ICW Cruise in early spring - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-04-2011
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ICW Cruise in early spring

I have a 26', 1972 Columbia with a 9.9 Mercury kicker, The wife and I plan a trip south from Kitty Hawk, NC to Miami via ICW in early March. Anyone made this trip and how hard is it to get fuel as we only carry 10 gallons at a time. How about waste discharge or dumping stations. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 01-04-2011
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Get skipper Bob's book of the ICW lists mile by mile of anchorage and docking. You could always carry an extra gas can.
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Old 01-04-2011
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You will be doing a lot of motoring so check your miles per gallon and distances between fueling locations. Also, remember throttle setting and winds are going to influence fuel consumption. What is the name of Bob's book?
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Old 01-04-2011
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From what I've read in Captain Bob's book, that 9.9 on a 26 Columbia would be marginal at best at many of the restricted bridge locations because of the increased tidal currents. This may be especially true in Georgia where tidal changes can be as much as 9 feet, there are loads of bridges, and much of the ICW has shoaled severely. I made the trip many years in a power boat and when the boat owner got to Charleston he opted to head offshore and ply the near coastal waters. The power boat, fortunately, cruised at 25 knots so bypassing Georgia only took about half a day. The situation in a 26 Columbia would be significantly different and the trip could take a couple days if the winds cooperated.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 01-04-2011
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Home | Skipper Bob Cruising Guides will get you to 'Anchorages on the ICW" and also "Marinas along the ICW" (to locate/plan fuel stops).
Also good is the Waterway Guide ... but has 'too much' info.
You will also want a chart book of the ICW.

The current 'best' chartplotter for the ICW is one of latest Garmin units, although only 95% accurate - use your eyeballs / chartbook (especially pertinent near Jekyll Island, Ga. where the 'magenta line' is no longer over the actual channel, ditto 'north' of the St. Marys River - follow the daymarks, not the GPS).
For travel through 'skinny water' and adverse currents, etc. plan carefully to "ride the crest of the high tide": Jekyll Is., portions of the Waccamaw, & between Beaufort and Southport, NC, etc.

Much of the problem areas of the ICW have recently been dredged - 'Stimulus Money'

Note: Be SURE that your head overboard valve is 'secured' (tie wrap, etc.) to avoid stiff fines (especially in Volusia County Florida - expect forced and quite intimidating 'boardings' there).

Its a good trip. :-)
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Old 01-04-2011
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I would suggest activecaptain dot com and cruisernet dot net as good planning tools. My Cal 25 and Honda 9.9 never seemed to be hurting for power. I think it's actually easier to hold on the down side with the outboard, but that's just me.
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Old 01-04-2011
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Weather permitting, many of the inlets are close enough together to allow you to go outside ... and sail. Haven't run the stretch from St Simons to Savannah, but the worst stretch in my mind is just north of Jekyll Island (I have 4'6" draft).
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Old 01-04-2011
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We've made that trip about two dozen times since 1972. There's ample water at all tidal ranges with five feet of draft. If you find yourself in less than five feet it's deeper port or starboard. Remember that the markers are marking where not to go just as much as where to go,- keep that best fit curve between them. 'and most important! Keep your eyes on the real world. What you see ahead trumps anything on your chart plotter! There are two locations where I make a securite' call on channels 16. One is at Elliott Cut just south of Charleston. State, "Securite', securite'....small sailboat southbound approaching Elliott Cut with concerns about any northbound large commercial traffic,....standing by 16". Elliott Cut is short, but the ripping current can often prevent good manuverablility in the narrow cut and I rather not meet any barge traffic here. Another location is bordered by a lot of dangerous rock and I don't want ot meet any barge traffic here either. This is called "The Rockpile" and it's on the north side of Myrtle Beach , SC. I'd advise making a securite' call here too and wait for any large commercial traffic. Also, be wary of the crossing big ship traffic at the Savannah River and the Saint Johns River. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-05-2011
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I'd go outside and skip the GA ICW section. GA has let their maintenance slide for a long time and have only recently been trying to make up for it. Going outside is faster and simpler...

Going outside, weather permitting, will also allow you to sail rather than motor and make better progress, since the ICW in GA is more akin to spaghetti than a straight line.
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