This is also hurting my brain. I have marinas I am considering ranging from 24 minutes away to 1 hour and 17 minutes.
24 minutes away is the Ottawa River= ridiculous currents.
57 Minutes away I have the 1000 Islands= ridiculous currents, but pretty nice cruising grounds.
1 hour 6-17 minutes away, I have the Rideau Lakes= Paradise.
Where you moor / slip your boat is an interesting calculus with a bunch of variables and their importance/weight may change for any number of reasons.
We balanced, close with attractiveness, with cost and of decent sailing. The last was a compromised for the recent past. For our residence the close the less interesting the sailing cruising. So we ended up in a lovely place that was a 1hr 20 min drive. This almost acceptable for day use in summer.
Years ago when I was single I would drive 2+ hrs and it was gorgeous, affordable and fabulous sailing grounds. Note in NY Metro area traffic can really kick up travel times.
I've decided to change mooring with the knowledge of what is most important - good sailing grounds. And that meant further away from where we live. For a mooring it gets complicated by the need to get from your parked car to the boat.... options are dink or launch.... both represent costs... dinghy dock or launch service (limitations of operation schedule and cost). For me not being in a marina and a developed setting was important because I will spend weekends aboard and not sail for any number of reasons.
Slips were too spendy in any case. But moorings were hard to find especially in a pleasant setting. After searching and searching I found a location out east on the CT shore which was actually less the deal I had for the recent past. The computed travel time is 1 1/2 hrs. Something I finally realized after driving half a century.... is that traffic ALWAYS slows at "nodes"... such as toll plazes, merges and highway intersections, and bridges. If the route has fewer of these the delays are few and shorter. So... for me driving east on the CT side of the LI Sound is much faster then on the LI side... since I have to do a bridge just to get to LI. I don't mind traffic but detest traffic not only for the usual reasons... but it leads to more accidents and more slow downs.... a self fulfilling nightmare.
Finally.... if you are spending multiple days on the boat... the travel time becomes less a factor though no less annoying. So this argues for better sailing and longer travel times. My change will see the R/T time increase from 2.5hrs to 3+ hrs... not a big deal really. The mooring rates end up pretty much in the same ball park price-wise.
Other considerations for cruisers' mooring location is access to stuff.... fuel, water, food, marine services.
I am looking forward this coming season to what appears to be a great location to moor the boat - Old Lyme on the east shore of the CT river.