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Old 03-23-2011
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Being able to use the boat more was a huge part of keeping it in Northport rather than Greenport even with much better sailing conditions out of Greenport
1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever

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1981 J24 Tangent 2930
Northport NY

If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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Old 03-23-2011
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In your initial post you said there are not many sailboats out in your region of the bay. I've found this to be the case throughout the year in Virginia waters. I'm not sure why, but even at some of the best sailing locations the Chesapeake has to offer, sailboats seem to be rarely away from the docks, even on weekends. A couple years ago I was swatting the black-flies near the mouth of the Rappahannock River late one afternoon when a thundershower loomed over the western horizon. I opted to duck into Mill Creek and try to find someplace to anchor until the storm passed. This was in the middle of July on Friday afternoon.

Now, the last time I had been here was when Howard Kruse still owned Kruse's Wharf and a small fishing tackle store was at the end of the dock. My how things had changed. Every square inch of shoreline had some sort of pier attached, and the entire creek was a massive marina complex. Most of the boats were sailboats, which contrasted significantly from what was there two decades earlier. Some sailboats were absolutely huge, and most measured greater than 30 feet. Ironically, every one of them was tied firmly to the dock, only a few individuals were even on their boats, and from what I was able to determine by talking with them, most people just didn't leave the dock at all.

While searching for a spot to anchor, we encountered a boat hook floating in the creek. My sailing buddy fished it out with our boat hook, and an attractive, young lady on one of the nearby docks yelled and thanked us for retrieving her boat hook. We motored over and handed her the boat hook.(Hard to turn down a deeply tanned gal wearing a string bikini and a big smile.) I asked if there was someplace in the creek where we could anchor and she replied, no, but you can tie up here for the night if you wish, and pointed to an adjacent slip.

We spent the night and half the next day waiting for the weather to clear, then slowly motored out of the creek and back into the river. There was a gentle breeze from the southwest, so we raised the sails and sailed down to Cape Charles, which took about 10 hours. The night was spent anchored behind the concrete Liberty Ships at Kiptopeke State Park, which is a great anchorage when the wind is howling from any westerly or easterly direction. During the entire trip south, from Point Lookout, Maryland south to the bay's mouth, we only saw a handful of sailboats, and only two of them had their sails up. The others were motoring along the main shipping channel.

On our return trip north, we sailed through Tangier Sound, exited via Kedges Straits, then sailed to Solomons, again seeing only a handful of sailboats in more than 120 miles. Now, Solomons is loaded with beautiful sailboats, many of which were large multi-hull models that were extremely well appointed. During the next two days, which was a weekend, none of them left the dock. During the night we anchored in Saint John Creek along with about a dozen other sailboats. When we left the following day, most of those boats were still anchored.

The trip from Solomons to Annapolis went pretty quick with a 12 to 15-knot southwesterly wind sending us flying up the bay. Despite excellent sailing conditions, and passing through the bay's sailboat capital, the only sailboats we saw was a small cluster that appeared to be racing near the Severn River's mouth. The next batch of sailors was not encountered until we reached Havre de Grace.

Sorry to be so windy about this, but I found it puzzling that the highly touted waters of Chesapeake Bay. with it's massive fleets of sail and power boats, is often nearly devoid of boats--even during mid summer. Granted, weekends, particularly when the weather is ideal, certain areas can become somewhat crowded. But, most of the time, the Chesapeake provides a wide expanse of sailing opportunities that is hampered only by crab pots.

Good thread,

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Old 03-23-2011
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Every weekend unless winds > 15 or t-storms. Usually solo, as I have no friends.
kpgraci (Ken Graci)
Lake Pontchartrain
New Orleans, LA
'73 ODay 22

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 BC - 65 AD)
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Old 03-23-2011
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I'll bet we get the same rap as Big Red every once in a while. We are 30 mins direct to open water with prevailing winds often coming up the Bay. We can either motor at 8 kts directly or tack for 90+ mins, then hoist the sails in open water. It can also get so crowded, that you tack as the give way vessel more than you might for navigation.

When we have guests aboard (most of the time) we want to get them wherever we are going in less than 4 hours, as a general rule. Sailing in and out of harbors is only for when my wife and I are playing or just relaxing in the Bay all day. Often, if I'm kidded about this, I ask whether they sailed to Martha's Vineyard and back this weekend. That could take the majority of daylight hours for many boats. Usually makes my point.
I understand this approach in crowed areas that are narrow channels. I sail out of Hingham and that means I typically have to go through the Hull Gut to get anywhere.

On one trip north, to Salem I think, we spend almost 2 hours going the first 2 miles of the trip due to the wind and current. Salem is only about a 5 hour trip and it was a week day so there was little traffic. The thought of motoring crossed my mind more then once. So if you are cruising to a destination and there is not a lot of fluff time, you have to motor in certain conditions. P-Town is a 10 hour sail, if the wind or current is not in your favor, you may have to motor to make it in before dark.

I guess that is the difference between cruising and day sailing. When you are cruising you have to do some things to make good time and make harbor before dark. But hey, either way it is still time on the boat.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
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Old 03-23-2011
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I am getting my first sailboat and I will be living aboard. It is a 50' Gulfstar. When I was doing my marina application, the harbor master asked me how often I would get out to sail. I told him every weekend. He looked at me and put down twice a month in the form. I think most of the time, the boats just stay on the marina weeks or months at a time without untying the dock lines.
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Old 03-23-2011
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When I got my boat a year ago my wife made me promise not to obsess on going out too much. She said it would spoil the fun if I am angry that I'm "not getting my money's worth" out of the boat. (She knows me too well.) Actually, that was one reason I downsized my selection a bit - if I had too much money invested, I might get upset about not getting my money's worth out of it.

So last year, during our 7-month sailing season (April-Oct) we settled into a nice pattern of 1 (sometimes 2) evening sails after work M-F, and one extended daysail on Saturday or Sunday (depending on which day had the best forecast). That was the perfect amount for us, and left plenty of time for our other many commitments.

The nicest surprise was the quality of air that we get on the Delaware River. We found that even on the hottest 95° days in July-Aug, there was always a comfortable breeze in the evening as the air cooled off. This seemed to be much better than the frequent complaints we heard about dead air on the Chesapeake during those months. But one tradeoff is that we need to tack a lot on the river, and of course the Delaware is not the most serene setting around.

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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)
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Old 03-23-2011
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Last year I kept track of median days away from the boat and median days without sailing. That statistic tells me that half the time, I'd waited less than X days to sail (or visit the boat), and half the time, I'd waited more.

Jan - Apr 2010: sailing = 13.5, visit = 8.5.
May - Aug 2010: sailing = 4, visit = 2.
Sep - Dec 2010: sailing = 13, visit = 4.
Overall: sailing = 3, visit = 3.

Looking at it this way makes me feel a lot better about my sailing habits. In 2010 I visited the boat 47 times and was underway for 58 hours. Of the 354 hours of daylight available on the days I visited the boat, I spent only 16% underway. Overall, 53% of my visits to the boat involved some daysailing or overnighting.

One of my goals last year was to do a lot of anchoring in the bay and just hang out on the boat at anchor. I spent 104 hours (out of a total 295 on the boat) doing that, so that feels like a success. I don't know if you count that as "sailing" for the purposes of your inquiry.
s/v Essorant
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Old 03-23-2011
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Not near as much as I would like, but as offen as I can. I spend most of my time on the boat working on something, the wife doesn't like sailing, too boreing. Oh well.
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Old 03-23-2011
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An interesting observation in areas where there's a high concentration of marinas, is that even at those times when the bay seems 'full of boats enjoying the day', the marinas all still look full!

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

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Old 03-23-2011
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twice per week, year round. I am without a doubt the most active sailor at the club.
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