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Old 16-04-2020, 11:29   #1
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OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Long Story Short -
I bought a Sailboat in Ft Pierce FL, 52' mast, with the idea of sailing her across the state via Lake Okeechobee, to our home on the west coast.

I was planning on employing Billy Owen, the Boat Tipper, to make our mast fit under the 49' bridge. Using 55 gallon drums, filled with water to force the boat to heel.
I am in the planning process, and called Indiantown Marina to get Billy's phone number, to make sure he was still providing this service, during these uncertain times. Billy DIED a few months ago, and I was told no one was taking over his business. CR*P!
Anyway,,, sailing south around the tip of FL, through the keys, is not an option will all of the counties CLOSED Palm Beach south, marinas included.
The Keys are closed to ALL visitors.
I hate the stick on the back of a truck option,, however,,,


any other ideas?


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Old 16-04-2020, 11:32   #2
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

If you can find a place to un-step the mast somewhere before the low bridge and one to re-step it somewhere after, you can motor the section in between, carrying the mast in cradles on deck. Probably cheaper than having the mast trucked and it also means a shorter portion of the trip where you're restricted to motoring only.
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Old 16-04-2020, 12:02   #3
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

You are close, might be able to squeeze under if water level is low due to recent drought, or attach a halyard to power boat and drag your vessel sideways under the bridge. I dont think you could put enough water drums on rail to tilt you that much. Or just get some jerry cans and go thru the Keys. Gas stations open everywhere in Florida, some marinas still pumping, and conditions change daily, hopefully for the better.

Port Mayaca Railroad Bridge (lift type) S. Central FL Express, Inc.
• Horizontal Clearance = 56'
• Vertical Clearance = 49' Up (based on 14.5' water level)
• Located at Okeechobee Waterway Statute mile 38.0

Note that water level is downstream of the lock, not the level in Lake Okeechobee itself. Changes daily, check this site for the latest water level

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Old 16-04-2020, 12:12   #4
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Quote:
sailing south around the tip of FL, through the keys, is not an option will all of the counties CLOSED Palm Beach south, marinas included.
The Keys are closed to ALL visitors.
While most of that is true, you can still sail through the area. I left Marathon about ten days ago and sailed up to the Tampa area, no problems.

You will need to provision like you are on an Atlantic crossing, prepare to carry your trash longer than normal. And........ if you don't have a composting toilet, be prepared to head offshore to, you know, to drop the poo......
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Old 16-04-2020, 12:14   #5
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Tip it yourself with a dinghy on a halyard and partially filled with water, you don’t need a whole lot, or just sail around.
You should be able to easily carry enough fuel and water to not stop anywhere.
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Old 16-04-2020, 12:31   #6
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

If you have a spinnaker pole, rig that with fore and aft guys to get weight out as far as possible (use the boom otherwise). Like others wrote, use the dinghy filled with water. You can try this and measure heel angle, then calculate if it’s enough to loose 3’ height.
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Old 16-04-2020, 12:43   #7
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

52' mast, 49' clearance, a little trigonometry says that you need to heel your boat by 20 degrees to clear. That is not an awful lot. I'm thinking that you could probably do that with a dinghy.


Good luck.
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Old 16-04-2020, 13:38   #8
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

find a way to mark on a halyard (or hoisted line) where 49 feet is from your masthead to waterline .. then you know when you are heeled over far enough
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Old 16-04-2020, 13:54   #9
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

If you use the dinghy, half sink it, that is way more than enough weight but you don’t want it to not be enough, then tie a line from both the stern and bow to your boat, cause that much mass will have a lot of inertia and you want it to not move relative to your boat.
I like Jedi’s idea of using the boom, but I wouldn’t unless I had a very good topping lift.

Once your done, remove the plug from the dinghy and the big boat will pull it up and cause it to drain.

Oh, and of course go slow, and try to not let some idiot wake you.
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Old 16-04-2020, 14:57   #10
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

So it’s based on 14.5 lake level. Go here to see lake level http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
So today looks like little under 11.5 so height should be around 52. Remember to count your antenna and wind instruments atop mast into height.
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Old 16-04-2020, 15:46   #11
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Buy 2 cases of beer, , find 6 big fat drinkers, sit them in harnesses on the end of the boom and swing it out... you may need 7.
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Old 16-04-2020, 16:23   #12
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
Bridge today is 52 feet. If it doesn’t rain much it will get higher. Fill your tanks and provision like there is a pandemic and go for it. Go slow!
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Old 17-04-2020, 08:22   #13
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

You provided the answer in your first sentence. You bought a sail boat, just sail around the tip of Florida. If a valid emergency comes up, authorities will let you in. Do you really want to stress an unkown rig in this fashion?
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Old 17-04-2020, 08:41   #14
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Wow, that is a really low lake level. If it stays this low and the locks open, may try myself early next month. Last mono was too tall and too deep for these conditions. And the cat doesn't heel! 52' is just ok.
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Old 17-04-2020, 08:53   #15
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Re: OH NO! Myakka RR Bridge

Be very certain of your 52' vertical. Very often that 52' is to the theoretical top of the mast and does not take into account antennae, windex, etc. It'd suck to destroy everything above 52' that you hadn't figured on.
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