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Old 11-02-2015, 21:55   #1
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Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

I have googled for hours, but looking for latest info... Thanks in advance.

I am a west coast sailor. I will be moving a 40' Jeanneau with a 6.4 max draft from the Charleston area to Ft Lauderdale. It should be the 1st of March. Me and one other west coast sailor with no East coast experience.

Will be going outside. Trying to judge prevailing winds... Is it easy enough to stay west of the gulfstream? Should any north wind be avoided?

Is there any portion of the ICW accessible with that draft closer to Ft Lauderdale? What are deeper draft-friendly marinas in south Florida?

What is a good ICW guide (again if any portion can be used in Florida) that also discusses etiquette and proper communication? ICW for dummies... When we get the boat there, we will get out and leave you all alone.


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Old 12-02-2015, 00:45   #2
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

I do this run every November. Be line from Charleston to down by Canaveral and hug the coast from there. With good weather it's usually a little over a 3 day run. Not sure about the prevailing winds for when you're doing the trip though...


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Old 12-02-2015, 00:46   #3
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Oh and if you want to go in earlier I have jumped in at Ft Pierce. Easy deep inlet. Lot of current on an outgoing.


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Old 12-02-2015, 03:16   #4
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

There are a few areas in Georgia and Florida that get a little shallow, but you should be fine if you hit the tides right. I went through that area in November with a 5 ft. draft and was with a boat with a 6.5 ft. draft and he was fine. May rub a little bit but just stay in the marked channel if you go in the ICW.


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Old 12-02-2015, 04:03   #5
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

If your mast height is over 64', much of the ICW will be a problem on that end, too. (BTW, Our Waterway Guide Southern Edition covers the ICW and inlets, marinas, planning info, bridge openings, etc...)
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:32   #6
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
If your mast height is over 64', much of the ICW will be a problem on that end, too. (BTW, Our Waterway Guide Southern Edition covers the ICW and inlets, marinas, planning info, bridge openings, etc...)
I second the Waterway Guides. Good for planning and executing a trip. Active Captain can be a help as well.
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:56   #7
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Did the same trip except from Beaufort NC to Cape Canaveral
Had no problem staying inside the Gulfstream
There are some shoals that extend fairly far out just north
of Cape Canaveral if you decide to duck in there
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:04   #8
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Several things to consider: 1) bring warm clothing for the trip to south of Canaveral, 2) NW winds are still prevalent in March so watch the weather (wind and temp), 3) stay well inside the Gulf Stream, 4) if going outside you'll need to be hugging the beach south of Canaveral (1/2 mile off) to stay out of the stream, 5) ICW south of the Savannah River to the Florida line is SHALLOW so watch your tides, 6) Waterway Guide is THE ICW Bible!!, 7) Make only refundable flight reservations without penalties (ie Southwest Airlines) as "Delivery Mode" can get you in trouble on this leg of a trip south.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:28   #9
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Very helpful information all. I will order the guide now. Narrowing down the questions...

I'll check back closer to departure.

If mast height is not an issue <64', would there be a way to get to a slip on the ICW in boca with the 6.4 draft? We were given the option to dock at an owner's slip around there. If not, we will be looking for the most reasonable slip fees with enough deep water in southeast Florida to keep the vessel for a few months.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:35   #10
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Did the ICW from Cherry Point, MCAS, NC. to Key West, in 2002 with my Morgan 36 OI, and had no problem, though the water can get skinny at times. You do have to watch the Elliot Cut coming out of Charleston, SC. as the current is pretty strong there. You will usually find several boats waiting for the current to change. You can get the two chart books you will need from WM, and many of the Marinas have booklets that will cover local info. If you are going off shore to start with, you can come back in to the ICW in several places once you get Florida, starting at Fernandina Beach. Jacksonville, and St. Augustine to name few... Now sailing in Puget Sound.... Have a good sail...
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:45   #11
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Thanks. I think you draft under 4, so I'll be at a disadvantage to you. But the plan is off shore from SC to some point in Florida. I ordered the waterway guide. I'll need to decide what level makes a "bad" weather window for the trip besides an obvious front, etc. And water depth issues in the Boca, Ft Lauderdale areas.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:12   #12
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Couple of things to think about in the Boca area: 1) many Fl. waterway communities prohibit staying aboard overnight at residential docks 2) if the dock is on a canal off the ICW be sure to check the low tide depth at the dock and in the canal 3) many of the canals are too narrow to turn around in so you might have to do a lot of backing 4) is off street parking available at or near the residence
PS. If you take the ICW think like a tug pushing a 100' barge when you go around the bends and that will keep you in deep water. When being overtaken on the ICW, throttle back and let them pass .... they'll reduce their speed and wake and pass you quicker.
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Old 13-02-2015, 07:56   #13
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Good info. Thanks. The canal is directly off the waterway. My charts don't show the canal depth so I'll need to have someone physically check. We don't want to get there and it won't work.

Anyone have the most reasonable and accessible marina slips in the boca to ft Lauderdale area?


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Old 13-02-2015, 08:01   #14
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Get Active Captain for the latest updates. Elliott cut already mentioned. Hells Gate south of Savannah changes daily! Lots of skinny water. I know :-) Get your Sea Tow or Boat US towing up to date. Have fun if inside. During bad weather, there are a lot of big boats on GA ICW.
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Old 13-02-2015, 08:06   #15
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Re: Charleston to Ft Lauderdale, draft and ICW

Yes sir. Everything is up to date.


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