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Old 15-10-2018, 10:57   #1
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Steadman Uhlich's Avatar

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ICW Reports 2018 Total Fuel and Time Used for Long Distance ICW Voyages

I am starting this thread in the General Sailing forum because I am curious about the number that sailboats see during the annual migration from the Northeast to Florida and the Bahamas. This is based on an earlier thread I started a few years ago (2014) in the Power forum here on CF. I hope this new thread will attract new contributors and provide more information related to sailboats that are typically motoring down the ICW in the Fall.

Howdy Folks!

I have been curious about using the ICW to travel long distances, typically from the Northeast to Florida (or the opposite direction). I assume that the entire trip would be done motoring using a fuel efficient Diesel engine that averages ONE gallon per hour for 6 knot hull speed on a 30-40 foot boat.

Your boat may use much less than one GALLON per hour, and that is what I am hoping will be posted here in this new thread.

I wondered how long it would take to motor, how far that is, and what could be the fuel cost.

I did some calculations after a little research.

Cost of trawler power boat or sailboat motor cruising the ICW from Maine to Key West.

Distances are from tables made by NOAA.

Portland Maine to Miami 1,646 miles using ICW and canals and Long Island Sound.

Miami to Key West Florida = 151 miles

Portland Maine to Key West Florida = 1797 miles or about 1,800 miles


Fuel Prices in 2018

Diesel Prices averaged $4 per gallon on average at Florida marinas (December 2014)

Diesel Prices have fallen since 2014.

Diesel Prices about $3.40 per gallon in Chesapeake area (October 2018)
Diesel Prices vary, but appear to average about $3.25 per gallon from Virginia to Georgia (October 2018) Some are as low as $2.90 and some as high as $3.80/gallon.


Diesel Prices appear higher in Florida and appear to average about $3.50 per gallon in Florida area (October 2018). Some are as high as $3.99/gallon.


Estimating Time and Fuel Costs for a Motoring Sailboat on the ICW

Assume a sailboat motoring at 6 knots per hour for 8 hours per day for daily average of 48 miles distance each day.

Assume longest distance = 1,800 miles

Assume fuel consumed at ONE gallon per hour.

1800/6 = 300 gallons x $3.50/g = $1,050

1800 / 48 = about 37.5 days

TOTAL fuel cost and days = $1,050 and 37.5 days.

Your mileage and fuel consumption may vary. That is what I want to find out.

Please add your input to this discussion.

I am aware this does not account for meals and other expenses along the way (e.g. marina stays, other fees).

I also know boats may "sip" fuel and so get better mileage, while others may "gulp" fuel and use much more fuel per hour (and possibly go much faster per hour).

I encourage you to do the same calculations using YOUR boat and then post your answers below in this discussion, noting your engine type, boat type, and GPH and your typical cruising speed for this scenario.

But even better...

If you have keep a Fuel/Milage Log, please post your real logged miles and fuel used and the total cost of the fuel you used with recent averages for fuel costs (2018) for a voyage on the ICW in 2018.

2018 Time and Fuel Costs Reports for Sailboats Motoring on ICW Long Distance Voyages

Since many boat owners will be migrating soon, from New England to Florida or Bahamas, and many will use the ICW to do so, motoring most of the way, I would like to encourage you that do to participate in this thread.

Please contribute your input on what boat you used to travel any long distance on the ICW from the Northeast or from Norfolk to Florida (or elsewhere).

You do not have to go all the way from Maine to Key West (that is just the topic title I used in an previous thread in the Power forum).

Please include the following information, including but not limited to:

1. Your boat type (sail or power), year and model and length
2. Your engine model
3. Your fuel amount used and average consumption (liters or gallons/hour, etc.)
4. Number of days you took
5. Did you go "Inside" on the ICW most or all of the way possible?
6. Total distance you traveled (from where to where?)
7. Other relevant expenses. (Oil changes, filters)
8. Anything else you consider a noteworthy cost (oil, etc.)

If you have not yet finished your voyage, please keep a log of your boat's travel costs (the numbers requested above) and report back in this thread when your voyage is finished.

Thank you for any further contributions to this topic. I hope it helps others plan accordingly and will be useful to more sailors and boat owners.
Steadman Uhlich is offline   Reply With Quote

icw, ports, fuel

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