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Old 15-04-2012, 17:05   #1
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ICW and 65' Mast...



We are heading up the Florida coast offshore, and we finally measured the height of our mast – 65’ to the tip of the VHF antenna…

Does anyone a convenient source for determining which portions of the ICW can be used with a mast of that height?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Norman Paradis
SV Abigail Joy
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Old 15-04-2012, 17:12   #2
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

where in Fla are you starting from?
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Old 15-04-2012, 17:14   #3
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

The skipper bob anchorage book has mile by mile bridge info. Heights and opening times for the draw bridges and free anchorage spots. Very worth the $17. The whole skipper bob line of travel books are updated yearly and cover marina, gulf coast, great loop, ect... Very to the point, not fancy, no color, spiral bound.
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Old 15-04-2012, 17:29   #4
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

Officially, the overhead clearance from Miami to Norfolk is 65 feet, but there are a few fixed bridges that routinely offer less than that. There is also the Julia Tuttle Bridge in Miami at only 56 feet. Being at 65 feet you should approach any bridge charted at 65 feet with great caution, observing the height gauge, if there is one. The Wilkerson Bridge up in the Alligator Pungo Canal in NC is charted at 64 feet, and I have observed only 62 feet there with a wind-driven water height. Other bridges I have seen offering less than 65 include the Atlantic Beach Bridge just south of Morehead City, NC, and the Blue Heron Bridge in Palm Beach.
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Old 15-04-2012, 17:49   #5
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

We have seen just under 65' at the Core Creek bridge just north of Beaufort, NC also. Our mast is 64'9". Thought about turning around and backing thru....that way, the mast falls forward
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Old 15-04-2012, 18:05   #6
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

Use the book and charts for stated heights. Not sure if Active Captain has info added by users on the bridges or not. I did it from Wrightsville Beach NC to Lauderdale.... but poked outside where the bridges were iffy. Some bridges have a lot of current near them... You may get comitted without possibility of reversing if you get too close . I went through Crab Cut Bridge (near Wrightsville) with a lot of current.... didnt realize it until I got pretty close, tried reverse which just made me go under sideways. I was 64+ and the VHF antenna rattled on the bridge girders! 65 to the antenna tip should be pretty good most places....
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Old 15-04-2012, 20:48   #7
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

The Punge Ferry bridge just N of the NC/VA line is marginal.
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Old 15-04-2012, 21:15   #8
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

Awh..most VHF whips bend real good. A little "twang...twang...twang" under some bridge girders will cleans off any bird poop on the antenna. Improves your transmit range. Also give the folks ashore something to talk about

With 64' 3" to the top of the halyard sheaves we keep a close eye. South of Beaufort NC, we plan the day to not go under a bridge within 2 hours of high tide. This really isn't hard. A couple of times a season we'll have to anchor for a few hours for a leisurely lunch. We do check for abnormally high lunar tides or wind driven tides.

From Beaufort to Norfolk there is no lunar tide. It's all wind. If the water level is up, you may have to wait a few days. A lot of nice places to wait around here. I'm in no hurry.

+1 on Pungo Ferry being a problem if the water's up. Saw 62' on the height board last fall. If the wind's not against you, it's faster and more fun to skip the Wilkerson and go around by Manteo. Great town and you get to sail.

Carl
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Old 16-04-2012, 06:37   #9
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

We are also very close to 65' with the VHF antenna. I don't recall at the moment and my notes are in the boat... however we had trouble with a couple in northern FL, near Jacksonville I think. They were something less than 65, maybe 64ish. As I recall the height boards read true, so if it says less than 65 believe it.

Scott
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Old 16-04-2012, 08:01   #10
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

The bridge just south of Coinjock can be less than 65' when the wind is blowing north and the Wonder Wood Expressway south of the St John's Rive in Jacksonville, FL falls short of 65" at high water but there is alot of tide.
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Old 23-04-2012, 19:33   #11
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

Most of the way through Georgia and the 65’ mast has not been a problem!

We just time it so we go through the fixed bridges at any time but high tide, and the board say 66’ or more.
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:52   #12
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

One thing to keep an eye out for on some of the bridges are the lights suspended from the under-sides of the spans. A few months ago we were following a boat that hit the suspended lights in the middle of the 65' bridge between Sarasota and St. Arman's Circle on Longboat. He had a somewhat shorted mast than ours and managed to mangle his mast-head lights, wind instrument and radio antenna. A few inches taller and his masthead itself would have banged the lights.

FWIW...
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:24   #13
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

i do a lot of deliveries up and down the I.C.W.S. sometimes with mast that are on the
plus side of 65ft. As mentioned in above notes,if you have the time and not in a hurry,
check the water level boards at the bridges or talk to the bridge operators (most of them
will help you,some wont ) about tide and wind surge heights ,you should get though.
Again,the operative word is,TIME.
Enjoy your sail.
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Old 30-04-2012, 17:41   #14
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

We are going through South Carolina, and have run into a few 65’ fixed bridges without water level boards. You really sweat a bit more if you don’t have that final check…

Anyone know why some of the bridges don’t have boards and will we run into this anywhere else?
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Old 30-04-2012, 18:42   #15
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Re: ICW and 65' Mast...

This now famous clip shows how to make the low ones.



We are 80 feet but the admiral says no way will we do this.
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