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Old 27-09-2014, 19:54   #1
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ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

Has anybody up to date information about the actual clearance bridges in Fort Myers?

In August 2013 we barely made it underneath these bridges (52feet mast), the sign board read 53feet. (They are listed with alt least 55f, but some are only 54.8f to start with -see Bridge Statistics for Fort Myers, Florida (FL) - Condition, Traffic, Stress, Structural Evaluation, Project Costs).

In two weeks we have pass these bridges again and as far as I know the water level is higher than in August 2013. We also "gained" some inches because we unloaded the boat.... I'm really concerned even traveling at low tide....

Any information about the actual clearance would help!!!!
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Old 28-09-2014, 08:23   #2
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

You have to keep in mind that water levels, not incorrect markings will be why you see less clearance. Winds affect the water levels as well as tides and the release of water from Lake Okeechobee. A few days of westerly winds will raise the level. Astronomic high tides will affect the clearance as will the current tides when you pass under. So the boat that crosses under the bridge today or last week will not be the same as your experience when you get there. The charted clearance is based on an average at mean lower low water. Chuck
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Old 28-09-2014, 16:44   #3
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

Thanks for the answer! I just want to get an idea how it is now. Than I can consider the conditions (at least the rain, release from Lake Okeechobee, water level of the river and water level at Fort Myers).
If the sign board today read less than 53f I might not try it in October. Also, some other sailors were saying that the sign boards at Fort Myers bridges might be a little of...Which makes things even worse...

I didn't know that the charted clearance is based on an average at mean lower low water.
I think it would be much better to base it on an average at mean higher high water. This way it can get only better....and it would be safer!

Anyway..Thanks for your answer again! and keep your fingers cross
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Old 28-09-2014, 16:56   #4
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

dreamer, Sorry having a brain warp moment. The charted clearance is at mean high water. But again, that is an average and the tide boards now today may not reflect in any way what it will be in October or even for any given day. Does your 52 feet include antennas, etc.? Unfortunately when your at the edge you have to deal with it as you arrive. There are no guarantees when it comes to water levels or bridge clearances on any given day. Chuck
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Old 28-09-2014, 17:44   #5
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

Thanks Chuck for the correction! I really appreciate it!!!! Clearance stating average high water sounds sooooo much better!
52f is the bare mast - antenna is extra

We just have to be really cautious when approaching the bridges...

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 29-09-2014, 07:30   #6
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

There's always the option of inducing some heel by hanging weight from a halyard.

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Old 29-09-2014, 07:42   #7
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

Which bridge at Ft Myers are you trying to clear? The main bridge from the Gulf to GICW is 70 feet.


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Old 29-09-2014, 13:12   #8
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Re: ICW Fort Myers brigdes / actual clearance??

You have to keep in mind that water levels, not incorrect markings will be why you see less clearance. Winds affect the water levels as well as tides and the release of water from Lake Okeechobee. A few days of westerly winds will raise the level.

The FantaSea is berthed at the Ft Myers Yacht Basin (of course, you know the difference between a Basin and a Marina). The Bridges at St M 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway are charted at 55 feet....as noted, the Lockmasters leave the gates open to take the strain off the Lake Levees...so there are surges of water to watch out for...

Call the FMYB, (between the Bridges) on your cell-239-321-7080--or Ch 16- switch-n'Answer- They are Professional Waterman- employees of the City, and will help in any way they can (the City of Ft Myers owns the Yacht Basin, and controls its obligations to their riverfront Heritage). Fuel prices are tolerable....if you want to stop.

Local Knowledge---They don't call it Cape Coral for nothin....It is rock-- not sand. Stick to the middle of the marked channel until clear of the North shore, Westbound or the first Lock, Eastbound-
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