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Help me decide - Home Port North or South of Bay Bridge?

Old 06-11-2019, 02:33 PM
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Default Help me decide - Home Port North or South of Bay Bridge?

Hi all, I'm in the process of purchasing an express inboard for cruising the bay with family and friends. Have school age kids so the focus will be on exploring, anchoring, rafting up and kayaking/paddleboarding/swimming off the stern. As I am in Silver Spring the drive to Deale, West River, Rhode River is about the same as the drive to the Magothy. I have found a lot of useful info about anchorages and bay cruising here on THT, but always helps to hear first-hand experiences and opinions - do you enjoy north bay exploring or points south of the bridge? On weekends will I likely want to head over to the eastern shore to avoid crowds? Also, I am a bit concerned about Nettles, and understand that they are less problematic in fresher water areas like the Sassafras, etc, something to consider? - thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:14 PM
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You should consider Podickory Point, which is just north of the bridge. Many of the bay’s most popular destinations are 30-45 minutes away. I keep my boat here and love the central location. Within 45 minutes I can be to Hemingway’s, Dobbins Island, Hart-Miller Island, Rock Hall, Kent Narrows, downtown Annapolis, Tolchester, Kent Moor, the many coves on the Severn, and just a little further you can be in St. Michaels. The marina has a pool, beach and clubhouse with showers and restrooms. The facilities are nothing special, but nice at the same time. At Podickory, you do not have to choose north or south as you have the best of both worlds. No affiliation at all with the marina other than being happy with my choice of location. PM if you have any questions.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RodneyBD View Post
As I am in Silver Spring the drive to Deale, West River, Rhode River is about the same as the drive to the Magothy.
As for driving time... and given various roads that'd get you to the Severn or Magothy on the north side of 50 and West River/Deale on the south side... I think the South River and Rhode Rivers are closest. Near the Solomons Island bridge would be closest driving, but then there's 5 miles of river before you get to the Bay. Further SE to Mayo area -- South or Rhode Rivers -- would be able the same drive time. South River near Turkey Point is probably closest to the Bay once you get on the boat.

We slightly prefer bring south of the Bridge, but that's heavily influenced by the short drive to our marina, too. Anyway, that sets us up for "local" trips to Galeseville, Deale, Solomons, Knapps Narrows, Cambridge, Oxford, St. Michaels, Kent Narrows, Annapolis... and we can still get to places like Rock Hall, Georgetown, Havre d'Grace, or Bal'mer... and all the various anchorages we like, either south or north... easily enough.

-Chris

Last edited by ranger42c; 06-12-2019 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:04 AM
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I grew up on the Magothy and then moved down to Edgewater (Rhode) and I'd suggest the Rhode River. It's probably the best option for days when you want to be out on the water, but it's too windy/rough. It does not get rough back in the Rhode at all, and you can ski, swim, overnight, whatever. All the other rivers (Magothy, Severn, South) can get pretty gnarly with the right winds. There's also the West River that you can go to without going out in the bay, which offers two fun restaurants and other little coves to explore.

I've also liked being south in general. There's plenty of fun places within easy distance. I like both the Magothy and Rhode (I live on Kent Island now), but found that I used the boat more and explored more places and took more trips when on the Rhode River.

As far as driving, it's definitely an easier drive to the Edgewater area than going over the Severn River bridge. The weekend beach traffic can really back up during the big weekends or if there's some sort of incident. You get off 50 at Davidsonville Rd exit, almost always well before any beach traffic. That might be a big consideration if you're thinking you'd be going down to the boat during the weekends.

We had a nettle suit when we were kids that was really effective when doing water sports if nettles were bad. From memory, I'd say that the nettles are equally as bad in both Magothy and Rhode area.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions or recommendations. I've lived and boated in both areas and love both. I think you should really consider traffic and when you'll be driving.

Best of Luck
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:06 AM
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Also, I found the fishing to be better south of the bridge. I catch fish on both sides of the bridge (and at the bridge), but enjoy and do better south of the bridge, personally.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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If you don't live there, avoid north of bridge b/c traffic can really get bad in the Cape St Claire/Severna Park/Lake Shore area. Many DC area boaters use Herrington Harbor for a reason. Close, centrally located, lots of amenities. I do agree Rhode and West Rivers are a great places to hang and have some good marinas.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by uncljohn View Post
If you don't live there, avoid north of bridge b/c traffic can really get bad in the Cape St Claire/Severna Park/Lake Shore area. Many DC area boaters use Herrington Harbor for a reason. Close, centrally located, lots of amenities. I do agree Rhode and West Rivers are a great places to hang and have some good marinas.

I agree with this. Traffic can be a bear through the broadneck pen on the weekends (trust me I live by the bay bridge).
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:50 AM
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West or Rhode, IMHO.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:26 AM
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Many thanks all, this is awesome info-

As for driving, because I am on the north side of DC it really is an equidistant drive to the Rhode/West River (via Beltway, 50 and Davidsonville); Herrington North/South (via Beltway and Route 4) and the Magothy... BUT I would never have guessed traffic backing up all the way to the Severn Bridge? Is that common?

I also thought the Magothy could be convenient since I could avoid end of the day outer loop beltway traffic by heading west on Benfield road to 32/Patuxent Freeway to 95 South... good/bad idea, even with local Severna Park traffic?
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Old 06-12-2019, 04:59 PM
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The Severn River bridge itself is sometimes a bigger problem than the BB
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:02 PM
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Benfield/Severna park traffic is no day at the beach either. South of bridge will be easier to get to on summer weekends.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by RodneyBD View Post
BUT I would never have guessed traffic backing up all the way to the Severn Bridge? Is that common?
Originally Posted by scottdd1 View Post
The Severn River bridge itself is sometimes a bigger problem than the BB
Yep. Accident on the Severn River Bridge often backs up traffic west of the I-97 interchange... and exiting 50 at MD 650 (Aris T Allen)... or even back at Davidsonville Rd... works better.

-Chris

Last edited by ranger42c; 06-19-2019 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:47 PM
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If you have kids take a look at Herrington South, nicest marina on the bay with lots of activities.

That being said, what size is the boat? Only downside is once leave inlet you are in the bay, no river or coves to hide from the wind on a rough day.
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Old 06-19-2019, 06:59 AM
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FWIW, we prefer HH NORTH if down in that area.

-Chris
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:02 AM
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We have been north and south of the bridge and prefer south. Currently we are out of South River. Annapolis, St. Mikes, Cambridge Kent narrows are all easy trips. We really enjoy anchorages on the South and Severn river. Water tends to be cleaner farther south you go(relative for the bay I know). We find fishing better south of the bridge.
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