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Discussion Starter #1
How hard is it to find decent, free anchorages as you sail up and down the East Coast, from Maine to Florida? Are all the decent anchorages taken up by moorings? Will we be able to find free places to anchor each night? We have a 38 ft sailboat that draws 5 feet.

Thank you
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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In a word, yes. Your best bet is the Skipper Bob guides.
 

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One of None
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And active captain.com
 

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In Maine, you can sail the entire coastline and anchor free. There are enough protected coves that are suitable for anchoring that you never need to pay a fee.

For Maine, check out "A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast" by Taft, Rindlaub.
 

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We are "cockpit potatoes" currently on our 20th transit on the US East Coast between Florida and Maine with no overnights, short hops offshore, ICW, sounds and rivers. As said above, there are plenty of good, easy and always free spots to anchor. It is necessary to do a little advanced planning in some areas like the New Jersey Coast or North Carolina between Cape Fear and Beaufort where there are fewer options, but there are always choices for easy days. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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Hey Gary, same thing as Salty Southeast Cruisers Net.
 

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Captain Force,

I'm heading south in October from Chesapeake Bay to the Florida Keys. Everyone tells me to bypass the Georgia segment of the ICW, claiming it has been sorely neglected and silted in heavily in many, many areas. Knowing you make the trip every year in your Morgan 41, I was wondering if you bypass Georgia, or make your way up the ICW? Bypassing Georgia, especially sailing singlehanded, means an old man will have to stay awake for more hours than I would like. I really value your input on this.

Thanks in advance,

Gary :cool:
 

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I rarely go ashore, but enjoy the wilderness anchorages in Georgia at Herb River, Buckhead Creek, Teakettle, Duplin River, Fredericka (by the fort), Brickell, Cumberland Island (by Greyfield Manor)...and more. We've done some offshore segments as well, but we are true "cockpit potatoes" in no hurry and not likely to endure an "overnight".
 

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Gary, I believe you'll be at the MYC rendezvous June 9? We'll bring our ICW charts & can talk about the spots Captain Force mentioned, and some others - we weathered a 5-day noreaster at Bryan Creek, and I love Jekyll Island - worth planning a layover day. I think Georgia has an undeseved bad rap among the seasonal commuters.
 

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Just a quick reference back to the original post and looking for "free anchorages". I'm a little disturbed hearing this descriptor for anchorages. It opens the door to accepting the existence of anchorages that have a cost. Navigable waters in the US are all free for anchoring except within certain restricted areas where anchoring is not allowed. These include within channels, cable areas, port and military restricted locations, and established mooring fields, etc. Let's remain aware of our rights to free anchoring in US federal waters.
 

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thank you force for pointing that out!this is still a free country,lets keep it that way.presently in the little choptank,heading north regards rayder
 

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Captain
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The mooring fields are all near the towns. There are plenty of great anchorages that are nearly unused. I find that most people are afraid to anchor alone. I picks spots away from other people and then I see them pull up and anchor near me--it is a safety in number sheep instinct.

Look for places a bit away from towns, docks and bars and you will find lots of anchorages. I've only gone to one place that was recommended to me that was bad holding. Use your own judgement and experience, and don't follow the pack. use your charts. Don't be afraid to pull and reset if you don't like the way the anchor sets.
 

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John, a lot depends on what you call "decent". As you get into the Northeast you'll find many anchorages marked on the charts. A general anchorage means drop the hook, a special anchorage means it is probably a mooring field, you have to look closely to read the markings.

Any of the ICW guides (Craig Claiborne among them) should have sections detailing the anchorages, and reading ahead is often easier than trying to pull the information from charts.

Often the open achorages will have no shore access, or no facilities nearby, as you get into the Northeast. But if you've just looking to "park" and get some sleep, that's all you need.

Of course, if you are used to having the launch delivering fresh croissants and the morning newspaper by 7AM, "decent" may imply a higher standard. :)
 

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Night_Sailor: I agree with the "sheep instinct". During the last hurricane here in the Northeast, most boat owners went to protected harbors during hurricanes. I kept asking why, but the best answer was that people tend to feel that there's safety in numbers, even when there isn't.

Being anchored with a good anchor (or 2) in a river away from hard objects was a much safer approach, but emotionally scarier for most people.

Tanksalot
 
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