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Old 20-08-2016, 07:07   #16
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

done icw 7 times,6' draft. if in a hurry then offshore is the way to go, wx permitting.
We do hops, and if wx good outside, if not then carry on inside. fall can have a lot of fronts come through. Key mantra in the ICW trouble spots is "mid tide rising"
If not on a severe schedule and have patience then ICW is a real treat. Scenery, people, history and a great place to hone your piloting skills. Most of the ditch is very forgiving, and you will run aground, accept that and have a Towboat US plan.
Lots of places to anchor and explore. We typically will push for three days and then hang out somewhere for 2-3 days.
If in a rush lots of good single day offshore passages.
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Old 20-08-2016, 08:25   #17
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

If you take the ICW , you are close to help if you have a problem. Offshore, you are not. Also, on the ICW, you can anchor or take a slip to ride out bad weather. Offshore, you cannot. On the ICW you can anchor or take a slip for the night or when you get tired. Offshore, you cannot.


The ICW is for the most part, an interesting trip with lots of small and large towns to visit and wildlife to see. Offshore is just water and more water.


If the purpose of your trip is simply to move the boat as quickly as possible, offshore is the fastest, depending on the weather of course.


If it's a pleasure cruise, the ICW wins, in my opinion.
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Old 21-08-2016, 12:04   #18
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

Some of us actually enjoy cruising off shore rather than threading our ways through the ditch. Some of it is pretty, and some of it has good anchorages, but lots of it is just no wake zones, condos, and lift bridges.
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Old 21-08-2016, 12:55   #19
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Some of us actually enjoy cruising off shore rather than threading our ways through the ditch. Some of it is pretty, and some of it has good anchorages, but lots of it is just no wake zones, condos, and lift bridges.
Agree with comment about Florida, South of West Palm, but the rest of ICW is quite amazing for us. Ref wake zones, when your in a 6 kt sailboat doesn't really matter, probably pretty frustrating for a motor boat though.
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Old 23-08-2016, 13:21   #20
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

We've gotten "called down" for doing five knots in the Intracoastal. Remember that being big, you put out a substantial wake at slow speed. The parts of the ICW that are largely undeveloped, wide, or go through marshes are indeed pretty and fun. It's the narrow zones that are canals rather then channels in existing water, and then have walls, houses, and docks lining both sides, plus the bridges that come with that development, that are no fun. Choose the right segments, and it can be a welcome rest from off shore, choose the wrong, and it can be damned frustrating.
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Old 31-08-2016, 15:14   #21
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

I recommend doing the ICW, or mostly ICW, at least once. As stated, you will need a couple of offshore runs, Lauderdale to Miami for sure. Everyone is different and this approach will allow you to see what you prefer. The "ditch" is a good way to safely test the boat and your skills, and get some experience cruising and living aboard. You could do a couple of shorter offshore runs like Cape Fear/Southport/Bald Head Island to Little River, and Little River to Charleston to see how you like it as you work south. FWIW we like a combo. We also avoid the Florida ICW on weekends if possible....it is a zoo! I recommend the Kettlewell guide if doing the ICW, supplemented with Active Captain data. Makes life much easier!


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Old 31-08-2016, 18:47   #22
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

Get an unlimited towing policy from Towboat US or the competition. Dont imagine for a moment not doing this. EVERYONE finds the bottom at some point and towboats are hideously expensive if you dont have the unlimited policy. I think it costs around $150. A tow could easily be $500 or a thousand.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:58   #23
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Re: Chesapeake to Jacksonville for a first timer

We've done this run a few times, too. Mostly the southern part since we kept the boat in Beaufort, SC. We think the low country is beautiful, but having done it we now try to avoid the GA part. It's hard to make time due to all the rivers, battling tides, shallow parts, etc. We like the offshore run from Beaufort (Port Royal) SC to St. Augustine weather permitting. It's an easy 24 hour run sea buoy to sea buoy. There are a number of places to duck in if necessary. Of course if you are not in a hurry, there is a lot to see along the ICW.
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