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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-26-2012
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Sailing in Beaufort SC

Hello, we recently moved to Columbia, SC and are thinking of keeping a 30' sailboat in the Beaufort area. We visited there recently and was surprised to find out that they have 8' tides. Having kept a sailboat in Mobile Bay, I have little experience with sailing in an area with these kinds of tides. If you have or are currently sailing in that area, can you provide thoughts on the challenges the tides might present, e.g., docking, locations for anchoring, tidal currents, etc.

Thanks!

Phil Turner
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Old 06-26-2012
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Re: Sailing in Beaufort SC

I hope someone who actually lives there will chime in, but I can't imagine it's much different than Charleston (where we live), except for the current- I would bet you have current that moves more closely to that in Bohicket, which approaches 5 kts (we have 3 at best). All that means is that it depends on which way the current is moving relative to your dock. Where we are, we get challenges just about every time we come back in, and trying to judge wind relative to current has been some of the most valuable lessons we've learned here. We're just more careful coming into the marina where winds can be unpredictable, especially coming in under sail alone. I drifted into a friend's 50 ft Able-Apogee because the current kept moving us when the wind stopped.. Once you've got the hang of it, this is an incredible place to sail- dependable wind, and it's comfortable sailing all year long.

Ray
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Old 06-28-2012
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Re: Sailing in Beaufort SC

Ray, thanks for the reply. We are also considering berthing in the Charleston area and will probably do a month-by-month berth and feel things out.

Phil Turner
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Old 06-28-2012
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Re: Sailing in Beaufort SC

You're quite welcome!
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Sailing in Beaufort SC

We also live in Columbia and sail a 30' Islander in Beaufort. Our slip is at Dataw Marina, which I highly recommend.

We are still getting used to the tides and the salt water since the boat has been down here only a little over a year. Previously it was on Percy Priest Lake near Nashville and then at Lake Murray near Columbia.

The water provides perfect conditions for the growth of marine organisms so you really have to have the bottom cleaned monthly by a diver.

Ray's comments about the tides and currents are spot on. The currents can approach 5 knots, which isn't much less than hull speed for a 30' boat. So if you are sailing against maximum current, well, you can do the math. The key is to plan your sail time and direction such that you aren't fighting it. At high and low tides the current is 0 and three hours later is maximum. So don't head out to sea at high tide if you plan to turn around and come back 3 hours later.

The issue with the tide height is that the waterways are pretty shallow around here. So it is easy to get caught in the mud on a falling tide.

Like Ray said, it is important to plan your departures and arrivals considering the tide height and current. Then throw in some wind to complicate your calculations. Slow and easy seems to work best to maintain control of the boat.

gary
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Old 07-17-2012
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Re: Sailing in Beaufort SC

I've spent some time in the beaufort area,the big tides can be to your advantage or not,all marinas in this area have floating docks just don't tie up to a fixed pileing[sic]don't go into a area of unknown depth at high tide,its a great area beaufort is my favorite town on the east coast,great fishing in the tidal creeks,check out marsh harbor boat yard,good people!if your traveling the intercoastal you can play the tide behind islands[3 knots or 8,p.s. stay away from hemminways on bay street,lol just kidding,if you go aground at low time just relax,have a drink,make some coffee,in a few hours the water comes back
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