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  #1  
Old 01-15-2009
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Help planning move to East coast.

The admiral and I are discussing options for a move to the east coast. We've narrowed the results to South Carolina and Florida (not keys, gulf or Atlantic side is OK) based on weather, taxes, cost of living and current housing market. (please - no dissertations on those topics. We know there's plenty of opinions)

Both our jobs allow us to work from the house, so we're thinking of getting "the plan" to step #2. (move to ocean locale and gain more big water experience)

Now the question becomes one of 'sailboat friendly' cities in these states. We'd most likely end up with a 40-43 ft cruiser. Live aboard on weekends at first. Eventually (within 5 years) live aboard full time. Our criteria for 'sailboat friendly' in no particular order.

1. Cost of boat insurance.
2. Maintenance cost / availability
3. Mooring/slip fees
4. DIY facilities available (have seen a few posts regarding DIY yards)
5. Access to the ocean

Is there a city/area that is generally accepted as the "sailboat capitol" for those respective states? We've explored the coast a bit in those some of those areas, but we didn't have the sailing bug when we were there.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-15-2009
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Tony...suggest you look at North Carolina (Oriental Area) as it has both good sailing, and everything else you want. I can think of nowhere else in the Southeast this is true except Miami/Ft. Lauderdale...and then you have issues of costs and hurricanes.
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Old 01-15-2009
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If cost of insurance is a major factor, you'd be much better off in the Carolinas, rather than Florida. The hurricanes that clobbered Florida in the past few years have driven insurance prices up quite a bit from what I understand. Marina/slip/mooring fees are probably a bit less expensive in the Carolinas as well.
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Old 01-15-2009
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I currently live in Florida (Ft. Myers area), and I highly encourage you to avoid it! Here are a few reasons:

1."Southern Hospitality" apparently has it's southern border somewhere north of Jacksonville. Either that, or no one has ever experienced the basic behavior of most Midwestern folk. Both the native Floridians and the imported northeast-ers tend to be on the unfriendly side. My wife was shocked when we were up in Indiana over the holidays, and someone actually held a door open for her (other than me)!

2. Housing prices, while down significantly, are still outrageous IMO. Hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 1/4 acre sand lot with a poorly constructed concrete block home, usually in a gated neighborhood with ridiculous covenants. Maybe I'm a little too libertarian, but if I drop 300-500k on a home, NOBODY is going to tell me I can't park a boat in my driveway once in a while, or have a basketball hoop for the kids, or what kinds of trees I'm allowed to plant!

3. Slip fees are outrageous!!!! Again, my Midwestern upbringing might be to blame, but $10-15/foot/month to keep a boat in the water just seems egregious. For that money, there had better be scantily-clad girls washing my boat every weekend.

5. While the winters are pleasant, summertime is BRUTAL. If you're going to live aboard, sail north or get really good AC.

4. On the plus side, I like the sailing down here, but I have a swing keel boat. Shoal draft can be VERY important in our area, less so in others.
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Old 01-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Tony...suggest you look at North Carolina (Oriental Area) as it has both good sailing, and everything else you want. I can think of nowhere else in the Southeast this is true except Miami/Ft. Lauderdale...and then you have issues of costs and hurricanes.
I was going to say the same thing.

Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds are nice, protected and almost year 'round.
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Old 01-15-2009
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Cam,
Thanks for the suggestion.

We looked at NC (it's third on our list actually) and the income tax is an issue. We'd pay about 1.5% more, assuming we both keep our jobs in this economy. FL is very attractive because there is no income tax. FL has also repealed the tax on intangible personal property (stocks/bonds/etc).

However - given your endorsement, we'll have a look in NC. We actually have some great friends that just bought a house in Carolina Beach.
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Old 01-15-2009
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I grew up in midwest too....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tortuga12 View Post
I currently live in Florida (Ft. Myers area), and I highly encourage you to avoid it! Here are a few reasons:

1."Southern Hospitality" apparently has it's southern border somewhere north of Jacksonville. Either that, or no one has ever experienced the basic behavior of most Midwestern folk.

2. Maybe I'm a little too libertarian, but if I drop 300-500k on a home, NOBODY is going to tell me I can't park a boat in my driveway once in a while, or have a basketball hoop for the kids, or what kinds of trees I'm allowed to plant!

5. While the winters are pleasant, summertime is BRUTAL. If you're going to live aboard, sail north or get really good AC.
1. I grew up in the midwest, so I appreciate your comments.

2. We currently live in a place with virtually no covenants and love it.

5. We don't live aboard now, but we had 50 days of 100+degree weather last summer. Spent a lot of time at the boat - most of it swimming at anchor or at the marina (I bet I don't want to swim in marina's on east coast!)

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2009
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Tonybin..,I like Oriental, NC, too. I also like Georgetown and Beaufort, SC; however, except for the insurance cost, I lthink you cqn find the best of what you want in Florida. I protected my boat during the hurricanes of 2004 while in Florida and I've already saved half the valve of my boat by bying liability only insurance since the rates skyrocketed. They wanted about 5% of my total value for a year's full coverage! There are areas where you can keep a boat or with a quick move protect your boat in Florida. One of the best of these is the St. Johns River in NE Florida,- Jacksonville area. The slip rental here is half of what it is in South Florida. When I first started living aboard in Florida I was looking for, not only ocean access, but protected inland sailing for an easy afternoon out after work. This narrows it down to Jacksonville (St. Johns River), Melbourne area (Indian River-long distance ocean access), Stuart (St. Lucie River), Miami (Biscayne Bay), Tampa Bay, Pensacola, and Panama City. I left out my home town, Ft. Lauderdale, because it's ocean or nothing, but it does have many well protected docks, especially if you can get under the 55' I-95 bridge on the New River. I also left out the Keys due to expense, crowding and lack of protection. I can dock my 41' as a liveaboard in Jacksonville from $380 to $700 per month depending on the area of town and quality of marina. There are two DIY yards here and more with partial DIY opportunities and a large marine and boater friendly environment. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-15-2009
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I'll second the recommendation to take another look at coastal N.C. The cost of living is ultimately going to be significantly less than Florida, and there are some gorgeous cruising grounds along still-undeveloped shorelines. Four true seasons, but without a real nasty winter. I'm not as familiar with the coastline of South Carolina, but my general impression is that it doesn't have the same kind of river and sound sailing grounds that N.C. offers, little creeks and anchorages to explore, etc.

On the other hand, wait a minute! I should be keeping this quiet!
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Old 01-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybinTX View Post

5. We don't live aboard now, but we had 50 days of 100+degree weather last summer. Spent a lot of time at the boat - most of it swimming at anchor or at the marina (I bet I don't want to swim in marina's on east coast!)

Thanks!
I surely wouldnt want to swim in those marina's


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