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post #1 of 4 Old 07-15-2002 Thread Starter
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We have just bought a 25 ft. Cal, 1967, and have to pick the boat up at Casey Key on Sunday and sail to Fort Myers Beach. We think the best thing to do is to leave the ICW at Venice inlet and sail in the open to Charlotte Harbor. We plan to dock it there for the night and continue the next morning to Fort Myers Beach. The boat has a Loran and VHF, I have no clue what to do with the Loran by the way, we are intending to get a Gps and Depth sounder when we make homeport at Ft. Myers Beach. Does anyone with experience have any input on this? Venice inlet in particular? I believe the sail in the Gulf should be relatively easy as the depths on the charts show no problems until Sanibel, and we plan to skirt that wide and come in at the first marker entering Fort Myers Beach.

Paul and Valerie Jordan

Shaken not Stired
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-16-2002
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I would get the gps now and have it with me at all times with good batterys, Practice using it on the car ride up to the boat.just in case Make sure the VHF works and take your cell phone. Try to work the loran and programme in the correct GRI for your area. The loran usually works if an antennae is connected. Not many moving parts inside. Should things start to suck all at once, you now have many tools in which to call for aide, with your correct location(very important!)Since you have the internet at your disposal, Look for info on correct radio procedure and owners manuals on the old Equipment in the manufacturers archives. Wear your PFDs in unfamilar waters. big time saver. I always write the word "Shark" on my console to save time while under water. I know im not going to have time to then write it if i see one.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-17-2002
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I have sailed that area many times, but not in the past 3-4 years. To me, the main question is primarily the weather. If it is completely unchallenging, you might go into the Gulf. If the weather is even a little threatening, I would travel on the ICW. You are not sailing a boat that you know well. Having just bought it, even if it has been surveyed, you can''t be certain of the age or condition of the shrouds and other hardware. You have probably never reefed the sails, and have not had to operate or handle all the boat''s equipment. That being so, it would not be a good idea to take her where there is any likelihood that she might be put under stress. I suggest you take her home via the ICW, inspect her thoroughly and sail her a few times in Pine Island Sound or Charlotte Harbor, putting her under stress in a more sheltered area, until you can be more confident of her soundness.

Every pass from the Gulf to the ICW can be treacherous in bad weather and strong tides, but I have not found the Venice Inlet to be any more so than any other pass. Boca Grand Pass, at Charlotte Harbor, however, is flanked by shoals on both sides, and when a strong tide is running, it can be very choppy and uncomfortable. In bad weather, it is treacherous. In good weather, just watch your charts and stay in the channel and away from the shoals.
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post #4 of 4 Old 07-17-2002
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Just came back from the Offshore Powerboat Races in Sanibel to Charlotte Harbor last week. Keep in mind that there is a huge sandbar on the North side of the channel coming into Charlotte harbor. You must go out into the Gulf about 3 miles before you can get around it. However, you can slip by it at the entrance if you stay about 75 feet from the beach. If you do not know the area, it is good to have someone guide you in. I strongly suggest that you take the ICW and practice sailing in local areas until you know the water.
Bob Witte
S/V BobCat
Gemini 105M
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