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Old 05-31-2012
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Southern Chesapeake marina reccomendations

We're getting ready to launch our 1963 Islander 32 after an extensive refit, we're also moving to Radford/Blacksburg Virginia and would like to have the boat relatively close by, which will be about 4-5 hours away over in the Southern Chesapeake.

I've never sailed on the Chesapeake or lived in Virginia so I'm looking for some local knowledge in finding a marina. I'll need a yard and a travel lift to launch it and it would be a plus to be able to get some minor work done before the launch.

We'd like a marina as close as possible to Radford, more like a four hour drive than a five hour drive would be nice. Something low-key and family oriented would be nice. We have two young kids so some kid/wife friendly amenities would be a plus. We don't have any reason to be in or near any cities, off the beaten path is fine. No need for anything fancy or pretentious, I like liveaboards, old boats, and boats being worked on. A smaller or family operated marina would be great, giant warehouses of powerboats are a serious turnoff.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Southern Chesapeake marina reccomendations

Regent Point Marina, Topping VA is a five-hour drive for you. It sounds exactly like what you're looking for, other than the distance. If you can't find something closer, check it out.
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Southern Chesapeake marina reccomendations

Unfortunately for you, Radford looks to be 5 hours or more from anywhere on the Bay.

I did a few Mapquest look ups and came up with the following travel times from Radford:

- Deale MD 5 hours, 4 min
- Kinsale VA (Near the mouth of the Potomac) 4 hours, 46 min
- Coan, VA (A bit closer to the mouth of the Potomac) 5 hours, 2 min
- Deltaville, VA (A major center for VA sailing) 4 hours, 54 min
- Yorktown, VA (York River Yacht Haven) 4 hours, 38 min
- Hampton, VA 4 hours, 45 min
-Norfolk, VA 5 hours, 7 min

Since all of these are closer to 5 hours than 4, its just a matter of choosing the one that seems to best fit your idea of a great place to sail.

Someone else will have to fill you in on sailing in Yorktown, Hampton and Norfolk, but I can tell you that YRYH is a very nice marina.

I drove over 4 hours to Deltaville for over 5 years and still miss sailing there, (but not the drive.) If I was in your shoes, I'd pick the marina that suited me best in Deltaville and never look back. 5 to consider are Doziers Reggata Point, Stingray Harbor, Deltaville Boatyard, Fishing Bay Marina and Deltaville Yachting Center. As a sailing area this part of the bay is my idea of perfect. You can sail in the Rappahannock or Piankatank if its blowing stink on the bay or you can venture out into the widest part of the bay and be out of site of land crossing to the eastern shore. There are dozens of anchorages within a 3-4 hour sail and of course you can venture further if you have the time.

The Coan/Kinsale options I'm not super familar with but have visited. They seem rather remote even by Deltaville standards and Deltaville is pretty rural feeling. The C/K location being close to the mouth of the river allow fairly quick access to the bay and locations like St Mary's would be in easy reach or you could sail around Smith Point and visit some of the locations you could reach from Deltaville.

Personally, if I were you I would not consider Regent Point or anything in Urbanna. The drive time would be similar to the places I've listed and you're over an hour or more from the Bay, if you pick a place that far up the river.

The Rose Haven/Deale area also offers a lot of great marnia's and destinations to visit, but is more expensive by a good deal and there is much more powerboat traffic.

Good Luck.
s/v Palmetto Moon
1991 Catalina 36
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Southern Chesapeake marina reccomendations

You're pretty much have to go thru either Richmond or Petersburg to get anywhere on the bay unless you go to MD and then you will have to go thru the metro DC area (not fun).
What do you want? Quiet rural areas, metro (Hampton Roads) or something in between?

I live in RIchmond and sail on the lower Potomac. I've made the trip east to many points on the bay and I've made the trip to Blacksburg many times over the years. You're looking at 4-1/2 to 5 hours no matter where you go unless you have a real heavy foot and state troopers love heavy foot drivers on 460.
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Last edited by chuck53; 05-31-2012 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Southern Chesapeake marina reccomendations

Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm checking out the web pages of the marinas. I figured it was going to be a five hour trip no matter what I did, and that's okay, that's what it takes.

I'm really looking forward to sailing the Chesapeake, my previous sailing has been in Florida and the Bahamas, so this should be a change of pace. Keep the suggestions and tips coming!

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