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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of moving a 47' catamaran from the Caribbean to the East Coast for the summer of 2015. Does anyone have a recommendation of a good place? I'm not familiar with the East Coast at all...
 

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Give us some more information. Do you want good hurricane protection inland for the best protection or do you want to retain access for sailing the boat at times during this summer? By "East Coast" are you thinking more of Florida or anyplace up to Maine? - Canada? I think you'll get better answers with a more defined question.
 

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I have found very few places on the East coast that compare to Charleston, SC. For a southern town, it is becoming quite cosmopolitan and progressive. The City Marina is one of the best liveaboard marinas I've ever lived in, with good services and amenities, yet a laid back, non rule heavy management.
The marina is convenient to down town by foot, and a freeway on ramp which will get you to out of town shopping areas in minutes.
The harbor is interesting with good sailing and of course, Ft. Sumter at the entrance. There are plenty of historic places to visit and take visitors to. I could go on, but that should be a good start.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To add to my question I was asked to define my perameters...

I'd like to find a marina or mooring that would be relatively safe from hurricanes

and still have access to sailing and possibly some interesting places to visit

and have access from a major airport within a reasonable driving distance so the family can join me. (I am not a liveaboard)

I'm thinking somewhere north of Florida, but south of NYC. Again, I know very little to nothing about sailing on the east coast. Any suggestions or guidance is appreciated.
 

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I think the Chesapeake meets your needs better than most places. Due to geography hurricanes almost always cut across the Carolinas before hitting us here, thus making them less wind and more rain than they would be right on the coast besides for the longer lead time between warning and arrival. We also have TONS of good hurricane holes too. My insurance in Maryland is about 1/3 of what it would be in the Carolinas to Florida area - can't recall offhand if Virginia escapes the "hurricane tax". We have more interesting places to sail in a given space than most places do including a lot of historic towns if that is your thing and more isolated coves than you could visit in a lifetime.
You also get a LOT of variety as to where to base your boat. Annapolis would be about the most expensive but is also the center of boating universe around here with an incredible variety of maritime businesses. You could also find a friendly club in an area that lets you drop your own mooring and keep a boat for a small fraction of the Annapolis rates. Our winters are variable, sometimes good for sailing throughout and sometimes <cough artic vortex cough> quite cold. Very few people with nice boats will leave them on a mooring in the northern half of the bay for the winter. You would want to be at a dock that had power for an ice-eater if needed.

EDIT: BWI Airport has good connections for cheap flights and is within a half hour or so drive of Baltimore and Annapolis, both of which have a number of marinas.

Look here for a view of some parts of the Bay: http://www.dellabarba.com/flying/viewabove/index.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate the reply on the Chesapeake Bay. That's one of the areas I was considering... but my wife read a couple of articles saying the Chesapeake Bay has a jellyfish and Portugese Man of War infestation. The article said I would need a swim net if we or the kids are going to do any swimming.

Can you fill me in on this? Or where there's not an infestation in the Bay?

Thanks
 

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I have never seen a man-of-war in the Bay. They are more of an ocean creature. I have seen them in Florida and we used to pop them when we found them on the beach and and I have dodged them swimming in Bermuda. Jellyfish are a seasonal nuisance that come and go with temperature and salinity. They do not like fresh water and never get to the northern parts of the Bay that are essentially fresh. In the Annapolis area they arrive some years by July . Some years never. This year the cold winter and wet spring have kept them away - I have not seen one yet :D

You can either keep a boat at the north end or go up there on a cruise to get away from them. Other alternatives are getting a nettle net, wearing a rash guard, or going places with swimming pools ;) When we were young we ran our ski boats up the Chester River to Chestertown to ski in nettle free water and get lunch. Someone from the southern end may chime in, it may be they don't like the very southern end of the Bay either due to too much salt. Do keep in mind jellyfish are annoying, not dangerous. My dog tried to eat one once with comical results - he would drop it, bark at it about 5 times, and then get really mad when it stung his tongue again LOL. Recruiting for our yacht club - if you are a member you can put in a mooring. OTOH it is a fair drive from the airport and way out in the country. Likely an hour from BWI. Speaking of which, you might want to think about how and when you would be getting from airport to boat. Some areas have heavy traffic at certain times. If you have your own airplane there is at least one airport/marina combo, but no such luck if you fly commercial.
 

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I appreciate the reply on the Chesapeake Bay. That's one of the areas I was considering... but my wife read a couple of articles saying the Chesapeake Bay has a jellyfish and Portugese Man of War infestation. The article said I would need a swim net if we or the kids are going to do any swimming.

Can you fill me in on this? Or where there's not an infestation in the Bay?

Thanks
I'm in Rock Hall. I guess that's considered the bottom of the upper bay. Or the top of the middle bay. Depending on who you ask.

We see the occasional jelly fish (or sea nettle as they call them) because our marina is right on the bay. We've been on the bay six years and I never heard of an infestation near us. Certainly no man-of-war. The nearby buoy provides salinity data and the more rain we have, the farther south the line moves. The beach in Rock Hall has a net so that they don't go into the swim area. I've never seen any up some of the rivers we've sailed but that also might depend on how much rain fell.
 

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but my wife read a couple of articles saying the Chesapeake Bay has a jellyfish and Portugese Man of War infestation. The article said I would need a swim net if we or the kids are going to do any swimming.
I've come across far more materials suggesting inadvisable swimming in various parts of the Chesapeake Bay due to bacteria (i.e., nasty dirty water). I'm sure locals can chime in with more accurate information, but it doesn't sound like very nice swimming to me.
 

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The Chesapeake is 180 miles long with about 3500 miles of shoreline. SOME of it is pretty nasty - say Baltimore Harbor, Washington DC, the Annacostia River. A lot of areas can be bad right after a heavy rainfall. Standard advice is to wait 48 hours after major storms to swim. It is also highly variable with time of year and weather. This August is the coolest in living memory, but many years when August rolls around and water temps head past 80 towards 90 it doesn't look as nice as it did in June. Note that the water at Cape Charles, litterally around the corner from the Atlantic, would be very different from the water in a major city and very different again from a rural fresh water river on the Eastern Shore.
I can't think of any area that would come close the Virgin Islands type water anyplace in the USA except sort-of in the Keys. If swimming in clear warm ocean water is a requirement then the Florida Keys are about the only choice and if swimming in ocean water in general is a requirement then new England or someplace near enough the barrier islands of NC to walk across to the ocean side would do. If you want clear fresh water then maybe Lake Champlain would be OK. I think you can drink it straight from the lake because it is so friggin cold nothing could grow in it :eek:
 

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I've come across far more materials suggesting inadvisable swimming in various parts of the Chesapeake Bay due to bacteria (i.e., nasty dirty water). I'm sure locals can chime in with more accurate information, but it doesn't sound like very nice swimming to me.
Depends on which part of the bay you're in. It's a big bay. There is heavy industry on the western shore. Anne Arundel County has water quality email alerts for swimming for which you can sign up. Last year I received a couple per month. This year, to date, maybe two. Farm runoff all over is probably an issue, too.

Depending on who you ask it's either fine to swim in the bay and its tributaries or your appendages will drop off if you do. I suppose it depends on the level of risk you're willing to take and who you ask.
 

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Note that any issue the Bay has with water quality the areas trapped behind the barrier islands in NC have at least as bad or worse once you get away from the inlets. I went to school in Florida and the water inside (ICW) was nasty and many of the fresh water lakes were worth your life to put your hand in :eek:

My relatives live on the Westport River north of Newport RI. There is a nice ocean beach there and interesting places nearby to sail to, but you don't seem to want to be that far north.
 

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My relatives live on the Westport River north of Newport RI. There is a nice ocean beach there and interesting places nearby to sail to, but you don't seem to want to be that far north.
Westport is beautiful. It's in Massachusetts and within a days sailing to Martha's Vinyard, Newport, Cuttyhunk and other destinations on the Cape.
 

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If you want clear fresh water then maybe Lake Champlain would be OK. I think you can drink it straight from the lake because it is so friggin cold nothing could grow in it :eek:[/QUOTE
Great wreck diving in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River..thanks to the Zebra muscle infestation the viz can be 70 ft or more. In the St. Lawrence River temps are a constant 70F from top to bottom this time of the year but the current can be running between 3-5 kts.

Viz in the upper to middle portion of the Chesapeake Bay can run from several inches to a couple of feet. Temps this time of the year has been running around 80F. I usually dive on my boat up some tributary creek,as we have several popular swimming areas on the Eastern side of the Bay, to check on running gear but not taking any chances I do wash with soap and fresh water immediately afterwards.
 

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If you want clear fresh water then maybe Lake Champlain would be OK. I think you can drink it straight from the lake because it is so friggin cold nothing could grow in it :eek:
I actually do live on Lake Champlain. Water temps in the mid 70s right now. We don't have perfectly pristine water quality everywhere on the lake, but having lived on this lake my entire life (35 years) I've never given a second thought to spending hours a day in the water. For us, swimming and playing in the water is a huge part of sailing and one of the reasons we got a sailboat. Because the OP mentioned swimming as a priority, thought I'd throw out the question about water quality in the Chesapeake.

Typical afternoon for us off the back of the boat after sailing and/or when wind isn't blowing.

 

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I pretty much have spent much of my life in the Bay. Since I was a kid our sailing schedule has been go south first and move north to avoid the nettles. I wouldn't swim in Baltimore Harbor, but other than that most places we go are good for swimming. Now if you are used to air-clear Bahamas water, everything on the East Coast will be :eek:

EDIT - Speaking of north and south, I have a suggestion for the OP that might work better than picking one spot. Why be limited since you don't live here anyway? Start in Florida in the spring and cross the hurricane line into the Bay by June 1. Make it up to Maine by August and then head south again for the winter and pick a handy spot for winter storage. If I could figure out how to be in Annapolis in May and Portland in August I would do it in a second. Plently of marinas to leave the boat in all the states on the way up and back.
 

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To add to my question I was asked to define my perameters...

I'd like to find a marina or mooring that would be relatively safe from hurricanes

and still have access to sailing and possibly some interesting places to visit

and have access from a major airport within a reasonable driving distance so the family can join me. (I am not a liveaboard)

I'm thinking somewhere north of Florida, but south of NYC. Again, I know very little to nothing about sailing on the east coast. Any suggestions or guidance is appreciated.
I'd suggest you consider areas north of NYC, in my opinion southern New England offers you the most options, and better sailing/cruising... I love a spot like Charleston as much as anyone, but for the SUMMER ??? No thank you...:)

No offense to the folks on the Chesapeake, but I think someone like yourself who has been keeping their boat in the Caribbean would find sailing on the Bay in summertime to be pretty lame, in general... Moving the boat back down there in the fall, however, now that would be more like it...

Not sure if you intend to spend the entire summer on the boat, or would be commuting back and forth, but I think having the boat near a place like Newport would offer the best blend of good sailing, the widest variety of interesting destinations and cruising grounds, and relative ease of access to major airports, etc...
 
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