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Old 01-08-2020, 15:43   #1
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A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I知 planning a trip this fall on my 40 ft schooner. I single hand most of the time and am planning this trip solo as well. I値l be coming from Orange Beach AL, will likely stay inside to Appalachicola FL a few days visiting friends, and then jump off to Tampa area.
I致e not locked before, so I知 wondering if it is feasible to cross over alone?
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Old 01-08-2020, 17:01   #2
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

If your comfortable tieing alongside of a dock alone, you can lock alone.
Unless of course there is some kind of rule against it?

What is your air draft?
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Old 01-08-2020, 17:06   #3
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

You are the only one to answer that question and you already know your answer.
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Old 01-08-2020, 17:56   #4
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

As A64 has said, it depends upon what you are comfortable doing singlehanding, already, like docking.
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Old 01-08-2020, 19:15   #5
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I could easily lock through solo on our boat, going up is no biggie, you need to tighten lines.going down you need to run back and forth and keep easing lines before you are hanging from them. But it痴 not fast.
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Old 01-08-2020, 19:32   #6
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I went thru singlehanded. No problem. I forget which lock, I think entering Lake O from east, but to fill it, they just opened the doors about 6 inches. A six inch by eight foot firehose. Quite turbulent. Memorable. I was the only one in the lock and well back from the waterfall, but still got yanked about a bit. Haven't seen that technique elsewhere. May have been an equipment issue. Not my preference.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:45   #7
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Single handing thru the locks is not a problem, but, what is your bridge clearance ? Anything over 49 feet will go "clunk". (1st lock east of the lake)
There used to be a guy they called the "tipper" that would lean you over for a few bucks and get you thru if not too tall , but he has retired and no replacement available. Went thru in Jan. this year, monitored lake depth/height. Pucker time.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:10   #8
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I do about 5 deliveries a year across the Lake. Single handing is not really an issue to worry about
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:38   #9
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Aside from locking through, and the air draft issue at the Port Mayaca railroad lift bridge, make sure you have a good working GPS with up to date charts. The western side of Lake Okeechobee channel is Ricky! You need to know where you are without a doubt!

How much water do you draw? Check with the ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS for current lake depths. Some times of tge year, the lake level can be low enough to be a problem for deep draft vessels!

Mind the air draft on the rim route as well!
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:14   #10
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I have done the lake with a Hat 48 LRC and through the Keys at Mosure Chanel just SW of Marathon and around Key West with sail. I much prefer going through the Keys. The ditch through the lake is a boring two to three day motor. Secondly you would need to check with the coast guard to be sure the canal is open to traffic. Third you will need to insure of your air draft as the RR lift bridge at Port Mayaka is 39' at normal lake level. This year we have had a lot of rain and the draft may be less.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:27   #11
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
I went thru singlehanded. No problem. I forget which lock, I think entering Lake O from east, but to fill it, they just opened the doors about 6 inches. A six inch by eight foot firehose. Quite turbulent. Memorable. I was the only one in the lock and well back from the waterfall, but still got yanked about a bit. Haven't seen that technique elsewhere. May have been an equipment issue. Not my preference.

Port Everglades they do it that way too, I was close to the gates and tore off a cleat from the lock, boat bow swung around damaging my Solar installation and I had to cut loose and ride the turbulence out, trying to not hit the brand new motor yacht that was behind me that was on its delivery. It surprised me that they kept opening the gate, I expected them to stop.

If I go through there now, I stay back away from the gate.

I致e not done many locks, but not seen one work before by opening the gate.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:04   #12
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatheelrod22 View Post
I知 planning a trip this fall on my 40 ft schooner. I single hand most of the time and am planning this trip solo as well. I値l be coming from Orange Beach AL, will likely stay inside to Appalachicola FL a few days visiting friends, and then jump off to Tampa area.
I致e not locked before, so I知 wondering if it is feasible to cross over alone?
My experience was that the lock tenders were Princes doing everything to make the passage easy. I don't see a problem with you being solo.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:42   #13
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

I went through two months ago. Put out all your fenders, and you'll be busy running back and forth adjusting lines, but no real issue. You do know about the air draft restrictions due to bridges less than 65 feet, right?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:03   #14
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Not at all difficult if you are a singlehander. In fact, it can be a very enjoyable and educational trip. I made it in a 30' Tartan with a 5' draft and enough air draft for the east lock off the lake. But there are good stops along the way at Belle Glade, Indian Town, Clewiston La Belle (Palm Cabbage Festival) Stuart and Ft. Meyers all had enough to offer to warrant the stops. Obviously I wasn't in a rush. JMc
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Old 02-08-2020, 13:13   #15
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Re: A fool to single hand thru Lake Ocheechobee?

Re: draft. Crossing the lake stay with the markers. It it basically a shallow lake.
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