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Old 10-05-2012, 07:21   #1
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how far offshore

We will be leaving Amelia Island toward Charleston, SC. Plan to make stops at St. Simons, St. Catherines and Tybee. Just how far offshore do we need to go for safe daytime passage. I keep hearing ten miles out and ten miles back in just for starters. That's a lot of time and or fuel if we have no wind. Also, what current should we expect in that ten mile offshore range? the jeffers
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:32   #2
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Re: how far offshore

I would think it totally depends on the shore that you're OFF. Up around NC and it's cape, I'd give it lots of room. The Texas coast, not so much., as an example..
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:40   #3
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Re: how far offshore

You can basically run sea buoy to sea buoy. The St Simon's inlet starts way out but you must strart in at the buoy as there will be breakers on either side of the channel. As you leave St mary's inlet, you can turn north just beyond the breakwater.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:50   #4
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Re: how far offshore

What kind of craft will you be using? How safe do you want to be? Going out in the ocean in a 16 ft rowboat has a different safety margin than in a 60 ft Oyster.

20 miles in a 40 ft sailboat is about 2 to 3 gallons of fuel on a calm day. Doesn't seem like much fuel.

Did you go online and check where the bank of the Gulf Stream starts? Did you check the route on your marine chart for sufficient depth of water. Did you check the marine weather report for wind and waves? Did you check the route length wrt to average boat speed to estimate time in route?

Do you have sufficient safety gear onboard in case of an unexpected weather change.

IMHO these are some of the basic steps that you would need to know how to do before heading out in the Atlantic Ocean and executing even just a day passage.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:25   #5
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Re: how far offshore

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Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
You can basically run sea buoy to sea buoy. The St Simon's inlet starts way out but you must strart in at the buoy as there will be breakers on either side of the channel. As you leave St mary's inlet, you can turn north just beyond the breakwater.
What he said. There are 6-8' tides in the area, so that is a lot of water to transit the inlets. You can expect current going in and out of course depending on the state of tide. Outside I think it should be negligible. You are a long way from the GS. I assume you know what your boat can handle, but in good conditions those are easy runs.

Don't forget to stop in Beaufort if you have time! You can enter Port Royal Sound from the south and heading north go out St. Helena Sound.

Scott
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:29   #6
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Re: how far offshore

Ditto what speciald and Painkiller said.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:47   #7
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Re: how far offshore

I sail closer and closer to the Georgia and SC coasts as I get older. Just watch the chart plotter carefully, and don't run aground. You can waste a lot of time heading way offshore.

Plus, remember there's a south-flowing eddy current off the Gulf Stream. It's strongest 10-20 miles offshore. So there's some advantage to standing well off going south and sticking closer to shore going north (or going all the way out to the Gulf Stream).

Also, everybody wants to sail offshore along that section of coast for some reason. But it is by far the prettiest part of the ICW. Sail past Florida instead!
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:56   #8
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Re: how far offshore

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Thejeffers.

Check your charts.
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:18   #9
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Re: how far offshore

I like to be in 30+ ft of water when offshore...I let the wind be my guide.
Tom
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:51   #10
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Re: how far offshore

Watch the spits. They bring land out awfully far in Ga.
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Old 10-05-2012, 17:32   #11
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Re: how far offshore

It's better to wait for a good window and shoot from Fernandina to Charleston. You may be 60+ miles off the coast at times but it's much better than the long runs in and out. There's a big curve in the Georgia coast. Better to take a straight shot to Charleston.
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Old 10-05-2012, 17:58   #12
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Re: how far offshore

Watch your charts. The water is shallow off the Georgia coast. I have seen more than a few sailboats aground outside the St Simons channel. Be smart and keep an eye on your chartplotter after leaving St. Mary's.
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Old 13-05-2012, 09:48   #13
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Re: how far offshore

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Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
I like to be in 30+ ft of water when offshore...I let the wind be my guide.
30' of water isn't offshore. It's coastal.

Lay out a line on your chart and make sure you won't hit anything. Look at the ocean currents plot. Off you go.
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Old 13-05-2012, 18:24   #14
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Re: how far offshore

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30' of water isn't offshore. It's coastal.

Lay out a line on your chart and make sure you won't hit anything. Look at the ocean currents plot. Off you go.
I don't think you can't used depth of water to decide offshore/coastal, I can be in 1000'+ a mile or so offshore of Florida and be in <100' 25 miles of the coast of Georgia.
Tom
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