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Old 03-02-2018, 15:19   #1
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ICW conditions

Have an opportunity to purchase a 34-foot power boat in Virginia. We live aboard in Key West. Would have to bring the power boat down the ICW now - meaning this February. Are there icing conditions to be aware of on the water? We have done the ICW before, just not this time of year.
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Old 03-02-2018, 16:10   #2
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Re: ICW conditions

Is it heated? Iíd worry about that more or as much myself
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Old 03-02-2018, 16:24   #3
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Re: ICW conditions

You don't have to worry about ice south of Maryland. An enclosed cockpit or very warm clothes are a necessity. Most marinas are still open, but may have the water turned off to the docks. Call ahead if you want fuel from the Alligator River marina. You may want some form of cabin heater for the nights; be wary of carbon monoxide - CO detectors from home depot or walmart are cheap insurance.
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Old 03-02-2018, 17:48   #4
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Re: ICW conditions

Your going to need heat, a little Honda will run a space heater just not on high. Nothing is worse than being cold, except being damp and cold.
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Old 04-02-2018, 03:58   #5
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Re: ICW conditions

No serious icing south of VA. The guys at Myrtle Beach said they had a little skim ice on the surface during the really cold snap at the beginning of January... but water temps at our transducers then were still in the area of 46-48F, easily warm enough to get heat from a reverse cycle system.

But we didn't do any anchoring out when we came down in Dec and Jan; too much work. Didn't have problems finding open marinas...

Daytime temps in Charleston are approaching 60s, sometimes high 60s, this week.

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Old 04-02-2018, 06:25   #6
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Re: ICW conditions

I brought my boat from Annapolis, MD, to Oriental, NC, last Feb. First 3 days on Chesapeake were cool but bearable with proper clothing. After Norfolk, Va, it was beautiful during the day and cool at night. Call ahead to marinas, some close for maintenance this time of year.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:04   #7
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Re: ICW conditions

We went down in Feb a few years ago. Actually had to break through the ice to get out of Deale Md, but there was no ice in Solomans or anywhere south of that. We came into Norfolk covered in icicles (from the spray) but that's another issue. Don't know if the Dismal Swamp is open - we took that route. There's a lot of deadfall, so our 6' draft found quite a few "speedbumps", but otherwise no issue. You won't have the draft, but imagine your props would be more exposed, so seek local advice. Activecaptain is your friend. We ran the genny at the Dismal Swamp Welcome center as there are no plugins, and it was coooold.
You will have it all to yourselves down to Elizabeth City, and even then just a few hardy souls all the way down to Florida. Only place that was closed for us was the Alligator River marina, but they had a guy on call.
I can recommend some marinas if you are interested. When you're in the cold all day, a hot shower is definitely worth the $.
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