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Old 10-15-2019, 02:35 PM   #1
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Marina Recommendations for South Chesapeake Bay

Greetings Earthlings. Sylphide and I will be leaving the Hudson River behind soon, and shaping a course for strange and exotic lands to the south. I'll have about three weeks of useful travel time, and am hoping to get to the bottom end of the Chesapeake. No idea if I'll get that far, but that's the general idea. I'll need to leave Sylphde at a dock somewhere for the last week of November, and the first three weeks of December While I'm away at work.

With that extremely loose plan in mind, I just fired up the ol' Coastal Exploder program to snout out some marinas. Lo and behold, there are a lot of them. Like... hundreds of 'em. I don't have the foggiest idea what any of them are like, aside from what the aging data from active captain tells me.

So in the interests of narrowing the list down a bit, do you fine folk have any recommendations for a good place to keep a 44' x 12.5' x 3.5' wessel for about a month in the southern half of the Chessie?

I don't need anything extravagant. A floating dock would be nice. Power and water would be nice. Some sort of security would be nice. It would be nice if it didn't cost a billion dollars, so a reasonable monthly rate would also be nice. Maybe an office where I can send some packages while I'm away? That would be nice. If there's occasionally someone keeping an eye out for trouble, that would be nice. Have I said the word nice enough?

Thanks for any input, nice people.

Nice.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:29 PM   #2
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I would focus on logistics. What is your requirement/preference for accessing the boat? The more remote of a location, the cheaper it will be and security usually becomes less of an issue, however I assume you will need to make it to an airport/bus terminal/train station or some form of a transportation hub in order to travel for work. Are you definitely going to be gone for 4 weeks straight or is there a possibility of returning for one or two weekends? I would take this all into account when selecting a marina. Transportation is pretty easy from the western shore of the upper bay (Baltimore and Annapolis surrounding areas), options are more sparse on the eastern shore and further south on the western shore such as the Virginia Northern Neck area unless you are as far south as Newport News or Norfolk. You could probably have the boat hauled and stored on the hard on the lower eastern shore or northern neck area for about the same price as a leaving it in a more populated area, you just need to have a realistic plan about getting there and ensuring that they don't block you in with another boat. I'm sure you're already considering these things and are looking for specific suggestions but your preferences would help others narrow down a good option.
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Old 10-15-2019, 03:48 PM   #3
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Deltaville Marina and Boatyard is a nice folksy place on the southern side of Stingray Point. But it is a little far from transportation.


York River Yacht Haven is another such place and is a little closer to the Norfolk airport.


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Old 10-15-2019, 03:54 PM   #4
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If you can get in here and the rate is reasonable, this is where I would go.

Atlantic Yacht Basin

Freshwater marina just after the Greatbridge lock. It doesn't get any more protected (inside their basin) than this.

Ted
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
If you can get in here and the rate is reasonable, this is where I would go.

Atlantic Yacht Basin

Freshwater marina just after the Greatbridge lock. It doesn't get any more protected (inside their basin) than this.

Ted
I think there are rental car companies that will do a drop off at AYB. So that's a plus if you need those logistics.

York River Yacht Haven is pricey, but they have a nice operations.

If you don't need logistics support (i.e. you will have your own car), shoot me a PM and I may be able to recommend some places around Reedville, VA.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:03 PM   #6
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Yeah, I think air travel -- if necessary -- might be easier from Annapolis (or even Baltimore) via BWI, or maybe from Deale, MD, via Reagan National, than from Portmouth/Norfolk or anywhere in between. If that's true, I can name several options in either the Annapolis or Deale area.

If as far south as Norfolk/Portsmouth or a bit further, and If Atlantic Yacht Basin isn't available, the only place I have experience with is Tidewater Yacht Marina, just at ICW Mile Marker 1. Seemed decent enough for the several days each way that we stayed there in 2017/2018; don't know their monthly rates but they probably offer that option... An advantage is that there's boatloads of stuff to see/do/eat in the immediate vicinity.

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Old 10-15-2019, 06:01 PM   #7
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AYB is a great place, and essentially in the midst of the greater Tidewater metroplex, a big urban expanse. Stores and services withing a few blocks walking distance.Enterprise services Great Bridge and of course you have taxis, Lyft, et al. The Norfolk airport will get you anywhere. There is also the Top Rack marina on the other side of the lock (an advantage if you are planning to further explore the Chesapeake), not sure if they accommodate larger boats for extended periods of time.

Or you can go smack dab into downtown Norfolk at Waterside or the places across the way in Portsmouth, though our only direct experience in that area was one night at Waterside and a couple nights as guests of friends at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club (very nice!)

The issue with other really nice spots like Deltaville, Urbanna, Solomons et al is that they are somewhat remote, with the Solomons area being the most developed; I believe they do have shuttle services up to the DC airports.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:02 PM   #8
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I will definitely need ready access to transportation. I won't have a car, and will most likely be flying out when I leave the boat. Cost of transportation is less important, since the company will pay for that, but it will have to be reliable.

I'd like to end up farther south than Baltimore / Annapolis on this leg of the trip. I think I'm leaning more toward the Norfolk area.

I like the look of AYB already. I gave them a call and had a lovely chat with the lady on the other end. They're going to call me back tomorrow when the dockmaster is available to talk rates and availability.

A most excellent place to start. I'm more than happy to hear any other suggestions. Thanks for the input, gang!
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:25 AM   #9
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I'd highly recommend getting a copy of Chesapeake Magazine's "Guide to Cruising Chesapeake Bay" to greatly enhance your entire Bay experience.

Likewise, Waterway Guide's Northern for your trip down from Canada, and Chesapeake Bay editions. Their website also has lots of info including some user reviews, which as with any crowd-sourced info, need to be taken with many grains of sea salt.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:11 AM   #10
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You might consider Bluewater Yachting Center in Hampton. Well protected from N winds, well maintained marina with access to Newport News and Norfolk airports. AYB is also a good spot but I think it's less centrally located. We keep our boat at Bluewater.
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:06 PM   #11
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If your employer is covering transportation to and from, I would also recommend Somners Cove marina. You can fly in and out of Salisbury International airport (that's a joke, the airport has 2 gates). American connects to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Charlotte from Salisbury. Getting from the airport to the marina is about a $50 Uber. SCM is my summer marina with a very nice floating transient dock. The rate will probably be better at SCM, but AYB would probably be a better choice if available.

https://somerscovemarina.com/index.html

Ted
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:14 PM   #12
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I'd look around Norfolk, good airport and plenty to do down there if you are staying once and a while.
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