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Old 21-12-2013, 18:27   #16
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

If you are truly 65'+, you ARE unfortunately going to have problems along the way. "They" say the bridges are 65', but many are closer to 64' (according to their height boards). In tidal areas, you can time yourself to avoid high tide, but in many areas of the ICW the tides are wind driven so the wait can be days. We only need 63 1/2' and have had to anchor & wait several days twice now. You never know whether you can believe the height boards or not. This is such an issue that someone has a website devoted to bridge heights & has measured the bridges with an electronic device.

And then there are construction/painting issues, where they'll place a platform & skirting under the bridge hanging down several feet! Not to mention the bridges that have no height boards!

Enjoy your new boat!

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Old 21-12-2013, 18:36   #17
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

64' 9" will be very exciting. I've done the ICW several times with 64.3" (VHF antenna is higher) and wouldn't' want to try it with more.

As mentioned, in tidal areas you just have to time your passage to not be at high water. Our practice is not to go under a 65' bridge within 2 hours of high tide. Depending on the bridge locations, this can mean a four hour wait and not much progress that day.

I've had more trouble with the Pungo Ferry bridge than the Wilkerson. I once had to wait 48 hours at Pungo Ferry for the water level to go down after an offshore storm. It's easy to avoid the Wilkerson by going around by Roanoke (the miles are the same and Manteo and Ocracoke are great stops). But the only way to avoid Pungo Ferry is to go outside Hatteras.

Definitely get an accurate height measurement. If it really is 64' 9" then I'd think seriously about pulling the mast. Hatteras should never be taken likely. It is not like "going offshore" in most places. With the mast down, you'll save a lot of time on the ICW as you won't have to wait for most draw bridges.

South of Beaufort NC, going offshore is fun but to make good time you have to stay out overnight. Many of the shoals stick far out so it takes too long to get in an out in a single day.
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Old 22-12-2013, 11:52   #18
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

Don't forget the 56' Julia Tuttle at MM 1087.
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Old 22-12-2013, 14:08   #19
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Re: Here's your solution

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Like to see that done with a large cat. We saw many boats this year, anchored along several of the bridges waiting for tides. There are some that are charted at 65 MLW that will see less than 65 feet most of the time and if the tides are seasonably high for a period of time, you will be waiting for days. With that size rig, running most of the east coast outside will be the better choice. Even waiting for a few days for the right weather will be faster than short day runs on the ICW and waiting for tides. Chuck
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Old 23-12-2013, 07:42   #20
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

As was mentioned, you can avoid that bridge in the Alligator by going to Manteo and via the Pamlico Sound to the Neuse. This allows you to call on Ocracoke. This is a great alternative to the ICW, and how I transit that area regularly. Thats where you get to sail...
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Old 23-12-2013, 08:08   #21
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

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As was mentioned, you can avoid that bridge in the Alligator by going to Manteo and via the Pamlico Sound to the Neuse. This allows you to call on Ocracoke. This is a great alternative to the ICW, and how I transit that area regularly. Thats where you get to sail...
There is a 66 foot bridge over Croatan Sound and the bridge over Roanoke Sound is 65 feet. This area has almost no tides but water levels can be affected by winds and can stay higher or lower for days. Be sure and check weather before trying this transit, but it can be a good alternative. Chuck
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Old 24-12-2013, 06:55   #22
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Re: Here's your solution

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... There are some that are charted at 65 MLW that will see less than 65 feet most of the time and if the tides are seasonably high for a period of time, you will be waiting for days....
Chuck,
Are these really charted based on MLW on real charts? I thought heights were always charted as MHW or MHHW.
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Old 24-12-2013, 07:25   #23
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Re: Here's your solution

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Chuck,
Are these really charted based on MLW on real charts? I thought heights were always charted as MHW or MHHW.
Bridge/wire clearances are charted to MHW.
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Old 24-12-2013, 07:26   #24
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Re: Here's your solution

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Chuck,
Are these really charted based on MLW on real charts? I thought heights were always charted as MHW or MHHW.
Yep, you are correct. A typo on my part. Sorry. Chuck
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Old 24-12-2013, 08:14   #25
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

If you think you may be doing the ICW only once or twice, then forget all the worrying about whether you can make a bridge or not and jump outside to skip the bridges when you have to. Don't believe you can ease up to a bridge and check clearance only to bail out at the last second when it's clear you won't clear. The current does funny things close to bridges. You may find your self spun sideways in a slow moving boat, then what? I've seen it happen. It's just not worth the risk to you, your crew or the boat to lose a mast under a bridge.

If you plan on regularly running the ICW then the best thing to do is to cut the mast and then it's no worries. We're only talking a couple of feet and the sail will be cut to a square top so you're not losing that much area or performance. A client checked this out in the Annapolis area and I believe the cost was in the 5-7 thousand range. Much cheaper then replacing the rig after a bridge dis-masting. Plus when it comes time to sell, the recut ICW capable rig will be a good selling point. Bottom line is that you don't worry yourself down the whole ICW. Much better to worry about the next place to buy fresh shrimp and seafood! JMHO

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Old 11-01-2014, 08:28   #26
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Re: Bridge Clearance Issue on ICW

Wow! Thanks everyone. Gonna measure exact heights and get quotes on cutting about 1 foot off top of mast and sail and go from there, I think.
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