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 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but hardly ever look at them as they are out of date and less detailed compared to ActiveCaptain.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.
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.