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Old 10-13-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
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Length of season

looking for some experienced knowledge relative to when people typically move there boats back up to the north in the spring. I realize that there are many variables, not the least of which is personal preference. this will be my first winter with my mainship in Florida, and I'm trying to plan for when to bring it back up to the Chesapeake. please chime in
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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Too many variables. For instance, late spring is IMO the best time to go to the Bahamas, usually best weather and snow birds gone and before So. Floridians start coming over in droves. Or, we also sometimes liked to leave a little earlier and do a slow mosey back to enjoy Georgia and South Carolina more, or a side trip down the St. Johns a way. We tended to be more "the journey is the destination" types. But some people don't have that luxury due to other commitments, or in our case our own procrastination led us to hurry up more than what we considered ideal. What are your objectives?
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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I have done it for three years myself and have a cruising buddy who has done it for the past 4-5 years so here is our experience:

Leave southern Florida by early March. Work your way up the coast slowly. Stop in St Augustine about March 15, Hilton Head or Charleston by late March, Oriental in northeastern NC by mid April and be in the southern Chesapeake by early May.

Of course there are lots of other considerations. The Abacos are nice until mid to late April if you want to spend some time there.

But the foregoing dates will mostly keep you out of the cold and wet. When I followed that schedule I rarely ran the boat's diesel heater in the morning. And I probably wore shorts and sandals about half the time.

I am a little less positive about return dates. It seems like we always go south faster and linger less. But leave the Chesapeake by the end of October and get to Florida by December 1.

David
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calypsian View Post
looking for some experienced knowledge relative to when people typically move there boats back up to the north in the spring. I realize that there are many variables, not the least of which is personal preference. this will be my first winter with my mainship in Florida, and I'm trying to plan for when to bring it back up to the Chesapeake. please chime in
You just got here and are already thinking about leaving? Maybe you'll decide not to leave, or go cruise the islands, or head down to Guatemala? Leave those options open so you don't paint your mind into a box. That be "stinkin thinkin".
Have boat-will travel.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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We hit Norfolk around April first and that's about as early as I would do it if I had a choice.

Even early April, we have had freezing nights in Belhaven, NC and beautiful days in Hatteras and Manteo...so it is hit or miss weather...going up into the Chesapeake is another 10 degrees cooler and cold fronts that still bring a lot of wind.

If I didn't HAVE to be back..I would hit Norfolk, 1 May instead (again at the earliest).
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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I think it depends more on the person than the weather.

We tried to winter cruise in Alaska and that didn't work. Not because of the weather but lack of daylight combined w a slow boat. We were sure it was a weather issue but turned out to be a daylight issue, however daylight is related to weather as is most everything else in Alaska.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:36 PM   #7
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I can only comment on the weather..not the OP....don't know him.

I'll bet he knows that too....
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:50 PM   #8
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HEAT on board , how easy it operates , and how much power it requires is the key.

The spring is a delight , but not if freezing your but off.

Never came up early , but did run south in late Jan from NYC and it was a delight.

No traffic , had to use our 12G cannon a couple of times to wake the bridge folks , and fuel stops were less often.

How comfortable you are on board will be the big decider.

With a Dickinson , and no electric required , any time is good times.
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:32 PM   #9
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Fred while I agree doing it in Dec/Jan has it's advantages of freedom of anchorages, Marinas and just about everything else...

Marinas have funny hours, turn off the water and winterize toilet facilities, aren't there to pump gas/diesel, most restaurants and seaside places are closed till you get to Myrtle Beach or so...

If you are set up for it...great...if not it can be a long and stressful trip...in either direction.
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Old 10-13-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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This spring I left Fort Myers, FL April 1st and was in Norfolk, VA 10 days later....way too fast! Plan to leave next spring around April 1st and arrive Crisfield, Md May 1st. Basically following Spring up the coast.

Ted
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