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Old 22-01-2014, 21:31   #181
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Lots of crab pots right now, couldn't just set the auto and relax. Had to steer every 12 minutes. Steering drives me crazy, it's what I hate most about cruising. I have no patience for it and get bored after 5 minutes.
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Old 23-01-2014, 14:38   #182
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Horror, hopefully the unfamiliarity of the boat will keep me entertained for a while. There will most likely be two of us on board, possibly a third.

Is the ICW wide enough to run an autopilot anyway? I feel like no matter what, manual steering would be mandatory at all times.
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Old 23-01-2014, 14:46   #183
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

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ICW wide enough to run an autopilot
You are funny! Wide enough yes but the problem is depth! They no longer do the maintenance dredging like they used to. That said, you will find some places that you can set it but you really need to keep a close eye on the depth and how straight your autopilot will track.
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:04   #184
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

The ditch of the ICW ends at Miami, it's marked but it's wide open. There are hundreds of waypoints on the ICW between straight shots all the way to the Canadian border. From ft Myers fl to marathon it's wide open water and auto pilot all the way . It's the open ocean, and varies in distance from the shore.
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:11   #185
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

I come from Burlington Vermont to keys or Bahamas every year and only ever steer in the corners. Depth is an issue, but not a big deal. The pilot will keep you centered better than you can, and it will show you your cross track error. Telling you just how many feet your off your desired course. The autopilot us your best friend. It's pure torture to not have it. Spend 3 or 5k and get the best one available. No joke, and I'm a poor guy.
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:15   #186
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

When you get to Charleston, weather permitting, go outside to St.Marys River (Fernandina Beach). A day and a half and you'll not have to go through Georgia. But if you have to wait a week for weather you might as well motor through GA. At least the days are getting longer now so you can really cover better distances if you've decent crew (have to steer and watch depth sounder). I would anchor as going from marina to marina just doesn't work out if you want to make good time. You could easily do 80 mile days, get up before daylight, get underway and go till dusk. It helps to have two destinations planned for the end of the day, PLan A and Plan B (shorter) because you will run into strong currents in places, sometimes with headwinds and contrary currents you can be cut back a couple of knots. Been up and down a few times and still can't figure out the currents. But you can be sure as far as currents go you'll lose more than you gain.

Most of the time you'll be anchoring in ten feet or so. Even with all chain it's not a lot of work to weigh anchor. Just make sure you and the helmsperson have your signals straight. And get towing insurance. Best $150 you'll spend.

Bridge openings will slow you down too. At least there are a lot fewer than there were 25 years ago.
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:20   #187
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

So would you all recommend installing an autopilot before I leave Maryland? What about a windlass? I was going to try and not install any equipment before I got home to FL, but would it be a good idea to do those two pieces?
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:31   #188
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

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So would you all recommend installing an autopilot before I leave Maryland? What about a windlass? I was going to try and not install any equipment before I got home to FL, but would it be a good idea to do those two pieces?
A windlass is not as simple as that. Long wire runs and heavy gauge wire, then there's the washdown pump. If you're planning to do all the work later. Just go. I ran the ICW for 10 years plus without a windlass. 15kg Bruce, 50 feet of chain and 3 strand nylon. A bucket for washing off the fifty feet of chain.

As for an autopilot wait until you're ready to do all the electronics. When we run the ICW we hand steer (well my wife steers ) It only takes a few seconds to run aground. Before you can hit the standby button. Slow down when it gets shallow. Your tolerance will grow as you get the feel of things. When I first ran the ICW I used to freak out at 8' with a 5 1/2' draft. Now I don't freak out until it's 6" below the keel but I do slow down.
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Old 23-01-2014, 15:58   #189
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

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Chris, Jerry has informed me the route through Lake Okeechobee is not going to work due to fixed bridge heights. I thought there might be a way through near Marathon? Or is memory not serving me correctly?

Ah. I didn't know there might be low bridges along that route, but I also forgot all about that pesky air draft issue you sail guys have

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Old 25-01-2014, 22:24   #190
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

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Oregon Waterman,

$20k doesn't seem like too unrealistic of a budget considering I am not handy at all (yet). The things you have described yourself doing to your boat, I would never be able to do myself, and would absolutely have to hire someone else do the labor. I wish I had the skill set to be able to do some of those things myself, and in time spent aboard I'm sure that I will learn, but when it comes to installing major systems, I want it done right and correctly.
If you don't have the ability now you will soon. No one is born "handy"' it's usually a skill you acquire out of necessity, if you want to cruise the way you say you do you will have learn how to install, service and troubleshoot the systems on your boat. Installing and setting them up in the first place will teach you the ins and outs of the systems. Reading is a powerful tool, there are plenty of books out there to help guide you through the process, buy them and read them. You'll learn as you go, you'll make mistakes, you'll figure it out, you'll still be ahead financially, even counting the mistakes. The last thing you want to happen is to have a critical system fail at sea and have no idea how to fix it, or at least jury rig it.
Sh*t happens, things break, they always break at the least opportune time, get right with it, you can't hire a technician to fix it when your 150 miles offshore. I would never trust someone else to install and set up the systems on one of my boats, I like knowing it's done right, I like to know whats under my feet when the weather turns ugly and the seas start to build. When things do go wrong I know where everything is, how it's mounted and how to fix it, I can fix it, if not I know how to work around it. I like knowing that it was done right, it's one less thing to worry about.
The previous suggestion to sail it for a season before making any major changes or additions is the best, you'll figure out what you need and don't need, this helps you spend your money more effectively, trust me, you can waste a lot of money quickly for no good reason.
No matter which boat you buy, good luck and fair winds.
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Old 26-01-2014, 14:57   #191
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Well I have the survey scheduled for either the 17th or 18th, weather permitting. I will be in Miami the weekend of the 14th for the Strictly Sail show and hopefully to scout out some potential equipment.

So far my list to check out at the boat show is:
-Electronics (Raytheon, B&G, etc.)
-Refrigeration
-Storm sails
-Solar panels
Anything else in specific that I should check out? Obviously I will look at everything that is there, just making a short list at the moment.

Also, regarding the survey, I plan on being up in Maryland, but will I be able to be on the boat during the survey? Or will I need to give the surveyor his space and get out of his hair? I would prefer to follow him around and see all of the things he is inspecting. I have never performed a boat survey before. If anyone has any ideas on what I should look out for, that would be awesome. Thanks again to everyone for their replies on this thread, the support has been fantastic!

David
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:44   #192
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

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Well, a major update here:

The more I think about it, the more I just want to get the boat back down to Florida. It will most likely be kept in St. Petersburg and I know there are a handful of places that will be able to outfit the boat there.

The boat has depth/speed/wind gauges and a working VHF. I will probably purchase a handheld GPS for the trip down. I don't think I'll need autopilot or a windlass even, considering I'm going to be motoring most of the way and not doing any long overnight passages, most likely staying in marinas on the trip down.
Good plan. Come to think about it, that's the only equipment I have been sailing with on our boat since 1998.

Imagine that!

I agree, being there when new equipment goes in, and/or DIY is very good advice.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:39   #193
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

ICW Info

While I live on the West Coast, I read this forum a lot, and have seen soooo many posts about the ICW, I feel like I "know it well".

One of the better contributors is Rick I. You can go back and read some of his very good material. Chuck on Beach House, too.

Just go back in the cruising section and read up, it's all there along with a couple of books.

Safe Journey, good luck with the survey and the boat.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:57   #194
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

Thanks Stu
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Old 26-01-2014, 17:25   #195
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Re: Outfitting vs. Cruise Ready Dilemma

for what it is worth. i have both manual and electrical windlasses on my bow. the manual one wins hands down fro ease of use and function and reliability. good luck easy to install and dont have electrical issues.
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