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Old 02-10-2011, 06:48 AM   #1
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Question Looking for Connecticut folks

Hi Everyone,
For those that don't know me I have a 2008 Maxum 2100 SC3 which I purchased late in the summer last year (first boat ever). I'm gonna ramble for a few but hang with me. I purchased if from a place in Westbrook and for three weeks I had it docked at Pilots Point Marina. It was late in the season and they said they would let me use a slip for a few weeks for free! The bottom is not painted and I really don't want to paint it because I heard it loses value. I was planning on using it in freshwater lakes.

Ok well my wife and I love to just hang out on the water, sun, read, eat, drink and sleep. What we quickly learned that we liked was headed out and anchoring just off Duck Island. Spend the entire day there, watch the sunset and return as it was getting dark. End of a perfect day. After three weeks the free slip was needed and I pulled the boat from the water onto the trailer. It was fouled really badly. Took some acid, pressure washer and elbow grease to get it back to it's new shine. The glossy black of the lower unit now had little white adhesive marks speckling the surface after the barnacles were removed. Still have to figure if I can get em off. Anyway...

Now I'm looking for a lake that allows my boat and I decided to try Coventry Lake. It was October, was quiet and allowed me to practice taking the boat on and off the trailer. We found that as soon as you opened it up you were turning and I quickly got tired of going in circles. We anchored and did our usual relaxing. I then pictured the summer. The little parking lot filled, hundreds of people going in circles on the lake and figured it would be out of control mayhem. I looked back at the time we spent off duck island, the open water with room to breath and figured that's where we needed to be. But I still don't want to paint the bottom of the boat!

So I start thinking. I start looking at Marinas on the Connecticut river. My logic is that I can motor down to Chester or Deep River (fresh water) then take it down river out to long Island sound, spend the day in the salt water and by the time I get back to the marina, fresh water has washed the underside and has flushed the outdrive so I should be somewhat growth free.... I think.

Then I was looking at the added fuel to go up and down the river and the CT River Marinas are far from my home in the Windham area. I'm close to Interstate 395 and Niantic, Groton and Mystic are only about a half hour away. I then saw one Marina in that area offers something where they rent you a space in their lot, you leave the trailered boat there for the season. Drive to the marina, hook up your boat, use their private launch and at the end of the day trailer the boat back to your spot and park it in your space. They offer a water hose to rinse it down or wash it and I figure this will keep it from getting fouled, keep me from trailering it up and down 395 every weekend (I pull it with a Nissan Xterra and I'm not the most comfortable towing it) and it costs about half of a wet boat slip. So here are my questions.

1. Does anyone know of other Marinas in the Groton, Mystic, New London, Lyme areas that offer this leave the boat trailered service?

2. What are some pro's and con's that I may not be thinking about?

3. Will it prevent bad fouling?

4. Do any of you know of some other nice areas during the sumer to just get out of everyones way, and anchor to enjoy the day.

You have all been very helpful since I've become a member and I value your opinions.
Thanks, Dave
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Hi Smithbrother and Welcome!!

I boat in the New London, Ct. area. You have a couple of options:

1) Some Marina's offer a 'valet service' where they will launch your boat for you and they pull it when you're done. You can give "Boating on the Thames" a call http://www.boatingonthames.com/

They offer you to store your boat on your trailer. Call them ahead of time and tell them you want the boat launched. They use a crane to pick the boat off the trailer and place it in the water, then tie it to their concierge dock awaiting your arrival. When you arrive, you simply park, walk down the dock and take the boat out. when you're done, you tie the boat to the concierge dock and go home. They pull it and put it back on the trailer again.

2) Saltwater requires a bit more maintainance and can be harder on wear and tear. Proper maintenance will be the solution. So, the downside is more preventative maintenance and far more diligence.

3) The less time the boat stays in the water and teh more frequently it is pulled AND cleaned the less growth you have. I would flush the engine each time as well and would consider a closed cooling system for the engine. However if you flush the motor each time you pull it, closed cooling isn't really needed.

***You could also use white bottom paint on the hull and clear paint on the outdrive.


4) Places to 'get out of the way' in New England disappeared in the early 1800's. Everywhere will be busy, it is simply a matter of HOW busy.

If you come down to the general Thames River/Fisher's Island Sound area there are numerous places to anchor and hang out:

Flat Hammock
Ram's Island
Napatree Beach/Watch Hill
Another spot that I'd prefer not to mention online but would be happy to show you.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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I then saw one Marina in that area offers something where they rent you a space in their lot, you leave the trailered boat there for the season. Drive to the marina, hook up your boat, use their private launch and at the end of the day trailer the boat back to your spot and park it in your space. They offer a water hose to rinse it down or wash it and I figure this will keep it from getting fouled, keep me from trailering it up and down 395 every weekend (I pull it with a Nissan Xterra and I'm not the most comfortable towing it) and it costs about half of a wet boat slip.
Is exactly how Becky and I use our 2400 SC3, Dave, and for the same reason - keeps the bottom clean.

Our very first season of being new boaters we kept the boat at a marina (where we bought it) on the South River in Maryland, which offered a 20 minute ride out to the Chesapeake Bay. Marina was a bit run down, and they were trying to attract customers, so they offered the use of a slip for free whenever we wanted. I was hesitant to leave the boat in the slip - mostly due to my inexperience of tying it up properly but, after the first time leaving it in the water for a weekend then seeing the growth, I decided to pull it each time and store it on the trailer in their lot.

Although we really liked the geographical location - especially the easy access to the Bay, the drive was about an hour and the marina, though staffed by nice folks, was not what we had in mind. So for the next season (which was last season) we relocated the boat to a small creek on the Potomac River - about a 30 minute drive.

Regardless, the routine remains the same as the season before. Load up the honey-do truck with boat box, cooler(s), gigantic inflated tube if taking youngin's, food, towels, etc and drive to the marina. Hook trailer to boat, remove full boat cover, load and make boat ready, then splash it using the private ramp. Upon return, fetch truck, load boat, then move the whole mess to the wash down area. The hull and drive get fresh water and a good brushing with boat brush, and then the drive and engine get flushed. Each time, every time. The bimini gets folded down and the full cover goes back on. With the exception of the bottom of the skeg, the B3 drive on our 2004 model year boat still has it's original paint and still looks nearly brand new. Hull gets a little discolored but has zero growth on it.

For the most part we are pretty pleased with where we are, but we definately miss easy access to the Bay. Something about the salt in the air......

The routine isn't too bad, but is obviously more time and effort consuming than backing it into a slip, tying it up, unloading, and walking away. Depending on how late it is, how tired we are, how much crap we have, it takes us anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

Dan
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #4
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Thank you both for replying. Shrew I called the Boating on the Thames place and it seems like just what I wanted. For a modest price I can leave the boat there on the trailer and call the day before I want to use it. They will lift the boat into the water and have it at a slip waiting for me. When I'm done they will lift it back out of the water, hose it down, flush the outdrive and put it back on the trailer for me. The only worry I have is that all that lifting...every weekend will strain the boat. ant thoughts?
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:01 AM   #5
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They use a truss with lifting straps. It's lifted the same way as a travel lift. It won't cause any damage.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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Shrew, Have you been there or know them. The woman sounded pleasant on the phone and I told her I was going to swing by and check it out. I know it's winter but I got creeped out pretty bad. There is a house right there with some kid smoking on the porch watching me and then another came out of nowhere and was hanging out between the covered sailboats. I dunno lol
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:08 PM   #7
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LOL, it is a very very small yard. I kept my 2800 there on stands unlocked for 10 months without an incident. The wife and I have slept on the boat while it's in their yard many times without incident. I know Gregg and Janet from doing business with them and they are good people. I met Greg when he was the dockmaster at my current marina. I needed to do a repower over the winter the yard of my marina couldn't position the travel lift to use the attached crane to pick my motor. After speaking with Greg, I moved the boat up to Boating on the Thames where there was more space and we could use one of his two cranes to do the motor swap. The place used to be a boatyard and the headquarters for a dregeding company owned by Janet's late father. Gregg is Janet's brother-in-law. They all live along that road leading to the marina.
The small house is rental property that they own. Greg is also a long time race car and marine mechanic. "The kid" walking around the boats, sounds like Greg's son. The last I knew he was working there as well. If it wasn't Greg's son, it was a boat owner doing work on his boat. Many people bring their boats there to have work done. The yard almost ALWAYS has 1-2 people milling around doing a project of some sort.

A few things to think about:

* whether the kid between the boats was an owner doing work, or Greg's son. It sounds like he came out to see who the stranger was poking around the yard. That is how that place is. Eveyone watches out for everyone else.

* Do only what you feel comfortable doing

* I risk my own reputation (albeit an anonymous online persona) in making any recommendation.

* I would be hard pressed to find 'valet service' at that price with such close open ocean access.

* NEVER do anything you are not comfortable with


NOTE: These are neither family nor friends of mine. This is simply a company that I've done business with that I had ZERO problems with. The ONLY reason we haven't winter stored our boat there since is because our marina has 24 x 7 x 365 access to a heated clubhouse with a bathroom, showers, and a kitchen. At Boating on the Thames, the bathroom is in the office, which is locked whenever they are not in the yard. The wife wanted unrestricted access to a bathroom. (Obviously guys have a lot more flexibility).

I strongly urge you to take this with a grain of salt and only do what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #8
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There is a house right there with some kid smoking on the porch watching me and then another came out of nowhere and was hanging out between the covered sailboats.
Scenes from Deliverance running through my head. If you hear that particular banjo/guitar duo song, RUN!
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
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Choosing a marina or storage facility is definitely a personal thing. Gotta have the warm and fuzzys about it. I went through the same thing when we relocated our boat. One marina that I visited, which was highly recomended, turned out to be not at all what I had in mind. Call me snooty, but I wanted something a little more up-scale.

I did forget to mention the biggest down side to keeping the boat on the trailer instead of in a slip - you miss out on the social aspect of the marina. When you keep it on the trailer you pull the boat out of the water, do your clean up work, park it and go home so you don't get to many oppertunities to really meet people. The 2 or 3 times last season when we slipped and hung out on the boat at the end of the day we always struck up conversations with folks coming or going to their slipped boats. We invited several couples aboard for drinks and the same offer was extended to us.

So the idea arrangement, I think, is if you can find a facility that will allow you to use a slip every now and then for a small fee. Put in on Friday evening, pull and clean it on Sunday.

Dan
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #10
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Agreed, SS. The social aspect of a marina is fantastic. My wife complains that it takes me an hour to make it down the dock. LOL
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:01 AM   #11
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Just wanted to give an update. I checked around some more and went to the Niantic Bay Valet to look at what they offered. It's located right next to where the Mi Joy and other fishing charters leave from. It was a little strange. They have a huge robotic fork lift inside a huge warehouse. They store your boat on a rack which could be as high as a five story building. They then pluck it and the fork type crane carry's it out an opening of the warehouse surrounded by barb wire and they lower it into Niantic bay. The plus side was the indoor rack area. The downsides were the inside rack area was very damp, no place to work on your boat, very commercial and the surrounding area was pretty dirty. The major downside was the price. $70.00 a foot. I think for $1,500.00 I could do better. Anyway then went to Clinton Harborside marina. They have a regular forklift, sell high end boats and had very clean marina, showers, bathroom ect and would drop the boat in with an hours notice, let me use a slip for the weekend and pull it, rinse it and store it till the next weekend. The future wife felt very at ease so I booked them for the summer. Now all I need is nice weather.
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:10 PM   #12
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that's cool....we have outdoor storage where I am..there is a place down river that is inside storage with a huge forklift..they are limited on the size boat they can pickup...like you said..storage is rack...clean it outside...empty everything from the boat between weekends...clean but a pain in the butt..I can go to my boat anytime and toss it in the water within minutes....it will be ready to go with a call...

have a great summer!!

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