Originally Posted by conachair
Middle of the east end isn't really in London?? Would you prefer one on oxford Street??
You seem to be approaching it from more of a weekend/summer cruising perspective - overwintering for a long term cruiser is a different deal with very different things making difference. It's your winter
home, not spending a few days in a hotel
Like it or not, you'd be hard pressed to find a cruising boat
over wintering in Europe
popping out for day sails
, people just don't do it. The boat
gets into house mode with various little varnishing etc projects on the go, just doesn't happen.
Having a few other boats around makes a difference, so Limehouse will have some, and as mentioned some social activity across the canal
at the Cruising Association. St Kats was good for our friends across the water
with them having a little america coffee morning once a week. Though St Kats was a bit like living in a gold fish
Various other things can make a difference, good walks, ability to have post sent (Amazon sending to post offices and ebay to argus has helped in this respect) , decent supermarkets/cafes/one decent bar nearby. The Solent might be great for weekenders but wintering not so great, best price
I got last winter
was a month in Gosport, lets face it a @#$%hole unless you really like pound shops and Weatherspoons (hmmm, come to think of it...
) And you're on your own, no like minded boaties around.
Brighton's not bad, nice town, good walks, horrible white marina but quite a few other liveaboards and decent supermarket right there.
St Kats went down hill a few years ago when the whole estate was sold
for several hundred million and the helpful harbour master sacked. Now, last I heard, they seem more interested in monster gin palaces. Shame but Limehouse is only a few minutes away on the DLR and not so much like living in a theme park.
Yes, I admit, that I am West End-centric. Still, I don't think Docklands is the "East End". Despite decades of redevelopment, it's still nearly a wasteland and has almost nothing that foreigners want to see and experience in London.
And yes -- if overwintering in house mode with no desire to sail, then whatever you can get, as near as possible to London makes perfect sense, and Limehouse Basin would be a good choice. As you said, the tube is next door and you can get around reasonably well.
I mostly live on board during the winter, but unless I've got something apart to such an extent that it's not possible to go to sea, I go out every chance I get, at the very least during the weekends. I never let me boat get into "house mode". My goal is always to keep the boat homey and comfortable (much easier with a larger vessel) but seaworthy
at all times, ready to go out on a few minutes notice. I really dislike staying tied up in one place for more than a few days at a time. YMMV of course. For this style of overwintering, the Solent is ideal, since the sheltered waters are navigable even in very strong weather
, and there are a multitude of places to go. As has been discussed, the winter is mild and there's decent sailing year round.
You're definitely not "on your own" -- there are hundreds of boats sailing on a decent winter weekend and lots of life in all the marinas
. And it's dirt cheap
-- a fraction of what you would pay in summer. I pay only 250 a month in Cowes with unlimited electrical
power, for a 54' boat. I figure it cost me that much to run my generator
and furnace on my former Hamble mooring
, in the winter, so the moorage is free.
The amount of life varies by place -- yes, Gosport is a bit dead, but the Hamble is a beehive of activity, as are Lymington and Cowes. Cowes is absolutely wonderful in the winter time -- lots of sailors and locals, and few tourists unlike in summer. All the infrastructure built up to a capacity to serve the summer crowds is still there and open in the winter -- at your service
. Cowes Yacht Haven is right in the middle of town, on the High Street, with everything you need within 5 minutes' walk, including a dozen excellent pubs, ironmongers, chandlers, M&S Food
Hall, post office, ferry
terminal -- whatever you need. And it goes without saying epic walks and bike rides on the IOW. Cowes, Lymington, and any place on the Hamble River would be superb places to overwinter for anyone who wants to actually sail.