Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ? - SailNet Community

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Old 12-23-2014   #1
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Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

I was talking to a friend today,and he told me the Chesapeake isn't good for sailing.It seemed odd to me as I've been crabbing and Power Boating there for many years and see a ton of SailBoats.This is an area I hope to sail in so I thought I'd get some educated answers,plus what is a good Starter sailboat for there ?
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Old 12-23-2014   #2
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

The Chesapeake is a wonderful place to sail. The wind is typically light and variable late July and August and you get late day thunder storm but there is a great sailing community and lots of places to go. I would look for a shallow draft (less than 6') boat with a lot of sail area on the light side for best performance. Many of the production cruising-racing boats fulfill these requirements.

Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2014   #3
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

Spring and fall have the best winds; warm weather holds well into October and the winds are the best in the fall too!

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Old 12-23-2014   #4
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

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Originally Posted by Rapp View Post
I was talking to a friend today,and he told me the Chesapeake isn't good for sailing.
What was his reasoning behind the statement?
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Old 12-23-2014   #5
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

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What was his reasoning behind the statement?
I didn't ask him,I guess I should have,I know he's a powerboater and has a boat he stays on in the northern Chesapeake,he said he loves to sail,but I don't know him to have a sailboat.I'm glad I don't believe everything I hear.
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Old 12-23-2014   #6
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

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Originally Posted by Rapp View Post
I was talking to a friend today,and he told me the Chesapeake isn't good for sailing.
I think your friend needs to come down here and sail.
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Old 12-23-2014   #7
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I think your friend needs to come down here and sail.
Or not speak when he don't know what he's talking about
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Old 12-23-2014   #8
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

I tell everyone I meet that the sailing on the Bay stinks ().

1500 miles of shoreline, depending on how you measure. More if you count the rivers. I think few people have seen even most of it.
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Old 12-23-2014   #9
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

I have sailed on the Chesapeake bay for the past 30 years and have sailed on much of the U.S. Atlantic coast at one time or another. While I am very partial to the Bay and think its one of the best cruising grounds that I have sailed in, it is in no way perfect. As others have noted, the winds tend towards the light side for much of the year. It can be miserably hot and humid during summer. I had a friend who worked charter boats in the Med and Caribbean and she would refer to sailing on the Chesapeake as sailing in a mudhole, the water brown and comparatively shallow. Just about the time that the winds get good, the temps drop below freezing and cruising stops (unless you have a boat with a heater). And so, if judged by those criteria, there are better places to sail.

But on the flip side, the Bay offers an amazing number of beautiful and diverse anchorages spread out over an ever changing shore line. They vary from good sized cities like Baltimore and Washington, to a slew of quaint little towns, to rural backwaters where there are almost no signs that man has been here before you. The currents here are relatively benign, the channels well marked, and the bottom usually soft. With a decent turn of speed there are often dozens of nice anchorages within a comfortable day of sailing. There are great service yards and you can sail almost year round in the worst years and all year long in the best. There is also very high caliber racing as well as scads of opportunities for casual trots around a race course.

So from my perspective as a glass is half full kind of guy, the Chesapeake is way more than half full even if much of the year its more than half full with mud colored water.

Jeff
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Old 12-24-2014   #10
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Re: Simple Question-How good is the sailing in the Chesapeake ?

I have a buddy that lives in Annapolis and he would sum it up like Jeff H. Pros and Cons. He brought his boat to RI and commutes back and forth on weekends. In fact, there are several that do so, from the Chessy, in our marina. Southwest flies from Baltimore to Providence and he kept a car in monthly parking at PVD. A couple more do the same from Canada.
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