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Old 20-10-2018, 08:41   #1
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Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

I have recently transited the Okeechobee waterway with a 3' draft and had no issues of course. I have a different boat that I'd like to unstep the mast on and transit the waterway as well.

Any good suggestions on where to unstep the mast transiting East to West (Atlantic to Gulf)?

Any thoughts on the madness of taking a 5'6" draft into the Okeechobee waterway?
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Old 20-10-2018, 08:58   #2
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

Cracker Boy in Ft Pierce or Indiantown
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Old 20-10-2018, 10:26   #3
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I have recently transited the Okeechobee waterway with a 3' draft and had no issues of course. I have a different boat that I'd like to unstep the mast on and transit the waterway as well.

Any good suggestions on where to unstep the mast transiting East to West (Atlantic to Gulf)?

Any thoughts on the madness of taking a 5'6" draft into the Okeechobee waterway?
Just curious....why do you want to unstep the mast prior to going through the Okeechobee?
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Old 20-10-2018, 10:40   #4
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

49' fixed span in non-tidal waters
Okeechobee Waterway Bridges Clearances, Schedules, and Restrictions
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Old 21-10-2018, 09:19   #5
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

You will have scary moments. We transited in the spring and had them in Ft Pierce, the lake (check level) and somewhere close to the lock west of the lake. We draw 4' 4"! But the mud is soft ��

Good luck

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Old 21-10-2018, 10:00   #6
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I have recently transited the Okeechobee waterway with a 3' draft and had no issues of course. I have a different boat that I'd like to unstep the mast on and transit the waterway as well.

Any good suggestions on where to unstep the mast transiting East to West (Atlantic to Gulf)?

Any thoughts on the madness of taking a 5'6" draft into the Okeechobee waterway?

===


There is no problem at all with a 5 1/2 ft draft. We draw that much and just crossed east to west over the last several days, never seeing less that 8 ft of water coming across the lake. There are people at Indiantown marina who can incline your boat under the 49 ft railroad bridge at Port Mayaca if that is an issue. I'd call them in advance to make sure. If your air draft is over 54 ft you'll want to unstep the mast at Ft Pierce and re-step it at Ft Myers beach.
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Old 21-10-2018, 10:47   #7
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

Thanks for the advice everyone. It's a 61' air draft so I was unstepping for that reason.

Sounds like a good plan!
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Old 22-10-2018, 08:13   #8
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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Just curious....why do you want to unstep the mast prior to going through the Okeechobee?
The only reason I could see would be the clearance of the vertical life bride in Stuart. If the air draft would not clear it raised. Other than that there would be no reason.
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Old 22-10-2018, 08:39   #9
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

Crossing now with a five foot draft. With the lake at 14 feet now I haven’t seen anything that should be a problem for 5 1/2 from St. Lucie to Moorehaven. Can’t speak for the Western portion as I haven’t finished.
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Old 22-10-2018, 08:43   #10
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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The only reason I could see would be the clearance of the vertical life bride in Stuart. If the air draft would not clear it raised. Other than that there would be no reason.

===


The lift bridge in Stuart is not a problem. Most of the fixed bridges on the Okeechobee are around 54 ft of clearance however, and the railroad bridge at Port Mayaca is 49 ft. There are people at Indiantown Marina who specialize in heeling over boats using water bag weights to get under the Port Mayaca bridge but that would be impractical for all of the 54 footers.
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Old 22-10-2018, 08:49   #11
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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Crossing now with a five foot draft. With the lake at 14 feet now I haven’t seen anything that should be a problem for 5 1/2 from St. Lucie to Moorehaven. Can’t speak for the Western portion as I haven’t finished.

===


You should have no issues at all. The shallowest water we saw the other day was about 8 ft as we were approaching Ft Myers west of I-75.
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Old 22-10-2018, 09:55   #12
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Re: Transiting the Okeechobee Waterway with 5'6" Draft

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===


The lift bridge in Stuart is not a problem. Most of the fixed bridges on the Okeechobee are around 54 ft of clearance however, and the railroad bridge at Port Mayaca is 49 ft. There are people at Indiantown Marina who specialize in heeling over boats using water bag weights to get under the Port Mayaca bridge but that would be impractical for all of the 54 footers.
I guess I missed worrying about the others with a 36' air draft. My bad. Glad you caught it.
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