the nonsense on Duval St, but it is not hard to avoid. The schools are very good, hospitals are close, deep water ocean is very close, yet there are thousands of square miles of protected backwaters for the kids. There is a tight concentration of businesses which I would think require your services, including MANY restaurants should you be inclined to seek employment in that area. The hospitality industry is the economic engine of the island.

Live-aboard slips are available (currently $11/ft at City Marina Garrison Bight plus utilities, garbage, sewer) City Marina has ~6' at MLW. If you want deeper water, Safe Harbour area on Stock Island is 20+ deep at MLW, but run about 20% more than the City slips.

If you're interested, PM me for more info such as contact info for the marinas etc.
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Old 17-09-2012, 07:52   #5
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

The moment you mentioned restaurant I thought "Charleston, SC" Probably on the larger city end of your range, but a nice vibrant place and decent weather, good day sailing in the bay and ocean access, lots of educational and history opportunities for the boys. On the down side, the water there lacks the clarity of water further south for snorkeling.
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Old 17-09-2012, 07:58   #6
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Thanks wingNwing! I have been wondering about Charleston - the only concern I have is the winter temps. My wife is pretty adamant about being warm. It looks like Charleston would have plenty of economic activity for our professions though.
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Old 17-09-2012, 08:12   #7
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Originally Posted by swabbmob
Thanks wingNwing! I have been wondering about Charleston - the only concern I have is the winter temps. My wife is pretty adamant about being warm. It looks like Charleston would have plenty of economic activity for our professions though.
The normal January lows in Charleston are above freezing, with normal highs in the fifties. You would have to go to South Florida to get much better than that. Miami is in its own special climate one, with most of FL, GA, and SC sharing a more temperate climate.
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Old 17-09-2012, 08:12   #8
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Winter? Not even necessarily cold enough to kill the bugs: Average High/Low Temperatures for KCHS : Weather Underground
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Old 17-09-2012, 13:29   #9
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

If the boat is already in Ft Pierce, I'd look for opportunities from Stuart on north up through Melbourne. There's a lot of marinas all through that area that are inexpensive and pretty well kept up. I'm at Harbortown in Ft Pierce and have been there for about 2 years and they do a good job with the upkeep. It can handle your draft and has direct access to the ocean.

They're rebuilding their laundry and washrooms this week even though the current ones aren't bad at all. They just redid their docks too.

I'd probably look in Vero Beach for a CPA job. Economically that area is pretty decent and it's a short hop from either the Ft Pierce marinas(there's 2) or the Vero Beach marina. If you can get a job doing that there's plenty of restaurants all along the coast the Admiral can work at until she finds a job teaching Spanish.
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Old 17-09-2012, 14:07   #10
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

I am in the Chessy and I will say this. I prefer our winters to our summers! And to think that the summers only get warmer the further south you are.....

Given the chance to 'float', I would prefer the Chessy in spring and fall....maybe slip south for February...then I would be more north for June, July, and August.

I have found it easier to put more clothes on than to take more off....legalities and all!
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Old 17-09-2012, 15:45   #11
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

"Wing n Wing's" Annapolis is a great place for sailing, but I don't accept the measure that not cold enough to kill bugs is a standard for winter comfort. It's all relative,- since I grew up in south Florida my one winter in the Chesapeake was miserable. My recommendations for a liveaboard location from SC to Fl would include the requirement that there is a good protected inland sailing area, like the Chesapeake, that allows for easy access to afternoon sailing on a whim without the need to pass in and out an inlet. I need quick access to casual moonlight sailing! This also requires an area without currents over a single knot or so,- this eliminates Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head as well as all of Georgia and leaves you a few places in Florida that excel. St. Johns River South of Jacksonville is one,- low salinity, wide open protected sailing and low dockage rates; Indian River Titusville to Melbourne,- not as easy access to the ocean and sailing restricted to north and south, but a beautiful area; Stuart,- a little strong on the current index and not a great inlet, but enjoyed by many; Biscayne Bay,- excellent in all respects if your able to tolerate Miami and then up the West Coast there is Ft. Myers Beach, Charlotte Harbor, and Tampa bay that can suit too!
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Old 17-09-2012, 18:43   #12
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Charleston, SC. Great, great city. Mild winters and not beastly hot in the summer like FL. Beaufort is too small for your needs.
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Old 18-09-2012, 08:07   #13
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Definately look at Charleston, SC. Thats where I am and I LOVE it. There are a TON of marinas here, just to name the 4 right at the harbor you have The Harborage at Ashley Marina (thats where I am) with over 250 slips and an average water depth of 20+ feet. Only concern is the James Island Connector, it only has about 55' of clearence. Then you have Charleston City Marina (huge, huge, marina). It was named Marina of the Year a few years ago. Lots of ammenties, good depth for deep draft boats, no height restrictions. Then you've got Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Good size marina, part of a resort. As a slip holder you get acess to their pool, hot tub, resturant, reduced price for rooms, etc. No height restrictions there either. Then you've got Cooper River Marina which is run by the county. Don't know much about that one though. Plus, if you don't mind driving a bit, you've also got St Johns Yacht Harbor. Nice marina, but it'll take you 1-3 hours to get into the harbor from it. And theres also Bohicket Marina on Seabrook Island. Very quiet place, not much to do there as Seabrook is more of a secluded comunity, but a nice marina with about 20+ feet of water. There are also a few other small marinas scatered around on Isle of Palms and Folly Beach. For work, there are TONS of resturants, constant work for CPA types, lots of schools. Great areas for fishing (and hunting if you're into it). Lots of history and areas to explore (Ft Moultrie, Ft Sumter, Ft Johnson, Patriots Point Naval musuem with the USS Yorktown and the USS Ingram). Not to mention the great sailing weather. Always nice out, good, steady breezes, nice deep harbor (just watch out for sandbars by the jetties). You could do alot worse than Charleston.
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Old 18-09-2012, 08:32   #14
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Wow Kevin84! You've got me convinced! Thanks for the info.
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:26   #15
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Re: Your Suggestions - Liveaboard Spot from SC to FL

Charleston is a great city. You don’t have to worry about freezing temps in the winter, but I would take issue with Azul who said it’s not hot in the summer. He's apparently never been there in summer It’s hot and very humid, so you have to be prepared for that like you would in Florida. Restaurants are amazing in C-town if that’s your thing. There are many top notch venues. You really can’t get a bad meal in Charleston. Lots of historical places and educational opportunities for the kids. But it does have the issues of a larger city with crime, congestion, etc.

We keep our boat in Beaufort, SC. It’s a nice smaller town, with a great little waterfront area. I like to call it Charleston lite. It has the antebellum architecture and history. It certainly lacks the economy of Charleston, but it also lacks some of the problems I mentioned also. There are 3 decent marinas in town, cost is a little less than Charleston with less amenities as well. We like the trade-off of a smaller place at a smaller price. It takes a little longer to get to the ocean (about 2 hrs from downtown to the Port Royal sea buoy), but I think the gunk-holing opportunities are much better near Beaufort.

You might consider Savannah, GA. There are a few good marinas like Isle of Hope, and a couple more in Thunderbolt a short drive from downtown. It’s a bigger city with more employment of course. It also has the charm and history with a very vibrant downtown.
Just a few thoughts on places that I am familiar.
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