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How to pleasure boat from NoVA

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Old 08-27-2018, 08:19 PM
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Great info about the Nationals games - $30 is cheaper than stadium parking. And dining options on non-game nights. Will keep this in mind.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:31 PM
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Thereís been a lot of good advice so far on this thread, and so Iíll try to add some too. I live in Herndon (not far from Eastern Loudoun) and it usually takes me about 45 minutes to get to the Occoquan. Iíve had a slip there since 2005 in 2 different marinas - Captain John S. Beach and Fairfax Yacht Club. You mentioned the ownership at Fairfax, but many of the owners rent the slips at pretty competitive rates, and Iím a renter there. In terms of getting out of the no wake zone, Belmont Bay is the quickest as the no wake zone ends at the end of their marina. In order after that are Fairfax, Captain John S. Beach, and Occoquan Harbor and they all have pretty short rides to the end. Hoffmasters and Prince William have long rides out. Tyme and Tyde is the only dry stack I know of north of Aquia, but Occoquan Harbor has a few lift slips, and Pilot House on Neabsco Creek also has a few of them. However, driving to Neabsco Creek is significantly longer than getting to the Occoquan as both 95 and Rte 1 always seem to have traffic down there.

Youíve received lots of good info on places to go, but Iíll mention another sandy beach option about 2 hours south of the Occoquan called Sharkís Tooth Island. Itís privately owned and you need to pay a membership for weekend use, but itís a lot of fun. Also about 45 minutes away, Rickís on the river has a nice sandy beach in Fairview Beach.

Feel free to ask any other questions if you have any.
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:05 AM
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Where are do you live? I am in Alexandria and can't imagine getting in my car and driving down 95 on any weekend to get to Woodbridge to go boating. The traffic would have me turned off to that idea pretty quick. If you want to be near DC you can check Columbia Island Marina. It's all wet slips and it's expensive. It's also a nice facility and it is very convenient.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:06 PM
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Depends on where you live and where you keep your boat. If my boat was in a slip, Columbia Marina might be OK. However, coming from Loudoun Co. (or thereabouts), I found that it is a lot easier to go to Pohick Bay (even though it is farther) than deal with the traffic around DC. If you have a boat on a trailer, it is definitely easier if you avoid DC.

Also, there are so many places to boat in the area, that having a boat in a slip in one place just does not make any sense to me. I want a boat that I can go different places in (without having to drive it there). From Columbia Marina to Annapolis is about 38 miles for a boat on a trailer. To drive a boat on its own bottom between the same places is about 200 miles.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:40 AM
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I have some friends that started in on one of the boat clubs this season and it really seems like an interesting idea, especially for new boaters which my friends are. They were seriously considering buying their first boat, but didn't know exactly what style/size and how much they'd actually use it and didn't want to buy a boat for $30k to realize they'd actually get on it twice a year.

For the $3k price for a year membership, it seems like a great deal to me. You book it, show up, get on, it's gassed up and ready to go. When you're done you top off the gas and leave; no cleaning, no maintenance. Mind you, this is a boat club in the Edgewater/Annapolis area. Considering for this area you're looking at around $2k/year marina fees, it seems like a great idea. They have around 20 boats, so they said reserving a boat hasn't been an issue and they have a bunch of different styles from fishing center consoles to bow riders and deck boats.

I have no involvement with the company or anything like that, but I've discussed it at length with my buddy who signed up. It seems like a great way to ease into boating or just an easy way to boat without the hassle of maintenance and unexpected costs, which is a major part of boat ownership. Might be something to consider...

Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:18 AM
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i know youíre seemingly committed to NoVa but naval station annapolis has boat & trailer storage.

i completely agree with staying as close close to home as possible since thatís likely the best way to ensure you use the boat more frequently...but i think thereís a lot more to do and see if youíre on the chesapeake.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mikemapva View Post
Thereís been a lot of good advice so far on this thread, and so Iíll try to add some too. I live in Herndon (not far from Eastern Loudoun) and it usually takes me about 45 minutes to get to the Occoquan. Iíve had a slip there since 2005 in 2 different marinas - Captain John S. Beach and Fairfax Yacht Club. You mentioned the ownership at Fairfax, but many of the owners rent the slips at pretty competitive rates, and Iím a renter there. In terms of getting out of the no wake zone, Belmont Bay is the quickest as the no wake zone ends at the end of their marina. In order after that are Fairfax, Captain John S. Beach, and Occoquan Harbor and they all have pretty short rides to the end. Hoffmasters and Prince William have long rides out. Tyme and Tyde is the only dry stack I know of north of Aquia, but Occoquan Harbor has a few lift slips, and Pilot House on Neabsco Creek also has a few of them. However, driving to Neabsco Creek is significantly longer than getting to the Occoquan as both 95 and Rte 1 always seem to have traffic down there.

Youíve received lots of good info on places to go, but Iíll mention another sandy beach option about 2 hours south of the Occoquan called Sharkís Tooth Island. Itís privately owned and you need to pay a membership for weekend use, but itís a lot of fun. Also about 45 minutes away, Rickís on the river has a nice sandy beach in Fairview Beach.

Feel free to ask any other questions if you have any.
Great info Mike. Looks like there are some options and Iíll have to figure out cost vs convenient. Iím getting convinced I donít want aquia or anywhere south of occoquan.
As for slips, fairfax yacht seems competitive for the leases. However, Iím thinking that cons include a potential need for bottom paint, and concerns about out drives in the water all the time. Is the added costs and wear and tear of outdoor storage worth saving $1.5 - 2k per year? Iím not sure I know how to answer that so I appreciate everyoneís insights.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by seawayva View Post
Where are do you live? I am in Alexandria and can't imagine getting in my car and driving down 95 on any weekend to get to Woodbridge to go boating. The traffic would have me turned off to that idea pretty quick. If you want to be near DC you can check Columbia Island Marina. It's all wet slips and it's expensive. It's also a nice facility and it is very convenient.
Seaway - Columbia island looks nice, but the price and longer boat ride for swim able and beachable areas is probably a no go for us. Just have to brave ffx county parkway right into occoquan
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Depends on where you live and where you keep your boat. If my boat was in a slip, Columbia Marina might be OK. However, coming from Loudoun Co. (or thereabouts), I found that it is a lot easier to go to Pohick Bay (even though it is farther) than deal with the traffic around DC. If you have a boat on a trailer, it is definitely easier if you avoid DC.

Also, there are so many places to boat in the area, that having a boat in a slip in one place just does not make any sense to me. I want a boat that I can go different places in (without having to drive it there). From Columbia Marina to Annapolis is about 38 miles for a boat on a trailer. To drive a boat on its own bottom between the same places is about 200 miles.
Appreciate the flexibility of a trailer. But Iíd have to store that somewhere (hoa / no space) and Iím on the edge of trailerabke with the boats Iím looking at (27 ft bowridersj and my 8500 pound tow rating.
Pohick is an option for me.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Need More Ice View Post
I have some friends that started in on one of the boat clubs this season and it really seems like an interesting idea, especially for new boaters which my friends are. They were seriously considering buying their first boat, but didn't know exactly what style/size and how much they'd actually use it and didn't want to buy a boat for $30k to realize they'd actually get on it twice a year.

For the $3k price for a year membership, it seems like a great deal to me. You book it, show up, get on, it's gassed up and ready to go. When you're done you top off the gas and leave; no cleaning, no maintenance. Mind you, this is a boat club in the Edgewater/Annapolis area. Considering for this area you're looking at around $2k/year marina fees, it seems like a great idea. They have around 20 boats, so they said reserving a boat hasn't been an issue and they have a bunch of different styles from fishing center consoles to bow riders and deck boats.

I have no involvement with the company or anything like that, but I've discussed it at length with my buddy who signed up. It seems like a great way to ease into boating or just an easy way to boat without the hassle of maintenance and unexpected costs, which is a major part of boat ownership. Might be something to consider...

Good luck.
Thanks for sharing. I am initially hesitant, but if can get 80% of the experience for 0 headaches and half the cost per month, it could be righ. Iíll have to call these places.
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Old 09-05-2018, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by happyjack92 View Post
i know youíre seemingly committed to NoVa but naval station annapolis has boat & trailer storage.

i completely agree with staying as close close to home as possible since thatís likely the best way to ensure you use the boat more frequently...but i think thereís a lot more to do and see if youíre on the chesapeake.
Happy jack - do you think there are more beach / cruise / anchor opportunities if kept on the bay?
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:36 AM
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You could spend a lifetime boating on the Ches bay and not explore all the rivers, creeks and bays.
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:36 PM
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There are a couple of marinas on Neabsco Road (Neabsco Creek) in Woodbridge (next to Leesylvania State Park) that seem to have ramps and trailer parking. You could keep a boat on a trailer there and launch it when needed. Don't know the costs or the rules, but I did think about keeping my boat at one of those places a couple of years ago.

I decided that I wanted to have easier access to my boat when I wasn't on the water. However, it might work for you.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by delta55 View Post
Happyjack - do you think there are more beach / cruise / anchor opportunities if kept on the bay?
i dont really know the potomac, so i cant give you a definitive "yes" but like rocksandblues said above...exploration of the chesapeake bay and its tributaries could last a couple of lifetimes.
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:02 PM
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Thanks for everyone sharing their experiences. Here a few updates to the marina list:

Potomac -
Belle Haven Marina - unk / unk
Mount Vernon Yacht club - wet slips - $42/ft/yr
Mansion House Yacht Club - trailer storage / ramp - under $1k/yr

Occoquan -
Tyme n Tyde - boatel - $3800 - $4200 for my hypothetical 27'
Prince William Marina - boatel - $150-$170/yr/foot
Hoffmasters - covered wet slip & dry storage- $300-ish / month for 27' - $100/month trailer
Occoquan Harbor Marina - some lift slips $unk
Fairfax Yacht Club - some covered - condominium slips, $25-50k asking purchase price
Occoquan Regional Park - store on trailer & launch - $1200/yr
Captain John Beach Marina - slip / dry storage - see website

Neabasco Creek
Hampton's Landing Marina - unk - $unk
EZ Cruz - lift slips - $3200/yr
The Pilot House - lift slips - $unk

Pohick Bay
Store on trailer, $1200 / yr

Military / DoD
Quantico - $unk
Fort Belvoir - $unk

Aquia (didn't price, too far from me)
Willow Landing Marina
Hope Springs Marina
Aquia Harbor Marina
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:40 PM
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I just secured a trailered spot at John Beach Marina and the facilities are great. Really nice crew and place is extremely family oriented. Highly recommend. If the express lanes are going south there is an exit for Woodbridge which puts you right at the light for the marina a few miles away.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:58 PM
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To add to your chart above, a slip for your 27’ boat (30 foot slip) would be anywhere from $2500 to $3000 a year at Fairfax Yacht Club depending on what the owners want to rent it for. Currently there are several in that range.

I think Captain John S. Beach is comparable in price.
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