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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-2007 03:08 PM
hellosailor "those who say they never have are just not telling the truth "
Hey, Chuck. Some of us have only been sailing twenty years or so, and still can't figure out how to run aground. But if I can borrow *your* keel, I'll be glad to try harder. Ain't gonna say I haven't come close, am gonna say I haven't gone aground yet.

I'll rockhop on request, but my personal preference is never to sail in water that's shallower than masthead height. That way, I can even *roll* the boat without getting stuck on the hard bits.

Give me another ten years or a good reason to try sneaking in someplace, and I'll send you a postcard when I do.
01-25-2007 01:26 PM
Vasco Cam,

The problem with the entrance to the Ortega River is the approach. It is very difficult to get the right line heading for the first mark. Coming out is a lot easier. My first time in I was anchored out the night before because I was a bit wary. A boat drawing six or seven grounded and Towboat US came out, got her off and towed her in. I watched all this on my radar overlaid on my chart (brand new toys then) and the next morning followed the towboat's track in. No problem, I draw 5 1/2.
01-25-2007 01:07 PM
camaraderie Hey Rick...I was plowing through the mud in the Ortega River last spring with my 6 ft. ....has it been dredged?? I got in through the bridge but the approach was hairy!!
01-25-2007 12:06 PM
chuck5499 jagbch -- a couple of comments -my former sig other and i did it after the annapolis boat show a couple of years ago - we did come down the ditch to avoid the cape - a couple of things -
first does your insurance company know you are bring your boat to fla at the start of hurricane season??
second -- get boatus unlimited towing - just in case as you do have to pay attention all the way down the ditch and a few yards can put you on the hard -- no big deal - as they say there are sailors who put her aground and those who say they never have are just not telling the truth
third - get a good guide and the latest edition you can for the ditch and read and study it
the two of us did it and went off at cape fear river for a long run but the flu finally forced us to put in at cape canaveral
good luck
chuck and s/ soulmates
01-25-2007 11:20 AM
Vasco JagsBch,

Six foot draft is not really a problem. Boats deeper than that regularly go up and down the ICW. The only thing is the deeper the draft, the more care you must take. As for the St. Johns River your draft will not be a problem. There's lots of water all the way to green Cove Springs (that's as far as I've been). Lots of good sailing in NE Florida. If you're going to be based in the Jax area or Ortega River there's lots of water.
01-25-2007 10:57 AM
JagsBch My 6' draft appears to be an issue here and there on the ICW, to the point it will require some exhaustive planning. I know there are all kinds of give and takes when purchasing a sail boat, now I am wondering hw big of an issue will a 6' draft wind up being. Is that something I should be concerned with. I am starting to feel that the depth of the draft could severely impact and limit my recreational abilities.

Anyone live in NE Florida care to comment on the topic? For instance how far up can I sail the ST. Johns River before it becomes a concern? I am flying up to NY to make the purchase on the boat Tuesday.
01-24-2007 08:12 PM
hellosailor Jags-
"BTW what is the big deal with anchoring a few miles off shore for a few hours " Well, anyplace that is shallow enough for you to ANCHOR offshore, is also going to mean the shallows will cause intense wave action and you're probably going to get your brains bashed around.
The extensive areas off NJ or Hatteras where you might think you can anchor? Are known for eating ships and boats. You want to stay far offshore, totally clear of the shoals (even 100' depth is a shoal for ocean water) that are going to cause rough water.
Plus, if you have mechanical failures (rigging failure, engine failure, anchor failure) and you are being driven up on a lee are better off being far enough offshore so that you have time to make repairs or call for assistance, before incoming bad wx can put you on the beach.

I'd also suggest, MOST strongly, doing some shakedown cruising in nearshore or sheltered waters, taking a long day trip, an overnight, a 48-hour, during which you can load and stress everything on the boat to find out if there are problems which could really bite you on a longer trip, or further offshore.
01-24-2007 04:48 PM
pigslo I am hoping to take time off from work one spring of summer and just motor/sail the ditch for all the sights and sounds. It is a "roadtrip"unlike any you can experience in a car. You will have plenty of time to go offshore during better circumstances later. Think about restaurants and marinas and small towns... that you can see in a leisurely stroll downthe ICW.
01-24-2007 04:36 PM
Boy this topic could really use a forum all its own...

OK, well that settles the notion of me attempting to go offshore singlehanded till I get to Florida. I found a few threads on the topic...

North on ICW?
New York to Florida Via ICW
Draft in ICW and Keys
Nighttime Anchorage
Bridge clearance on ICW
Southbound on the ICW?
Travelling down the ICW
Annapolis to New York in Late April?
South Jersey ICW?

leaving the Chesapeake around 11/15 which is certainly not too late. It also leaves several of the more open sections of the ICW behind you so you wouldn't have to worry about nasty weather much

The trip down the "ditch" is an adventure and really changed my life. I met so many interesting people in the most unlikely of places....
01-24-2007 04:27 PM
camaraderie Jags:
BTW what is the big deal with anchoring a few miles off shore for a few hours to get some zz's in between inlets? I imagine I'd try to go offshore at the bay, if the weather permits. How is that inlet BTW did I read somewhere about it being hairy?

Anchoring in the open Atlantic while single handing to catch some zzz's means getting very close to shore and breaking waves and generally a LOT of chain required...even in benign conditions, things can happen while you are sleeping so I would not recommend it and don't know anyone who has done it except in daylight while awake on a nice summer day.

I assume you mean the entrance to the Chesapeake bay. It is pehaps the easiest "inlet" to navigate on the whole east coast BUT it is wide open to the ocean and 6-8 foot seas approaching the bridge tunnel are not unusual if the wind is over 20 knots or something is kicking up offshore....especially when the tide is running out. When you go south out of the Bay...then you face going around Hatteras which is not called the Graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing.
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