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Old 09-30-2013, 09:33 PM   #81
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Alex -

Here's my run down:

Carolina Beach
  1. Federal Point Yacht Club. - Nicest place, reasonable rates. Walking distance to chill out seaside restaurants in Carolina Beach. Dock master is a little overwhelmed or something. Make sure whatever you agree to is explicit, if not written down. PM me for detail if interested. Runs a little under $10/foot.
  2. Joyner - laid back. very chilled out. A little unmaintained. Neighbors are good, you won't be bothered too much. Good rates as well ~ $9/foot.
  3. Carolina State Park Marina - Open/close with park hours. Inconvenient. About $360 per month (my size, 35 foot)
Wrightsville Beach - Plan on about $16/foot here. We skipped.
Masonboro Marina (Yacht club?) $510 for 40 foot slip. We skipped.



Southport -
  1. Southport Marina is very nice and chilled out. Nice dock house. We looked, but farther away than we liked. $9-$10/foot. Met very friendly live-aboards there. Looks like a decent set of amenities.
  2. A few smaller marinas around Southport. Because we decided to be a little closer to Wilmington, we stopped looking there.
Wilmington
  1. Bennett Brothers. It's more a boatyard than marina. If you want to get boatwork done, this is a good place. If you want fun life, you need to drive a little, but not too far.
My only beef with Wilmington is it's a bit up the Cape Fear River and there's not many boating options without quite a trip down river. It's rustic on the Cape Fear. But Wilmington is car-close where Carolina Beach is a traffic-light peppered drive of about 15 miles.



Wilmington Airport flies direct to Philly, Washington Reagan, Atlanta, and Charlotte.



Points north of Wrightsville are remote areas. One Marina, Harbor Village Marina, is a nice place. Not sure how they do slips, but I've heard the management there can be prickly. Just general comments from others.

Cruisersnet.net has detailed information and pictures. They are a good reference.

Let me know if I can fill in further.


Ben
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:49 PM   #82
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Alex -

Here's my run down:

Carolina Beach
  1. Federal Point Yacht Club. - Nicest place, reasonable rates. Walking distance to chill out seaside restaurants in Carolina Beach. Dock master is a little overwhelmed or something. Make sure whatever you agree to is explicit, if not written down. PM me for detail if interested. Runs a little under $10/foot.
  2. Joyner - laid back. very chilled out. A little unmaintained. Neighbors are good, you won't be bothered too much. Good rates as well ~ $9/foot.
  3. Carolina State Park Marina - Open/close with park hours. Inconvenient. About $360 per month (my size, 35 foot)
Wrightsville Beach - Plan on about $16/foot here. We skipped.
Masonboro Marina (Yacht club?) $510 for 40 foot slip. We skipped.



Southport -
  1. Southport Marina is very nice and chilled out. Nice dock house. We looked, but farther away than we liked. $9-$10/foot. Met very friendly live-aboards there. Looks like a decent set of amenities.
  2. A few smaller marinas around Southport. Because we decided to be a little closer to Wilmington, we stopped looking there.
Wilmington
  1. Bennett Brothers. It's more a boatyard than marina. If you want to get boatwork done, this is a good place. If you want fun life, you need to drive a little, but not too far.
My only beef with Wilmington is it's a bit up the Cape Fear River and there's not many boating options without quite a trip down river. It's rustic on the Cape Fear. But Wilmington is car-close where Carolina Beach is a traffic-light peppered drive of about 15 miles.



Wilmington Airport flies direct to Philly, Washington Reagan, Atlanta, and Charlotte.



Points north of Wrightsville are remote areas. One Marina, Harbor Village Marina, is a nice place. Not sure how they do slips, but I've heard the management there can be prickly. Just general comments from others.

Cruisersnet.net has detailed information and pictures. They are a good reference.

Let me know if I can fill in further.


Ben
Ben,

Thanks a lot for your review. I keep hearing that Wilmington is not the safest place to keep my boat, so for that reason it goes down on my list of preferred places. I think of it now more like a weekend getaway place instead of winter home port.

I'd like to learn more about Southport as it seams like a good candidate, especially location wise.

Are you saying that Southport Marina is far from everything? We'll be coming there by car, so transportation is not an issue. But, I don't want to drive an hour one way to get to decent store or a restaurant, not to mention some kind of entertainment.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:16 PM   #83
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Southport, I would strongly consider. Take a look at this.

SOUTHPORT MARINA OVERVIEW in SOUTHPORT MARINA on Vimeo
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:20 PM   #84
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Ben,

Thanks a lot for your review. I keep hearing that Wilmington is not the safest place to keep my boat, so for that reason it goes down on my list of preferred places. I think of it now more like a weekend getaway place instead of winter home port.

I'd like to learn more about Southport as it seams like a good candidate, especially location wise.

Are you saying that Southport Marina is far from everything? We'll be coming there by car, so transportation is not an issue. But, I don't want to drive an hour one way to get to decent store or a restaurant, not to mention some kind of entertainment.
From that standpoint Southport is good. It's probably your best bet then. Southport marina is nice, good facilities, and we met friendly people there. We're in Carolina Beach at Joyner because of cost and shorter drive from Wilmington.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:28 PM   #85
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Southport, I would strongly consider. Take a look at this.

SOUTHPORT MARINA OVERVIEW in SOUTHPORT MARINA on Vimeo
That is some great video. Thank you.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:33 PM   #86
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Alex,

We have weekended at Southport Marina. It is walking distance to town, shops, restaurants. Short drive to groceries and Walmart etc. The docks are really nice, knowledgeable dock workers. It is on our todo list for 2014 as well.

Wilmington is about 17miles upriver from Joyner/Carolina Beach if I remember correctly. Which would make it about 22 from Southport. It's the town's docks that the robberies happen at.

We don't have kiddos, but I would guess the short drive from Southport to the Southern NC beaches as well as to Myrtle Beach would be awesome for family fun. Also, down the ICW from Southport to Myrtle is a very easy 50 mile run behind Oak Island, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle. You can also run outside from Cape Fear inlet to Little River inlet.

Good luck choosing. Two years ago it was warm enough to boat all winter. Last year not so much. Just depends on your cold tolerance really.

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Old 10-02-2013, 08:15 AM   #87
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Alex,

We have weekended at Southport Marina. It is walking distance to town, shops, restaurants. Short drive to groceries and Walmart etc. The docks are really nice, knowledgeable dock workers. It is on our todo list for 2014 as well.

Wilmington is about 17miles upriver from Joyner/Carolina Beach if I remember correctly. Which would make it about 22 from Southport. It's the town's docks that the robberies happen at.

We don't have kiddos, but I would guess the short drive from Southport to the Southern NC beaches as well as to Myrtle Beach would be awesome for family fun. Also, down the ICW from Southport to Myrtle is a very easy 50 mile run behind Oak Island, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle. You can also run outside from Cape Fear inlet to Little River inlet.

Good luck choosing. Two years ago it was warm enough to boat all winter. Last year not so much. Just depends on your cold tolerance really.

Bess
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Bess, thanks for your feedback.

Based on our latest findings we look at the following as preliminary approach. It seems like the temps difference is minor between NC and SC and it would make sense for us to stay closer north to cut down on driving. We've narrowed down the New Bern, Oriental, Morehead City and Beauford, NC as the preferred area to use as a home port. Despite which location will be the final choice, we're looking to use the other ports as long weekend getaways. The prime time would be a trip during kids spring break and we thought that this would be a good opportunity to head down to area of Southport, Hampstead, Wrightsville, Wilmonghton and Myrtle Beach.

Does this sound like a good plan? Are we missing anything?

Currently, my biggest question is to find a most logical region to focus on and I'm debating between the two:

northern area - New Bern, Oriental, Morehead City and Beauford, NC
a bit more southern area - Southport, Hampstead, Wrightsville, Wilmonghton and Myrtle Beach.

We looked at the 3rd option, which was extending it toward the area of Georgetown, Charleston and Beaufort, SC, but we're not sure if it's worth the trouble, extra driving and expense to go extra 250-300 miles southbound. According to the AVG temps stats we were looking at only 3-6 degrees difference between Baufort NC and Beafort SC.

We're open for suggestions as this is the first time cruising any of the areas.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:50 AM   #88
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...Wilmington is about 17miles upriver from Joyner/Carolina Beach if I remember correctly. Which would make it about 22 from Southport. It's the town's docks that the robberies happen at....
Are there any areas/marinas in Wilmington that are considered "safe" (maybe further away from downtown), compare to the known trouble areas?
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:06 AM   #89
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Are there any areas/marinas in Wilmington that are considered "safe" (maybe further away from downtown), compare to the known trouble areas?

I'm looking at marinas.com and Bridge Tender Marina looks decent. Creekside Yacht Club seems to be in more private area.
I have stayed one night at Bridge Tender Marina. We were tied up where the dark hull boat is tied on their website picture. The restaurant was good, and very convenient. Some noise from the bridge traffic to and from the beach. On weekends and holidays it is a very active place. We were there on Memorial Day. Having run from Charleston that day I was too tired to be bothered by noise. There is allot happening in the whole area. Good access to Masonboro Inlet.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:06 PM   #90
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I'm trying to open up my options and also look further South in Charleston area. Are there any decent marinas there that go for around $10-$15 p/f monthly?

Does anyone know how's Ashlie's Marina?
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:15 PM   #91
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I'm trying to open up my options and also look further South in Charleston area. Are there any decent marinas there that go for around $10-$15 p/f monthly?

Does anyone know how's Ashlie's Marina?
Ashley and the Municipal Marinas are very well run and located. However, strong current is a factor at both places. The ability to walk or bike to the historic district is priceless. Just be careful what slip they put you in.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #92
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If thinking Charleston...the Maritime Center on the north side of town and easy walking distance...but a little rocky if staying there 24/7...

Charleston Maritime Center

plus more inexpensive when we were there though not sure of long term rates...

There are other great places in the vicinity...and a lot more inexpensive than the downtown areas..just depends what you want...
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #93
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If thinking Charleston...the Maritime Center on the north side of town and easy walking distance...but a little rocky if staying there 24/7...

Charleston Maritime Center

plus more inexpensive when we were there though not sure of long term rates...

There are other great places in the vicinity...and a lot more inexpensive than the downtown areas..just depends what you want...
We don't have to be right next to downtown. For the most part we'll always have a car, so for this reason I don't mind to compromise and find a decent and safe place for less than what the city marina charges.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:37 PM   #94
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another possibility...

St. Johns Yacht Harbor
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #95
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another possibility...

St. Johns Yacht Harbor

Thank you for the tips. I also called Bristol Marina and there seemed to be a complication with Ashley River Memorial Bridge. The dockmaster told me that the bridge doesn't open on demand unless you own a property there. The chart says 14', but the dockmaster said it's more like 16.5' clearance at high tide. If I lower may antennas I may just make it at low/mid tide. I'm 22' with antenna up and just about 20' with antennas down.
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:44 PM   #96
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Panoramio - Photo of Western Panorama at Joyner Marina

I took this panorama picture at Joyner Marina in Carolina Beach about 3 days ago. If you "click" on the picture, it shows up in very high-res.

It's a nice place. $9/foot.

It's away from the city. I consider it safe. Some live-aboards, so you can make relationships and watch out for each other. No crime that I'm aware of because unlike Wilmington, it's hard to find.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:57 PM   #97
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Thanks Ben. Nice picture.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:59 PM   #98
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Some live-aboards, so you can make relationships and watch out for each other. No crime that I'm aware of because unlike Wilmington, it's hard to find.
Really?? When we stayed there the HOA of the surrounding neighborhood was emphatic that Joyner not allow liveaboards. We were there when one guy who was somewhat sliding under the radar living on his boat got kicked out. They didn't mind week long type of stays, but not full time liveaboards. Must have eased up some.

Still a great location and not unreasonable as far as pricing. We'd go back again. Loved riding bikes down to the restaurants.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #99
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northern area - New Bern, Oriental, Morehead City and Beauford, NC
a bit more southern area - Southport, Hampstead, Wrightsville, Wilmonghton and Myrtle Beach.

We're open for suggestions as this is the first time cruising any of the areas.
If you like to anchor out in quiet gunkholes - the Northern section. Morehead City, Oriental or New Bern.

If you don't like to anchor out and prefer Marina hopping -either location will be great. They both have excellent choices in near by towns with great marinas, but the Neuse river. Morehead City has the best anchoring options. How much anchoring would you do over the winter? Probably not much, but if we have a warm winter, or you extend your stay, you might. We left the Carolina Beach area and went back to the Neuse to do more anchoring. We're getting ready to go back probably to Southport, just to cruise the lower NC coastline for a while. (we think!) With a fast boat, you can travel between them easily. Out at Masonboro Inlet, in at Beaufort Inlet. Folks do it all the time.

Come to North Carolina! It's a great boating state!!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:28 PM   #100
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We dock at Sea path in Wrightsville beach. We are Wilmington residents. The Wrightsville area is close to the airports and easy access to the interstate. My family and I are able to boat trip to Wilmington, Carolina Beach, South Port and Bald Head island all within a few hours. Oriental, Morehead, and New Bern are two day trips for a trawler like us. It is a very secure and convenient location. A bit pricey but very convenient. Hampstead and Carolina beach offer similar qualities, just not the convenience of restaurants and shopping you will find in Wrightsville.

Best of luck. Any of the towns you have discussed will be well worth the experience. The are is truly a gem on the east coast.

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