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Discussion Starter #1
Do you sail year round on the lower Chesapeake?
Deltaville? Norfolk?
Or is year round sailing not done on the bay?
A quick look at today's forecast shows its in the upper 40's and lower 50's this week, with overnight lows in the upper 20's. I imagine it will be even colder in January.
What is the length of the season in that area?
 
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Mid/Upper Chesapeake season is about 9 months +/-.

There will be plenty more decent sailing days this month, but I will be heading out to winterize this week. March is about 50/50, more like 80/20 if you have a cabin heater.

When my brother kept a boat in the Mid-Bay region, he never had to winterize the engine (a bit risky, if you ask me). Down in the Lower Bay it's probably safe to forego winterizing?

Will be interested to hear reports from further south.
 

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I'm just up the potomac (mid bay) and sail year round. Last Sunday (Herrington Harbour North) went out and raced, and won, in mid to high 40's 14-18knts and constant rain. There's 2 more races left for the 'frostbites', after that I'll go back to sailing my own boat through the winter as much as I can. I've sailed with my friend on his Catalina in Janurary, just depends on how bad the winter is, and how many layers you wear.
 

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Yup, all year unless the water gets hard.

I was out (Deale, MD) Saterday and enjoyed an easy 9 kn and no traffic or express cruiser wakes. I do lose my taste for strong wind, spray, and rain until spring.

Exchanging your sunglasses for ski goggles is a good idea, even without spray - much warmer, not just for the eyes but for the who face. Try it.

1 year in 10 we will get enough ice in the harbor, for a few days, that getting out would be trouble. But even that does not last.
 

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Winterizing an outboard is not required mid-bay.

But I would feel differently with an inboard. And all of the water systems need to be winterized.
 

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New Year's Day Tradition

We sail year round. Thought it really does depend on the weather most of the time. We do have a tradition of spending the night on the boat on New Year's eve and sailing on New Year's day. You know, start the year off right.

As far as winterizing.... out board engine, no problem. Water supply, we just bring what we need.


Stay warm!
 

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Year Round

I keep my boat at Placid Harbor just north of the Solomons bridge. We sail all year. Winterize freshwater system and head. Keep a small heater in engine compartment. If it gets below freezing for more than 24 hours I run down and winterize it. Simple to winterize, and a few gallons of anti-freeze is worth it for the ability to sail on those nice winter days.
 

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What’s the story with winterizing? Remove the hose from seacock, slide big funnel into it, run engine and ooze antifreeze into funnel until antifreeze runs out of rear pipe. On small engine it takes less than а gallon. It is $8 at most. Yes, you have to use right ecologically friendly antifreeze. Yes, it may not replace all water in the engine. Antifreeze is rated for minus 70 degree. It will mix up inside of the engine.
5 minutes later you have your engine ready for next time to go out.
Keep all other systems winterized. Hang solar shower bag with water in it over a sink. Now you have running water for guests. Or just boil a kettle.
Use skiing gear – face masks, gaggles, gloves, bibs, etc… Sail conservatively, use mainsail or genoa only.
I used to sail beach cat in winter. Big boat is too boring; there is nothing to do… It’s colder too, body isn’t working. Still, if weather is nice there is no reason to skip good sailing day :)
 

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propylene glycol instead of isopropylene glycol?
We have it in every human application - tooth paste, mouth wash, skin moisturizer.
I mean any big city dump more "stuff' into water than singly boat in winter
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses.
I've been known to sail in freezing temperatures in the Midwest, and that was in November. Sounds like I would enjoy the Lower Bay most of the year.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tim,

Are you thinking about relocating?
John,
Here's the scoop. (long story)
My wife's family is from Jacksonville. My wife has always been a North Florida girl. I am from the Midwest all my life.
When we first got together, Julie fell in love with the midwest including the winters here. She loves the snow and cold having never exprinced it in her lifetime.
We visit Nothern Florida at least twice a year and every year I ask when we are going to move down there. Well her father is getting along in age and her mother is also getting up there. I think she is now getting ready to be back close to her family and give up all the wonders of a midwest winter.
I have been commited to staying in the midwest because I have two beautiful daughter here from my previous marriage. Well the girls are now 16 and 18 and the younger one will be done with high school in another year. I think my daughters would also welcome a change and the opportunity to get out of the midwest.
I do really like it here, don't get me wrong, but at the same time I think I am ready for a change.
Last week we were down for Thanksgiving and I started checking out some areas in Jacksonville including the Fruit Cove area. We liked it but Julie and I agreed, it is a very congested place to live.
I think we would enjoy sailing on the St. John's but I am also afraid we might get bored with it winthin a matter of a couple of years.
Julie suggested we look into the Frenandina area which I like the idea of, but I am not sure how I wouold get along with the 8' tide differnces. Having sailed on a lake all my life I am not sure I would like that.
Thats when I came up with the idea of the lower bay and the Virginia penninsula.
Julie travels for work and as long as we are close to a major airport we should be ok. The Bay also offers a bit of a buffer zone between me and my inlaws. We will be closer than Chicago, but still a half a days drive or so away.
To answer your question, yes we are contemplating a move.
 

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John,

Thats when I came up with the idea of the lower bay and the Virginia penninsula.
Julie travels for work and as long as we are close to a major airport we should be ok. The Bay also offers a bit of a buffer zone between me and my inlaws. We will be closer than Chicago, but still a half a days drive or so away.
To answer your question, yes we are contemplating a move.
No major airports on the Virginia peninsula. Take a look at Southern Maryland- ST Marys or Calvert county. I grew up in Annapolis but moved to Southern MD it is more rural, less crowded ( both on the water and land) and the schools are good.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No major airports on the Virginia peninsula. Take a look at Southern Maryland- ST Marys or Calvert county. I grew up in Annapolis but moved to Southern MD it is more rural, less crowded ( both on the water and land) and the schools are good.
What about Newport News-Williamsburg International?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Woulda. I think we can deal with that.
 

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Thanks, Woulda. I think we can deal with that.
Tim,

Interesting scenario. I only know you via Sailnet, but I think you would really enjoy sailing Chesapeake Bay. The tides here are not very significant, the bottom is soft (no hard groundings), it's all pretty much line-of sight navigation, fog is a rarity -- fairly tame compared to New England or the PacNW, for instance. And yet the cruising grounds are for all practical purposes limitless.

One caveat we've found is that summer sailing, at least in the Mid and Upper Bay, is not the greatest. It's not so much that there isn't any wind (usually a seabreeze will eventually fill in by the late afternoon even on listless days), it's more that it's so bloody hot and humid. And, due to the stinging jellyfish that are plentiful during summer, it's hard to jump in the water for a swim and a cool off.

But I am originally from New England, so my heat tolerance may be lower. In any case, we've come up with a routine where we do our annual boat haul-out during summer and just skip mid-July to mid-August entirely.

As for airport access, I understand the Norfolk area is fairly convenient and has decent service. Not the place to go if you need non-stop to Singapore, etc, but generally fine for domestic service and connections.

If you ever get out this way to poke around some (especially up closer to Annapolis) be sure to let me know and I will give you a nickel tour.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks John, I will. I appreciate the offer.
Jellyfish? Is there anywhere in the world that is the perfect cruising ground?
That is one thing we are spoiled with currently. By mid July when its hot and muggy, relief is only a short jump away. Cool fresh lake water is the best. We even bathe in it and my wife loves to wash her hair in it. Don't worry guys, we take care of this business in remote locations only.
 
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