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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast > Chesapeake Bay
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Old 11-14-2009
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Best place to keep a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay if you live in Philadelphia

Hello,

I'm new to Philadelphia and have never sailed on the Chesapeake Bay. I've been sailing my whole life and I'm looking to buy a sailboat boat and keep it on the Chesapeake Bay. I would like to enjoy the bay with my wife and two small kids.

I'm looking for a location on the bay to keep my boat that is somewhat close to Philly (with-in 2 hours) but would offer me a great family location.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-14-2009
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Eastern shore, Georgetown MD is on the saffafras. A longish ride from there to the bay but very close to philly, Elkton, Baltimore of course, You can join one of the 30 YCs on the Del River and just head for the bay via the C & D canal. When I had my boat at Georgetown it was about 2 hrs. traffic was terrible many times. then we wised up and took 295 south to Delaware. What size boat you looking for?
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Old 11-14-2009
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I live in Allentown. I have kept boats in Georgetown, MD on the Sassafras and in Annapolis.

Georgetown - Closer, rural setting, very protected, brackish water easy on boats, beautiful river; long motor up and down river to get sailing room, wind are flakier on upper bay, its a long distance to get to most organized raftups if you join a group as they generally center around Annapolis.

Annapolis - Well you know the setting, some marinas can be very exposed, can be sailing in minutes. Closed to raftups and gatherings. Longer drive.

We loved Georgetown for the setting, but the sailing was not great. This is the primary reason we ended up moving to Annapolis in spite of the drive.
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Old 11-14-2009
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eastern shore is easier driving. but remember, while the sassafras is closer to philadelphia, you can get to the good cruising grounds further south much faster at 60 miles an hour than you can at 6 miles an hour. I keep my boat in Rock Hall. Only a half hour or 45 minutes beyond the sassafras marinas by car but half a day closer to annapolis, wye river, st. michaels, choptank, etc. etc. etc. by boat
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Old 11-14-2009
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Worton Creek or Rock Hall -- good balance of drive time and distance to sailing.
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Old 11-14-2009
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We live just above Phila and spent 8 years at Skipjack Cove on the Sassafrass in Georgetown. Pluses are it's close to home, the river is very scenic and nice to play on with the kids, friendly people on the eastern shore. Negatives, like others said, it's a long way to the bay. Also loaded with power boats. Apx 7 miles, 45 mins to where you can actually sail without fear of a collision. An hour and a half to get to the bay heading south. Limited places to cruise to in a reasonable length of time as a result. We moved to Baltimore Inner Harbor this past spring and are very pleased. We're now within 3-4 hrs of too many places to mention to cruise to. I'd also second Rock Hall, Worton Creek, Tolchester as good eastern shore locations. As mentioned the extra 15-20 mins by road opens up your cruising grounds dramatically.
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Old 11-15-2009
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Rock Hall was my choice. Many sailors there are from eastern Pennsylvania. I live in Easton, PA and it's a 3+hour drive for me. From Philly you should be around 2-hours to Rock Hall.

Quickly on the bay, in a matter of minutes, and plenty of places to which you can cruise. Lots of good anchorages around too.
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Old 11-15-2009
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I agree that it is far better to travel south at 60mph than at sailboat speeds. I think you will love Rock Hall. There are things to do in town if the weather keeps you in port. That's important with small kids. Rock Hall has several marinas to choose from. Sailing Emporium is a nice, family owned marina. Or you can choose Worton Creek Marina on Worton Creek who also does a nice job and is in a great location for sailing. Great Oak Harbor on Fairlee Creek is also a good choice. There is a beach across the harbor that is great for swimming if you wade through the flock of power boats. I agree with what others have said; stay away from Georgetown as it is very far to the Bay and you basically have 1 direction to sail to: South. Besides, the powerboats will be very annoying as they speed to the bay. I would stay to the eastern shore. Baltimore has some nice marinas and is priced reasonably but it is a long trip down the Patapsco to the Bay. Go south and you have to deal with traffic in and around Balto. which will add time and aggivation. There are several nice marinas on Middle River north of Balto. such as Bowleys. Bowleys does a nice job, is friendly to families and has a pool. Middle River is very busy with boats and can get hectic in the summer. Good luck with finding a boat and a place. Welcome to the Bay.Tod
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Old 11-15-2009
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Rock Hall or Worton on the Eastern Shore...Rock Creek ( mouth of the Patapsco )where we are) on the western shore

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another vote for Rock Hall (with a warning)

Like the others, we found Rock Hall to be a reasonable compromise between distance driven and a great place to sail from. Lots of good marinas to choose from. Nice little town with a West Marine and a grocery store. Easy day's sail from destinations like Annapolis, the Miles River, the Chester River, the Magothy River, Baltimore, Worton Creek. We lived on the north side of Philadelphia (Ft. Washington) and it was usually a 2 hour drive (except Friday afternoons in the summer - I 476 was terrible!) Avoid it if you can.

The warning comes because we found it to be a life-changing experience. We liked the rural area so much that I retired early and we moved here.

Mary Lou
Rhodes 22 Fretless
Rock Hall, MD
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