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Looking for advice on East Coast relocating


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With things going more and more remote, NYC is making less and less sense for my wife and I. We are starting to talk about making the move to a smaller town where everything is a bit easier and our money stretches further. The problem is knowing where to look. I am hoping for some advice! Here is our Wishlist:

  • Downtown scene - culture/restaurants/bars walkable (think of what a hipster might like - I know, I know)
  • Doesn't have to be big - Wilmington NC is an example of an area we like
  • Good cruising grounds close with racing available
  • Less than 30 min from wherever we keep the boat greatly preferred.
  • Dog friendly
  • South of NYC to extend the sailing season
  • Less expensive than NYC (ok, that might be easy)
  • East Coast - middle preferred (we have family in DC, Richmond and Atlanta)

I am putting this out, because I know so many of you live up and down the coast! I am hoping some of you could make suggestions. I don't know much outside of the major cities, and none I can think of would fit.

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For east coast, maybe Charleston?  Never been, but I think it sounds ok, from what I’ve heard of it, bit of a “sailing town”, I think?  Very hot in summer...

That being said, having grown up in DC, I am happy not to live on the east coast any more (so may be biased :-) ).  But I might do Maine if lived east and could take 11 months of winter :-).  (12 months in Nova Scotia). 
 

If confined to the US, how about going west instead - Port Townsend, WA?  Not terribly far from Seattle if you want city. Year round sailing. Great town. Islands at your doorstep...(not to mention the True North Strong and Free :-) )

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Somebody asked a version of this maybe 6 months ago.  I grew up sailing most of the year on the lower Chesapeake. But IMO the population density is so high now around most of the nicer waterfront areas in Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach that it's too congested for my blood.

Here in eastern NC we have waterfront communities that offer year-round sailing, a range of town or city sizes to meet your preference, and we are roughly 2+ hours from Raleigh-Durham airport if you want to head somewhere distant. There are sailing communities in Washington, NC (small town), New Bern (small city), Oriental (I'd call it a mariners' village), and others right down to the Wilmington area (metro area of 1/2 million). In all these places nowadays you will find southern, small-town hospitality along with retirees and folks recently transplanted from up and down the eastern US.

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14 minutes ago, Israel Hands said:

Somebody asked a version of this maybe 6 months ago.  I grew up sailing most of the year on the lower Chesapeake. But IMO the population density is so high now around most of the nicer waterfront areas in Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach that it's too congested for my blood.

Here in eastern NC we have waterfront communities that offer year-round sailing, a range of town or city sizes to meet your preference, and we are roughly 2+ hours from Raleigh-Durham airport if you want to head somewhere distant. There are sailing communities in Washington, NC (small town), New Bern (small city), Oriental (I'd call it a mariners' village), and others right down to the Wilmington area (metro area of 1/2 million). In all these places nowadays you will find southern, small-town hospitality along with retirees and folks recently transplanted from up and down the eastern US.

Thanks! This is super helpful. I had marked New Bern as a possible. What is the town like? How is the cruising scene in the Pamlico sound? We like cities actually, so the congestion you mentioned would not bother us. We have visited Wilmington and like it a lot, but I wasn't sure there was much of a sailing scene around there.

Since you mentioned lower Chesapeake as well, another we have been looking at is Norfolk (in the downtown/ghent area). Again, more of a city feel. But I have only been to VA Beach and was not sure what Norfolk was like. The cruising seems like a good possibility, with easy access to the Chesapeake.

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13 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

That being said, having grown up in DC, I am happy not to live on the east coast any more (so may be biased :-) ).  But I might do Maine if lived east and could take 11 months of winter :-).  (12 months in Nova Scotia). 

Ha! I grew up in DC as well - you will notice it is not on my list. But we are not trying to get colder than NYC. So Maine is out! My wife has a cabin up there, and it is too cold to swim almost all the time.

Charleston is an idea. By the way, we are not really confined to the US. My work travel is international, but my wife has to travel a lot in the US. So clearing in every time may be a hassle. Though we have considered adding St. Thomas (USVI) to the list.

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Can't comment on the racing scene, but Savannah, GA checks all the rest of your boxes. Very cute, walkable town, great restaurant scene, SCAD gives it enough of an art presence to satisfy hipsters, plenty of marinas, plenty of dogs, and you can buy a palace for the price of a 1BR condo in Park Slope. Only problem is that it's a connecting flight to pretty much anywhere.

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1 hour ago, Israel Hands said:

Somebody asked a version of this maybe 6 months ago.  I grew up sailing most of the year on the lower Chesapeake. But IMO the population density is so high now around most of the nicer waterfront areas in Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach that it's too congested for my blood.

Here in eastern NC we have waterfront communities that offer year-round sailing, a range of town or city sizes to meet your preference, and we are roughly 2+ hours from Raleigh-Durham airport if you want to head somewhere distant. There are sailing communities in Washington, NC (small town), New Bern (small city), Oriental (I'd call it a mariners' village), and others right down to the Wilmington area (metro area of 1/2 million). In all these places nowadays you will find southern, small-town hospitality along with retirees and folks recently transplanted from up and down the eastern US.

Don't listen to him

All we have here is fried food, banjo music, and two kinds of mosquitos.... the ones small enough to go thru the screen, and ones big enough to turn the door handle and let themselves in.

If you've been to Wilmington and liked it, that's probably the place.  Or one of the nice place stretching along the coast south/west of there. Charleston is expensive but Savannah is a really nice place.

FB- Doug

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

If you've been to Wilmington and liked it, that's probably the place.  Or one of the nice place stretching along the coast south/west of there. Charleston is expensive but Savannah is a really nice place.

Thanks! how is the cruising/racing scene in Wilmington NC?

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1 hour ago, freewheelin said:

Thanks! This is super helpful. I had marked New Bern as a possible. What is the town like? How is the cruising scene in the Pamlico sound? We like cities actually, so the congestion you mentioned would not bother us. We have visited Wilmington and like it a lot, but I wasn't sure there was much of a sailing scene around there.

Since you mentioned lower Chesapeake as well, another we have been looking at is Norfolk (in the downtown/ghent area). Again, more of a city feel. But I have only been to VA Beach and was not sure what Norfolk was like. The cruising seems like a good possibility, with easy access to the Chesapeake.

New Bern maybe has 100-150k people in the MSA, has its own regional airport and a quaint downtown with nice restaurants. If we didn't love the rural life, we'd probably live there ourselves. Plenty of sailing from there on the Neuse River and into the Pamlico Sound. Crossing the Sound to Ocracoke Island makes a great 3-day weekend trip.  

The Gulf Stream, as it spirals offshore from Cape Hatteras, gives coastal NC a significantly longer warm season than Tidewater Virginia. As teenage surfers we discovered that the seawater at Hatteras was usually 10 degrees warmer than at VAB (and the surf a hell of a lot better).  This makes a real regional climate difference. 

Don't let @Steam Flyer fool you with his briar patch stories of shoals and mosquitos. What he says may contain a grain of truth - but just ask any Virginia waterman and he'll tell you about infinite places to run aground and be eaten alive along the lower Chesapeake too. :)

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Just moved back (home) to Charleston after two decades in the northeast.  Some thoughts:

1) Charleston should check all your boxes, though with the area population approaching 1 million, it's now more of a mid-sized city than a small one.

2) This has upsides and downsides.  The biggest downsides are more traffic and higher home prices in desirable neighborhoods, though nowhere is really more than 30 minutes from anywhere else, and your dollar will still go a lot farther here than in NYC.

3) One upside is the growth of secondary centers away from downtown.  Avondale in West Ashley is a cute district just one mile from the marinas with a few bars, restaurants, and an excellent brewery (FWIW, there are something like 8 breweries here now, and most are pretty good).  Walkable housing there is very affordable, and there's a multi-mile bike trail that runs right next to it (and will soon be connected via a dedicated bike/foot bridge to downtown).  Beach towns like Sullivan's Island ($$$$$) and Folly ($$-$$$) also have nice downtown strips.  And for a big night out, there is always downtown Charleston itself (which remains a nice place to live - it's where I live now). 

4) Year-round racing on Charleston Harbor in all sorts of boats, with an active PHRF scene.  Sea breezes fill in most warm evenings, even in the August doldrums.  Cruising is not as fertile as the wide sounds of eastern NC, but there are a number of rivers, deep creeks, and bays between Charleston and Savannah that are surprisingly nice for gunkholing and coastal cruising, particularly October - April.  Cute towns like Beaufort (Byew-fert in SC, Boh-fert in NC) and Rockville are around here as well.

5) A larger population and tourism means better airport service - probably the best on the coast between Norfolk and Jacksonville, if not even farther afield.  Direct flights to all major east coast cities (Atlanta is virtually a shuttle service; NY airports 5-10x/day) as well as many Midwestern ones; nonstop flights as far as SEA (Alaska) and LAX (jetBlue).  BA even had 2x weekly service to Heathrow before the pandemic, though I'm not putting odds on when that will come back.  Driving is 3hrs to Charlotte, 5hrs to Atlanta, 6 to Richmond, 8 to DC.

6) Tons of culture here: obviously the history, architecture, and restaurants - but also a disproportionately strong performing arts scene anchored by the Spoleto Festival in late May and early June (back this Spring in limited capacity).  Interesting new bands like Ranky Tanky and Shovels + Rope.  Darius Rucker of Hootie and country fame.  Bill Murray.

That said, it's definitely not as off-the-beaten path as it was a decade or two ago, and you may find somewhere like New Bern or Wilmington more your speed if you're seeking truly quieter.  If you have the time, stop for a while in each (at least a week, ideally a month) to get a flavor for what might be the best fit.

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1 hour ago, Israel Hands said:

New Bern maybe has 100-150k people in the MSA, has its own regional airport and a quaint downtown with nice restaurants. If we didn't love the rural life, we'd probably live there ourselves. Plenty of sailing from there on the Neuse River and into the Pamlico Sound. Crossing the Sound to Ocracoke Island makes a great 3-day weekend trip.  

The Gulf Stream, as it spirals offshore from Cape Hatteras, gives coastal NC a significantly longer warm season than Tidewater Virginia. As teenage surfers we discovered that the seawater at Hatteras was usually 10 degrees warmer than at VAB (and the surf a hell of a lot better).  This makes a real regional climate difference. 

Don't let @Steam Flyer fool you with his briar patch stories of shoals and mosquitos. What he says may contain a grain of truth - but just ask any Virginia waterman and he'll tell you about infinite places to run aground and be eaten alive along the lower Chesapeake too. :)

Okay, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

I am officially pushing the Discourage Yankees From Moving Here button.

P1120882.thumb.JPG.7aad3054a824f44c7d73ba59c4ef61ef.JPG

Definitely, you will want to move well south of New Bern.

Of course, the snow and the occasional ice storm (putting the power out for a few days) have a plus, you don't see snakes on those days.

FB- Doug

 

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6 minutes ago, jsaronson said:

Hampton Virginia might be an option.  Southern Chesapeake, racing, near airport, not far from the ocean.

Thanks! We will check that out. We have been looking across the bridge at Norfolk because of the downtown scene, but will expand a bit. Any advice on what the area is like?

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Just now, jsaronson said:

Hampton itself is a small city with nice old houses and a friendly yacht club.   The tunnels can be a bear in that area, especially when the carriers are in port.

We've stopped at the Hampton city dock while cruising, several times... nice place indeed.

I spent some time in Norfolk while enjoying membership in Uncle Sam's Big Gray Boat Club. The area has a poor reputation (or did have, back then) with the Navy but i liked it... went to some concerts, myriad options for culture/food, biggest downside was traffic... dunno if that's any better.

But the traffic in New Bern is worse, I swear!

- DSK

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Before buying real estate in Hampton or Norfolk study the subsidence in the region.  Over an inch a year and some places more than others. Not a reason to avoid Tidewater Virginia, but a reason to pick and choose where to locate there.

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5 hours ago, freewheelin said:

Thanks! This is super helpful. I had marked New Bern as a possible. What is the town like? How is the cruising scene in the Pamlico sound? We like cities actually, so the congestion you mentioned would not bother us. We have visited Wilmington and like it a lot, but I wasn't sure there was much of a sailing scene around there.

Since you mentioned lower Chesapeake as well, another we have been looking at is Norfolk (in the downtown/ghent area). Again, more of a city feel. But I have only been to VA Beach and was not sure what Norfolk was like. The cruising seems like a good possibility, with easy access to the Chesapeake.

I lived on Westover St. in the  Ghent section in the 80’s and it was a nice part of the city. The area around Colonial Drive is also nice and a little closer to downtown. Year round sailing, 30 minutes to Va Beach and 15 degrees warmer than NYC in the winter.

Norfolk also has culture and a good arts scene.

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7 hours ago, ChrisJD said:

Can't comment on the racing scene, but Savannah, GA checks all the rest of your boxes. Very cute, walkable town, great restaurant scene, SCAD gives it enough of an art presence to satisfy hipsters, plenty of marinas, plenty of dogs, and you can buy a palace for the price of a 1BR condo in Park Slope. Only problem is that it's a connecting flight to pretty much anywhere.

The racing scene is pretty weak, hack level PHRF, some sunfish, not a whole lot. Hot as hell in the summer, awful bugs, apart from that, pretty good spot.

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Since you like swimming, the PNW area is out, unless you do it in a heated pool. If you want to consider a little further away,  one place no one has mentioned and therefor may still be a good bang for your buck: Pensacola, FL. My memories date back to the 70s but I recall a pretty nice beach town with an admittedly redneck vibe but which may have mellowed out by now. Someone with more current experience can comment but there seemed to be plenty of sailboats on the bay, deepwater access to the Gulf (aircraft carriers tie up at the naval air station) and some great seafood. There's even a little bit of surfing action. From my experience, every place east of Colorado sucks for weather and bugs in the summer but Pensacola isn't any worse than DC, Virginia or Rhode Island and a helluva lot better in the winter.

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I have never visited the area, but from what I have learnt from across the pond, a sailor escaping from NYC has roughly these choices:

North

  1. A bit north into the squillionaire coast which stretches about 60 miles each way from Cape Cod.  Bring your button-down shirts, megabucks, and join the super-rich in shagging each others' partners.
  2. Further north into Maine, which is basically tundra that gets 4 weeks in the summer where you can dump the thermonuclear underwear and strip off down to a few heavy pullovers and beanie hat.  Bring snow shovel and skis and lobster recipes.
  3. Cross the border into Nova Scotia, where you will live in an igloo, eat seal blubber, and your neighbours will be polar bears, eh.
  4. Carry on up to Newfoundland and start inbreeding, safe from the polar bears who can't take that much cold.

South

  1. New Jersey, which is a) crap sailing coast, and b ) New Jersey
  2. Delaware bay: currents and shallows
  3. Chesapeake: shallows and no wind and too many people and way too hot in summer
  4. South of Chesapeake: Dixie, too hot, alligators, boring coastline, food to clog your arteries
  5. Florida: far too hot, far too many alligators, 97% retirees, Cuban mafia, plague of golfers, Florida Man

So I reckon Jud has it right: if you wanna sail, go PNW.   But if you want a crinkly coast, warm temperate weather, enough wind to sail properly, deep water, and no inbreeding, polar bears, button-down shirts, alligators, Dixie, Cuban mafia, or golf plague then you need a different continent  ... or New Zealand.   

OTOH, if you are happy with some or all ice / baking heat / thin water / flat calm / inbreeding / polar bears / button-down shirts / alligators / Dixie / Cuban mafia / New Jersey / golf plague / high-cholesterol diets ... then you are spoilt for choice.   And if you want extra variety, try Boston, which has some wind and is cold but not arctic, and has a thriving Irish mafia with plenty of priests to bugger your kids and enough machine politicians to make your head spin.

Happy days.

(And if anyone moans about this not being entirely suitable for a flag-waving cheerleader, I could even things out by writing something similarly cynical about an Irish  sailor's location options)

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11 hours ago, freewheelin said:

New Bern sounds cool. I will be checking it out. Also, 1.5 hours from my family's beach house in Topsail would be really cool.

I am still curious about Norfolk, if anyone has experience. The ghent area looks cool.

We've got an Ostend End in Norfolk, near me, but I didn't know about a Ghent...

 

 

 

Opps, :D I'm in the real Norfolk, UK, plenty of sailing, a lot less people:D

About 4800 people per Square mile Norfolk, USA, 401 per Square mile Norfolk UK.

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20 hours ago, ChrisJD said:

Can't comment on the racing scene, but Savannah, GA checks all the rest of your boxes. Very cute, walkable town, great restaurant scene, SCAD gives it enough of an art presence to satisfy hipsters, plenty of marinas, plenty of dogs, and you can buy a palace for the price of a 1BR condo in Park Slope. Only problem is that it's a connecting flight to pretty much anywhere.

Was going to recommend Savannah.  Gorgeous town.  Having spent some time in Charleston, I can't see how it's one nickel cheaper than NYC.  I never saw so many Bentleys...

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We could use a more granular description of the Chesapeake Bay scene. We all know about Annapolis (too crowded for me) calling itself the Sailing Capital, but we also have Ajax, of the Rescuing a Tartan 33 thread,  recounting his struggle trying to get even a small racing program going just a short way to the north. 

Personally, based on 2 hour visit on scorching 100 F day, Cambridge, MD looked pretty quaint, but it's not a big time sailing town.

There are lots of places that have the arty shops and coffee bars, etc when it's "in season", whenever that it locally, but shut up tighter than a drum otherwise.

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9 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I have never visited the area, but from what I have learnt from across the pond, a sailor escaping from NYC has roughly these choices:

North

  1. A bit north into the squillionaire coast which stretches about 60 miles each way from Cape Cod.  Bring your button-down shirts, megabucks, and join the super-rich in shagging each others' partners.
  2. Further north into Maine, which is basically tundra that gets 4 weeks in the summer where you can dump the thermonuclear underwear and strip off down to a few heavy pullovers and beanie hat.  Bring snow shovel and skis and lobster recipes.
  3. Cross the border into Nova Scotia, where you will live in an igloo, eat seal blubber, and your neighbours will be polar bears, eh.
  4. Carry on up to Newfoundland and start inbreeding, safe from the polar bears who can't take that much cold.

South

  1. New Jersey, which is a) crap sailing coast, and b ) New Jersey
  2. Delaware bay: currents and shallows
  3. Chesapeake: shallows and no wind and too many people and way too hot in summer
  4. South of Chesapeake: Dixie, too hot, alligators, boring coastline, food to clog your arteries
  5. Florida: far too hot, far too many alligators, 97% retirees, Cuban mafia, plague of golfers, Florida Man

So I reckon Jud has it right: if you wanna sail, go PNW.   But if you want a crinkly coast, warm temperate weather, enough wind to sail properly, deep water, and no inbreeding, polar bears, button-down shirts, alligators, Dixie, Cuban mafia, or golf plague then you need a different continent  ... or New Zealand.   

OTOH, if you are happy with some or all ice / baking heat / thin water / flat calm / inbreeding / polar bears / button-down shirts / alligators / Dixie / Cuban mafia / New Jersey / golf plague / high-cholesterol diets ... then you are spoilt for choice.   And if you want extra variety, try Boston, which has some wind and is cold but not arctic, and has a thriving Irish mafia with plenty of priests to bugger your kids and enough machine politicians to make your head spin.

Happy days.

(And if anyone moans about this not being entirely suitable for a flag-waving cheerleader, I could even things out by writing something similarly cynical about an Irish  sailor's location options)

Pretty good summary

If i wanted to retire from my US retirement spot, where would you recommend a try in The Emerald Isle?

- DSK

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On 4/13/2021 at 5:53 PM, freewheelin said:

With things going more and more remote, NYC is making less and less sense for my wife and I. We are starting to talk about making the move to a smaller town where everything is a bit easier and our money stretches further. The problem is knowing where to look. I am hoping for some advice! Here is our Wishlist:

  • Downtown scene - culture/restaurants/bars walkable (think of what a hipster might like - I know, I know)
  • Doesn't have to be big - Wilmington NC is an example of an area we like
  • Good cruising grounds close with racing available
  • Less than 30 min from wherever we keep the boat greatly preferred.
  • Dog friendly
  • South of NYC to extend the sailing season
  • Less expensive than NYC (ok, that might be easy)
  • East Coast - middle preferred (we have family in DC, Richmond and Atlanta)

I am putting this out, because I know so many of you live up and down the coast! I am hoping some of you could make suggestions. I don't know much outside of the major cities, and none I can think of would fit.

You might want to say if you are looking for big boat or dinghy racing because that matters.  Would suggest Savanna.  If you don't like DTA you ain't gonna to like Norfolk.

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Just now, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Lots of DTA (link) to choose from.  Which one are you referring to?

Sorry.  Mid's term for down town annapolis.

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6 minutes ago, Wess said:

Sorry.  Mid's term for down town annapolis.

Got it.  I may have heard that term before: a very good friend of mine went to St. John’s in Annapolis...(he wouldn’t return to that town for even an extraordinarily large sum of money...he’s probably haunted still by The Great Books, and probably always will be :-) )

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10 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I have never visited the area, but from what I have learnt from across the pond, a sailor escaping from NYC has roughly these choices:

North

  1. A bit north into the squillionaire coast which stretches about 60 miles each way from Cape Cod.  Bring your button-down shirts, megabucks, and join the super-rich in shagging each others' partners.
  2. Further north into Maine, which is basically tundra that gets 4 weeks in the summer where you can dump the thermonuclear underwear and strip off down to a few heavy pullovers and beanie hat.  Bring snow shovel and skis and lobster recipes.
  3. Cross the border into Nova Scotia, where you will live in an igloo, eat seal blubber, and your neighbours will be polar bears, eh.
  4. Carry on up to Newfoundland and start inbreeding, safe from the polar bears who can't take that much cold.

South

  1. New Jersey, which is a) crap sailing coast, and b ) New Jersey
  2. Delaware bay: currents and shallows
  3. Chesapeake: shallows and no wind and too many people and way too hot in summer
  4. South of Chesapeake: Dixie, too hot, alligators, boring coastline, food to clog your arteries
  5. Florida: far too hot, far too many alligators, 97% retirees, Cuban mafia, plague of golfers, Florida Man

So I reckon Jud has it right: if you wanna sail, go PNW.   But if you want a crinkly coast, warm temperate weather, enough wind to sail properly, deep water, and no inbreeding, polar bears, button-down shirts, alligators, Dixie, Cuban mafia, or golf plague then you need a different continent  ... or New Zealand.   

OTOH, if you are happy with some or all ice / baking heat / thin water / flat calm / inbreeding / polar bears / button-down shirts / alligators / Dixie / Cuban mafia / New Jersey / golf plague / high-cholesterol diets ... then you are spoilt for choice.   And if you want extra variety, try Boston, which has some wind and is cold but not arctic, and has a thriving Irish mafia with plenty of priests to bugger your kids and enough machine politicians to make your head spin.

Happy days.

(And if anyone moans about this not being entirely suitable for a flag-waving cheerleader, I could even things out by writing something similarly cynical about an Irish  sailor's location options)

LOL, pretty funny. 

I will say that the NJ coast (sailed out of there for decades) was great sailing and a fantastic area.  The problem was the traffic getting there or getting around.  Once there and on the boat is was near heaven.  And actually Cape May might suit the OP's desire for a location but maybe too quiet for his tastes in the winter.  And rumor has it (not been) that the drugs and dealer are leaving Asbury Park and its making a come back (not so sure about the sailing there though).

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8 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

So you're saying it won't be good for hipsters, then.

LOL, well given his USNA pedigree I am giving him bonus points for slightly more intelligent than the current crop of 20 somethings..  Real problem there is no sailing (unless a beach cat off the beach and no racing).  Would have to head up to the Red Bank or Atlantic Highlands or down to Manesquan (neither of which is a bad option).

If it was me though I would head all the way down to the gulf coast (but I am a red state kinda guy).

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20 minutes ago, ChrisJD said:

So you're saying it won't be good for hipsters, then.

People crap on hipsters, and I agree they are very annoying. But because of them in my old neighborhood within walking distance there was:

 - A barber who could hone my straight razors (and did a good job)

- A one screen movie theatre that could do first run movies and cost $8

- Two good dive bars where the bar tenders would recognize you with both fanzy rotating taps as well as Rainer in a can for those on a lower budget. 

- A guy who could fix most electrical items

- Same with a bike store

 - Supersonic hand made wood fired pizza with a $6 special for walk-ins. 

- A sushi roll place

- A raw bar with rotating selection

- An independent donut shop 

- A liquor store that knew what "hogo" was when talking about rhum agricole. 

I could go on....so I forgive them their sins. 

 

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1 hour ago, Wess said:

You might want to say if you are looking for big boat or dinghy racing because that matters.  Would suggest Savanna.  If you don't like DTA you ain't gonna to like Norfolk.

Good point. We have a big(ish) boat. 30fter, drawing 5'8". Would cruise that and currently race it, but we could buy a dinghy too if that is the scene.

And for the record, I liked DTA a lot. Some of the bars might say too much. Just wanting somewhere new. You get it.

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2 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Pretty good summary

If i wanted to retire from my US retirement spot, where would you recommend a try in The Emerald Isle?

- DSK

Cowichan Bay is quite nice. 

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12 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

And if anyone moans about this not being entirely suitable for a flag-waving cheerleader, I could even things out by writing something similarly cynical about an Irish  sailor's location options)

Let’s hear it!:D

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I just moved from Norfolk after living there for 5 years  so I guess I can add some information about the sailing scene. Hampton Yacht Club is the center of racing, but there are clubs in Little Creek and Portsmouth that host races and Wednesday night sailing. Norfolk Yacht Club is a country club that has very little to do with boating and even less with sailing. That said it is a nice short destination from HYC and they are hospitable. 

The racing in Norfolk is pretty good PHRF, with a couple of OD classes including Vipers, Beach Cats and Dinghy's. Typical weekend races will get about 5 boats in each class. There are a mix of buoy races and short distance races. Southern Bay Race Weekend and Down the Bay race from Annapolis to Hampton are really awesome. 

In my opinion cruising out of Norfolk is very good. From HYC you can choose to go in just about any direction based on the wind/weather. If its cold we will stay out of the bay and go up the Elizabeth or James river to stay out of the waves/dry. There is a good mix of small towns/bars that you can sail to within about 20nm in most directions. Also there are quite a few opportunities for remote isolated anchorages. Its shallow, so for cruising you will definitely want something ~4ft or less. I would say this is true for most of the bay.  It has a major advantages over Naptown in that there is much less powerboat chop, wind all summer, and the jellyfish are fewer. 

The Ghent/Downtown Norfolk scene is pretty good. If NYC has 5 star food at $$$$ then Norfolk has 3.5 star food at $$. 

Cost of living is insanely good. I went from 1200sqft in D.C. to 2700sqft in Norfolk with a $1500/month BAH cut and felt way richer. 

Oh and traffic is bad, but if you plan your life to avoid going towards norfolk in the morning and away in evening it is much better. 

If I move back I would probably focus on Hampton, Buckroe Beach, East Ocean View, or Chicks Beach. The best thing about Norfolk is the water, I want to live close to it. 

 

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1 hour ago, Mizzmo said:

If I move back I would probably focus on Hampton, Buckroe Beach, East Ocean View, or Chicks Beach. The best thing about Norfolk is the water, I want to live close to it. 

Thanks Mizzmo. This is super helpful. It probably would be too much of a hassle to live in Norfolk downtown, then keep the boat at HYC. But I am sure you can join most races regardless. Worth checking into I think. We prefer a downtown vibe, though I can appreciate wanting to be more waterfront. I will look at the other neighborhoods as well.

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11 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Got it.  I may have heard that term before: a very good friend of mine went to St. John’s in Annapolis...(he wouldn’t return to that town for even an extraordinarily large sum of money...he’s probably haunted still by The Great Books, and probably always will be :-) )

All three of my siblings went to St. John's. I escaped...to UC Berkeley

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10 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Hipsters generally keep the rednecks away, which is a very good thing.

So basically you're caught between gun-toting, sheep-shagging racists in pickup trucks, and beaded wanker-cyclists with manbuns who drink poncey coffee out of jamjars

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1 hour ago, TwoLegged said:

So basically you're caught between gun-toting, sheep-shagging racists in pickup trucks, and beaded wanker-cyclists with manbuns who drink poncey coffee out of jamjars

No, this isn't like Seattle.

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freewheelin,

Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier...Lived off and on in Virginia Beach and Norfolk for 16 years, and have raced PHRF in the Southern Bay in all three spin classes on 4 of the various boats I've owned.  HYC is an awesome club.  I was never actually a member, but they are one of the friendliest, most welcoming yacht clubs I know.  Lived in Annapolis itself for 3 years after I retired while my wife taught there, and kept my J/109 there even after we moved to Northern VA.  Lived for 2 years in Solomons Island, MD (near NAS Pax River) and raced there on Foxtrot Corpen's First 36.7.  Also have done a bunch of Screwpile Race Weeks there.  Have done a bunch of Southern Bay Raceweeks as well, and a couple Down the Bay Races.  The Chesapeake is a great place to race and cruise.

Norfolk/Virginia Beach:  There is much to commend in the southern bay.  My biggest complaint is that the area is so spread out.  Everything is 20-25 mins away by car.  If you live in downtown, your 30+ mins from HYC and 20+ mins from the ocean front as an example.  If you live in East Ocean View (we lived in East Beach with the boat a block away) your 25 mins from HYC and 25 mins to the ocean front, and 20 mins to downtown Norfolk.  If you live in Hampton, you can be mins from the Yacht Club, but now your 45+ mins from the ocean front and 30+ mins from downtown Norfolk.  As I said, maybe the best combination of PHRF racing on the Bay.  Not as "serious/hyper competitive" as in Annapolis, but a good, lively, friendly racing scene, with a great mix of races.  Cruising options, compared to to the Annapolis area are not as good IMO.  Its hard to beat the range of places you can get to in 8 hours from Annapolis.  St Michaels, Oxford, Solomons, Chestertown, Baltimore, etc, etc.  Yes, you can (and we did) cruise from the Southern Bay...and it pretty good.  But it's not "as great" as farther north on the Bay.

Solomons Island:  In some ways a "small" Annapolis.  Not as many cool downtown options, and much smaller of a downtown, but not to bad either.  Racing right up there with Hampton/Norfolk.  SMSA is also a great and friendly group of folks.  Only 8 hours north to Annapolis and the serious racing there.  Cruising is pretty nice too.

Another area worth investigating is the Fishing Bay/Deltaville area.  Less urban than even Solomons Island.  Another great and friendly club with a good racing scene.  Only 8 hours south to Hampton, and SBRW, etc. 

Right now, once the 13 year old goes off to college, our plan is to get the hell out of Southern California and come back to the bay.  Live 1/2 the time in our ski condo up in the the Blue Ridge Mountains, and 1/2 the time on a boat on the bay.  It ain't perfect...but its positives sure seem to outweigh any of the negatives.

 

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Thanks Crash! This is super helpful. I think we are going to plan a trip down that way and check out the vibe, and the different spots. Your retirement plan sounds ideal. We hope to rent out our NYC house (where we actually have a separate 1 bd apt we can keep). Living on a boat may not be a terrible option for us - would be an easy way to pay for a dream boat. Though we just adopted a dog so we will need to see how he does on the water this summer. We got him from the virgin islands this winter while we were sailing down there, so we hope being on the water is in his blood. 

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I should in all honesty note that mid summer on the Chesapeake it typified by lighter wind, high humidity, and no-see ums.  That time of year is when we are going to be in the Condo up on the top of the Blue Ridge, where its 10-15 degrees cooler, the humidity is less, and we have air conditioning.  Will still drive to boat to do races, and may even overnight at the dock...but in reality, need a portable A/C unit on the boat to make that livable. :rolleyes:

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45 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Thanks Crash! This is super helpful. I think we are going to plan a trip down that way and check out the vibe, and the different spots. Your retirement plan sounds ideal. We hope to rent out our NYC house (where we actually have a separate 1 bd apt we can keep). Living on a boat may not be a terrible option for us - would be an easy way to pay for a dream boat. Though we just adopted a dog so we will need to see how he does on the water this summer. We got him from the virgin islands this winter while we were sailing down there, so we hope being on the water is in his blood. 

He may have salt water in his blood, but the key to getting dog to being a good sailor/cruiser is to get them accustomed to it, a little at a time.

We've had 3 cruising dogs, with varying degrees of success, the first one was a Chesapeake Bay retriever so he definitely enjoyed the water... he did not enjoy the boat, it was tippy and scary and we kept doing things he did not understand and could not participate in. But he would rather have been set on fire and pushed inch by inch into a stump grinder than be apart from us. The last one was a pound puppy who was very dubious, but as he grew accustomed to being on the boat, and then realized that the boat was the key to meeting his world-wide fan club, he started to love it.

P1040070.thumb.JPG.7922f6e3668a0a62d01e2c38d866cf05.JPG

Eventually he came to enjoy dinghy rides too. But he got sick & tired of me telling him harshly to stop jumping and sit the fuck down

FB- Doug

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On 4/16/2021 at 11:40 AM, Steam Flyer said:

He may have salt water in his blood, but the key to getting dog to being a good sailor/cruiser is to get them accustomed to it, a little at a time.

Thanks for the advice Steam. We have been working on it piece by piece. He is nervous about the dock. Our floating portion is concrete, and once he gets there he is fine. But the wooden slats and the metal ramp to get down to it are a challenge. I have read that is pretty common. We have our boat on a mooring unfortunately, but this weekend we took him down the dock and sat in the launch for a little while. He was nervous but didn't fuss much. We figure a little at a time as you say!

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On 4/13/2021 at 5:53 PM, freewheelin said:

With things going more and more remote, NYC is making less and less sense for my wife and I. We are starting to talk about making the move to a smaller town where everything is a bit easier and our money stretches further. The problem is knowing where to look. I am hoping for some advice! Here is our Wishlist:

  • Downtown scene - culture/restaurants/bars walkable (think of what a hipster might like - I know, I know)
  • Doesn't have to be big - Wilmington NC is an example of an area we like
  • Good cruising grounds close with racing available
  • Less than 30 min from wherever we keep the boat greatly preferred.
  • Dog friendly
  • South of NYC to extend the sailing season
  • Less expensive than NYC (ok, that might be easy)
  • East Coast - middle preferred (we have family in DC, Richmond and Atlanta)

I am putting this out, because I know so many of you live up and down the coast! I am hoping some of you could make suggestions. I don't know much outside of the major cities, and none I can think of would fit.

Really Annapolis is one of your best bets despite your memories of the Navy.  Sailboat racing is no where near as spread out as it used to be. Here everyone that wants to race seems to have migrated to Annapolis. I think Charleston SC is the next raciest place to be.

I have no idea how many sailors live there, but we enjoyed our visit to Southport. Being very near the ocean the climate seemed a lot nicer than inland NC.

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We’ve had a cruising boat in Baltimore for six years, living in Albany, NY. Recently we moved to Harrisburg, PA. Originally, we thought Baltimore but between safety issues and expense, we began to look elsewhere. Let me say at the outset: we LOVE Harrisburg!.

As to lifestyle things, we were able to buy a row house in Midtown for about $1,000 a month, half what we have paid in Baltimore. It’s a state capital and a very diverse community. It’s very walk friendly; there are at least six coffee shops within about a 20 minute walk. Endless restaurants and night life. And the people are friendly. Lots of vegan/vegetarian possibilities. The city is in the process of having a new huge federal building built and 28 other development projects, so the future looks good here.

As to sailing, you’re 90 minutes on a highway from Baltimore, about the same to Middle River. Perhaps another half hour to Annapolis. Because of the pandemic, there seem to be LOTS of slips available; just anecdotal, I have no statistics. I don’t race but I know there is an active racing scene with Baltimore Yacht Club and others. If you’re into singlehanding, CHESSS (Chesapeake Short handed sailing society) has arranged for singlehanded starts in almost all the races.

If you decide to pursue, Harrisburg, send me a message here, I’d be glad to provide more information, I know a really good real estate agent, the one w used. No relation, just she does a good job. 

I never would have thought of moving here but after four months it just gets better. Good luck with your search!

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11 hours ago, freewheelin said:

Thanks for the advice Steam. We have been working on it piece by piece. He is nervous about the dock. Our floating portion is concrete, and once he gets there he is fine. But the wooden slats and the metal ramp to get down to it are a challenge. I have read that is pretty common. We have our boat on a mooring unfortunately, but this weekend we took him down the dock and sat in the launch for a little while. He was nervous but didn't fuss much. We figure a little at a time as you say!

post-30927-097446000%201297737694_thumb.jpgpost-30927-025650800%201340852864_thumb.jpgpost-30927-0-07707700-1353519558_thumb.jpg

 

The dog before that one, as an unhappy puppy and then relatively content adult, cruising. Actually, I think in the first pic he was just sleepy, not disgruntled. Small-boat cold-weather cruising tip... bring an 85 pound dog with you. Warms up the cabin marvelously. Let him swim in the morning and give him all afternoon to dry out, though... breed-specific, this particular dog loved to swim more than he liked to eat.

Docks and gangways are a problem. A lot of times, the grates hurt their feet. Other times, the view down thru the walkway is scary. We had dogs too big to carry, but that's a good option.

Just getting on the boat and sitting calmly for a while is great way to start. Treats, chew toys, etc, obviously. Be ready for them to panic and keep yourself calm because one of the things I see defeat so many dog owners is that they get upset and of course the dog immediately reacts negatively because they're upset... a constant cycle resulting in the dog hating whatever-it-is.

If you can get him over the nervous phase, it will become normal routine and he'll grow to like it. With dogs, familiarity breeds content!

FB- Doug

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10 hours ago, Pendragon35 said:

We’ve had a cruising boat in Baltimore for six years, living in Albany, NY. Recently we moved to Harrisburg, PA. Originally, we thought Baltimore but between safety issues and expense, we began to look elsewhere. Let me say at the outset: we LOVE Harrisburg!.

As to lifestyle things, we were able to buy a row house in Midtown for about $1,000 a month, half what we have paid in Baltimore. It’s a state capital and a very diverse community. It’s very walk friendly; there are at least six coffee shops within about a 20 minute walk. Endless restaurants and night life. And the people are friendly. Lots of vegan/vegetarian possibilities. The city is in the process of having a new huge federal building built and 28 other development projects, so the future looks good here.

As to sailing, you’re 90 minutes on a highway from Baltimore, about the same to Middle River. Perhaps another half hour to Annapolis. Because of the pandemic, there seem to be LOTS of slips available; just anecdotal, I have no statistics. I don’t race but I know there is an active racing scene with Baltimore Yacht Club and others. If you’re into singlehanding, CHESSS (Chesapeake Short handed sailing society) has arranged for singlehanded starts in almost all the races.

If you decide to pursue, Harrisburg, send me a message here, I’d be glad to provide more information, I know a really good real estate agent, the one w used. No relation, just she does a good job. 

I never would have thought of moving here but after four months it just gets better. Good luck with your search!

I am glad you like Harrisburg. I have been there for work a few times, but didn't get too much of a chance to get around. That said, having my boat 2 hours away through what is about to go back to being horrendous traffic would be about the same to me as being 1,000 miles away. I might have enough of a gap in my schedule today to sail an hour over lunch. That isn't happening if the boat is 1-2 hours away.

Re the slips: Baltimore has had lots of slips available since 2015. I know people with boats there and they say the marinas have been losing boats for a long time now. City issues aside, I never thought Baltimore was a very good place for a sailboat. It is a LONG trip out to the Bay and back again to get anywhere. Also the air quality is not that good compared to anyplace on the Shore or even Annapolis.

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If you are ever blessed with the opportunity to have your boat within a few minutes' walk or drive, you'll never want it any other way again.

I grew up with that luxury, just inside the mouth of the Chesapeake, where I spent all my time on the water. By the time I was an adult, the place had exploded with growth and there was no way I'd ever afford what turned into McMansionville. I was able to replicate that opportunity for my own kids by locating in NC, 2.5 hours south of where I grew up. While I'm sure the wife and I would enjoy more-urban living had we chosen that path, we are really happy at this age to have the peace and quiet of our region as well as the affordability of quick access to boats and big water. Five minutes and I'm in the boat, a quarter-mile under power and then it's sails up. And don't underestimate the value of being close to your boat when you are making repairs.

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16 hours ago, Israel Hands said:

If you are ever blessed with the opportunity to have your boat within a few minutes' walk or drive, you'll never want it any other way again.

I grew up with that luxury, just inside the mouth of the Chesapeake, where I spent all my time on the water. By the time I was an adult, the place had exploded with growth and there was no way I'd ever afford what turned into McMansionville. I was able to replicate that opportunity for my own kids by locating in NC, 2.5 hours south of where I grew up. While I'm sure the wife and I would enjoy more-urban living had we chosen that path, we are really happy at this age to have the peace and quiet of our region as well as the affordability of quick access to boats and big water. Five minutes and I'm in the boat, a quarter-mile under power and then it's sails up. And don't underestimate the value of being close to your boat when you are making repairs.

^ THIS

 I can't imagine having a hours-long round trip just because I need a power tool from home or something.

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I’d say “it depends” on what drives location.  Do you want to commute to work daily?  Or to the boat 2 times a week? as I’ve done both.  Lived in Annapolis, boat 4 blocks away, worked in Tyson’s Corner with a 1-1.5 hour commute.  Then lived in Herndon with Office in Reston (15 min commute on a bad day), but commute to the boat was over an hour.

The ideal is, of course having both work and boat close to home...but not too many manage that trick...

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I know the OP doesn’t want to go north, but this really is exactly why Boston is good for sailing (at least four months out of the year). Our boat is in Salem; we’re ten minutes from our marina, 45 minutes to work downtown. There are four yacht clubs in Marblehead targeting all different types of members, if that’s your thing. And if you’re okay with apartment (or townhouse) living, you can live in Charlestown or the Seaport, have your boat ten minutes away, and have a fifteen-minute walk to work.

Pity about the snow, cold, late spring, midsummer doldrums, obnoxious sports fans, NY-centric inferiority complex, and lack of available housing stock, but hey, they can’t all be winners.

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What kent_island_sailor said is true: it IS a long trip to the Bay from Baltimore (two hours), and nothing beats being a few minutes from your boat. I had that for a few yers in Michigan and it was wondrous. But that’s not a possibility now for me. So this works, and sailing on the Patapsco is fun most days. The journey IS the destination.

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23 hours ago, Israel Hands said:

If you are ever blessed with the opportunity to have your boat within a few minutes' walk or drive, you'll never want it any other way again.

I grew up with that luxury, just inside the mouth of the Chesapeake, where I spent all my time on the water. By the time I was an adult, the place had exploded with growth and there was no way I'd ever afford what turned into McMansionville. I was able to replicate that opportunity for my own kids by locating in NC, 2.5 hours south of where I grew up. While I'm sure the wife and I would enjoy more-urban living had we chosen that path, we are really happy at this age to have the peace and quiet of our region as well as the affordability of quick access to boats and big water. Five minutes and I'm in the boat, a quarter-mile under power and then it's sails up. And don't underestimate the value of being close to your boat when you are making repairs.

I live that way now

Delight beyond measure

This evening, once this nagging north easter calms down i will take the dinghy down the hill and go for a bit of a row up the estuary

This makes me very, very happy

 

D

 

Brightlingsea is great place and is about as far east as you can go without hitting the north Sea.Brightlingsea-town-jetty-1750x696.jpg&ac

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I've found it interesting that here in Stamford, CT, we don't come across many people who live in NYC and keep their boat here. I think there must be those who save 30 minutes by finding a slip in Westchester (Larchmont, New Rochelle, etc) and those who add 69-90 minutes and get a slip far enough east that they can reach Block Is in one day.

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On 4/15/2021 at 10:29 PM, TwoLegged said:

So basically you're caught between gun-toting, sheep-shagging racists in pickup trucks, and beaded wanker-cyclists with manbuns who drink poncey coffee out of jamjars

'Murica!

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Right now we are 15 min from the boat, and my commute to the office (when I go) is 25-30. It is a pretty great arrangement. Currently prepping the boat for launch, and being only a few minutes away is a blessing. I am not sure I would be willing to stretch it by much.

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4 hours ago, Crash said:

I’d say “it depends” on what drives location.  Do you want to commute to work daily?  Or to the boat 2 times a week? as I’ve done both.  Lived in Annapolis, boat 4 blocks away, worked in Tyson’s Corner with a 1-1.5 hour commute.  Then lived in Herndon with Office in Reston (15 min commute on a bad day), but commute to the boat was over an hour.

The ideal is, of course having both work and boat close to home...but not too many manage that trick...

I live on my boat in the summer, and also use it as my office. All I need is a good cellular connection or wifi within range.

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1 hour ago, accnick said:

I live on my boat in the summer, and also use it as my office. All I need is a good cellular connection or wifi within range.

In all seriousness, there are tradeoffs almost everywhere. It helps to make a priorities list, with weights assigned to each characteristic. Don't forget things like tax rates and real estate costs, which are on a tear almost everywhere right now.

Florida, where I am a resident, has no state income tax, and effectively no tax on retirement income. Property taxes are average, as are property prices, depending on local markets.

Water and near-water property varies in price throughout the state, but is cheapest on the west coast.

Local racing scenes are somewhat limited except for places like the Miami area--which I would not wish on anyone-- and Tampa/St. Pete, which is nicer. Pensacola has already been mentioned and discussed.

The problem is summer. You don't have to shovel heat like you do snow, but it can still wear on you at times outside in summer. We avoid that by spending summers in Maine aboard our boat. We also live close enough to the ocean in Florida that we get a nice seabreeze most afternoons in the summer and fall, before the thunderstorms roll in. It's about 5 degrees cooler at our house than at the Home Depot five miles inland.

I've been searching for that "perfect" place along the East Coast, but have yet to find it in a place I want to live and can afford to live.

We never should have sold our house in downtown Newport when we went cruising more than 20 years ago, but hindsight is wonderful stuff.

If I were younger, I would buy high elevation rural waterfront in Maine. In 20 years there will probably be palm trees growing there, the way things are going. I probably won't be around to see it.

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22 minutes ago, accnick said:

We never should have sold our house in downtown Newport when we went cruising more than 20 years ago, but hindsight is wonderful stuff.

A similar thing was said to me by people who sold their property to go cruising. The growth in the local market has made it impossible for them to buy back in.

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3 hours ago, SemiSalt said:

I've found it interesting that here in Stamford, CT, we don't come across many people who live in NYC and keep their boat here. I think there must be those who save 30 minutes by finding a slip in Westchester (Larchmont, New Rochelle, etc) and those who add 69-90 minutes and get a slip far enough east that they can reach Block Is in one day.

Also just tons of options.  When I first worked with the boat I now own, it was at Yacht Haven East.  Silting eventually forced us out of there, across the way to some marina next to the Crab Shell for a summer.  Then a friend had a mooring open up in Five Mile River in Rowayton, which was impossible to pass up given, well, everything (cost, ambiance, hurricane protection).  It was there for close to a decade.

We moved out of NYC and eventually brought the boat up to RI, but with the number of marinas, moorings, and clubs between Eastchester and Essex, not to mention Manhasset to Mount Sinai on the LI side, it probably just means that the NYC sailors are dispersed (despite the relative ease of Stamford by rail).

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19 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

A similar thing was said to me by people who sold their property to go cruising. The growth in the local market has made it impossible for them to buy back in.

Yep. Two years after we sold the house, that guy sold it for twice what he paid us. Three years later, it doubled again. We were completely priced out of that market when we returned to the US six years  after we left.

It was a smallish Victorian house in the Fifth Ward of downtown Newport, where off-street parking is a premium. I not only had a driveway with almost 16' to the house next to me on one side, but half the back "yard" was a concrete block six-car garage. The other half was my boatyard. We used to put our long, skinny 47-footer in the back every winter during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I built my last boat there. They used to call me Noah, because nobody thought that boat would ever leave the backyard.

It took the better part of a decade, but it did.

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On 4/14/2021 at 2:39 PM, freewheelin said:

New Bern sounds cool. I will be checking it out. Also, 1.5 hours from my family's beach house in Topsail would be really cool.

I am still curious about Norfolk, if anyone has experience. The ghent area looks cool.

haven't spent much time in Norfolk, per se, but strongly considering that "area" as well.. for many of the same reasons.. I'm looking more around Hampton/Chix Beach. Don't need to be on the ocean front, and I happen to like Hampton YC. it feels like a nice merger between my moose lodge in Galesville and the EYC/AYC thing up in Annapolis. a days(24 hours or less)  sail to/from Annapolis/Baltimore and thousands of miles of cruising right up the bay from there... also a pretty clean shot by boat up to NE. just a bit too much banjo in NC for my taste, NTTAWWT.

and if you're into history there's a lot of that took place in the tidewater area... 

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6 hours ago, dylan winter said:

I live that way now

Delight beyond measure

Same. Boat is on a mooring out the front of my house. I can see the baby from my kitchen window.

Tidal waterfront so I have to do some planning, but even so. When we want to go sailing it's usually less than 30 minutes from moving the gear down to the dinghy to being out on the Channel, including making the cuppa before firing up the engine.

FKT

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On 4/21/2021 at 5:42 PM, Bump-n-Grind said:

haven't spent much time in Norfolk, per se, but strongly considering that "area" as well.. for many of the same reasons.. I'm looking more around Hampton/Chix Beach. Don't need to be on the ocean front, and I happen to like Hampton YC. it feels like a nice merger between my moose lodge in Galesville and the EYC/AYC thing up in Annapolis. a days(24 hours or less)  sail to/from Annapolis/Baltimore and thousands of miles of cruising right up the bay from there... also a pretty clean shot by boat up to NE. just a bit too much banjo in NC for my taste, NTTAWWT.

and if you're into history there's a lot of that took place in the tidewater area... 

Nice. Good to hear those out there with similar thinking. It kind of seems like there is a lot going for that area.

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2 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Nice. Good to hear those out there with similar thinking. It kind of seems like there is a lot going for that area.

If you have a place in Topsail, it's also a pretty easy and entertaining ride on the ICW from the Norfolk area to there, and you don't have to do battle with the idiots that inhabit the stretch from Wrightsville to Myrtle!!!

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5 minutes ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

If you have a place in Topsail, it's also a pretty easy and entertaining ride on the ICW from the Norfolk area to there, and you don't have to do battle with the idiots that inhabit the stretch from Wrightsville to Myrtle!!!

Ha, was looking at that the other day. Looks like about 220 miles - but according to this thread it seems like a lot to do along the way. Also, if the weather is right, we could do half that in an overnight. I used to visit Bald Head Island as a kid as well sometimes, it looked like a pretty lively marina scene at the time. Would make for a fun night or two, if a bit out of the way.  

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51 minutes ago, freewheelin said:

Ha, was looking at that the other day. Looks like about 220 miles - but according to this thread it seems like a lot to do along the way. Also, if the weather is right, we could do half that in an overnight. I used to visit Bald Head Island as a kid as well sometimes, it looked like a pretty lively marina scene at the time. Would make for a fun night or two, if a bit out of the way.  

it's the journey, not the destination ...

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  • 6 months later...

Might end up relocating to Wilmington, NC

Currently hamming it up with J/105 fleet #1 in San Francisco. Based on some initial research it's looking like there's barely even a PHRF fleet in Wilmington. That's going to be quite a culture shock.

Looks like there's some offshore racing out of Charleston, 3.5 hours south, and presumably 4 hours north there's some level of racing in Norfolk VA

The 105 is not coming with us, trying to figure out if maybe we should invest in a power boat for local use, and J/70 on a trailer for regional regattas

It looks like palmico sound is just to the north and offers some cruising options but haven't done much research on that topic yet. Maybe trade out the J for something like a passport 40 and switch to cruising? Our daughter just turned 1 so probably not doing a lot of competitive racing in the next couple of years until she's ready to graduate from optis.

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14 minutes ago, Hadlock said:

Might end up relocating to Wilmington, NC

Currently hamming it up with J/105 fleet #1 in San Francisco. Based on some initial research it's looking like there's barely even a PHRF fleet in Wilmington. That's going to be quite a culture shock.

Looks like there's some offshore racing out of Charleston, 3.5 hours south, and presumably 4 hours north there's some level of racing in Norfolk VA

The 105 is not coming with us, trying to figure out if maybe we should invest in a power boat for local use, and J/70 on a trailer for regional regattas

It looks like palmico sound is just to the north and offers some cruising options but haven't done much research on that topic yet. Maybe trade out the J for something like a passport 40 and switch to cruising? Our daughter just turned 1 so probably not doing a lot of competitive racing in the next couple of years until she's ready to graduate from optis.

Check with Lioness, they moved to Myrtle Beach a couple of years ago. There is sailing in Wilmington, a few SA'ers based there.

Brace yourself for shallow water.

A boat on a trailer is a good thing for most of the southeast US, if it's the right boat.

FB- Doug

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3 hours ago, Hadlock said:

Might end up relocating to Wilmington, NC

Currently hamming it up with J/105 fleet #1 in San Francisco. Based on some initial research it's looking like there's barely even a PHRF fleet in Wilmington. That's going to be quite a culture shock.

Looks like there's some offshore racing out of Charleston, 3.5 hours south, and presumably 4 hours north there's some level of racing in Norfolk VA

The 105 is not coming with us, trying to figure out if maybe we should invest in a power boat for local use, and J/70 on a trailer for regional regattas

It looks like palmico sound is just to the north and offers some cruising options but haven't done much research on that topic yet. Maybe trade out the J for something like a passport 40 and switch to cruising? Our daughter just turned 1 so probably not doing a lot of competitive racing in the next couple of years until she's ready to graduate from optis.

If your goal is racing, Annapolis or Norfolk will beat Wilmington all to hell, but it does have plenty of other good qualities. I have sailed through there a few times and liked it. If you are going cruising there you want shallow draft. There are some real interesting places to go both north and south. The J-70 plus powerboat plan also has merit.

Congrats on the 1 year old daughter! My son at age 1 was a veteran of many cruises already, there is nothing better than seeing the delight kids take in every cool new thing they see.

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