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Old 20-09-2010, 10:21   #1
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Advice for Run from Charleston to Beaufort Inlet

Hi... my son recently purchased a 33 foot Cape Dorey in Charleston. He anticipates the marina will have completed all upgrades by late October. It will essentially be a new boat when all is completed. Having sailed several weeks each in the Caribbean and Mexico, along with weekly racing on Lake Union, WA, I rate his sailing skills as "moderate plus". Having sailed almost exclusively on the Pamlico Sound so far, I rate my skills as "learner".

We're planning to move the boat in late October from Charleston to Beaufort Inlet NC and then proceed inside to it's new berth up the Neuse River. Assuming we choose a decent weather window, is there any difficulty charting a course out into the Gulf stream from Charleston and then at the appropriate point alter our course NW to Beaufort inlet?



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Old 20-09-2010, 10:56   #2
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There's no particular problem doing that, but I never saw that it was worth the effort of going that far off shore to pick up the stream. It's about 85 miles from Charleston to the place you want to be in the stream on a due east heading. I have just put that effort into heading towards the cape fear entrance, gone into Cape Fear and out Masonboro, the straight to Beaufort, with a slight dogleg if the gunnery range at Camp Lejune was active. I always figured I'ld gain about the same time as I lost going off shore. It also limits ones ability to duck into port if the weather goes to crap, especially if you are uncomfortable about your off shore skills. Coming from further south it would be a different story as the gain definitley outweighs the cost.

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Old 20-09-2010, 11:12   #3

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I'd just go from Charleston to the Fying Pan Shoal's slue and straight to the Beaufort inlet. I can't believe you'd do anything but waste time heading all the way out to the stream for that passage.

There are great bail out points at Georgetown, Southport, and Masonboro although by the time you pass Georgetown (Winyah Bay) by 20 miles you'll generally be too far out to head back.
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Old 20-09-2010, 12:10   #4
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We made that run in well under two days (36 hours? 32? I don't remember) in a Tayana 37 staying well inside. The biggest issue is that there is often a counter current spinning off the Gulf Stream. The best (least bad?) course for us seemed to be to stay very close to shore.

Print one or more of the current velocity charts and compare boat speed to SOG with the current chart in hand. That will help you figure out whether to head a bit further in or a bit further out.

Have a great time.
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