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  #1  
Old 08-29-2008
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Chincoteague, VA - Looking for marina or anchorage

Will be headed south in a few weeks from upstate NY and usually use the Chesapeake Bay. For a change of pace, if the weather is favorable, I'd like to go outside this year and come in at Norfolk. Does anyone have knowledge of marinas or anchorages in the Chincoteague Inlet? I've got a 42 sailboat, 6 ft. draft. About the only places I can find doing a search online are the Chincoteague Town Docks and Chincoteague Inn & Marina. Would appreciate any help you can offer!
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Old 08-29-2008
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Chincoteaque is not a recommended stop for a boat with your draft. Although the inlet is marked the channel has a tendency to shift and is winding and highly changeable. Lots of marshes and shoals and a swing bridge to contend with. No facility's to mention.

Pretty much the same for Wachapreaque inlet.
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Old 08-29-2008
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The only inlet on that coast that is safe and suitable is Ocean City. Abut an 18 hour run to Norfolk as I recall. OC is really geared to sport fisherman...the only marina there with easy access and good depths (8') is Sunset Marina just inside the inlet.
Ocean City Maryland Fishing and Charter Boat Sportfishing - Sunset Marina
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Old 09-02-2008
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From friends that have done the Virginia coast they say that Ocean City is not a stop for a sail boat. To much current and a tricky channel. Unless you can do an overnighter and a 36 hour run from Cape may to Norfolk I would do the inside, but I'm a chicken. Good luck!
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Old 09-02-2008
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No place to safely pull in from Lewis Deleware to Norfolk. Ocean City is possible on a calm day, but you will still fight a 4+ current at tide in a very narrow channel with large sportfisherman boats bouncing you around between two rock jettys....sound appealing...NOT

I would run Barnegat Inlet (which I did on our trip this summer to NYC) before I would run Ocean City MD in a sailboat

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Well...I did that inlet on a VERY windy/choppy day in my 44 Irwin and while it is a dogleg...it was well marked and not bad. Obviously you want to avoid peak current if possible but with a solid boat and a good engine I think it is a class A inlet.
Ocean City is definitely a power boat place...but it is also deep enough for sailboats and can offer a nights shelter on a hostile coast. We actually stayed there several days and enjoyed the carnival atmosphere on the beach and the very good seafood restaurant right next to the marina I recommended.
Wait for a good weather window... and make your run and you will be fine.
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Old 09-11-2008
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Unless you have crew or speed to do it on one leg I would STRONGLY suggest you skip the outside option. There are a couple of ports but none is suited to a sailboat and few to a boat of much size. I can only speak from personal experience on one. I stopped at Watchapreague with my Pearson 30and provided a lot of entertainment to the locals. They could see my mast all the way from the inlet and were surprised I got as far as I did before going hard aground, needing a tow to get off. Even the Coast Guard only tries to leave at full high tide. There is an OK anchorage just inside the inlet but it's not easy to enter. Anywhere you try to get in be sure to run from sea buoy to sea buoy before coming in. I was 6 miles off in 15 feet of water most of the way.

From Watchapreague there may be some shelter near Cape Charles but it's a long way in a sailboat. I left Watchapreague at 8 AM (tide controlled timing) and didn't get to Norfolk until after 11PM and, trust me, it's not an easy place to find your way in without a chartplotter. I managed to follow a depth line into the harbor behind Old Hospital Point but it was more by the grace of God than skill.

I was on a mission and tried to save time. The grounding cost me a broken tiller head and a broken autopilot. Thanks to a kind local I was able to get the tillerhead welded but I steered by hand all the way to Norfolk and lost three days. Do yourself a favor and take the Chesapeake route. Leave a couple of extra days and enjoy the trip.

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Old 09-11-2010
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Chincoteague Island Town Docks

My husband and I were sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Martha's Vineyard in a Gulfstar 50 ketch rigged sailboat. We draw 6' and need 56' clearance for bridges. Off Chincoteague Island the winds clocked around to NE and blew up to 35kn. Since we were making no headway, we decided to come into Chincoteague and wait out the NE winds. Because of this thread, we planned to anchor in the inlet and move on as soon as we could.

Once in Internet range, inside the inlet, I contacted the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce. I can't post url's yet, but just put the appropriate extensions onto ChincoteagueChamber and you'll find their website. Boy, am I glad I did!!! We talked to Suzanne, who gave us the number of the Harbor Master, Wayne Merritt, cell 757-894-8240, office 757-336-5192. He gave us information on the channel and slip rentals at the Town Docks.

The channel was dredged in summer 2010 and is maintained at 9.5' - we never saw less than 14' as we came in. Don't trust your charts, but follow the channel markers as the channel has been moved. The swing bridge opens every 90 minutes starting at 6:00 AM, and continuing until midnight. As a side note, the swing bridge is being decommissioned and should be removed by January 2011. The plan is to keep the eastern wooden fender and create a fishing pier.

The Town Docks can accommodate boats up to 50', and the docks range from 4' - 10'. The transient rates are 1.00/foot per day.

As for facilities, there is a boaters' shower, laundry within walking distance, a beautiful library, water, electricity hookups for 30 or 50 amps, and free WiFi. Fuel can be obtained, but is not available at the docks. There are plans in place to add that in the next few months.

The Town Docks are adjacent to Rob Reed Park, which boasts a statue of Misty, the pony that made the island famous. We didn't have a chance to get to the wildlife refuge to see the ponies, but others did and told us about them. You can rent mopeds or scooters about a block away as well as have crab at Don's Seafood Restaurant. Bill's Restaurant has a great crab omelet and Steamers has all you can eat crab, shrimp and chicken. All are within walking distance, including art galleries, a grocery store, ice cream parlors and more restaurants. Oh, and Don's also has an upstairs pub, Chatties, that features live music. We lucked onto 2nd Saturday, an art stroll through the town as well as the police' Poker Run festival.

Don't pass this by!!!
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