Our boat, La Vie Dansante, is a Fountaine Pajot Helia - a 44' sailing catamaran. We chose Port Annapolis for a pre-voyage haulout based on recommendations and family events I had in Maryland during the month of October. It was a great choice. Richard’s team was competent and professional, taking care of a wide range of maintenance requirements including fiberglass repair, metal brace fabrication, engine maintenance, saildrive repair, rudder bearing installation, standing rigging repair, bottom painting and hull polishing. The techs and mechs who worked on La Vie Dansante were courteous, timely and capable. It was also nice that the yard didn't restrict our access and work on our boat, so we got quite a few projects complete. Pricing was fair, and the cost for a number of tasks was absorbed by the yard for training of junior personnel who were always well supervised. We wound up being on the hard for longer than expected (3 weeks) based on some newly discovered issues that needed to be resolved, but when we needed parts, they arrived faster than estimated and the team got on the job right away. Also, the yard was accommodating and offered top notch facilities for our use while staying there. Staying aboard while on the hard is never a luxurious experience, but we enjoyed our time in the yard this time around. At the completion of repairs, the mechanic who worked on my engines and saildrives went on a “River Run” with us to put the gear through its paces. We left Port Annapolis with confidence in the diverse work that was completed on our complex boat, and ready to continue our adventure south. I will haul out here again if the time comes and I’m back in the Bay.
Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' Stopped here while heading west on LIS, hoping to visit the Teddy Roosevelt Home and pick up some provisions. Some earlier comments indicated OBMC would allow you to tie up your dinghy here while visiting town. This is either gone or depends on who's on duty. I called to ask and they told me they don't allow it, but I could do a "short stay" on one of their moorings and get picked up by the launch. When I asked what a "short stay" would cost, the rep told me "$1.00 or $1.50, I don't know". I also tried Sagamore Yacht Club, which I heard was more friendly to transient boats at anchor, but nobody ever answered the phone (9:30 am on a Wednesday). Nobody picked up at the Teddy Roosevelt Marina either. All of these places were open according to their websites. I thought about tying up my 11' dinghy to an OBMC mooring ball and taking the launch in, but decided to just move on. It just seemed like such silly lengths to go to just to go ashore. Oyster Bay, like other Long Island harbors, caters to dock and mooring clients pretty exclusively. That business model may make sense here, but for my purposes, I didn't find it a welcome or compelling place to take my modest business.
La Vie Dansante is a Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' Port Jeff is a different place than we've ever stayed. Transient moorings are in a nice location, right near the town landings. There is no dinghy dock, so the way you get to shore and back is on the launch. You give them a call on VHF 68 and they get there within 10 or 15 minutes. If you take the launch, here are some tips. 1) Take your handheld VHF to town with you. The nice and funny guys who operate the launch don't answer the phone much, but they're responsive on channel 68. 2) If you come in after the launch stops servicing for the night, they told us it's OK to tie up your dinghy on their dock, to the right of the coal barges on the west side of the harbor. It'll be the dock with the green water taxi on it. Port Jeff is a pretty cool little town that services the surrounding high end residential community. Get up early one day (the launch starts service at 7:00 am) and get to Toast for breakfast. You're welcome.
Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' Tied up to a ball here for what we intended to be a couple of nights while we explored Mystic and took care of some logistics in Groton. Our boat was large enough to be assigned to a "tub" - a flat type of mooring ball with two painters. We have a bridle, so we just clipped our lines through both painters. Reserved easy enough on Dockwa, then hailed TCY on VHF 71 and Father Rick came out on the launch and guided us to our "tub" mooring. Easy. Once we got tied up, though, we began to experience the most violent roll and chop we've had in a mooring field (and we're in a cat! You should've seen the monohulls!). We actually had drawers that weren't locked fly out of cabinets and bottles topple off galley surfaces on frequent wakes from passing speed boats. The dinghy dock also convulses violently, so much so that they've set up a system for members - a network of lines that allows them to connect their dinghy/tender fore and aft along a line that holds them away from the structure. We cancelled the final day of our reservation and continued up Long Island Sound partly because of the weather, but partly because the motion while moored was more than we like. The folks at TYC were great! Shout out to Beth - a life-time mariner who went out of her way to ensure we had what we needed to get provisioned and get to Mystic.
Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' We stayed here for a couple of nights on our way north along the US East Coast. This was an interesting stop for many reasons. Trey, the Dockmaster, seemed great; but I never actually met him in person, since reservations are easy (and COVID-19 safe) on Dockwa! This is a very busy marina, with traffic going in and out all the time. I tied up our 44 foot sailing cat in a 60 foot space between another cat and a motor yacht on their "Mega Dock" - They pack 'em in tight! The Mega Dock was a convenient place to tie up for a couple of nights, especially since diesel was available right there where we tied up. There is a lot of chop from the Ashley River traffic, though. There's a great little general store nearby, along with a gas station, liquor store and wine store among other vendors. There's only diesel at the dock, so this nearby station is important if you need gas. Laundry and shower facilities are small, but nice. Dryers are large industrial ones, so you can do a couple of loads of wash in one dryer. There's a nice Publix a bike ride away, but it's not exactly convenient. Downtown Charleston is about a 20 minute walk from the marina.
Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' There's no place to legitimately drop the hook in Boston Harbor, so a mooring ball it is! We arrived here in the early evening and tied up to a ball for a little over a week. Reservations are easy on Dockwa. Balls aren't assigned, so just grab an open one and dinghy into the office during normal business hours to get access cards and info. A little pricey at $75/night, this still amounts to a pretty sweet deal in Boston, and the location is incredible. Everything is a short walk, including some of the nation's best Italian food on Boston's North End. The Freedom Trail is easy on/off access from here. We walked it twice. The marina is secure and facilities are convenient. Laundry and showers are clean and well-kept. The dinghy dock along the south edge of the facility, along the rock wall of Long Wharf. It's configured with a hitching post, rather than cleats, so configure your lines for easy-on, easy-off. The staff is friendly and accommodating, and they operate an on-call pump-out boat for patrons!
Sailing Catamaran - 44' X 25' X 4' We planned to drop the hook here and an advance call to the Harbor Master gave us good info about the only two places to do it - marked "Plymouth Harbor" and "Cowyard" on Active Captain. For the $67.50/day flat rate, we decided to tie up to Ball #1 for a short dinghy ride into town, but a few boats were anchored in the Plymouth Harbor anchorage. It's very calm and protected in the harbor. RESERVING A BALL: Reservations were easy on Dockwa, and the resulting emails provided good info. Call the Harbor Master when you arrive, and he'll talk you right into your ball. The mooring field is snug, with most of the occupants fishing boats or recreational speed boats. Transient balls have a tall orange flag on a float at the end of the painter, so they're easy to grab from the front of your boat without a boat hook. DINGHY DOCKS: The tide here is big - around 11 feet. If you use the dinghy dock at the Town Wharf (near Woods Seafood), pay attention to the tide. After a short trip into town, I wound up killing an hour or so at the nearby pub waiting for my dinghy to float free of the surrounding mud. There is also a public dinghy dock right next to the Mayflower II. PROVISIONING: Stop & Shop is cheaper than Mayflower Provisioning for food, but the latter has booze, so there's that. Both are a long walk for a short Uber from the wharf area. Everyone was very friendly here, and we enjoyed our stay!