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Old 21-01-2016, 00:05   #1
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intercoastal waterway

I am located in Toledo Ohio and I'm new to this site. I'm taking my 1980 25 foot o'day through the Erie Canal to Albany down to Hudson to New York. from there I want to take the boat down to Titusville Florida. I would like to take the boat down the Atlantic side and not go down the intercoastal I'm hoping this will save me time. there are inlets about every 35 to 40 miles in case I would have to take shelter because of storms....which forum should I go to to ask my many questions?
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Old 21-01-2016, 02:13   #2
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Re: intercoastal waterway

What questions do you have?

If you are thinking of ducking in every 30-40 miles, it will probably take longer.

If you do multiday passeges, then it should help speed up the trip but you need to plan as if it's an offshore passage as there is no guarantee there will be an inlet that you can safely get into if an unexpected storm kicks up along many sections of the coast.
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Old 21-01-2016, 05:28   #3
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Re: intercoastal waterway

There are many sections where you do not have reliable inlets every 30-40 miles, and even where you do, it could take an extra 10 to 20 miles to get thru the inlet to a suitable anchorage or dock. For example, the ICW route from the Chesapeake Bay to Beaufort NC is actually shorter than the ocean route - and a lot safer since there are very few inlets – and those require local knowledge. Consider getting a good set of cruising guides to get familiar with the routes so you can plan a safe transit. The ICW is a pleasant route, with many nice towns, anchorages and free docks – and you can sail some of it, but you would need to motor quite a bit.
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:03   #4
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Re: intercoastal waterway

Welcome to CF ronrpy44 !


Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
There are many sections where you do not have reliable inlets every 30-40 miles, and even where you do, it could take an extra 10 to 20 miles to get thru the inlet to a suitable anchorage or dock. For example, the ICW route from the Chesapeake Bay to Beaufort NC is actually shorter than the ocean route - and a lot safer since there are very few inlets – and those require local knowledge. Consider getting a good set of cruising guides to get familiar with the routes so you can plan a safe transit. The ICW is a pleasant route, with many nice towns, anchorages and free docks – and you can sail some of it, but you would need to motor quite a bit.
Spot on advice from an expert...

It's the assumption that you can duck in anywhere along the way that kills boats...
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Old 21-01-2016, 06:45   #5
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Re: intercoastal waterway

I'd go the ICW and enjoy the ride, plan on 50 miles a day.
What kind of motor do you have?
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Old 21-01-2016, 07:28   #6
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Re: intercoastal waterway

First of all, it's the Intracoastal Waterway, not the Intercoastal Waterway.

Second, if your goal is to move the boat quickly from Ohio to Florida, you might be better off having trucked or trailered over land. This would take a few days while the water trip will take several weeks.

Unless you have a lot of big water experience and an experienced crew, I suggest running inside wherever possible. That would include the Chesapeake Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk, VA to FL.
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Old 21-01-2016, 07:37   #7
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Re: intercoastal waterway

I didn't think truck, but a 25' Oday, if it has a swing keel a pickup and small trailer can pull that? 8' beam too.
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Old 21-01-2016, 07:51   #8
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Re: intercoastal waterway

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
First of all, it's the Intracoastal Waterway, not the Intercoastal Waterway.

Second, if your goal is to move the boat quickly from Ohio to Florida, you might be better off having trucked or trailered over land. This would take a few days while the water trip will take several weeks.

Unless you have a lot of big water experience and an experienced crew, I suggest running inside wherever possible. That would include the Chesapeake Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway from Norfolk, VA to FL.
This is good advice. Aside from trailering the boat if that is possible. That said, you need some education on how to deal with bridges and tows (barges and towboats) on the ICW, as you won't be alone on that waterway. The ICW is safer in a bad weather (i.e., wind and waves) situation, but it is does have its own risks. I prefer offshore in good weather, because you can usually have the autopilot on, and just keep a watch. On the ICW, you are constantly at the wheel steering, looking for oncoming tows, talking to them on the VHF to establish passing protocol, watching the depth finder for shallows, etc. This past year I installed an AIS transceiver and it was immensely helpful seeing tows, identifying them by name, and allowing easy communication with them.

Finally, my ICW experience is mostly on the Texas side, but a couple of months ago we took the ICW from Bolivar, Texas thru the other side of New Orleans. You need to plan each days move in advance, as there are not frequent places to stop and anchor along the way. Most days we would make 50 miles, some days 70 miles. Sometimes we would have to stop short at an anchorage, because making it to the next anchorage would mean travel after dark. And we avoid ICW travel after dark - as the risks compound at nighttime.
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Old 21-01-2016, 08:17   #9
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Re: intercoastal waterway

I too concur with Waterway Guide's advice; it's not feasible to do the outside route as a series of 30-40M Day-sails, I don't know the seaworthiness of your boat, or indeed extent of your experience, but if you're up for some 24-36 hour passages (just one night out at sea if the tides suit) then going outside will be quicker than the ICW and more importantly, a whole heap more fun!

I was far from surprised by the comment:
"Unless you have a lot of big water experience and an experienced crew, I suggest running inside wherever possible."

It and similar were what we heard regularly when we went up and down the US east coast in 2014; I was amazed by just how few boats eschewed the ICW in favour of the open sea - an unduly high percentage of those boats we did meet out there were also foreign-flagged - and the general reason/excuse given was 'a lack of experience'. How can you ever expect to gain the experience if you won't go out to sea in the first place?

To me the ICW seems to be something of a double-edged sword? It provides a good all-weather (within reason) route up/down the coast, but that perception of safety which it offers seems to result in a large sector of North American 'sailors' not taking that next step on the learning curve. We met dozens/hundreds of US/Canadian flagged boats in southern Florida who'd purportedly 'sailed' hundreds/1000+ miles to reach there, all waiting for a glass-flat day to make a flotilla/convoy crossing to the Bahamas under engine; come on, you should've learnt how the sails work by then!

I accept that the Atlantic Ocean's a big bit of water, but the navigation's not that difficult along most of the US east coast (certainly far easier than along the ICW) you're within range of regular and accurate weather forecasts, you've got a well trained/maintained Coast Guard fleet and if you're a member I believe you can even call-up Tow-Boat USA? - the cellphones/internet work out there for the first 5-10M too.

So go on, pick a nice day, hoist the sails, stop the engine and give it a try; discover what you've been missing out on.
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Old 21-01-2016, 09:07   #10
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Re: intercoastal waterway

If your O'Day 25 has an outboard motor I'd not recommend your plan of sailing between inlets.

I base this upon my experiences from my trip from Florida to Nova Scotia last year on a 36 foot aluminum cutter with an outboard. I sailed the ICW from Florida to Hampton. Va, and used coastal hops are you have proposed there after. Some of the rivers/inlets from Hampton to Long Island are unusable (read likely unsafe and I am assuming something similar for those inlets to the south of Hampton)when:
- the tide is running out. Depending upon the boat and motor size, the tidal current may be strong to motor against.
- some have standing waves that cause the motor to come out of the water or cavitate.
- large waves and rough conditions when wind against tide.
- likely cannot be sailed when going against the tidal current.
- plus some have long and relatively narrow breakwaters and will require quick tacks when you are against the wind.
- and always sports fishing boats drifting or at anchor to complicate the fun.

Plus:
- an outboard on a sailboat is, in my experience, useless in waves over one or two feet high, too much cavitation.
- unless you want to tack all day avoid sailing on days with SE winds
- I'd not recommend singlehanded if you go with you plan because if you cannot use your planned inlet it's an overnigher to the next. Exhausting.
- usually thunderstorms in the forecast.

It's all possible with good weather and tides and a little luck.
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Old 21-01-2016, 09:17   #11
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Re: intercoastal waterway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
There are many sections where you do not have reliable inlets every 30-40 miles, and even where you do, it could take an extra 10 to 20 miles to get thru the inlet to a suitable anchorage or dock. For example, the ICW route from the Chesapeake Bay to Beaufort NC is actually shorter than the ocean route - and a lot safer since there are very few inlets and those require local knowledge. Consider getting a good set of cruising guides to get familiar with the routes so you can plan a safe transit. The ICW is a pleasant route, with many nice towns, anchorages and free docks and you can sail some of it, but you would need to motor quite a bit.
Are there ANY usable inlets between Norfolk and Morehead City?
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Old 22-01-2016, 07:00   #12
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Re: intercoastal waterway

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Are there ANY usable inlets between Norfolk and Morehead City?
Rudee Inlet
Oregon Inlet (need Local Knowledge shoaled but currently being dredged)
Hatteras Inlet (need LK, bad choice for cruising boats. currently being dredged)
Teaches Hole (need LK, bad choice for cruising boats)
Cape Lookout Bight (safe hidey hole, and gorgeous anchorage)
Beaufort Inlet (All weather, all vessel inlet)

Someone else mentioned all of the tugs and barges...there are LOTS of them on the Gulf ICW TX through LA particularly. You will likely run across a few on the Atlantic ICW, but not very many. You do need to pay attention (listen to your VHF 16 and dual scan 13 if you can) in certain sections where being forced out of the channel by a barge will cause some serious heartache (Rockpile section of Myrtle Beach ICW, for example).

Towing the boat down the highway with a pickup truck will be the fastest and cheapest, especially if you're just trying to get it there and your time is worth something.

Doing overnight legs (or multiway) will be the fastest by water if you have some crew with you (a buddy, wife, girlfriend, etc...) some people on this forum will disagree with me here, but I highly recommend NOT doing overnights single-handed along the coast, even if you have a lot of experience.

Despite the fact that you need to pay a lot more attention on the ICW route, it is by far the safest there's almost always a protected place to stop nearby, to rest, fix something, etc...., and help is almost always close by.
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Old 22-01-2016, 08:11   #13
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Re: intercoastal waterway

One piece of the equation that many boaters miss when considering the ICW to offshore runs is the overall distance added to get on and off the ICW. You can often find yourself running for miles to get off the ICW and turn to make your offshore run. Then you can find it takes many more miles to get back on the ICW and then longer to find a marina or suitable anchorage. I know some of this has been mentioned but it deserves repeating. Suddenly a 40 mile day turns into a 70 mile day to find a safe harbor. Then if the weather turns bad on you, your stuck outside and have to ride it out. Under certain conditions, even the most navigable inlet can become impassable. These are major considerations for a larger boat with an experienced crew, and not something you would want to experience. If time is the deciding factor, go over land. If not, slow down and enjoy the trip. Stay safe and stay inside. Consider how much fuel, water and supplies you can carry and how much you will need for the trip. How often will you need to stop to replenish supplies? How will weather delays affect your transit? That will depend on the time of year you travel. But you can find yourself held up for a week or weeks waiting for a weather window. Good luck and enjoy. Chuck
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:20   #14
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Re: intercoastal waterway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterway Guide View Post
Rudee Inlet
Oregon Inlet (need Local Knowledge shoaled but currently being dredged)
Hatteras Inlet (need LK, bad choice for cruising boats. currently being dredged)
Teaches Hole (need LK, bad choice for cruising boats)
Cape Lookout Bight (safe hidey hole, and gorgeous anchorage)
Beaufort Inlet (All weather, all vessel inlet)
Thanks. Didn't know that Oregon Inlet was being dredged and was looking for a way to take Hatteras on the inside if the weather is snotty without motoring to Norfolk.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:52   #15
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Re: intercoastal waterway

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Second, if your goal is to move the boat quickly from Ohio to Florida, you might be better off having trucked or trailered over land. This would take a few days while the water trip will take several weeks.
What fun would that be?
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