Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-27-2015 Thread Starter
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Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

Good Day.

We are nearing retirement and looking at Beaufort SC as a possible home base. We daysail a 28 foot sloop out of north shore Massachusetts with only an occasional overnight out-and-back type trip.

My basic question is about tides and currents in the Low Country waterways. Others indicated the Beaufort River can reach as much as 7 knots in spots. I would love to hear from those experienced in these waters, it would seem the tides absolutely dictate where you can go and when. Is that accurate and do you find that limiting?

Any info or opinions about this area's desirability as a sailing home base would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-27-2015
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Re: Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

Beaufort, being on a river, and not all that wide of one relative to sailing, would not be my choice to daysail out of. I would use the north end of Hilton Head Island (Skull Creek Marina - Hilton Head Island, SC), where you have easy access to Port Royal Sound and the Ocean.

My only issue with tides in that area were with anchoring.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-27-2015
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Re: Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

I have passed through this area numerous times going up and down the ICW. It is an area I am always happy to have gotten past. The current is never 7 knots but it is swift, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 knots. Except for Lady's Island Marina there is no place to keep your boat that will not be exposed from at least some directions to bad storms. At a marina you will have current in your slip, so you must be able to leave/arrive when the current is not favorable. In all my trips though here in the spring and fall I think I have seen one boat out just for pleasure and not trying to make progress on the ICW. You'd be much better off with a powerboat in this area -- you can get under some low bridges and explore a ways inland.

-jonathan / Bristol 29
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-27-2015
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Re: Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

Im thinking Charleston city marina, and or the cooper river marina in south Carolina would be worth taking a look at.And in Georgia i would look at the St Simons(Morning star marina)and or the Brunswick marina.All these have currents and tide ranges,but have oppertunity for day sailing, and easy access to the ICW and ocean sailing. I like the currents better in Charleston,and they seem to have less flying knats....Just my thoughts
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Re: Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

I must have missed this thread. I hope I'm still relevant. I have lived and sailed in the Savannah area for the last 15 years. I can't speak for the backrivers of South Carolina but I am quite sure I am in a similar area. The tides here are fast. I routinely measure 2-3 knots in the wider areas but as much as 5 knots + where the rivers narrow. We all laugh about docking because depending on how your slip is oriented, sometimes you can't help but to come in hot. I always try to plan my departure and return based on the tides. They can and do effect things that much. I have been under full sail, 10-15 knot apparent and I'm only making 1-2 knots headway. Not to mention, this area is FULL of shifting shoals and sandbars. There are many places within the sounds where you are in 10' of water one minute, 6" the next. Running aground and bumping bottom out here is a science. I have spent time sailing the Chesapeake Bay all the way into Jacksonville Fl and this area is one of the most challenging I have found. On the plus side we get bypassed by most major storm systems. I will also say that this area will make you a better sailor. We get the full range of winds and combine that with the wicked tides you become obsessed with sail trim and a clean bottom. The sailing community is fairly small but most of the sailors around here have either heard of you or at least know of your boat. There are a few good sailing clubs and even a yacht club ($$$$$$$$$$$$$$$). As with most sailing communities, the people are generally really friendly and helpful. So, if you end up here, expect fast tides, predictable weather, fast access to the ocean along with many deep water back rivers to explore. Let me know if you have any other questions and I'd be glad to help you any way I can.

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post #6 of 6 Old 2 Weeks Ago
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Re: Beaufort SC / Savannah Low Country Info Request

I'm sorry that this is way off topic but it may be of interest to you. Around Beaufort SC and some waterside areas around Savannah, except Thunderbolt, the black flies (and mosquitoes) can make life intolerable. Be sure to check that out.
I loved living in the Charleston City Marina. One of the best run marinas I've ever lived in, yet the management left the residents alone and had no silly rules like no hanging laundry, etc.
Charleston is an easy in/easy out bay, and there are places to cruise to from there.
If Beaufort NC hasn't changed too much, it was much like a New England fishing village on the NC coast, well except for the fact they are friendly to strangers in Beaufort.
Whoa just kidding, sort of.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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