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Old 01-10-2015, 05:11   #1
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ICW, mile 0 to BeauforT, NC

Smoke & Mirrors (Hunter ledgend 40) 7 ft draft, Cabernet, Catalina 38 7'2" draft and Harvest Moon, Catalina 445 - 64' above water line.

All are attempting to go down the ICW starting at mile 0 to Beaufort then outside.. . Any tips..

Thanks
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:43   #2
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

Welcome to CF ehnii !

Lotsa folk here with experience for your request...

I'm assuming you're mostly inquiring about draft and air draft considerations?
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:46   #3
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, S & M.
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:55   #4
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

Glad to be aboard. This is my first post. Been reading for a few years now.

Yes, it is all about draft and bridge height.

Any help would be appreciated.

ehniii
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:33   #5
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

at 64 ft air draft you're going to have to take great care at the Wilkerson Bridge in the Alligator/Pungo Canal. Especially if the wind (no tide there) is blowing the water in.
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:45   #6
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

Carrituck (sp?) Sound will be close with 7' draft. Don't try if the wind has blown the water out. Also watch the entrance to the Alligator River.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:11   #7
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

In a group you will be able help each other drag through the mud.
Watch out for your masthead antenna.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:24   #8
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

I just did the alligator river a couple of weeks ago....5 foot draft and a 63.5 above the water plus the antennas.......(started in toronto)...the river shouldnt be a problem...there are lots of barges that go through there drawing 9 feet.....STAY IN THE MIDDLE.......you will want to hit all bridges at low tide....trust me...time your day and forget going south of cape fear....all I heard on the radio is "stuck in the mud".....
if weather permits go outside at morehead or go oustide at cape fear..., its too much work going down the ICW.......talk to the locals........local knowledge is the best, and when I mean local knowledge, I mean other boaters, not the people on shore.....

all bridges are marked with a water scale to tell you the hight at that time......go with what is marked on the scale
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:30   #9
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

try to time it to go offshore before Miami, skip all those draw bridges and the poorly marked channel just to the south by going offshore, the Hawk's channel route. you can return to the ICW at numerous points south of ICW mile 1096 but I prefer the Channel Five bridge to avoid the Glades mosquitoes,
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:37   #10
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

As the OP clearly posted, they plan only to go ICW to Beaufort and then go outside.

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Old 01-10-2015, 09:39   #11
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

I took 7.5 foot draft from Norfolk to Beaufort NC in the fall of 2006. Don't go at night. Got stuck pretty good just past Coinjock at night. Bounced on the soft bottom numerous times in aligator river smack inside the markers. Its a sweat. The thing that made my life easy is fin keel and ability to "wiggle" my way out of the mud.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:57   #12
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

personally and I mean this is my own opinion ....you can do the ICW by car, great roads connecting these great towns.....motoring all day and hand steering a sailboat and keeping it between the markers all day is alot of work.....your safer on the outside
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:21   #13
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navicula View Post
personally and I mean this is my own opinion ....you can do the ICW by car, great roads connecting these great towns.....motoring all day and hand steering a sailboat and keeping it between the markers all day is alot of work.....your safer on the outside
I agree. Last two times I have going north and south I have gone on the outside. The ICW is just too much of a hassle even for my 6' draft.
I guess it might be good to do once for the experience but with your draft don't even think about using the high CW in South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida. Once past Cape fear there are plenty of errands to duck into if weather threatens.

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Old 01-10-2015, 11:13   #14
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

I did the trip northbound in June and southbound a few weeks ago. Draft 6 feet, air draft 63.5 feet.

A few thoughts. Not all of the fixed 65' bridges have water height gauges. In the "tideless" ICW parts of NC, it's all about wind driving water in or out. You can get an idea of the water level from looking at the vegetation on the shores before you get to the bridges. If you see all of the dead/dry roots, you probably have the 65' you need. If the normally dry roots are submerged, don't try to sneak under a nominal 65' bridge.

Plan your trip by your certain anchorages. Don't try to "make time" by pushing on in the afternoon if you will wind up in the dark with no viable anchorage spots.

Stay overnight at Great Bridge for free by the locks or at the long ICW docks of the marina for a buck a foot.

The south end of North River between Coinjock and Albemarle Sound has some good anchorages, depending on wind direction.

Belhaven is a good spot to anchor even if you are running late and come in after dark. Well marked and protected inside their timber wave attenuation jetties. You can also get diesel fuel there. Belhaven is a great halfway point between Portsmouth and Beaufort. There are groceries, Ace Hardware, a public dinghy dock etc. Great place. Plan it for your mid-point stop.

Adams Creek at the bottom of the Neuse River has a lot of good anchorages. We stopped there for our last night on the ICW, then, with a favorable NE wind forecast, we blasted right out of the Beaufort Inlet the next day on the ebb tide, and made it around Cape Fear the same night on the way back to Mayport and Jax.

Phone service is terrible depending on your provider all along the NC parts of the ICW.

Talk to tugs and barges on 13. You will hear them make "Securite" calls before entering the long canals and cuts.

There are some unmarked shallows on the Pungo Canal on the east side. These are marked going north, but not south. Don't wander to the east side. I can look at my charts to get more specific info if you want. We grounded for a few minutes when wandering just slightly to the east side of the Pungo Canal. Luckily we could back off. It was almost in mid channel! Sure enough, a few 100 yards south, there was a sign warning of the shallows, but it was not visible to us who were going south until after we grounded for a few minutes.

I'll watch the thread if you have any specific questions. I just did it both ways with a deep/tall boat, and it's all very fresh in my mind.

In Belhaven, they said after a tropical storm a few years ago, the nearby ICW bridge only had 60' of water for a week or so, and there was a lot of local flooding.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:36   #15
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Re: ICW, mile 0 to beauford, NC

7+ ft, is a challenge but certainly very doable. You will have to use the tides in spots. The Albemarle Sound can be shallow, especially if the wind is blowing the water out to sea.

If proceeding in a group, have the shallowest draft go first in the caution areas. Take one for the team You will have two boats standing by to haul them off.

I would caution against attempting South Carolina and Georgia, unless willing to only travel the 2 or 3 hours either side of high tide. We last did this section in late fall (November/December) of 2014 and really struggled to avoid any groundings. We succeeded, but it made for some challenges, as well as some very short travel days when the tides did not align with travel requirements. There are big tidal swings further south than NC, which really work to your advantage. Not so much between Norfolk and Beaufort. Remember that this is Beaufort, NC, pronounced bow-fort.

Consult Active Captain, and be advised of some heavy weather if traveling in the immediate future (Hurricane Joaquin).

And if traveling on the ICW, you can visit Belhaven, Oriental, Beaufort, etc. Also many nice anchorages along the way. I really like the ICW if not in a hurry. Especially nice if you have pet that needs to get off the boat regularly.

Beaufort/Morehead City have all the services/necessities for cruisers, and the inlet is easily navigated as it is deep and well marked for commercial traffic heading offshore. You can also visit the Shackelford Banks with the wild horse herds while you are here.

Offshore from here can be short hops - Cape Fear and Southport, Charleston, Savannah, etc., or going further, weather and stamina permitting.

Know where the safe inlets are if you have to duck inside. In some areas they are quite far apart. The Stream is usually pretty far offshore at this point. Likely not an issue until you approach the Florida border or thereabouts. Remember that Hurricane season extends through November so watch the weather. November Mike November if no other source available.

Traveling close offshore there will be a lot of traffic to contend with, especially fishing boats which frequently do not answer VHF calls. Also easy to confuse all the lights if too close to shore. Keep a good lookout at night.

Have a great trip!
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