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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Chesapeake / Central US east coast
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  #1  
Old 12-02-2012
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Urbanna for marina location

I am considering moving my boat from Coan River on the lower Potomac to Urbanna on the Rappahannock River.

Has anyone kept a sailboat in Urbanna? How is the sailing on the river? How long does it take to sail in or out to the Chesapeake Bay? Any current to contend with?
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Old 12-02-2012
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

James,
I'm surprised no one more local has not chimed in yet. I know the area because a buddy of mine had a place and sailboat in Deltaville for a few years some time ago. We'd always drive through Urbanna on the way from Deltaville. I always thought of Urbanna as kind of a back water except it offered the best shopping for provisions and such - but I'm a darn Yankee so what do I know? Some parts of Maryland make me think I'm in the deep South.
I'll bet you'd find marina prices pretty reasonable and fairly few sailboats there. Likely the same in Deltaville. Urbanna is at least 10 NM from the mouth of the Rappahonock so it would likely take you about 2 hours @ 5 knots to get to the Chessy proper. The Rapp is one of the cleanest rivers on the Chessy watershed (a plus for sure, very little industry). It is not particularly wide though and some parts can be quite shallow so I'm not sure how great the Rapp would be for just a quick day sail with your P 28'. One of the issues is that you have to go out at least 1 NM further from Stingray and Windmill points until the water gets deep enough to forget about worrying about the depths. And then there are the crab pots.
If it is sailing on the Chessy that you want I'd look into Deltaville as it is not much farther a drive and a lot closer to they Bay. The water table in Deltaville yielded particularly hard water. I would think that slip prices in D'ville would also be quite reasonable. Urbanna would still be a good place to get provisions though.

Caveat emptor: my experiences there were over 20 years ago. YMMV.
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

I like Urbanna a lot...nice little town, but too far up a narrow river for good sailing, no where near as good as where you are now...I'm over at Olverson's. if you want to be on the Rappahannock, you need to be no further up river than Regent Point and Deltaville would be better.
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Old 12-03-2012
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

Urbanna is definitely a good place to keep the boat. However, Deltaville gives you more sailing options: up the river towards Urbanna, mouth of Piankatank, the Bay. Plus you will have a good choice of reasonably priced marinas.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog8It View Post
Urbanna is definitely a good place to keep the boat. However, Deltaville gives you more sailing options: up the river towards Urbanna, mouth of Piankatank, the Bay. Plus you will have a good choice of reasonably priced marinas.
I stayed in Urbanna for a few days in September and had a great time. Whether it would suit you for a basing your boat there would depend a great deal on how you use your boat.

Urbanna is a long ways from the Chesapeake, but there is plenty of sailable water right outside the entrance to the town. The East and West Branches of the Corratoman would be an easy sail as would the anchorages in Carter's Creek, so there are some quick overnight trips available without ever entering the Bay. That said, it would be a looonnng haul to say Onancock and even places like the Great Wicomico or Fishing Bay would be a pretty good day sail away.

All in all though, I think I'd agree with Dog8It that Deltaville would be a better base of operations. I think I'd go further and say that the Broad Creek entrance offers the most possiblities allowing visits to the previously mentioned anchorages (but now adding Urbanna as a place to visit) without having to enter the bay, or if the weather was agreeable any of the many creeks between Windmill and Smith Points or going around Stingray point into the Piankatank. You can still do those trips easily from the Piankatank side, but it would require heading out on the bay to get to the shelter of the Rapp. which might limit you to a daysail or anchoring out in Fishing Bay/Godfrey Bay on a few occasions a year.

When we sailed from Deltaville, I always liked that I had fairly sheltered places I could sail from Broad Creek, even when it was blowing stink out on the Bay.

Edited to add, we had some dockmates that went to Tides Inn almost every time they took their boat out, because their sailing buddies were based out of Urbanna and Carter Creek was the only place they could manage to meet up. The friends moved their boat to Deltaville taking our old slip so now they can choose other destinations.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

that dag gone channel in and out of Deltaville is such a pain, and like Caleb mentions, you really have to watch the depths. Urbanna has a lot of touristy things to do, and several festivals a year. There is limited slippage in Urbanna proper, but those are pretty decent weather holes for the most part. The town dock and area can get crowded quickly.

Couple of hours to the bay, and not near as wide as the Potomac so if you get to the bay and it looks ominous, you are pretty much compelled to head back up the river instead of across. Short sails, but that can hone your tacking skills. I don't recall much current one way or the other. You will get some wind tide every now and then.

The York may be a better choice, time wise from Richmond, with similar sailing and facilities to the Rappahanock, Deltaville excluded.

Best of luck
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

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Originally Posted by kd3pc View Post
that dag gone channel in and out of Deltaville is such a pain, and like Caleb mentions, you really have to watch the depths. Urbanna has a lot of touristy things to do, and several festivals a year. There is limited slippage in Urbanna proper, but those are pretty decent weather holes for the most part. The town dock and area can get crowded quickly.

Couple of hours to the bay, and not near as wide as the Potomac so if you get to the bay and it looks ominous, you are pretty much compelled to head back up the river instead of across. Short sails, but that can hone your tacking skills. I don't recall much current one way or the other. You will get some wind tide every now and then.

The York may be a better choice, time wise from Richmond, with similar sailing and facilities to the Rappahanock, Deltaville excluded.

Best of luck
You talking Jackson Creek or Broad Creek? Broad creek was narrow but a prefectly straight shot. It required absolute attention for a few minutes but I never found it particularly problematic (well after running aground the very first time I ever took a sailboat out on my own).

Jackson creek on the other hand is as crooked as a Congressman and requires driving up almost on the beach for one turn.
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

Deltaville or Fishing Bay just to the south. I delivered a boat from Urbanna to Smithfield VA and it took about 3 hrs to get to Stingray Point. Pretty much blew our schedule which was to get to Mobjack Bay. Ended up at Fishing Bay which was a nice stop. Don't think you'd get the most of your boat up at Urbanna. Rappahannock is a beautiful river, with plenty navigable water but for us it was against incoming tide and you'll face that half the time. Again, Rappahannock is a great river but you should find closer to the mouth. Perhaps at Whitestone (I think it's Carter's Creek). Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

I just drove through that area to look at a boat in Deltaville. The boat had been in Urbana before she was moved to D'ville by the broker. As I looked at the map, and considered the drive time down some quiet roads, I wondered why anyone would intentionally choose to keep their sailboat in Urbana. A power boat? That's another story - short shot out to the bay. But in a sailboat, that's an hour or more out to the bay, and along a fairly narrow waterway if the winds aren't favorable. Now, I'm "thrifty", so maybe the cost of marinas in Urbana were significantly less expensive enough to offset the inconvenience, but since I sail with kids most of the time, I want easy, quick access to the main body of water, even if it means an extra 15-20 minutes in the car.

I note that this is an older thread. Have you made it down that way to scout things out?
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Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Urbanna for marina location

Quote:
Originally Posted by PalmettoSailor View Post
You talking Jackson Creek or Broad Creek? Broad creek was narrow but a prefectly straight shot. It required absolute attention for a few minutes but I never found it particularly problematic (well after running aground the very first time I ever took a sailboat out on my own).

Jackson creek on the other hand is as crooked as a Congressman and requires driving up almost on the beach for one turn.
Broad Creek, used to keep my boat at the old Deltaville Yachts dock, and I too ran aground exiting (overshot the channel) first time out. In 1999 it was barely wide enough for two 30's to pass side to side, let alone a big boat, or a powerboat slewing past at half throttle. My 6' would bounce almost every time, even in mid channel.

Jackson is hairier, but I guess since I was always really paying attention, to all the turns, I never drug bottom there.

Experiences there, though made me a better sailor getting in and out, watching the tides and even waiting on some jerk to barrel down the middle.

Best of luck, JW where ever you end up.
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