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Old 05-12-2014, 17:03   #16
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Re: ICW Gulf Coast Cruising

In the ICW you will be relying a LOT ON MECHANICAL PROPULSION. Consider taking along a small outboard as backup.

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Old 05-12-2014, 19:42   #17
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Re: ICW Gulf Coast Cruising

Actually, having Sea Tow or Boat US isn't a bad idea.

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Old 05-12-2014, 20:00   #18
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Re: ICW Gulf Coast Cruising

Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Actually, having Sea Tow or Boat US isn't a bad idea.

Even if you do not use it the piece of mind is good. Boat US has a pretty good magazine to boot in addition to discounts.

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Old 06-12-2014, 11:43   #19
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Re: ICW Gulf Coast Cruising

Originally Posted by hotshoe View Post
Don't know if this is the right forum for this question, as I posted this same inquiry last week and got zero replies. Any help would be appreciated

My wife and I are getting somewhat bored boating on one ot the inland Texas lakes near home and would like to expand our horizons somewhat and cruise the ICW from Galveston to St. Petersburg, FL then possibly on to Key West. We would trailer our boat to Galveston and launch in the Kemah area.

Our boat is a 1997 Chaparral 260 Signature Sport cruiser with 7.4 Merc Cruiser and Bravo Three drive with around 350 hours. The only electronics are the radio and depth finder. Also for nav aid is a magnetic compass. Boat has been in fresh water its whole life and kept in a slip. It has the requisite bottom paint required for fresh water. Water circulation pump impeller replacement, along with complete lower unit overhaul and new anodes has just been completed. Boat is not equipped with a radar arch. Boat sleeps four, and we donít plan to travel at night or foul weather if we can help it.

That being said I have the following questions:

01. Size wise, you think this boat is suitable for the trip?
02. What electronics should be added.?
03. I plan on attending a USCG school or equivalent to get familiar with the ICW buoy system, nav aids and how to read a chart. Any suggestions here?
04. Are any maps and or charts available that show gas stops, marinas, hotels etc along the way?
05. Recommended Smart Phone Apps.
06. Approximately how many miles is it from Kemah to St. Pete and St. Pete to Key West?
07. How long, in hours should this trip, to St. Pete, take figuring 20 Ė 30 mph average speed?
08. What should we be on the watch for and what precautions should we take?
09. Should we take any pre-cruise maintenance for salt water and what about post cruise?

We are rookies as far as cruising goes, so any additional information would be appreciated.

Probably the wrong forum but don't plan on that speed with no wake zones in the ICW. Off shore in the Gulf is like a shallow lake, a quick squall can make it nasty.

Maybe a local will chime in?

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