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Old 30-01-2015, 14:19   #1
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North Bound Planning

Don't know whether to chaulk it up to excitment of the new boat or the recent winter weather inthe mid-Atlantic coast tugging at my desires to get sailing again, but I am already planning the move of my (new to me) Catalina Morgan 43 from Jupiter Fl to Norfolk Va. Is there a migration window for boats making that trek? I was thinking of doing most of the transit outside. Thought was to sail outside to Southport (with occassional duck-in stops along the way) then use the ICW from Southport up to Wrightsville Beach, then go outside to Beaufort, then back inside up to Norfolk. I figure there is probably too much north wind and weather for the outside run until the mid-April timeframe. I have a bridge clearance (mast and antenna) of 63 feet. Looking for any advice or recent experience to assist with this planning.
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Old 30-01-2015, 14:38   #2
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Re: North Bound Planning

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Originally Posted by CaptJB View Post
Don't know whether to chaulk it up to excitment of the new boat or the recent winter weather inthe mid-Atlantic coast tugging at my desires to get sailing again, but I am already planning the move of my (new to me) Catalina Morgan 43 from Jupiter Fl to Norfolk Va. Is there a migration window for boats making that trek? I was thinking of doing most of the transit outside. Thought was to sail outside to Southport (with occassional duck-in stops along the way) then use the ICW from Southport up to Wrightsville Beach, then go outside to Beaufort, then back inside up to Norfolk. I figure there is probably too much north wind and weather for the outside run until the mid-April timeframe. I have a bridge clearance (mast and antenna) of 63 feet. Looking for any advice or recent experience to assist with this planning.
Congratulations on your new boat!

Your overall plan is good.

Hundreds of boats, literally, make that run annually. April-May is a bit early. May-June is ideal.

If you have an SSB aboard, check out the Cruizheimer's Net on 8152 kHz daily beginning at 0830. You'll hear dozens of boats. Also, the ham net: Waterway Net, on 7268 kHz LSB daily beginning at 0745 ET.

Another way to check: the Waterway Net has an online database which allows you to search between dates. It can be found here: https://waterwayradio.net/boatdb/

By studying the FROM and TO reported positions of boats checking into the Net, you can easily identify the dates with boats heading north in the spring/summer and south in the fall.

Example: this database entry for Marie on Second Sally last spring:

2014-04-25 KC3MAR Marie Second Sally 3133N 7948W Norfolk VA eventually Wind W@8kts C340M @ 3.5kts No ETA yet

She left from the St Johns River in FL headed to Norfolk offshore, on April 24. (She made it just fine, and is now in Miami waiting for weather to cross back to the Bahamas.)

Hint: Ignore the "Login" button....that's for database administrators. The database is fully functional with no need to log in.

Hope this helps a bit.

Bill
WA6CCA
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Old 07-02-2015, 14:48   #3
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Re: North Bound Planning

Thanks Bill, GREAT reply and good info.


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Old 07-02-2015, 15:53   #4
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Re: North Bound Planning

We've made about twenty transits up and down the US East Coast since 1972. We'll be northbound this year from the Saint Johns River during the first week of May. Your plan sounds good. Keep aware of all the inlets that allow passage if weather dictates a change in plans. Your 63 feet of clearance will allow you all the options. We don't like to start north before about mid March, but we always look at the weather. Take advantage of knowing what is going to happen for the next three days and always choose the best!
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:06   #5
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Re: North Bound Planning

HUDSON FORCE... Need to keep in touch as spring progresses. One of my stops will undoubtedly be in Jax. May is looking more like the transit time for me as well. Do you find you make better time offshore up to as far north as the carolinas? Some have told me it is faster to sail daily offshore and duck in at dusk rather than motor the ICW in the Southern (Fl and GA) ICW. With a Draft of 5'6" I am also a little concerned about the increased shoaling and lack of depth maintence everyone reports in the ICW.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:09   #6
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Re: North Bound Planning

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Originally Posted by CaptJB View Post
HUDSON FORCE... Need to keep in touch as spring progresses. One of my stops will undoubtedly be in Jax. May is looking more like the transit time for me as well. Do you find you make better time offshore up to as far north as the carolinas? Some have told me it is faster to sail daily offshore and duck in at dusk rather than motor the ICW in the Southern (Fl and GA) ICW. With a Draft of 5'6" I am also a little concerned about the increased shoaling and lack of depth maintence everyone reports in the ICW.
CaptJB, We choose to take offshore hops in the best of weather and using the easiest inlets. We also never hesitate to run the ICW if we want an easy anchorage, a favorite port or a short day.

The answers to your questions about making better time and faster routes are not ones that I can address. We never cruise with an interest in speed and we sometimes take as long as three months to cruise from Florida to Maine. We tend to enjoy the cruising as much or more than the destination.

I think you can do very well in any sections of the ICW that you choose to transit with your 5'6" draft. In most all cases of groundings in the ICW it's not a case of the channel being deep enough, but the vessel being to port or starboard of the deeper water. The most common error made now days is giving too much credence to the "magenta line".
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