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Old 12-01-2022, 11:00   #1
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ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Iím hoping I can get some feedback from locals or those that are familiar with the stretch of ICW between Cocoa Village and Palm Beach.

Within a few days I plan on taking my Cal 39 which has a 6í draft down the ICW to Miami. Iíll be traveling only in daylight hours.

My plan is to spend a night on a mooring in Melbourne then the second night in Ft. Pierce. From Ft. Pierce Iíd like to head down to St. Lucie inlet and out to sea. Due to my deep draft Iíve of course been paying special attention to depths, shoaling etc. I noticed on the map that this inlet seems to have more than adequate depth to the south of the inlet especially if I keep to the right of the red markers proceeding east. However in the notes shown in the waterways guide it seems to discourage use of this inlet, recommending I proceed further south. Going south the ICW seems to narrow significantly and Iím concerned that this may slow me down tremendously.

What are the reasons for the caution regarding St. Lucie inlet? Also, are there any other tips for the route mentioned?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-01-2022, 11:26   #2
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

If you are concerned, I would use Ft Pierce or Palm Beach. St Lucie is probably ok, and you could contact Tow Boat Us down there to help you with current conditions. I prefer not to worry, and would use Ft Pierce, or PB.
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Old 12-01-2022, 13:25   #3
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

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Originally Posted by Maldwin View Post
If you are concerned, I would use Ft Pierce or Palm Beach. St Lucie is probably ok, and you could contact Tow Boat Us down there to help you with current conditions. I prefer not to worry, and would use Ft Pierce, or PB.
Thank you Maldwin, how is it from Ft Pierce down to PB in the ICW?
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Old 12-01-2022, 14:59   #4
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

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Originally Posted by Cap Morgan View Post
Thank you Maldwin, how is it from Ft Pierce down to PB in the ICW?
Crowded - on a weekend in-season, with every yahoo that can swing a boat payment! Caution on St. Lucie inlet is same as St. Augustine - shifting sands at the mouth of a tidal river. I've not done that one, but told that 6 foot is OK for entry if watching the tides. As with all East facing Florida inlets, on an outgoing tide and easterly winds, there is a washing machine at the entrance, so watch the current prediction. Do not think about Jupiter inlet as they have not adequately dredged.
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Old 12-01-2022, 15:13   #5
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

The Locks at St.Lucie heading to Lake Okeechobee are closed for maintenance until the end of March.
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Old 12-01-2022, 15:22   #6
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Either one is ok but West Palm is the easiest and leads right to a good anchorage south of Peanut Island.

Do not travel this area on fair weather weekends ... you will want to kill someone .
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Old 12-01-2022, 15:35   #7
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

I'm based in Melbourne and go to Ft P all the time. I draw 6' plus a snitch. I've never had a problem with depth, the water is high right now The real problem is bridge height. Wabasso in particular is at best 63'. All the inlets are a potential problem but if you pay attention I usually go through without a hitch. Sebastian can be a problem as can the hard right turn at Jupiter. These days I go out at Ft P, I cant go North to the Canaveral canal,again because of bridge height ( I'm 63' 6"). I'm sick of bridges esp openings South of Palm Beach. So I go out at Ft Pierce to cross over, I used to go down to Riviera Beach but no more. Make sure you're good at holding in place while you wait a long time for a bridge to open even North of Palm Beach. There is an opening bridge just before(North) at Ft P too.
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Old 12-01-2022, 15:47   #8
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Morgan View Post
Iím hoping I can get some feedback from locals or those that are familiar with the stretch of ICW between Cocoa Village and Palm Beach.

Within a few days I plan on taking my Cal 39 which has a 6í draft down the ICW to Miami. Iíll be traveling only in daylight hours.

My plan is to spend a night on a mooring in Melbourne then the second night in Ft. Pierce. From Ft. Pierce Iíd like to head down to St. Lucie inlet and out to sea. Due to my deep draft Iíve of course been paying special attention to depths, shoaling etc. I noticed on the map that this inlet seems to have more than adequate depth to the south of the inlet especially if I keep to the right of the red markers proceeding east. However in the notes shown in the waterways guide it seems to discourage use of this inlet, recommending I proceed further south. Going south the ICW seems to narrow significantly and Iím concerned that this may slow me down tremendously.

What are the reasons for the caution regarding St. Lucie inlet? Also, are there any other tips for the route mentioned?

Thanks in advance!
St. Lucie is shifting and moving. We draft 6 as well and high tide is your friend. Keep a good eye for the temporary markers.
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Old 12-01-2022, 16:19   #9
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

I would agree with the previous suggestions, especially Ft. Pierce and Palm Beach inlet being more user friendly but would not discourage you from coming in or out the St. Lucie inlet. Usual inlet precautions taken will get you through safely. You can anchor in Manatee Pocket, Pecks Lake, etc.

If weather is not your friend and you need to head south from the Stuart area, you can use the ICW but you will have to deal with many bridges. Nice homes to look at if you care. Safe travels.
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Old 12-01-2022, 16:25   #10
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Morgan View Post
Iím hoping I can get some feedback from locals or those that are familiar with the stretch of ICW between Cocoa Village and Palm Beach.

Within a few days I plan on taking my Cal 39 which has a 6í draft down the ICW to Miami. Iíll be traveling only in daylight hours.

My plan is to spend a night on a mooring in Melbourne then the second night in Ft. Pierce. From Ft. Pierce Iíd like to head down to St. Lucie inlet and out to sea. Due to my deep draft Iíve of course been paying special attention to depths, shoaling etc. I noticed on the map that this inlet seems to have more than adequate depth to the south of the inlet especially if I keep to the right of the red markers proceeding east. However in the notes shown in the waterways guide it seems to discourage use of this inlet, recommending I proceed further south. Going south the ICW seems to narrow significantly and Iím concerned that this may slow me down tremendously.

What are the reasons for the caution regarding St. Lucie inlet? Also, are there any other tips for the route mentioned?

Thanks in advance!

Let's cut to the chase here... this time of year the ICW will not be as crowded as "in season. So don't let that worry you. You won't be the smallest boat nor the biggest. Tips on which inlets to use or not are valid so do as you see fit based on the inputs received.
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Old 12-01-2022, 16:40   #11
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

We always go outside. Port Canaveral to Fort Pierce is very well doable as a day sail. Stay close inshore to avoid the current. We donít stop anywhere in between these two inlets.
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Old 12-01-2022, 17:08   #12
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ICW Question- East Coast Florida

We r doing ponce to cape tomorrow. Cape to ft pierce day after. There is big wind i think sat or sun
Yes, ICW had little traffic from PC today
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Old 12-01-2022, 17:53   #13
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Have done this many times over many years, both in the ICW and offshore. The suggestions given above are good but don't be afraid of the ICW with your 6' draft. The only place I've ever had a problem with the ICW is at the south side of the St. Lucie inlet... but not recently. St. Lucie south is a pretty stretch of ICW waterway that you might enjoy. Then, as suggested, head offshore as you round Peanut Island in Palm Beach. The Lake Worth Inlet is an easy passage.
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Old 12-01-2022, 18:29   #14
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenWave View Post
Let's cut to the chase here... this time of year the ICW will not be as crowded as "in season. So don't let that worry you. You won't be the smallest boat nor the biggest. Tips on which inlets to use or not are valid so do as you see fit based on the inputs received.


Very true!
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Old 12-01-2022, 18:29   #15
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Re: ICW Question- East Coast Florida

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Originally Posted by Seighlor View Post
Have done this many times over many years, both in the ICW and offshore. The suggestions given above are good but don't be afraid of the ICW with your 6' draft. The only place I've ever had a problem with the ICW is at the south side of the St. Lucie inlet... but not recently. St. Lucie south is a pretty stretch of ICW waterway that you might enjoy. Then, as suggested, head offshore as you round Peanut Island in Palm Beach. The Lake Worth Inlet is an easy passage.


More good advice.
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