North Carolina - best place for sailing??? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-28-2009
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North Carolina - best place for sailing???

My wife and I are looking at relocating for a few years to N. Carolina. I am an intermediate skilled sailor and wanting to spend a more time on the water to advance my skills. We also need a small to medium sized town with good schools for our two girls. My wife doesn't want to live too far out of town and in a place where she has to jump in the car to do almost everything. We are looking for biking/walking friendly towns with a nice breeze and on the water. We are looking at Washington, New Bern or the Beaufort/Morehead City area. We are open to other suggestions such as Elizabeth City or Edenton?

New Bern and Washington look to be fairly far inland but maybe the sailing is great. Does anyone know? I noticed that Oriental, NC is very popular but that is too small for our needs and 45 minutes from New Bern. I want to be able to ride my bike or walk to my boat in under 10 minutes. Washington seems a great size and a cute town. The Beaufort/Morehead City looks nice and being close to the coast for other activities would be great. However I don't hear much about the sailing there.

We are getting ready to explore these areas. If anyone can shed some light it would be greatly appreciated!

Tom
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Old 08-28-2009
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Does it have to be NC or did you just pick it at random? Have you done a winter there?

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Old 08-28-2009
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The priority of the desires you mentioned will have an effect on the location. Will you consider only public schools for the girls? What size boat? From where are you relocating? Experience with hurricanes?
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Old 08-28-2009
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We are trying to stay close to D.C. where I travel for work most weekends during Jan to mid-March. I would like to avoid a location where I would have to fly to DC. Another factor (almost bigger than proximaty to DC) is that my wife avoids hot weather and fears anything much further south. I have convinced her (almost) that NC has four seasons. She is pushing for New England and is trying to convince me to move to Newport, RI. I am afraid the sailing season would be too short since I am limited to the off-summer months. We operate a summer children's camp are in the mtns of WV during the summer. I should add that my wife isn't a fan of the Chesapeake Bay. That said I think if I found a town with a little flair and a yoga group for my wife she would be happy. I guess marriage is full of compromises.

More than you probably wanted to know. Having said all of that....I am open to suggestions.
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I have a PSC 25 and a little Flying Scot. I am wanting to spend more time on the Pacific Seacraft. Public or Charter school would be best on the budget. We will be relocating from WV and will return there every summer. Hurricanes...I would imagine we would go inland if the time came.
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Old 08-28-2009
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The area around Jacksonville, Fl. is pretty good too. I sail out of Green Cove Springs and the St. Johns river is about 3 miles wide there and you do have access to the ocean as well as several lakes, inlets, and bays as well as the ICW. Its also has good schools, is pretty reasonable to live there, and it is not so prone to direct hits from hurricanes as most of Florida is. You should also see the springs just south and west of town...what a sight!

Best of everything!

Michael
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Do you have to be on salt water? A 25'er and a Scott would fit nicely on a decent-sized lake and there are some nice ones in GA, SC, NC, TN, KY & VA. NC has Lake Norman but it is pretty much of a mess, being so near Charlotte. There's also better wind elsewhere. Proximity to DC could be an issue.

NC is supposed to have 4 seasons but we really have more like 16 - just when you thinks it's warming up in the late winter it gets cold again and the reverse in the late summer.
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First, I will answer your question in my opinion: You will like NC. I think it is a very beautiful area and you will get your 4 seasons at least - although my wife's family says there are two extra seasons: cold and very cold in winter, and hot and very hot in summer!! My wife's family is from Lake Gaston so we are there fairly frequently.

I would not want to weather a winter there which is a principle reason I do not live there as I can live anywhere and so can wife/kids. That does not mean their winters are horrible, I just don't want it.

That drive to DC might be a bit of a haul every week from Oriental or the other coastal towns. I am always amazed at how busy I95 has become. Of course, Kris and I have been going up there since the late 80's (and she has since the 70's) - but I95 can really get slammed. I would make that drive at least once or twice before narrowing it down. If you are going to hop a plane from RDU, it generally takes us 2-2.5 hours from Littleton to get to the airport RDU. Your drive would be at least double that I would guess.

If you don't care about the drive, then I, like you, might seriously consider the area. Nice people. Laid back atmosphere... almost too much sometimes. But great people!

- CD
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I'm partial to Washington, but I may be a little biased.

It does look inland on the map, but the Pamlico River is wide and offers great sailing as far west as Washington. I think you'd find the area to be a great cruising ground for your 25-footer and a fun place to sail the Scot, as well.

There are lots of secluded creeks and bays that make great overnight anchorages, as well as maritime-oriented places to visit that are all within easy cruising range. A long day's trip will put you in Ocracoke or Beaufort, or you can anchor overnight and break it into two days. From Beaufort, it's easy to get out to Cape Lookout Bight, an incredible spot to visit.

It is pretty hot for a couple months - mid July through August, especially - but we have a nice long sailing season and the winters are pretty mild. We might get one or two very light snowfalls each winter, rarely enough to stick on the ground, and some winters none at all. Most people keep their boats in the slip year-round, as the river doesn't freeze over.

I'm not too familiar with the drive to D.C., and I'm sure it's a pretty good haul, but it would be at least a little shorter from Washington than from New Bern or Beaufort/Morehead. The drive to Raleigh is also considerably quicker than it used to be thanks to bypasses around Greenville and Wilson; we can be in Raleigh in about 2 hours.

Let me know if you have any specific questions or if there's anything I can help you with.
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Old 09-03-2009
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Oriental is the best for sailing but doesn't offer much for young girls. Given everything New Bern is the best allround. Fairfield harbor is a boating community just downsteam from New Bern that has a large sailing community. I have been in the area for 13 yrs and have a young daughter so please PM me if you want more details.
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