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Old 15-06-2016, 08:25   #1
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Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Hello to all cruisers/sailors. Looking for some advice with regards to my upcoming sail from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston. I am somewhat constrained by time .... woud like to complete the trip in about 10 days or less, so the ICW route is out. I have no problem sailing the coastline, and ducking in every once in a while (maybe nighly or every 2nd night), but if I do that, then why don't I just head out into the Gulf Stream and bee-line it up to Charleston? I think that would take 3/4 days depending on weather.

I will be sailing a catamaran, 40' long and 22' wide, and currently it will be myself and one other ... maybe a third if I can find one.

So any input is appreciated.

Fair Winds ....
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Old 15-06-2016, 08:46   #2
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

You can definitely jump out and do it in one shot. We opted for the two day at a time route. Be aware there may be a lot of ship traffic, which requires alert watchstanders. Two people is doable, but three would be better. AIS makes it somewhat easier.

We saw a sailboat which had been sideglanced by a tanker as he overnighted to Cuba and it wasn't pretty. He's lucky to be alive. Be safe!
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Old 15-06-2016, 08:54   #3
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Also along the coast especially along GA and SC there are a number of unlit buoys that in places are 5-10 miles offshore. These are marking fish havens and are quite large enough to cause some serious damage if you hit one. Pay attention to your course and charts.
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Old 15-06-2016, 09:16   #4
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Its about 400 miles on the offshore route, which should take you about 2-3 days. YMMV, but I stay inside the gulf stream, which I can locate by the nightly thunderstorms out there. A third competent person will get you a lot better rested and alert. AIS is nice to have.

If the wind is too much out of the NE for comfortable sailing when you leave Ft Lauderdaie, just go up the ditch for a day or two and then jump out--the wind usually turns more to the SE the further up you go.
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Old 15-06-2016, 16:13   #5
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Easy run this time of year... 80deg line out of Port Everglade will give you an extra few knots from the stream all the way to Jax... Prevailing winds from S SE this time of year. 3 watch standers is good 2 1/2 - 3 days. Watch the dog-leg at the Sullivan's Island end of the Chucktown jetties.
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Old 16-06-2016, 09:34   #6
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Pick your weather and fly on up there! Great trip!
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Old 16-06-2016, 09:49   #7
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

wheresmyboat,
Can't fathom anyone wanting to sail "in and out" along this route, going northbound...at least not once past 28* N or so...

Bottom line is once you get past 28*N to 29*N, the Stream is usually so far out (N. FL and GA coasts curve well West) from the coast that you end up loosing quite some time "heading out" to the Stream and coming back in...
So, anyone contemplating doing this, doesn't actually try to get to the Stream, but rather are just sailing "outside" to avoid the hassles of the ICW...


Specifically, you can make the whole passage in 2 - 3 days, and this time of year you can easily find a 2-3 day weather window....
Quote:
Originally Posted by wheresmyboat View Post
Hello to all cruisers/sailors. Looking for some advice with regards to my upcoming sail from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston. I am somewhat constrained by time .... woud like to complete the trip in about 10 days or less, so the ICW route is out. I have no problem sailing the coastline, and ducking in every once in a while (maybe nighly or every 2nd night), but if I do that, then why don't I just head out into the Gulf Stream and bee-line it up to Charleston? I think that would take 3/4 days depending on weather.

I will be sailing a catamaran, 40' long and 22' wide, and currently it will be myself and one other ... maybe a third if I can find one.

So any input is appreciated.

Fair Winds ....
In general, head out Port Everglades, and head northward, east of 80*W....

As an example, this weekend, I'd recommend you head East or ENE out of Port Everglades, until about 79* 40'W where you'll pick up the Stream....
Then head North, follow the rhumb line, to Charleston.

Be aware that along the first 125 - 150 nm, you'll have a nice 2kts of push from the Stream, but once near/past 28.5*N (40 - 50 miles off Cape Canaveral), you'll see the Stream make a turn eastward....but, you should still be able to use some slower (1/2 kts or so) favorable current, up to past 30*N....and still have no adverse current the rest of your rhumb line onto Charleston!


Here's some data from a few days ago...

Quote:
THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF JUN 14, 2016 AT 1200 UTC...
17 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF FOWEY ROCKS. 29 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT EVERGLADES.
26 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF LAKE WORTH.
25 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF JUPITER INLET.
THIS DATA COURTESY OF THE NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE.


THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM BASED ON THE REAL TIME OCEAN FORECAST SYSTEM FROM SUNDAY JUNE 12TH.

12 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SAINT LUCIE INLET.
18 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF FORT PIERCE INLET.
28 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SEBASTIAN INLET.
34 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT CANAVERAL.
48 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PONCE INLET.

For more details, you may wish to read some threads about the southbound passage along this route (where the object is to avoid the Stream):

Avoiding Gulf Stream Current Headed S

Outside route from Hilton Head to Florida



Hope this helps..

Fair winds...

John
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Old 16-06-2016, 20:08   #8
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Off shore direct is fine. Watch the weather you do not want to be in the stream if a low or front is approaching. Avoid the stream if the winds are NW to NE at more than 15K. Look at your chart the extra distance to ride the stream may not be worth it.
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Old 17-06-2016, 08:55   #9
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

FYI, I should've come back and edited my post above with the current data....but, got busy, sorry....


Quote:
THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM AS OF JUN 16, 2016 AT 1200 UTC...
20 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF FOWEY ROCKS.
25 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT EVERGLADES.
16 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF LAKE WORTH.
21 NAUTICAL MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF JUPITER INLET.
(THIS DATA COURTESY OF THE NAVAL OCEANOGRAPHIC OFFICE.)


THE APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF THE WEST WALL OF THE GULF STREAM BASED ON THE REAL TIME OCEAN FORECAST SYSTEM FROM THURSDAY JUNE 16TH.
10 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SAINT LUCIE INLET.
17 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF FORT PIERCE INLET.
27 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF SEBASTIAN INLET.
30 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PORT CANAVERAL.
48 NAUTICAL MILES EAST OF PONCE INLET.
Fair winds to all.

John
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Old 17-06-2016, 09:43   #10
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Hi John,

Thanks for your post. Great advice that I will definitely heed.

Smooth saling and cheers,
Elton
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Old 26-06-2016, 11:45   #11
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheresmyboat View Post
... wou[l]d like to complete the trip in about 10 days or less ... no problem sailing the coastline, and ducking in every once in a while ... sailing a catamaran, 40' long ... myself and one other ... maybe a third if I can find one ...
As indicated by many others in this thread, pick your weather and go. At this time of year you will in all likelihood have a pleasant ride. Take good food (and victuals) and go. Three hands may help.
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Old 04-07-2016, 15:15   #12
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Have you completed the trip yet? We are doing this trip on a 35ft cat starting around July 15/16. Probably gonna do a day trip to ft pierce, then head out from there or duck in one last time in ponce de leon inlet then head to charleston.


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Old 12-07-2016, 08:29   #13
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to Charleston

Check Canaveral to see if they are doing anything special.
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