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Old 14-05-2010, 09:13   #1
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Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge Height ?

It looks like there are 6 bridges that cross the C&D canal. They look like big bridges but our mast is also tall. What's the minimum mast height that can go under these bridges. Our mast is 24.4m (above waterline). I presume since ocean freighters go thru we are also ok??
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:33   #2
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Here are the clearances according to my (NOAA) charts: (Vertical clearances are expressed in feet above mean high water (MHW))

Reedy PT Bridge 136
St George's Bridge E 137
St George's Bridge W 45 (Down)
*130 (Low Lift)
** 138 (High Lift)

Pipeline Crossing 141
Summit Bridge 138
Chesapeake City Bridge 140

That would mean you should have at least 17.4 meters of clearance at the lowest bridge ....

Hope this helps.
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:36   #3
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Not really. There are seven bridges and pipelines over the C&D canal. All of them are at least 130' clearance.

The Conrail Lift Bridge is 45' clearance when it's down, but it's almost always up, giving 130' clearance or better.

So, to answer your question, Evans, the minimum mast height is zero :-)

The highest mast clearance is about 130'

Ships go thru here every day. No problem with clearance.

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Old 14-05-2010, 09:40   #4
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Evan,
I assume you're going from Chessie side? When? I am planning to pass from the Delaware Bay side in June as part of a counter-clockwise Delmarva circumnavigation. If you go before me, I'd be interested in hearing your observations.
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Old 14-05-2010, 09:43   #5
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The railroad bridge is up most of the time, but I did once meet somebody who'd run into it. Here's a link for the Corps of Engineers:
https://candd.nap.usace.army.mil/
I assume the canal dispatcher is on channel 13 24/7, but didn't see that info on the site.
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:44   #6
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The railroad bridge is up most of the time,
Note: bridge is up most of the time
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:51   #7
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Note: bridge is up most of the time
Was that picture taken on the ICW in south florida recently ?
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:55   #8
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Yeah, most of the time. Like I said, I did meet someone who ran into it when it was down. For shallow draft boats like mine, it's practical to bail out into the Summit Marina which is close by (on the Chesapeake side) in a spur off the canal.
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Old 14-05-2010, 11:10   #9
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I have seen boats run clear of the water and up on the rocks on the c & d canal
But the canal is plenty wide, should the bridge be now You can turn and wait. I think too big a deal in being made here The canal is safe wide and you will have no problems
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Old 14-05-2010, 11:22   #10
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Thanks everyone. Sounds like we will be fine. I thought so, but just wanted to double check. I guess we will go thu in about 2 weeks, but it depends a bit on some decisions to be made next week.
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Old 14-05-2010, 12:00   #11
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Was that picture taken on the ICW in south florida recently ?
I dunno. I jus ripped it off the net...



I sure a proppa sailor... like Evans... would go up the mast when approaching a bridge and hold a small brass bell out in front of him. When the bell rings he shouts down to Beth to STOP!




I love the way, even when you know the bridge gives you miles of clearence, you stand at the wheel lookng at the top of the mast thinking.. OMG! I've miscalculated! We're gunna hit! Always looks so close
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Old 14-05-2010, 12:04   #12
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I dunno. I jus ripped it off the net...



I sure a proppa sailor... like Evans... would go up the mast when approaching a bridge and hold a small brass bell out in front of him. When the bell rings he shouts down to Beth to STOP!




I love the way, even when you know the bridge gives you miles of clearence, you stand at the wheel lookng at the top of the mast thinking.. OMG! I've miscalculated! We're gunna hit! Always looks so close
Funny because it's true!
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Old 14-05-2010, 13:57   #13
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I was just through earlier this week (Ches - Del) and will be back next week.

The railroad bridge as noted is usually up. The bridge tender called a securite 20 minutes before his planned time to drop the bridge. There was a tug/barge coming the other way and me going East. Neither of us would make the announced time. The bridge tender took our clearance needs and brought the bridge down to 75 feet (I need 65, the tug needed 55) and waited for us. We each cranked up the ponies.We got through and the bridge dropped behind us. I don't think the train was delayed. All good.

Everything else on the canal has tonnes of clearance.

If you come into the canal from the Chesapeake the zigs and zags are significant. You'll spend an hour in the channel going left and right until you get in the canal proper. This is trivial in daylight but requires real attention at night. The lights seem to have different brightness so the brightest light is not necessarily the closest.

The bar into Chesapeake City has shoaled. You can get in with up to 7', but it isn't worth it to me. I go straight through regardless. If I need a break I anchor in Worton Creek on the Chesapeake side or just north of the canal on the Delaware side.
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Old 14-05-2010, 14:27   #14
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Evan,
I assume you're going from Chessie side? When? I am planning to pass from the Delaware Bay side in June as part of a counter-clockwise Delmarva circumnavigation. If you go before me, I'd be interested in hearing your observations.
I've gone that way a bunch of times. Here is a trip report you might like:
Sail Delmarva: Trip Report - 2009 Delmarva Circumnavigation.
We'll be going again this summer.

I would say that the whole C&D can be weird at night if it is raining. The shore lights are quite confusing. Every other passage was a cake walk.
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Old 08-06-2010, 05:56   #15
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Evans,

If you have not gone through yet and are planning on stopping at Delaware City Marina this may be helpful.

As you come in the old canal to the marina you pass A, B, C, Fuel, D docks in that order. There are some medium voltage (15,000 vac or thereabouts) wires over the D dock. Local knowledge was not sure of height, but the fellows on the dock noted that they had sagged quite a bit. One guy said they were listed at 57', another said they were down to 47' . Apparently they have been hit before. They have orange balls but well off to the side and not real noticeable. So you probably want to be careful in that area.
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