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Old 12-09-2012, 19:30   #1
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Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Me and my wife are planning on taking our kids on the icw from Ct to Florida.we have relatives in Pompano with a dock.We are average Long island sound sailors.We sold our Ericson 29 last year and I just bought a endevour 37 that i will be fixing up for the next two years .We have 5 kids from 3 to 16 ,boat is big enough for us ,weve spent days going up and down connecticut coast ,my only problem is school,does ,or has anybody on the forum done the ICW south in June,its the only time we can go ,we have two months to spend ,I am fitting the boat with a full ockpit cover and it already has air.will this be a helish hot ride,and spoil my kids view on sailing......we plan on leaving mid june ,spend month to month and half going down ,leaving the boat at the house and flying back.would like to explore bahamas over the winter.any ideas or concerns please feel free to write .thanks....Aaron
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Old 12-09-2012, 22:15   #2
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Re: cruising with kids icw first time.

Welcome aboard Popeye.

I am not an ICW guy so maybe someone will chime in soon.

A hot day on the boat is way better than an average day on shore.

Sounds like a great trip.
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Old 13-09-2012, 01:10   #3
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

As Pam Wall once told me years ago, and some of the best advice I've every gotten on sailing with kids. "Take them kicking and screaming if you have to, but take them"
There were certainly "Those times" but in reflection I'd do it again all over. Junes not such a bad time heat wise in my experience, but every now and then the AC comes in handy. You'll find your kids are as tough as you and it will generally be an all around consensus when it's time to seek comfort.
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Old 13-09-2012, 01:49   #4
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

popeye2818,
My only experience on the ICW was motor sailing my 43' cutter from Charleston, SC, to Wilmington, NC, making about 50 miles a day. It was a great trip, but I would probably plan a more liesurely daily distance. I am reliably informed that most of the ICW in GA would be off limits to me due to my 6' draft and to plan to go offshore. BTW, we grounded softly 6 times center channel during that trip! gts1544
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Old 13-09-2012, 03:54   #5
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We did all of the ICW thru GA last year with a 6 ft draft. Sometimes you had to anchor to wait for tides, but the scenery was worth it. Don't be in a hurry and you'll be fine.
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Old 13-09-2012, 05:19   #6
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Look up Wendy Mitman Clarke's piece in Cruising World on the national parks and their attractions down the east coast. She cruises with kids.
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Old 13-09-2012, 05:29   #7
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Aaron.
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Old 13-09-2012, 05:48   #8
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

"Will this be a helish hot ride,and spoil my kids view on sailing?"

5 kids (3-16) 90%+ motoring in "the ditch" 12 hours a day in a one-cabin boat? Are you crazy? It will DEFINATELY be boring beyond belief for them most of the time, even if you give each of them an iPad/xBox and unlimited cellular broadband Internet. This is tolerable and maybe even fun for adults over 50, but not healthy active kids, IMHO. (I'm 60 and think that much motoring is torture. I'd sail it outside as much as possible.)

I recommend you either ship the boat, or find willing crew who will take it south mostly outside so you can run 24/7 weather permitting. Get it down there in 2 weeks maybe 3 weeks if delays, and then fly or drive the kids down when ready for your Bahamas SAILING vacations.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 13-09-2012, 06:15   #9
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Just completed an ICW trip from Annapolis to Stuart Fl.No problem's with depth of 5 Ft + .You'll have a great time. spend some time on the Bay Chesapeak that is,going thru Hampton Roads can be exciting for Kid's Quaint town's in both NC and SC,try to get off shore around GA,I,did not much to see and bug's a plenty I,was told.Come back inside at Mayport or Canaveral,as you get further S scenery is mostly homes and condos to kids may be interesting,try to travel on week day's as weekend's are crowded farther S u get.Went to the Bahamas most summers with my 2 Kid's plus usually a 3rd starting at around 7 years of age of course we had the clean water and fishing we still had 2 or 3 day's coming and going of just traveling,never had a complaint.Going Thru NY City should be exciting I,thought so at 60.
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Old 13-09-2012, 06:40   #10
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

Do it! You will be fine. Might get a bit warm as you get further south but by then you will be tough.
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Old 13-09-2012, 07:33   #11
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

It will be extremely hot! But doable. Make sure you install lots of fans on the boat and a good bimini. Have done it in June and July and south of NC it gets really hot. And don't anchor in buggy spots.
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:04   #12
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

I have worked with folks from the northeast here in Virginia, and weather that I considered warm they thought was HOT and weather I thought was cool, they though was perfect. If you are comfortable in the NE weather, then I would say you will find June through August to be quite hot indeed. I am not trying to steer you away from doing this, just giving some insight. If you can 'marina hop' (or generator) and have the AC running during the night hours for comfortable sleep...things will be much better!
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:14   #13
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

You are asking a group of people that live on sailboats (ie nutjobs ha) for advice. I grew up in a family of five kids and our parents drug us all over the country on backwoods camping trips and day fishing trips. My sisters and mother HATED IT but were afraid to complain, I loved it. They now consider staying at the Hampton Inn roughing it. Having just done only 300 miles of the trip you are planning in 5 1/2 days in August because I had to move the boat after purchase, I believe my four fairly tough older boys would have absolutely despised the trip and the heat wouldn't even be in the top ten issues. BORING! I wouldn't even recommend taking a girlfriend along for this type of trip unless she loves looking at riverbanks, trees and resort homes ad nauseum and is extremely tolerant. Imagine asking your kids every morning for six weeks "Hey want to go out in the boat and go 7 mph for 5 hours looking at trees again today, maybe we can go out for ice cream tonight at the marina?" On most of the upper ICW you can't even sail (it is called the ditch after all.) You will have to average that much time/speed over the six weeks to make it. It takes most people a month to do the 1000 miles of the ICW (preferably in May or October) and even that pace doesn't allow much time to do a lot of sightseeing or side trips and there is a nice reward at the end of the trip, that being you have moved yourself and all your stuff for a few hundred bucks to a nice new location. What about when you go aground or something breaks? Maybe take them on the first part of the trip (prior to the ICW) with a backup plan for them to rent a car and drive back when they get tired of it, which I predict will be 5 to 7 days and that is being optimistic, especially with a three year old along (sign me up for one afternoon for that plan lol.) Four weeks in the Bahamas? Now that would be a different matter- pay someone to take the boat down (or do it yourself alone) and then spend the vacation in the islands. Did I mention my hands hurt for three days from holding the steering wheel at the end of the trip, even with a wheel brake- and I work with my hands? The same people who are telling you "Woohoo, just do it!!" Would be begging for mercy after the first three days trapped on a 37 footer with 5 small kids. Yes, to all the cheerleaders, I am sure there is a family out there (maybe the von Trapps?) that could enjoy this for a "vacation" but I haven't met them yet. I wouldn't be so harsh but I feel that the people telling you to do it are misleading you imagining somehow it will be like the Captain Ron movie.
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Old 13-09-2012, 08:30   #14
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

The ICW is great if you have time but can be a grind if you are on a schedule. I think your kids will get real tired of grinding along under power doing 50 miles a day for their whole vacation. It's also likely that your insurance policy will not allow you to be very far south after June 1. Insuring in Florida in hurricane season is expensive. It will also be hard to "explore" the Bahamas on a school vacation schedule. You often have to wait a week for the right weather window just to cross from Florida.

I'd recommend either:

1. Go to the Chesapeake and maybe the Oriental area. Great cruising area. Easy to spend a couple of months. Then take the boat the rest of the way south without the kids in the fall.

2. Go to Maine (and maybe Nova Scotia) - perhaps the best cruising area in the world (This might start some arguments but I'm prepared to defend ). Then charter a boat in the Bahamas (or the Caribbean) in the winter vacation.

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Old 13-09-2012, 09:05   #15
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Re: Cruising With Kids ICW First Time

If it is summer go to New England. No comparison versus the Chesapeake which is too hot and too buggy. See where snowbirds go for the summer, it is not the Chesapeake!
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