Where is the best cruising in the USA? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 57 Old 02-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Where is the best cruising in the USA?

I was wondering. Where have people liked cruising the best?

I want to go to the PNW. The only problem is the weather. Spring is gloomy, cool, and rainy and summer is short and not very windy. Otherwise is seems perfect.

How about California? It looks like there is a lack of harbors and anchorages, although I might be wrong.

The NE is cold for most if the year but Maine in the summer looks great.

The mid Atlantic, Chesapeake Bay I don't know much about.

The south is well...the south.

Florida. Maybe this looks like the best year round cruising. Lots of place to stop and good water and weather.

Anyone have some personal experience that they really loved?
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post #2 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

At first I thought you meant for a short visit, a charter maybe. But then it sounds like you are looking to relocate permanently, is that correct?

I live and sail in the PNW, and I love it in the summer. Like you said though, the summer is short and the winters not so nice. There are plenty of good "off season" sailing opportunities on beautiful, albeit cold days if your so inclined. I had a great weekend sail the other day. Beautiful, sunny, very nice indeed. Of course there was frost on the dock when I left at 2:00pm, and it was dark by 4:30, but it was nice

One possible advantage over the NE is that most boats stay in the water for the winter, and there's not tons of snow, so it's easy to get out for those nice, cold weekends when you can. Sounds like most people in the NE pull their boats for the winter and can't use them at all until the next spring.

I haven't yet sailed any where else, so I can't offer any comparisons there. I know many people cruise the world and think the PNW is one of the best cruising grounds, so there's that. Of course, after sailing here for many years, I'm ready to try something new, and warmer!

Also, lots of year around live aboards here, so while it is cold and wet in the fall, winter, spring it's not THAT bad.
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Last edited by IslanderGuy; 02-12-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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post #3 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

The Chesapeake and it's tributaries is huge and offers just about anything you want. Tons of anchorages and marinas located in big cities, small cities, quaint towns to just a wide spot at the end of the road in very rural areas.
Fantastic spring and fall weather, stifling heat and humidity in mid summer to some pretty cold weather in mid winter.
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post #4 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

The Chesapeake Bay is heaven in spring, hot as Hades in July and August (but night sailing is a remedy), and pure magic in fall with good wind, cool but not cold temperatures and a riot of color on the trees. There are literally thousands of miles of creeks and coves, restaurants, quaint towns, and 3 major cities on the Bay's 200 miles. The Bay is home to world class racing, countless marine outfitters, and the U.S. Navy. For many, it's a 12 month season, for us it's 7-8 months.

The Bay has 3 distinct regions. The Northern Bay from the Susquehanna River to a bit south of Annapolis is cosmopolitan, faster paced, narrower, and plagued with power boaters. Mid Bay goes down to about the Potomac and is more relaxed with more open water, smaller towns but with great sailing towns like Solomons and the St. Michaels area. The Southern Bay reaches to Atlantic and except for Norfolk is very rural with very open water (25 - 30 nm wide). Slip rentals are more expensive in the Northern Bay, diminishing as you go south to around $145/mo for a 40' slip. Transient fees are about $1.50 - $2/ft throughout the Bay, but one can certainly pay more in Annapolis and Baltimore.

Weather is very predictable, with generally Southerly breezes. Northerly or NE is for storms and fronts. Since we're on the right side of the continent, storms hardly ever sneak up unannounced, and are usually gifts from our midwestern neighbors. Summer thunderstorms are common and can pack a punch with 50kt winds not uncommon but very short lived. The rule of thumb is to leave early and get where you're going by 3PM because that's when the t'storms wake up. The Bay is generally shallow with a 30' average depth although there are 120+' trenches in places. Because of this, any sustained wind of more than a few hours can heap up short, steep seas. I'll take an 8' ocean swell over 4' on the Bay any day.

In 25 years, of sailing the length and breadth of the Bay, we've only scratched the surface. It's home.

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post #5 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

I can't imagine how any where compares to the year round, clear warm water, subtropical Fla. Key's and S.W. coast of Fla. Every where else is seasonal and short at that. The secluded lagoons, the desserted beaches, the Dry tortuga's, the Everglades and it's rivers. Key west, it's history and culture. Not to mention the cool little wharf Bars, live aboard freindly anchorages. The fishing, the only coral reef in the states,. The laid back attitude of the locals. The mangrove creek's, the mom and pop boat yards and marinas, the palm tree's. It's close proximity to the bahama's and mexico. The swimming year round in clean clear water, the spear fishing, diving with out a wet suit, the good holding and well marked channels night and day. It's Americas Caribbean. The S.W. coast with it's calm waters and big deep bay's, sun rise and sun set views from many of the anchorages. The Marqueses, Boca Grande, the Back country....................................

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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

I live on the Chesapeake bay & love it. I agree with what others have said about the bay. Having sailed in the keys I have to say that weather in the keys is better.
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post #7 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

.......The 10,000 island area, Biscayne bay, Elliot Key, Miami Beach. Big Pine Key and it's tiny deer. Little Palm Island. Did i mention the clear warm, easy to read water, shallow anchoring, 3 foot tide....
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

Keep it coming guys, those were some great posts! Very descriptive.
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

.....Coconut Grove, The back bay's of key largo, Isla Morada and the anchorage there, the turqoise lagoon at sun set. The basically east winds at northern most edge of the trades. Predictable weather which is alway's some form of warm and balmy. One million places to duck in from a squall....12 months 24 seven sailing in water that begs you to dive in and grab a lobster for dinner, swimming with dolphin and sea turtles the manitees.....
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post #10 of 57 Old 02-12-2013
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Re: Where is the best cruising in the USA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck53 View Post
The Chesapeake and it's tributaries is huge and offers just about anything you want. Tons of anchorages and marinas located in big cities, small cities, quaint towns to just a wide spot at the end of the road in very rural areas.
Fantastic spring and fall weather, stifling heat and humidity in mid summer to some pretty cold weather in mid winter.
Chesapeake is a good central location for 9 months. Can go up to New England and Long Island in the summer to escape the heat amd most of the hurricanes, Then come back in the Fall and in Novemeber head for Florida and the Carribean after the names storms are not as big a threat

Chessie is a great place......so are the Great Lakes and the PNW.
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