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post #1 of 23 Old 04-12-2007 Thread Starter
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Question About The ICW

I am just starting to do some research about the ICW in hope of soem day getting out of lakes and the seaway up in canada (quebec). My question may have a simple answer but I have yet to find one. Can a sail boat drawing 6.5 feet stay in the ICW from norfolk to miami without running aground. I have been looking at some charts and for the most part they are pretty clear, but in certain areas I can't tell. Also does anyone recomed a book to read about crusing the ICW in a sailboat. Thanks very much.
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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Possible, but unlikely. It isn't a question of if, just when.

John
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post #3 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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Wink Wow!!!!

That says it all in a very profound way.
I am impressed by the way the question was answered in such a concise and deliberate way.

Does that mean he can't, can, could or try?

Jim.
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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There is no definitive answer to the question. There are too many variables to say yes you will go aground, or no you won't. In the ICW though, it's usually not a question of will you go aground, but when will you go aground. Particularly with that much draft.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #5 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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John is correct - a 6-1/2 foot draft suggests that a grounding is very likely somewhere on the ICW.

The “authorized” project depth (MLW, or at low tide) of the AICW is:
~ 12 ft from Norfolk, Virginia to Ft. Pierce, Florida
~ 10 feet from Ft. Pierce to Miami, Florida

However, shoaling and silting have reduced controlling depths, in many (changing) locations to as little as five feet (or less), and other underwater obstructions further complicate safe navigation.

Notwithstanding the likelihood of grounding (somewhere on the ICW) with a 6.5 draft, such groundings are not usually ruinous, and should not altogether preclude a safe & enjoyable transit from Nofolk to Miami.

See the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association website:
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW)
and
ICW Channel Conditions:
This report only lists areas less than 8 feet in depth at mean low water.
ICW Channel Conditions
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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Also, many parts of the ICW are not being properly maintained, so the shoaling and silting of the channels has become more of a problem, rather than less. One state, Georgia I think, was recently in trouble for not funding or maintaining the ICW and the Feds were going to drop the boom on them.

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Personally, I have never understood the attraction of the ICW. I (obviously) haven't travelled it, so perhaps its charms are opaque to me, but my impression is that at certain points of the year it resembles nothing so much as a watery traffic jam in an undredged ditch. While I realize it reduces a powerboat/small sailboater's exposure to the ocean to a 90 mile hop to the Bahamas, I doubt the congestion or aggravation would be worth it to me personally. If I or my boat couldn't handle say, New York to Bermuda to the Caribbean, I'd just pick up a charter boat already there, or crew down via the ocean.
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Valiente-

It's charms are that you don't have to go via an open water passage in bad weather... but you do have to motor it almost all of its length.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #9 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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Also, there are a lot of "attractions" along the way, most of historic or cultural nature.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #10 of 23 Old 04-12-2007
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CruisersNet

Well..... Cam didn't throw me off the list last time for directing people away from this list.... so I'll do it again This is a list dedicated almost entirely to the ICW - Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net ~ Your home for all the cruising news along the ICW It's not as active as this one but I've not seen the amount of detail about the ICW anywhere else. Edit - cruisersnet.net if that link doesn't work.

Stan
'Christy Leigh'
NC 331
Wickford/Narragansett Bay RI

Last edited by christyleigh; 04-12-2007 at 10:30 AM.
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