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Old 12-25-2018, 05:21 PM   #1
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Where would you base your boat

Putting family issues aside what is the optimum location to base a boat on the east coast. For me selling my home and moving to a modest home on canal will be ideal. I do not like the idea of having the boat at a marina due to cost but more importantly the convenience of walking out the back door and doing maintenance. It appears there are not too many states on the east coast that have deep canals keeping in mind also the extreme tides in some areas.
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:42 PM   #2
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I was faced with that decision as one input into where we should live after we retired while living on the west coast but we were really east coast people.


I had several criteria: reasonable cost water front homes on a protected creek with access to ICW water, no hard water freezes (a light skim would be ok), a community that was boating oriented.


Oriental, NC met all of those criteria. Unfortunately my wife, after living there for 4 years, finally couldn't stand the small town isolation, so we moved.


Other similar towns (from N to S) to consider: Elizabeth City, Manteo, Edenton, Bath, Washington, New Bern, Beaufort, Wrightsville Beach.


David
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:50 PM   #3
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Oriental, NC met all of those criteria. Unfortunately my wife, after living there for 4 years, finally couldn't stand the small town isolation, so we moved.

Not to mention, it is the gossip capital of North Carolina. ;-)
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:29 PM   #4
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Not to mention, it is the gossip capital of North Carolina. ;-)


Ain't that the truth about Oriental. Everyone knows everything about all.


A quick example. On St Patrick's Day me and a few friends went out on my boat for a nice cruise up the Neuse with a few beers. We went in to a local harbor and I hit an abandoned crab trap and wrapped it around my prop. Called TowBoatUS and it took a few hours for them to show up and tow me back home.


We had planned to go over to the church supper early that evening but couldn't make it. My wife went by and picked up a couple of plates to take home for when we got home. They said: "Are you the ones who went aground at Orchard Creek."



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Old 12-25-2018, 07:09 PM   #5
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Wifey B: The optimum location is tied to what you like most. For me, it's in the middle of all the boating action and in Fort Lauderdale, but then also where we live.

If you want to boat year round, then Charleston is about as far north as you can go and even it's not ideal.

If you're going to go with one area for summer and one for winter then everywhere from Virginia north comes into play for summer and south of Savannah for winter.

Do you like cities or quiet? Oriental came up and it's wonderful, but to live there year round would drive us crazier than we are. Half a million people is a small town to me.

Now to house on canal issue, northern FL sees 5-6' of tide, southern FL 1-2'.

I really would need to know what you consider modest in terms of price of home. Let's start with Fort Lauderdale and move north. Fort Lauderdale waterfront is going to be 7 figures in houses, but there are waterfront condos with docks as low as $300k-400k. Condos you just need to be aware there's a huge variation on Condo fees.

Move just a little north toward Pompano and you start seeing homes in the $700k range. Now some have draft limitations of 5' or so but others can go deeper.

As you search, you'll find another option in between commercial marina and at your home and that is private community dock.

The further north you go the lower the prices will go. We have members who live in beautiful developments near Jacksonville. Menzies even lives in one with their own lock so they don't deal with the tide.
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Old 12-25-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
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My dream along with the boat would be to buy land with a bulkhead and water to accommodate a 5 ft draft then build a small ranch on the property. Total budget for land and home about $300k. Ideally would like to cruise the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Canada with jaunts to the Bahamas. North during summer and south during cooler weather.
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:19 PM   #7
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My dream along with the boat would be to buy land with a bulkhead and water to accommodate a 5 ft draft then build a small ranch on the property. Total budget for land and home about $300k. Ideally would like to cruise the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Canada with jaunts to the Bahamas. North during summer and south during cooler weather.
New,

I assume you mean ranch home as in the style of home, not a ranch with horses, etc...... which would be quite expensive.

In the bigger cities, suspect that budget would be a big hard to work with, but outside of cities it gets much more affordable. 5 ft draft could be a challenge, too, but still there's opportunity.

I sold a waterfront home in Madeira Beach a few years ago for $400k, with sailboat depth and 40ft on the water. Nice little place. There's others out there, too, but in the past 2 years they have gone up here in the St. Pete area about 4 to 6% depending.

Now up in Hudson, just north of us, the price drops dramatically. I had a flipper there I picked up for $100 and sold it for $180, nice deep waterfront and suspect that home would be perhaps $250 to $300 today. Small 2br, carport.

Another thought (I don't deal with these) are mobile homes. There are waterfront ones that are in the $300 range and fairly nice water, but small lots... 30 ft in some cases.

So, lots of choices, and there's TONs of them.

For "me" ideal would be a small town, great waterfront and nice places to boat. Doesn't exist in our area or anywhere south of us, with rare exception. There aren't any small towns, and the ones that are, just blend into the next town.

Food for thought.....
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Old 12-25-2018, 10:44 PM   #8
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You are looking for what we found

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Putting family issues aside what is the optimum location to base a boat on the east coast. For me selling my home and moving to a modest home on canal will be ideal. I do not like the idea of having the boat at a marina due to cost but more importantly the convenience of walking out the back door and doing maintenance. It appears there are not too many states on the east coast that have deep canals keeping in mind also the extreme tides in some areas.
We live in Hampton, Va. On the Chesapeake. It takes two minutes to get from my garage top my boat, by bike. I can see the boat from my deck. I can be on the Chesapeake two minutes after throwing lines. A 2600 square foot three story town house can be had for ~$325k. Most of my neighbors are boaters and keep their boats in our marina.

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Old 12-26-2018, 12:27 AM   #9
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We live in Hampton, Va. On the Chesapeake. It takes two minutes to get from my garage top my boat, by bike. I can see the boat from my deck. I can be on the Chesapeake two minutes after throwing lines. A 2600 square foot three story town house can be had for ~$325k. Most of my neighbors are boaters and keep their boats in our marina.

Gordon.
What is the monthly HOA for that 2600 sq ft town house?
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:56 AM   #10
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The hoa cost is unbelievably low -- $300/month. For that money you get two swimming Pools, fitness center, tennis courts, racquetball courts all exterior maintenance and landscaping, walking path and insurance to include flood, water sewer and garbage.

We call it the best kept secret on the east coast.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:01 AM   #11
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I like Maine since we have arguably the best cruising on the east coast. Sure the season is short (mid-May through mid-October), but the cruising options make up for it. Waterfront property is a bit dear. Locally you can pick up a nice 2-3 bedroom cottage with its own deep water dock for $1M-$2M. Without the dock you can knock a couple of hundred K off the price. Of course, even people with docks keep their boats on moorings in front of the house and keep the dinghy at the dock. Those without their own docks keep the dinghy at the town dock. If you move inland even a hundred yards house prices drop dramatically with the bottom around $350K. That said, I do live in a very popular resort area. If you head closer to the Canadian border housing prices drop like a stone (under 100K away from the water), but you are a LONG way from services (medical, banking, decent grocery stores, any kind of shopping). You can get work done on your boat though since the area depends on lobster fishing for its livelyhood.
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:35 AM   #12
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"Total budget for land and home about $300k. Ideally would like to cruise the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Canada with jaunts to the Bahamas. North during summer and south during cooler weather."

Since you want to cruise the entire east coast there is little need to be either south or north.
There should be some homes/lots/ and condos near your target in the Merritt Island, Cocoa beach, SB, Cocoa and surrounding areas. You will not need to winterize the boat when at home port, tides are controlled, and there are marinas nearby if/when you need to haul. The jump to Bahama's is quite easy as well. I would research the SLOSH maps for potential flooding from storms as well as the maps for Hurricane hit % and red tides before you commit. Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-26-2018, 12:57 PM   #13
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You may, or may not, want to take taxes into account as well.

Florida, to the best of my knowledge is the only state along the east coast that does not have state income taxes (although Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income.)

Some states also have personal property taxes for boats. I believe these are local (or county taxes.) Virginia is one such state, although the Hampton/Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas have set their tax rates to almost $0.

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Old 12-26-2018, 01:15 PM   #14
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Cape Coral, FL. Just west of Ft Myers, we have over 400 miles of canals, many with Gulf access, no bridges. Canal front houses can be had for under 500k with docks and lifts. Condos on the the water at 150-300k

We moved here 4 years ago from Buffalo and love it. Our trawler stays up north and we use that as our summer home from May to September.
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Old 12-26-2018, 01:16 PM   #15
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Boating Communities

My boat is in Annapolis, MD which sets a seriously high standard for a 'boating' community. Not only is every boating need/desire covered three times over, the nearby communities of Baltimore, Rock Hall, St. Michaels and Solomons give you all the variety you could want within a day cruise. My marina probably has 20-25 year-round live-aboards but the water temps do go below 40 (RC heat limit) in the winter so I have been looking south for options where the water stays 40 and up.

The Northern NC boating communities are very nice but, with the exception of New Bern, all were ghost towns in the winter. I haven't checked out the waterfront towns further south but have spent a fair amount of my life around SE Florida and south of Stuart none had a 'boating community' feel until you get to the middle keys. Marinas full of day fishing boats a block or so from A1A strip malls don't have the right feel to me. I think Stuart and above has some potential but not up to Chesapeake standards.

I hated the West coast of Florida as a scuba diver but as a live-aboard there is much more potential than the East coast for that community feel. Unfortunately the red tide and hurricanes have taken a toll on the region.

I will likely keep my slip in Back Creek, Annapolis year-round and see how far south I feel like running in the winter. If I add diesel heat I may just hang out there. There is a ton to do year round if you can handle the cold.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:12 PM   #16
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Close, but no cigar

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You may, or may not, want to take taxes into account as well.

Florida, to the best of my knowledge is the only state along the east coast that does not have state income taxes (although Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income.)

Some states also have personal property taxes for boats. I believe these are local (or county taxes.) Virginia is one such state, although the Hampton/Norfolk/Virginia Beach areas have set their tax rates to almost $0.

Jim

Hampton charges $150/year regardless of boat value.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:33 PM   #17
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Hampton charges $150/year regardless of boat value.
This is interesting, because here is what is on the Hampton government website:

Tax on Boats & Personal Watercraft
Boats are assessed at fair market value, generally derived by applying a percentage to the total original cost. The tax rate for privately owned pleasure boats and watercraft used for recreational purposes is $.000001 per $100 of assessed value. The tax rate for all other boats and watercraft is $1 per $100 of assessed value. Register your boat with the commissioner’s office.


Are the Virginia property taxes just a city and/or county thing?

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Old 12-26-2018, 05:04 PM   #18
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The taxes on boats are set by the city. BTW, property taxes on that property are abou $3200/ year, which is not bad.

Regarding boat value — I have never been asked boat value and know that buc boat is north of $300k.

They don’t tx me for the 12-foot rib.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:12 AM   #19
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Been thinking a little along these lines. The adjustments are tougher than the location. Leaving your past life is not easy. Read a comment about stuff. They had a sale and nobody wanted their stuff. A whole lifetime of stuff, cherished and protected, now unwanted, off to charity or the dump.

We hiked and lived with the stuff we could carry on our backs. Some of the happiest times of your life require no stuff, well, little stuff.

If you can adjust to small living quarters with more workshop and storage it makes the adjustment easier and cheaper. Everything looks the same when your eyes are closed, sleep is good.

If you build, be aware that some areas have insane requirements for development. Ask first. Get first hand stories from people who built. It's a lot easier to walk away before you buy. Think it through to utilities, insurance, move-in, etc.

Look for counties with negative population growth, crowds suck. Traffic jams, exhaust fumes, crime, all suck. Look at satellite photos of an area
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:48 AM   #20
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Palm Coast Florida. Between St. Augustine and Daytona. Affordable canal homes. Great hurricane hole. Also in Palm Coast is yacht harbor marina where I keep my boat. Beautiful floating docks and great amenities. Gated. I live about 10 minutes from there.
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