How viable is it to live on the hook on the Chesapeake Bay? We are not marina/mooring field types. We have large tankage and a new Purasan treatment system, so no need to go ashore except for groceries and entertainment. Maybe monthly for water. 6 1/2’ draft, 63’ air draft.
We are in a spartan marina in Edenton, NC for the winter.
Don t know about Maryland but I've never heard of any time limits for anchoring in Virginia. I know some people liveaboard in Deltaville and Urbanna. Many marinas will let you buy a day pass to use their facilities, including a loner car to get groceries, for just a couple of bucks.
I went for my "annual" New Year's Day sail yesterday. Using quotation marks because I've only managed to get out every 2 or 3 years. This one was especially gratifying because I've been getting bogged down in maintenance/repair/refurbishment projects and it's been a while since I could just show up and sail. So I'm seeing this as prep for a lot more time on the water in 2021.
Barbara and I slipped out for a lovely sail yesterday. It was very gusty going from maybe 10 knots to up over 20 knots. But air temps were comfortable, and the water flat. We saw sustained speeds over 8 knots. Running wing and wing before one big gust we got above 8.5 knots.
The gusts were a bit more than Barbara was comfortable with so we ended up sailing back into the creek, for a slow, stress free, low key beat up the creek.
We got back in time for me to put a final coat of paint on the spinnaker pole (in my basement).
As far as living aboard at anchor in Maryland, there's no law forbidding live aboards. But it has gotten harder. Many of the mid-Bay hurricane hole creeks have become loaded with densely spaced moorings.
Under the 5tate agreement, the entire Chesapeake Bay is a no discharge area. Enforcement is pretty lax. But the no-discharge laws tend to be used as a tool against long term anchored boats that have other issues.
From what I gather, the hassling of live aboard boats seems to be based on how close to docks and channels the boats are anchored, whether there are active anchor lights and day markers, whether anchored in a designated anchorage, and whether the boat appears to be able to sail, or looks like a floating junk yard.
This time of year, the DNR tends to look for up to date registration stickers and will note boats with out of state registration stickers. For example, we were buzzed and checked out via binoculars yesterday by a DNR boat.
Currently in the middle of the boat buying process, and yesterday my girlfriend and I got a chance to go out with the current owners. Sailed out of Annapolis around noon. Winds were greater than we saw on the forecast but a good time was had by all.
Interesting note Jeff about the winds... We left the marina about 11:00 if I recall... Was only a few knots of wind at first, by noonish we were heading towards Rockhall with a very steady 15-16 knots apparent. By 1:00 the apparent wind climbed to the low 20s but still steady, a few gusts but mild. We tacked through and headed back around 2:00 a d by then small white caps were forming and we topped out at 7.1 SOG on a beam reach.
Water temps were around 38 degrees which made for some chilly wind off the waters.
Personally, I believe an all-Chessie NDZ is a good idea. At least the upper and central parts of the Bay are a reasonably small body of water, with not much of an exchange with the open ocean. But I would like to have an authoritative source to refer to.
I apologize, I had it wrong about the entire Chesapeake Bay being a no-discharge zone,. Roughly 10 years ago I had followed the proposed legislation on what had been referred to as the five state agreement. Much of the land based changes went into effect. It appears that the no-discharge provisions never became law.
Since discharge of untreated sewage within the 3 mile limit (which encompasses the entire Chesapeake) is already illegal, the main effect of designating NDZs is to make discharges from Type I (generally known commercially as Raritan ElectroScan/San or Purasan) and Type II (not typically on recreational vessels) systems illegal. With only a very small percentage of boats having these systems anyway, I don't really follow the logic of creating NDZs other than as a feel-good measure which plays upon the confusion among the public around the terminology.
Boats that discharge sewage inside the already existing 3 mile limit (and there are probably way more of them than anyone wants to admit or imagine) are largely not doing so because they have Type I or II systems installed but instead because their owners either intentionally or unwittingly have toilets or macerator pumps set to discharge untreated waste overboard. This is the result of ignorance of the regulations, not caring about the regulations, design flaws in boat sewage systems, lack of convenient pump outs, or some combination thereof. IMO, directly addressing these causes of illegal direct discharge would be much more effective than creating or expanding NDZs.
In fact, I’ve often wondered whether subsidizing recreational boaters and watermen to install Type I and II systems might actually be a more effective way to reduce boat sewage discharge than any other set of subsidies or measures. Assuming some subset of boaters will always flout any zero discharge laws and assuming virtually no watermen’s boats have any sort of holding or treatment systems, wouldn’t throwing Purasans on those boats be a lot better than nothing?