Florida ICW sailing and my new(used)boat-Help! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-24-2009 Thread Starter
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Florida ICW sailing and my new(used)boat-Help!

So Atom voyages got me going...
Live in Melbourne area of ICW between cape canaveral and sebastian inlet of FL. Now heres the hard part. While I used to sail alot many years ago on a P-Cat and a few multi day out island trips in So Cal, I havent for a while. Since I am here now I just need to start again. While I want to go to Keys and Bahamas, probably will be sailing mostly in the wide stretces of ICW down here. Its windy all the time down here and it often times comes right up or down the ICW so windward ability is a good thing. Dont have alot of desire for a big boat with the complexities. So 25-30 LOA approx is where Im at. In these financial times I dont want a boat that is a good deal now but wont ever be able to sell it because of reduced demand (for whatever reason), like maybe catalina or macgregor, et al. We have just my wife and I. I am the sailor and she would like to "try it", (another reason to start small if ya know what I mean).
So...thinking about a CD 25D. But maybe I am mentally attached but reality of slow and full keel and 25 LOA hasnt set in. Trailerable is a good thing for the future if I want to vacate this area but not to use all the time.
So to sum up.
Boat for a 50 yo guy with +/- wife who maybe interested. Can do the windward thing well enough but motor if it just cant pinch. Not too big of draft due to ICW issues. Trailerable if I HAVE to. Can go to keys or bahamas if its set up right. Head for her, motor for me. Enough room to mess around below with good vent (opening ports i think). Just not sure about need for full keel even though draft isnt too bad in ICW(CD25D/Bristol/Pearson, Flicka etc). I think keel is good in wind but then I get a little confused with all the data. I am pretty sure that I dont just want a boat for ICW only. I will occasionally want to go outside and play a little too. Maybe even bigger trips!
Impossible solution?
Your turn.
And ... thank you for all your help!

Last edited by samule; 01-24-2009 at 09:35 AM. Reason: another thought to add #2
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-24-2009
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Off hand, I'd suggest something like a Capri 26. Enough room to spend some time on, a fixed head, shallow draft, and trailerable.

John
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-24-2009
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Okay, let's start with the basics:
What is your budget?
What are your absolute needs? (ie, wheel vs. tiller, furling options, inboard vs. outboard, cabin headroom, etc.)
what are your WIFE'S absolute needs? (see your needs, plus any others that will allow her to enjoy the sail.)
Once you have that baseline established, go here:

Sailing and start running some numbers- motion comfort, comparisons between boats, etc.
For example, there is no point recommending "boat a" when your wife gets squirrelly over 20 degrees heel, and "boat a' has a lousy motion-comfort ratio. No matter how much YOu like the boat, you ain't gonna be sailing as much as you like, unless she buys in. And she ain't gonna buy in unless she enjoys it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-25-2009
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Here's a link to a club in your area that specializes in trailer sailing.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-25-2009
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Hello, neighbor.

Samule:

I keep my boat just north of your place, off the Barge Canal at the northern end of Merritt Island. Based on 9 years of ownership and sailing in that area, I have a few thoughts that differ a little from your comments. Previously I kept a smaller sailboat in Titusville for several years.

The sailing around Merritt Island changes considerably from summer to fall/winter. Summer winds are normally around 10 mph, often less, usually from the east or southeast. They grow stronger in the afternoon as the Florida peninsula heats up and the seabreeze moves inland. There are often thunderstorms, but they tend to be worse further inland.

By fall I normally take the 135% genoa off and hoist a 100% high clew jib for the windier season. Winds are more often out of the north or northeast during the cooler months, which typically tells of a cold front bringing stronger breezes. As the cold front leaves, the wind moves around the compass.

The ICW all along Merritt Island appears to be wide, but varies much in depth depending on where you are sailing. At the northern end of the island, let's say most everywhere north of highway 520 bridge, you pretty much have to stay in the narrow ICW channel unless you like the idea of getting in the water and pushing yourself off a shoal. That holds true for most of the ICW north of there, at least up to St. Augustine (which is as far as I've gone north recently). The problem along much of the ICW in Central Florida is due to spoil islands created by the dredging work done to create or maintain the ICW. Those are often just outside the channel, and sometimes there is only a foot of water over them. Other times they are easily visible.

South of the 520 bridge, the water is better for sailing outside of the channel. There are still some shoals, but nowhere nearly as commonly found as north of 520.

As you go further south, the ICW narrows again, and you will be restricted to the channel. Once you get south of Lake Worth, the ICW is basically a seawalled canal most of the way to Miami. It is narrow the entire way, and confounded by short drawbridges everywhere.

My boat is 32' and draws about 4'3", and I still bump the ground about once a year. Luckily, everywhere the bottom is soft.

Port Canaveral is one of the best inlets in all of Florida if you want to sail in the Atlantic Ocean. You will have to go up to the Barge Canal from southern Merritt island, and there is a drawbridge at Rte. 3 (Courtney Rd.), the Canaveral Locks are a few miles further, and then you have to clear the highway 401 bridge at the port. You're not likely to be able to get through two bridges and the locks unless you start early in the day and are out late on your return. The trip is complicated during the weekdays by lockout periods for several hours around afternoon rush hour, when the bridges simply won't open for you. Weekends don't suffer that fate, but Hwy 3 bridge is now restricted to opening on the half hours only. 401 is on demand. If you wanted to sail in the ocean, however, and had the entire weekend available, you could work your way over to just west of the locks and anchor there for the night. The next day you could clear the locks early and be in the ocean in no time.

If you plan to sail mostly in the ICW around Merritt Island, I'd suggest you not go a whole lot deeper than 5' unless you have a keel/centerboard or swing keel. Biscayne Bay and the Keys are also shallow in many areas. So are most places in the Bahamas for that matter, if you have that trip in mind. You can get by with more draft, but for a boat in the mid 20's range in length you don't really need to be much deeper.

The CD 25D (unlike the earlier CD 25) has pretty close to standing headroom unless your are particularly tall, which is unusual in a 25 footer. The other CD is stooping headroom only and is outboard powered. If you can manage a boat with standing headroom, it's lot's more comfortable (which I expecially have noticed as I've gotten older).

It's good to have a fairly weatherly boat, as I usually can sail both ways on much of the ICW in this area so long as the wind is between NE-SE, or SW-NW. Those wind directions are not uncommon. Due north or south winds are not especially common for very long periods of time.

I have friends at my marina whose boats are not as weatherly as mine, and who tell me they seldom are able to sail both directions on any given day. For my tastes, that's not acceptable as a run followed by a long bit of motoring to get back home isn't all that much fun.

If you'd like to experience some sailing in the area, send me a private message and I'll try to work out a time to take you and your wife out for an afternoon to see this sailing area and talk about other issues.

Regards,

richard
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-25-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks Richard,
My home phone is 321.373.1869
My home is in Melbourne Beach.
Email is:
scollins86 at cfl dot rr dot com

I cant send PM's yet as I do not have 10 posts under my belt.

Hope you get this.
Sam
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-27-2009
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Samule—

Posting a phone number on an internet forum is generally not all that wise an idea. You'd be much better off, in general, going to the Song Chain thread in the off-topic forum and posting eight more times there and then PM'ing him.

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post #8 of 12 Old 01-30-2009
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ICW boat

Samule,

I saw your post and wanted to share a few thoughts- I bought a PSC Flicka last year in the Fort Pierce area. Although I have years of experience sea-kayaking, and other water sports, this was my first sailboat (after years of dreaming, reading, looking, researching, etc.).

Not having much sailing experience, I fell for the traditional look, feel and very human scale of the Flicka. We also looked at Cape Dory 25D and other comparable small, seaworthy cruising boats.
My wife and I pretty much settled on finding a Flicka and we looked at about a half-dozen Flickas over abut a six-month period (By the way my wife also had no sailing experience and we're in the same 50+ age area as you.)

I lucked into a deal on a solid, well restored, '82 Flicka last January (enclosed head, inboard diesel), and decided to sail the boat up the ICW to our home area in Vermont. A pretty wild idea, considering that my total sailing time before I made that decision could be best measured in hours not days. I took a 2 level week-long ASA keelboat/cruising course at Chapman School in Stuart during March-- and at the end of May, I set off with my 23 year old son as crew and we began our cruise up the ICW.
Some of our best sailing weather came in Florida-- we often made a steady 5+ knots (as much as 7 with a favorable current)-- And the Flicka proved herself over and over (teaching us what she needed). I certainly appreciated her shallow draft, and when we did hit ground (inevitable) she was easy to rock back off with no real worry of damage.

It was also a reasonably comfortable boat for the two of us. Plenty of storage, a good working galley and good airflow even on the hottest and muggiest nights. (I'm small enough to sleep well in the little quarter berth, and a simple fan kept me comfortable at night). I will say it was far more comfortable when my son left his crew shift 4+ weeks later in NYC and my wife joined me for our last week cruising up the Hudson River and into Lake Champlain. (That's was probably more about my son's "housekeeping" habits or lack of them, then the space we had in cabin and cockpit.)

Could say lots more, but, for my little experience, this is a great boat to cruise the ICW for a couple- and she also felt safe cruising on the outside in 8 foot following seas. We plan to sail her back down the ICW in a couple of years and cruise in the Caribbean.
You hear a lot about her being slow, which is probably true given the heavy displacement and 18.5 ft of waterline-- but speed is only one factor in cruising. In fact, we found ourselves keeping up with much larger boats also cruising north (including a 40' Morgan that we first saw during a shuttle launch in Tittusville and later met at anchorage mid-way up the Hudson River). We often sailed when larger boats were motoring in tight channels, and we certainly worried less about running aground, low bridges and other obstacles for larger craft.
You've got lots of choices, and there are probably good deals on quality older boats to be had now; from my point of view the right idea is to keep to the old saying: go small, go simple, go now.
Good luck with your search
Roy
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-30-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samule View Post
Thanks Richard,
My home phone is 321.373.1869
My home is in Melbourne Beach.
Email is:
scollins86 at cfl dot rr dot com

I cant send PM's yet as I do not have 10 posts under my belt.

Hope you get this.
Sam
If you're still around after hitting your requisit posts, I'd edit this post and remove the personal contact info asap.

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post #10 of 12 Old 01-30-2009
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Cape Dory 25D

Check out the Cape Dory Owners Assoc. website at capedory.org

For two people the CD-25D should be quite comfortable. It has a large head area forward instead of a V berth. Here are the specs:

L.O.A.: 25' 0"
L.W.L.: 19' 0"
Beam: 8' 0"
Draft: 3' 6"
Displacement: 5,120 lbs.
Ballast: 2,050 lbs
Sail Area: 304 sq. ft.
Designer: Carl Alberg
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