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  #1  
Old 12-30-2008
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Chesapeake: Herrington Harbor North

Chesapeake sailors,

I am thinking of moving my boat's permanent slip to Herrington Harbor North. (Closer to home and closer to the north bay sailing that we miss). We have sailed the Chesapeake for 10-years, but have never entered HHN or HHS. After a road-trip to HHN - we are impressed.

For any who keep their boat at HHN or may have used it as a transient facility, a few questions please. Is the long channel to & from the bay sufficiently deep and maintained to permit passage of a 6'2" draft? Is there sufficient protection from the southerly wind to keep it from making docking difficult? The boat is 40' so would be kept at "B, C, or D" docks. Any comments from experience on the facilities or management in general?

If this post is too "focused" for the BB let me know and I'll provide e-mail.

Wayne

Last edited by wwilson; 12-30-2008 at 04:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2008
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i have not sailed there but from what i understand they have some bad shouls, and i mean real bad narrow channel. do more research
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Old 12-30-2008
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I usually sail out of there on anothers boat. The current channel is narrowed b/c they're drudging it (sp?). It is very narrow, but I believe they should be done by this coming season. Obey the markers and you should be fine unless the winds are strong (steady 25+knts) blowing the water out into the bay. Really makes it a lot more shallow at low tide. One of the J35s couldn't get out of their slip, but that only happened once. It is pricey, but access to the bay is hard to beat. You can also have any work you need done taken care of by the marina, as HHN is a working marina, HHS is more of a resort.

Cadence II is in M-2 (currently on the hard) but if you feel like waiting until spring, stop by and tell him one of his crew says hi, he'll be able to give you more insight. I have his email, PM me and I'll send it to ya.
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Old 12-30-2008
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In and out is quite narrow, and the 6'2" may need to watch the wind and the tides. Once inside it seems fairly well protected. Fairways can be a bit narrow for my liking, but can manage.

Next nice day, you may want to visit and talk to the locals for better specifics.

Facilities have always been very good and well kept. North has good yard and such. Not sure about SOuth, as the others mentioned too much for me.
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Old 12-30-2008
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I've kept a sloop with a five foot draft at HHN for six years. It's one of the best marinas on the bay IMHO.

The long narrow Rockhold Creek channel (I call it the "bowling alley"), is supposed to be dredged this spring by the Army Corps of Engineers. Anything less than high tide presents a challenge to the J-35s (7ft draft), but I've scraped a couple of times at very low tide. Some shoaling was introduced to the channel during construction of the southern rock jetty, but there is a detailed chart of this available at the marina office.

The amenities are top-notch, and the slips are well protected from all directions. There is a large, well marked shoal area at the western end of the alley which could be confusing at first (especially at night) -- just study your charts and you'll be OK.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-30-2008
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We keep SOLARE at Herrington Harbour South, but haul for winter at HH North. Right now the Rockhall Creek channel is a bit thin, but I just read in the HH newsletter that the dredging permit was approved and the channel is to be dredged to a min or 7' by early spring.

As for amenities, Herrington Harbour North is first rate especially for a working yard. Herrington South is more of a country club atmosphere, but you pay a premium.
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Old 12-30-2008
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I sailed out of there on my first ever trip to the bay; bought my Hunter 31 from the yard there and took it to Annapolis.

While there the yard fixed a crack the surveyor found in the hull (caused by lifting stress, strap was on a a interior bulkhead), minor crack, 2 inches long, not leaking. 700 bucks, and rough gel coat not sanded smooth at all. I was not happy with it.

Mind the bar on the way north, head out to the green can and don't cut the corner. Looking forward to seeing you in our neck of the bay.
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Old 12-31-2008
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In and out of HHS and HHN numerous times with my boat and my son's boat, both 42' sloops with 6.5' draft. No problems. My son keeps his boat at HHS which is a beautiful spot.

Together, these marinas represent one of the largest -- if not the largest -- marinas in the world. Further, they are extremely well managed and well kept. If that weren't enough, they are the closest spot on the Bay to Washington, DC and the drive down the Suitland Parkway and Route 4 then 258 is very pleasant. Takes 35-40 minutes.

Still not enough? Herring Bay is located mid-Bay, with lots of destinations north, south, and across the Bay. Very convenient. You can be sailing in minutes from HHS, while HHN takes a bit longer while you negotiate the channels.

There are lots of competent vendors onsite, and Rockhold Creek Marina just to the north boasts some of the best engineering talent on the Bay. HHN has several large travel lifts, and a very large area for dry storage. If you talk to them nicely, they'll find you a spot in the rear of the yard where you can work on your own boat.

There are a couple of good restaurants closeby and a West Marine store on the grounds of HHN.

As Siskal and Ebert used to say, "Two Thumbs Way Up"!

JMO,

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 12-31-2008 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 12-31-2008
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So Bill, tell us how much you really like the place...
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Old 12-31-2008
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We keep our boat at HHN, at the end of E dock, and our draft is 6'5". We're very happy there. The long-delayed dredging project by the Army Corps of Engineers will be a big improvement, but the channel is well marked and generally there are no real problems. The marina is well protected, and often calm,while really blowing out on the Bay. Much more important than the tides is the direction of the wind. Winds out of the north tend to lower the water level sometimes by several feet, which occasionally causes problems with deeper draft boats. But no reason to rule out HHN with a boat of your draft. The marina has done a lot of dredging of the fairways and slips, and I find the fairways plenty wide. The marina staff is great, the on-premises West Marine is handy, and I'm sure you'll be happy there.
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