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Old 23-07-2017, 14:19   #16
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

An encounter with a hurricane is not to be laughed at BUT did you ever stop to think that there are over 20 million people that live in Florida year round and about 1,000,000 boats registered in the state. Of course the large majority of the boats are smaller, trailerable boats but I guess tens of thousands of boats that live in the water.

I'm pretty sure that they don't all leave the state every summer to take refuge in the NE and I'm also pretty sure that the vast majority of those boats survive for many years without being smashed by a hurricane.

If boating in the SE or FL during hurricane season just pay very close attention to the forecasts and be prepared to haul butt to either get out of the path (not always feasible) or get to a hurricane hole or have an arrangement IN ADVANCE with a local yard to haul and brace your boat.

By the way, staying in the NE is not a guarantee of safety. Remember Sandy? Irene? People in New England still talk about the big hurricane of 1938 that was a cat 3 storm.
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Old 23-07-2017, 16:28   #17
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

The best is to have your boat hauled out and put on jack stands and anchored to the ground.Sebastian marina does this and has never lost a boat.Dont go up into a creek or river during a high tidal surge as when the water goes down your boat will be grounded and the only way to get it out will be by helicopter.
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Old 23-07-2017, 18:06   #18
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Do - bring enough extra long dock lines to double up all cleats on both sides of the boat. If you find a dock to secure to prior to a storm you will need a lot of line to be secure. Think spider web.
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Old 23-07-2017, 18:17   #19
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Thank you all this is all great info. Especially ideas and places where we can take cover. We have plenty of time, time will not be an issue.
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Old 24-07-2017, 06:28   #20
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

I have lived in south Florida since 1980. I got my first sailboat in 2003. Several near misses since then, and Wilma arrived in 2005. We secure our boat to the middle of the canal as most others do. You will have adequate time to secure yours too. As a cruiser, carry ground tackle adequate for heavy weather. Read about setting up for storm situations. Tropical storms are relatively small in diameter. A storm hitting Miami may turn out to be nothing more than a blustery day in West Palm Beach. Fear not. Buy insurance, sail south, have fun, be prepared.
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Old 24-07-2017, 06:56   #21
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

And make sure you check to be sure your insurance is effective
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Old 24-07-2017, 07:54   #22
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I might offer a modification to this one. Frustrating trying to offer a slow pass to a boat that won't answer radio, whistle signals, hailer calls, etc.

-Chris
If I don't get an answer on the radio (pretty common with sailboats), I give the proper horn signal. If I don't get a response to that (pretty common also), I just go ahead and make my pass and it may not be a slow pass.
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Old 24-07-2017, 07:59   #23
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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I have done it. If you are staying in the ICW I dont see a big problem. Just pay attention to the weather and what is or isnt coming. You will have a couple weeks notice if you do. one minimum. Plenty of time to find a secure location.

That's the best answer. It's not like there is a hurricane every day, just the chance of several during the six month "hurricane season". And sometimes, there will be a hurricane outside of that "season".

Pay attention to the weather before you leave and while you are making the trip. If there's a hurricane coming, check with local marinas and local boaters for a safe place to go. There's a really good chance that you will make the entire trip without encountering a hurricane.
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Old 24-07-2017, 08:30   #24
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Want to add one more point, there are many bridges that stop opening during evacuations and in winds over 25 mph. You can get caught in places, that you don't want to be. I was caught 5 miles from where I wanted to hold-up for a cold front to past for 3 days.
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Old 24-07-2017, 08:40   #25
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Want to add one more point, there are many bridges that stop opening during evacuations and in winds over 25 mph. You can get caught in places, that you don't want to be. I was caught 5 miles from where I wanted to hold-up for a cold front to past for 3 days.
This is true but you should have found your safe spot well before the bridges shut down.
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Old 24-07-2017, 09:02   #26
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Ignore the radio? Worst advice I've ever heard. If someone's calling you it's probably to your benefit.

Make sure you know the frequency that Bridges, locks, and such are using. It isn't universal.

Some work only certain hours daily. Plan to work around the hours.

Keep to the inside of the turns. Shoaling is always worse on the outside of a bend.

Don't trust the chart or markers 100%. Use your depth finder and go slow.

Know the tide tables before you anchor anywhere. Some swings are 10' +.

Avoid Georgia.. Just my opinion, but the outside run from Beaufort to Jacksonville is wonderful.

If you go outside be aware of where the Gulfstream and it's current position. There is a reverse flow on the inside of it that will greatly speed things up.

Winds will be primarily out of the South in summer months. This means very close hauled if sailing and beating into waves.

I just did 98% of this trip (turned through Okeechobee to Ft. Meyers) take lots of extra water and reserve fuel.

Max speed on the inside is around 7 knots in most places and if you have a draft of 4+ feet it's much slower. There are lots of submerged obstructions and shoaling. The charts are way off in many places. (Quality of chart plotter gps may be a big deal).

Every dock is expensive for fuel, food, ice, and transient fees. Plan on at least 1/3 more fuel than your worst estimate. If you manage with less, buy a steak 😁.

It stormed like crazy everytime we made an inlet. So try to make those in the daylight. It rains everyday in Florida during the summer (mostly) , mainly in the afternoons.

Get good apps like anchor watch and windy. If your stopped, listen to NOAA on the vhf. Take zip locks that fit your tablets and phones. (They work through the plastic)

Good luck. Video blog your trip!
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Old 24-07-2017, 09:55   #27
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Keep to the inside of the turns. Shoaling is always worse on the outside of a bend.

!
Well I don't agree with this! Last week I traveled from Beaufort SC to Brunswick GA the water was always deeper on the outside of the bend where the current runs faster. The inside is where the dirt settles out and shoals which is why here will be a buoy way toward the back of bends. It is pretty visual during low tide!
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Old 24-07-2017, 10:34   #28
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

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Well I don't agree with this! Last week I traveled from Beaufort SC to Brunswick GA the water was always deeper on the outside of the bend where the current runs faster. The inside is where the dirt settles out and shoals which is why here will be a buoy way toward the back of bends. It is pretty visual during low tide!
You're right. My mind wasn't working. Like you said it's fairly obvious at least tide.

Thanks for the correction!
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Old 24-07-2017, 10:34   #29
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Re: Advice on ICW south during Hurricane season

Here are some marinas that did well during hurricane Mathew:
City Marina Brunswick GA
Halifax Marina Daytona Beach FL
City Marina New Smyrna Beach FL
all of these marinas were protected from the North.
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