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Old 01-08-2012, 21:11   #1
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Miami River (FL)

I am going to be helping a friend move a boat out the Miami River and over to the Tampa Bay area.

Right now the hardest part of the trip appears to be ... the Miami River! I drove by it today and noticed two bascule bridges within 300 feet of each other, with no maneuvering room.

It's a very short river, but we're on the south branch and will have to go through 8 bascules in 6 miles.

Anyone have any local knowledge/advice about navigating this short river? We're thinking we certainly don't want the tide coming in or going out strongly -- any other advice?
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Old 01-08-2012, 21:25   #2
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Re: Miami River (FL)

You will find the bridge tenders very responsive. Just stay on VHF channel 9. Alternatively, just follow one of the tugs. 12th avenue to Brickell shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes.
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Old 01-08-2012, 22:05   #3
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Re: Miami River (FL)

Dito what emcmia said. The currents are not very strong. The bridge tenders are nice. The only excitment is when you meet a big ship coming up the river with tugs. Just get out of their way. Hug the shore. They're going to stay right in the middle. It sticks in my mind that they may limit openings during morning and afternoon rush hour.
Here is a video of the trip you'll take: Miami River Bridges - Waves Jordan Yacht Brokerage
If you get a chance, stop in my store and say hello. We're just up the river by the Bertram Yacht factory.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:13   #4
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Re: Miami River (FL)

I took that video a couple years ago moving a 32 Catalina from Hurricane Cove up to Rickenbauker. Good to see it is interesting to people.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:42   #5
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Re: Miami River (FL)

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Originally Posted by Richard Jordan View Post
I took that video a couple years ago moving a 32 Catalina from Hurricane Cove up to Rickenbauker. Good to see it is interesting to people.

THANK YOU everyone! How very helpful. Haven't looked at the video yet as the captain hasn't had his coffee yet, but we will. And Hop, we'll try real hard to get by your store.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:17   #6
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Re: Miami River (FL)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Dito what emcmia said. The currents are not very strong. The bridge tenders are nice. The only excitment is when you meet a big ship coming up the river with tugs. Just get out of their way. Hug the shore. They're going to stay right in the middle.
Almost pooped my pants once in that very scenario! I was towing another boat; called a Pan-Pan and all...... Then with no warning here comes a couple thousand tons of steel!

@Rak... if you find yourself in the ditch North of Venice Inlet (2706) give me a holler; I'll buy lunch!
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:32   #7
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Re: Miami River (FL)

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Almost pooped my pants once in that very scenario! I was towing another boat; called a Pan-Pan and all...... Then with no warning here comes a couple thousand tons of steel!

@Rak... if you find yourself in the ditch North of Venice Inlet (2706) give me a holler; I'll buy lunch!

How kind of you! We're hoping to be outside but it depends on so many things.

A little about the boat. This is a Lee Creekmore boat, one of two 30' ones made from its mold. You can see on the inside where the fiberglass was hand-laid. Good thing; the hull is about the only thing that really survived well.

He won the Southern Circuit sailing this boat (name -- Stubby -- I'm sorry but I think that's a goofy name for a racing boat!) but it changed hands and fell badly into disrepair. A LOT of the deck will have to be replaced, and we're having to rebuild some deck and a bulkhead before we try to move her an inch. He lost the top of the mast the first time he raced her, but that appears to be a good repair and we're not concerned about it.

The boom goes the full length of the cockpit, 16 1/2 ft. it has both a bow sprit and a boomkin and carries as much sail as most 40' boats. To compensate for that it has a BIG lead bulb at the bottom of the keel. it draws 4'10" ...

SO HERE'S THE NEXT BIG QUESTION about the MIami River.

We've been told that since it has so much commercial traffic (oh yippee!) we just don't have to worry about depth. In fact we haven't been able to find a detailed depth chart. Someone suggested moving over to the side for those BIG boats ...

Is there any place on that river where that's a bad idea?
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:57   #8
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Re: Miami River (FL)

do you have charts?? charts will tell ye that....
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:06   #9
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Re: Miami River (FL)

I've never seen a good chart of the river either but you shouldn't have a problem with less than five foot draft. The river was recently dredged. Don't sweat it. It's kind of a fun trip. Lots of stuff to see.
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Old 02-08-2012, 14:46   #10
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Re: Miami River (FL)

Raku,
We have made that trip many times since we used to haul our boat at Hurricane Cove Marina during hurricane season. The Miami River is a filthy hole and loaded with debris. We once snagged a dockline in the water from a freighter just after transiting the last bridge before Hurricane Cove and it completely shut our engine down. Fortunately, we were able to coast into the marina and when they hauled our boat, we were shocked at the size of the line wrapped around our prop. The safest way to enter and exit the river is to time your departure just before slack tide and ALWAYS go against the current. So, if you had an engine mishap, your boat would not be carried into the bridge and you could drop a hook to stop your momentum. Also, while waiting for a bridge to open, we always allowed plenty of room to manuever since there is considerable small boat traffic at all times of the day and night. It is not a passage to be feared, but it does require planning, preparation and proper attention. And, it is truly an awesome sight to pass and ingoing/outgoing freighter with little more than 50 feet of room from your toerail! Good luck and good sailing.
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