Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Washington, NC
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I'll add a plug for North Carolina - the sailing is good, and the bottom is mostly mud and soft sand, so it's relatively forgiving. With a 5-foot draft you'd have no problem. The Pamlico Sound offers the feeling of being on a large body of water while still being somewhat protected. It can however build a steep chop in strong winds because of the long fetch over shallow water.
There are a variety of coastal communities to visit, including Ocracoke Island, which really should be on everybody's must-visit list; Washington, which has put a lot into sprucing up its waterfront offerings for boaters; and Oriental, which has a strong sailing contingent; among others. There's also the Beaufort/ Morehead City area and Cape Lookout Bight, which is a beautiful spot to visit. The waters are not overly crowded, so the boat traffic shouldn't make you uncomfortable.
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Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.