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fredct 08-02-2011 09:30 PM

Rhode Island vs. Connecticut Marina/Mooring
I am a prospective new buyer from NW CT. The closest shore point for me is Bridgeport Connecticut, with Norwalk CT nearly the same distance from house. Intended usage is extensive in the summer since I can work from anywhere, boat included.

I have noticed that the slip charges and storing charges in CT can run up to $6.5k for 35' to 40' range.

Initially, I thought that this was not a big deal since I would be driving less.

Now I read that one major marina in Bridgeport is closing (with 300 customers looking for storage elsewhere) and that in general, the winds in LI Sound in the summer are not that great.

Should I consider a berth in RI instead? Distance is a factor (3 hours one way) but being right next to Newport and the ocean, I assume that I would get more out of each sail. RI may be slightly cheaper though they don't charge sales tax which could be an added bonus.

rwy36 08-02-2011 11:09 PM

Congrats on your imminent purchase! Both Connecticut and Rhode Island can be great places for boating, and any berthing selection you make will involve trade-offs in many different ways.

A couple of years ago, we had a mooring in Eastern CT (Avery Point) and found the longer commute (about an hour for us in moderate traffic, much longer in heavy traffic, especially on late Sunday afternoons) was a real challenge for us. We didn't have as much flexibility in our schedule back then which could have helped mitigate the travel time problem. In contrast, our current mooring in the CT River is about 15 minutes from the house and Rt-9 is rarely over-congested (unlike I-95), so that convenience and predictability is very handy and enables me to get down to the boat more often during the week too!!

Another aspect to consider is the predicted 'quality' of the slip/mooring you're considering if you are thinking about working/sleeping aboard quite a bit. In our experience in Eastern CT, the mooring was heavy tackle which was somewhat exposed to the SW, and on brisk days (or nights), the area of the mooring field I was in could get pretty rough for working/sleeping aboard. The rollers from the ferries would come through pretty regularly also (and sometimes right on the beam when the wind was S - ouch). In contrast, we have very good shelter on the CT river which is nice, especially when it's blowing hard (and is more comfortable to be aboard in a wider range of conditions). Smoother water has got to be easier on the boat (generally), I would think.

On the plus side, though, the water is much cleaner in Eastern LI Sound and RI Sound, so that's a key benefit of going East, and the one thing we miss the most I'd say (although the CT River is doing better these days, it seems). The sailing is also better out there too (especially in RI, to your point), so if you've got the flexibility in your schedule and can find a reasonably sheltered location, you may want to take a look at a few RI alternatives (and just talking about it reminds me that we're due for a trip out to Newport).

Good luck,


fredct 08-03-2011 07:29 AM

Thanks for that initial feedback. I will take a look at CT river in addition to Housatonic area. As mentioned before, the closure of Brewer will have an impact on availability, at least in the near term.

In terms of RI, I was looking at Bristol so ferries are not an immediate concern (though they are when under sail and the bay seems congested at times with other sail boats and commercial traffic).

So much to learn and consider.

tempest 08-03-2011 08:58 AM

This might be a little off the wall...but since you're close to Bridgeport you could consider Port Jefferson to keep the boat..take the ferry rather than drive 3 hours one way.
Conn and RI, certainly don't have a shortage of marinas..finding one near a train station might make commuting less stressful. Essex, Old Saybrook..? etc.

fredct 08-03-2011 09:11 AM

I had not thought about LI shore as an option. It would be faster than the 3 hour drive but probably only by 1 hour (each way). There is the added complication that the Port Jefferson Ferry does not run 24/7.

On a related note: I saw on Craigslist a private slip for sale on Housatonic. I wonder if that is taxable property like a house, car or boat trailer?

rwy36 08-04-2011 07:14 AM

> So much to learn and consider

Great point, and you've put your finger on one of the durable 'constants' of boating, in my opinion (no matter your experience level).

LI North Shore is an interesting option, but I'd be sure to check the ferry schedules to see if that will work with your cruising plans / work schedule / etc.

Not sure about your question on the slip ownership taxes, but I'd be willing to guess they are 'on the table' up in Hartford (based on recent events here in CT with raising taxes etc) if not already in place (since it sounds like real property). Luckily the boat property tax didn't make it in (this time around, anyway).

Mirari 08-04-2011 08:50 AM

I live in the Hartford area and keep my boat in Noank. The water quality and screnary are much better in my opinion then eastern LI sound. Costs for a mooring for a 40 foot vessel range from $1400 to $2500. Less if you have your own mooring. I winter store up the CT river in Portland. It's half the cost of being on the sound and only 20 minutes from the house.

fredct 08-04-2011 08:55 AM

To Mirari,

Thanks for that information. I never thought about storing in one place and mooring in another. Provided that the boat is well protected in winter, I can see that it does not make a difference, except for the additional sail to and fro.

estopa 08-04-2011 09:11 AM

Those moorings in Housatonic are taxable to the town like property tax and you have to pay monthly dues for upkeep. I looked into those as well but for me the deciding factor was the 15mins of motoring just to get to the sound.

I use the Milford town floating docks in the Milford Harbor. Good for May - November for about $25 a foot. For storage most folks store up in Housatonic river for $35 a foot. This scenario is probably the cheapest you will find in my neck of the woods.

fredct 08-04-2011 09:18 AM

To Estopa,

I had a feeling those private moorings were property.

In our town (on Candlewood Lake), the town docks are affordable but it's a zoo trying to get a slip. People have to camp outside city hall, sometimes during snow storms.

Is it the same situation in Milford town docks?

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