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Old 25-06-2020, 17:45   #1
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Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Hello All,

My number has finally come up on a mooring wait list I got on eight years ago. So . . . time to buy a boat! It will be my first ever (other than my kayak!) so I've just begun my research.

I figured this would be a great place to learn all those (many) things I don't know yet.

I'd love to meet others from New England, especially Portsmouth, NH, and/or people who know the coastal waters here, as this mooring is tidal and has ocean access. That said, I don't plan to go on the open ocean until I gain significant experience.

I'm interested in a motorboat, as opposed to a sailboat, but I'll post specific questions in the appropriate forums. Here I'm just introducing myself and saying hello!

Peace,
Bud
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Old 25-06-2020, 21:25   #2
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Just thought I’d say hi since it’s 12:25AM and I’m passing offshore off Portsmouth NH and on my way to Maine. Howdy

Brutal wait list on the mooring. Wow.
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Old 26-06-2020, 05:59   #3
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Welcome, and congrats on the mooring! Some people wait even longer.

Long-time boater on the Piscataqua here. Ask anything you want.

A few basic questions: What size boat will your mooring permit allow? You've joined a cruisers' forum; what kind of cruising did you have in mind? Do you like to fish? Day trips with family? Overnight weekends? Extended coastal cruises? Crossing oceans?

There are lots of resources to help you get started. First and foremost, NH requires a boating safety class, which I think they're allowing on-line now with COVID and all. I'd normally recommend the in-person classes put on by the Power Squadron and USCG Auxiliary. You tend to get more out of those than the NH Marine Patrol class which focuses more on laws and regulations. But on-line is a good starting point, maybe in the fall classes will be allowed again.

Make sure you get some input from knowledgeable boaters before buying anything. It's easy to fall in love with the first boat you see, and overlook some glaring (and expensive) problems. Maybe even take some skeptical buddies along when you look.

Next, it's possible to pay a captain to do a few hours of on-water training. It is a service I offer, but most people manage to find someone in their marina or mooring field who is willing to do it for free.

Finally, don't fear going out in the ocean. Pick your days and explore the coast a bit. You'll actually find it easier than dealing with strong currents, navigational hazards and other boaters in the river.
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Old 26-06-2020, 09:03   #4
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Thanks Chotu & CaptTom!

Great info. I'm pleased to have found someone knowledgeable about the area! Thank you for the offer to help. It's very much appreciated :-)

To answer your questions:

>>What size boat will your mooring permit allow?

I haven't yet worked out a spot with the harbormaster, so this is pretty open. One factor is this: I don't really want a huge boat, but at the same time I'd like to be able to go out as far as Star Island someday. So, assuming I wait for favorable conditions, what would be the smallest boat anybody in their right mind would use to do that? Then I would choose the next size up ;-)


>>You've joined a cruisers' forum; what kind of cruising did
>>you have in mind?

I've always been a day tripper, even automobile-wise. That plus the occasional weekend. I have camped out on Vaughn Island at Cape Porpoise, so that's a weekend I'd probably like to do with the boat--cruise up the coast and camp out there.


>>Crossing oceans?

Probably not more than what would be required to get to a nearby island, such as Star.


>>Finally, don't fear going out in the ocean. Pick your days and
>>explore the coast a bit. You'll actually find it easier than dealing
>>with strong currents, navigational hazards and other boaters in the river.

That's something I wouldn't have considered--great advice!

Thank you,
Bud
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Old 26-06-2020, 12:42   #5
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Boat size: Star I isn't that far. I've been out there in a 14' boat. You see people do it in kayaks sometimes, but I'd only advise that for very experienced paddlers in a well-found ocean kayak.

The limiting factor for a cruising boat is the head. Nobody wants to use one of those porta-pottie things in the V-berth. Until you have a boat with a proper marine toilet you'll be doing day trips or camping ashore. Which is also nice (see: Maine Island Trail Association.)

The other limit is what size boat your mooring is rigged (and permitted) for. The currents in the river demand a robust mooring, and annual inspection/maintenance is essential (and required in some jurisdictions.) The point here is, if you get all set up for a 21' day boat, and later decide you'd rather have a 30'er or bigger, you might not be able to.

You didn't mention fishing. Center consoles with a lot of walk-around space are really popular with fishermen. But they're not ideal for cruising or over-nighting. When you get up into the 28-30' range, there are some really nice walkaround cuddies you could almost live on and still fish off, but it's a compromise.
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Old 26-06-2020, 14:04   #6
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Welcome. I'm at Great Bay Marina. Let me know if I can help.
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Old 26-06-2020, 16:28   #7
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Thanks, guys!


>>Until you have a boat with a proper marine toilet you'll be
>>doing day trips or camping ashore.

I can live without bathroom facilities for my first boat. For me the boat is mainly so I can explore farther out than I have been with my kayak.

I'll be talking with the harbormaster soon to select a proper location (several sites came up at once, oddly), but I'm already under the impression that this mooring area can handle anything I'd be likely to buy. I was out there today and KPYC has a 28 footer there, and I haven't looked at anything bigger than 25'. This mooring area is not on the river side. It's at Goat Back, if you're familiar with it. I'll have more info on my permit limitations soon.

Fishing from the boat isn't important to me, but I *do* like the idea of walk-around space. I wouldn't mind a boat that would allow two people to sleep on it for a night, even if that's just a sleeping bag on the deck or bow. It wouldn't have to be a sleeper, per se. Sleeping aboard is a lesser factor for camping and day-tripping, but it would nice to have the option. Wouldn't be a deal breaker, though, if there wasn't enough room for that. Main thing is getting places.

I'm still in the beginning stages of my boat-buying research, but some things have caught my attention already (though they require more research). For example, I saw a Boston Whaler promo where the company demonstrated how one can still float and be driven even after being cut in half. I'm kind of a safety nut so perhaps that's why it got my attention. I also liked many of the designs.

Another thing I noticed about myself: even though fishing isn't a priority, I tend to like designs that have more of an open, fishing-boat "look" to them. Maybe because I like the idea of walking around the boat.

I also favor the covered consoles, and I saw one today that had a plastic enclosure (complete with "screen door" ! ), and I like the idea of the enclosure. Actually, I like the idea of being able to completely cover the boat to keep the weather and sea gulls out. However, I almost never see them out in the harbor this way. Perhaps covering it just invites hornets?

Anyway, that should let you inside my head a little bit!

Thanks for indulging me ;-)

Peace,
Bud
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Old 28-06-2020, 02:24   #8
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

CaptTom,
Thanks for mentioning the MITA. That looks awesome. I've not sailed on the ocean (southern VT reservoir only, where I learned), but the Maine coast has always interested me with all the islands. Do you know how anchoring is near these places in general? The only thing I've heard about Maine coastal anchoring was mentioning the rocky nature of the coastline, but I'm a newbie too, with no coastal experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Boat size: Star I isn't that far. I've been out there in a 14' boat. You see people do it in kayaks sometimes, but I'd only advise that for very experienced paddlers in a well-found ocean kayak.

The limiting factor for a cruising boat is the head. Nobody wants to use one of those porta-pottie things in the V-berth. Until you have a boat with a proper marine toilet you'll be doing day trips or camping ashore. Which is also nice (see: Maine Island Trail Association.)

The other limit is what size boat your mooring is rigged (and permitted) for. The currents in the river demand a robust mooring, and annual inspection/maintenance is essential (and required in some jurisdictions.) The point here is, if you get all set up for a 21' day boat, and later decide you'd rather have a 30'er or bigger, you might not be able to.

You didn't mention fishing. Center consoles with a lot of walk-around space are really popular with fishermen. But they're not ideal for cruising or over-nighting. When you get up into the 28-30' range, there are some really nice walkaround cuddies you could almost live on and still fish off, but it's a compromise.
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Old 28-06-2020, 13:39   #9
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Re: Hello from a Portsmouth, NH Newbie

Quote:
Originally Posted by GerryL View Post
CaptTom,
Thanks for mentioning the MITA. That looks awesome. I've not sailed on the ocean (southern VT reservoir only, where I learned), but the Maine coast has always interested me with all the islands. Do you know how anchoring is near these places in general? The only thing I've heard about Maine coastal anchoring was mentioning the rocky nature of the coastline, but I'm a newbie too, with no coastal experience.
By all means, join MITA. They're always looking for help, especially this year with COVID foiling their usual group island clean-up days. You can even become a docent (or keeper, or whatever they call it) at some islands. Probably a waiting list for the good ones like Jewell I in Casco Bay.

There are very few MITA islands I've anchored off. But if you join, they'll send you the full guide (and a password for the app) which will indicate which ones have anchorages (and campsites, and a bunch of other info.)

The Maine coast is very rocky. But there are lots of coves and inlets with muddy bottoms suitable for anchoring. Not so many on the extreme Southern coast below Casco Bay, unfortunately.
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