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-   -   Virginia Cut ( 10-14-2011 12:07 PM

Virginia Cut
We are a 43ft sailing yacht on our way down from the Chesapeake to NC
We draw 6.8' and Mast Hight 64'
We are thinking of using the Virginia cut, any advise

joethecobbler 10-15-2011 07:16 PM


any advise
- take the dismal swamp instead.

wingNwing 10-15-2011 09:02 PM

With that deep draft, I'd go Virginia Cut; the COE will only guarantee 6' on the Dismal route. The Gilmerton bridge is now closed during rush hours 6:30-9:30 and 3:30-6:30. (although if you're lucky they'll open for commercial traffic and you can go through with them) Time your passage to reach it for the 9:30 or 10:30 AM opening, then the next two timed bridges are pretty well in sync. Plan to stay overnight at Great Bridge (mi 12) after going through the single lock. Tie to the canal wall (free dockage) BEFORE the bridge but after the lock. You can walk to groceries, laundry, and a nice Mexican restaurant. 2nd night, anchor near Buck Island (mi 55 or thereabouts depending on wind direction); or marina at Coinjock if you're marina types. 10-15-2011 09:09 PM

Thanks. Great advise. And than we would like to continue to Beaufort, can you comment on than as well??

wingNwing 10-15-2011 09:42 PM

Which Beaufort, NC or SC? Get "Skipper Bob's" anchorages, great info on where to spend the night, and on bridge timing and VHF channel they monitor.

After Buck Island, our "normal" anchorages are somewhere near the head of Alligator R (around mile 100-105, again choose your anchorage based on wind direction; NE of Deep Point at green marker 43 is usually good); then the next day Slade Creek (mile 140 for great shelter); then the next day Oriental, Morehead City, or Beaufort.

wingNwing 10-15-2011 09:43 PM

Very little tides/currents in these areas, mostly be attentive to wind direction when crossing the Albemarle and the Neuse - both can be nasty.

marianclaire 10-16-2011 09:13 AM

When you are south of the Neuse and in Adams Creek you will start to fell the tide/current. Especially at the bridge. The current slacks about two hrs after the posted tide. You should be ok at the Cedar Creek anchorage if you do not go in to far. Stay clear of the marked, on the water, wreck at the entrance. Do not try to cut thru at red 34 north of Morehead City. Even though some of the charts still show a channel. As posted get Skipper Bob. Best 17$ I ever spent. Dan S/V Marian Claire

SVAuspicious 10-16-2011 09:23 AM

Is NC your ultimate destination? What do you want to accomplish from the trip? Are you exploring at leisure or just trying to get the boat move. Boat make and condition?

PBzeer 10-16-2011 10:54 AM

Stay alert after you leave Coinjock. Water can get skinny, real fast if you don't mind the markers. Doesn't hurt to go through on a week day either, as big power boats tend to get thick on the weekends.

If you're wanting to go to Orkacoke, you're best off, with your draft, to come in from the south, not down the channel by Roanoke Island. Entrance to the Alligator River can be tricky if you don't pay close heed to the markers, as well as going into Oriental Harbor.

Oh, and if you don't have unlimited towing insurance (TowBoat US or SeaTow), get the unlimited policy. It's one of the best bargains in boating if you need it.

RichH 10-16-2011 09:07 PM

I have 62+ ft. clearance and and 'just' make it under the bridge at south end of the Alligator-Pungo canal. This bridge 'may' be 63-64 above Mean High water - suggest you direct contact the USCG (Eliz. City???) for the 'actual' clearance .... its NOT a 65ft. bridge clearance !!!!!!!
Ive seen several 64ft tall boats unable to pass this bridge ... especially when there is slight 'wind tide' in the canal.

BTW dont anchor in the Alligator River anywhere south of the bridge at the Albemarle until you go west to enter the Alligator-Pungo. Most of the bottom is foul with sunken logs. If you do anchor on the Alligator R. be sure to have a trip line attached.

6'8" deep isnt going get you through the dismal .... they continually drag for sunken logs to only 6 ft. deep. .... and if a large powerboat precedes you he most certainly 'disturb' the logs. DEFINITELY dont travel the Dismal Swamp route is you have a 'sail drive' and that goes for 'any' depth boat.

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