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Old 08-03-2022, 08:35   #31
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Join Date: May 2021
Location: Miami, FL
Boat: 1980 Cal 39
Posts: 92
Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Thanks for all the useful feedback to this request. We finally made the trip starting about six weeks ago. The portion of our journey from Cape Canaveral via the ICW through to Palm Beach went very well indeed only running aground three times with our 6’ draft. In the area of Grant Farm I missed a sudden left turn in an area dotted with islands but thankfully made it out relatively unscathed. Again on approach to crossing the St. Lucie inlet we ran aground again. This took some tight maneuvering to get out of that situation. Thankfully the CAL turns on a dime so rotates out in forward gear rather well. At Lake Worth I made a turn into a channel a little too early. This one could have been avoided if my transducer was dependable which it’s not (new one being installed within weeks.)
My real troubles started in Lake Worth (Palm Beach) when I attempted to take the outside route to Miami. On exiting the inlet 1/2 mile out our engine quit. I’d never sailed the vessel and had no crew so we decided to get towed back to Lake Worth where we were stranded for 8 days while I attempted to get a mechanic that would be willing to come out to the boat which was at anchor. The issue turned out to be an acutely filthy fuel tank, the sludge being stirred up on entering the Ocean. Once the filters were changed and engine bled we continued down the intracoastal to Hollywood in Broward (couldn’t find Marina or mooring in Ft Lauderdale). My plan had been to take the outside route on a calm day to from Port Everglades to Coconut Grove. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and the heavy boating traffic stirred up the ICW waterway near its narrowest point. This is where we stalled again and I had to drop anchor in the middle of the ICW with very large Yachts going by, ouch! Unfortunately we made it the rest of the way to Miami under tow (5 hrs). As of this writing the boat is still stranded in Biscayne Bay as I’ve not been able to procure either a mooring or a mechanic to help me get started from a bypass tank. I do have a booking to haul her out on 3/22 so I can yank the tank and have it thoroughly cleaned. While doing this I’ll change my transducer too.
I also need to assemble a crew so that I can finally sail her and use the engine as little as possible. Cant wait to get this period behind me, that’s for certain.
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:30   #32
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 6,004
Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Find a mobile fuel polishing service in the Miami area. They clean the tank in place. After you have it cleaned, add Biobor Jr with each fueling to keep the problem from occurring in the first place.
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