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Old 10-06-2021, 06:06   #1
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Lightbulb Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

I am helping a a friend sail a Catalina 37.5 from Lauderdale to Charleston June 21st or so. I am not familiar with the best offshore route to take.


The ICW would take too long and offer more motoring than sailing.


I have about a week to complete the trip.



Any input here would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:25   #2
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

Sail out about 5 to 10 nm to the western edge of the Gulf Stream when the wind is anything but north…it takes 3-4 days. If the wind is in the north you will be motoring inside the western edge of the Gulf Stream or up the ICW.

Being in the Western edge allows you to get out of the Gulf Stream if the weather deteriorates or the wind gets too much north in it.
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:28   #3
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

There is only one good choice here. You ride the Gulf Stream north. If the wind is from anything between the NW and ENE you wait in FLL. You will see a speed boost of 3 to 4 knots over ground most of the way, more than making up for a day or two of waiting.

That route is really pretty easy to plan, put a dot on your chart about 5 miles outside of Port Everglades, and another one 20 miles SE of the Charleston Harbor jetties. Connect the dots. You can fine tune the current a bit, but that will get you 95% of the gain.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:06   #4
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

Both comments are spot on. Download the Windy app and look for currents. Pretty accurate for position and speed.
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Old 10-06-2021, 07:34   #5
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore




Thank you all for your replies.



I appreciate it. I've heard that the weather can deteriorate quickly over the Gulf Stream due to the warm water.


He has predict wind, a chart plotter, and radar. I prefer to have paper as back up. *hit can happen....
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Old 10-06-2021, 14:34   #6
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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Thank you all for your replies.



I appreciate it. I've heard that the weather can deteriorate quickly over the Gulf Stream due to the warm water.


He has predict wind, a chart plotter, and radar. I prefer to have paper as back up. *hit can happen....
Are you experienced sailors? Three people would be preferable to two. It should be an easy trip. Watch the horizon and reef early.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:03   #7
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

And whatever you do, try not to put into Charleston at night. Unless you are an experienced navigator, it will freak you out trying to find the markers and range lights.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:19   #8
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

All good advice, couple of additions
Monitor your ground speed, it is easy to slip to the west of the stream and into a counter-current.
Plan your bail-out points in advance, all alternative ports on that route are not created equal.
Plan on a line of T-storms in the afternoon (someone already said reef early)
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:21   #9
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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And whatever you do, try not to put into Charleston at night. Unless you are an experienced navigator, it will freak you out trying to find the markers and range lights.
And for God's sake don't try dynamiter hole. Come in from the sea buoy.
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Old 10-06-2021, 15:46   #10
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

Having the ability to receive weather forecasts offshore is invaluable, which requires some sort of satellite service. Predict Wind with Iridium Go is popular and the SirusXM service is well liked.

Having said that, the usual reliable forecast window of three days should be adequate to get you from Lauderdale to Charleston. Personally, I'd wait for anything South of East (or South of West for that matter, though its rare). You don't want due South because that's dead down wind and you'll be rolling your guts out.

That's my two cents. And I've done it several times.

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Old 10-06-2021, 17:29   #11
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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Are you experienced sailors? Three people would be preferable to two. It should be an easy trip. Watch the horizon and reef early.



I have experience, my friend, not so much. There are only two of us, so it will make for 3 or 4 hour shifts. Typically I reef in the evenings for a night sail, if there are T-storms in the area, especially sailing short crew.



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Old 10-06-2021, 18:05   #12
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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Having the ability to receive weather forecasts offshore is invaluable, which requires some sort of satellite service. Predict Wind with Iridium Go is popular and the SirusXM service is well liked.

Having said that, the usual reliable forecast window of three days should be adequate to get you from Lauderdale to Charleston. Personally, I'd wait for anything South of East (or South of West for that matter, though its rare). You don't want due South because that's dead down wind and you'll be rolling your guts out.

That's my two cents. And I've done it several times.

Scott



Hey Scott,


Thanks for the info. We do have irridium Go. Also 5-10 NM is still pretty good for cell service ( weather apps). I'm hopeful for SE winds. No fun rolling guts.
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Old 10-06-2021, 18:12   #13
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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And whatever you do, try not to put into Charleston at night. Unless you are an experienced navigator, it will freak you out trying to find the markers and range lights.



Lol Lionshooter,



NEVER.... I know better than attempting ANY unfamiliar harbor at night,.....


I will probably heave to or use one of the secondary or tertiary back ups



All sage and appreciated advice.
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Old 10-06-2021, 20:38   #14
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

Go out the Ft Lauderdale entrance, a bit past the sea buoy turn left 90 degrees, the stream is right there to take you north. In about two days you should be near Charleston, pick up the sea buoy, turn left and enter Charleston Hbr. It is a very easy straight in approach, with a bright easy to see range (Fort Sumpter Range) and ranges all the way in to the marina.

Nice ride north in the stream, add about 2 to 3 kts to your normal speed for planning.

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Old 10-06-2021, 20:46   #15
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Re: Routing Ft Lauderdale to Charleston, SC Offshore

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