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Old 17-02-2015, 09:11   #16
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

When you get down to the Palm Beach area on the outside you'll find the Gulf Stream is very close to shore. However if you stay between 1/4-1/2 mile offshore you should find a counter current all the way to Ft Lauderdale.

Capt Morgan
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Old 17-02-2015, 21:55   #17
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Thanks for the info. Any advice for 6.4 draft marinas for less than 6 months in south Florida? My guides have been delivered, but have not been home yet to read up.
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Old 17-02-2015, 22:46   #18
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

As I Recall the ICW is supposed to be dredged to 8 ft. and all fixed bridges are suppose to have a clearance of 65 ft. There may still be a few Draw or Lift Bridges left, as I made the trip 12 years ago. However, there were some spots in the ICW that were a bit less than the required 8 ft depth in the channel. If you would still like to use ICW figure out where you like to stay the next night, or two, and check with the people that should know namely the USCG Small Boat Stations, or the Marinas (Harbor Masters). As I stated before there are several books out there that will be VERY HELPFUL. If you get the RIGHT BOOKS they will tell you the height and types of all Bridges. And recommend some good Marinas and or Anchorages. Another group that can be helpful is the CG Aux in the different areas as you travel... One thing I would suggest is, do not try to run the ICW at night, but there are some nice marinas to stay and places to eat, all about 30-50 miles apart. Have fun on your cruise.

One nice thing about using the ICW, is that you will not have to worry about the weather, as you would off shore...
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Old 28-02-2015, 09:24   #19
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Port Canaveral is a good place to put in. Deep water but only a few marinas. Also very commercial. Try the Port Canaveral yacht club which will accept transients. Blue Ocean Club too. If outside I would run down to Jekyll Is or Cumberland. Leave so you arrive at St Augustine in daylight. About 12 hour trip. Then to Ponce Inlet or go down ICW for a day and anchor S of Daytona bridges. Then S to Ponce inlet and out to Port Canaveral. That's as far as I have been. But the ICW is narrower and bridge covered the farther S you go. I would stay outside.


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Old 28-02-2015, 10:11   #20
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Marina prices are high in the Palm Beach area but draft won't be a problem. A little farther north prices are quite a bit lower, for example, Loggerhead in Stuart has very good monthly rates if you call them.

A 6' 4" draft is not going to be a problem if you plan each day in the ICW to not hit the few skinny spots at low tide.

You will have to wait on draw bridges on the ICW. With short days in winter (March is still winter), making 50 miles on the ICW is a good day. Below Stuart there are a LOT of drawbridges that only open twice an hour. Even 50 miles is tough. Go outside unless the weather is terrible.

Active Captain is invaluable for passage planning and to look for marinas/anchorages. As with any crowd sourced data pay attention to group consensus rather than any one guy. You can pretty much ignore any single report but if three+ people all make recent reports that they hit bottom, there's a good chance it's shallow. We have the guidebooks but hardly ever look at them as they are out of date and less detailed compared to ActiveCaptain.

If you have an Ipad, I really like the Garmin BlueChart App to run ActiveCaptain. The app is free but you have to spend $45 on charts. But these are very good charts covering from Canada to South America. You also get the Active Captain database in a very easy to use form that updates itself when there's Internet connectivity but doesn't require a connection to the Internet underway. In a boat with only one chartplotter, the Ipad allows two sets of eyes on navigation. In our case, the "navigator" uses the Ipad to look ahead for navigation issues coming up in the next hour while the helmsman concentrates on close-in steering issues using the chart plotter.

From Charleston to the Florida border, you have to get well offshore to clear the bars. This takes hours just to get in and out. The best tactic is to plan two days and a night offshore. You'll make a lot of miles towards your destination but can take naps instead of f a formal watch rotation. In Florida, you just need to go a few miles offshore so overnight trips aren't necessary - although if you've got a crew who is willing to stand watches staying offshore will get you to Palm Beach in no time.

It's not feasible to navigate the ICW after dark.

Your mast shouldn't be a problem as I think it's under 60ft - but many first time ICW transits knock the Windex off on the first 64' bridge clearance.
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Old 28-02-2015, 10:16   #21
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Good info. Thanks. The specific deal fell through but we may have another that may follow the same general track. We are going with a <5 draft boat we are narrowing down.
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Old 28-02-2015, 11:36   #22
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Good Day All on the ICW. As I said before I did the ICW from NC to Key West, though in actuality I did have to go out side from Marathon Key to Key West, but it still a pretty easy run. I had NO problems in finding Marinas to stay in once I got to Fernandina Beach, FL. Also, was able to anchor out a couple of nights at the Dragon and North of Marathon Key, though I understand some of the towns along the ICW have put out restrictions as to where and when you can anchor out (and Nothing Long Term). As for the bridges No Problems, if you have doubts regarding the high rise bridges, just be sure to get to them at Low Water. One thing about the Keys, just watch out for the Mosquitos, they can be vicious, if you are in to close to shore.... have plenty of repellant. If you do find a place close to shore, with any population they do or did spray. Hope you have a good trip....
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Old 28-02-2015, 11:58   #23
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captn morgan View Post
When you get down to the Palm Beach area on the outside you'll find the Gulf Stream is very close to shore. However if you stay between 1/4-1/2 mile offshore you should find a counter current all the way to Ft Lauderdale.

Capt Morgan
Except for the shoal off Stuart FL
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Old 28-02-2015, 12:46   #24
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

The further south you go, the stiffer the prices. Stuart or Jax might be as far as you want to go.

HOWEVER, there's basically no good transportation up and down the SE coast of Florida. No long distance commuter train service, and the bus ride from Fort Lauderdale to St. Augustine is over 12 hours long--versus a five hour car ride. Car rides usually mean I95, which regularly closes from accidents. I'd compare traffic on I95 to the worst of I5 in Seattle, or NYC rush hours.

It ain't pretty, so do balance marina price against transportation to wherever you really want to be when not on the boat.
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