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Old 31-10-2014, 10:07   #1
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Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Hey folks, so here we are passing coinjock and are a little unsure of what to do here. We are just at 64 and a little. My chart says the bridge is 65 but the guide says 64. Our alternate route around Roanoke island looks like it has shoaled and we can't get through with our 5'11' draft. Any ideas? The winds are out of the north any chances he water has dropped a bit?

Thanks Will
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Old 31-10-2014, 10:22   #2
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Can't you wait a few hours until the tide goes out? Heights are feet above MHW, so even at just over 64 you should clear at half tide or lower (a guess, I don't know the tidal range in that area). pete
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Old 31-10-2014, 10:36   #3
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Are you talking about the the Wilkerson bridge in the Alligator/Pungo canal? If you are you might be in trouble. It's only about 64 feet and there is no tide there. Water levels are wind driven. The Alligator River bridge is a swing bridge.
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Old 31-10-2014, 10:51   #4
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

There is a Seatow operator fairly close to the bridge. We have 64'4" airdraft. I called him when we went down 2 years ago and he said no way. Theres no tide there, so water height depends on wind direction, etc. We went out the Roanoake way. We draw 6'6". The charted depths in the dredged channel are not correct. It is not as shoal as the chart indicats on the upper end of channel near Roanoake. I tried to put a note on this into ActiveCaptain, but it was rejected. I also called the Seatow operator on Roanoak and got his opinion on the depths there. He said I could make it through and if not, he could come out and drag me through any shallow parts. We had no problem in the channel till the more southern end past Roanoake nearer Hatteras. We bounced a few times there.
Good luck.
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Old 31-10-2014, 10:51   #5
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Heel the boat! This is the classic solution. About 15 degrees of heel should get you down to under 63'.

Swing the boom out to one side as far as it will go with a good topping lift/halyard at the end, and then lift the dinghy or a bunch of water jugs or....

If you can get some heel you can make the bridge. There's a video around here somewhere of someone much taller making a 65' bridge (with a lot more heel).
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Old 31-10-2014, 11:15   #6
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Will it really take 15 degrees? You math guys I'm sure there is some kind of formula?
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Old 31-10-2014, 11:23   #7
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

The formula is referred to as "angle-side-angle," in this case the side is 64 feet (the vertical height) and the adjacent angles are 15o and 75o (which is the complement of 15o), and the new (hypothetical) vertical height is 62 feet.

Pete
(who obviously has taken way too much math when he should have been sailing instead...)
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Old 31-10-2014, 11:42   #8
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

You should go via the sound. I personally would not risk it, especially to take an inferior route

Check on your own, but I think you'll have the water you need through the channel at Roanoke island. The sound should afford an opportunity to sail if you're needing to shake things down.

Also allows you to call on Ocracoke.

They dredged up Roanoke way not too long ago, so you could be just fine. For me, it really is a much better route. The other is boring, but id rather be there now than bustin rocks here today.

If the wind is steady out of the N, then yes, you can count on some water drop. Can't say how much, and hardly matters, I think you're just too tall for that Wilkerson bridge. Should not cause much,of an issue getting through channel at manteo. Call the tow,operator on the phone ahead of time to get the latest, or at least via radio when arrive. Might be able to have them escort you through,if it's skinny or you're new at nailing channels, or both.

Good luck and have fun! There is a lot to enjoy around you over the next few days


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Old 31-10-2014, 11:56   #9
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

While there is almost no lunar tide, the wind/rain driven water height can change quite a bit. The picture below is of the Wilkerson three weeks ago. My 64' 6" high vhf masthead whip bent about 6" so the board seems accurate.

Did you make it under Pungo Ferry back closer to Norfolk without worry? I think it's actually a few inches shorter although there's no indication on the charts.

That said, you should have little problem going around by Roanoke. Manteo and Ocracote are two of my favorite ICW stops. There are only a few shallow spots and they are well marked on Active Captain. The distance is no farther and you can often sail a good bit of the time. The one downside is it's a miserable chop in a strong southerly.
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Old 31-10-2014, 12:30   #10
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Answer to cheoah we are a beneteau 50 with a draft of 5'11" and an air draft of 64'5". Sitting in the middle of Abermarle sound right now trying to decide what to do.
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Old 31-10-2014, 13:06   #11
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Will it really take 15 degrees? You math guys I'm sure there is some kind of formula?
Required heel in degrees = Inverse cos(bridge clearance/boat's air draft).

At 65' a 10 degree heel will gain you about 1', a 15 degree heel will gain you about 2'. It's approximate, as once you start to heel the center of buoyancy of the boat tends to shift a bit.

Edit - I finally found one of the threads:

You have to see this to believe it!

There's another one with a YouTube video of the same maneuver.
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Old 31-10-2014, 14:18   #12
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsanduril View Post
Required heel in degrees = Inverse cos(bridge clearance/boat's air draft).

At 65' a 10 degree heel will gain you about 1', a 15 degree heel will gain you about 2'. It's approximate, as once you start to heel the center of buoyancy of the boat tends to shift a bit.

Edit - I finally found one of the threads:

You have to see this to believe it!

There's another one with a YouTube video of the same maneuver.
I think this maybe the one you are referring to.....



And another, looks like the same boat different bridge....

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Old 31-10-2014, 18:20   #13
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

I know they do this down on the Okeechobee waterway at the railroad bridge on the east side. Been a while, can't remember that bridge. LaBelle or something.

You antenna benders are nuts.

I'd circumnavigate the pamlico sound before I tried squeaking a big spar under a bridge. Yes, the entire pamlico sound

Enjoy the albemarle tonight and head over to Manteo tomorrow. Hopefully the various sites have given you some confidence to make that channel, as I know for a fact they dredged at least some of it recently. But don't take my word for it. I never take anyone's word on the internet about nav info without checking it myself.

There is a tow operator there. And a free dock. Once you clear the bridge at Roanoke you're done for bridges for a while, but I do highly recommend the jump across onslow bay, bypassing a bunch of those bridges.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:05   #14
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheoah View Post
I'd circumnavigate the pamlico sound before I tried squeaking a big spar under a bridge. Yes, the entire pamlico sound
+1!!! The risks seem oversized to me.
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:10   #15
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Re: Alligator River fixed bridge help!?!

You can heel, but do a dry run first to get acquainted with how she steers under power alone while heeled. You don't want surprises during the actual approach.

Obviously you want to try to do this in very calm conditions so you can ease it under there with barely any way on at all. Just as a precautiin. Having your dinghy in the water and manned is a good idea.
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