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  #1  
Old 10-21-2008
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clearances

anyone know of any resources for finding local bridge clearances? i'm in norfolk Va and just got to thinking that the place that i'm trying to live is on the other side of a bridge. i see boats about 24' long back there on the other side of it, but my boat will be 40.5' out of the water!

if not, does anyone happen to know the clearance of the lafayette river bridge in norfolk?
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Old 10-21-2008
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Charted Bridge Clearances

If you don't have charts for a particular area you can view all of them online for free, or download any or all of them on a free chart viewer. I personally like Maptech's but I think they went defunct. Noaa also has one here: http://ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/

Last edited by sailboy21; 10-21-2008 at 01:36 AM.
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thanks for that suggestion. the website that you linked is apparently down right now, but i found some others (hopefully very old) that said the bridge only gives 24' of clearance. bummer.
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The correct new link for online charts is:
NOAA's On-Line Chart Viewer

This should work for you...but your old chart is correct...34' clearance on the entrance bridge and less on the ones further up the river.
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This may mean that you need a tabinacle for your mast. For lowering it for low bridges. The boom crutch would then also support your mast as you run that river.
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that's pretty sad. the bridge that i was looking at says i think 22' clearance or something. that sucks. i don't think the mast lowering is going to work out for me. a big part of the reason for living on a sailboat is so that i can take it out for weekend sails. it's no fun on the marina side of that bridge.
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how hard would it be to just drop the mast every time i go out of that river? any way i can do it by myself? (i've stepped masts on smaller boats plenty, but never one this size). you think about 15 minutes up, 15 minutes down with 2 people maybe? i may be able to deal with that. i'm just being careful to not let the boat sit in that slip and just get lived on for months at a time without being sailed.
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I have always views the sticks on larger boats as a permanent part of the structure. Talking them down is usually a once ever several years affair and comes with the associated yard fees and repair bills. I have never met anyone with a 'big boat' that regularly stepped their mast for any reason other than seasonal haul-outs. Time to get a trawler
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You need a mast raising system like the one on my boat. I can raise or lower the mast in about 20 minutes by myself.
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yeah it looks like too much work and money. i guess i need to look for somewhere else to stay
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