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post #1 of 10 Old 10-16-2018 Thread Starter
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Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

Hi All -

My wife and I just purchased our first 'big boat', a Pearson 31-2. It's a great boat and exactly what we have been looking for. We've previously sailed Hobie 16's for many years, and then finally a 21' trailer sailor the past five years. Last year we added a little girl to our family, and so we started to look for a boat that was easier to single, could stay in the water, and was more comfortable. We typically sailed our little trailer-sailor out of Bug Light in South Portland and would spend the night on the hook at an island (most often Jewell).

We'd love to continue sailing in that area for obvious reasons and are on the waitlist for most marinas...but want to keep the seasonal costs reasonable (sub $4k). An aquaintance lives aboard at Aspasia all summer and raves about it...plus they're really cheap at $2400 for a slip. Suspiciously cheap... Our acquaintance is a single guy who grew up on the water, and so his idea of comfort may not be inline with my young family's. Anyone have experience there? We'll drive up to check it out, but all feedback is welcome.

We like the cost of moorings, but in reality loading a 2 year old and wife and dog into a 10 or 12' dinghy doesn't seem prudent. So, a mooring area with a launch service is desirable. Anybody a member of centerboard yacht club? I know from launching at bug light that the river has a lot of action...so I imagine a night spent on a mooring there is pretty bumpy?

I think Falmouth is about as far northeast as we'd want to go. Anyone have experience with Handy Boat? There prices to rent a mooring and join the club are steep at $3200, but we'd likely only do that the first year and then buy our own mooring the next year after determining whether or not we like it.

Any feedback of points south (Cape Elizabeth? Scarborough?) would also be appreciated. Our plan is to peal out of work early most Friday nights, drive to the boat and spend the weekend on it, and then come back to reality late Sunday night. Rinse and repeat all summer. Ease of access and overnight comfort are paramount.

Many thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-19-2018
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

Was going to suggest Dolphin Marina in Harpswell, but you don't want to go further than Falmouth. Portland YC might be a good idea if you're going to be interested in sailing lessons in a while. They have summer family cookouts that are a big hit. Handy Boat has great facilities too, but may not be as family-friendly as the YC. We moored in Portland at the Yacht Services marina near Fort Allen park. It was quite bouncy with wakes and general wave action and the launch had exactly the problems you worry about.

Last edited by paulk; 10-19-2018 at 03:46 PM.
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

It's further east than Falmouth, but I was going to suggest Paul's Marina in Brunswick. They have launch service in a relatively well-protected mooring area, are family-friendly, and charge reasonable rates (at least that was the case when I was there last in 2014). Enjoy your new boat!
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

Thanks for the suggestions! We're going to take a ride up tomorrow to check out a few places, Handy Boat included. PYC seems to have a long wait list and requires a couple of member sponsors.

We're also going to look a little further up into Freeport. The Harraseeket looks to be very well protected and I have a lead on a private mooring rental for a reasonable price, but the launching situation sounds questionable and the two marinas up there have a long waiting list. If time allows tomorrow we'll look a little further up; Brunswick sounds good and we may indeed end up there if nothing closer becomes available.
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

The guys at Dolphin suggested Paul's to us for winter haulout because we were bigger than they like for their hoisting equipment. Downside would be getting out to the bay from all the way up there. The Harraseeket IS well protected, but the channel into the bay can work up quite a current. It was running at about four knots when we went through - you need a very reliable engine because it's not just with or against you - it tries to sweep you into the shallows as the channel curves. Have you checked the Royal River?
We saw some masts when we went to dinner at a restaurant there. Don't give up on the Portland YC - ask around. Yacht clubs are generally eager to get young families as members, especially if they have a boat.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-20-2018
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

Royal river is a pain to get in and out of. Lots of twists and turns and shallow water. I think they finally dredged it last year, but still a tough place for a sailboat.

We've had our boat in South Freeport (in the Haraseeket) for the last 7 years and are very happy with it. We also chose a slip over mooring, cause it makes it easier to get the littles on board.

Yes there is tidal current going past pound of tea, but won't be an issue for a 30+ foot boat.
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The guys at Dolphin suggested Paul's to us for winter haulout because we were bigger than they like for their hoisting equipment. Downside would be getting out to the bay from all the way up there. The Harraseeket IS well protected, but the channel into the bay can work up quite a current. It was running at about four knots when we went through - you need a very reliable engine because it's not just with or against you - it tries to sweep you into the shallows as the channel curves. Have you checked the Royal River?
We saw some masts when we went to dinner at a restaurant there. Don't give up on the Portland YC - ask around. Yacht clubs are generally eager to get young families as members, especially if they have a boat.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-21-2018 Thread Starter
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We've had our boat in South Freeport (in the Haraseeket) for the last 7 years and are very happy with it. We also chose a slip over mooring, cause it makes it easier to get the littles on board

Thanks! We were just up checking out Brewers yesterday. It looks like a great spot. There’s quite a waiting list for both moorings and slips, so we’re hopeful that we’ll make it into one of the two marinas. If not, we do have a lead on a mooring out near the entrance....so we may end up with that and a dinghy-only tie up at the marina.

Hopefully we’ll see you up there next season!

The two marinas is the royal river have a waiting list and pretty much told me I’m out of luck, especially since we won’t be hauling and doing maintenance with them each winter.

PYC and Handy Boat look nice and are also on our list, but the Haraseeket feels better protected and being able to walk the pup at Wolfs Neck right across the river is a nice plus. If anyone has a contact at PYC I’d love to chat with them about it.
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One more question for you Casco Bayer’s; what are you using for bottom paint up there? Our boat has a couple layers of ablative from its time in Mass, but it was previously up in Maine and there appears to be some hard non-ablative stuff many layers back. I am considering sanding and scraping back to at least those layers.
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

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Originally Posted by HobieDogger View Post
One more question for you Casco Bayer’s; what are you using for bottom paint up there? Our boat has a couple layers of ablative from its time in Mass, but it was previously up in Maine and there appears to be some hard non-ablative stuff many layers back. I am considering sanding and scraping back to at least those layers.

Hobbie,

We use HydroCoat and love it. Works great, never had anything more than a coat of slime. Lasts two years and doesn't build up. What's not to like?

Don
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Re: Casco Bay Area Mooring and/or slip Reccomendations

Oh, yeah. If you change your mind on a mooring. We got ours just off Eastern Prom the first year, no waiting. Get Tom Simpson to set you up with tackle and be your inspector and you're good to go. We are spitting distance from lighted can #5, just over the edge of the channel. The thing is that you can't take the boat to the dock except a couple of hours either side of high. Well, you CAN but you'll be there longer that you want. People will laugh and point and tell their children not to stare.
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