Philadelphia Area Sailing? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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True Rich, to a point.. but my boat is less then 10 mins from my house and it's easy to sail a few hours any day rather then drive 2 hours . the sojourn to the Chessy is a fun trip and I love Chesapeake City. The current is fast but most of us use it out of habit. Someday I'll get down to cape may too

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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Similar to what Rodney Dangerfield used to say, the Philly area gets no respect. The important thing to understand coming from another country like Texas is that you are not moving to a city so much as to a region. And, taken as a whole, that region has huge opportunities for sailing over a very diverse range of conditions.

I keep my new (to me) keel boat in the Delaware at Essington. The currents run fast, and tidal swings of 6-8' are typical. But given the dozens of times I've run down to do little projects, I am glad the boat is only 15 minutes away. We'll see how much I like sailing in the Delaware this year, and then decide whether to move somewhere else next year. But so far I think the Delaware gets a bum rap. It's a lot deeper than the Chesapeake, and terms like "Philthydelphia" are a too-easy cheap shot.

Philly is about 1.5-2 hours from the upper Chesapeake tributaries, home of some of the most popular sailing spots in the US with hundreds of great anchor spots and land-based destinations. Northeast, Bohemia, and Sassafras Rivers, Havre de Grace at the base of the Susquehanna and Rock Hall are all within easy reach from Philadelphia, and there are many charters available in the 30-45' range. Here's one example - everyone tells me these guys take good care of their boats:

Bareboat Sailboat Charters on the Maryland Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay

If you go east to the Jersey shore, there is sailing in the Barnegat Bay. It's notoriously shallow, which leads to some huge chop, but there are people who do sail both daysailers and even cruisers there, and it's a neat resort ambience. And, of course, you can get out to the ocean from there, Atlantic City, or Cape May if you want really hard core sailing. Someone here posted this link to an interesting daysailer rental place in Barnegat Bay:

Sailing Schools, Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Rentals and Sailing Charters at Nelson Sailing Center

If you want lake sailing, I've sailed dinghies in Lake Wallenpaupack for the last 10 years - about 2.5 hours north of Philly. There are lots of sailboats up there in the 22-27' range, but not many commercial charters. (There may be some low-key private charters - haven't really looked.) The lake is 14 miles long and up to 1.5 miles wide, with lots of coves where you can anchor for the day and swim. It's about 40' deep almost everywhere, so almost impossible to run aground. Sleeping overnight on the boat is supposed to be prohibited, but I hear people do it all the time. If you're going to be here for 3 years, you could consider buying a trailer sailor and taking it up there.

If sailing is really important to you, I suggest you move to a suburb in the direction in which you'll be sailing. If you want Barnegat, living in the Jersey suburbs will put you an hour away. If you want Chesapeake, move to Delaware County in PA (or even State of Delaware) and you'll be close to the bay. If you want to sail the Delaware near Philly you can pick almost anywhere to live.

However, be prepared to pay income tax - both to the State and a significant wage tax to Philly if you work in the city. The Philly wage tax was a very unpleaseant surprise when I first moved here (from Texas) 25 years ago.


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post #13 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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You'll enjoy it RD.. the current when it's diagonal to your boat actually helps you on a tack. (called a ferry in canoe terms) Then there will be times when your sailing but not moving, as the wind current often run opposite. lol

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-24-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks Everyone...I'll check out the various websites provided. As a follow up:

How short is the sailing season?
I knew about the state taxes but what % is this Philly wage tax (does it apply to Lankenau where the actual job is)?

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post #15 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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Lankenau Hospital, is just outside Philadelphia, no city wage tax if you also live outside the city. If you plan on living in Philadelphia, and there are some good reasons to do that, then you will pay wage tax on the income from outside the city. I am self employed so pay the city a gross receipts tax and a net profits tax, which add up to more than I pay the feds.


I haul out some winters and stay at an inside slip some winters. I have sailed as late as the 1st week of December and as early as the first week of March.

January and February are just to cold for me. Most people splash April and May, with haulout in October.

Yes other locationss have better sailing areas and better destinations but I can be sailing in 30 mins most days, 1 hour if the traffic is heavy.
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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Denise
A few time I have managed to balance current on a flood tide across my full keel with the wind in the same direction as the current, to tack river bank to river bank and back on the same close haul. But no forward progress.

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post #17 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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Rich
Delaware Bay is a lot cleaner than the Chesapeake. The Delaware has wilderness areas, salt marshes, bird watching, crabing and fishing.

Limited destinations for "entertainment", but a few quite creeks and rivers on the Jersey side, shallow water on the Delaware side.

Cape May canal scare the s**t out of me on a summer weekend, too many power boaters with huge wakes at the bay entrance for my little outboard powered boat.

As for the bugs, maybe my blood is not the preffered taste, but I have not had a problem.
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-24-2010
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FYI, here are some tax rates:

Pa. State Income Tax 3.07%
Pa. State Unemployment Insurance 0.08%
City of Philadelphia Resident Tax 3.9296%
City of Philadelphia Non-Resident Tax 3.4997%

PA's income tax is a flat tax - virtually no deductions and no progressive rates. When I lived in NJ up to 10 years ago it was an almost-flat tax with almost no deductions, rates pretty close to PA. DE and MD are progressive tax rates at a higher rate than PA or NJ, but with lots of deductions - basically the same deductions as federal.

If you buy a home, DE and MD have reasonable property taxes, PA and NJ very high. DE has no sales tax. (If you buy a boat, don't think of registering in DE to avoid sales tax unless you really plan to keep/use it in DE. The neighboring states are wise to that.) So it's a tradeoff of different tax types in different states. For this reason, the states often do not get along very well and will sometimes deny reciprocity, which complicates things if you work in PA and live in DE. PA hates DE and will not offer income tax reciprocity - but they do offer tax credits that prevent some double-taxation. Interestingly, though, PA does get along with MD and NJ, so if you live in MD or NJ you would pay tax to your home state instead of PA. Despite this, Philly always gets their wage tax if you work in city limits. But I think NJ might give you somewhat of a break on their state tax if you pay the Philly wage tax. I don't know for sure because when I lived there I was working outside Philly.

Take all of this with a grain of salt, since I am not a tax professional - just a professional tax payer . If this is critical to your decision, please consult with a real tax professional. But consider yourself lucky that you were warned - since I was not when I moved here.


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post #19 of 27 Old 05-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
Denise
A few time I have managed to balance current on a flood tide across my full keel with the wind in the same direction as the current, to tack river bank to river bank and back on the same close haul. But no forward progress.
And we call that sailing?

I must say it is extremely disconcerting to be close hauled in a flood tide, pointing toward the Boeing facility, seeing the TS buoy 30 to starboard, while the GPS shows the same TS buoy 30 to port. (In other words, the current is pushing us 60 vs. where the boat is pointing.) And it's rather nerve wracking to know that continuing on that tack would push us up on the Little Tinicum sand bar.

All I can say is thank God for GPS! As a beginner "river rat," without that little "toy" on my pedestal guard I know I would have hit that sand bar by now.


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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)

Last edited by TakeFive; 05-25-2010 at 07:06 AM.
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-25-2010
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University of Pennsylvania sailing team, practice at Essington.
I touched the mud flat trying not to get to close, while watching the ballet.
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