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Discussion Starter #1
How late in the year could one feasibly leave the Chesapeake area south on the ICW?

How long will it take to find a boat? Tough question I know!! I know some people spend years looking! I think I'm starting to get a pretty good idea of what I'm after and I'm probably not that horribly picky. Is finding something during a weekend trip asking way to much? Or am I more realistically going to be spending a month looking full time?

My cruising plan is to quit my job, and cruise full time for approximately a year. It looks like the timing and finances are finally falling into place. It looks like it could be possible to do it by this fall.

So, hypothetically, say I go out for the Annapolis boat show in October, find a boat, make an offer, paper work, refitting etc. It quickly turns into Nov/Dec (or Nov/Dec of the following year :D ) Anyway, what are thoughts of heading south starting nov/dec?
 

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There's no simple answer for this. If your cockpit or steering station is weather protected and you're selecting your travel to match best weather, then there's no date too late for departure. Obviously, there's no answer in predicting how long it may take you to find your boat. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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November 1 is the TRADITIONAL time to leave the Bay. I've left as late as 11/15 and it was chilly through NC...but fine thereafter. I've known folks who have done it in January...but it is miserable then...though do-able if you dress for it. A good dodger or better yet a cockpit enclosure makes things a lot better.
 

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In Norway they have a saying: "There`s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". You can sail in any kind of weather, your only concern should be the wind. I keep my boat in the water all year round in Holland and have sailed in rain, snow and sleet. For fun.
I wouldn`t be conccerned about the date to leave the Chesapeake. Just be sure you find the right boat, that`s way more important. You should be very picky ;-)
 

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There are a lot more boats to choose from in Florida.
Are you attached for any reason to buying in Annapolis ?
If not, start looking in Florida, you should be able to find a boat in a weekend or 2. .. There's a much bigger selection in Florida there... and then you're already there. Personally, I wouldn't feel like I was missing a whole lot (though it's beautiful) by buying in Florida.
Fairwinds
 

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Work with a broker - the seller pays the commision ( although the owner will want more money). Tell him to find you the boat you want from the national data base, limit the list to those you like, then make your trip. Brokers like Walczak keep a web site of all boats available in the Chesapeake area for your reading and list advertised and sold prices of boats they have moved.

I've left for the Caribbean as late as the last week of November but Northeasters can be more frequent that late. We usually leave as soon as our insurance allows us to be South - November 1st.
 

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Boats are cheaper the further south you go. Boats are better the further north you go!
Camaraderie's statement is largely true; however it's important to understand why. Marginally seaworthy boats owned by captains with little funds can be kept in the warmer climates. The expense of removing and storing vessels in the north with a required separate living facility prevents this in the north. Beyond this, nothing prevents a person from finding excellent vessels in the south. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 

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Daytona in February can be at 20 something degrees with the wind chill factor. Dressing for the weather of any temp can be fun for a days sail. If it is going to be an extended time it can excruciatingly painful. One thing you didn't mention is if you know how to sail?........i2f
 

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Beyond this, nothing prevents a person from finding excellent vessels in the south.
Oh yeah...there are definitely lots of good boats to be had in Florida... you just have to plow through so many bad ones to find them. The other things not mentioned is the effect of sun, moisture and bugs on boats in the south...particularly those hauled and yard stored while being advertised for sale. Also ...since boats can be used 12 months a year, there is more wear and tear on rigging, engines, seals, joints, sails etc. than northern boats of the same age used 3-6 months a year.

Of course...there are anal owners (MaineSail suddenly sprang to mind! :laugher) both north and south and 1% boats to be found in all sorts of places...my own experience is that you'll find more of that 1% up from the Chessie & north. I don't know about the West Coast, but I would be interested in hearing if the same issues are true since the PNW is a warmer climate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I can sort of see the difference in just the listings of the boats further south. For example, there are a lot of previous charter boats as you get down into the Caribbean, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to go that route.

Sounds like it would be possible to leave almost any time. I'm used to sailing here in the midwest and Lake Superior where the water gets very hard and you had better find a boat with runners!

Yes, I do know how to sail. I do quite a bit of racing here at home, I've sailed down in the Caribbean a couple of times on charter trips and have done a bunch of sailing extended weekends up on Lake Superior in some pretty rockin' conditions. So I know what you mean when you talk about sailing in cold miserable conditions!
 

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We left Back Creek in Annapolis on December 13th and broke ice on our way out. We had our full enclosure on and a propane powered heater in the cockpit while sailing overnight down the Chesapeake to Norfolk. We went through 6 cylinders overnight, and within seconds after the heater going out, we could see our breath again. It was COLD, but tolerable with the enclosure and the heater. I would NOT recommend doing it any differently unless you bring arctic wear.
 

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I left the upper bay last fall the day before thanksgiving. Man it was cold all the way to florida I had to run the heater almost every night. Some mornings I had ice on the deck, but still better then saying north
 

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Working with a good broker can save you time. Start shopping before the boat show. The Annapolis Boat Show is a wonderful show to shop for new boats-but it sounds as if you would like to find a solid used boat. Take a Friday off-spend Friday and Saturday looking at as many boats as you can. Don't be in a hurry... there are so many great used boats out there-take your time-you'll find her. Make sure your broker knows what you want and knows you want to see as many as you can while you're there.
 

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I must throw my 2 cents in on this one... go to FL and buy it there. Looks to choose from and it's there. It all sounds easy sitting here saying " I could push the weather window.." You don't have to if you buy it already there:)
 

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I must throw my 2 cents in on this one... go to FL and buy it there. Looks to choose from and it's there. It all sounds easy sitting here saying " I could push the weather window.." You don't have to if you buy it already there:)
That is true but..... the jounery can be The adventure
 

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Oh yeah...there are definitely lots of good boats to be had in Florida... you just have to plow through so many bad ones to find them. The other things not mentioned is the effect of sun, moisture and bugs on boats in the south...particularly those hauled and yard stored while being advertised for sale. Also ...since boats can be used 12 months a year, there is more wear and tear on rigging, engines, seals, joints, sails etc. than northern boats of the same age used 3-6 months a year........
Camaraderie, You make sopme good points that I wasn't considering. 'just to toss in another factor. There are some great deals to be made in Florida with the purchase of boats left in estates of retirees that have taken their dreams south, but personal health has not matched the vessel. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
 
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