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Old 24-08-2016, 04:44   #1
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Intracoastal Norfolk South

Am planning the trip from New England south, going into Norfolk. Then take the intracoastal to Southport, NC. The draft on my 38 ft sailboat is 6'9". Am I likely to have difficulty getting thru all the way? Any feed back is appreciated.
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Old 24-08-2016, 05:43   #2
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Re: Intracoastal Norfolk South

To SC you should be OK. I recall one or two tight spots where you would need to favor one side or the other of the channel.

Check web sites for the Waterway Guide, Cruisersnet.net and activecaptain.com for the latest information mile by mile from cruisers that recently passed through the area.
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Old 24-08-2016, 06:28   #3
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Re: Intracoastal Norfolk South

As SkipMac said, you should be OK, but you’ll need to be particularly careful on the stretch from Beaufort NC to the Cape Fear River (NavAlert map of the Waterway Guide centered on 34.290126479407164, -77.46253967285156 | Waterway Explorer navAlert map). Wherever inlets meet the ICW, shoals tend to build from the oceanside leaving deeper water on the inland edge of the channels. Dredging is performed frequently through this stretch. (You won’t be able to take the lovely Dismal Swamp Route with your draft, so take the Virginia Cut ICW route through Great Bridge and Coinjock). I’m assuming your “air draft” is less than 64’ – if not, you may have some height issues. Hope this helps!
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Old 24-08-2016, 06:32   #4
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Re: Intracoastal Norfolk South

Thanks
Am I right that the bridge clearance is 65?
Is that at high or low tide? Is there much tide? I be close to that with antenna on top of mast
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Old 24-08-2016, 06:42   #5
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Re: Intracoastal Norfolk South

Quote:
Originally Posted by elittke View Post
Thanks
Am I right that the bridge clearance is 65?
Is that at high or low tide? Is there much tide? I be close to that with antenna on top of mast
Thanks
While 65' is the specified clearance for most bridges many factors can effect that in some areas. Strong winds can move water into or away from sections of the ICW resulting more or less clearance under the bridges in that area and of course more or less water under the keel.

Best plan is to watch for strong winds blowing for a sustained time towards or away from a bay or other restricted water area. If in doubt make sure to check the gauge on the bridge before going through.
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Old 24-08-2016, 06:56   #6
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Re: Intracoastal Norfolk South

All bridges are charted at Mean High Water and almost all fixed bridges are 65' or higher; however, the Wilkerson (U.S. 264) Bridge on the Alligator Pungo Canal is charted at 64' – and there is no lunar tidal range there, so you would need to wait for the wind to blow the water out of the Pungo. There are also online water level data that can help you decide whether and when to wait. Boaters have been occasionally held up on the Virginia Cut as well when winds and heavy rain has raised the water level by a foot or more. Best bet: Plan ahead and enjoy the places when you need to wait – don't be in a hurry.
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