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Old 29-04-2020, 12:48   #1
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Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

Hi all!

We're planning to sail from St Augustine to Port Canaveral this weekend and wanted to know if anyone had any experience or recommendations for using the Canaveral Lock in a sailing Catamaran.

We're 43' Long with 24' beam and a (roughly) 70' mast. I'm wondering if there are floating line points or if I really need 75' mooring lines. Please share if you have any experience or suggestions.

Also, are the anchorages inside that we can use for a week? The maps suggest I can't go south due to the bridge height and 99% of the area north looked to be restricted. Any insight on this would also be very helpful!

Many thanks, -Steve
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Old 29-04-2020, 13:03   #2
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

You won’t have any problem in that size catamaran. I’ve gone through a few times on a friend’s Manta 42. There are lots of cleats to grab on the lock walls, and the typical lift / drop is usually less than 2’.

As for anchorages, there are several places to anchor inside the lock to the north, just stay south of the power lines. The only drawback is there is no good shore access and it’s a long walk to get to stores if you do manage to land. Lots of traffic noise, also.

You can also go west through the barge canal and head north a bit. There’s a nice anchorage by a spoil island on the east side of the ICW just north of the NASA Causeway bridge.....much quieter there.
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Old 29-04-2020, 13:30   #3
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

You can easily pass through the locks and you don't need that long of lines. I've done it many times using 25ft dock lines. Like Bigdogandy said, I've never seen a change of more than 2 feet even on a spring tide.



You definitely cannot go south but once you get to the Indian river you can go north to the SR 406 causeway in Titusville While you won't be able to go under that bridge you can anchor just south of it and dinghy to the city marina which also manages the mooring field just north of the bridge. You can easily access city services from there. I don't know if buses are running due to the pandemic so you may have to walk a bit to get groceries etc. In the Banana river you can anchor just north of the channel and south of the power lines. There's virtually no access to amenities there but depending on timing it's a great place to watch a space shot.
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Old 29-04-2020, 19:27   #4
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

I use the lock frequently to fish - you will be fine. If your air draft is really 70' you will be constrained in where you can go. If you are under 64', you have a lot of nice options. Lock reopened about a month ago.
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Old 30-04-2020, 09:40   #5
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

After the locks you might get alongside transient dockage at Cape Crossing Marina or Harbor Square marina, just after the SR 3 drawbridge It is an easy 1.5 mile walk to Publix
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Old 30-04-2020, 11:16   #6
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

Have you confirmed that the lock is open? The maintenance closure was supposed to end today ( a month later than scheduled). I haven't seen a notice of another extension, so I am guessing that it is open
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Old 30-04-2020, 11:52   #7
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

It has been a few years but I remember that there is a high power line that crosses the barge canal that would not permit 70' of vertical air draft to pass check out the chart and local knowledge
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Old 30-04-2020, 13:04   #8
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

I was staying in the harbor town marina in
2009. A catamaran hit the power line on the barge canal took out all of his electronics and injured a crew member. At the time I don't think it was very well marked. You should need to do some research with your height.
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Old 30-04-2020, 13:12   #9
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

If you can stay for another 4 weeks then you’ll be witness to an historic launch with great viewing from the Indian river at NASA causeway
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:31   #10
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

Went through there on a Lagoon 470 with 71' air draft, 25' beam. No problems although some of the cleats are poorly maintained and they ate one of my dock likes. Had to cut it to get free.



On the way out I asked the bridge tender how the clearance on the power lines looked and she said "not a lot of space there". Don't recall the charted height but it sure looked close from deck level. Had no issues but I also don't remember what the tide/water height was at that time.



Did make sure no one was touching metal as we passed under the wire though.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:44   #11
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

I notice on the charts that several of the bridges have a clearance of 65' between St Augustine and the Cape. Do you wait for low tyde or assume the mast height will fit under? Are you sure the mast height is 70'? Do the charts have 5' of margin built in?



Obviously several have done it, so it must be OK. Coming through there in our sailboat, we had a mast height of 52' including the VHF antenna so we had no problem.


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Old 02-05-2020, 23:39   #12
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Re: Port Canaveral Lock with a Sailing Catamaran

Went through the lock on a Lagoon 450, air draft 75ft. The canal power lines next to the bridge I think have authorized clearance of 85 ft. Apparently the lines are high voltage and electricity can jump the gap. We went through between breaks in a thunderstorm, the lock actually got hit by lightning about an hour after we went through, we had anchored just south of a tiny island near the lock. We had violent squalls and lightning all night with boat swinging through 360s, did not drag though.
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