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Old 17-01-2022, 18:53   #1
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Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Hey all, been lurking for about a 18 months since I bought a clapped out Morgan Classic 41’6”. Spent a few months getting it float worthy and then spent last winter cruising down the ICW and some offshore with my wife, a 7yo 5yo and 2yo. We had a rough year fixing and moving all the time covering 1600 miles in our on again off again journey (we live in NY and spend about 3 months a year on the boat). Definitely beat everyone up.

We have fixed everything on our Morgan and it has been a great proof of concept for the family. This season we have been cruising the Bahamas. Much more enjoyable and we haven’t been in a rush to put too many miles on.

We have decided to sell the Morgan as it’s just too crammed for everyone. But one thing we loved is the ability to reasonably inexpensively leave the boat in the mooring fields in Vero Beach and Fort Meyer ($350ish a month is basically free storage)

As we look at upgrading to a more modern 50-55’ mono or a 42-45 cat (whole other discussion). My real question is how much will I be limiting my ability to find somewhere to keep the boat with a mast height over 64’. We have been keeping the boat in Florida as it’s convenient to get nonstop flights from NY to FL. We eventually will start moving the boat down through the islands slowly and to Central America. But I think keeping the boat in Florida during the 9 months a year we aren’t live aboard will make sense.

Those who have made the move up, any regrets? I don’t mind spending more keeping the boat at a dock but it seems pretty hard these day to find a good situation anywhere. What do you guys say? Family of 5 with 3 growing girls I just don’t think there are many choices that will provide us more comfort without abandoning the 64’ bridge heights…..and I’d hate to move into a power boat

Thanks in advance!
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Old 17-01-2022, 19:10   #2
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

I think 50' plus is pushing the limit for an ICW friendly sailboat...

But..... you can likely find 45-47' boats that are ICW friendly and meet your accommodation needs...
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Old 18-01-2022, 03:48   #3
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

You may be forced, (moaning, wailing, gnashing of teeth,) to go to a Ketch rig. It will open-up a lot more choices in the length you're looking for.
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Old 18-01-2022, 04:10   #4
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

I have a hard time understanding why so many people see a mast as a permanent thing.

Get the good boat. Forget mast height.

If you need to store the boat in a height restricted area for the summer while not living abord, pull up to a dock, pay your $200-$300 and put the mast on deck for the summer storage.

Same with the icw.

If you want to motor the ICW from NY to Florida, pay your $200-$300, put the mast on deck and laugh all the way to Florida at all all the “ICW friendly”, underpowered (for sailing) boats sitting and circling waiting for the bridges.

The accepted logic is faulty.

You can cut probably 1/4 of the time it takes to motor the ICW off when you don’t need to stop for bridges - and going offshore to do the same trip? Forget about it. You’ll be a week ahead of everyone else.

Don’t worry about mast height. Get a good boat and just pop it off when you plan to do some inland storage or cruising.

Makes for a better boat at sea AND a better boat inland too, with plenty of power for light air and a 12ft air draft inland.
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Old 18-01-2022, 05:00   #5
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, Electricsnail.
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Old 18-01-2022, 06:28   #6
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Keep your boat at Port Canaveral. Fly in and out of Orlando. Never bother with the ditch. That's what I did. No regrets.
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Old 18-01-2022, 07:22   #7
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

It’s not just mast height that will limit you in a 50’ foot-ish monohull, depths will also give you grief in some places. My 50’ foot schooner draws 6’6”, and in the ICW we sometimes run aground, and can’t get into some marinas in Florida. Depth of a 50’ foot mono will also limit you in the Islands.
We do however have nice accommodation: three double cabins and two heads/showers, one with a bathtub. See www.schonner-britannia.com
A large ketch or schooner will generally allow you headroom to make progress in the intercoastal when it’s too rough to go north outside, like now. But you immediately meet fixed bridges north and south out of Cape Canaveral.
I’ve been there for three years and there’s nowhere to go outside, except a long passage south to the islands, or east to Bermuda
Orlando is the nearest airport, but then you’ve got to get 70 miles to CC and back. Uber is $100 each way.
I’m very loath to say it, but a largeish catamaran sounds like the answer for accommodation, and if the mast is a bit too high, cut the thing down and re-rig it—I did.
Bill Garden once told me, “You can do anything with boats, all you need is money.”
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Old 18-01-2022, 07:25   #8
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotu View Post
I have a hard time understanding why so many people see a mast as a permanent thing.

Get the good boat. Forget mast height.

If you need to store the boat in a height restricted area for the summer while not living abord, pull up to a dock, pay your $200-$300 and put the mast on deck for the summer storage.

Same with the icw.

If you want to motor the ICW from NY to Florida, pay your $200-$300, put the mast on deck and laugh all the way to Florida at all all the ďICW friendlyĒ, underpowered (for sailing) boats sitting and circling waiting for the bridges.

The accepted logic is faulty.

You can cut probably 1/4 of the time it takes to motor the ICW off when you donít need to stop for bridges - and going offshore to do the same trip? Forget about it. Youíll be a week ahead of everyone else.

Donít worry about mast height. Get a good boat and just pop it off when you plan to do some inland storage or cruising.

Makes for a better boat at sea AND a better boat inland too, with plenty of power for light air and a 12ft air draft inland.
Never thought of it this way. Thanks for the perspective!
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Old 18-01-2022, 08:51   #9
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Itís not just mast height that will limit you in a 50í foot-ish monohull, depths will also give you grief in some places. My 50í foot schooner draws 6í6Ē, and in the ICW we sometimes run aground, and canít get into some marinas in Florida. Depth of a 50í foot mono will also limit you in the Islands.
We do however have nice accommodation: three double cabins and two heads/showers, one with a bathtub. See www.schonner-britannia.com
A large ketch or schooner will generally allow you headroom to make progress in the intercoastal when itís too rough to go north outside, like now. But you immediately meet fixed bridges north and south out of Cape Canaveral.
Iíve been there for three years and thereís nowhere to go outside, except a long passage south to the islands, or east to Bermuda
Orlando is the nearest airport, but then youíve got to get 70 miles to CC and back. Uber is $100 each way.
Iím very loath to say it, but a largeish catamaran sounds like the answer for accommodation, and if the mast is a bit too high, cut the thing down and re-rig itóI did.
Bill Garden once told me, ďYou can do anything with boats, all you need is money
I agree here - once you get into 50ish boats the keel will give you problems, unless you get a shoal keel and then you sacrifice pointing ability. We took a 7 foot keel up an down the ICW and only went aground once (our own fault - Hubris), but it did mean waiting around for tide changes.
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:11   #10
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

There are lifting keel, swing keel and centerboard boats that lowers a boats draft.

Later,
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:21   #11
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Boy, I'd sure like to know some yards who can pull/step a mast for $200-$300 and not make a mess of things. I definitely don't know any for the north end of the trip.
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:50   #12
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

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Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
Boy, I'd sure like to know some yards who can pull/step a mast for $200-$300 and not make a mess of things. I definitely don't know any for the north end of the trip.
I agree, and the last time I stepped my masts in Titusville it cost $400 each way. Not to mention actually getting a crane in when you want it. Furthermore, if you are carting a mast that is too long for the ICW, it's going to be a considerable inconvenience on deck, even with a 45+ footer. It's not just the mast(s) is it? There's all the sails and rigging and spreaders etc., as well.
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Old 18-01-2022, 09:52   #13
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

Passport 545 Vista CC with the ICW friendly rig option and 6ft draft:
(If money is no object)

https://www.yachtworld.com/yacht/201...ckpit-8090026/
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Old 18-01-2022, 10:00   #14
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

it beats me why anyone with a 50' sailboat would want to travel the ICW north or south...take it outside...
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Old 18-01-2022, 10:28   #15
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Re: Abandoning ICW (Mast Height) will I care ?

I think Bowdrie is on the right track for a monohull recommendation. A ketch rig might give you a wide choice of boats with main mast less than 65 ft tall. Also, ketch rigs tend to be shoal draft which will help around Florida and the Bahamas. Our draft is 6ft 3in (more like 6ft 5in as she's loaded); from Florida to Maine, we had to be careful but weren't limited much in going where we wanted to go. But, we didn't do the ICW. We were outside for various reasons.
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