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Old 07-04-2011, 12:16   #1
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St. Lucie Inlet

We are in the Bahamas and are considering mooring at the mooring field in Stewart before heading north. However the contraversy over the St. Lucie Inlet is some cause for concern. Our draft is 5.5 feet. What is the current state of this inlet? Must it be only used at slack? TIA

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Old 07-04-2011, 14:32   #2

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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

I don't think it's worth the risk. The Coast Guard just issued a new warning for "severe shoaling". The recent storm that blew through this week surely moved the sand some more.

Go to Ft. Pierce - it's a safer inlet. Or go to Lake Worth if you need to be south.

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Old 07-04-2011, 14:47   #3
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

First for safety don't rent a mooring, you never know what is down there and if they are maintained on a schedule or if they are big enough to hold your boat. If you want to chance mooring rather than trust your anchor ask the renter what his insurance is in case you boat is lost.
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Old 07-04-2011, 15:26   #4
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

Arclight, I recently sent a Waterway Alert on the inlet reported from someone right there. This inlet should really only be used with local knowledge. Ft. Pierce is a much better choice. As to the moorings, they are fairly new and well maintained so there is no reason to worry about using them if that is your destination. Chuck

St Lucie Inlet, Stuart, FL: shoaling update:
Shoaling between the entrance jettys continues to be a problem. Green can "5" is in place to make the best water. Mariners must make a dogleg and pass this marker within 50 ft where depths are approximately 6 1/2 ft depth. The marker is being moved as necessary as the bar builds across the channel toward the south jetty. Other than this short section of approximately 100 ft the remainder of the channel carries 11ft to 16ft to its intersection with the ICW. Remember that depths can be less in troughs as swells build over the bar.

Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

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Old 07-04-2011, 16:34   #5
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

Personally I would not risk St. Lucie Inlet, as Jeff says, use either Lk. Worth or Ft. Pierce.

We were at Sunset Bay a month or so ago and watched them dive on every mooring, previously though one of the balls did let go. It happily stayed with the boat until the boat went aground in the mud/sand. You just never know. That said we are back there now and feel comfortable with it.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:23   #6
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

thanks for the info!
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:03   #7
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

I live and berth my boat just inside the inlet; it has been rapidly shoaling. I went through at high tide with a 6' draft recently, but you must watch the markers and stay to the very south side of the channel. (Almost at the jetty). I have always used this inlet without problems, but the shoaling is getting much worse. Our local govt officials are in Washington asking for funding to keep this inlet open.... we'll see what happens!!!

Sunset Bay is a great marina with good access to downtown; I have not heard of many mooring problems. There is also a great anchorage on the ICW south of the inlet (called "Pecks Lake") but not much access to services. It does have great access over the barrier island to a beautiful beach on the Atlantic...
Fair Winds...
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:18   #8
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

You might find this article interesting:
Ed Killer: St. Lucie Inlet's steadily shallowing status is making for dangerous seaward passage

"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:47   #9
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

I can't speak to what the inlet is like at this very moment, but I've used it a few dozen times over the past several years and find that it does shift, but they are very good about shifting the markers accordingly. It's been referred to as a local knowledge recommended entrance as long as I've been using it, but I find it much more straight forward than many further south. Even the warning quoted above mentions they are shifting the mark as the bar changes.

That said, if you have any doubt, it's not much farther to just head directly to the Fort Pierce inlet if heading north. It may be one of those things where you will want to consider what the light, wind, and tides are predicted to be like when you would arrive.
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Old 10-04-2011, 16:04   #10
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

Be careful.. we draw 4' 6" and went through a few weeks ago at high tide. We bumped twice in the troughs when large motorboats went through without slowing as they sped into manatee pocket.

Another sailboat ended up stuck.

If you can I would say go in the Lake Worth Inlet (Palm Beach) and take the intracoastal north.

The Army Corps really needs to dredge this.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:54   #11
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Re: St. Lucie Inlet

I took a boat out St Lucie last year on a delivery. We drew 6 feet. Despite a chart talk from the boat owner and a nice chat with the local Towboat/US guy it was a little spooky getting out of the inlet. I wouldn't do it if it could be avoided.

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