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  #1  
Old 05-22-2009
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Ocracoke and Hatteras Inlets

Hi all;

We are taking off for two weeks starting tomorrow. After spending some time down at Point lookout, one option is to go outside to Ocracoke, if we can navigate either the Ocracoke or Hatteras inlets. We draw 5'3" The charts are ambiguous on the subject. Any good local knowledge out there?

Are these inlets currently navigable for us, weather permitting? I have navigated inlets via powerboat many times, but not aboard a sailboat.

Any information or advice would be appriciated.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 05-22-2009
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Witzgall...I've never heard of sailboats boats attempting those inlets. They have a nasty rep even among the power boaters. You might talk to the sport fishermen once down that way for local knowledge.
Here's the PDF of the Ocracoke Inlet from 11/08 from the ACOE
http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/nav/in...acokeinlet.pdf
Once inside...the twists and turns and shoals have a bad reputation. Not well marked. ....

and here is Hatteras from 5/08
http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/nav/in...terasinlet.pdf

Depths are ok in both inlets but breaking seas and tidal currents against winds make these inlets tough. I think the inside depths are the biggest problem getting around in either of these inlets even on a good day that lets you through the inlet.
That's why I'd try to talk to some sport fishing guys to see what kind of depths you can expect to be able to carry inside.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Just sailing across the Ocracoke Inlet on the inside is an adventure. You may want to consider the inside passage. From Lookout, you can actually go "inside" without going through Beaufort Inlet.
  1. You can take the ICW N from Morehead City to Neuse River, then you have almost a straight shot to Ocracoke.
  2. There is some waterway through Core Sound but my charts say 5'3" will not make it. You should find a sailor out of Beaufort or Harkers Island to ask.
Enjoy the trip.
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witzgall,

To me, the very fact that you are asking the question about Ocracoke and Hatteras inlets, suggests you don't know much about this area in general and these inlets in particular.......Would you do it simply because someone on a list like this says do it? Clearly the answer is for you in particular, don't do it.
Ocracoke is a nice place to visit and you should see it, but do it from inside the sounds. Even this way, the navigation is a bit tricky...the channels are narrow at places and the sand bottom in this area in general moves frequently. After you do it from the inside, talk with sailers there to see what they think about these inlets. And if you were to try it on the outside, if the wind and waves kickup, you could be in real trouble, in my opinion (not that I've done it from the outside). And by the way, it's not Point Lookout, it is Cape Lookout.
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Yeah, I know about the inside route. We will be coming to Beaufort from New Bern, down the ditch. Core sound looks like a no-go for me too. I was just hoping to avoid back tracking.

Thanks,
Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by ilnadi View Post
Just sailing across the Ocracoke Inlet on the inside is an adventure. You may want to consider the inside passage. From Lookout, you can actually go "inside" without going through Beaufort Inlet.
  1. You can take the ICW N from Morehead City to Neuse River, then you have almost a straight shot to Ocracoke.
  2. There is some waterway through Core Sound but my charts say 5'3" will not make it. You should find a sailor out of Beaufort or Harkers Island to ask.
Enjoy the trip.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Short answer, I wouldn't. Gathering information from different sources is OK. The internet is not a bad place. Just one source of information. I'll be asking some local cruisers I know down in Beaufort once we get there. Chances are, the answer will be we don't do it, but the charts are clear that things shift, and maybe it is ok right now? How would I know if I did not ask, starting here, there, anywhere?

Cape Lookout - yes. I went to college at St. Mary's near Point Lookout in MD. So it slips in my mind often.

Chris

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Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
witzgall,

To me, the very fact that you are asking the question about Ocracoke and Hatteras inlets, suggests you don't know much about this area in general and these inlets in particular.......Would you do it simply because someone on a list like this says do it? Clearly the answer is for you in particular, don't do it.
Ocracoke is a nice place to visit and you should see it, but do it from inside the sounds. Even this way, the navigation is a bit tricky...the channels are narrow at places and the sand bottom in this area in general moves frequently. After you do it from the inside, talk with sailers there to see what they think about these inlets. And if you were to try it on the outside, if the wind and waves kickup, you could be in real trouble, in my opinion (not that I've done it from the outside). And by the way, it's not Point Lookout, it is Cape Lookout.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Not sure if you are familiar with the area but the ditch from Beaufort to the Neuse can run 4-5knts at moving tide. Even our little Catalina 25 averaged over 7knts most runs, even sailing down the ditch (or maybe it was up) on occasion. You can get a nice boost if you watch the tides.

On the plus side, you will have seen the whole run from New Bern to Ocracoke. If you are out of New Bern, you probably know the rest of the area. If not, you may want to find out at least where the bombing ranges and the shoals are.

Have fun, I love the sail to Ocracoke. I know people who sail to Ocracoke every time they catch a "Westerly Friday evening, Easterly Sunday" weekend. Of course having the ferry pass you back and forth 6-7 times is a bit of an ego deflator.

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Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
Yeah, I know about the inside route. We will be coming to Beaufort from New Bern, down the ditch. Core sound looks like a no-go for me too. I was just hoping to avoid back tracking.

Thanks,
Chris
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