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Old 03-05-2011, 19:10   #1
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NC to FL Reasonable Time Cruising ?

Just curious how long people over in the US might think it would take to cruise (casually - say... day sailing only) from mid coast North Carolina to say... Miami Florida in a 40 foot boat.
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Old 03-05-2011, 20:42   #2
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Re: NC to FL reasonable time cruising?

Sail every day? Stopping to see the sights or keep moving?

Roughly 800 miles. Easy days figure 40 miles/day. Going through GA may slow you down as some sections are very shallow with high tidal range, 8-10' from high to low, so depending on your draft you may have to wait out some sections.

Also depends on whether you stay in the ICW (IntraCoastal Waterway) or go outside.

As you get into S Florida you will have many, many opening bridges that will slow you down some more. Some are closed for certain hours, some only open on the hour, etc.

If you're trying to get there you could do it 10-14 days without working too hard. If you really want to take it easy figure at least 3 weeks.
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Old 03-05-2011, 20:48   #3
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Re: NC to FL reasonable time cruising?

depends on inside or outside and if you want to sight see along the way
- if inside 50 to 60 miles a day if up early and stop just before sunset - have to time some tides if deep draft - but really do not have to wait on wx
if outside a quick run we did sc to fla in 2 days non stop BUT wx is an issue so need a really good wx window and stay close to shore and stay away from nb gulf stream

just our thoughts
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:31   #4
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Re: NC to FL Reasonable Time Cruising ?

I have done that route several times. If only day saiing then for sailing outside you are limited to the inlets with an easy in and out and a nice anchorage or marina close by. But it won't save you much time versus running the ICW because of all of the lost time in and out.

Your 40' boat can probably sail or motor at 6 kts. I wouldn't plan on more than about 10 hours each day plus in and out time. So the absolute minimum time from say Beaufort, NC to Miami would be 12 days. Add 4-5 for weather and just hanging out at a nice stop.

If you can do a couple of overnights, say to get around Georgia- tedius but some say beautiful, then you can probably cut several days off of the trip.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:12   #5
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Re: NC to FL Reasonable Time Cruising ?

There are a few places to duck out on the outside and daysail, such as St. Simon to Fernandina Beach or to St. Augustine, that make sense. But overnighters can save time and hassle. Just sailed from Fernandina Beach to Beaufort, N.C. in 60 hours.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:50   #6
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Re: NC to FL Reasonable Time Cruising ?

If you stay in the ICW the whole way I would allow at least 15 to 20 travel days, depending on your cruise speed and whether you think a 10 hour day is casual or not. If you think casual includes visiting some of the towns along the way then plan on a month or more. I've done this trip in 14 days, at 7 knots, and 10 hour days, but that included going on the outside from St. Augustine to St. Mary's and from St Cathatrine's sound to Port Royal. I probably saved 1 day doing that. I also had to go outsuide from Ft Lauderdale to Miami because of a 56 foot fixed bridge and a 63 foot mast. Technically the last day from Ft Lauderdale to Key Biscayne was only a half day. That trip was from New Bern NC. If you plan to start from Beaufort, take off a half day.

There are certainly plenty of places to kill a day or two seeing the sights, starting in the Pamlico sound and working south.
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