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Old 02-03-2016, 10:55   #16
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

We did it a year and a half ago with a 6' draft and 64.5' stick. Only touched the bottom once and that was because my dad who was driving at the time got a little too close to the bank to give me a better casting position for fishing. We popped out and continued on the outside after Southport NC. Just keep an eye out on what other boats are doing and ask what their depth sounder is reading. Avoided several potential groundings this way. Don't expect any help from a boat called Shorn Lamb though.

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Old 02-03-2016, 11:22   #17
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

That trip sounds like fun and should be very picturesque.
I live about a stones throw from the Erie canal on Lake Ontario, been here about thirty years and spend a good chunk of the summer on the lake and canal. To see a boat such as yours is quite a rarity, yet they do pass once in a while. Last summer I saw a boat of about 40' with a mast in a crutch pass by Spencerport so.. The canal can be shallow in spots and heavy debris like trees and whathaveyou is spotted once in a while so be careful there. There are some low non lifting bridges and some lift bridges are only manned during the daylight working hours. The canal crosses the Genessee River at Rochester which has its own debris and low water hazards. The Army corp cleans out the waterways every spring but....Local traffic around the locks can be quite busy especially around holidays and weekends, making for some waits.
Right now the canal is empty of water for the winter and you can see that the sides are quite silted making the center passage bowl shaped.
Enjoy your trip, be careful.
If you have specific questions about this local leg, feel free to ask.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:49   #18
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

As many mentioned, you'll have sections that must be taken on mid tide and higher.

To get recent information on shoals, which channel marker to hug, missing markers, cautions on various cuts/inlets, etc., I suggest: Get a loptop, spend $50 on Polar Navy Nav software, download free NOAA charts AND load the free Active Captain Points Of Interests. Active Captain gives you the local knowledge to avoid most of the bumps along the way, as well as parks, marinas and anchorages, all overlaid right on the chart as you beebop along. Or use a tablet and other Nav SW that supports Active Captain's POIs.
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:14   #19
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

Thanks folks for all your "local knowledge" about the depths of channels that make up the ICW. I have a few nav apps on my IPad that include "Active Captian". I've been drilling down into areas on the ICW and have found the comments there very enlightening. As you all say. It's doable but with caution. Owing outside on nice weather windows is definitely a bonus and we'll be doing that when and if able.

Thanks again for all your assistance!
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Old 02-03-2016, 14:52   #20
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

There are areas where it can be during times of low water. This can happen when rain fall has been less than average, wind causes water to be below datum or areas prone to shoaling. You need to pay attention to local conditions and the notice to mariners. The ICW is not well maintained in many areas.
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Old 02-03-2016, 15:40   #21
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

I've done Brunswick to Morehead City both ways on the ICW with two different boats one with 6 foot draft and one with 5.5 and 58 and 63 air-draft. If you watch the tides it's ok. The bad areas have already been mentioned. However I am lazy and much prefer the outside for Ga. SC, and NC. I have sailed the outside twice and break it up into overnights as best I can. Brunswick to Charlestown or George town light house and on to Wrightsville or Beaufort entrance, usually the later. I've never done the ICW North of Beaufort I go outside. Overnight to Norfolk. If you go inside call Camp LeJuene to check for ICW closures. It can mess up you whole day.
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Old 02-03-2016, 16:10   #22
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

We did the Erie Canal last spring, as far as Oswego, with our 45 footer, but only 5' draft. There are a couple of shallow spots where streams enter the canal and the dredging has not been done for awhile. You should be OK but might have to push through occasionally (no tide to use!).
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Old 03-03-2016, 17:59   #23
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
We did the Erie Canal last spring, as far as Oswego, with our 45 footer, but only 5' draft. There are a couple of shallow spots where streams enter the canal and the dredging has not been done for awhile. You should be OK but might have to push through occasionally (no tide to use!).

We hope to make Newfoundland this summer via the Erie Canal. Back to our home port. 33'er with 5'4" draft. I'm a bit shocked to hear reports of such shallow spots. Surly not what is reported on the officiwl canal site. Am I missing something?

Any clarification would be appreciated.

About the Canal Corporation - New York State Canals

Bridge Clearances & Channel Depths
Erie Canal
Waterford to Three Rivers - Bridge Clearance = 21 feet / Channel Depth = 14 feet
Three Rivers to Cayuga-Seneca Junction - Bridge Clearance = 19 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Cayuga-Seneca Junction to Tonawanda - Bridge Clearance = 15.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Oswego Canal - Bridge Clearance = 21 feet / Channel Depth = 14 feet
Champlain Canal - Bridge Clearance = 17 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
Cayuga-Seneca Canal - Bridge Clearance = 16.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
to Cayuga Lake - Bridge Clearance = 16.5 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
to Seneca Lake - Bridge Clearance = 16 feet / Channel Depth = 12 feet
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Old 03-03-2016, 18:04   #24
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

We have some friends who buddy boated to Florida from the Chesapeake this past fall. The "buddy" was their son and his family. The sons boat was a 49+ foot Jeanneu with 7' draft. I think he went aground a few times but always got off somehow. Our big boat (44') is 6'6" and the feedback we got was that we would be fine. Hope to make that trip in the fall.


Lots of plans on the table.
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Old 03-03-2016, 18:58   #25
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

There is no way to do the ICW from Cape May, NJ to NY Harbor. It is about a 20 hour sail outside from Cape May to Sandy Hook. If you have to you can duck in at Atlantic City, Barnegate or Manesquan but the are tricky inlets. Lay over at Atlantic Highlands and time your tides for the Hudson and you will have a great trip past Manhattan.

Morehead City to Norfolk is pretty easy on the ICW, 3 to 4 days depending on how you catch the bridges. Two main things you need are Active Captain and Tow Boat US or SeaTow.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:47   #26
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

We draw 6' 4" and mast height 60'. We would never "do the ditch" except for Beaufort/Morehead City to Norfolk. However, if you are going north, then ride the Gulf Stream. You will save a LOT of time. You do need a 5-day weather window Miami to Hatteras, but it is a great ride. You may have to dodge a thunderstorm or two or you may prefer to break the trip into two parts. But if you ride the Stream past Hatteras in 5 days, you have put yourself a lot closer to your destination with very little effort.
From that point, you can go into Chesapeake Bay if you want the scenery, or truck on northward. You will love the Hudson. You will love the Canal System, too, but I guarantee, you will never again want to see that mast lying the length of the boat plus overhang fore and aft. We bought our boat in Toronto, and we made that trip southbound to Baltimore.
Your boat will be very happy outside, and you will get to the fun part of the trip a lot faster if you ride the Gulf Stream.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:38   #27
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

Hi All! I am in the UK and the yacht is in Croatia. I plan to sail the ARC and eventually then head north up the eastern seaboard. The yacht has 65ft air draft and depth of 6' 6". 49 foot length
I guess my questions are:

Coming up from the Caribbean, is it best to head for the Bahamas and miss out on Florida and Georgia?
Is there a cruising guide that gives the best places for shelter along the way?
At what point is the ICW helpful rather than sailing the outside?

The Caribbean is a no-no for June till November because of the hurricaine season. At what point north is accepted to be be able to plan sailing in the summer months?

Thanks

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Old 08-03-2016, 05:59   #28
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

Tudor, you may want to post this on a new thread. It may get more response, as your theme doesn't quite reflect the title of this one. Good luck! fair winds! For what it's worth the east coast of the US is lovely in summer. It's a bit of a long haul but the Bra D'Or lakes in Nova Scotia Canada are magical! And generally free of Hurricanes.😀

Joe
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:24   #29
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The other reason to go outside through Georgia/SC is that the ICW gets really winding and slow there. I've done it once, and will go outside next time.
And don't forget trying to time the tides. It's a real pain when you get them wrong and are fighting a 1-2kt current all day.

Georgia in particular, we will consider running outside next time thru.
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:19   #30
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Re: 6'6" draft on the ICW it that an issue?

Sections of the Carolinas and Georgia have big tide swings and you will have to time some of your transits. We use Active Captain on an Ipad with the Garmin BlueCart App. Same charts as we have on the plotter with the Active Captain overlay. The shoaling information is very good and identifies all of the potential problem areas. The information is actively updated by cruisers and during the snowbird migrations, the updates as usually very current


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