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unbusted67 26-11-2014 07:22

ICW At Night Revisited
 
Hello, I would like to revisit this topic. Is there any reason other than navigation not to navigate the ICW at night i.e. bridge closures etc. To me the navigation really is not that hard. There are day marks every mile, sometimes less and commercial vessels do it all the time. Are there any specific locations where the bridges close down at night other than those listed in Skipper Bob's and the Waterway guide? At this point I am specifically talking about points South of North Carolina. It seems like there are places, specifically in Northern Florida where it is just a long, straight shot.

Vasco 26-11-2014 07:41

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by unbusted67 (Post 1686610)
Hello, I would like to revisit this topic. Is there any reason other than navigation not to navigate the ICW at night i.e. bridge closures etc. To me the navigation really is not that hard. There are day marks every mile, sometimes less and commercial vessels do it all the time. Are there any specific locations where the bridges close down at night other than those listed in Skipper Bob's and the Waterway guide? At this point I am specifically talking about points South of North Carolina. It seems like there are places, specifically in Northern Florida where it is just a long, straight shot.

The ones that do it at night usually have a lot of power, know the waters and can bull through the occasional grounding. As for the "long straight shot" in Northern Florida just check your chart from Fernandina Beach to St. Johns River!

Tingum 26-11-2014 08:00

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
It really is no big deal, radar and a good spot lite make it easier. Watch the trends on your depth sounder.

pesarsten 26-11-2014 08:19

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Last trip down we saw lots of trees, logs, etc floating in the ICW. Some reports on the VHF gave a heads up but I think it could be dicey at night. Probably not a "holing" issue cause you run pretty slow but it would reek havoc on your running gear!

bobnlesley 26-11-2014 08:28

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
You're a braver man than me! The ICW gets us twitchy in the daylight.

As we've been telling folks since we got to the USA: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean from east to west's a doddle, but the ICW, now that's a scary piece of water!

unbusted67 26-11-2014 08:33

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobnlesley (Post 1686677)
You're a braver man than me! The ICW gets us twitchy in the daylight.

As we've been telling folks since we got to the USA: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean from east to west's a doddle, but the ICW, now that's a scary piece of water!

Yes Bob you told me that when I met you on a public dock in Chesapeake City!

bill352 26-11-2014 08:43

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by unbusted67 (Post 1686610)
Is there any reason other than navigation not to navigate the ICW at night... commercial vessels do it all the time.

Going by my experience, you answered your own question.

rockDAWG 26-11-2014 09:10

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bobnlesley (Post 1686677)
You're a braver man than me! The ICW gets us twitchy in the daylight.

As we've been telling folks since we got to the USA: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean from east to west's a doddle, but the ICW, now that's a scary piece of water!

Really? I don't find ICW scary at all. I have no problem of motoring the icw at night unless the bridge or lock is closed.

When in doubt go slow. With good charts, Google Sat view and the local knowledge from Active captain , I can motor through with confidence. It is not like I am flying through there in 60 mph. If grounded, just ease out to reverse and back out. There is always Towboat US for back up...... hahahahah.

This is east coast, grounding can happen, just know your options,

MarkJ 26-11-2014 10:07

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Follow a barge.

The real problem is not navigating it, its why, and for how long.
How long can you stand at a wheel and navigate carefully? 18 hours? So 6 am till midnight? Then what do you do?
Why do it at night? To make more miles? Then go outside and you will do many more sailing 24 hours per day non stop.

Mark

GrowleyMonster 26-11-2014 11:03

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Like you said, commercial vessels do it all the time.

The most risky part is if you take the edge of the channel to let deep Draft or wide vessels overtake you.

If you are following a larger vessel you are good to go. A nice spotlight and an attentive lookout are good to have. Radar is another big plus. A 3cm radar properly tuned will pick up a lot of floatey stuff, particularly when it is very calm.

The faster, the risker. A grounding on mud or even sand bottom at 8 knots is kinda bad but not as bad as 16 knots. Reduce speed as the situation dictates.

If you do run aground, if the prop and rudder are not involved and the hull is not holed you can usually kedge off. This is when you take an anchor out into deeper water with a nice long scope and then heave on the anchor with a winch. Most power boats don't have winches but you can add one back aft. Forward, you have a windlass, but usually you are trying to kedge aft, not forward.

If you run aground in mud, and your stern is clear and you want to power off, turn your wheel hard over one way and then the other as you power ahead on a slow bell, to help break the, suction, and then go hard astern. You want to pivot the boat back and forth a bit. Comes out much easier.

Avoid steering the boat from down below at night especially in the summer. The flying bridge is the place to be, on a powerboat at night. Condensation and reflection interfere with visibility.

You maybe should avoid running the ICW at night in a particularly thin skinned boat. A log that will just bounce off a WetSnail 32 or a Nordic Tug might cause considerable damage to a more delicate boat like some of the Hunters or all of the McGregors. And speed is an issue, too. If you are going slow enough, you can hit almost anything and get nothing but rub marks and maybe a scratch. If you are going fast enough, well...

Watch for crab traps. Especially outside the channel or near the edges.

AnchorageGuy 26-11-2014 11:17

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
We've been transiting the ICW for 25 years and I won't do it at night. In many areas it's difficult enough to pick out the right channel and markers during daylight. Aside from debris in the water, and there's plenty, there are also floats from commercial traps everywhere just waiting for a stray prop. There isn't going to be much if any commercial traffic to follow. If you get tired and need to get off the channel into an anchorage in the dark, all kinds of problems can occur. There are also some very inexperienced operators in small boats out on the waterways at all hours. They don't have a clue and a collision is a serious possibility. Chartplotters are not that accurate in narrow channels and will often show you running over land when it fact your in the center of the channel. And this is just a few of the reasons we won't do it. If your in that much of a hurry, take the next flight out. If you are involved in a collision or damage your vessel or someones else, there, a good chance your insurance company will send you a tough luck letter. Chuck

Vasco 26-11-2014 11:19

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy (Post 1686816)
We've been transiting the ICW for 25 years and I won't do it at night. In many areas it's difficult enough to pick out the right channel and markers during daylight. Aside from debris in the water, and there's plenty, there are also floats from commercial traps everywhere just waiting for a stray prop. There isn't going to be much if any commercial traffic to follow. If you get tired and need to get off the channel into an anchorage in the dark, all kinds of problems can occur. There are also some very inexperienced operators in small boats out on the waterways at all hours. They don't have a clue and a collision is a serious possibility. Chartplotters are not that accurate in narrow channels and will often show you running over land when it fact your in the center of the channel. And this is just a few of the reasons we won't do it. If your in that much of a hurry, take the next flight out. If you are involved in a collision or damage your vessel or someones else, there, a good chance your insurance company will send you a tough luck letter. Chuck

:thumb: :thumb:

unbusted67 26-11-2014 11:21

ICW at night revisited
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy (Post 1686816)
We've been transiting the ICW for 25 years and I won't do it at night. In many areas it's difficult enough to pick out the right channel and markers during daylight. Aside from debris in the water, and there's plenty, there are also floats from commercial traps everywhere just waiting for a stray prop. There isn't going to be much if any commercial traffic to follow. If you get tired and need to get off the channel into an anchorage in the dark, all kinds of problems can occur. There are also some very inexperienced operators in small boats out on the waterways at all hours. They don't have a clue and a collision is a serious possibility. Chartplotters are not that accurate in narrow channels and will often show you running over land when it fact your in the center of the channel. And this is just a few of the reasons we won't do it. If your in that much of a hurry, take the next flight out. If you are involved in a collision or damage your vessel or someones else, there, a good chance your insurance company will send you a tough luck letter. Chuck


I hear you but I think the 'tough luck letter' part is unfounded. I don't know. I think it's all about comfort level and planning. If there is crap, or at this time of the year, just really cold weather, I think that there are definitely stretches of the icw I would do. It's not always a question of going over night so much into the night. There's lots of places on the icw where you might be forced to do a 20 mile day one day to avoid a long bare patch void of anchorages the next day. In short I probably plan on going outside and inside late into the night on this next leg, delivery style, to get my ass south to warmer weather. I will use the utmost caution and be sure to pre plan when doing both.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum

Captain Fred 27-11-2014 09:02

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
The first time I tried it was the last. We were south of Great Bridge in Virginia and I was trying to stretch the day's run to reach a cove where we could anchor well clear of the channel for the night. There was a tree-lined shore on both sides and a moonless night. According to my chart plotter we had reached the turning point and came slowly to starboard to enter the cove. It was about 20' too soon and we fetched up on a mudbank, but decided to remain there for the night. In the morning the first power boat towed us off with no problem, but the roughcut sticks marking the side channel, plainly visible in daylight. were invisible against the dark background at night, even with a good spotlight.

rwidman 27-11-2014 09:32

Re: ICW at night revisited
 
I think AnchorageGuy said it pretty well except for the insurance part. The few hours I have run in the dark have not been fun. There's just too much to go wrong.

The differences between us and the commercial operators is they have done it for years and know each section, they have multiple people on the bridge and their boats and barges are big enough not to have to worry about floating debris or trap markers.

Nobody is going to say you can't do it, just that it's not a great idea.


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