Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time to Move On

As you regular readers know, Pam and I love Isle of Hope Marina.  It's a great place with friendly staff and a beautiful setting.  It's also pricey. 

I didn't pay much attention to my first few bills here.  We were spending money like drunken sailors on our trip from Stamford until we finally wound up here in Savannah, $3,000 on average every month just on marina fees.   One of the reasons we decided to stay here was an attractive monthly rate.

So what happened?  Well, I noticed that my debit card was hit for $1,059 by the marina.  How could that be?  I went to the office and asked for a copy of my bill (for some strange reason, they mailed the original to my Florida mail forwarding service).  We have a 46 foot boat, but at Isle of Hope they charge on measured footage, not LOD (length on deck).  They measured us at 51 feet plus the Boston Whaler which is tucked in by the bow of the boat.   They also charged us $37.50 a person liveaboard fee, and $234 for one month's electricity.   I thought the electric bill was high since our A/C was broken for half the month.

I mentioned before that I'm writing an article for a magazine about living aboard in Georgia, which only allowed liveaboards beginning in January of 2012.  There are presently only five liveaboard marinas in the state.  We decided to visit the one in Brunswick on Sunday.  

Brunswick Landing Marina is near St. Simon's Island, Jeckyll Island, and Cumberland Island, the Golden Isles.  It's a nice part of Georgia.  Brunswick itself is a nice little town, although the Walmart/Target/Staples shopping malls outside of town has taken it's toll on it's beautiful downtown.   Half the storefronts are empty.   Of course, another way of looking at it is that half the storefronts are full.   Like many old downtowns, what's left are art galleries, antique shops, and such.   The old Ritz movie theater, for example, has been transformed into a home for the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association.

The marina itself is very nice, with slips instead of face docks.   This means we can take our boat out for trips, something that was difficult at Isle of Hope because it would involve moving several boats to do so.  The marina staff were very accomodating in doing this, but it required planning in advance.  Being retired, I don't want to plan, well, anything.

The cost?  $11 a foot, charged for LOD.  That's $506 instead of the $769.50, a savings of $263.50 a month.  There is no liveaboard fee, a savings for us of $112.50.  That's $376 a month.  I checked with the liveaboards at Brunswick and the cable TV and wifi works there, so I can cancel the Verizon hot spot we've been using for another $90 per month savings.  That's a total of $466, or $5,592 annually.  That's a big chunk of change for someone living on retirement savings.  I can afford to stay alive for another few years before I run out of money and have to live in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Brunswick Landing Marina is very nice, with a paved parking lot, landscaped grounds, and big fields for the dogs to run off leash.  There are two buildings, one at each end of the marina, that have lounges, libraries, FREE washers and dryers, and multiple showers in the heads.  It is also a hurricane hole and well protected.

So off we go at the end of June.  We'll take a couple of days to make the 90 miles to Brunswick, probably stopping at Sapelo Island.

Pam is very sad to be leaving her job at the Chatam Animal Hospital.  She loves it there.  Hopefully, she can find a job in Brunswick at another animal clinic with staff as hospitable.

Although we're leaving Isle of Hope, we still highly recommend it as a transient or liveaboard marina.  The marina staff are great, the docks the best we've stayed on, and Isle of Hope itself is beautiful.  If you need to liveaboard in Savannah, Isle of Hope Marina is the place to do it.


  1. That's a crazy electric bill. We never go over $200 even when we have the AC on? Is it metered? In most states it is illegal for them to charge over and above the actual cost for a utility

  2. Looking forward to some amazing pics from such a beautiful place! Is it time for a video of your trip south???

    1. I'll take plenty of pics and video on the way south, and being able to take our boat off the dock at Brunswick we'll be able to do some touring and show you guys the Golden Isles.

    2. For us landlubbers it's a treat to see these beautiful places Dave!

  3. Well, do you want to cruise or not? :)

    I look forward to new info and photos from the area you're headed, Dave.

    It's great sharing these costs.

    Savannah is a beauty, our son was just saying that last night. I really enjoyed your commentary from Savannah. The closer you are to popular cities, the more expensive it must get for boats, too.

  4. Whammo. Sorry for Pam and your happy status at Isle of Hope. Maybe those happy hours were gaining on you there.

    Me Mom was born in Brunswick GA and far flung relatives gathered there for a reunion in the 90s. (An aberration from life in the Adirondacks where she was conceived and after a year away, was raised).

    There are reasons these prompts move us from one place to another. Your mission now is to discover why you're meant to go to Brunswick. Onward! K.

  5. I think the presence of dogs makes dockside an imperative. It gets to difficult to dinghy to and from moorings three times a day and of course you need air conditioning and thereby a/c power down in Ga. Its as expensive as a land dwelling.

  6. It will be nice to hear about everything in Brunswick, It is time for a change. They are sure going to miss you guys at Isle of Hope. I thought it was crazy when AYB charged us a flat rate of $100.00 a month for electric. When metered, we have never paid that much. Knowing Pam, any vet would be lucky to have her.

  7. Brunswick is cool... That's Mel's hometown. We've tied up there before and it seems to be a very nice place for liveaboards.
    Hell, a little further south and you're in Fernandina. That would be a nice little weekend cruise for you guys. Neat old little town.
    234.00 for AC is a bite. That's almost as bad as the Bahamas.
    Mel has a cousin who's a vet, you may try them.
    Good luck and be careful running the inside ICW, it's skinny around there.

    1. Very cool, thanks Bob! But the vet Pam is working for now says she's not going anywhere and he's going to put a ball and chain on her.