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Old 06-30-2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Just got off the phone with the Bostn Harbor Master. He informed me that there is no public dinghy dock in or around the Boston area... you can of course drop the hook for free in the general anchorages which are still CG controlled and people aren't allowed to place moorings but to get on key side you are only allowed to touch and go... so at his direction I called all the local marinas near where I was planning on anchoring next week. 3 of the 4 I spoke with wouldn't do a daily rate for dinghy dockage and if you leave it they'll impound it... the one that would allow daily dockage wanted $15 per day, when I was surprised they seemed shocked and offended... "nothings free, car parking is $25 per day just around the corner"....

So much for anchoring free...

granted $15 a day isn't really a LOT but it adds up very quickly and I've never heard the like... I'm an american but this is my first time actually sailing in the US... In europe where I spent the last couple years sailing and doing deliveries the average fee I came across for a slip was 6 euro to 15 pounds... and that's a slip not a mooring or dinghy dock... the most I've ever had to pay for a dinghy dock was about 3 dollars a day... What is up with america... I am definitely disinchanted with it's Marina culture... .... So i called the harbor master back and begged for more information on some other option... nadda... at least nothing productive... I can pull up on the beach in south boston or Dorchester but even he said there's a good chance the dinghy would be gone when I got back if I left it very long....

Argh!!!!!.... anybody have any productive suggestions? At the moment I'm thinking I'll just skip Boston all together and head down to Scituate, where I will also have to pull up on the beach but I figure there's a better chance of my dinghy being there when I return....
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
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This is a not-uncommon problem in many places in the US. Sometimes it's impossible to use a public access because they don't exist and sometimes because the only public access is too far to get to or in an unsafe/high theft area. Where we used to live, in Washington, DC, on the Potomac one cannot pull one's dingy up just anywhere. There are also only two small anchorage areas that you can anchor in for free--both adjacent each other and across from two local marinas that are required (don't know by who...) to allow you to dock a dingy at their place. Ah, but not for free--there's a fee. Used to be around $6/day that you docked a dingy but now I've heard its up to about $12/day. Ah, again...but the money ALSO gives you access to all the facilities of the marina you're paying: bathrooms, showers, laundrymat, etc. At least you feel like you're getting "something" for your money!

Ideas: If you're a member of a yacht club (any yacht club) you might find that it has reciprocals with a club in Boston. And there, you might find a day or two free for your yacht on the visitors' dock with those recips or you might be able to bring your dingy into the club's dingy dock.

More "out there" ideas that hubby and I have discussed to get around the issue of where to leave the dingy--mostly for the future, and are a bit weird but fit "our" situation and might give you ideas but probably wouldn't help you now:

We have two tenders now and will likely have another one sooner or later.

1. We are avid canoeists and carry a tender that is a Merrimack Prospector canoe that can carry about 1000 lbs--great for hauling stuff but yet only weighs 65 lbs by itself and...most important...hubby has a yoke on it so he can easily portage (carry it on his shoulders) it during wilderness and city trips. As a matter of fact, we used to portage about 1/2 mile with it through downtown Washington DC each time we canoed the Potomac river because there was a spot where the canal didn't go through (Georgetown) and when we were doing the "round trip" back up the Potomac, we had to use the C&O canal to get back to our car many miles upriver.

We've always figured that we could portage the canoe someplace nearby where we land--call ahead to find a business, church, club, anything that would allow us to stash it out back for a bit. When on combination bike/canoe trips (folding bikes) we've stashed the canoe in some pretty interesting places for hours or a couple days--never paid for it, always asked if we could give someone money to put it "out back" and they always say no--just put it here, there, etc.

2. Our other dingy folds up (Tinker Traveler) so we've figured that we could conceivably land somewhere where we can't leave it, fold it up, call a cab and scat to a pre-determined location. It would barely fit in a cab trunk and it also weighs about 65 lbs. Cab's are expensive, so we'd probably only do this if we were planning on renting a car for the duration of our stay and sticking the Tinker in the back seat or something during our visit to a particular location. Btw, in the USA some car rental companies deliver... Further, our fold-up dock cart can carry the Tinker (folded into its case) so it would be possible to get on a bus with it. It'd be like those folks with the big musical instrument cases you see on the bus/metro in DC or NYC.

3. Hubby's "grand plan" that he really would love to do is based upon a bike he once saw towing a canoe....you get the drift...we don't even have to go there...

4. We'd like to pick up a used beater Portabote on Craigs' List; we see them for sale there from time to time--they also fold up to the size of a fat surfboard and one could carry it a ways to stash it somewhere away from the waterfront. Further, a folding bike and a Portabote could become a cruiser's "trailer" and wheels once he hits land. Similar to option 3. above. Yes, out there, but not unrealistic.

You'll note that ALL our options involve our foot power/bike power/rowing paddling... a fairly small tender w/o using the motor. Having to store a tender with a motor is really much more difficult and I'd probably just pay the bucks to the marina to have it at their dingy dock. JMHO.

Best of luck finding a good way to land your boat to see Boston!

Regards,

P.S. About using marina docks where you're not going to be leaving your boat--I'd just go for it if you can carry your boat through quickly enough and, of course, if they don't have locks on the gates. Sort of rude, but we've done it when no other option exists (with the canoe). Most marina users will hold open the gate when they see a canoe walking down the dock towards them, btw. In the gate or out
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:07 PM   #3
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lol... why you are always the first to respond??

My dinghy is in fact a rower... unfortunately she's a 10ft aluminum jon boat, so not so easy to fold up... as it stands my inclination is to just definitely skip boston and head for a more quaint portage a bit south... worst case I drag my old girl (she was my grandfathers fishing boat for 50+ years) up onto the beach and chain her to a tree....

I was only hoping to go to boston to pick up some bartending work... but if I have to pay to dinghy in it's just not worth it... well maybe it would be fiscally but not in principal....

speaking of pakboats... they are here in NH and I was just talking to them the other day about some ideas on how they could build a pak-sailboat.... they've thought about it but apparently don't have any sailors on their staff... I offered to help with design if they'd provide me with the a prototype... fair I think... but they weren't having it so I guess they will continue to be sailless and I'll continue to have a bulky old jon boat as my only dinghy...

ONE MORE QUESTION:... and I know this has come up on here before.... Where do I find a woman like you??
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by atavist View Post
lol... why you are always the first to respond??

My dinghy is in fact a rower... unfortunately she's a 10ft aluminum jon boat, so not so easy to fold up... as it stands my inclination is to just definitely skip boston and head for a more quaint portage a bit south... worst case I drag my old girl (she was my grandfathers fishing boat for 50+ years) up onto the beach and chain her to a tree....

I was only hoping to go to boston to pick up some bartending work... but if I have to pay to dinghy in it's just not worth it... well maybe it would be fiscally but not in principal....

speaking of pakboats... they are here in NH and I was just talking to them the other day about some ideas on how they could build a pak-sailboat.... they've thought about it but apparently don't have any sailors on their staff... I offered to help with design if they'd provide me with the a prototype... fair I think... but they weren't having it so I guess they will continue to be sailless and I'll continue to have a bulky old jon boat as my only dinghy...

ONE MORE QUESTION:... and I know this has come up on here before.... Where do I find a woman like you??
1. I always happen along just when you've posted.

2. Nobody wants to give away product for free

3. Join a yacht club, sailing club, kayaking club, hiking club...you get the point...there'll be lots of weird women there. Some of them single
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Old 06-30-2009, 11:33 PM   #5
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I wish it was that easy... i've been a member of "cruising clubs" and hang out at the local marina/harbor dives... single women yes... ones worth keeping?....

I think I've gotten off topic.
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:15 AM   #6
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Way off topic.

I know a really nice young woman in Washington, DC who's way cool. Of course, she's also really, really, busy. Hum...doesn't have time for a relationship really. But she loves the idea of living on a sailboat...

Reality check on finding a mate with interests similar to your own--

1. Did you know that Larry Pardey talks about this in The Cost Conscious Cruiser? Briefly, though. I still wonder how he and Lin got together...

2. You should honestly assess whether you're interested and committed to a long term relation ship with ANYONE.

3. If you are, then you should tell family and friends who know you that you are looking for a relationship with someone who will enjoy sailing with you, etc.

4. You should also consider match.com (I kid you not!) as I now know of three couples who are VERY happy who met via that service.

Its much more fun to travel with other people--and its even better if you're sailing with your lifetime mate.

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Old 07-01-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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Ok so I have officially hijacked my own thread... but I'm allowed right... after all, it's my thread.

I actually have Cost Conscious Cruiser onboard... great book...

as for a long-term relationship... your right... I don't want ANYONE... I want someone very specific... which is why I'm still single... ...

family, friends, and work associates are well aware of my search... lots of nominees... unfortunately none really worthwhile or willing/able to consider my lifestyle

... and I am very well aquanted with match... they should be granting me life-time membership any day now... and we won't even talk about plentyoffish.com... ... aye yai yai...

maybe my mom is right... I need to lower my standards
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:40 AM   #8
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Several years ago Peter and I went up to Boston to visit with family and friends, and found Boston Harbor to be most unwelcoming. As former Bostonians, we were disappointed. We wound up anchoring up the Neponset River, past the South Boston Yacht Club, near the docks of a powerboat dealer who gave us permission to use their dock to tie up our dinghy. Annoyingly, next door to their docks, was an italian restaurant that had a huge dock with not a single boat tied up to it, and they told us we couldn't use it. Hmph!

However, as I mention in our blog (http://www.sailblogs.com/member/mvmelon/?xjMsgID=15281 ), there were some nice people. *The two fellows from the little yacht club just behind that Italian restaurant came by to offer us their morring. *And the sailing instructor from the South Boston Yacht Club. *I think she was just surprised that our boxy, saltine cracker box of a boat driven by this old woman could approach their dock without hurting anything, but she said we could land our dinghy at their dock to go ashore.

Forget the harbormaster; didn't even know there was one. *Smile and talk to the tiny little yacht clubs around there (the one we were anchored near, though I can't remember the name, had "blue" in its name - at least I think so.).

Good luck. *I still love Boston, it's a great walking city. *And you've got to stay for the 4th of July Boston Pops concert and fireworks. *Not to be missed.!
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:19 AM   #9
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If you are a member of a real Yacht Club, the South Boston Yacht Club has in the past offered free dinghy dockage and or you can use their "boat taxi" service to their mooring field. Included in "real yacht clubs" is the "Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club" out of the Abacos, Bahamas. The have an internet site: http://www.rmhyc.com/ to join and then they have only a US$30/year renewal fee. (initial joining fee is US$125 which is $95 to joint plus 1st year's $30). I have used them as a "reciprocal" club reference in dozens of other Yacht Club marinas in the USA and Caribbean. You save your initial year's joining fee in dockage/moorings in the first year.
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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If you are a member of a real Yacht Club, the South Boston Yacht Club has in the past offered free dinghy dockage and or you can use their "boat taxi" service to their mooring field. Included in "real yacht clubs" is the "Royal Marsh Harbor Yacht Club" out of the Abacos, Bahamas. The have an internet site: http://www.rmhyc.com/ to join and then they have only a US$30/year renewal fee. (initial joining fee is US$125 which is $95 to joint plus 1st year's $30). I have used them as a "reciprocal" club reference in dozens of other Yacht Club marinas in the USA and Caribbean. You save your initial year's joining fee in dockage/moorings in the first year.
Osir! That's a great tip on the RMHYC Similarly, we're members of the Navy Yacht Club San Diego NYCSD (for active duty or retired military) and it has great recips in California, but no anywhere else that I know of. The fee is right, too, at $35/year.

JeanneP--you're experiences are like ours in many instances--ask the "little guys" real nice and they'll help you out.

Fair winds,
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:00 PM   #11
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worth a shot I suppose... I'll drop the hook and see what I can find... your definitely right about the little guys being nicer... another thing I was thinking that if they really are that busy they may not even notice me coming in and out... doubtfull there will be someone standing on the dock asking which boat you are coming in off of...
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:10 AM   #12
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Yes... Skip Boston!
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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I´m way late on the woman-hunting question , but I met my girlfriend (people older than 40 do not seem to mind getting married again around here) and, after a few years´ diving together and spending time in other people´s boats, figured out we wanted to get our own and go see the world. We´re still working on it, but in the meantime I´m learning navigation and getting the basics of storm management etc., and she´s up to take diesel mechanics (she was a car shop manager) and electricity. We haven´t killed each other so far living in close quarters and travelling VERY extensively by car, so I guess the boat life will be OK.

Wish you luck in finding a mature, no-nonsense, seasickness-resistant woman that likes hard work and salt water!

J.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:18 PM   #14
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Great thread with good info (on & off-topic...)

Anyone aware of an online listing of "public" dinghy docks, perhaps including dinghy docks that charge a fee ?

Thanks !
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