Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Very hard to answer your question with 100% certainty, because of the vagaries of the hurricanes themselves. So let's talk about odds and options.
Generally, the Chesapeake Bay area and north to Maine are relatively unaffected by hurricanes, other than some heavy rains, winds, high tides, etc. Infrequently, however, they can and do cause damage anywhere along the East Coast. That's the bad news.
The good news is that there are many places where you can keep a boat with relative certainty it won't be damaged, especially if it's hauled and more especially if it's tied down and the mast is out. Or, you can choose a spot to keep your boat in the water where it's very unlikely to suffer damage from hurricanes.
I've lived aboard in Washington, DC for a total of about 17 years, and have had my non-liveaboard 42' sloop here for another 5 years total. My boats were in the water continuously during this period, except for short maintenance haulouts every few years. During those 22 years, I have had zero damage from hurricanes. There are several marinas in the Upper Potomac River which are very rarely affected by hurricanes, and which offer a safe place to keep your boat in the water.
There are numerous boatyards in the Chesapeake area where you could keep a boat, especially hauled out. Slips are becoming very difficult to find these days, but space ashore is still available. One of the very best (and the largest) marinas is Herrington Harbour North in Deale, MD....about a 40-minute drive from Washington. There are several others I'd recommend also, if you are really interested.
The big advantage of being in the Chesapeake area rather than further north is that when you launch in Sept or Oct you are already in a wonderful cruising area at the very best time of year for sailing. Lots of places to go on shakedown cruises, and lots of places to get boat gear and repairs if you need them. Then, sometime in early November, it's time to head south....either via the Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk or offshore towards Bermuda and the Caribbean.
IMHO one month isn't much time to prepare a new boat for extensive cruising, especially offshore voyaging. It would be good if you could manage to extend the preparation time somewhat.
S/V Born Free