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Old 22-07-2013, 10:48   #1
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Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Greetings, fellow Forum Members!

My husband and I live in coastal NC and are beginner sailors. We own our own business which allows us to live anywhere as long as we have a high speed internet connection, and our goal is to buy a sailboat and start with easy coastal daytrips and short cruises and eventually be skilled enough to spend half or all of our time living aboard. We are primarily interested in coastal cruising... we have no desire to sail around the world or do a lot of extended bluewater cruising, although something like a trip from the Keys to the Dry Tortugas, or NC to Bermuda may be in the cards in a few years once we are something nearer to competent.

Right now we are very much in the learning phase, and our plan is to take the ASA courses to allow us to bareboat to gain experience, and find the right boat for us, which right now we are inclined to think would be a pilothouse, perhaps a Nauticat in the 33-38 ft range.

I have lurked about on the forum off and on for a few years, but thought I'd introduce myself now that we are getting more serious about moving forward.

I would love to hear from anyone who works remotely from aboard a moderate-sized boat, especially about high speed internet (the discussions I have seen so far seem to focus on sat phones and email... we require more bandwidth than simple email, and while phone is certainly a consideration it is not our primary concern.)

My other near-term question is this: for a couple who is just learning, given the choice of the Chesapeake Bay (based in the Hampton Roads area), the North Carolina coast (based in the Southport/Wilmington area) or the Gulf (based somewhere between Sarasota and Ft. Myers), what would your recommendations/observations/cautions be? Our impressions so far are that NC's coastal areas and sounds are the most difficult for the inexperienced, Chesapeake Bay would be in the middle, and the Gulf (in calm weather - we've lived there and are aware of the near-daily thunderstorms in summer) would be the easiest. Am I off base in that assessment?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you can share!

Mary
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Old 22-07-2013, 13:31   #2
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Hello Mary: Welcome to CF. I cannot help You much because I live far from the states but I wish You a nice start on your boating experience; You will not regret.
Regards, Agustín.
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Old 22-07-2013, 14:45   #3
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Welcome to the forum. I believe many of our members, currently out cruising, are working from their floating office. Feel free to use the search engine or post a new thread under the appropriate topic.
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Old 22-07-2013, 15:35   #4
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Hi Mary,

I'm currently aboard in NC right now. Spend the other 6 mo in CO. I do primarily website dev and use my Verizon phone's data connection (unlimited plan). No need for sat phones as long as your stay near the coast. When I'm around areas of 4G the speed is comparable to any good broadband connection. 3G still allows me to work just fine. I've found nothing particularly challenging about working from the boat. However, when its your office, your home and your playground, it can get a little, well... Luckily the scenery changes!

I dont have any experience sailing in the gulf, but I've been up and down the east coast and either the Chesapeake or coastal NC would definitely fit the bill. As long as you're not talking about rounding the capes, coastal sailing in NC is not particularly demanding. Wilmington is a little far upriver to really offer much decent sailing (20nm to Cape Fear inlet). Southport would be a good choice. Im currently in Oriental which, though off the ICW, would be an excellent place to start sailing. The Neuse River opens up here and the breezes are very predictable, usually building to 15knots each afternoon. POint is, lots of good choices along the east coast. Probably along the gulf as well.

It's highly unlikely you'll regret the boat! Just buy the right one!
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Old 30-07-2013, 07:22   #5
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Thanks to everyone for the welcomes and information!

Laika, that is good news. The main issue for us so far (on land) in terms of bandwidth is that we have a business VoIP telephone system that is a huge bandwidth hog. I think we will just have to ditch that and use a conference bridge for important business calls. We are already trying to retrain clients away from those "hey I just have a quick question" calls that could be handled via email or a client intranet.

Thanks again! We're looking forward to absorbing a lot of good, practical information here.
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Old 12-09-2013, 22:10   #6
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Aloha and welcome aboard!
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Old 07-02-2016, 18:12   #7
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Everyone starts somewhere! Good on ya!
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Old 17-02-2016, 05:27   #8
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mary.
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Old 17-02-2016, 06:38   #9
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

Welcome to CF!

I am also just starting out. Fortunately my business can sustain itself as long as I have email contact, and a phone for the odd call. I have already tested this by being out of communication for periods of time, and when returning, the whole place hasn't collapsed.

Sorry I can't offer any further advice, but I see there's been a few useful posts.

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Old 18-02-2016, 12:04   #10
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

I'm in the Cape Fear area (Southport), and that is a great place to be for sailing. Easy access to the Atlantic from Southport Marina, but if you want coastal ocean cruising, you must either go south, or north via ICW to the next inlet. The Frying Pan Shoals make going north on the outside way too much of a detour to avoid said shoals.

Wi-fi at Deep Point Marina is good, and I have frequently worked aboard my boat, or worst case in the harbor shop. The only downside at Deep Point is the regular arrival and departure of the Bald Head Island ferry (noise, diesel smell, horn), which is okay during the day, but not so much at 11PM when you're trying to sleep. I just moved to Southpoint Marina for haul-out and re-fit, and have not yet used their wi-fi. I did try using the Zimmerman Marine wi-fi, but it was not so good, but maybe that was user error.

All that said, if you have complete flexibility, Oriental is the center of the universe for all things boat in NC.

Best of luck!
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Old 25-02-2016, 18:59   #11
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Re: Newbie Sailor-Wannabes in Cape Fear Region

we're in the same situation... just jumped in and bought... and now with a huge learning curve... lol. No regrets! Ex-pat Yank living aboard in Australia. Cheers & welcome!
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