Join Date: Jul 2001
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cape hatteras in february what gear should I bring?
I did a quick search and found this from right here on the SailNet site. It''s an excerpt from an article by Sue and Larry:
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Bridges and Locks
An important part transiting the ICW involves the passing under or through many bridges. Both fixed and opening bridges need to be approached with certain knowledge and a modicum of respect. The fixed high-rise bridges on the Waterway are designed to provide a free vertical clearance of 65 feet. The actual bridge clearance however can differ from its design and from what''s shown on your chart. Tides, wind, and even rainfall can all affect the actual clearance of a fixed bridge. It''s common to see bridge clearance gauges that indicate less than the intended 65 feet. Boats with tall masts need to approach high-rise bridges carefully and proceed underneath only after confirming that the rig will fit.
Cruisers with mast heights between 63 and 65 feet are faced with a dilemma: Do you continue down the ICW approaching each bridge with trepidation, or turn around and sail offshore for the rest of your trip? Neither is a great option. If you find yourself in this crowd, you''ll will need to confirm each bridge at arrival, occasionally wait for low tide, and sometimes be forced to either heel the boat to one side, or turn around and backtrack to the next offshore inlet.
Our mast on Serengeti extends 60 feet above the water. This places the tip of our VHF antenna at 63 feet. We''ve never touched our antenna on any bridge structure, but we do know of several taller-masted boats that have sheared off their masthead tri-colors on the underside of bridges. How''s that for a close shave? Our experience tells us that all masts shorter than 63 feet will not pose a problem on the ICW. Take notice that the Julia Tuttle Causeway bridge in Miami somehow ended up with only 56 feet of clearance. A mistaken inversion of numbers, perhaps? Who knows? But boats with masts taller than 56 feet must go out the inlet at Fort Lauderdale and re-join the ICW at the Miami inlet.
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