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CrazyLeaf 02-25-2010 10:06 AM

Jacksonville Florida Sailing
I have a question on sailing around the Jacksonville Florida area (50mi N/S of the area) and the St Johns River. Due to job reasons this will be my cruising ground for the next couple years.

I found a possible boat to purchase, but it has a 5' 10" draft. Is that too deep for this area? I do know some spots on the intercoastal could be problematic during low tide. What about the St Johns river?


sailortjk1 02-25-2010 10:26 AM

There is lots of sailing to be found on the St John's. It is pretty wide open just past the city and down to Green Cove Springs (about 30NM's if my memory is correct) but you have to deal with currents.
Imagine 2 Frolic can add a lot to this discussion as he is currently docked in Green Cove.
Very limited or no sailing available on the ICW between Mayport and St Augustine.
The Mayport Inlet is easily navigated but marias and dockage are very limited in and around the inlet.
St Augustime inlet is a bit more of a challange but lots of services in that area.
Other with more experience can add to this and will correct me if I am wrong.

imagine2frolic 02-25-2010 01:04 PM

It's rare to be able to get in much sailing without a lot of tacking, and gybing. mThe largest sailing area is just north & south of I295 aka the Buchman Bridge.

I have gone in, and out of the river at least a dozen times to get to & from the Bahamas. Once I had the pleasure of sailing from the ocean to my slip. Now that was a fun sail. The bad thing is the wind usually follows the river. I am telling you it could be a WHOLE lot worse.

The great news if you are going to be in Floriduh. The area is the safest when taking hurricanes into consideration. Also I see a lot of activity on the water. Looks like club racing, and get togethers.........i2f

CrazyLeaf 02-25-2010 01:18 PM

Thanks for the info, I will be right at the Buckman bridge area. I'm trying to get a slip at Jullington Creek. I may have to be down at Green Cove until they have room though.

But my main question was around the 5' 10" draft of the sail boat. Will that be an issue in the area? I've been told this would be too limiting in the area, but I was also told this by non-sailors.


imagine2frolic 02-25-2010 04:04 PM

Sorry about that. I just opened the chartbook to refresh my memory. You can get pretty close to the shoreline all over the place. There are a couple of shoals, but these are only a couple, and well marked. I think you'll be just fine, besides with a little bit of heeling, or rail down you are going to decrease your draft.;) .......i2f

capn_dave 02-25-2010 06:59 PM

Well If you have 2" draft
Have no problem like Imagine, LOL besides he has 2 hulls and is 30 FEET WIDE. That boat of his don't turn to good.

Now If you would have 4.5 foot draft you would be allot better off. I would keep away form the shore areas in the St. Johns. There are pilings that have rotted off at the water line all over the place. The bottom is mostly soft mud so grounding is not much of a problem. Just watch out across the river from Green Cove Springs Marina, there is a 2 ft hump made out of old concrete from the navy days. I can't tell you the number of people I have rescued from there. It's marked on the charts, but you will usually find it the hard way.

Julington Creek is a pretty protected spot. Watch out after you get out of the cove and into the river. Raggedy Point really catches the high winds. It's a long fetch.

You really have to stay in the channel on the ICW. even then you will surly run aground due to shoaling

The Rudder Club is located on the north side of the Buckman Bridge on the west bank. They have a good race Schedule. Along with the Mug Race, billed as the worlds longest river race.
Need more info just ask away

paj637 02-25-2010 07:09 PM

Don't overlook the Fernandina Beach/St Marys Inlet area. Great sailiing offshore of Cumberland Island, FB, and Amelia Island.

imagine2frolic 02-26-2010 06:23 AM

Hey capn dave,

Was that a compliment, or are you picking on me?.:laugher :D :laugher ........i2f

JagsBch 02-26-2010 07:41 AM

6' draft? Bad idea for Julington creek area. I dragged bottom quiet a few times with a 5 foot draft even got stuck once and had to wait for the tide to come in with even less draft than that on my Tartan. I love sailing that area.

CrazyLeaf 02-26-2010 08:33 AM

Thanks, that was the information I was looking for.

If Jullington creek ends up being a bit too shallow, I'll end up keeping the boat at Green Cove. I'd like to have it at Jullington, since I would only be about 5 min away.

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