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Old 12-01-2009, 04:58   #1
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Hi all !

Good morning Cruisers !

Boat in Le Marin, Martinique, french west indies and planning to go north. Contemplating taking the Intercoastal waterway from Florida to the Chesapeake bay next spring/summer. Currently gathering information ...notably on max. air draft allowed.
We are a european (french & irish) crew owning a c.a. 40 feet ovni yacht (a swing keel aluminum monohull boat ).
Cheers, Abi & Kevin

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Old 12-01-2009, 05:00   #2
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Good luck, happy voyage.
There's lots of Intercoastal cruisers here who can give you good advice if they're not out sailing.

Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:17   #3
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Hi Kev and welcome to the CF. It sounds like you are on a great trip. There are tons of people here with ICW experience. You might post the question in teh appropriate destinations forum for better visibility.

Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:15   #4
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Hi and welcome -

The ICW can be tricky in portions of FL, GA, SC and NC, not just with air draft, but draft in general. For example, some places in GA may have 12-14 feet at MHW; at MLW however, depths may hover in the 6-8 foot range. We transited the Mud River/Altamaha Sound area of GA two weeks ago and at near high tide had only
9'-10' in some spots. Careful planning and attention to tide tables is essential.

The maximum fixed bridge clearance is 65' at MHW and I believe this is the standard for the entire ICW. Bridges off of the ICW will vary. There are a great many drawbridges in FL, particularly between Miami and Ft. Pierce, which are restricted to scheduled opening times. When you arrive in the states, pick up a bridge opening schedule. Most bridges throughout the waterway will open on demand, with limited scheduled opening times to accommodate local road traffic.

Check Skipper Bob's ICW updates page regularly - they've been a huge help with our trip planning on the ICW:


Bill & Lisa Ballard
Savannah, Georgia
S/V Jo Beth
1984 Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:09   #5
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Aloha Abi&Kevin,
Welcome aboard! Good to have you here on the forum. Let us know when you get started on your U. S. portion of the journey.
Kind regards,
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Old 12-01-2009, 13:05   #6
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Hello, and welcome, Kevin and Abi.

I've enjoyed a few visits to Martinique over the years--a very beautiful island with great food and wine! That's a fun and interesting trip that you're planning. I used to cruise the Chesapeake before moving to Nevis. Stop by and say "Hello" on your way north!
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Old 14-01-2009, 06:54   #7
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Many thanks for your warm welcome !
and already some first answers to our ICW related questions.
Not to worried about the draft as we have a swing centerboard and a flat bottom aluminum boat. As a matter of fact can still move in just over 3 feet of water. But the bridge clearance is more of a concern to us as our air draft is actually in the mid sixtees. Therefore must check this more accurately as the mast may go ... but e.g. not the VHF antenna
Re. Chesapeake bay we are planning to go north and anchor in the Sassafrass (spelling ?) river, not too far from some Abi's friends and relatives.
Anyway will post additional questions in the ICW / appropriate forum.
Many thanks again, Kev
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Old 14-01-2009, 08:03   #8
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Kev, welcome to the forum, you will meet some real experts here all willing to help (not me, I am a newbie )

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