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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #1  
Old 02-04-2013
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Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

We have 2 boys, ages 7 and 5, and are trying to find a good marina for all of us. The ideal marina would be reasonably priced, and be close(ish) to a beach and other activities in case the weather wasn't what we were expecting. We kept our boat in Somers Point, NJ last year at a very small marina, and the location was pretty good - we could get to the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk in 20-25 minutes, and there was plenty to see and do close by (Cape May County Zoo (30 minutes), aviation museum, movie theaters, mini-golf, etc.). In fact, I could often entice everyone to go out sailing by first going out to the beach/boardwalk, then for a "short" 2 hour sail.

As we look at our next boat, we're also reassessing our marina options, in part because the marina we used last season won't be able to handle the boats under consideration. The NJ shore/Barnegat Bay area still seems to be the best bet for us, but the northern Chesapeake (North East/Havre de Grace/Chesapeake City) is even closer to us (we're northwest of Philly) and may not have quite the same traffic as going to the shore, so that's also tempting. I know there are a lot of destinations we can hit once we're out and about on the water, but I'm concerned about those days when it's predicted to be 8-12 mph winds, and when you get there it's 15-20 (or more), or even just 3-5.

I know I can try to find a marina with a pool, and that will help a lot (who doesn't like a pool?). But are there other options in that area for kids, too?
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

I would suggest you look at places in or near Rockhall/Swan Creek or on Worton Creek and maybe Fairlee creek (if you can stand the tiki bar crowds).

Check out marinas.com and activecaptian.com for user comments

Haven Harbor Marina on Swan Creek may fit your request pretty well.
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Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Funny I lived in Ocean City for 18 years and kept my boat on Barnegat Bay, because just cruising Rainbow Channel got old. There is pleanty to do for kids there. Barnegat is a nice place. I would stay in Dillons Creeek ( I did) or Forked Rover, Silver Cloud, thern you could still get in the car and go to LBI. There is good sailing there although its very shallow. What it lacks are the anchorages, tree lined creeks the Chessie has. Maybe thats the next step as you learn your new boat. I kept my boat there for 6 years. You next boat you will be staying on for weekends it looks like so thats a good place.

The Chessie is primo for a family and sailboat
There are many people from Philly who keep boats on the Chessie. The northern part is very nice, but usually suffers from lack of wind. Havre de Grace is a long 1/2 hour motor at least down a narrow winding channel to the Bay. Chesapeake City is 1 hour motor to begin sailing. There are so many choices here and that why many come to the Chessie for its beautiful anchorages and fun towns as destinations. Northeast has some marinas

From where you live its and hour to the Del Memorial bridge and then down the Delaware/ Md side. From the bridge its 45 minutes to Worton Still Pond and maybe 50 minutes to Rock Hall,

The first place I would stop would be the Sassafras although its an hour out to the bay you can sail the wide river easily when the winds are really up on the Bay. There are plenty of anchorages and from there Rock Hall and Baltimore are 6 hour sails ( 30 miles)
Many anchorages on the Sassafra plus Still Pond ( 10 miles) worton Creek ( 15 miles). Sailing Associates is one of the places there/

The further down the Bay you come, the better the wind is in summer. Rock Hall is about 11/2 hrs Many boaters from Pa come there because the marinas are first class, the towns pretty, and there is a lot of sailing area. 4 hours to Baltimore, Annapolis, Chester River. You could also stay 95 and come down the western side to Middle River...nice marinas and closer to Baltimore where there are fun things to do. Also Middle River can be sailed in heavy Bay winds. We are in the end of the Patapsco Rover. 1 hour and 15 minutes from the Del Memorial Bridge. Here you can sail the Bay or the River.

E mail DFerron one of the moderators. She and her husband live in Pa and keep there boat in Rock Hall and can give you a good idea of the commute.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
We have 2 boys, ages 7 and 5, and are trying to find a good marina for all of us. The ideal marina would be reasonably priced, and be close(ish) to a beach and other activities in case the weather wasn't what we were expecting. We kept our boat in Somers Point, NJ last year at a very small marina, and the location was pretty good - we could get to the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk in 20-25 minutes, and there was plenty to see and do close by (Cape May County Zoo (30 minutes), aviation museum, movie theaters, mini-golf, etc.). In fact, I could often entice everyone to go out sailing by first going out to the beach/boardwalk, then for a "short" 2 hour sail.

As we look at our next boat, we're also reassessing our marina options, in part because the marina we used last season won't be able to handle the boats under consideration. The NJ shore/Barnegat Bay area still seems to be the best bet for us, but the northern Chesapeake (North East/Havre de Grace/Chesapeake City) is even closer to us (we're northwest of Philly) and may not have quite the same traffic as going to the shore, so that's also tempting. I know there are a lot of destinations we can hit once we're out and about on the water, but I'm concerned about those days when it's predicted to be 8-12 mph winds, and when you get there it's 15-20 (or more), or even just 3-5.

I know I can try to find a marina with a pool, and that will help a lot (who doesn't like a pool?). But are there other options in that area for kids, too?
Use this interactive map and site to look at marinas around the northern Chessie

Sailing Associates Inc in Georgetown, Maryland, United States

Dave
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Chef2Sail, we loved Dillon's Creek, but they are really out of our price range for this coming season. I wouldn't mind being back there another time, but for now, I have to look elsewhere.

I'm 80% sure we'll wind up on Barnegat Bay somewhere this season, since my in-laws have a house at the NJ shore. It's south of Barnegat Bay, but depending on where we are on the bay, we'd still have the boat accessible if we went to visit them. The boat being on the Chesapeake means that a "quick" trip to go sailing will be anything but quick.

That being said, we weren't actually AT my in-law's condo very often last year. They frequently had visitors, and we didn't want to intrude. So that meant that the boat didn't need to be TOO close to the condo, and having it closer to home would mean we'd use it more. I'm tempted to bring the next boat to the Delaware, but I'm not sure I want to fight the current all the time, especially the first season with our boat.

If we buy a boat that's already on the Chesapeake, depending on where it is, I've been tempted to keep her on the Chesepeake, and then sail her over to NJ at the end of the season or some time next year if we're not happy there. There's also more competition for slips on Barnegat Bay, especially in the northern end, because Hurricane Sandy actually took out a few marinas, and they haven't recovered yet. When I called a few of the marinas that did survive, some have said that they are already booked up, and another had 1 slip available that would handle a 28-32' sailboat. So, that has me thinking "hmmmm...what if I buy a boat and don't have a place to keep her?" And that has me considering the Chesapeake where there wasn't nearly as much damage.

I like the looks of Sailing Associates, but I wonder about the location - wouldn't it take almost an hour to get out to the bay? Their prices seem pretty good, and they have most of the amenities that I'd like. We liked Georgetown when we were there a few weeks ago.

T35Chef, Haven Harbor Marina looks like a great place! I'll have to get slip rates from them. According to Google, they are 2:15 from me, which is a little far, but it may be worth the extra 20-30 minute drive depending on their rates. They kind of look like Sailing Associates, but with easier access to the bay.

As you can probably tell from all the questions I ask, I tend to overanalyze everything! I also REALLY appreciate all of the help you guys have given me. Hopefully I'll be able to return the favor some time.
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Yes an hour to the bay, but its a sailable hour. Also the Sasafrass once past Ordinary Point, a couple of miles from sailin Assoc is a good river to sail in when its howling on the Bay which was one of your criteria. Its plenty wide enough to stay in and tack.

If distance is your worry about Rock Hall its about 1/2 hour closer. I would rather go to Rock Hall in the big pucture, but if it cuts down on using the boat.

I lived in Bryn Mawr years ago before 495 was built and we kept our boat at Gratitude in Rock Hall. It wa a tad less than a two hour drive. I live in Towson area. which is just north of Baltimore and my brother in Strathmore. Its a 1.5 hour ride.

Did you check Silver Cloud and Forked River on Barnegat bay
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

an extra few minutes of driving can open up a lot more destinations for sailing if you consider rockhall area, or even Kent island. Sassafras to rockhall is a good 2 hour sail i would guess or about 30 minutes by car

I think you open up a lot more sailing and kid friendly destinations if you head just a little further south
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Silver Cloud is high on my list. They are in a good location for us, and their prices are decent. I just have to hope they don't sell out of slips before we are ready. I also like Laurel Harbor, but they don't have a pool. There are a lot of other things to do in that area, though, so it may not be that bad.

Thanks for the feedback on the size of the Sassafras - that is hard to judge on Google Maps.
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Old 02-05-2013
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Shawn, that was my thought, too. We'd have to balance easier access against more "fun."
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Last edited by jimgo; 02-05-2013 at 09:20 AM.
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Re: Northern Chesapeake Activities for Kids?

Shawn is correct of course. I was worried about your drive. The nice thing about the drive from Philly which I used to do is that its a relatively easy one and the drive on 301 and to the Eastern Shore is an easy one. Farmland and less traffic,

Fighting that Jersey shore traffic is a bitch on weekends. When I kept my boat in Barnegat ( Dillons) I was headed North on the Parkway on weekends the opposite way of traffic,
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