Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-07-2010, 07:53   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Jupiter FL
Boat: temporarily boatless...
Posts: 723
US East Coast Inlets: 6' Draft

Hello all: about to embark on a CT-FL voyage, first time on a trip of this length (heck, at around 1200 nm, this is about a year's worth of sailing for me!). I've tried searching for answers to this question, and although I'm sure it's been addressed before, my searches never seem to get me to where I want to go (is there an "All Words" search option?). Anyway, the plan is to go primarily on the outside (weather permitting), but should the weather force us in, or should we need water, or solid ground, or a cheeseburger, I'd like to know what our options are along southern Long Island and the coastal regions south to Ft Lauderdale. I know what the Class A inlets are (at least south of Norfolk), but would be interested in your experience with other inlets that might be usable. Any other insights you might have would also be welcomed. Please, I already understand the dangers associated with hurricane season, we'll be watching as closely as possible and won't take chances with that.

Thanks very much for your input, as always. Best wishes, Pete
__________________

__________________
pete33458 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 08:10   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,156
I think there are plenty of inlets that you could use, too many to try to list here. There are several stretches with no inlets for you, such as eastern LI south shore that I would consider easy to plan around. And there are longer stretches that you probably want to avoid by going inside, like Cape Hatteras.

You might want to consider some Maptech Cruising Guides fior the east coast, which provide basic navigation info, including advice on the inlets, as well as lots of info on marinas and local attractions, provisioning, etc. These are frequently available on ebay, and I believe there is one for the entire east coast.

And the other major consideration that you need to plan around is the north currents of the Gulf Stream.
__________________

__________________
speedoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 08:25   #3
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
For Virginia and south, check out Cruiser's Net . It would also be wise to obtain a copy of the US Coast Pilot--Atlantic Seaboard.
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 08:41   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,096
this is what you need

Inlet ChartBook: Southeastern United States - 3rd Ed.
__________________
sck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 08:50   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: USA
Boat: Cape Dory
Posts: 439
Activecaptain is a pretty good resource too. I would say that some (but definitely not all) of the inlets described there as requiring local knowledge can be navigated by first timers with good planning and maybe a conversation with someone with first hand knowledge. Check it out.
__________________
Mambo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 09:20   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 165
we have found the Inlet chartbook helpful also but even more so we call the local tow boat companies and get the latest info about the inlet
__________________
S/V Katabatik
Leopard 46
San Francisco, CA
stacy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 09:51   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: St. Augustine, FL
Boat: Island Packet, 35, - Serendipity
Posts: 65
A few you will pass in S. Georgia into Florida listed in order from North to South.
St. Marys River to Ferendina Beach, FL - Major shipping port - 40+ feet of water
Mayport, FL - Major shipping port - 40+ feet of water
St. Augustine, FL - Follow another larger boat and you will be fine, but expect ~10 feet of water at low tide.
All of the above 3 can be pretty interesting if the tide is against the ocean swell.
Ponce Inlet - I draw 4.5' and bumped several times once inside trying to go both north and south on the ICW
Skipping a few as I have not been thru them, but once you get down to West Palm Beach, the Lake worth inlet will also be no problem wtih 6' of draft, but again watch the tide against the ocean swell.
Good Luck,

--Eric
__________________
Eric M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 10:21   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oriental, NC
Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
Posts: 1,429
It is really the wind against the outgoing tide that can be a problem. All of the east coast inlets that face due east have this problem. Waiting 4 hours can make a big difference.

One of the worst times I have ever had in boating was exiting Miami at Government Cut against a twenty knot wind and full ebb tide. The waves were steep and sharp and running 6-8 feet until I got outside far enough to turn 90 degrees and clear the entrance.

And the same thing happened the next day at Lake Worth Inlet.

David
__________________
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 11:44   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
When is the wind a problem- when it blows directly into the current or 90 degrees from it? We see this in the sound as well.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 12:11   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
When is the wind a problem- when it blows directly into the current or 90 degrees from it? We see this in the sound as well.
If it's blowing hard from northeast to southeast and it's ebbing, the waves will stack up in most East Coast inlets. Makes for a hobby horse ride going out and going in you need good power to prevent broaching.
__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-07-2010, 13:37   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
If it's blowing hard from northeast to southeast and it's ebbing, the waves will stack up in most East Coast inlets. Makes for a hobby horse ride going out and going in you need good power to prevent broaching.
Not sure it has to be blowing hard. Last time I went into Ft. Lauderdale, it was pretty tough, not much wind and I don't know what the tide was doing. But the waves in the channel were big enough to really bounce me around in a 32 ft. sailboat. So much so that I was lucky to get into the wake of a big commercial power vessel that smoothed things out for me.
__________________
speedoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2010, 07:01   #12
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
It takes rather a long time for wind driven waves to calm after the wind has quit. Depending upon the wind's prior duration, several hours or even days. The inlets on the east coast of Florida--particularly Government Cut in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale--are famously rough with an out-bound tide and on-shore wind driven waves. While it can be unnerving, hugging either side of the channel, closer to the stone jetties, will give one somewhat less exposure to the waves than one experiences in mid-channel as the water flow near the edges is slower. It also pays to keep one's head on a swivel as heading into any of these inlets with a cruise or commercial ship beginning its way into the fairway can lead to some pretty exciting times as they move a heck of a lot faster than they appear to and generate some pretty spectacular bow waves when seen from the deck level of a sailboat. While the locals seem to handle these conditions with aplomb, for us it was pretty nerve racking until we had cleared the jetties.

FWIW...
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2010, 07:25   #13
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Pete, To try and give you some answers, we traveled the east coast for decades with a 6 foot draft. The inlets we found safe and useful, keeping weather and conditions in mind, are from north to south, Atlantic City, Cape May, Chesapeake Bay, Beaufort, NC inlet, Masonboro Inlet, Cape Fear, Winyah Bay, Charleston, Port Royal, St. Mary's, St. Johns River, St. Augustine, Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Lake Worth, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Key Biscayne. I don't think I have forgotten any and we have not been any further north than New Jersey, yet. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2010, 08:24   #14
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,793
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
Atlantic City, Cape May, Chesapeake Bay, Beaufort, NC inlet, Masonboro Inlet, Cape Fear, Winyah Bay, Charleston, Port Royal, St. Mary's, St. Johns River, St. Augustine, Canaveral, Fort Pierce, Lake Worth, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Key Biscayne.
I can't speak to inlets south of Charleston (I'm usually way offshore by then). North of that I agree with Chuck except for Cape May. I find Cape Henlopen a much easier inlet than Cape May only five miles south and with a much easier entrance and exit.

YMMV.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-07-2010, 09:02   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
Vasco's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Toronto
Boat: CS36Merlin, "La Belle Aurore" Ben393 "Breathless"
Posts: 7,140
The Cape May entrance is quite wide between the jetties. You can get great big rollers running in when the weather's not cooperating. I had to go full ahead on the engine to maintain steerage on the way in once. In the same storm another sailor was not so lucky. he was an experienced skipper and broached going into Barnegat. Unfortunately he drowned and his ketch was wrecked.
__________________

__________________
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beneteau393/
Vasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
draft, east coast

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
East Coast Current on NSW Coast, Australia ribbony Pacific & South China Sea 11 02-07-2014 22:08
6'8" Draft Too Much for Australian East Coast Owe Hansson General Sailing Forum 13 01-09-2010 20:48
West Coast to East Coast milhan Dollars & Cents 6 20-07-2010 21:06
Boat Transport from East coast to West Coast of USA stevesailor Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 09-04-2010 13:14
West Coast of Florida to East Coast Wahoo Sails Other 2 23-09-2006 07:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.