Well. Where to begin..
Buy a few cruising guides
to the East Coast
and get an Active Captain
account. You will likely use Active Captain
every day along the way to learn about hazards, marinas
Don't assume you can schedule this closely. Bad weather
and boat problems will get in the way. In the ICW
a good estimate is 50 miles a day. Offshore
150 miles a day going all night (but you need a crew that enjoys this). You can easily wait three to four days for a weather
window to go offshore
Doing the trip in 2-3 day jumps is almost impossible. I allow a full day to travel to the boat and provision. Another full day at the back end to shut her down and get home. For this reason, I don't schedule trips that are less than seven days. 10 is better. Most people do it without a break.
You need a boat with a mast
height less than 65' to use the ICW
. Depending on weather and tide, it is common to see 64' or a little less bridge clearance. In looking at boats, be sure you know the mast
height including any instruments and radio antenna
(although most masthead vhf
antennas will bend under bridges making a heart stopping "twang, twang, twang.....")
Since you have limited experience, do not go outside of Cape Hatteras. Dangerous storms are common and can come out of nowhere. Use the ICW for this stretch - which means a mast that can fit under ICW bridges.
If your schedule is tight, consider hiring a captain to do part of the trip without you. They can make a lot of miles very quickly - you pay for it but sometimes it's the only way to make a schedule work.
a boat and getting it ready for a trip like this takes time. You need to do this in the next few months to have a reasonable chance of your schedule.