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Old 03-26-2002
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Intracoastal Waterway

Since we don't own a boat at the moment, we were wondering if there is an outfit that will charter a boat for a cruise on the ICW? And about how long would it take to sail the ICW from Norfolk to Key West?

Sue & Larry respond:

We're glad to hear you want to try the cruising life. Unfortunately, we donít know of any charter operations offhand that offer boats for trips up or down the Intracoastal Waterway. There are, however, some charter groups that have summer operations in the Chesapeake Bay and then move their boats south for the winter. Perhaps contacting some of these businesses and making your request to them could lead to a win-win situation for both of you. Youíd find a boat and be able to experience the great cruise down the ICW and at the end of your cruise, the charter company would have their boat delivered to its winter location. It's certainly worth a shot.

As for how long it would take to travel from Norfolk, VA, to Key West, FL, a realistic average would be 40 miles per day. With a distance of 1,243 miles to cover, the math tells us that would be 31 days. To really enjoy this trip, however, you wonít want to travel every single day. It's best to allow extra time to stop and see the many great waterfront towns, and factor in a few days for bad weather when you'll find that itís nicer to stay at anchor or at the dock. Good luck and here's hoping that we see you out there.

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