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Looking at areas to retire to and have narrowed it down to Rock Hall/ Kent Island are in Maryland, Shrewsberry area in Pennsylvania, New Bern area in North Carolina. I’m familiar with the first too and it ticks n m any boxes and our sailing would continue to be CHesapeake and Long Island Sound area. I have traveled by boat numerous times on trips down the inter coastal but never stayed in the New Betn area any length of time. Was nice there I thought.

the biggest disadvantage for me is the named storms. The area was pummeled in the last two years with tremendous destruction. Is that the norm? I see flood insurance is mandatory everywhere close.

advantages:
  • new areas to sail in and explore
  • 2 day access to the ocean and points south
  • 1/2 the cost of living
  • lots of wildlife
  • mountains close as is Hatteras
  • Chessie 3 days away
  • good health care with Raleigh Durham close
  • more temperate winter but still has seasons
what is the sailing really like there.?
what is the heat like in summer?
Flooding? Lots of deltas and rivers

Hopefully I can get sone people who sail there to respond vs snowbirds who pass by on the way to the Carribean via the ICW

Haleakulas engine still being worked on so we may go down there for a weekend a July 25 to reconnoiter the area

We will be retiring by January 1
 

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We lived in Philly. Spent a few years in Carib. Now hauled out in Beaufort, NC due virus.

Our retirement home is boat until that doesn’t work so we have similar questions to you.

Pretty hot here now, hotter than Carib. Kind of a long narrow run up to New Bern, shoals. But we are 6-1/2’. There is a whole lot of not much in the way of towns surrounding the sounds. And the bridges over to Roanoak limit you to either 55’ (?) or a long skinny shoal channel. In some ways it’s a pretty limited sailing area, once you’ve been in the Carib or Atlantic Canada.

hopefully someone with more experience than me will chime in.

I’m hoping you get some good answers, I’ll be following.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We lived in Philly. Spent a few years in Carib. Now hauled out in Beaufort, NC due virus.

Our retirement home is boat until that doesn’t work so we have similar questions to you.

Pretty hot here now, hotter than Carib. Kind of a long narrow run up to New Bern, shoals. But we are 6-1/2’. There is a whole lot of not much in the way of towns surrounding the sounds. And the bridges over to Roanoak limit you to either 55’ (?) or a long skinny shoal channel. In some ways it’s a pretty limited sailing area, once you’ve been in the Carib or Atlantic Canada.

hopefully someone with more experience than me will chime in.

I’m hoping you get some good answers, I’ll be following.
it’s hot here in the Chessie like that too right now. But I would imagine fall and early winter could be sailable. By the many rivers there appears to be many places to gunkhole and that if I want to stretch Haleakulas legs go offshore or up to the Chesapeake.

the advantage of living there you can drive over to Hatteras and the mountains. We draw 4’8 / 8 so we may have more room than you, My biggest worry is living on a flood plain and the named storms slinging NE winds into the mountains dropping the moisture into the many rivers overflowing them. Many storms stall there for days with multiple high tides, as opposed to Maryland only a few hundred miles north, where they either head offshore or only affect the area with two high tides as they speed up.

I’m a Philly ( Bryn Mawr) and South Jersey ( Ocean city) guy too.😀😀😀😀
 

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I can only speak as a snowbird traveller, but the sailing in the Neuse River and Pamlico sound sucks. There isn't that much gunkholing to be done, even though it looks like there is. Getting out to the ocean doesn't put you in a position to go anyplace other than far away. The Chesapeake is 1000's of times better in both regards. Having said that, I like coastal North Carolina itself a lot - even more than the Chesapeake.

Mark
 

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We were in New Bern after Mathew, like 6 weeks after Mathew. The media had looong since stoped talking about it. However the a Neuse River was still above flood stage above New Bern. We had hauled in Bridgeport a marina, which is a decent facility. We have trouble getting in there with our draft, doable when the wind is right. I found the “channel” with a depth finder on the dink and marked waypoints to bring the big boat in.

New Bern itself is a very pleasant little city. I think if you can find some “higher” ground property it would be fine. Anything above 10’ to 15’ ASL.

I have it on good authority the Bridgeport Marina, NOT the one in town, will never reopen. There is also another very small marina with a fuel dock.

And there are some other marinas not far down the river, but zero knowledge of them.
 

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My name for New Bern is New Boring. I was stuck there in a marina by an owner for a hurricane season. No car and no public transport meant I was stuck in the marina area, unless I wanted to use a taxi. It was a lot of years ago and you'll have transportation, so I don't imagine it would be a bad retirement place. But you are quite a motor up the river from the ICW and a bunch of hours from the sea.
Personally, I really liked Beaufort, NC, which when I knew it was a small New England fishing village type of place, only w/o the crumby weather. And you have the "big city", Morehead City just over the bridge for all the stuff you can't find in the small village. There are a number of great hurricane holes going north from Beaufort off the ICW, if needed, and you have some really nice towns to visit going south on the ICW or offshore for trips away, including Charleston, which is another great option. Plenty of places to hide from storms around there. City Marina is the best marina I've ever lived at.
 

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my 2 cents after living in the area ~30 yrs

New Bern and Washington (we call it "little Washington") are the "big cities" around here. Both have a quaint waterfront area. Both fairly quiet. Both are shallow narrow areas (but sailable) and both are a long sailboat ride to get anywhere else.

it’s hot here in the Chessie like that too right now. But I would imagine fall and early winter could be sailable.
I've cruised the chessie for the first time last July and I'd say that summer is roughly the same there as it is here. Which is to say it's brutal! You know the heat, humidity. Stifling conditions at a slip, relief at night at anchor. It's exactly the same I'd say.

You are right, fall and early winter sailing here is wonderful. I sail through the end of Nov when I winterize. But there are usually a few weekends through the winter that are nice enough that I'll un-winterize for a long weekend. Its not unusual to have a Christmas sailing trip with sunny and warm days. (not guaranteed but not unusual)

By the many rivers there appears to be many places to gunkhole and that if I want to stretch Haleakulas legs go offshore or up to the Chesapeake.
yes many places to gunkhole. many quiet secluded beautiful anchorages. Your board up draft gets you to all of it. It's an 8 hr trip to the Beaufort inlet for your offshore fix. From there is a straight shot to NYC Cape Cod, Maine, Bermuda and points south

Last summer I discovered that the chessie has a ton more destinations and things to do. I happen to love this part of the east coast, but it just is not for everyone.

the advantage of living there you can drive over to Hatteras and the mountains.
Yes exactly. And there is real relief in the mountains. it will be in the 70s there on days that it is ~100 here. Outer banks are great visit too by car and especially boat. Summertime exploration of the western part of the state in your RV would be a great way to get out of the heat and get a dramatic change of scenery.

My biggest worry is living on a flood plain and the named storms slinging NE winds into the mountains dropping the moisture into the many rivers overflowing them. Many storms stall there for days with multiple high tides, as opposed to Maryland only a few hundred miles north, where they either head offshore or only affect the area with two high tides as they speed up.
Flooding is a concern for sure. But here (New Bern, Oriental, Little Washington) there is no lunar tide to speak of. Flooding due to rivers flushing eastward is not an issue here either. (It is a real concern further inland). Here on the coast the issue is a wind driven tides that can be extraordinary. Hurricane Florence, Irene and Isabel all packed a roughly 11ft storm surge driven by the wind.

At this end of the Pamlico N winds raise the water levels, and south winds drop the level.
So when a hurricane hits, the north winds cause a huge surge, and as soon as it passes and the wind shifts all of that water is literally sucked out, very quickly.

Feel free to contact me if you have more questions about specific areas. If come down to scout it out let me know! It would be a pleasure to meet up
 

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The North Carolina dialects can be entertaining for a while but I believe I would choose Brunswick GA. over New Bern NC if I were looking for a little podunk town near the Atlantic. Better sailing with gunk hole areas near by and definitely better winter weather. Storm probability pretty similar and maybe slightly better but either location would be susceptible to major storms. Downside to Brunswick would be distance to Mountains and the Chesapeake if that's high on your priority list.
If you choose NC, just remember that i'ts the hoose not the house and a Tieota not a Toyota.
You'll get used to it......
eventually.



















stor
 

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I'll be following this thread as these are some of the areas that we are interested in retiring to in 2 years.

When it's safer to travel, my wife and I plan to go down to Cypress Landing in Chocowinity, NC and check it out. I learned of this development from a fellow on Trawlerforum, who live there. Chocowinity is just south of Washington. It is somewhat hilly, and my understanding is that there was no flooding during the last couple of big storms. I also understand that due to the elevation, flood insurance is not required.

I like the idea that one could buy a lot, and build your house. They also have their own community marina. I also like the idea that Washington is a small town and that the city of Greenville is only 30 miles away. We figure that we could get most of our medical care in Greenville, and travel 2 hours to Raleigh/Durham when necessary.

I have found the earlier responses to be helpful and am looking to other responses as well.

Jim
 

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I grew up in Havelock, a smaller town about 10 miles east of New Bern, and I spent a lot of time on the Neuse near Adam's Creek on smallish power boats. If you want to sail a bigger boat, I agree with an earlier post that Beaufort would probably make a lot more sense than New Bern. New Bern is a bigger, and has more amenities for shore life, but the sailing will be a lot better in Beaufort, I think.
 

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We were stationed at both Camp LeJeune and Cherry Point for around 14 years during the 70-80's. Enjoyed sailing a ComPac-27 out of both New River (a very shallow estuary) and on the Neuse out of Hancock Creek. After retiring to eastern MT for 22 years, NC sailing and snow free living called. We researched housing from Wilmington to (Little) Washington and turns out that New Bern has the best housing availability. So affordable housing, excellent local medical facilities, and great sailing brought us back 8 years ago. We can bike to 80% of the places we need to go, Including to see the doc. I sail year around in a PS-34 with 4-10 draft. That is a tad deep but there is nothing really hard on the Pamlico to ground on.

i have crewed on three deliveries from or to New bern; a Shannon 43, Tartan 34, and a Juneau 34. Two south from Newport and CT, and one north, up the Hudson and Erie Canal. I have also crewed sailing the Apostles twice. For me sailing on the Pamlico Sound to include its rivers: Neuse, Pamlico,(Tar), Alligator, and Arbemarle is as good as anything that I have sailed on except Superior and the Erie Canal. The year around sailing is also cool.

New Boring is just a poor attitude. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

regards charlie
 

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Discussion Starter #12
We were stationed at both Camp LeJeune and Cherry Point for around 14 years during the 70-80's. Enjoyed sailing a ComPac-27 out of both New River (a very shallow estuary) and on the Neuse out of Hancock Creek. After retiring to eastern MT for 22 years, NC sailing and snow free living called. We researched housing from Wilmington to (Little) Washington and turns out that New Bern has the best housing availability. So affordable housing, excellent local medical facilities, and great sailing brought us back 8 years ago. We can bike to 80% of the places we need to go, Including to see the doc. I sail year around in a PS-34 with 4-10 draft. That is a tad deep but there is nothing really hard on the Pamlico to ground on.

i have crewed on three deliveries from or to New bern; a Shannon 43, Tartan 34, and a Juneau 34. Two south from Newport and CT, and one north, up the Hudson and Erie Canal. I have also crewed sailing the Apostles twice. For me sailing on the Pamlico Sound to include its rivers: Neuse, Pamlico,(Tar), Alligator, and Arbemarle is as good as anything that I have sailed on except Superior and the Erie Canal. The year around sailing is also cool.

New Boring is just a poor attitude. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

regards charlie
Thanks
We are headed down in another weekend to look around
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for all your info.

What’s the Sailing like on Neuse, the Sounds. Prevailing winds.

Not seeing much current in rivers is that true?

Looking also for a protected marina. Not decided where yet, but don’t need a mega complex type with club and huge amenities, just safe, clean, protected from wind

what are the negatives of the areas?
 

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I'd guess that conditions are similar to your home waters. Summers are hot and humid. winters are blustery and chilly. It is a big deal if we get a skim of ice on the harbor. it's very rare, as is snow. I'd say that summer is a bit longer, and the winter is a bit more temperate and slightly shorter.

The sailing here is great. Lots of beautiful untouched (or minimally touched) areas. It's quiet and slow paced. The amount of boats on the water is an order of magnitude less than what you see on the chessie. We have little commercial traffic (save for the ferries and an occasional barge headed to or from Moorehead city). No cargo ships, no mega yachts, no big military vessels. The 65ft bridge clearance sees to that. The water is shallow here so on windy days you have steep high frequency chop that is not particularly pleasant, but you get accustomed to it.

Prevailing winds in the summer are from the SW, generally 10 -15 but this season has been windier on average. Spring and fall have a mix of NW NE and SW, and the winds are stronger. Winter you'll find predominately Northerlies with a few days of South winds here and there to warm things up.

No current to speak of in the Neuse River, Pamlico River and most of the Pamlico Sound. Beaufort NC has a fairly strong current and a legit lunar tide. Ocracoke has weak current but larger lunar tide.

Lots of marina options, from fancy to spartan. I can recommend a few once you narrow down your location. I'd say that marinas in New Bern and Little Washington are least expensive, on average, in the area. Beaufort and Morehead city are the priciest. Oriental sits in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd guess that conditions are similar to your home waters. Summers are hot and humid. winters are blustery and chilly. It is a big deal if we get a skim of ice on the harbor. it's very rare, as is snow. I'd say that summer is a bit longer, and the winter is a bit more temperate and slightly shorter.

The sailing here is great. Lots of beautiful untouched (or minimally touched) areas. It's quiet and slow paced. The amount of boats on the water is an order of magnitude less than what you see on the chessie. We have little commercial traffic (save for the ferries and an occasional barge headed to or from Moorehead city). No cargo ships, no mega yachts, no big military vessels. The 65ft bridge clearance sees to that. The water is shallow here so on windy days you have steep high frequency chop that is not particularly pleasant, but you get accustomed to it.

Prevailing winds in the summer are from the SW, generally 10 -15 but this season has been windier on average. Spring and fall have a mix of NW NE and SW, and the winds are stronger. Winter you'll find predominately Northerlies with a few days of South winds here and there to warm things up.

No current to speak of in the Neuse River, Pamlico River and most of the Pamlico Sound. Beaufort NC has a fairly strong current and a legit lunar tide. Ocracoke has weak current but larger lunar tide.

Lots of marina options, from fancy to spartan. I can recommend a few once you narrow down your location. I'd say that marinas in New Bern and Little Washington are least expensive, on average, in the area. Beaufort and Morehead city are the priciest. Oriental sits in the middle.
Thanks.....that’s great info.
If we move there the marina doesn’t have to be where we live.
We are used to traveling 45 minutes . But we’d be retired and probably be spending multiple days on the bost

I’m right now in the fact finding stages. It would be a complete change for us, but we want to get away
From the traffic where we live. Plus the CV 19 has taught us that living with a lot of people is not what we want. Even though we live in a semi rural setting north of Baltimore we are looking for a less trafficked area

as long as the Sounds and Rivers are sailable that’s good. We are still in range to go to NE or the Chessie through the Dismal or Canal in four days time.

My two concerns are the house not on the flood plain and protection from named storms for the boat. Knowing NC is more of a bulls eye compared to mid Chessie where we are that’s a concern. We will eventually get an RV and also in 10 years age out of our boat in our mid 70s so the house/ area is important.

we are staying in a hotel Sat and Sun to give us time to look around as our boat is having its engine replaced
 

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but we want to get away
From the traffic where we live.
I've always assumed you lived in Annapolis area and was wondering why you wanted to retire somewhere else. I just noticed you live in Parkville. My wife is from Towson, and her family is still scattered about that area (Parkville, BelAire, Ellicot City, etc). When we visit, I'm always horrified at the traffic. There just is no driving anywhere from dawn to dusk, since "rush hour" seems to be most of the day. The beltway appears to be nothing but a training ground for stunt cars, crash dummies, and PSA posters. Otherwise, I quite like that area.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've always assumed you lived in Annapolis area and was wondering why you wanted to retire somewhere else. I just noticed you live in Parkville. My wife is from Towson, and her family is still scattered about that area (Parkville, BelAire, Ellicot City, etc). When we visit, I'm always horrified at the traffic. There just is no driving anywhere from dawn to dusk, since "rush hour" seems to be most of the day. The beltway appears to be nothing but a training ground for stunt cars, crash dummies, and PSA posters. Otherwise, I quite like that area.

Mark
Our address is Parkville but we are out in the semi rural section way outside the beltway. You are spot on about the traffic. While where we live is quiet a serene....we still have to shop. I’m equidistant between Phillly ( where my family is) and Washington DC where is work. you are right rush hour is from 5 AM-9PM. Especially the work corridor I traveled between Baltimore and DC. The commute sucks.

However the boat ride isn’t bad at It’s 38 minutes to our boat inn a small creek , surrounded by horse farms just north of Annapolis, but south of the Bay Bridge.

we haven’t decided on NC as the place to retire to but it offers less traffic, cheaper living, quiet settings. We are also considering the Rock Hall- Kent Island area, and the Shewsberry, Pa area just across into Pa.
 

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We live in Sullivan County in the northeast Tennessee mountains and keep our boat 7 hours away in Northwest Creek Marina in Fairfield Harbour outside New Bern. At home we live on one TVA lake and keep a second sailboat in a slip on another TVA lake, we play with the grandchildren, and I do maintenance work on the Appalachian Trail (and have hiked it from Georgia to Maine). When it gets cold, we go to New Bern, then take the boat south to Florida and the Bahamas for 4 or 5 months.

We have talked about buying a smaller house or condo in Fairfield Harbor to use as a sailing base if we tire of the longer trips south. If you tour New Bern, check out the Northwest Creek Marina and Fairfield Harbour websites or get a real estate agent to show you around Fairfield Harbor.

Bill
 

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We live in Sullivan County in the northeast Tennessee mountains and keep our boat 7 hours away in Northwest Creek Marina in Fairfield Harbour outside New Bern. At home we live on one TVA lake and keep a second sailboat in a slip on another TVA lake, we play with the grandchildren, and I do maintenance work on the Appalachian Trail (and have hiked it from Georgia to Maine). When it gets cold, we go to New Bern, then take the boat south to Florida and the Bahamas for 4 or 5 months.

We have talked about buying a smaller house or condo in Fairfield Harbor to use as a sailing base if we tire of the longer trips south. If you tour New Bern, check out the Northwest Creek Marina and Fairfield Harbour websites or get a real estate agent to show you around Fairfield Harbor.

Bill
Thanks for the tips Bill. It’s on my list now
 

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Bill is always good to listen to.

Included in the Fairfield Harbor complex is Black Beards Yacht Club. They are the second best yacht club that I have been around. I would be a member except we keep our boat closer to our home at Duck Creek Marina.

Florence was by far the most damaging hurricane that I have experienced in the 20 some years that we have lived in the New Bern -Jacksonville area. Most damage to boats that I observed was, in order of seriousness: boats on the hard floating off their stands, boats floating onto and or destroying docks, floating docks floating off their pilings. I stayed aboard at our slip and tended lines while water depth varied from 4.6 feet to 16 feet. Wife stayed at home. Although we had riverfront property for a couple of hours we had less than $2500 worth of damage. We now have a generator so the sump pump will run.

Best of luck in your decision.

regards charlie
 
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