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Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

I'm considering a move up near the Neuse River for better inland sailing and would like to hear from those who have experience with sailing and storing their boats in these areas. What are the marinas like, the access to the Neuse and other inland sailing, tides, shoals, depths, etc?

I'm a fairly experienced sailor but will be new to the area and have mostly sailed in Lakes without having to deal with tides, currents and shoals.

Am also curious about the quality of the marinas, cost, services available, etc.

TYIA
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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

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Originally Posted by castingoff View Post
I'm considering a move up near the Neuse River for better inland sailing and would like to hear from those who have experience with sailing and storing their boats in these areas. What are the marinas like, the access to the Neuse and other inland sailing, tides, shoals, depths, etc?

I'm a fairly experienced sailor but will be new to the area and have mostly sailed in Lakes without having to deal with tides, currents and shoals.

Am also curious about the quality of the marinas, cost, services available, etc.

TYIA
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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

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Super secret info you don't want to share?

Anyway, I don't have specific info on marinas, but I can say tides are not much of an issue on the Neuse or Pamlico. Shoals are a big problem though. Pay really close attention to charts since it can drop to 3 feet 20 miles from shore in Pamlico sound and getting to Beaufort through the shoals in Harlowe Creek is interesting to say the least.
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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

Beaufort was always one of my favorite places on the East Coast, sort of like a New England fishing village in the Carolinas, but I haven't been there in some time.
I spent some months in New Boring as the captain of a boat while the owner was away, and it was not one of my favorite places, to say the least. Not much to do near the water and a very inconvenient town without ground transport, especially if you are staying in a marina there.
I've only transited the sound on deliveries, but as mentioned, it is full of shoals and I can imagine they move around a bit with the weather, so outside the channels, charts may be only a general guide.

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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

All helpful info. I was considering Matthew's Point Marina which would afford the opportunity to live somewhere closer to Atlantic Beach than living in New Bern. I love the little city but my understanding is that keeping a boat that far up the river is not as desireable as being at Blackbeard or Matthew's Point. Both, I'm told provide better access to the wider part of the river than being up in NB.

I've also been told that it's a lot hotter and buggier at MP although it makes for a good hurricane hole if needed. Can anyone comment on that from experience?

I also wonder if people swim in the Neuse. Seems the pollution has gotten worse not better in recent years, although locals tell me they swim all the time.

If one were to keep their boat in Beaufort, how long does it take to get to the Palmlico under average conditions?

Also, curious what average monthly marina costs are for a 28 ft boat?

I realize there is no perfect place. I'm just looking for what suits me best.
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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

The Neuse is a great cruising area. In general, the Neuse is a bit deeper than Pamlico Sound. The lunar tides are negligible. However, the wind does have a significant effect on water levels. Steady SW winds will push water out of the lower Neuse and NE winds will pile it up. The difference can be a couple feet above and below normal. Strong noreasters can cause surge flooding in the Adams Creek and Clubfoot Creek areas.
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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

Keep in mind that Beaufort has lunar tides and significant current. The Neuse and most of the Pamlico sound have neither. However the tidal range in the Neuse and Pamlico sound is still significant, driven by wind. At MP the highest tides will be when the winds blow from the NE wind, and the lowest from the SW. The magnitude depend on the lengh of time it blows and the strength.

> I've also been told that it's a lot hotter and buggier at MP although it
> makes for a good hurricane hole if needed

Any marina in the Neuse River area is hot and buggy! (except for one ... and that one is so exposed I'd say that it would make a poor choice). MP is a nice, well run, well protected marina in a pretty and quiet setting. MP does require that you clear out of the docks when a named storm is forecast. (most folks will anchor in the creek and the marina staff will help)

[FYI: I do not keep my boat at MP, but I know folks that have]

> I also wonder if people swim in the Neuse.

Yes of course. Pollution is not an issue, but jellyfish are. I'm no fan of swimming when jellyfish are around (and that most of the summer). I've been stung plenty of times. The water is a "tea colored" but due to the tannins in the water, not from pollution. that said I would not drink the water, and there have been occasional advisories due to elevated bacteria ... but very few over the years.

> If one were to keep their boat in Beaufort, how long does it take to get
> to the Palmlico under average conditions?

Adams creek has a max current of ~2knts that occurs at the Beaufort end and it diminishes to ~zero by the time it enters the neuse. That current is driven by the tide at Beaufort of course. I'd estimate 3-4 hrs to transit the creek and another 2-3 hrs to sail from adams creek to the pamlico sound.

> Also, curious what average monthly marina costs are for a 28 ft boat?

I would expect 150-400 per month depending on location. New Bern is generally less expensive. And the closer to oriental you get the prices go up.

In regards to New Bern, I like the town. It's changed quite a bit (for the better) over the years (nicer, more nautical, interesting downtown, nice waterfront). But In my opinion it's not a great place to keep a boat. It's quite shallow, the river is quite narrow and its a long haul to cruise anywhere. OTOH NB is a great staging area to keep your boat while you are preparing for a long cruise. But if you are actively sailing, MP would be a better choice.

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Re: Beaufort, NC v. Matthews Point v. Blackbeard

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
Any marina in the Neuse River area is hot and buggy!
A Blackbeard member suggested that it's not so buggy there since there's usually some wind blowing through, less so at MP.

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
> I also wonder if people swim in the Neuse.

Yes of course. Pollution is not an issue...
This has been robustly debated in other threads. I grew up swimming in the East River. Same brackish, tea color but more decades ago than I care to admit to. Wherever there are people, there is pollution and bacteria. That and of course the NC hog farms.

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
Adams creek has a max current of ~2knts that occurs at the Beaufort end and it diminishes to ~zero by the time it enters the neuse. That current is driven by the tide at Beaufort of course. I'd estimate 3-4 hrs to transit the creek and another 2-3 hrs to sail from adams creek to the pamlico sound.
Way further than I expected. Good to know!

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Originally Posted by bristol299bob View Post
In regards to New Bern, I like the town. It's changed quite a bit (for the better) over the years (nicer, more nautical, interesting downtown, nice waterfront). But In my opinion it's not a great place to keep a boat.
Agreed on both points.

Thanks for the info!
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