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  #1  
Old 08-08-2003
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coach3rdand1 is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Am purchasing a 34'' Irwin in the next couple of weeks. Will be taking her from M.B. to Cape May until October, then south again. Can this vessel safely make this passage in the ocean? Is it better to use the ICW especially around Hatteras? Also she only has a 15hp Yanmar diesel. At a glace it looks like about 500 nm to Cape May.

Thanks,
Tom Sullivan
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Old 08-08-2003
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bob-m is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Tom,

My wife & I cruised aboard an IrwinCC for 7 years, so listen very closely to what I''m about to tell you! "Can this vessel safely make this passage in the ocean?" #*!%^*! NO.

We loved our IrwinCC, but the ONLY reason we purchased her was because we knew her previous owner. He was the most anal human I have ever met and the boat was beyond bristol condition. He had practically rebuilt her.

All joking aside, Irwins are NOT blue water boats by any stretch of the imagination.

bob-m
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Old 08-10-2003
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coach3rdand1 is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

I should have phrased my question better. I realize that this vessel is a coastal cruiser. That''s what I intend to do with her...cruise the coast. My question is more about Cape Hatteras and general conditions with the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current. How long are you in this turbulence? How big do the seas build to?

I''ve been in Nor''easters in New England in smaller boats in my youth. 8 - 10 footers steep and close together. Would never do that again, by choice anyway.

Seems to me that if you''re not too far off shore and have reasonable access to safe harbors along the way you''re probably OK in most waters.

In all my years around boats my observation is that most vessels can withstand more weather than the crew is willing go through.

Tom Sullivan
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Old 08-10-2003
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Tom...The I37 can certainly do coastal cruisinng in fair weather but I sure would not tempt fate around Hatteras! Go up to Norfolk via the ICW then when you get a good forcast you can go up the coast and Duck into Ocean City if needed...Cape May, Atlantic City, Manasquan Inlets are all day hops from there and you can wait for the right weather. No way would I try to ride the stream! Best...GB
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Old 08-11-2003
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coach3rdand1 is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Thanks very much for your comments. That makes good sense, think I''ll do just that. Is that Morehead City where you begin to bypass Hatteras?

Tom S.
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Old 08-11-2003
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Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Tom...Yes..Beaufort and Morehead City are about a mile apart but the inlet is generally referred to as Beaufort if you are coming in from offshore. Once in the inlet you bear right around Radio Island and follow thhe markers to the Beaqufort Town docks or the anchorage in front of them. Swift current...good ground tackle and/or two anchors needed. A quieter anchorage can be had by proceeding under the town creek draw bridge and anchoring off the Town Creek marina...but it is a bit of a walk to the very nice downtown. Downtown marina is very accomodating with e-mail hookups and courtesy cars but the bathrooms are shabby!

If you come all the way by ICW...you''ll get to Morehead City first...then Beaufort but if you anchor/dock in MC you can take a left on the ICW before Beaufort and just make time if you''re in a hurry. I do however recommmend Beaufort as a very nice stop!

Once you''re past Beaufort and heading north there are lots of places to anchor before the Albermarle sound and some good marinas as well (Dowry Creek just beyond Bellhaven is our favorite!)
Once you''ve crossed the Albermarle...most people stay at one of the two marinas in Coinjock...(I like Midway Marina). Then go 50 miles to Norfolk passing through Great Bridge Lock (CALL AHEAD FOR SCHEDULE...They are closing for construction periodically this summer). You can anchor comfortably off Hospital point (next to Tidewater Yacht Agency in Norfolk)and wait for a good forcast for offshore...you will have about a 20 mile sail/motor out of Downtown Norfolk to where you can turn left and head North along the coast...so you may want to move closer to the inlet and anchor in Willoughby Bay instead of downtown. You''ll have about an 18 hour trip to Ocean City (which is your only "duck in" point or about 24 hours to Cape May inlet. Hope this helps a bit! Best..GB
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Old 08-13-2003
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thomasstone is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Why not ride the stream and go around Hatteras. I would hate to think of buying a boat and it wasnt capable of a 500mile passage. Your right if the weather is sketchy you can come into Beaufort. The ICW is for tug boats and barges. Good luck-thomas
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Old 08-14-2003
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mcain is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Go the ICW. Skip Hatteras. Hatteras is considered the "Graveyard of the US East Coast", and a tough lee shore in a blow.
Besides, the ICW is interesting in that stretch. Don''t miss the evening buffet at Belhaven--its famous. From Norfolk to Cape May, you can do either the ICW (Chesapeake and then Delaware bays) or out along the coast.
The primary determinants are:
- New, untried boat.
- Irwin 34 is not known as a good offshore boat anyway.
- Potentially dangerous lee shore in a blow.
- Experience of skipper & crew?!?

Even the fact you are asking the question leads one to believe you are better off in the ICW. If you are an extremely experienced delivery skipper with experienced crew, lots of spares and tools and the boat is very well found, then ......... perhaps. Personally, I would still go the ICW around Hatteras unless time is absolutely essential.

The Delmarva shore is still pretty open, with few places to duck in, but the alternative through the CHesapeake and Delaware bays is very long. However, if you have the time, it is more interesting also--lots of neat places to stop.
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Old 08-14-2003
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thefantasea is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

The way I see it, it''s all about winds and weather. If you can get the right kind of weather for the length of time you can sail without having to "take a break", you can do it safely.

Florida sailors frequent the Bahamas and love it, except when the water gets bumpy. Then they either run for shelter or simply ride it out.

In any event, the boat is always tougher than the crew.
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Old 08-20-2003
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sailstactics is on a distinguished road
Myrtle Beach to Cape May

Just traded my 1983 Irwin 34 Citation with a 15hp Yanmar for a 2000 Catalina MKII 36. I ''ve sailed my Irwin from Virginia to New England and she handled well. The engine is too weak for rough water, strong current & tides. The hull is a little thin which adds to it''s speed and handling. Just don''t hit anything. Don''t count on averaging more than 5 knots. I would recommend the ICW wherever possible just watch the Delaware Bay. It gets real nasty in the best of weather. Watch your mast height in the Cape May cannal. Otherwise you shouldn''t have any problems.
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