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Hi. Need to find a place to keep my first boat (40ft with 5 ft draft). We live in Raleigh so need to consider the "commute" as well as sailing area, marina, amenities, service, etc. Will have two young kids (9 & 11yo) with us some of the time so would like a marina with a pool but not critical. The boat is heavy with a full keel. What areas will have better sailing?

Any recommendations appreciated.
 

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From Raleigh look at Oriental. You can almost set your watch by sitting in the bar and watching the cars show up on Friday afternoon... they have all left work in Raleigh an hour early.

That said we keep our boat, Irish Eyes, in Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern. A shorter drive, nice marina, nice people, nice neighborhood, the pool is there, but the marina is out in the booneys. We have been there since 2004 and have no thoughts of moving.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
 

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Hi-Tech *******
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Hi norourke -

Congrats on the new boat, you're in for a lot of fun. Our home is in Raleigh as well, and we head east to the boat almost every weekend!

We have a 38' and a 30', and we slip them at Wayfarer's Cove Marina in Arapahoe. Halfway between New Bern and Oriental, about a 2.5 hr drive.
The Neuse, the Pamlico Sound, Beaufort, Bath, Belhaven and Ocracoke all make for good sailing and good weekend trips.

There is no pool (we have three kids with us usually) and the piers are modest. The rates are fairly low, and best of all it's a stay-where-you-are hurricane hole. Tom is great.

We have friends with boats at Pecan Grove Marina and Sea Harbor (both private, in Oriental) and those are really nice marinas. Pools, 1st class docks, great clubhouses, etc. Closer to 3 hours from Raleigh, but also closer to the big fun water and the Outer Banks.

I think the Neuses/Pamlico is the most fun area. Big water and a strong sailing community. Wilmington/Southport and Beaufort/Morehead are more suited to power boats.

Our sailboats have spent extended time in several marinas (Hampton Roads - 3 hrs from Raleigh, Elizabeth City 2.75 hrs, Columbia 2.5 hrs, Belhaven 2.5 hrs, Washington 1.75 hrs, Bath 2.25 hrs, as well as most along the Neuse River/Pamlico Sound. ) so if there's a town you were considering, maybe we've docked there. PM if you'd like to discuss any.

Hope this helps!
 

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There is a family with three young teenage children that just moved to our marina in Beaufort from Oriental. They said the reason was there was more for the children to do in Beaufort.

Another observation they made was to make sure the marina has good wifi.
 

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We live in Raleigh and keep our boat in New Bern at the New Bern Grand Marina. With the newly completed section of Highway 70 bypass we can make the drive in an Hour and 45 minutes. Rates are comparable to other marinas in the area and it's attached to a Double Tree hotel with a pool, bar, and restaurant. Docks are floating, each has a security gate and webcams that can be viewed on the website. Slips include water, cable, and wifi. All of downtown New Bern's shopping and restaurants are within walking distance. I have no official affiliation with it other than I've been to many other marinas in the area and it's the nicest one by far in my opinion.

New Bern Grand Marina
 
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