I've been looking at a lot of the inlets into the ICW along the east coast. It seems like it is tough to tell what the depths are of these inlets from the charts. They often have notes saying that the markers frequently move and there are usually not depths in the area of the inlet.
For example, looking at some of the inlets south of Beaufort such as New River Inlet, Bogue Inlet, etc.
How does one know if inlets such as these are deep enough?
A lot of 'stimulus money' has been spent on improvements for al lot of the inlets on the SE coast BUT the NOAA charts (and a most of the chartplotters, etc. that are based on NOAA charting) will ALWAYS have the inlet depths and proper courses GREYED OUT because even after 'renovation' they are immediately subject to shoaling and bottom changes - due to liability/legal issues.
I just posted this on a similar thread .......
An INVALUABLE source of data for 'shooting inlets' on the SouthEast US coast.
White Sound Press
Shows all the buoys, etc. that are "NORMALLY GREYED-OUT" on NOAA charts and chartplotters. Give specific hints, directions, etc. for each inlet from Norfolk VA to Miami. . and which inlets to STAY OUT OF with a sailboat. Most of the depths are taken by the authors using sophisticated depth sounding / recording hydrographic devices. .... its all the 'stuff' that NOAA doesnt list because of 'legality' issues due to the always changing conditons/bottoms, etc. in the SE coast inlets.
Also gives very good 'hints' and advice on 'shooting inlets' in a slow sailboat during less than ideal conditions.
If you sail the SE US coast this text/book is INVALUABLE.
Contacting directly with local BoatUS or SeaTow or even the 'local USCG' station will often give you the CORRECT course and depths especially when the 'published data' is old and 'doubtful', especially in the 'shifty' inlets.