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Old 25-03-2012, 06:35   #16
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
Judging from the questions you asked I suggest you hire a professional captain to go along with you.
Not necessarily. I feel that no matter how many times you make a trip there is someone that has just a little bit more information to make the trip better. How many ICW guides have been published just because of that?
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Old 25-03-2012, 06:58   #17
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell
Early May you are very likely to have some cold fronts with northers still coming down
Quote:
???? Not really...
Not sure what you're questioning here--yes, fewer fronts in May, but still the possibility. You can get a strong norther in the summer too. Early May more of a chance, late May less of a chance. Heck, I've been as far south as the Bahamas in late May and had to wait out a norther after a frontal passage.
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Old 25-03-2012, 07:05   #18
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

Virginia Cut/Dismal Swamp Canal

From Beaufort it is about 200 statute miles up to Norfolk via the ICW. There is one main marked route up to Albemarle Sound, and then around Mile 80 (the ICW is measured in statute miles starting at Mile 0 starting in Norfolk) the Dismal Swamp Route 2 angles off to the west and takes you up the Pasquotank River to Elizabeth City, then eventually to the actual Dismal Swamp Canal and on to Norfolk, where it rejoins the main route, the one with the Virginia Cut on it, near Mile 7. The Dismal route is slightly longer, and usually takes at least a day longer due to the two locks in the canal with limited opening times, and the fact that most cruisers take advantage of the free dockage and the wonderful greeting you get at Elizabeth City.
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Old 25-03-2012, 08:22   #19
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Originally Posted by blewett_john View Post
I bought a Searunner 37 and plan to bring it to Newport, RI from Miami the first few weeks of May. I will have four aboard, me planned route is Miami, Charleston, Morehead City, Newport. I don't have refrigeration, only ice.

Can anyone give me any outfitting suggestions, navigation warnings, route modifications, etc? I have only gone south, never north, so any help will be appreciated.
Outfitting: What are you doing for weather information? Google for rfax.pdf and take the pages with you for Boston. Get an SSB receiver and software (SeaTTY, JVCOMM, multiPSK, or whatever) for weather fax.

Get a really good cooler to stretch your ice - I personally like Yeti. The difference between my Yeti and my previous Igloo is days. Organize access so people aren't opening the cooler all the time.

Route modifications: You really WANT to be in the Gulf Stream as much as you can to get the boost. It's a long way between the Gulf Stream and the places you are proposing to stop. I make that trip several times per year in each direction. Get out into the Stream and GO. In reasonable conditions (which can't be guaranteed of course) You should be able to make Norfolk in six days on that boat, maybe less. Take a break in Little Creek (I like Vinings Landing Marina but there are lots of choices) for a day and head for Newport - four more days.

Steve Dodge has a chartbook that covers all the significant inlets along the southeastern Atlantic coast. Highly recommended for bail outs. I like the Kettlewell ICW Chartbook for the ICW if Hatteras makes you nervous (it shouldn't if you have good weather information); John tells me that his latest Chartbook also has all the inlet information. I'd still carry the Dodge book because finding the right inlet is so fast and easy.

This may sound trivial, but I keep all the snack foods in a canvas bag under the companionway ladder. It makes things easy for the watchstander. For things that have to be refrigerated I keep a container right on the top of the fridge or cooler to stop rummaging and long open times.

Make sure the boat and the crew are up to the trip. If the crew is friends and associates make an assessment of how many might drop out and plan accordingly. Friends can often be the least reliable crew.
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:08   #20
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Mate-

I looked at that boat when it was for sale. It is completely unsafe to take offshore.

Jeff
What specifically about the boat makes you say that?
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Old 26-03-2012, 05:49   #21
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

HI John-

Although I am in the business of repairing boats, I went down to Miami to look at the SR 37 for myself. I felt the boat was honestly beyond reasonable repair. Although ever other phrase out of the sellers mouth was "totally solid" I recall the following issues.

Rotten stringers in forward 8 feet of main hulls likely extending aft into sandwich shower area which couldn't be inspected. Hull skins in bow area rotten and somewhat patched up with fiberglass.

Rot in forward main strength bulkhead from hull bottom to above cabin sole.

Wood timbers attaching centerboard trunk to hull bottom rotten, trunk ply weeping and soft.

Starboard amas outer hull skins rotten.

Port ama had 20 gallon of water inside did not spend additional time inspecting after owner had bailed it out.

Engine and rig looked good!

Again, not my intention to foul mouth your yacht, but I think you best stick to the intercoastal the entire trip. Several of these searunners have met with disaster in the last few years including one offshore off central america.

I'm doing a refit on a Searunner 34 here in St Augustine as well as building a 34' Vardo Cat so get in touch when you're up this way

Cheers,
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What specifically about the boat makes you say that?
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Old 26-03-2012, 06:14   #22
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

There are so many variables and permutations and combinations that I don't know if there is real answer. I have done this trip singlehanded, short handed and with a crew of three. I turn 69 next week and will heading North from Florida again the first week of May.

Items I would not sail without
EPIRB
Life raft
AIS transponder
SAT phone
SSB radio VHF radio is only good for 10 - 15 miles
Good radar reflectors

The route:
First leg 2 days Miami to St. Augustine ( both crew and vessel need a shake down).

Second leg 5 days St. Augustine to Norfolk as suggested Vinning's is good and Cobbs which in across the river can fix anything you broke.

From there you can take a straight shot to Block Island or go through NY and Hell Gate to the Sound.

DO NOT Plan with a tight time table. Make you decisions based on weather an crew capability not time.

Offshore "normal" is seas 4-6 ft winds 10-15 kts. its the wave period that hurts. Reef early and at night. Run from a gale (40+)

The stream will give you a 2-3 kt boost and it is full of sea life and warm but remember it will take you 100nm offshore.
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Old 26-03-2012, 06:26   #23
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Not sure what you're questioning here--yes, fewer fronts in May, but still the possibility. You can get a strong norther in the summer too. Early May more of a chance, late May less of a chance. Heck, I've been as far south as the Bahamas in late May and had to wait out a norther after a frontal passage.
I had to cancel a trip to the Bahamas in June one year due to a major norther that hit S Florida. Winds from the north at 30 kts and gusting with seas 8-12' and higher in the Gulf Stream.

Not common but it can happen.
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Old 26-03-2012, 06:29   #24
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

I just read Boatguys post. A few hundred buck will get you a professional survey. Remember the lives of you crew are your responsibility. The range of Seatow and TowboatUS is only about 30nm offshore. There are two categories of offshore sailors, those that have gotten in trouble and those that are going to get in trouble (again). Nothing ever breaks at the dock.
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Old 26-03-2012, 07:09   #25
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

With any recently purchased boat, you have to expect things to break (well, actually any boat). On a long trip like this, you can really get stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for parts and repairs. So take it easy on her for this trip.

I'd be real conservative and travel in the ICW whenever wind of 20 KN+ is forecast or over 10 KN out of the North. There's no reason to be more than 20 miles off shore or 30 from a harbor (except NJ). Make sure someone has a smart phone that can grab radar images, wind charts, and forecasts off the internet.

Do not go outside Hatteras in any event.

The Cape May area and the New Jersey shore can be astonishingly rough and dangerous with little protection until NYC. Wait for ideal weather. I've been caught in a 50KN gale with 12ft seas off Cape May in May. Early June is much safer this far north.

Be sure to have BoatUS unlimited towing. If you engine troubles in the ICW you often can't sail to repairs in the narrow channel. Change your cooling water impeller and all your filters (carry several spares).

Carl
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Old 26-03-2012, 07:22   #26
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

Looking at the original post..have you had a shake-down trip with this boat?

Don't make the mistake of getting your whole crew down there ready for a two week trip only to have to stop after one day (or less) to make repairs and buy missing/forgotten equipment.

Carl
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Old 28-03-2012, 05:41   #27
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Goes up through Currituck Sound (a little cut thrugh Coinjock, Va) then up the North Landing River to North landing, Va then west through Great Bridge and into Norfolk.

One lock and a couple Fixed and swing bridges. Much better for depth than the Dismal Swamp route (though the Sping is usually OK for that route).

Then all the bridges through Norfolk that you would usually encounter either route.
Ok, I'm looking for votes: Dismal Swamp vs. Great Bridge route. I really don't have oodles of time but it doesn't seem like there is much difference time wise.

How long does it take between Norfolk and Chesapeake? I'm looking at all the bridges to wait for. What is the best plan of attack to conquer these bridges, going south to north?

Thanks,
John B.
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Old 28-03-2012, 05:55   #28
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

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Originally Posted by blewett_john View Post
Ok, I'm looking for votes: Dismal Swamp vs. Great Bridge route. I really don't have oodles of time but it doesn't seem like there is much difference time wise.

How long does it take between Norfolk and Chesapeake? I'm looking at all the bridges to wait for. What is the best plan of attack to conquer these bridges, going south to north?

Thanks,
John B.
Depends on boat speed...some openings can be timed.
There are a couple web sites that can give current bridge/lock schedules so just do a quick spread sheet with them, distances with boat speed the variable to see if you can get your tming correct.

I have never done the Dismal route...almost no pro captains do it that I know except if they have the time/pleasure...not that it's bad....but the other way was opened for a reason.
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Old 28-03-2012, 07:30   #29
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

Quote:
Originally Posted by blewett_john View Post
Ok, I'm looking for votes: Dismal Swamp vs. Great Bridge route. I really don't have oodles of time but it doesn't seem like there is much difference time wise.

How long does it take between Norfolk and Chesapeake? I'm looking at all the bridges to wait for. What is the best plan of attack to conquer these bridges, going south to north?

Thanks,
John B.
Cannot vote on swamp vs GB, I have only done the GB route but can offer one bit of advise for Norfolk bridges.

They all close for rush hour, am and pm so if you arrive at a bridge at 4 pm you aren't going anywhere until after 6. Same in the morning 6-8 if I recall.
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Old 21-04-2012, 09:35   #30
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Re: Coming up the East Coast

I am headed northbound also from Marathon,FL to Myrtle Beach. In the 11th hour now just waiting for my atomic bomb spare parts to arrive. What would you guys consider must see stops along the way? Not just bail out spots but places to visit and places with cheap beer!
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