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By No owner — last modified Jun 22, 2018 11:52 AM

 USA - East Coast

East Coast

The East Coast of the United States is celebrated as one continuous coastline with more variety than almost anywhere else in the world. Where the Northeast States (New England) will be reminiscent of cruising in the British Isles with huge tidal ranges and rocky shores, the Southern States (Georgia and the Carolinas) are tidal estuaries with flood plains, pristine white beaches and long stretches of abandoned inland waterways.

Whilst the entire coast is dotted with densely populated areas, a few stand out as more "cruising friendly" maritime centres – particularly where repairs and refitting is concerned. Other than the southeast coast of Florida (Miami or Ft.Lauderdale), the Chesapeake Bay hosts numerous options for all things nautical. The whole of New England has a prominent maritime history, though some areas may be more geared towards working fishermen rather than pleasure yachts.

Intracoastal Waterway of the United States

Much of the entire Eastern Seaboard is serviced by the Intracoastal Waterway, a well-established system of inland rivers and canals, that run from Brownsville, Texas, (on the border with Mexico) to the Hudson River (New York City).

Noonsite's Introduction to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Great Loop.

Salty Southeast Cruisers Net
www.cruisersnet.net

A comprehensive site that covers all the most up to date information on the Intercoastal Waterway. You'll find information on fuel prices, marinas, anchorages, navigation alerts etc., all broken down by state or waterway.

Annapolis *

Baltimore *

Bar Harbor *

Boothbay

Boston *

Brunswick (Georgia) *

Cape Cod

Charleston *

Chesapeake Bay

Hampton (Virginia)

Hilton Head (South Carolina)

Martha's Vineyard

Mystic (CT)

Nantucket

New York *

Newport (Rhode Island) *

Norfolk (Virginia) *

Philadelphia *

Portland (Maine) *

Portsmouth (New Hampshire) *

Portsmouth (Virginia)

Savannah (Georgia) *

Southwest Harbor (Mount Desert Island)

* indicates port of entry

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 11, 2018 09:10 AM

Reported by Joan Conover (SSCA):

All Florida boatyards are full up with boat repairs..we cant find anyone to work on our boat (cutless bearing). Marathon Marina is open, they can haul us..but no one available to WORK on the boat except one yard which has a very iffy reputation. Same for Key West..and also here in West Palm Beach which we diverted to. We whined our way to getting our jib repaired using a sailmaker who Donna Lange is a close friend with..she is here and has given us ideas of who to ask for work.

LOTS of boats heading to the Med on freighters..and at least five large yachts jus scrubbed their winter season (didn't know where to go...in the Caribbean) and SAT at the dock here in West Palm Beach. So the boats are either south near Grenada..docked in Florida/East Coast USA..or on freighters heading to the Med. The boats were just coming in and loading out of Crown Bay/IGY Marina in St. Thomas. Think it will be a big Med season coming up.

Of course the LOOP may be another cruising choice for boaters..or the Western Gulf of Mexico/Florida..depending on the storms this season.

bobnlesley
bobnlesley says:
Jun 29, 2016 10:02 PM

Regarding Cruising Licences/Permits, specifically with regard to the cancelling/surrendering of one permit to enable a new one to be obtained when returning to the USA within the same twelve months, we had an enlightening conversation with the CPB Officer in St Augustine earlier this week; the key point being that whilst a Cruising Permit cannot exceed twelve months, it does not have to witten for a full twelve months; you can ask for a shorter period. We got one issued which is dated to expire in a little over eight months (when we know that we'll be outside of the USA) and if we do then return here for the next hurricane season too, we will be eligible for a new one when we return. Apparently he issues many of these sub-twelve month licences to the Canadian yachts which spend each winter in the Bahamas and wish to return to the USA, on or around the same date each year, rather than have their 'earliest return' date pushed out by fifteen days each time.

Richard Farrington
Richard Farrington says:
Jun 19, 2018 11:50 PM

We arrived in Key West from Havana in June 2018. We had no problems at all. We had US Visas issued in London and obtained our US Cruising Permit in Culebra, Spanish Virgin Islands. Aware of some scuttlebut, I rang the CPB office in Key West before arriving in Cuba. The officer told me that as a British registered boat with British nationals onboard, they could not care less where we arrived from, so long as we met US entry requirements. We were not breaking any British laws by visiting Cuba, so the UA authorities were delighted to see us. They were very helpful, very cheerful and set the tone for an excellent stay in Key West.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Nov 24, 2015 09:00 AM

Posted on behalf of Andrew Smyth
I saw that some people had problems arriving in Key West from Havana. The best advice, which we followed, was to head on up to West Palm Beach and enter the US there. The customs and immigration have a big office which services the cruise liners close to the marinas. They weren’t the friendliest, but they didn’t question our arrival from Cuba.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 19, 2015 11:57 AM

Where to winter on board in Alaska - great article by SY Salty Kisses.
http://saltykisses.net/where-to-winter-on-board-in-alaska/

LouiseJohnson
LouiseJohnson says:
Jul 09, 2015 03:09 PM

Info for any non-US sailors wishing to maximise their 12-month US cruising licence, we 'surrendered' the licence provided whilst cruising USVI's, Spanish VI's and Puerto Rico mainland (we surrendered at Mayaguez, west coast PR), sailed onto the Bahamas for a few weeks, then were able to obtain a fresh 12-month cruising licence on making landfall in Charleston, South Carolina. We were aware that award of the full 12-months licence is at the CBP Officers discretion, but we were never made to feel that the full 12-months was not likely. Interesting to note that in Charleston they were very aware that we'd surrendered our earlier licence in PR, so the computer tracking system certainly works.
And with regard to calling in to report change of location, we were initially told to do this whenever we change location of towns (one bay to the next was unnecessary), but after reporting assiduously through South Caroline, once in North Carolina we were told not to report until we reach the next State, and now on arrival in Virginia, were told the same - maybe once you've built up a track record of reporting, you're no longer considered such a risk... Anyhow, we've never felt any less than fully welcomed wherever we've been so far!

Wayne
Wayne says:
Jul 06, 2015 08:30 AM

A 'heads up' for any 'third country nationals' planning on visiting the US (including Hawaii) from Mexico. I have just been through a protracted email exchange with the US Embassy in Mexico, trying to clarify the situation about me, as an Australian, applying for a B1/B2 visitor visa so that I could call in at Hawaii on my way home. The US State Department web site says that I CAN apply in Mexico. The US Embassy (Mexico) web site says that I CANNOT. Tho outcome of the email exchange is that the embassy insists that I becasue I am not resident in Mexico I cannot apply here, and it is therefore illegal for me to call at Hawaii. The embassy advised me to "apply in Australia", even after I reminded them that I am already in Mexico. Sure, why not?

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 25, 2015 10:57 AM

The above cruising boat is Dutch. We are currently waiting on an official reply from the authorities in Key West to clarify the exact rules re. cruising between Cuba and Key West.

Ron Heyselaar
Ron Heyselaar says:
May 23, 2015 10:14 PM

A little correction on the above. After sailed from Havana to Key West and called the toll free number in the US, we were kindly told that we were in violation of the US law. The Cruising License was cancelled by the Key West CBP officer in charge. All very friendly but not helpful. Obviously, we should have known that we might end up in trouble. We will need to leave the country and, upon entry of the US, reapply for the Cruising License. The main issue is that, for now, it is illegal to sail directly to and from Cuba to the USA. Key West station is strictly enforcing this particular law with NO leeway.

Ron Heyselaar
Ron Heyselaar says:
Mar 28, 2015 09:48 PM

We found the official process to clear into the US extremely easy and straightforward. We sailed into Ensenada Honda in Culebra Spanish Virgin Iands (part of Puerto Rico) and cleared at the airport. You have to call the toll free number first to register your arrival before you are allowed to come onshore and visit the CBP official. After the usual paperwork (US loves paperwork) we were issued a one year cruising permit for free and a six month period to remain in the US. For the latter we were charged USD 19. Although leaving US waters (visit to Cuba) there is no need to fill out new paperwork once we arrive in Key West. As for all foreign vessels we will need to call the toll free number of CBP in KW to notify our arrival. It is required to call in every time one arrives in a new CBP area. Toll free numbers on the CBP website. As said, all straightforward and quick.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 08, 2014 08:18 PM

A Summer Wilderness Cruise in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
Read this great report by SY Seal (August 2014) at SAIL Magazine.
http://www.sailmagazine.com/cruising-grounds/summer-wilderness-cruise-prince-william-sound

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 14, 2014 09:46 PM

Posted on behalf of Ann Lange
This is for Canadian cruisers wanting to enter the U.S. from the Caribbean. We sailed up from Brazil - Trinidad - north through the Caribbean to BVI's. We had no problems what so ever getting into the USVI's, just the normal paper work. We asked if we could purchase a U.S. cruising permit in the USVI's, the answer was no but we could obtain it in Puerto Rico. We sailed into San Juan without phoning or anything and once we found the Customs and Border Protection office on the south side of the main harbour they issued us a one year cruising permit. It cost us $37.00 USD in April of 2014, this allows us to cruise anywhere in the U.S. including any protectorates. We found this process very simple and easy compared with all the rumours we had heard.

USA
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Cape Cod
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USA: Anchoring Restrictions Proposed from Maryland to Florida  (28 Jun 2011)

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Warning About GPS Unreliability in US Waters  (23 Jan 2011)

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Update Regarding the Issuing of US Recreational Vessel Documents  (19 Dec 2010)

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Sailor drowned, two lost for 12 days, no EPIRB   (02 Dec 2010)

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USA: North Carolina Coast - Update to No Discharge Regulation  (08 May 2010)

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New Anchoring Restrictions for Florida  (08 Mar 2010)

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New Florida Boating Education Law Started January 1st  (07 Jan 2010)

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Yacht dismasted by one ship, saved by another  (29 Oct 2009)

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Anchoring in Florida, USA  (07 Oct 2009)

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American Visa Application  (15 Jan 2009)

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FBI Maritime Liaison Agents assisting US Sailors Internationally  (18 Dec 2008)

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New Weather Website Launched by NOAA  (06 Nov 2008)

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USA Customs & Border Control – Issue of Cruising Permit Decals  (30 Oct 2008)

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FLORIDA – Skipper arrested for Anchoring for more than 10 days  (26 Jun 2008)

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US Coast Guard Announces Decision to Continue HF Weather Broadcasts  (29 Feb 2008)

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DYT Announces New Routes and Voyages  (12 Dec 2007)

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French Yacht Completes First Polar Circumnavigation  (01 Oct 2003)