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Old 27-08-2007, 19:10   #1
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Dreged depth of the ICW

We are in the route planning stage of the trip to bring a 58 foot boat that has 10foot draft from Nova Scotia around to British Columbia Canada via Panama.

My buddy was talking to an east coast insurance salesman on the phone and was told that the ICW would NOT be a good route because some States have not been dredging the ICW.

I would appreciate comment from folk who are familiar with the ICW about the veracity of this statement re depth.

I would also appreciate local knowledge about sections that we could use.

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Old 27-08-2007, 19:17   #2
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The depth on the ICW is quite fluid and changes quickly. It's not well maintained either. Skipper Bob has about the best and latest info on the ICW. With a 10 ft draft you are not going to be navigating long sections of the ICW and probably not many short ones either. Any hope of ever having 10 ft dredged would be exceptionally optimistic even in a long time frame. The indications is the ICW is on it's way under as a long distance route.

BTW, this is not a "States" issue this is a Federal issue. None of the states pay anything to maintaining the ICW. This all comes from the Army Corps of Engineers. The President has not been a fan of the ICW and didn't initiate authorizations in the past few years. Only additions to the budget via congress have funded anything for the ICW. It's been very lean and the situation is not getting better.

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Old 27-08-2007, 19:29   #3
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Thanks Paul - it looks like it will be an ocean cruise.
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Old 28-08-2007, 00:45   #4
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Old 05-09-2007, 15:10   #5
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Dredged Depth

I just came around from San Francisco to Maine. Paul is right about the ICW. You would not be able to do much of it.

I would strongly suggest you think carefully about your route. The trades would suggest that you go down through the Eastern Caribbean and over to Panama. Then you might think about going to Hawaii (I am not kidding) rather than bash up the Pacific side. I do not envy you.
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Old 05-09-2007, 16:18   #6

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And what about that new Inside Passage route opening up? If we get a few more cars on the road and electric appliances plugged into coal-produced electricity, heck... you could swing by Russia on the way over.

(sorry... not a useful post, but yes... the ICW will not, in most areas, support your 10' draft)
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Old 05-09-2007, 17:49   #7
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Thanks Pete:
I will fwd the route suggestion to the skipper. We have already taken the advice and are not planning on using the ICW but the advice about the Eastern Carribbean is apreciated
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Old 06-09-2007, 21:11   #8
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Hi sundown,, my wife and I took our C&C 38 with a 7'6" draft through some of the areas last winter and here are some of my experiences.
I think the Army Corps of Engineers owe me a hefty sum for doing some of the dredging. Lets see... Inside the Long island, outside of NJ, up the Delaware river, along the chesapeake bay, is all doable and very pleasant. Then in hampton VA, you'll definately have to go outside and around cape hatteras. You will not take 10' through coinjock and alligator river which is the ICW route inside the Cape Hetteras.
Then, while further south, 8' tidal swings in SC and Georgia will enable you to bring it through some ICW areas but its not worth it. And then again, florida is a nightmare. They owe me too for dredging the Okeechobee and ICW area .
I also found that those updated MLW depths are not very reliable. Nobody really knows how to avoid some of the shoalling in the ICW which made it very hard to relax. What amazed me is how exhausted I was after motoring in the ICW all day, with anywhere from 3 feet to less than a half-a-foot under my keel. I couldn't relax even for a bit. Next time, I am definately taking the outside route.
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:00   #9
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I forgot just how nerve racking the ICW can be... I did it 3 years ago... I have a West Sail 32 with 5' draft. I guess it really provs I'm a sailor... Having to line up markers and try to stay in a moving channel... yuck!
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:47   #10
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What kind of 58' boat has a 10' draft? I must assume it is a sailboat. If so, even if the ICW could support your depth, the bridges are too short for the mast. The maximum clearance on the ICW is 65'.
Have you considered the northwest passage?

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Old 05-07-2008, 09:35   #11
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Paul: There is a "States" issue. While it is federal money, GA did not go after it and now claims the worst "shallowest" waters on the ICW. Some states did a much better job of getting funds allocated to dredging their waters.


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