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Old 16-09-2008, 21:29   #1
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Talking First Boat...Possibly!


We are new to this forum so Hi! My fiancee and I are planning on buying a 30-35' sailboat this year. In fact we are looking hard at one in Maine! If we do buy her we are thinking of taking her down south next summer to begin our live aboard life!

I have a few questions I was hoping people in this forum might be able to help with:

1.) Does anyone know of a good surveyor in Maine? Around Portland in particular?
2.) Any recommendations for a safe affordable place to store her for the winter?
3.) We are thinking either Charlotte SC or around Oriental SC to head for live-aboard..preparing for an extended cruise. We will have maybe one car and will most likely need to find some type of work for 6months-year to save up our kitty. Any suggestions for where a young educated couple could live aboard and work in the south east?

I am hoping that as our plan moves forward we will become regular faces on this forum, thank you!
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Old 17-09-2008, 01:14   #2
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Welcome aboard the Cruisers Forum Aly & John.

SC is a little out of my cruising grounds so maybe one of our East Coasters will chime in. Good luck on the boat purchase.
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:56   #3
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Welcome Aly/John.
Oriental is a better and more reasonable place to keep and outfit a boat for cruising.
I think you mean CharlestonSC as Charlotte is in NC and a ways from the water.
Charleston is a lovely city and probably has more jobs...but fewer places I'd trust with my boatwork.
You might also consider Norfolk as there are lots of slips and jobs and places to get quality work done and the Chesapeake is at your doorstep.

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Old 17-09-2008, 15:24   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply! I must of been tired last night when I got all of my locations mixed up!

I will definitely look into Norfolk as well! How much boat work needs to be done will depend on the survey, but like all cruising situations it is a little bit of a catch 22, to get the boat work done we will need jobs but where there are jobs everything is more expensive!

Anyone here have their boat in Maine? If so please let us know what you think of marinas or surveyors, thanks!
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Old 17-09-2008, 19:17   #5
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As far as expensive places to be the southern Chesapeake is about as far north as you can get with it still being cheaper. Anything farther north gets you into greater expenses. It's also the line for far enough north for hurricanes in the summer as well. Winters are not ideal but the snow is negligible compared to any place north and lasts about 3 months. It includes far more than Norfolk and I wouldn't live in Norfolk myself. It still leaves a lot of other places all in the same area so that part isn't hard to solve.

Jobs for a period of time is something you need to consider but it comes down to what you can do and what you can find at the time you are looking. Jobs around here are no worse than any place else but not a great deal better either.

I think once you get close to needing a survey there isn't a shortage of surveyors any place on the east coast. Maine has a fair number of them as well. SAMS and NAMS web sites could be a good start for the accredited folks that have been around a while. I would try and speak to a few and see who strikes you as someone you want to work with. You might as well pick someone you get along with. Any of the accredited surveyors will satisfy an insurance company and that matters a lot too.
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Old 18-09-2008, 16:34   #6
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Lots of folks go work in marine stores, like West Marine. I hear they get substantial discount on employee purchases, which I suspect you will be making a lot of since you will be new boat owners. The eastern shore of Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay is very nice, and less expensive than the western shore/Annapolis area. Oriental is a fun place too. Go to or Yacht and Small Craft Surveyors in ME, USA | NAMSGlobal to find a surveyor.
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Old 09-10-2008, 20:32   #7
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The boat fell through... survey revealed some substantial issues we just don't feel are worth getting into for now. But still looking at moving to the East Coast. Thanks for all of the advice! Any other suggestions for living and working aboard in the East Coast?
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Old 09-10-2008, 23:43   #8
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I lived aboard in Norfolk for a year. The winters aren't bad though you'll need some kind of dry heat for at least 4 months. The summers aren't the most enjoyable as temperatures can get to 100 degrees and 100% humidity. Spring and fall last forever, though. Winter temps hovered in the 30's though there were some cold snaps that get down in the teens. Snows are infrequent though it can drop a foot or more if a storm passes through. I used a couple of electric heaters which didn't work well at all. The condensation kept everything in the boat wet all winter. That's why you will need a vented heater that will keep things dry instead of making water.

Norfolk is a good jumping off place for exploring either north or south. A trip down the Dismal Swamp channel is magical. The whole Chesapeake is open to you to the north. Some of the Rivers are fun to explore if your draft isn't too deep. I was there a long time ago but Hampton was more a sailor's town. Norfolk marinas were mostly power boats then.

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cruising, maine, east coast, living aboard

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