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  #1  
Old 03-25-2007
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Baltimore Md to Charleston SC

Im considering buying a SouthCoast 23 in Baltimore Md and sailing it home to Charleston SC. What would be the best route to take? The local used boat stuff store has a few books on the ICW and im going there tommrow to pick one up. I know its going to be a long trip since the motor ill be useing is a 3hp Johnson. I know this will come off as a bad idea, but its something i want to do.
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Old 03-25-2007
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How much time do you have to do this trip. Also, what kind of shape is the boat and motor in?? Will you have any crew aboard? It will be a pretty tight fit with crew, as the SC23 is pretty small. But doing it solo is going to be a bit rough on you.

That trip will be about 650 miles or so, as a rough guess, if you take the ICW. A boat that small will be lucky to make 4 knots, and a trip down the ICW is going to be mostly under power. That's a lot of hours on a small outboard, and a lot of hours for you to be steering. Autopilots aren't really viable on the ICW due to the nature of the traffic and such, and from what I understand it is really best to travel it during the daylight hours.

It would be better to move the boat overland, via truck, IMHO. I can understand that you want to make the long trip, but an ICW trip is mostly about motoring... not sailing. It is also a lot of wear and tear on the the outboard, the boat, and the skipper.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2007
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Well its still in the early stages of planning. My motor is in top running condition and there will also be a spare motor with me(along with enough parts to rebuild anything that dies on them, i like these motors, but i dont trust them that much). As for the boat, Im still waiting on the photos and more info on it, but from what i know now, its in decent shape. I will be doing it alone. As for trucking over land, can just afford the boat and fuel.
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Old 03-26-2007
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Do you have the time it'll take to motor the boat that distance?

If you're seriously going to motor the boat that distance, I would highly recommend that you add a water/fuel separator-type fuel filter, like the Racor 025RAC02, to the fuel line on the boat.

It will also take quite a bit of fuel to make that trip. Make sure that you have some auxilliary tanks, and that you can make it the distance between fueling stops.

I would also recommend that you get a TowBoat US or SeaTow unlimited tow membership. Finally, I would make sure that the ground tackle—anchor and rode—are in good shape.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-26-2007
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The 3hp johnson is a huge bad idea but at least the passage is pretty protected and you can work your way down the Chesapeke with lots of places to pull into if it gets too rough.
Check out the ICW thread under cruising for more specifics and then ask more questions as they occur to you.
If nothing else...make sure you have a decent anchor and rode as you're probably gonna put in 200 hours of motoring on that little outbard. Can you borrow something bigger or an additional one as a backup for the trip.
Note: I am NOT discouraging this trip. Could be quite an adventure and not much danger with decent preparation and thought. Read up a little then come back with more questions as you have them! Oh yeah...the closer you can get to summer for the trip...the better in a small boat. So what if it is 90% motoring...it is still an adventure on the water and you will see a lot of neat stuff not many people do.
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Old 03-26-2007
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Im going to have at least a month that i can use for the trip. I do plan on taking along 2 motors and at least 4-6gallon fuel tanks. The Johnson 3hp has a built in fuel tank that feeds it. Im going to use a normal outboard motor fueltank with a hose and bulb to refuel the little guy. Ive got plenty of time with these motors and can almost rebuild one in my sleep(seems theres always a free or cheap one around here). Like i said before im going to have everything needed to rebuild one of these motors. Im taking my own anchor and rode with me since i dont think the boat has anything. Ive got an 18lb danforth and 300' of 1/2 line with 20' of chain. Im planning on doing it alone, but ive got a buddy that might want to come with me. We both know alot about sailing. We sail his Chrysler 26 up and down the ICW from Charleston harbor to Botnay Bay almost every other weekend. The SouthCoast is a replacement for my failed recovery of a Kittiwake 23.
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Old 03-26-2007
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The SouthCoast 23 should be an excellent replacement for a Kittiwake 23, since they're made from the same molds IIRC. It should be doable in a month's time, provided the weather cooperates.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-26-2007
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I made a similar trip years ago when I purchased a Santana 22 in San Francisco and attempted to sail her home to Seattle. I lost the mast on the second day and ended up motoring the rest of the trip. The engine was a Johnson 6hp that pushed me along comfortably at 4-5 knots, but with wind, waves, tide and current my best 12 hour day only netted me 60 miles. The engine ran great (I still have it) but even at a 6hp it was way underpowered. Forward motion was slow and reversing against a tide or a 5 knot current was impossible and made for some very interesting docking attempts. All in all, the trip was a nightmare that lasted nearly a month and ended up costing thousands in repairs and lost time at work. So my advice to you is simple....Go for it! Because as bad as my adventure was, I have zero regrets and a million great stories. If I had the time, I'd go with ya!
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Old 03-26-2007
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It would be a "grand adventure" of a road trip and from that point of view I'd say to go for it. But go with open eyes:

650 nm at 4 knots means 162 hours under power. That's 16-17 days if you make them long ten-hour days, with no breaks, no bridge stops, no waiting for bad wx, etc. I'd guess three weeks is more likely. And in any areas with current or wind against you--that 3hp engine is really just a "maneuvering engine" for a boat in that size. You may very well need to mount *both* engines on the stern and run both at times. In flat water you can get away with the engine being a conventional (short, not sailboat length) drive, but are you propped right for this load? With that many hours under power, it might pay to reprop, if there's one available for the range, if you aren't.

That's also 162+ hours of fuel and oil to burn. I don't know what your fuel consumption is, but you will need to know that in advance--and figure gasoline won't always be available "non-marina" so you're looking at $3+ per gallon for the trip. Plus the oil you may have room to stock up and carry onboard.

Plus, the boat is new to you, and there often are issues that have to be dealt with. Fittings, rigging, battery...always SOMEthing that may take you a couple of days and some dollars to straighten out before three weeks of motoring.

And you'll have to figure that you need to dock/anchor/moor somewhere along the way. Having a small boat will make that easier, but you have to figure you may want or need to tie up someplace (at cost) along the way.

Not to discourage you--but this can be a big bite to chew. If you've got the room in your budget (time and money), then by all means!

Last edited by hellosailor; 03-26-2007 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 03-26-2007
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Well I wont be doing this trip. I wrecked my truck today and have to fund repair, or replacement of it. Check my thread in the off topic thread for a few pics of it.
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