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Old 20-02-2015, 06:14   #1
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ICW to Bahamas

I would like to take my Beneteau 331 from Lake Ontario, through the NY canals and ICW to the Bahamas this fall.
Does anyone have any recommendations on how late in the year I can leave my departure.
Ideally I would leave late September to Early October, but wonder if this is too late?
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Old 20-02-2015, 06:44   #2
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Peter.

Sept. departure should be OK; but I wouldn't wait 'till Oct (cold).
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Old 20-02-2015, 06:53   #3
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

I too plan on leaving at this time.....I know people that left at the end of October, if that helps.....
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Old 20-02-2015, 06:54   #4
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

Earlier the more enjoyable, unless you really enjoy the cold. Most people time the Chesapeake Bay for October, and many insurance companies won't cover tropical storm related damage/loss below certain latitudes (Cape Hatteras NC for example) until after a certain date (Nov. 1, for example). If you love the cold and hate crowds, the canals don't close until mid-late Nov. Good luck with the plan, and happy cruising!
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Old 20-02-2015, 07:09   #5
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

As long as you're through the canals before closure, it's never "too late"... :-)

If you are gonna be running the Ditch later in the season, single best upgrade you can make for the trip in my opinion, is the installation of a forced air bus heater type system such as those from Heater Craft... A fairly inexpensive deal, on a trip when you're running your engine much of the time, seems a no-brainer to me, it will make life aboard a great deal more pleasant...
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Old 20-02-2015, 07:15   #6
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

Thanks for all the good advice. This was my first time using the forum - it wasvery helpful. P
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Old 20-02-2015, 07:23   #7
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

+1 on the heater.
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Old 21-02-2015, 08:13   #8
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

Peter, Last year the canal system closed down on November 19th. So you will need that information when you plan your transit. By November, the winter weather patterns begin to set in. You will have offshore passages from New York to probably Cape May. Then the Delaware Bay, which can be worse than an offshore passage with little options to find comfortable harbors. Once in the Chesapeake Bay, things get a little easier, but will still be weather dependent. we have experienced some of the worst weather in more than 25 years of cruising going down the Chesapeake in December. Also, some marinas and fuel docks will be closed for the season. After Norfolk, you will be traveling in protected waters with the exception of a few large sounds like the Albemarle and Pamlico. It can still be wet and cold until Georgia or Florida. So you will need to factor all of this into planning your trip. Getting an early start will make the trip much more enjoyable. Chuck
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Old 21-02-2015, 08:34   #9
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

I left New York city on 18 September the year I did it and that turned out to be the last warm weather window between there and Norfolk.
After Norfolk for a week it turned cold so it was a race down the ICW keeping to warm weather.

The usual date many mention to go south of Chesapeake is "after the boat show". But the boat show is 2 weeks later than it used to be....
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Old 22-02-2015, 06:31   #10
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Re: ICW to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I left New York city on 18 September the year I did it and that turned out to be the last warm weather window between there and Norfolk.
After Norfolk for a week it turned cold so it was a race down the ICW keeping to warm weather.

The usual date many mention to go south of Chesapeake is "after the boat show". But the boat show is 2 weeks later than it used to be....
Unless the date of Columbus Day has recently been moved back a couple of weeks, I don't think so... :-)

The Annapolis Sailboat Show has been held over Columbus Day weekend for as long as I can recall, at least since 1990 or thereabouts...
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