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CindyLee 07-12-2010 11:01 AM

Buying and Heading North?
Hi Guys...I am looking at a very capable 40 footer in the Fla. area. All things being equal, i.e., boat quality, seamanship, time, etc. I would like to move the boat N. and out of the threat of named storms. I know named storms hit as far N. as New England, but I am talking %'s here. The question is to SAIL the boat offshore and make the North East an offshore passage, or to MOTOR the boat up the ICW? I know many of you guys are Fla./East Coast residents, and without doing a great deal of homework (I will), was wondering if any of you have had any experience with making the trip N. at this time of year. Ft Lauderdale is the port She lives in now...L.I. Sound is the port of call to travel to. I would assume from running numbers that without any major delay, fat chance, 3-4 weeks by motor. Possibly 1 week by offshore passage. Please, don't preach to me regarding the major differences between these two passsages, my sailing abbilities, the boats abilities, or any other off topic challanges. I want to know from experience! Weather? Likelyhood? Company of others? What about staying in the Ft Laud. area? You guys down there must have some advice for Hurricane Prep if you recommend to stay. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration! CindyLee

sailingdog 07-12-2010 11:44 AM


Welcome to sailnet. I'd recommend you read the POST in my signature to help you get the most out of your time here. As for motoring up the ICW vs. sailing up the outside... I'd recommend going up the outside.... I recently delivered a boat from Georgetown, Exumas via St. Aug, to Buzzards Bay, Mass, so am familiar with much of the trip you're discussing.

Hop up the coast to St. Aug... then from St. Aug, head to the Carolinas, stopping at Cape Fear, and then continue to Beaufort Inlet and take the ICW up to Portsmouth, VA. Then you can go outside from Portsmouth, VA to NYC and then to Long Island Sound.

St. Aug to Cape Fear is about three days, about 340 NM as the crow flies...This avoids the Georgia section of the ICW, which is all beautiful oxbows, but a lot longer, only motoring and not very well maintained IMHO.

Cape Fear to Beaufort and up to Oriental, which is about 125 nm.

Oriental over to Ocracoke is about 40 nm

Ocracoke to Manteo is about 60 NM.

Manteo to Coinjock is about about 38 nm and gives you a good jumping for tackling the bridges and lock which are between Coinjock and Portsmouth.... This is best done on a weekend day, since there are fewer bridge restrictions.

Coinjock to Portsmouth is relatively short, but the bridges and lock make up for that. I'd stop at the Tidewater Yacht Agency marina for the night in Portsmouth.

Going from Portsmouth to NYC doesn't leave many places to jump into, so make sure you've got a good weather window.

Cape May is a good stopping point, if you need to get fuel and such. In my experience, Utsch's marina isn't very friendly to people stopping for fuel...and doesn't offer much in amenities to people unless they're staying overnight.

CindyLee 07-12-2010 04:32 PM

Thanks for taking the time!
It sounds like 2 weeks if we do a good job and get a weather window. Portsmouth VA. is how long of a sail to NYC? I am thinking that we should look for a captain to assist in this endeavour. It is just my wife and I. 3 days offshore is not the end of the world if this is the longest jaunt into the wild blur yonder, but anything is possible...and I always err on the conservative side. Time is not an is! Is this a common enough migration at this late in the season?

sailingdog 07-12-2010 06:34 PM

Portsmouth, VA, from the Tidewater Yacht Marina, to NYC is probably about 350 NM.

Most boats that were going north, have probably already done so...since the summer boating season starts in late May/early June.

BTW, on the parts of the trip south of Cape Hatteras, you would be wise to pay attention to the Gulf Stream and what it is doing... While catching a ride along its western edge can speed your journey quite a bit, the Gulf Stream turns really nasty if the wind comes from a northerly direction.

WanderingStar 07-13-2010 09:42 AM

I did this trip a year ago in may. We started offshore, were driven inside at Ponce de Leon by adverse weather. Five days motoring (no shore leave, anchored at night) brought us to Charleston where we went back off. Stopped in Cape May for the night, then sailed along to NYC and up the Sound. Took 14 days. We had uncharacteristic weather for May: two tropical depressions, record rainfall. We had four people to start, finished with three. (One was called home) It was hard work, but I would do it the same way again. Keep us posted.

CindyLee 07-13-2010 10:32 AM

Thanks WanderinStar
Do you recall or have some input regarding your chart/chartbook/cruising guide inventory? Perhaps what services you used to help you with weather forcasting?

Regards, CindyLee

sailingdog 07-13-2010 11:31 AM

I'd highly recommend getting the Maptech cruising guides and chart kits and the Captain Bob ICW guides. I'd also point out that you need to get Eldridge, as Reed's has gone out of business.

LarryandSusanMacDonald 07-14-2010 05:48 AM

Sailingdog said:


...stopping at Cape Fear, and then continue to Beaufort Inle...
Save some time by going on the inside up the Cape Fear River (try to catch the current right) through Snow's Cut and on to Wrightsville Beach and then back outside to avoid Frying Pan Shoals - you need to go out about 50 miles or so to get around that.

Saltwater Suzi and I much prefer the inside route with occasional outside (like from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm - on the inside there are bridges about every fourteen inches or so.) because it can be very beautiful and we get to rest every night. If you're in a hurry, and have enough crew - outside is the way to go. If you have plenty of time and like to see the countryside at its very best - inside is the way to go.

Good Luck.

WanderingStar 07-14-2010 08:09 AM

I used chartkits for the coast, noaa ocean charts for offshore. We took fixes on a handheld garmin 400 which included color charts. We found Reeds Almanac helpful, there is a 2010 edition out. Weather forecasting was from noaa radio, with the usual variability. Inside we piloted by eye, with the charts and gps to confirm. Off shore we steered by compass, taking a gps fix every three hours. All of the crew had cruising experience. I'll answer any questions you have, we can talk on the phone if you like. There is a wide range of experience and philosophy on this forum.

CindyLee 07-16-2010 10:49 AM

Thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I love these boards! I am heading down on the 21st for a pre-purchase inspection, sea-trial, and if we get to it...a survey. I would enjoy talking with you as we get closer to closing. Is there any chance I should consider leaving the boat in Ft Lauderdale waters during hurricane season? I think too risky...Regards!

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