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Old 16-08-2010, 12:01   #16
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Julia Tuttle Causeway is the lowest fixed bridge, at 55'. I would go outside Charleston to Jacksonville to avoid Georgia and you have to go out Ft. Lauderdale to Miami because of Julia Tuttle.


Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Bridge Schedule & Lock Restrictions
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Old 17-08-2010, 11:17   #17
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There are several bridges that can offer less than 65 feet at times, and I have seen the Wilkerson Bridge (about Mile 126), the Atlantic Beach Bridge (just south of Morehead City), and the Riviera Bridge in Palm Beach all showing around 62 feet at times. The Wilkerson is the most likely to cause problems as there is no real tide there, only wind-driven depth changes, so it can sometimes be a few days before it gets back to normal. Also, the Wilkerson is currently only charted at 64 feet. Be careful approaching fixed bridges and look for a tide board if one exists. The lowest bridge on the ICW is the Julia Tuttle Bridge in Miami with only 56 feet.
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Old 17-08-2010, 11:24   #18
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Julia Tuttle Causeway is the lowest fixed bridge, at 55'. I would go outside Charleston to Jacksonville to avoid Georgia and you have to go out Ft. Lauderdale to Miami because of Julia Tuttle.


Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Bridge Schedule & Lock Restrictions

The table used on this link is outdated so caution should be used in any of that information. Chuck
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Old 19-09-2010, 12:46   #19
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If you are in the ICW going past Jekyll Island in Georgia, you will want to be close to high tide when you pass the Jekyll Island Club. Don't do it at low tide.I have been through there many times. Trust me.
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Old 24-09-2010, 21:51   #20
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Do people ever sail on the ICW? It seems not - everyone talks about motoring. But why not? Is it problems with leeway, or is there something else?

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Old 25-09-2010, 02:39   #21
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The only bit of the ICW I know is the stretch between Beaufort, NC and Oriental.. about 25miles.... I had to sail it once coz my prop shaft had bent when it snared a sunken mooring in Taylors Creek and I needed to get back to Sailcraft to lift out for repairs...
Its do-able, all be it slow... wind shifts due to terrain... and when those tugs come down with a tow....
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Old 25-09-2010, 05:56   #22
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A few years ago I met a cat and a small monohull on the waterway. They sailed all the way every day. It was slow but they had no schedule and their draft was negligible so they just pulled to the side and anchored at night, no need to find a good anchorage. The AICW can be sailed but you have to have the right boat and more importantly, the right mind-set. You will not do 50 miles a day sailing.
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Old 25-09-2010, 06:11   #23
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Most of the time, sailboats will keep the main up while motoring, maybe jib too. So you are motorsailing most of the time. At some places, you can turn off the motor and sail. Fullmoon is right on about Jekyll Island, you should do it near high time. If you OK about it, jump out into the ocean at SSI and head to St. Augustine. You will save loads of time and the stress of the low water.
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Old 25-09-2010, 07:24   #24
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Do people ever sail on the ICW? It seems not - everyone talks about motoring. But why not? Is it problems with leeway, or is there something else?

Margo
Margo, There are in fact sections of the waterway that can be sailed and are a delight to do so. But much of the ICW is narrow cuts and canals with tree lines or high banks that block any winds or will divert the wind on the nose, or very narrow channels in wide shallow bays. There is virtually no room to tack and if you get out of the channel you run out of water. Add to that that shoaling in the channel is prevalent in many areas. You will not be able to sail through bridges and there are lots of bridges. Passing power boats will require you to slow down or you will get waked big time. This environment does not suit sailing very well and if you really want to sail, plan your weather and go outside. Chuck
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Old 25-09-2010, 07:43   #25
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Or just skip the ICW completely and jump from Norfolk or Beaufort NC direct to the Abacos, assuming the Bahamas are your ultimate goal.
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Old 25-09-2010, 08:00   #26
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Thanks Guys! That all makes a lot of sense. Motorsailing could help with the fuel consumption, but gusting winds, bridges and (are there really) tugs all sound iffy for relying solely on sails.

Yes, Bahamas is my goal, but I'm already in Florida, never having made it all the way north.

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Old 25-09-2010, 08:41   #27
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There are very few places you can actually sail without a motor in the ICW as others have said. Many of the bridges are on schedules and you have to wait until they open which means doing race track patterns or just trying to hold position relative to the shore and other boats. None of this can be done with any sails up. Also some bridges will refuse to open if they see any of your sails up.
- - As stated by others you can run aground quite quickly and quite expensively in some areas as the ICW channel is a narrow cut sitting in the middle of bays and bayous where the rest of the water outside the channel is less than a meter deep.
- - For all practical purposes you will operating as a "motor-boat" for most of the ICW. In areas like Georgia which has a lot of commercial tug/barge operations on the ICW you need to be quick and nimble to get out of the channel when confronted by a tug/barge coming at you. Failure to get out of their way which usually means getting out of the channel can and does result in serious damage to your boat and serious damage to your wallet.
- - The entire ICW is worth a trip staying inside the whole time at least once. There are so many wonderful and beautiful things to see along the shores and swamps. But it can be frustrating as you can motor 50 nm in the ICW and only travel 10 nm or so south as a bird flies. For this and other reasons after you have "done it" once, most folks end up slipping "outside" into the Atlantic to bypass some of the seriously slow going sections, especially in the Carolinas and Georgia.
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:04   #28
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Regarding controling height of fixed bridges on the ICW... BEWARE of the JULIA TUTTLE CAUSWAY fixed bridge, on the S Miami ICW, it is only about 54' !!!
I cleared off the top of a clients mast on this one! Mark
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Old 25-09-2010, 15:26   #29
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Yeah, osiris, it's that "motor-boat" thing that's got me down. It seems the "ditch" is not the place to practice my singlehanding. I took the outside route from Miami to here (Ft Pierce) because I had crew aboard. But I've been wanting to go at least as far as Fernandina before it's time to head south again. If the weather cooperates, I'll try the offshore legs between New Smyrna and St Augustine and there to Mayport. Otherwise I guess I'll bite the bullet and plan to motor.

Thanks all,
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Old 25-09-2010, 16:18   #30
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Depending upon your draft (over 5 ft) there are some "skinny" places in the Florida ICW especially up by Ponce de Leon Inlet. Running the coast line (beach) is much preferred both northbound and southbound to reduce the overall time. I normally head north from Cape Canaveral outside direct to St Mary's Inlet and Ferandina Beach which is one my most favorite stops north or southbound.
- - But there are a reasonable amount of inlets available so that you can duck inside a little bit and anchor for the night if you only want to do daylight hops or if the weather outside turns nasty.
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