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Old 25-09-2014, 13:05   #16
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

Yeah, middle of the channel is a bit hard to tell sometimes.... while the specification may be 150 feet wide, in spots it seems a mile between bouys..... you are guesstimating because between one red marker and one green one can be quite a distance... they are not laid out with a green and red directly across from one another... rather a green and then barely visible a long distance ahead you can see the red. By attempting to stay mid channel as best as you can guesstimate seems the safe route to me, you really can be quite a ways off mid channel even when you are attemting to be there.... but near many bouys it's very shallow....
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Old 25-09-2014, 15:27   #17
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post
............ According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, ...............
This is the first time I've ever seen the Encyclopedia Britannica used as a reference for nautical information. Wikipedia, yes, but not Encyclopedia Britannica.

Of course I think I would believe the Encyclopedia Britannica before Wikipedia.

As far as staying in the middle of the channel. you will often have current or wind pushing you out of the channel so just heading for "X" number of feet to one side of the marker doesn't always work.
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Old 25-09-2014, 19:10   #18
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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they are not laid out with a green and red directly across from one another... rather a green and then barely visible a long distance ahead you can see the red.
Precisely. They don't work like, say, the channel markers in a harbor entrance. They are meant to mark the outside of a turn in the dredged channel. So if you tell a newbie to "stay in the middle", he or she is going to run aground on the inside of a curve.
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Old 26-09-2014, 05:20   #19
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

I'm not sure I would take navigational advice from an encyclopedia or even wikipededia. Anyone that has done the ICW almost as many times as I have knows full well that most of the ICW is far from 150 feet wide and is probably never 8 feet deep near a channel marker, with a few exceptions. Even with that, mid channel is 75 feet from the marker and no 20. You would also know that the channel is almost never dredged right up to the markers. You would also know that many long stretches of the ICW have not been dredged in many, many years. Stay away from them along most of the route. Many have tide markers attached showing 1 to 2 feet where the marker sits and the depths close to it will put you aground. If you prefer to use an encyclopedia, make sure you have towing insurance paid up. Our last transit was months ago and not years. Chuck
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Old 26-09-2014, 05:25   #20
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Precisely. They don't work like, say, the channel markers in a harbor entrance. They are meant to mark the outside of a turn in the dredged channel. So if you tell a newbie to "stay in the middle", he or she is going to run aground on the inside of a curve.

Sorry but that's just not the case in MOST places. There are exceptions to everything. Chuck
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:06   #21
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

Why not pick a good weather window and go on the outside and avoid the ICW completely?
I have given up on the ICW completely. I also draw 6 feet and going down through South Carolina Georgia, and even northern Florida, you end up traveling 5 miles to make one myself even if you don't run aground.
I now take my boat south on the outside by watching the weather and traveling from major inlet to major inlet. Much more pleasant trip no big powerboats to wash you out of the channel, no bridges, no locks, and lots of room to steer.
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:39   #22
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Hi all!!!

We are leaving from Carolina Beach, North Carolina in about two weeks (October 8th) and headed south to Key West. Our boat has a 6 foot draft and we want to take the ICW most of the way, but head offshore through some parts of Georgia when the weather is nice. However, we are a little worried about the shallowness of the ICW and would love to talk to anyone who is currently doing it or has just done it. Or maybe there is someone that will be doing it around the same time as us and can give us some pointers?

Specifically: What are the major areas we need to pay attention to? Local knowledge would be great.

Thanks!
I suspect you didn't need a bunch of people telling you were the channel can be found relative to the markers.
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:47   #23
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Why not pick a good weather window and go on the outside and avoid the ICW completely?
I have given up on the ICW completely. I also draw 6 feet and going down through South Carolina Georgia, and even northern Florida, you end up traveling 5 miles to make one myself even if you don't run aground.
I now take my boat south on the outside by watching the weather and traveling from major inlet to major inlet. Much more pleasant trip no big powerboats to wash you out of the channel, no bridges, no locks, and lots of room to steer.
Some of us enjoy the trip on the ICW. We enjoy stopping in towns and meeting people, we enjoy seeing other boats and we enjoy seeing the wildlife along the way. It seems to me going on the "outside" is just many hours of nothing but water and sky.

If I'm in a hurry to get somewhere I drive my car or fly. If I want to stop and smell the roses I take my boat. On the ICW.
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Old 26-09-2014, 11:58   #24
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Some of us enjoy the trip on the ICW. We enjoy stopping in towns and meeting people, we enjoy seeing other boats and we enjoy seeing the wildlife along the way. It seems to me going on the "outside" is just many hours of nothing but water and sky.

If I'm in a hurry to get somewhere I drive my car or fly. If I want to stop and smell the roses I take my boat. On the ICW.
I'm surprised your boat draws that much water if you enjoy the ICW and not off shore? I guess it's none of my business just curious?
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Old 26-09-2014, 12:14   #25
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Some of us enjoy the trip on the ICW. We enjoy stopping in towns and meeting people, we enjoy seeing other boats and we enjoy seeing the wildlife along the way. It seems to me going on the "outside" is just many hours of nothing but water and sky.

If I'm in a hurry to get somewhere I drive my car or fly. If I want to stop and smell the roses I take my boat. On the ICW.
Sorry, I was just asking and I'm glad you enjoy the iCW. Some of us don't.
And no one said anything about being in a hurry. I do stop in ports, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. And there is something to be said for many hours of nothing but sea and sky. Maybe you should try it sometime. You can miss a lot of the worst spots on the ICW by jumping out one port and jumping back in another.
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Old 26-09-2014, 12:27   #26
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

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Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
I'm not sure I would take navigational advice from an encyclopedia or even wikipededia. Anyone that has done the ICW almost as many times as I have knows full well that most of the ICW is far from 150 feet wide and is probably never 8 feet deep near a channel marker, with a few exceptions. Even with that, mid channel is 75 feet from the marker and no 20. You would also know that the channel is almost never dredged right up to the markers. You would also know that many long stretches of the ICW have not been dredged in many, many years. Stay away from them along most of the route. Many have tide markers attached showing 1 to 2 feet where the marker sits and the depths close to it will put you aground. If you prefer to use an encyclopedia, make sure you have towing insurance paid up. Our last transit was months ago and not years. Chuck
Boy, I was just trying to help the guy out.

I stand by my posts. I hope they help someone. The method works. I think I was on the ICW even more recently than you, by the way.
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Old 26-09-2014, 12:47   #27
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

Come on kids make nice. I seems these thing always turn into a pissing contest. If you feel someone is blowing smoke and has no idea what they are talking about, let it go of phrase it with tact. My only fear with smoke is someone may believe it.
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Old 26-09-2014, 12:51   #28
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

PS, forgot affronted your intelligence. Just let that one go.
Just hit thanks on the good ones.
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Old 26-09-2014, 22:08   #29
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Depth finder is your friend.. Be careful using the marker ahead for judging if your in the center.. Always look back too. I do most of fl with a 6.5 and I rarely have issues but I run the depth finder religiously.
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Old 27-09-2014, 07:56   #30
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Re: ICW and a deep draft

Spatial awareness is necessary.

Too many people forget to look behind their boats. The position of the boat relative to the markers already passed can show you what direction the current/wind is setting your vessel. Not to mention keeping you informed about overtaking traffic.

You can also use ranges that are behind you as well as the ones you are approaching. Don't know how to use a range? Look it up. There aren't as many of them as there used to be (lack of maintenance funds) but there are still a few.

I tell newbies to imagine they are driving a large towboat pushing ahead a couple of large barges. The arc that towboat will follow around a curve in the ICW is the same arc you should follow. Why? Because that towboat will be in at least 6' of water.

One last tip - if totally confused, favor a bearing that will take you towards the next lit marker. The ICW is designed to be run 24 hours a day by commercial traffic, so the lit markers tend to be more important than the unlit day markers.

Everybody can now tell me how wrong I am, but hey, it works for me.
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