sail69

To Dock or Not To Dock...

Recommended Posts

So we decided to do a long weekend here in NE and enjoy the post-Dorian nice weather.   For the first time in years we, in lieu of getting a mooring or anchoring, have berthed at a marina.

I have forgotten how foreign a land being at a dock is...first the good  stuff;

  • Can ignore power consumption.
  • Can ignore water consumption.
  • Can (mostly) ignore weather/sea state while l thinking about disembarking for din-din.
  • Can easily invite guests.
  • Going ashore to do small stuff is so convenient.

And now the bad stuff;

  • Expensive.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Mostly a powerboat world...4 sailboats and dozens of powerboats.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Loud post-game revelers kept the SO up for many hours.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Air flow orientation not always ideal. Not an issue now but can be in height of summer and we have never needed A/C, or even fans, while  swinging on a mooring ball or anchor.
  • And did I mention no privacy? 

It was a nice change and fun, but we probably have gotten our fix of this foreign land for a quite awhile.   

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To fix the "nooooooo privacy" issue, dock bow-in. Carry a small, plastic, collapsing step stool to place on the finger dock to aid in boarding.

I use this one, which has a 300# load limit:  https://www.amazon.com/COSCO-Molded-Folding-Stool-Orange/dp/B01KS4RD8E/ref=sr_1_5?crid=39BR5TBU12PB1&keywords=cosco+folding+step+stool&qid=1568124746&s=home-garden&sprefix=cosco+folding+step+%2Cgarden%2C163&sr=1-5

I hear you on the party noise. It's why we won't book a slip in Ego Alley, Annapolis anymore. I remember one night where someone a few slips down finally lost it and screamed "SHUT THE FUCK UP!!" at 2:30am.  Comically, it worked!

Air flow- Buy a windscoop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spent 2 nights in a marina slip a few weeks ago for the first time in 15 years. Don't forget the pleasure of showering at will, not having to row ashore to lug ice out to the boat and having a few easily walked to restaurants nearby.

On the down side, virtually everyone that walked by had to compliment the boat and asked the lineage. I know, a nice problem to have. I can't complain but sometimes I still do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The right town with the right marina, is a pleasure to dock in.

Oxford, Maryland is a tiny little historic, maritime hamlet. You can walk the entire town in an afternoon. The Robert Morris House is there, well over 200 years old, fairly intact and original. Robert Morris was a financier of the American Revolution.

The town is quiet, and quaint. It has a creamery that sells the most delicious ice cream. The marina has been recently purchased and updated. The bathrooms and showers are immaculate, the pool is clean, they have a party area with commercial-grade propane grills instead of the rusting hulks of charcoal grills typically found at public parks.

The historic Cutts and Case wooden boatyard is there. Walk right in, browse and explore for free. The Tred Avon Yacht Club is also located in Oxford.

I'll never afford it but I'd kill to live there in my retirement.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Willin' said:

I spent 2 nights in a marina slip a few weeks ago for the first time in 15 years. Don't forget the pleasure of showering at will, not having to row ashore to lug ice out to the boat and having a few easily walked to restaurants nearby.

On the down side, virtually everyone that walked by had to compliment the boat and asked the lineage. I know, a nice problem to have. I can't complain but sometimes I still do.

that pretty much sums up SA in its totality there Willin'  :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ajax said:

The right town with the right marina, is a pleasure to dock in.

Oxford, Maryland is a tiny little historic, maritime hamlet. You can walk the entire town in an afternoon. The Robert Morris House is there, well over 200 years old, fairly intact and original. Robert Morris was a financier of the American Revolution.

The town is quiet, and quaint. It has a creamery that sells the most delicious ice cream. The marina has been recently purchased and updated. The bathrooms and showers are immaculate, the pool is clean, they have a party area with commercial-grade propane grills instead of the rusting hulks of charcoal grills typically found at public parks.

The historic Cutts and Case wooden boatyard is there. Walk right in, browse and explore for free. The Tred Avon Yacht Club is also located in Oxford.

I'll never afford it but I'd kill to live there in my retirement.

When we were stuck in Oxford at the Hinckley yard birds shit copiously and aggressively all over our boat and the seeds in their poop blocked our scuppers. And we could only get in and out away from low tide.

So your mileage may always vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@B.J. Porter lol...wow. I've never had that problem. Must have been their way of urging you on to greatness in your world cruising.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

@B.J. Porter lol...wow. I've never had that problem. Must have been their way of urging you on to greatness in your world cruising.

Could have been the time of year.

I think I draw a little more than you, eh?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Could have been the time of year.

I think I draw a little more than you, eh?

I'm sure you do. I'm missing the link between draft and bird poop. What am I missing?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gulls HATE deep draft boats, they're more the multihull/daysailor types :D.  prejudicial little bastards.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the early years of cruising (70s-90s), I docked whenever I could.  I liked the easy access to the shore, unlimited power and water (showers with shore water pressure were a treat) and walking the docks, getting to know people.  It always felt like being in a tight-knit community.

During that time, the boat always went in bow first.  Never even considered stern in.  Even today, I'd rather pull in bow first.  The only time that isn't preferable is when there's a short finger dock.  Outside of the cost, my preference is the dock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like a 60/40 mix of anchoring out and docking in a marina.

My wife is not as misanthropic as I am, so we plan dockage so she can explore towns, enjoy the food and people. I want her to be happy.  There's also the whole issue of pumping out, laundry and loading up on fresh water. I also like a longer, hot shower than I might otherwise take on the boat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/10/2019 at 8:23 AM, sail69 said:

So we decided to do a long weekend here in NE and enjoy the post-Dorian nice weather.   For the first time in years we, in lieu of getting a mooring or anchoring, have berthed at a marina.

I have forgotten how foreign a land being at a dock is...first the good  stuff;

  • Can ignore power consumption.
  • Can ignore water consumption.
  • Can (mostly) ignore weather/sea state while l thinking about disembarking for din-din.
  • Can easily invite guests.
  • Going ashore to do small stuff is so convenient.

And now the bad stuff;

  • Expensive.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Mostly a powerboat world...4 sailboats and dozens of powerboats.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Loud post-game revelers kept the SO up for many hours.
  • Noooo privacy.
  • Air flow orientation not always ideal. Not an issue now but can be in height of summer and we have never needed A/C, or even fans, while  swinging on a mooring ball or anchor.
  • And did I mention no privacy? 

It was a nice change and fun, but we probably have gotten our fix of this foreign land for a quite awhile.   

How do you think those poor powerboaters felt about being tied up at a dock with you? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favourite is a mix - anchored or moored with "shore support". Haven Harbor in Rock Hall has a deal to pay for a dinghy at $30/day. We use their showers, pool, bikes and so on and get to swing into the wind with some privacy.

Annapolis has showers for docked, moored, or anchored boats for no additional fee and sitting on a mooring there is endless entertainment. If it floats, it will come by sooner or later. Ego Alley is great if you want to party, sleeping not so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The price for docking has gotten out of control. Cheaper to stay in a hotel at some locations.  I prefer to stay at either a mooring or anchor out. Better air, peaceful, quiet, and the motion of the boat makes sleeping wonderful.  I was lucky enough to sail (race/cruise) this summer for about 7 weeks. 2600 miles.  Most nights at a mooring.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hot = anchored out, we need the air.

Cold = tied up, we need the heat and the power to run it. Also hose showers on deck are a bit chilly in November.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

My favourite is a mix - anchored or moored with "shore support". Haven Harbor in Rock Hall has a deal to pay for a dinghy at $30/day. We use their showers, pool, bikes and so on and get to swing into the wind with some privacy.

Annapolis has showers for docked, moored, or anchored boats for no additional fee and sitting on a mooring there is endless entertainment. If it floats, it will come by sooner or later. Ego Alley is great if you want to party, sleeping not so much.

Gonna put in a hoo yah for Haven Harbor.  Just delivered a boat that was kept there, the management keeps the place clean, professionals all around, and they have a second deck bar with cheap drafts.  If we ever get back down to the Chesapeake (not soon considering when we left 100 in the shade) we'll definitely go alongside at Haven Harbor.  If you're in the neighborhood they're worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mooring is the best of both worlds- 

Free swinging into the breeze, but you don't have to get your anchor muddy and the foredeck messy.  Chesapeake mud smells like a nasty gym sock. Cheaper than dockage by a mile, if you have to pay at all. K_I_S is right about the entertainment factor, too.

You still have to schlep to town, but it's a minor thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moorings at Provincetown Marina are now $3/ft/night. They charge $40-50 just to pick one up for a couple of hours. Staying overnight at the marina would be about $300/night for my boat. 

In response Flyers is now about $1.75/ft/night.

34 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Mooring is the best of both worlds- 

Free swinging into the breeze, but you don't have to get your anchor muddy and the foredeck messy.  Chesapeake mud smells like a nasty gym sock. Cheaper than dockage by a mile, if you have to pay at all. K_I_S is right about the entertainment factor, too.

You still have to schlep to town, but it's a minor thing.

P-town mud stinks too, but makes great holding ground, 10 minutes with the deck wash pump is a pretty good bargain. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Hot = anchored out, we need the air.

Cold = tied up, we need the heat and the power to run it. Also hose showers on deck are a bit chilly in November.

Come to Florida in the summer:

Hot= At the dock to run the AC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Moorings at Provincetown Marina are now $3/ft/night. They charge $40-50 just to pick one up for a couple of hours. Staying overnight at the marina would be about $300/night for my boat. 

In response Flyers is now about $1.75/ft/night.

P-town mud stinks too, but makes great holding ground, 10 minutes with the deck wash pump is a pretty good bargain. 

And the Marconi Sea Monster... don't forget about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew,  that's rich.  I think Ego Alley is $50/night regardless of length. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Ajax said:

I'm sure you do. I'm missing the link between draft and bird poop. What am I missing?

I couldn't get in or out of there at lower tides....also mentioned in my above gripes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Whew,  that's rich.  I think Ego Alley is $50/night regardless of length. 

Back in the day the dockmaster hardly came out during the week. I commuted to work by boat Mon-Friday and NEVER paid to tie up there :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruised for a week with the wife and kids this summer.  We anchored 4 nights and did marinas for 2.  Everyone much preferred anchoring, especially with so many great anchorages on the Chesapeake.  Pumped up the paddle board, kids paddled around, played cards, read books.  The peacefulness can't be matched.  Best way to decompress ever invented.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Annapolis moorings are $35/night for whatever boat fits and well worth it, the holding ground there is poor.

Agree on the holding being poor but find the bulkheads seem to catch and reflect every wake or small chop so you dance arou d the mooring all night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We prefer docking over mooring these days because of the kids.  Just makes the thousand trips to the showers and bathrooms easier.  Plus the random plans of the family doing different things.  Dealing with dinghy and/or launch can be a PITA.   It sure is more expensive though.  We do "camp" on the water (mooring) a few times a year and is considered a treat.  :D   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now