Okeechobee Water way passage - SailNet Community

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Old 09-03-2008
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Okeechobee Water way passage

Has anyone gone through the Okeechobee waterway
with a 55 ft mast when the water level was good for 5 ft
draft.
Is the one 49ft RR bridge getting heeled over the only bridge
to worry about.
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Old 09-03-2008
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Here's the complete bridge list and clearances. Palm City has 54' and several others ave 55'.
Cruisers' Net - Okeechobee

Here's some notes from the same site about a guy with a 55' mast:

On an earlier trip aboard "Cat Rageous" I used the service you described to get under the Port Mayaca Railroad Bridge on the east side of Lake Okeechobee. Our mast height is 55', including instruments and antenna. Captain Billy's service (as it was known at the time) got us under the 49' clearance, with room to spare, in less time than I've had to wait for many draw bridges to open. At the time (Spring 2003) the charge was $150.


Here's a video of another boat's passage under the Port Mayaca Bridge

Unlikely Passage



Claiborne -
Just a note of caution about using artificial heel to get under the Port Mayacca (or any other) bridge. In round numbers, to get a 55' mast down to 45', you need about 35 degrees of heel. On some boats, with some engines, somewhere in there you have to start worrying about lubrication. Check the owners' manual, and if it says, as some do, not to operate over 15 degrees of heel, you'll want to start it late and shut down early going under the bridge. Or get a tow.


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Old 09-03-2008
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Bridge Cleareance

Does the stated bridge clearance during the high tide
or low tide.
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Clearance is normally measured at higher or mean high tide but in this case you are on a waterway and tides are not the governing factor. From another post:
The bridge is actually 49'4" on the north side and 49'8" on the south side. There is no tide but the water height varies a few inches.
You should check in on the cruisers net okeechobee site as all the Tropical storm/hurricane activity may affect water levels dramatically.
Cruisers' Net - Okeechobee
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