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Old 30-10-2007, 16:33   #1
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How long is the ICW?

I tried searching the net but got more adverts than information. Does anyone know the terminus points of the ICW and/or how long it is? My understanding is that you can travel from Maine to Texas and only have to go out in the open ocean in a few spots. Is that correct?
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Old 30-10-2007, 16:39   #2
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Intracoastal Waterway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 30-10-2007, 16:47   #3
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You are wrong New Jersey is as far north as you can go.
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Old 30-10-2007, 16:56   #4
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You are wrong New Jersey is as far north as you can go.
Not sure where you are talking about or how that fits in to the question. The ICW officially starts at MM 0 in Norfolk Virginia and ends in Brownsville Texas. The gulf coast or GIWW leaves the mainland at Tarpon Springs and picks up again in Carrabelle. That is the only offshore passage. For info on our last transit of the GIWW to Galveston click on

Captain Log List Page

And star at post 796. We have done the East Coast ICW about ten times now but not for a few years.
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Old 30-10-2007, 17:03   #5
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Charlie,

Most folks start on the AICW at mile zero which is by the hospital anchorage in Norfolk. From there you can get to the Keys without going outside at all. If you're a shallow draft, low height boat you can start from Manasquan, NJ I think, but I've never met a sailboat that started there. Going south you have to stay in the Atlantic until Cape May then you can go up Delaware Bay, through the C&D canal to the Chesapeake, down the Chesapeake to Norfolk and away you go. Because of the shallow sections and circuitous route (in Georgia you can see a boat across the weeds that looks about a mile away but it's five or six miles ahead of you, it just goes round and round) many folks jump in and out, weather permitting. I usually try to avoid the Georgia section, going from Charleston to the St. Marys River on the Georgia/Florida border. I do not know anything about the ICW on the Gulf side as I've never been over there. I think it's about 1600 statute miles from Norfolk to Biscayne Bay. The ICW is measured in land miles.
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Old 30-10-2007, 19:48   #6
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Thanks for the info. I was just curious is all. I know why I couldn't find anything on the web. I thought it was the intercostal. The correct term is the intracostal. Big difference. Wikipedia says --

"The Intracoastal Waterway is a 4,800-km (3,000-mile) recreational and commercial waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Some lengths consist of natural inlets, salt-water rivers, bays, and sounds; others are man-made canals.
The waterway runs the length of the Eastern Seaboard (Maine to Miami, Florida), from its unofficial northern terminus at the Manasquan River in New Jersey, where it connects with the Atlantic Ocean at the Manasquan Inlet, to Brownsville, Texas."

I guess my questions was too open ended.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:17   #7
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pirate Currently on ICW in Georgetown, South Carolina

I am currently (Nov. 5th 2007) traveling south on the ICW. I started in Annapolis and I am Florida/Bahamas bond; my 5th trip. I wondered if other forum members are currently making the trip. It has been seven years since our last ICW trip and many changes. Boy did marina costs increase.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:29   #8
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what is the name of your boat Rich
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:35   #9
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The biggest change from a cruiser's standpoint is that the free dock at Barefoot Landing (just north of Myrtle Beach) is no longer free. This was a great spot where snowbirds would raft up and stay a few days. I haven't been north of Charleston for the past four years but prior to that the only changes, other than constant shoaling, was the replacement of opening bridges with hi-rises and, of course, more development. As far as marinas go the few (like Brunswick Landing in Brunswick, GA) that used to be reasonable have upped their charges too so there really aren't any left. The cost of anchoring is still the same. We'll be starting our trip mid-November. Two weeks to get the boat ready so we'll set sail towards the end of November and hope to cross around Christmas from Miami. See you in the Bahamas.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:08   #10
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Our boat name is 'Wings'

We are traveling south aboard our Gemini 105 'Wings', our previous travels to the Bahamas was on our Island Packet 350 named 'Island Spirit'

Yes thankfully anchoring is still free. One of the best deals in boating are times spent on the end of chain and rode.The Bahamas is filled with great spots to anchor.
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:18   #11
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Our boat is currently waiting on the lock at Great bridge after a sleigh ride from Annapolis. I flew home this AM and my Wife (Muffin) and her friend Sue are continuing south. I will meet up with her after finishing up my last boat show (Amsterdam) on the 18th Nov.

If anyone sees Antares on the ditch say hello!

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Old 05-11-2007, 16:44   #12
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all you people heading south through Charleston, give us a shout as you go by. We will be here until the week of Thanksgiving. We are within vhf range of the ditch. As the SSCA cruising station we monitor the radio about 0800 to 2100
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:23   #13
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The biggest change from a cruiser's standpoint is that the free dock at Barefoot Landing (just north of Myrtle Beach) is no longer free.
Darn, we're in Little River and my wife wanted to stop there tomorrow for a few hours of shopping. Guess we'll have to skip that. <g>

Jusdreaming - We'll be through there on Thursday. Hail you on 16??? We will jump outside there and go down to StMarys.

How long is the ICW? The first trip down is short, exciting and loaded with scenery. The trip back up is slightly longer with less scenery. The third trip is very long and takes forever. By the forth trip, it's a loooong slooooow slog....... you just want to go outside the whole way.
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Old 05-11-2007, 18:36   #14
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How long is the ICW? The first trip down is short, exciting and loaded with scenery. The trip back up is slightly longer with less scenery. The third trip is very long and takes forever. By the forth trip, it's a loooong slooooow slog....... you just want to go outside the whole way.
This is the correct answer . . . someone give this man a gold star!

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Old 06-11-2007, 06:36   #15
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RLeslie
Yes, hail us just to say hey!!! At least I can pretend that we are on the way with you guys!!
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