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Old 11-10-2006, 17:59   #1
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Georgia Inlets

We're planning our trip from Beaufort, NC to the Bahamas. My wife doesn't like overnight sails, so we will be on the ICW and will go outside whenever weather permits.

I'm familiar with NC, SC and Florida inlets but I have always sailed overnight from St Marys to Charleston. So, I know nothing about the various Georgia inlets. Weather permitting, does this make sense: Charleston > Port Royal Sound > St Catherines Sound > St Simmons Sound ? Are these good inlets?

Any comments or suggestions will be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:11   #2
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Roger,

Yes they're all good inlets. Of course your best bet is to skip Georgia all together. I don't have my charts at home but if I recall correctly there's considerable "in and out" distance in some of those inlets such as Port Royal Sound so if you can take motoring all day it might be better to stay inside. Also in many cases, rather than waiting a few days for decent weather, you might as well bite the bullet and motor on inside. I have always either skipped Georgia altogether or motored the whole length in the ICW. Due to weather it seems I always ended up going inside southbound and outside northbound.
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Old 12-10-2006, 09:58   #3
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I'm with Vasco on this one. For sure, getting in and out, based on the weather you are getting is not a reasonable option. It takes a long time to switch, tides always seem to be wrong when you get there, and it is dangerous with newly shoaling areas that may not be on your chart. I'd make a decision to be inside or outside based on a reliable forecast, and stick to it. I would not try any one of those inlets in the dark or even twilight without years of local knowledge.
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Old 12-10-2006, 13:37   #4
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Thanks for the excellent input. We want to avoid the ICW in Georgia because........well, because it's the ICW in Georgia.

Vasco, after looking at the charts again, I see what you mean about a long way "in & out". If we have some great weather we may try a section on the outside and the remainder on the inside. I just wanted to be certain that the inlets were in good shape. I have the East Coast Inlets Guide, but it was published about 3-4 years ago.

Thanks for your help!!!!!
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Old 12-10-2006, 14:18   #5
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Stoutwench,

You know we all, or nearly all of us, bad mouth the Georgia stretch of the ICW but it's not really that bad. It's just that you have to concentrate all the time and it seems that there isn't a straight stretch anywhere, all bends . By concentrate I mean watch the depth sounder. One of my best trips was when my sounder was broken. Didn't know whether I had three feet or three inches under my keel. The bottom is mud so no big deal, the stretch past Jekyll Island is pretty skinny and so's the stretch just south of McClellanville (sp?) and the stretch just before Moon River, but again, it's only mud. There are lots of good anchorages in Georgia, one of my favourites is at the Crescent River. We always stopped there and went chasing shrimpers to get some fresh shrimp. And of course, at the south end of Georgia you have one of the nicest spots on the whole ICW, Cumberland Island. The last couple of years when my boat was based in North Florida, we still went backwards to Cumberland and spent a few days there before heading south.
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Old 16-10-2006, 05:55   #6
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I was beginning to wonder what was wrong with Georgia....

We're sailing our boat over to the Caribbean next Xmas and after six months thinking of going up the US east coast to explore.
I've read lots - and it seems the ICW is not for us (22 metre rig and 2.3 metre draft) - so I'd be interested in suggested routing / stopovers you locals might recommend, ie what places should we simply not miss out on?
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Old 16-10-2006, 07:05   #7
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John,

The US east coast is a great trip. If you're coming up from the Caribbean via the Bahamas as many do and you want to see some of the east coast there's tons of spots you can duck in, all deep water inlets. If you want to do Florida first there's Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. St. Augustine is good for sightseeing. Good inlet, no fixed bridges. If you want to skip FL the next stop which is a must would be St. Mary's River and Cumberland Island in Georgia. After that you can go to Savanna or Thunderbolt. After that it's Charleston, SC. The next stretch would be up to the Chesapeake. You can spend years there. When you're done with the Chesapeake your best bet would be out at Cape Henry again and up to New York. That's the end of the line for me as I used to go up the Hudson and through the NY State Canals to Lake Ontario. I'm sure someone else has all the good spots from NY to Newfoundland.

It really depends on what you like doing, what you want to see. I have mentioned all deep water inlets, most leading to big cities. Draft will be your worry more than fixed bridges when it comes to quieter places, especially in the Chesapeake.
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Old 16-10-2006, 10:15   #8
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East Coast Pilot?

Thanks for that info.

Is there a single East Coast Pilot Book anyone can recommend - or indeed a series of them?

Cheers
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Old 11-01-2007, 22:09   #9
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east Coast

Just going through the same thing as Swagman, flying over in March to pick up our "new" boat and want to head up the East Coast.

We have ICW friendly rig but a 7'6" draft which I assume makes most of ICW too hard.

My research on Amazon shows that a guy calkled Claiborne Young has guides to a big chunk of the coast, are they worth getting given our draft?
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:46   #10
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East Coast ICW

We came up the ICW to NC last year. I had some of the Claiborne Young guides and they were pretty good. I also found the Skipper Bob guides to be very good. There are two, one for anchorages and one for marinas. We used both. Another publication that I found useful was The Intracoastal Waterway Chartbook, Norfolk Virginia, to Miami, Florida
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:57   #11
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To the visitors from other countries: After MD and NY (including the Hamptons) you simply MUST stop at Block Island, Newport RI, Cuttyhunk Island, Provincetown MA, Portsmouth NH/Isles of Shoals, Portland ME, and any and every good harbor in Maine. The further you go the better, although less and less services for the boat.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:07   #12
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Old 11-10-2008, 11:46   #13
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Georgia ICW is great if you draw 4 feet or less

A small group of us sailed last April (2008) up the ICW from St. Marys to Savannah. We stopped overnight at Jykell Island, Darian, Dallas Bluff, and Richmond, roughly 30 miles apart. The boats were 16 feet to 24 feet LOA and drew less than 4 feet. We had no problems and had a blast. It was so much fun that this stretch as beenn added to the Classic Boat Rally which traditionally has been from Savannah to Charloeston, with stops at Hilton Head, Beaufort, Edisto, and Seabrook Island. In 2009 we will gather April 16 at Fernandina Beach and conclude in Charleston April 30. See www.ClassicBoatRally.com .

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Old 11-10-2008, 15:23   #14
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Roger, St. Simon Sound and St. Catherine Sound is not a good idea for your draft. It is doable if you have good local knowledge but the channels shoal over, move around, and are just down right skinny in lots of places. With any size swells you will have breakers all over the place so don't count on these inlets. If you do the inside read our website since we just came through Georgia on the inside a bit over a month ago with a 6 foot draft. If you do the outside, and you should, go out at Port Royal Sound, since you will be heading south anyway, and jump off to the St. Mary's inlet. You can wait out weather if you must in Beaufort, SC which is a great stop. Best bet is Charleston to Beaufort on the inside BUT you will need to play the tides in a couple of areas but no big deal.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:27   #15
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