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Old 04-03-2016, 10:37   #1
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First time ICW in Motoryacht

Hi all, new to this group but I'm hoping you "experienced" guys can help me out with a few questions.

I live aboard my Bertram 46.6 Motoryacht and have so for 6 years now. I currently live on the Chesapeake Bay and plan on following my dream of moving south to the keys, Marathon to be exact.

First off, I will be making the trip by myself (and the dog). She is a big boat but handles well but how much of a pain will it be going through the locks single handed? I understand it mostly depends on the winds and currents at the time, but how many of you have done it single handed in a motor yacht / Trawler? I read all about sailboaters doing it all the time but cannot seem to find anything on powerboats.

Second, I plan on leaving around mid April and staying the first few months in Boot Key Harbor on a mooring till I find a job and hopefully be able to move to a marina. So my question is how many of you have lived/stayed on a mooring in a boat similar to mine? I do not have solar panels only a genny but I do not plan on being inside all that much so I am not to worried about needed a lot of power. I will just run the genny here and there to keep battery levels up.

Third, The boat does not have holding tanks, only Lectra San systems and I understand I cannot use them in Florida. I do not want to go through the ordeal of installing holding tanks, so if I lockout the through halls and use a porta potty in place will that be compliant enough? I do not want to start a huge debate over this like I've seen on other threads, just curious what others have done in this situation.

I really appreciate any feed back and look forward to hearing what you guys have to say.
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:58   #2
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

I did it on my sail boat and I had no problems. Take your time and be careful with the lines as the water rises or falls.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:01   #3
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

You could probably find a person or two that would love to ride along with you, I believe you have enough room
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:07   #4
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

From the chesapeake to marathon there is only one very tame lock. If you can pull up to a side tie slip or fuel dock by yourself, you should have no problem with that lock
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:40   #5
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

The Lectra San is legal in florida.Its USCG approved.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:01   #6
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

The Lectra San may be legal to use but I don't believe it makes discharge legal in a no discharge zone like Boot Key or all Florida State waters for that matter. However, I'm pretty sure pump outs are included in your mooring fee there at Boot Key.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:32   #7
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Pump outs are mandatory and included in the mooring fee at boot key. Porta-potties are not legal in boot key. Fit a holding tank or don't come South. There are several ticket happy traps on the way.

Jobs are scarce in boot key. Everyone wants one.

Locks are no problem.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:41   #8
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Doing the ICW in a sailboat is easier because it is all on one level, thus, you can handle the lines when docking. However, we just got a trawler and the problem for single handing is that it's not that easy to get to the lines from the wheel either from inside or the bridge. It's for this reason we have not tried single handing. Fiberglass work is expensive.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:47   #9
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Depending on your draft you may want to go outside for runs like Miami to Marathon. Your port-a-potty may well cause issues, you would be best advised to install a holding tank. As others have noted pump outs will be included in your mooring fee. Your plan of living on the cheap is doable but the inconveniences, particularly water and power are significant.

Before you leave be aware of what we not so lovingly call the 'sunshine tax'. All jobs are hard to come by here and well paying jobs are super scarce. You will also need a hurricane plan, I suspect going into the local mango's is ruled out by your draft. I do not know if the city requires liability insurance for moored boats. If they don't, they should. That said, good luck with your plans.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:49   #10
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Lectra scan legal inFL except Boot Key and similar special areas.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:03   #11
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Have a look at the blog from our trip from Florida to Lake Ontario.

Our first time and it ends at Chesapeake City but we did get home.

ICW Trip.blogsopt.ca

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Old 05-03-2016, 10:15   #12
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

There is also a limited number of moorings for vessels over 45 feet.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:38   #13
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Sorry if my previous link failed so trying again.

ICWW Trip - Tampa Bay to Lake Ontario

Tampa bay to Lake Ontario

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Old 05-03-2016, 12:58   #14
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

I have a 46' Hatteras and I think you can do as long as the weather is some what cooperates. Hopefully you have a lower helm station. It's probably a 1200 or more mile trip. You can get some riders and the trip would be easier. If you take about a month to make the trip, you can enjoy it. I always needed to make a 100 miles a day because of job constraints. If you do that you will be whipped when you get there. Have plenty of insect repellent on board.
Definitely get Captain Bob's publications. Best money you can spend. I use "post it " notes as markers on my paper charts.
Read all you can and scour the Internet.
I think you would have better luck in Ft Lauderdale making money but you'll be blown away how little they pay.
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Old 05-03-2016, 13:09   #15
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Re: First time ICW in Motoryacht

Gave you the wrong name. SKIPPER BOB'S is the correct name. Get both the anchoring and Marinas guides. The marinas has the best fuel prices on the ICW and the prices really vary.. You'll save enough on fuel on one fill up to more than pay for the publications.
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