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‘77 Pearson 10m
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on "commuting" to a work conference in Baltimore from Herring Bay in September and I'd like to find a good spot close to inner harbor either for anchoring or a slip for a couple days, Friday - Sunday Sept 16-18. Any recommendations of good spots? 33 feet LOA, 5'11" draft, 11' beam, 48' air draft.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Where is your conference? If it's at the convention center, the Inner Harbor Marina is really the only immediately walkable option. You could also take the water taxi from Harborplace over to Harbor East Marina (which has very nice, new docks) or Fells Point to tie up at Henderson's Wharf. Unlike the Annapolis water taxi, the Baltimore version only serves defined routes and stops so you can't use it like a launch service to get to an anchored boat or to a marina. A cab or Uber ride over to Harborview is another option. All of the marinas are gated with security staff on site so there shouldn't really be any security concerns at the marinas themselves. However, the safety situation around Harborplace and downtown has deteriorated a lot in the past few years and I really wouldn't recommend walking around there after dark anymore. Harbor East and Fells Point are probably still ok to walk around at in the evening as long as you remain situationally aware and don't stray too far inland from the waterfront. At Harborview you'd have a few dining options immediately adjacent to the marina and it's still considered reasonably safe to walk around. Anchorage Marina is another great option, they've been putting a lot of improvements into fixing the place up and often have cookouts with live music on weekends, but it starts to be a bit of a hike back to downtown unless your conference is closer to that part of town.

I really don't recommend anchoring. There aren't many good spots to anchor, the holding is not great, and there's currently few if any options for legally and securely tying up your dinghy while ashore.
 

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‘77 Pearson 10m
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where is your conference? If it's at the convention center, the Inner Harbor Marina is really the only immediately walkable option. You could also take the water taxi from Harborplace over to Harbor East Marina (which has very nice, new docks) or Fells Point to tie up at Henderson's Wharf. Unlike the Annapolis water taxi, the Baltimore version only serves defined routes and stops so you can't use it like a launch service to get to an anchored boat or to a marina. A cab or Uber ride over to Harborview is another option. All of the marinas are gated with security staff on site so there shouldn't really be any security concerns at the marinas themselves. However, the safety situation around Harborplace and downtown has deteriorated a lot in the past few years and I really wouldn't recommend walking around there after dark anymore. Harbor East and Fells Point are probably still ok to walk around at in the evening as long as you remain situationally aware and don't stray too far inland from the waterfront. At Harborview you'd have a few dining options immediately adjacent to the marina and it's still considered reasonably safe to walk around. Anchorage Marina is another great option, they've been putting a lot of improvements into fixing the place up and often have cookouts with live music on weekends, but it starts to be a bit of a hike back to downtown unless your conference is closer to that part of town.

I really don't recommend anchoring. There aren't many good spots to anchor, the holding is not great, and there's currently few if any options for legally and securely tying up your dinghy while ashore.
Thanks for the info. Conference is at Renaissance Harbor Place, which makes everything a bit of a hike to the marina. Checking out Harbor East and Anchorage.
 

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Not meaning to hijack the thread, but I'm in Baltimore right now and the inner harbor marina is almost completely empty. Seems strange. Anyone know why? For disclosure: I haven't actually been down to the inner harbor, but see current drone and helicopter footage of it frequently on the local news.

Mark
 

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The inner harbor marina has always been largely geared toward transients as its lack of parking and on-site amenities and location farther up the river than all the others make it less appealing to annual slip holders. So it will fill up more on holiday and event weekends and be largely empty at other times. Also, the harborplace pavilions have suffered years of mismanagement and have slowly declined as the attraction they once were. In their heyday they were filled with local market stall vendors and unique shops but over time the owners let it fill with chain stores that were no different than what could be found in any suburban mall. Which that decline, many of the festivals and events once staged at the inner harbor have dispersed to other parts of the city and crime increased. Covid was the final nail in the coffin and the pavilions are essentially dead malls now.

Luckily the harborplace pavilions were recently sold to a local developer who’s interested in breathing new life into them after years of out of town ownership. Hopefully this will bring some vibrancy back to the area.
 

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4Arch’s guidance is spot on. I work near the Renaissance and have often walked to the area around Harbor East Marina. There’s a series of connecting bridges that make it a relatively easy 15 minute walk. Do be very aware of your surroundings.

Assuming you’ll be spending the day at the Renaissance, Harbor East would seem the better place to spend the evenings. Lots of restaurants and nightlife. There’s a great sushi place right outside of Harbor East Marina. From Harbor East Marina. The water taxi goes from Harbor East to Fort McHenry and Locust Point is another neighborhood with some cool dive restaurants. The Baltimore water taxi seems expensive to me at $12 per ride, but maybe you could expense it if you’re on business!

Plan to have your hull professionally cleaned after you return home. :)
 

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Murders in the Inner Harbor are not helping to bring visitors downtown... Sad state the city is in... It's a war zone
There are certainly problems in Baltimore but this is over the top.

I live and work in Baltimore City for well over a quarter century and have never had a problem with criminal activity. The worst was a burglary of a neighbor's house (money and jewelry stolen) and a car stolen further down the street. It is true that I live in one of the safer areas of the city, and there are areas where I absolutely avoid walking and even hesitate driving through. But calling the city a war zone is just alarmist over-generalization
 

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I did not write that to offend you or anyone. Most of my family, including myself, either live in Baltimore or nearby. Its is heartbreaking to hear what is happening to the city. Sorry if it offended you...
 

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I did not write that to offend you or anyone. Most of my family, including myself, either live in Baltimore or nearby. Its is heartbreaking to hear what is happening to the city. Sorry if it offended you...
I don't believe that you wanted to offend, I just wanted to set the record straight. Again, I agree that there are severe problems in the city but 'war zone' is just too shrill...
 

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Dakota Lee
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I am aware that Baltimore has a terrible reputation due to typical inner city issues. That being said my experience in Baltimore's Inner Harbor was a pleasant surprise and resulted in my being a fan of the city and what it offers to the cruising sailor.

We initially anchored just off of Fells Point and dinghied in to have a nice dinner at a small diner. Upon getting back to the dock my crew and I noticed a police boat circling my Cape Dory 30 "Dakota Lee" with its flashing blue light. I dinghied out to my boat and the following dialog ensued:

Police: You the skipper?
Me: Yep, is there an issue officer?
Police: Nope, you are anchored out of the channel and everything is fine, may I ask you your intentions?
Me: Well we just finished dinner and I am not that familiar with the area but I will be looking for a place to anchor for the night.
Police: Well you are fine where you are at but I recommend you look at anchoring in the Inner Harbor adjacent to the Tall Ship and the WWII submarine.
Me: Knowing about the Highrise buildings and lights...."will the city dim the lights for us, so that we can get some sleep?"
Police: Laughing, have a good day!

We proceeded a 1/4 mile or so to the Inner Harbor and had the single most memorable evenings ever! There was a live concert going on which we listened to until about 1100 pm. Woke up with the sun and as the fog lifted from the harbor could see the USS Constellation emerge from its embrace like a vision from the 1800s. I was so moved that I made sure my colors were flying.

We had a hardy breakfast and proceed to Ft. Henry where we anchored and did something the British could not accomplish...a landing by sea!

I would strongly recommend anchoring right in the Inner Harbor...you will have the time of your life!

V/r

Pete

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Dakota Lee
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PS I draw 4 1/2 feet but the channel is plenty deep (USS Constellation draft is 21 feet), that being said keep well off the marina bulkheads since the area just off of them were silted over to a depth of about 4 feet. Its been several years so that may have changed.

V/r

Pete
 

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I would strongly recommend anchoring right in the Inner Harbor...you will have the time of your life!
This is great and I don’t doubt you at all but how long ago was this? Covid unfortunately killed a lot of shops and restaurants in the inner harbor area and the crime situation unfortunately has deteriorated a lot there in the past 1-2 years.
 

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Dakota Lee
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4arch

It was pre-COVID and I don’t doubt that the nightlife has changed but believe me Baltimore’s Inner Harbor had a real bad rep then also. As noted I found the trip to be one of the best in the Bay, seconded only by my visit to Smith Island and Tangier Island.

Anchored in the Inner Harbor, in my opinion is as safe as one is going to have it….with the heavy mud, and protected anchorage one is certainly not going to drag.

Stick around the Inner Harbor shops and establishments and I believe there is nothing to fear. Frankly bad guys are not often found on the water and in my opinion anchoring would be much more secure than staying at a marina

V/r

Pete
 

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Dakota Lee
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AWTD_Sail

Got me there….just kidding. I like trawlers…a lot. Hopefully in a few years as my back gets worse I can make a seamless transition to one.

Can’t see myself in a Cigarette boat or equivalent vessel….fast boat in my mind is an oxymoronic term….like jumbo shrimp….if I want to go fast I would use a plane or motorcycle…..or a sailboat….something about harnessing the wind scares the **** out of me. Somehow 10 knots in a Cape Dory in 25 knots of wind seems to be a much greater thrill then using horsepower!

All that being said the odds of having criminal issues while anchored in the Inner Harbor would very remote, in my opinion. I believe that there is a much better chance of falling out of your dinghy while motoring back from a bar.

V/r

Pete
 
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