Navigation and Weather Sites
Marinas and Boatyards
- Formerly Matthews Point Marina, now Bishop's Marina at Matthews Point.
- A new boatyard in Belhaven, TJ's Marina and Boatyard.
- Three well-regarded boatyards in the area are Sailcraft Service and Deaton Yacht Service in Oriental and Bock Marine on the ICW at Core Creek.
- Hurricane Boatyard is located on the Bay River.
- The Oriental Inn & Marina includes fuel and dockage plus a hotel and restaurant.
- Another Oriental marina with lots of amenities is Pecan Grove Marina
- Oriental Harbor Marina is conveniently located just inside the breakwater.
- The Whittaker Creek side of Oriental can boast two marinas - Whittaker Creek and Whittaker Pointe.
- There are a couple of marinas in the Lower Broad Creek area, Ensign Harbor and River Dunes.
- Another marina far up Lower Broad Creek is Boone Docks Marina.
- Up the river toward New Bern is Northwest Creek Marina.
- The big boat marina is Morehead City Yacht Basin, which can accommodate boats to 125 feet. Nearby is Jarrett Bay Boatyard, with a 220 ton lift capacity.
- The municipality of Morehead City has a nice transient facility. Portside Marina is another downtown Morehead City facility.
- Here's the link for Blackbeard Sailing Club on Upper Broad Creek just downriver from New Bern.
- Little Washington provides free docking to transients in the heart of downtown, as well as a full-service marina.
- Mariner's Wharf is Elizabeth City's public dock, offering 17 transient slips free for 48 hour stays. During the spring, summer and fall, Mariner's Wharf is crowded with boats from all over the world, drawn by the fabled Dismal Swamp Canal passage.
- The town of Manteo has a nice facility that offers free docking without services, or a full-service marina.
- Here is the comprehensive list of free docks along the ICW.
Sailing Services and Supplies
- Fair Wind Fasteners sells silicon bronze screws, bolts and nails for wooden boat building and caprails.
- Pelagic builds highly-regarded tiller pilots. I'm saving my quarters. It's going to take a long time.
- Three highly-regarded anchors are Rocna, Manson and Fortress. Anchor choice is like religion or politics, a subject that seemingly cannot be discussed with civility, but here is one well-moderated thead - The SPADE Anchor at Morgan's Cloud.
- If you have an Atomic 4 engine, Moyer Marine is a vital site. If you don't, it is still a great site to visit with interesting and informative sailing forums.
- Well-regarded custom sailmaker for new sails or repairs, Omar Sails of Beaufort.
- Looking for an oil lamp or kerosene lantern for those nights when you can't hook up to the shore power? Here is the source for quality lamps and lanterns.
- Wood Stoves for your boat.
- New sails are expensive. Atlantic Sail Traders sells used ones. As does Minney Yacht Surplus. And Second Wind Sails.
- Many sailors are moving away from retention heads to composting ones. Three suppliers are Air Head, Nature's Head, and C-Head.
- Great place to buy rope. I like Samson Stable Braid, which is similar to Samson Trophy Braid, but stronger, cheaper, and without the soft, fuzzy cover that is so important to J. Geils fans and soft-handed weekend sailors. Gap Arborist Supply.
- Trailer sailors might be interested in a Viking Steel Structures metal shed. Click here for a short article on why you should keep your trailer sailor, dinghy or fishing boat under cover.
- The C&C 36 Invader was from the same era as my Alberg. Only 24 were built, but it launched C&C on a course that would see it become the biggest boatbuilder in Canada.
- Atkin style heavy displacement, full keel boats are well-suited for bluewater sailing. The Ingrid 38 was designed in the mid 1930s and a few were built at the time, but they really got started in 1971 when the first fiberglass ones were built. About 140 were built before production ceased in 1985. A close derivative, the Alajuela 38, was built from 1977 to 1985.
- The Hampton One-Design was commissioned by the Hampton Yacht Club in 1934. 500 of these light-air centerboard dinghies were built in wood by the designer Vincent Sergio, and an additional 400 have been built in fiberglass since 1961. It's still an active class on the Chesapeake.
- The Nicholson 32 Association website has lots of information about these classic seaworthy English sloops - tiller-steered, full keel - what less would you expect?
- A link to a Blue Water Boats review of the Hallberg Rassy Monsun, a seaworthy, full-keel, tiller-steered 31 foot beauty built to the highest standards.
- The Contessa 32 has a reputation as one of the most seaworthy small craft ever designed. It's also beautiful, and tiller-steered.
- Classic plastic from the 1960s and early 1970s. Luders 33 Association.
- Here is a site dedicated to the Pearson 424. .
- Here is a link to an informative site about the well-regarded CSY yachts.
- A group of Columbia enthusiasts have put together this nice site with information on the long and varied history of the make.
- Here is a site devoted to the Whitby and Brewer cruising boats designed by noted naval architect Ted Brewer.
- The Robert Harris designed Vancouver line has a stellar reputation for being solid blue-water boats. Here is a review of the Vancouver 36.
- A friend who owns a perfectly good Cabo Rico recently expressed a desire to buy a Morris. This is a maker I had completely forgotten about, but they built a series of pocket blue-water boats back in the 1980s, the Annie, the Leigh and the Frances. These were C.W. Paine designs and were much desired at the time and still in demand on the used market. Turns out Morris is still building state of the art blue-water boats, but now in the 40 to 52 foot range, at prices approaching and exceeding $1 million. Here is the website for Morris Yachts for the well-heeled, or just curious, reader. Designer Chuck Paine is still working. Check out his blog, The View from the Helm.
- Caliber Yachts builds fine bluewater boats.
- The little 20 foot Flicka has excercised influence on yacht design far out of proportion to its size.
- Arguably the greatest American designer was John Alden. He drew over 1,000 designs, from small catboats to big ocean-going schooners. A contender for the title would be Nathaniel Herreshoff, designer and builder of a great line of America's Cup defenders.
- Carl Alberg designed many of the classic boats of the 1960s and 1970s. This link is a good place to start if you want to learn about the man and his work.
- Want to build your own boat? A good place to start would be noted naval architect Teb Brewer' website.
- Matthews Point Marina had the privilege of hosting Tally Ho!, a classic William Atkin design built in 1931. The boat had been in Minnesott for a new Beta engine, which died not long after Tally Ho left the yard. The wind had shifted around to the south and blown the water out of the Neuse, and Tally Ho couldn't get back in Minnesott. The owners brought her in Matthews Point and swapped out the engine on the long dock.
- Build a tender for your boat. Chesapeake Light Craft has kits and plans for kayaks, canoes, skiffs and small boats of all types.
- The Cape Dory Owners Association has an active and informative board.
- Southern Cross rode the Westsail craze for a while, with heavily built, seaworthy kit boats.
- Another heavy displacement, seaworthy line - Cape George Cutters.
- I've always thought it would be fun to run the ICW down to Florida in a Parker. Some models are small and easily driven enough for this to be economical, and they would be ideal for exploring the side creeks and bays along the way. Parker Boats are built at a plant on Highway 101 between the ICW crossing and Beaufort.
Listings and Brokers
Sailing Websites, Ebooks and Blogs
- Dedicated to trawlers and the cruising life, Passagemaker Magazine has a nice website with boat reviews and how-to articles.
- Website of the Cruising Club of America. Lots of information and articles, plus links to the Club's magzine, Voyages.
- My favorite sailing podcast, Ran Sailing.
- John Stone bluewater sails his Cape Dory 36 Far Reach between Beaufort Inlet and the eastern Caribbean. He has two websites. The first documents the multi-year restoration and upfitting of his boat, the second his voyages and ongoing boat modifications.
- Cruise of the White Seal is the website of my friend Charlie Langworthy. As of summer 2019 he was back home but the record of his travels is still available at the website.
- Compass Marine's excellent collection of how-to articles on boat maintenance.
- Hi Flite is the Pearson 424 of Matthews Point liveaboards Dale and Cori.
- A Yarmouth 23 tours the Caribbean. Fantastic photographs of exotic locales.
- Joel's Navigator Site. Joel sails his Welsford Navigator in the Pacific Northwest.
- Southwinds Magazine back issues from 2003-2020 can be read online.
- Spartina is a tiny, open-decked, wooden yawl. The logs of her cruises in the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina sounds have kept me enthralled for hours.
- Yacht Broker Richard Jordan has an interesting section on his website with reviews of boats new and old, based in many cases on his delivery experiences.
- Mick and Bee cruise the world on a ferro-cement Archer design gaff-rigger. Their web site is called Not all who wander...are lost. I saw their beautiful boat, Hannah , in Beaufort, SC a couple of years ago.
- A good reference site for the cruiser is Morgan's Cloud. This site has a ton of different pages detailing "best practices" as worked out by the highly experienced authors and contributors.
- Lots of long distance cruisers swear by the Skipper Bob guide books.
- A great favorite of Matthews Point people is Gigi and Vic's sailing blog, Gigi's Island Days.
- Drake's Youtube Videos. They're not slick and professional, but they are absolutely honest and realistic.
- Claiborne Young's Salty Southeast Cruiser's Net is the place to go for up-to-date information on sailing the Pamlico (and the whole southeast, for that matter.
Restaurants, Bakeries and Pubs
Sailing and Related Museums
- Sea History Magazine, published by the National Maritime Historical Society.
- The North Carolina Estuarium is located in Washington, NC.
- Duluth Shipping News. Interesting site about Great Lakes shipping. It hasn't updated in a few years, but still worth a look.
- The North Carolina Estuarium is located in Washington, NC.
- North Carolina has three fine aquariums, in Ocracoke, Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher.
- The acknowledged master of marine photography, Beken of Cowes offers stunning contemporary and classic sailing images.
- My father graduated from high school in the middle of World War II and immediately enlisted in the Merchant Marine. Here is a page about his first ship, the Wood Lake.
- A couple of great magazines for the sailor, Good Old Boat and WoodenBoat. Both these magazines are available in either paper or digital format.
- Harbor Cam at TownDock.net. Maybe the coolest feature of a very cool website.
- Amazing photos of transportation disasters, Countryman & McDaniel's Gallery of Cargo Loss. Ship happens!
- There is plenty to do in New Bern, and it's a sail-in destination.
- Just one section of an extensive website devoted to the locale of Rhiw in Wales, a huge collection of ship photographs.
- Another good ship photograph site.
- With two summer camps along the river, Camp Seagull and Camp Don Lee, there are usually schools of sunfish and sailfish to watch.
- Connecting the Neuse and Newport Rivers is the 20 mile Neusiok Trail.
- This site lists some more hiking opportunities in the region. Here is a brochure for one of my favorites, the Hoop Pole Creek Trail.
- Salt Water Fly Fishing is the specialty of Gary Dubiel, who guides out of Oriental.
- Montfort Point Marine Museum, on the Camp Johnson base in Jacksonville, is a little-known museum dedicated to the story of the first black marines and their World War II service.
- My woodworking website.
- And another, Ferries, Freighters and Barge Tows
Check back - I add links frequently.