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Old 04-11-2011, 19:10   #1
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Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

I'm carrying a 6' 9" draft I want to take the ICW from Norfolk, VA down to Beaufort,N.C. will I be ok? Air draft is 61'. I know it's supposed to be 12 ft controlling depth ut with the economy the way it is I don't know if they keep that up. Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2011, 19:27   #2
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

Hi Rod
I think you will definitely want to dodge the Dismal swamp canal. And there are stretches of the Alligator river portion where the water is pretty thin. But once you are into the Neuse you'll be fine as long as you stay inside the channel. Of course, I have proved that it's easy to wander outside the channel and discovered that the water is less than th 5' 2" that our boat allegedly draws!
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Old 04-11-2011, 19:42   #3
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

Thanks Jim! It's our first time down the ICW. We have offshore experience in the Pacific but our new boat is not quite ready for offshore out of Annapolis. All of this skinny water makes us nervous. We need to head to warmer weather to finish her.
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Old 04-11-2011, 19:53   #4
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

if commercial traffic runs, will be deep enough for ye.
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Old 04-11-2011, 20:12   #5
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

There are a number of areas that are not even 6 ft. Claiborne Young's cruisersnet.net has very reliable and current info on the ICW trouble spots.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:11   #6
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

Make sure you have unlimited towing insurance. 6'9" would have me on tenterhooks. You'll have to watch both the state of tide and wind-driven water levels.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:56   #7
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

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Originally Posted by Rod Headlee View Post
I'm carrying a 6' 9" draft I want to take the ICW from Norfolk, VA down to Beaufort,N.C. will I be ok? Air draft is 61'. I know it's supposed to be 12 ft controlling depth ut with the economy the way it is I don't know if they keep that up. Thanks!
The only part I remember that's bad is MM46, there the channel narrows, between markers 115&116.
Tom
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Old 05-11-2011, 13:18   #8
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

Rod.

there's also a stretch between MM100 and 105 which I recall was pretty scary as the channel is quite narrow and the markers are not all that close together. We actually anchored out one night across from "Deep Point" where the chart indicates 8 feet in the 'deep water'. You'll want a light wind day for this stretch. Consider it preparation for the Bahamas.

Get an account with Tow Boat US.

Jim
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Old 05-11-2011, 15:21   #9
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

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Originally Posted by Rod Headlee View Post
Thanks Jim! It's our first time down the ICW. We have offshore experience in the Pacific but our new boat is not quite ready for offshore out of Annapolis. All of this skinny water makes us nervous. We need to head to warmer weather to finish her.
When are you heading down? I am leaving Hampton (Salt Ponds) end of December. Would love to follow you. I only have 5.5' draft and 50' air draft, so I could follow you anywhere.
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Old 05-11-2011, 18:10   #10
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll need to jump off at Beaufort, there are a lot of skinny parts further south, at 5' I've touch bottom in every state. But you can do hop/skip you way down the coast, 1 night overnights all the way down. I would stick to the class A inlets.
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Old 05-11-2011, 19:28   #11
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

The good news is, it's mostly mud. The risk of doing any damage to your boat is low. You may just spend some time sitting around waiting for the tide. Unless of course the tide is already in. In that case, you'll be waiting for TowBoat US. : )
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:21   #12
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Re: Depth on the ICW between Norfolk and Beaufort, N.C.

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When are you heading down? I am leaving Hampton (Salt Ponds) end of December. Would love to follow you. I only have 5.5' draft and 50' air draft, so I could follow you anywhere.

We're leaving Tuesday from Annapolis.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:25   #13
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

Thank you all for your comments. We have unlimited towing for Towboat US. We may check the weather and try to scamper around Hatteras but the boat really isn't ready for offshore. We do intend to finish prepping for offshore in Beaufort, N.C. and hop outside. We intend to leave Tuesday afternoon and go all night down to Norfolk. One thing we have learned about cruising is not to hurry so we'll just play it as we go.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:01   #14
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Re: Depth on the ICW Between Norfolk and Beaufort, NC

We did the trip back in May and had no depth issues from the Chesapeake to Beaufort, NC. We have made the trip many times with a 6 foot draft and this section is the least problematic. No need to go outside of Hatteras. Chuck
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:05   #15
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We r in Elizabeth City. Have 6' draft. No probs down the dismal swamp route.
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