Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Boyd...Given your purchase in Florida...I am assuming this is a used boat.
The concern I would have is that with it being a used boat, you need a shakedown cruise to sort things out before getting out in the stream.
Assuming you are both capable sailors and navigators...I would start first with a day or two on the FL ICW...say to Palm Beach. This will allow you to analyze and deal with any immediately evident issues like overheating etc. while in protected waters and with towboatus and marinas handy.
Then you could hop outside at Palm Beach which is an all weather, easy inlet and come back in at Ft. Pierce after a long day offshore into another good inlet. This will allow any fuel problems or sail/rig problems to manifest themselves in the ocean swells and again ends at a good inlet with readily available marina services at the head of the inlet.
OK...now you can have some confidence that the boat is sorted out and will have gotten used to handling her and you can take on longer passages...perhaps next up to St. Augstine (about 150 miles) or Jacksonville (180) or the St. Mary's River (210) depending on how long you want to stay out.
From Northern FL...Charleston is about 180 miles and there are several interim harbors where you can lay over if you want to break it up.
From there it is an overnighter to the Cape Fear River and Southport and another overnighter to Beaufort depending on where you need to come into in NC.
The above is pretty much what we did last year coming north and it saves a lot of time over the ICW and is do-able by a couple without getting too tired from standing watch. Certainly with a crew, you can do longer legs if you choose but the route I've given also does not put you more than a day away from a manageable inlet if the weather forecast says to batten down.
You didn't ask for a tourist guide so I'll refrain...but there are a lot of awful nice places to pull in along the way and if you have the time it is worthwhile to stop and smell the magnolias!!