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  #1  
Old 04-03-2013
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Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

After a false start, I closed a deal on an Endeavour 33 (4'6" draft). Boats in good condition with only 500 hrs on the Yanmar 27hp, sails are good, and rigging etc is same, and comes with autopilot. Boat is in Annapolis, I am in South Florida.

So I have two options a) sail it b) ship it. Cost to ship will be about $3.5k based on quotes. I would rather sail her down of course...that's want boats are for.

So after a period of shakedown and fixing some minor issues eg. bilge breaker switch, that came up in Survey that ill do in April and May. I am looking to bring down to FL, late May/early June.

I have read numerous posts on the route that would be best. Now I should say, I don't want a long extended trip, as family not coming. So 2 weeks would be ideal, I could stretch to 3 weeks if had too.

The route people seem to take in these circumstances is:
Route. Via ICW & Outside (Beaufort/Morehead, NC)
140 nm, Annapolis, MD to Norfolk, VA
ICW 623 nm, Norfolk, VA to Beaufort/Morehead City, NC
497 Beaufort/Morehead City, NC to Stuart, FL

So around 1270 nm.

If it was all ICW, then at an avg of 4 knots, so that's just over 300 hrs. If I do 10hrs a day, that's 30 days. Sound right?

I believe by taking the outside route at Beaufort I can trim the trip down but I have seen varying estimates. Some around 13-15 days.

So questions to the experienced folk who have done this route.

1. Is the ICW route from Norfolk to Beaufort, then take outside is this the best option for the boat with a intermediate experienced crew (my sailing is 15 years old from my NZ sailing time). Ill get experience on the boat inside and outside befiore leaving.

2. How close are my estimates on duration

3. I am trying to work the budget. It looks like I would burn around 170 gallons of diesel, so thats about $700 in fuel. I would need to allow for marina stops say 30 stays on ICW trip at $40/night...and I assume less say 10 stays on ICW/Outside Run at same rate. On top of this is the usual food, etc, but ignore that. So need to set aside $1100 to $2000k, plus food.

4. Biggest issue will be to get another person to crew, but there are some options to recruit. I am assuming I can get a free person, just pay meals.

Anyway...any input from you knowledgeable folk would be appreciated, as trying to plan ahead of time. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

That time of year the bugs will gnaw your flesh down to the bone if you opt to go the inside. You may as well jump into the ocean at Norfolk, head offshore and point the bow south. Keep in mind, however, the prevailing winds will be southwest, therefore you'll likely spend lots of time motoring - not sailing.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 04-03-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Good point, didnt consider the bugs. Any idea how long following that route it will take?
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
The route people seem to take in these circumstances is:
Route. Via ICW & Outside (Beaufort/Morehead, NC)
140 nm, Annapolis, MD to Norfolk, VA
ICW 623 nm, Norfolk, VA to Beaufort/Morehead City, NC
497 Beaufort/Morehead City, NC to Stuart, FL

So around 1270 nm.

Anyway...any input from you knowledgeable folk would be appreciated, as trying to plan ahead of time. Thanks.
Easiest input = you mileage is wrong.

140 from Annapolis to Norfolk is about right.

Norfolk to Beaufort NC is more like 200 miles (Norfolk is Mile 0 on the ICW - Beaufort Mile 202)

Beaufort to Stuart is closer to 785 miles. Stuart is Mile 987 (you do the math . . .)

I disagree with Gary about jumping out at Norfolk.

Your opportunities to go outside are between Beaufort NC and Stuart. You can run overnight from Annapolis to Norfolk (20hours) but with a new boat and volunteer crew, you'll spend 4-5 days to get from Norfolk to Oriental. From there, you have a series of 12-36 hour coastal jumps that you can manage and extend if the weather allows.

I don't know about your details, but 40 miles a day is a reasonable average on the ICW. Not easy but doable. The location of anchorages and currents / tides play in here and there, but I don't think you are being unreasonable to figure 40 mi a day at this time of year. If you can work in a few offshore runs heading south from Beaufort, you can cut out huge chunks of time (i.e., Beaufort, Little River, Charleston, St Augustine).

Have fun

-M
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Easiest input = you mileage is wrong.

140 from Annapolis to Norfolk is about right.

Norfolk to Beaufort NC is more like 200 miles (Norfolk is Mile 0 on the ICW - Beaufort Mile 202)

Beaufort to Stuart is closer to 785 miles. Stuart is Mile 987 (you do the math . . .)

I disagree with Gary about jumping out at Norfolk.

Your opportunities to go outside are between Beaufort NC and Stuart. You can run overnight from Annapolis to Norfolk (20hours) but with a new boat and volunteer crew, you'll spend 4-5 days to get from Norfolk to Oriental. From there, you have a series of 12-36 hour coastal jumps that you can manage and extend if the weather allows.

I don't know about your details, but 40 miles a day is a reasonable average on the ICW. Not easy but doable. The location of anchorages and currents / tides play in here and there, but I don't think you are being unreasonable to figure 40 mi a day at this time of year. If you can work in a few offshore runs heading south from Beaufort, you can cut out huge chunks of time (i.e., Beaufort, Little River, Charleston, St Augustine).

Have fun

-M
Congrats on the new boat,

I agree with blowingstink. Hatteras can be done, but you should only go with a good window. Without experience i personally wouldnt choose this. Going outside from Beaufort down is a series of well planned jumps with good ocean sailing and reasonable inlets.

I have done it both ways. Don't not get held to a schedule. That way if he weathers not good just sit and read. If t appears you will et socked in on the ocean for a few days you can always make progress down the ICW.

Dave
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Seems to me you'll easily be able to manage more than 40 SM/day on the waterway, as you'll have the longest days of the year to work with... Then again, I'm accustomed to being always underway before sunrise, and 10 hours/day seems like a ridiculously short day, to me... (grin)

Agree with others re the suggestion to go out around Hatteras, I wouldn't endorse doing so with a boat so new to you, and so early in the trip... Unless you're gonna proceed straight onto Charleston, there's simply no point, it's considerably longer going out around, and at that time of the year there's a good chance you'd be met by a SW breeze upon rounding Diamond Shoals, anyway... Not much fun...

As others mention, any hop outside between Beaufort/Morehead and the Florida line will generally save considerable time and distance over the ICW... But more importantly, it should afford you the opportunity to actually do some SAILING, and a chance to escape the monotony that motoring down the ICW can become... If you're gonna be going outside, I'd recommend picking up Steve Dodge's guide to inlets along the SE coast, invaluable for someone doing the trip for the first time:



With your draft, if you get favorable weather, I'd suggest going thru Pamlico Sound instead of the ICW between Albemarle Sound and the Neuse River. That can be some nice sailing, but don't try it if there's a probablilty of any stiff breeze out of the SW, that will quickly make it a very unpleasant bash... You might take a day off in Ocracoke, one of my favorite stops along the entire coast...

Here's my take on the trip - written with an eye towards maximizing the opportunities for sailing down the coast - in a piece for CRUISING WORLD about 10 years ago... Some of it may be outdated now (disregard my suggestion re Oregon Inlet, that's not a option at present), and bear in mind it's written from the perspective of the prevailing conditions one is likely to encounter in the fall...

An Insider's ICW | Cruising World

Good luck, have fun with your new boat, it's a marvelous trip, any which way you wind up doing it...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 04-04-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

All of the above is excellent advice, and like everyone else said, have fun with that new boat.

Gary
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
After a false start, I closed a deal on an Endeavour 33 (4'6" draft). Boats in good condition with only 500 hrs on the Yanmar 27hp, sails are good, and rigging etc is same, and comes with autopilot. Boat is in Annapolis, I am in South Florida.
I had a similar choice to make bringing my boat home from Europe. I made the choice on economics (cheaper to sail) but I'd do it again in a second even if it cost more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
The route people seem to take in these circumstances is:
Route. Via ICW & Outside (Beaufort/Morehead, NC)
140 nm, Annapolis, MD to Norfolk, VA
ICW 623 nm, Norfolk, VA to Beaufort/Morehead City, NC
497 Beaufort/Morehead City, NC to Stuart, FL
Remember that the ICW is measured in statute miles (5,280 ft). Knots (kts) are nautical miles (6,076 ft) per hour.

Beaufort is mile 202. Stuart is mile 987.

From Norfolk to Stuart should be less than 3 weeks.

4 kts seems pretty slow to me. In flat water on the ICW you should be able to make 5 kts pretty consistently.

50 miles per day is a pretty average pace on the ICW. 70 and even 75 is doable although you really need to be moving 6.5 kts and the days are long.

If you choose the ICW and are time-limited consider the following:

Stopping for fuel is a huge time waste. It appears your boat has a 36 gallon tank. That means between 54 and 60 hours. Every five gallon fuel jug you carry is another day without fueling.

Marina hopping inevitably leads to short days. If you anchor there are huge options along the ICW that will let you go another hour or two each day.

After dinner get everything together for breakfast (including setting up your percolator) AND lunch the next day. Plan to get moving at first light and eat underway. Lather, rinse, repeat. Daylight is for moving - keep going.

Although generally running the ICW at night is discouraged by conventional wisdom there are some stretches where you can go another couple of hours into the evening, or start before dawn. Alligator-Pungo Canal is an example. Remember that even with towing insurance if you run aground you'll lose more time than you might have gained.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
I believe by taking the outside route at Beaufort I can trim the trip down but I have seen varying estimates. Some around 13-15 days.
You should be able to go faster than that on the outside if you go straight through. Get the Gulf Stream charts from Tufte and blow them up to find the counter current inshore and keep moving.

The more often you stop the more time you spend heading into and out of inlets. That's wasted time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
1. Is the ICW route from Norfolk to Beaufort, then take outside is this the best option for the boat with a intermediate experienced crew (my sailing is 15 years old from my NZ sailing time). Ill get experience on the boat inside and outside befiore leaving.
Maybe. It will give you a chance to blow the rust off your skills.

Note that motoring from Norfolk to Beaufort NC on the ICW is experience of limited value offshore. You'll get more benefit from the run down the Chesapeake, especially if you get some good sailing in. I suggest you plan for both heading outside from Norfolk (I stage at Vinings Landing Marina in Little Creek) or continuing inside (leave Annapolis at dawn so that if you do go inside you can just keep moving on the ICW and get your first day behind you).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
3. I am trying to work the budget. It looks like I would burn around 170 gallons of diesel, so thats about $700 in fuel. I would need to allow for marina stops say 30 stays on ICW trip at $40/night...and I assume less say 10 stays on ICW/Outside Run at same rate. On top of this is the usual food, etc, but ignore that. So need to set aside $1100 to $2000k, plus food.
I would anchor vice planning on marinas (see above). On days you have to stop for fuel push for a long day and spend the night on a fuel dock. When I fill up (tank and jugs) I tell the marina I spent the night on their fuel dock; most don't charge me for the night.

You can generally provision for about $15/person/day and eat pretty well. You can spend more than that on pre-made foods and eat poorly. Depends on your expectations and cooking skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiwiSails View Post
4. Biggest issue will be to get another person to crew, but there are some options to recruit. I am assuming I can get a free person, just pay meals.
If you're going to do more than day hops on the outside it would be nice to have three aboard.
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Old 04-04-2013
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

FWIW
The distance between Moorehead/Beaufort NC and Charleston SC is shorter on the ICW than going outside, when you consider the long 'slogs' in and out of the inlets. So, if its blowing stink on the outside, the ICW may be much quicker for that section; and, there arent as many bascule/lift bridges on that portion of the ICW to delay your travel if youre only traveling during daylight. In that section, if you carefully plan your stops (using Skipper Bob's ICW guide, etc.) you can usually make 60-70+ statute miles per day at that time of year.

The area to go outside when possible, is from Charleston SC to Fernandina, as the ICW in that section greatly meanders with lots of twists and turns and which has lots of shallow/thin sections, especially in Georgia. Overwhelmingly, the distance between those two points is much much shorter on the outside. Once you get down to Fernandina you'll probably be in the 'easterlies' so you can straight-line sail either inside on the long straight Florida 'rivers' behind the shoreline, or outside.

Travel on the ICW during that time of year requires the use of an 'electronic' fly-bat --- for the 'green heads' and stable flies, zillions of them; 'zap' them as you go and simply shovel the immense piles of dead bodies overboard at the end of the day.
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Re: Annapolis, MD to South FL on ICW & Outside

Another factor affecting your progress on the ICW is how you time your arrival at anchorages. Ideally, you'd leave one right before sunrise when there is already enough light, and you drop anchor right before sunset. In reality, there can be quite a few miles between successive anchorages. On day I misjudged and ended up having to anchor in Albermarle Sound, where it can get pretty choppy. Not a fun night. Definitely get Skipper Bob's Guide to Anchorages!

I'd avoid Cape Hatteras altogether, especially in a boat that is new to you and with shorthanded crew. And in terms of actual miles the cut through the ICW is shorter. And the inlets around there are not that good in certain weather conditions (i.e. wind blowing against outflowing tide). Read this as a cautionary tale: Survivors of March 6 shipwreck say they stand by the choices they made. - Baltimore Sun

After Beaufort, NC I'd try to sail outside as much as possible, given a good weather window, maybe for a day, through the night and get to a harbor the following day way before sunset. Get weather updates regularly through VHF or your smart phone when you are close to shore.
Make a list of the good and bad inlets along your route so you know your escape route if things turn nasty. Some are navigable in all conditions, while with others it depends on current conditions. Always be aware of the tide and the effect it has on inlets. The book above has a good explanation of these factors.

If you sail at night, I found my AIS receiver (Standard Horizon Matrix GX2150 integrated with VHF) a great help and comfort, as you'll see a lot of big ships and sometimes it is hard to tell what direction they are going, especially the cruise ships. With AIS these mysteries disappear.

This will be a fun trip!
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