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Old 18-01-2012, 10:52   #1
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The ICW with a Tall Mast

I'd like to hear from anyone who has travelled on the ICW with a mast height greater than 65'. In short, how much of a hassle was it to sail outside the ICW when faced with a fixed bridge? Thanks!
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:03   #2
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

In the Gulf ICW between Apalachicola and Gulfport, MS, you'd need to go outside between Panama City and Pensacola. One could take the ICW from Apalachicola to Port St Joe, and then go outside to either Panama City, Destin/Ft Walton Beach or Pensacola (or further west); or take the ICW all the way to Panama City.

Leaving Panama City, it's about a day's hop to Destin - low bridge clearance inside Destin Pass, but just before the bridge is the entrance to Destin Harbor with anchorages for the night.

From Destin, another day's hop to Pensacola Pass. West of Pensacola there are no bridge issues on the ICW.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:13   #3
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

like this:




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Old 18-01-2012, 11:17   #4
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

or you could use this techinque

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Old 18-01-2012, 11:18   #5
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

I'd love to convince my better half of that technique!!
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:25   #6
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

Its no hassle at all to go offshore. Its much more relaxing, you can sail, go 24 hours a day, and let the autopilot drive. If the weather forecast is bad, you can come in one of the good inlets.
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Old 18-01-2012, 11:26   #7
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Is this you Mike we are watching it rain in tarpon springs. We have reservation at Clearwater yacht cub for next week.
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Old 18-01-2012, 13:34   #8
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

With over a 65 foot mast, and that's without antennas, etc. using the ICW will be a major hassle. You will have to do all of the fixed bridges at low tide. Sometimes low tide is at 2 AM. Some areas have such and insignificant tide that even low tide won't help. Then add to the mix that winds can affect the water levels and low tide can actually be higher than mean high water. You won't know some of these affects until your under the bridge. You just need to time your jumps offshore for the right weather and give yourself the time within the weather window to get into the next inlet and to a marina or anchorage without bridges. You might consider a direct run to your ultimate destination. Chuck
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Old 19-01-2012, 11:10   #9
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

Go outside. I usually make Norfolk to Ft Lauderdale in about 5 days. Best time was 4 days 19 hours including a brief stop in Beaufort NC for water and breakfast.
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Old 19-01-2012, 12:35   #10
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.
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Old 19-01-2012, 18:10   #11
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsencore View Post
Is this you Mike we are watching it rain in tarpon springs. We have reservation at Clearwater yacht cub for next week.
Yep, Jerry, it's me.
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Old 19-01-2012, 18:15   #12
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogfighter View Post
I'd love to convince my better half of that technique!!

good luck. I showed this to my 'manager' and she was pretty clear on the NO! This guy's boat is nearly a ringer for ours (80 ft)
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Old 19-01-2012, 19:27   #13
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

It's very hard to go outside just for a day as in many areas it's a long way out to get past the shoals.

If you (or your crew) doesn't really enjoy long offshore stretches, a good tactic on the ICW is two days and one night offshore (for 250- 300 miles) then a couple of days and nights at anchor to recuperate. You'll make better time than the standard 50 mile ditch day. No need for watch schedules as you can get through the one night with naps.

Your biggest problem is Hatteras. This is simply a frightening and dangerous place in the late fall when many start down the ICW. The winter offshore lows seem to be coming earlier than in the past. There is no way you can clear the bridges on the ICW as there is no real tide in the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort. The best thing would be to have Hatteras north of you by October 1 - November 1 at the latest.

Carl
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Old 20-01-2012, 08:39   #14
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Re: The ICW with a tall mast

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Did you put those bouy back where you pick them up!!!!!!
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Old 20-01-2012, 14:50   #15
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Re: The ICW with a Tall Mast

Your biggest problem is Hatteras. This is simply a frightening and dangerous place in the late fall when many start down the ICW. The winter offshore lows seem to be coming earlier than in the past. There is no way you can clear the bridges on the ICW as there is no real tide in the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort. The best thing would be to have Hatteras north of you by October 1 - November 1 at the latest.

Carl[/QUOTE]


I just confirmed my charts. The Hatteras Canal bridges are 135 feet. THis canl cuts off the pass around the outside. It is recommended to plan you passage based on tide so you are travaling downstream.
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