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post #3 of Old 04-28-2013
sailor wench
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Re: east coast icw

From Biscayne Bay to Stuart, you won't really have a "problem", per say, but unless you have the winds and/or currents with you, it will be a very slow go with an 8hp engine. My son followed me in his boat, that had a 9hp outboard on it, down the ICW from Little River, SC to Stuart, where he turned off on the slacker's cut (OWW) to get across to Ft. Myers, and he had a heck of a time keeping up with me and I'm NOT a fast boat @ all. On the days that we had strong headwinds, we learned just to take an extra day wherever we were and not to try to rush it because when we did, we ended up traveling at about 2-3 knots average, unless we got lucky and the currents were with us, in which case we sped up to about a maximum of 3-4 in a headwind. With winds and currents in our favor, just sailing we could maintain about 5 and 6-7 if motorsailing. So, my advice would be to monitor the weather forecasts, especially wind direction/speed and try to travel when you have the winds with you. I would also monitor the tides/currents and try to time it so they also were in my favor because that's the only way to really make any significant time. Day after day of traveling at 2-3 knots can be very frustrating, especially if you have only a certain amount of time to take this trip in. If you are on a tight schedule, you may want to consider a higher horsepower engine or either realize that if the weather doesn't cooperate, you may not get as far as you would like to in the amount of time that you have allotted and make a back up plan for where you can leave the boat temporarily if you're not able to get it all the way to Ft. Myers in one outing. Do you have unlimited time in which to get the boat to Ft. Myers? If you do, then it's not really a problem. Once you're on the OWW, horsepower is somewhat important because wind can be blocked by various things on either side. Like I said, it really all depends if you are in a hurry or not. If not, just relax and enjoy the ride, slow as it may be. You will get there, even with an 8hp engine. It will just take a while.

Last edited by sailor wench; 04-28-2013 at 02:45 AM. Reason: spelling
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