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Old 07-09-2016, 16:16   #1
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First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

I own a Four Winns twin turbo-diesel 44 foot express cruiser with close to a five foot draft. My boat has dual screen Raymarine radar, chartplotter, depth sounder, autopilot ... I have experience cruising offshore to/from/in the Bahamas/Florida and plan to do my first cruise with a friend in the ICW from FtL to NY around the end of February. I would only be underway during daytime and can cover more than 200 miles between fuel stops at 20-22kts.

All bits of advice from those who have made this trip on the best places to stop at, best guides to get, prep work, marinas, fuel stops and so on are much appreciated - I have heard that there are some potentially dangerous shallow areas? How many days should this trip take? What speed can I cruise the waterway at - 20ish kts possible? Is end of Feb early March a good time?

If anyone out there has done the trip lately and has a list of stops etc that would be fabulous too much to ask
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Old 07-09-2016, 19:25   #2
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

That, to me, seems a bit early to head north at a 200nm per day. You will run into some freezing weather I would think.

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Old 07-09-2016, 21:01   #3
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

Take a look at http://www.activecaptain.com
Lots great info on ICW stops.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:14   #4
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
That, to me, seems a bit early to head north at a 200nm per day. You will run into some freezing weather I would think.

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Would early March be a good time to begin then?
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:16   #5
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

Thanks I will check it out.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:21   #6
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

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Originally Posted by Aquadome View Post
I own a Four Winns twin turbo-diesel 44 foot express cruiser with close to a five foot draft. My boat has dual screen Raymarine radar, chartplotter, depth sounder, autopilot ... I have experience cruising offshore to/from/in the Bahamas/Florida and plan to do my first cruise with a friend in the ICW from FtL to NY around the end of February. I would only be underway during daytime and can cover more than 200 miles between fuel stops at 20-22kts.

All bits of advice from those who have made this trip on the best places to stop at, best guides to get, prep work, marinas, fuel stops and so on are much appreciated - I have heard that there are some potentially dangerous shallow areas? How many days should this trip take? What speed can I cruise the waterway at - 20ish kts possible? Is end of Feb early March a good time?

If anyone out there has done the trip lately and has a list of stops etc that would be fabulous too much to ask
I would buy the Waterway Guides Waterway Guide | cruising guide, fuel pricing, navigation alerts and news for boaters and yacht enthusiasts Buy them now so you can study them and plan your trip and places you might want to stop.

You will need four for your trip. With a five foot draft, you will have to watch the tides, especially in parts of New Jersey and you may only be able to travel at mid or higher tide.

20 knots is impossible in many places because of speed zones or shallow water. Hitting a sand bar at 20 knots will spoil your day. Seven knots, not so much.

Traveling at 20 knots, you will miss much of what many of us travel the ICW for; the scenery, the wildlife, etc. You might as well go out in the ocean or put the boat on a trailer and tow it.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:02   #7
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

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I would buy the Waterway Guides Waterway Guide | cruising guide, fuel pricing, navigation alerts and news for boaters and yacht enthusiasts Buy them now so you can study them and plan your trip and places you might want to stop.

You will need four for your trip. With a five foot draft, you will have to watch the tides, especially in parts of New Jersey and you may only be able to travel at mid or higher tide.

20 knots is impossible in many places because of speed zones or shallow water. Hitting a sand bar at 20 knots will spoil your day. Seven knots, not so much.

Traveling at 20 knots, you will miss much of what many of us travel the ICW for; the scenery, the wildlife, etc. You might as well go out in the ocean or put the boat on a trailer and tow it.
Thanks bunches for your advise. What speed do you recommend and how many days would you set aside to do the trip? With the exception of New Jersey are the depths pretty good for me? With NJ shallow water depths would you recommend going offshore for that 120 mile segment to get to NY?

I looked at the Waterway site and couldn't find anything from NY to Cape May (is there one) - you suggested 4 books which ones have I missed from the following list?


Anchorages Along the Intracoastal Waterway
Marinas Along the Intracoastal Waterway
Atlantic ICW 2016 Edition
Chesapeake Bay 2016 Edition


Thanks again
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:55   #8
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

Not to be negative but some things you should think about. Running 20 kts with 5' draft greatly increases the potential damage from grounding. If you really want to run at that speed consider running offshore where you do not need to plan around tides. Also it is an awful boating season. At best it will be cold and winter storms are not fun. Best of luck with your plans.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:02   #9
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

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Not to be negative but some things you should think about. Running 20 kts with 5' draft greatly increases the potential damage from grounding. If you really want to run at that speed consider running offshore where you do not need to plan around tides. Also it is an awful boating season. At best it will be cold and winter storms are not fun. Best of luck with your plans.
I can go slower so what speed do you recommend? How about the month of March?
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:22   #10
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

Hi, I have never travelled in this particular waterway, hope to in the future. Here on Georgian Bay we have many narrow channels to power through.

You could base your speed upon 3 factors.

1. safety (considering how complex the immediate navigation will be) and tide information as others have pointed out.
2. speed limits
3. compromise between least wake and ideal mileage rpm.

Your trip will take longer, but you will enjoy a great deal more.

Hope this helps - have fun.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:30   #11
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

Would you go to the New Jersey coast for a vacation in March?

If not and if the trip is for pleasure delay until you would go on vacation.

My guess is if you plan on an average of 35 miles per day (sounds slow but not if you stay a day or two in towns on route) you could set out late March and arrive in May.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:35   #12
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

You need to research your route carefully. There are some areas (Carolinas, NJ for example) where the chart depths are questionable. You need to plan for the tides and when in doubt, throttle back to 5 or 10 kts. Each night talk to the locals and plan accordingly. As for season March is better than February but April is better yet. Absent outside time concerns I would go in May.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:45   #13
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

I sailed from Lauderdale to Annapolis in March, all on the outside, 24/7. 5 days, 8 hours.
Daylight is limited. You don't want to be running the ICW at night. If you throttle back to 15 knots, your range should increase significantly. I'd consider jumping outside, especially early in the trip, weather permitting. Jacksonville is about 225 miles. from there Charleston, Cape Fear, then inside to Norfolk. Up the Chesapeake, C+D Canal to Cape May, outside home. Stay inside if wind in from the North. Dress warm!
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:57   #14
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

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Originally Posted by Aquadome View Post
Thanks bunches for your advise. What speed do you recommend and how many days would you set aside to do the trip? With the exception of New Jersey are the depths pretty good for me? With NJ shallow water depths would you recommend going offshore for that 120 mile segment to get to NY?

I looked at the Waterway site and couldn't find anything from NY to Cape May (is there one) - you suggested 4 books which ones have I missed from the following list?


Anchorages Along the Intracoastal Waterway
Marinas Along the Intracoastal Waterway
Atlantic ICW 2016 Edition
Chesapeake Bay 2016 Edition



===

February is way too early to be going north. You will find very few marinas open at that time of year and you'd have to plan way ahead for fuel stops and overnight dockage. Did I also mention that it will be cold and windy much of the time? Once you get north of Georgia you will be in winter conditions for the rest of the trip. My advice would be to leave Florida no earlier than mid to late April.

In any case you will need to run the New Jersey coast outside because the NJ ICW is badly shoaled. The only all-weather, safe inlet north of Cape May is Atlantic City. At the north end of the NJ coast I'd recommend the Atlantic Highlands Municipal marina for both fuel and an overnight stop. In Chesapeake Bay the Anchorage Marina in Baltimore inner harbor is a good stop.

Be aware that there are many no-wake zones in the ICW. That combined with the short winter daylight hours will cut into your daily miles made good number.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:58   #15
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Re: First time cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Long Island NY via ICW

When was the last time you were in the north part of the county even in March. Spring starts March 21st. Summer June 21st.

To have pleasant weather May 1st would be best. April 1st is doable as you will have 70% nice days. In March I would say you would get only 50% nice days.

And not to discourage your early start but Memorial Day seems to be the day many pools open.

I lived at the 40th parallel and was an early boating starter in April. But only on nice 65 degree sunny days. Once in awhile in April I would hit a 70 sunny day.

If you got cloudy weather in March and April you will be cold.

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