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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a trip south soon and would like to get some input on best routing, best stops, what to watch-out for and what NOT to miss along the way. I will leave NYC sometime during the first week October and head down the coasts of Jersey and Delmarva to Norfolk, VA. Then it's inside (provided my 6ft draft is not an issue) to Beaufort, then back outside to Charleston. I would appreciate any feedback/advice from anyone has done this trip. Thx.
 

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Its a 4 day trip inside to Beaufort or a 24 hr trip around Hatteras outside from the entance to the Bay. I hate the ICW but thats just me. I would stay outside to the Mayboro Inlet at Wilmington then go back outside at Cape Fear to Charleston. Going outside around Frying Pan Shoals is a bit out of the way. If you have a good window, you can get inside the stream by hugging the coast around Hatteras. The draft can be a problem occasionally as you approach Beaufort in the ICW depending on tides. I've gone inside and outside inthe past years but now witn an 85' mast and 7' mast, I have no choice.
 

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Not having many places to go in during periods of bad weather along the Delmarva pen. , I usually go up Delaware Bay to the C. and D. canal and then down the Chesapeake Bay.As far as Norfolk to Beaufort is concerned, good luck around Coinjock with a 6' draft. Find a pushboat and barge to follow or it is bump and go . As for Frying Pan, I would rather go there than the shallows and daymarks of the ICW on down to Charleston.[though Wrightsville to Southport isn't as bad as Beaufort to Wrightsville on the inside].The Charleston Maritime Center is a great place to stay for easy access to provisions, pubs, restaurants, and other points of interest downtown.
 

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xsboats - We just did Beaufort to Norfolk on the ICW. We never saw anything less than 10', and mostly 12+ when south and north of Coinjock. The trick is not getting close to the marks. The channel must have been laid by a drunk person, but in a lot of cases we had to stay 40' away from the marks to find the 12' channel, but it's definitely there.

Our path - NYC to Annapolis (Can stop in Manasquan, Atlantic City, Cape May, then up the Delaware, across the C&D Canal, down the Chesapeake (a few stops once you get to the C&D Canal))... Annapolis to Norfolk, overnight, but you can stop at numerous places along the way, or even take a LONG side trip up the Potomac to DC... Norfolk to Beaufort on the ICW (this is the only part of the ICW we did, except for a short stint in FL), Beaufort to Charleston around Cape Fear on the outside (alternatively Beaufort to Masonboro Inlet, down Cape Fear to Southport, then back out the Cape Fear River Inlet and then out to Charleston, or Cape Fear Inlet to Georgetown and on the inside to Charleston, but you may bump that way).

Anyway, lots of opportunities, and I would recommend the Norfolk to Beaufort on the ICW way. The depths are good, and you can stop in Coinjock and get their Prime Rib which is incredible! There are a number of good anchorages, our favorite being a spot in the middle of nowhere just north of the Alligator River/Pungo Canal.

One other alternative if you REALLY don't want to go on the inside from Norfolk through Coinjock is to go out the Norfolk inlet and then come back in Oregon Inlet, down the Pamlico sound, up to Oriental and then on to Beaufort. The Oregon Inlet is not charted very well, but is fairly well marked when you actually go through it. You can also download the surveys from the USCG, done recently, and get exact waypoints and depth charts.

Have fun! There's some beautiful spots there!
 

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We've made that trek several times. We stage in Sandy Hook, NJ then make a run for Cape May. If things get bad or late, go in at Atlantic City. Next day to Chesapeake City in the C& D canal. Next day Annapolis. Two or three days to Norfolk depending on how hard you want to push. Norfolk thru th Dismal Swamp ( my preference) to Elizabeth City. Then to Bellhaven. Then to Oriental, NC and then to Beaufort. we then go outside to Charleston (about 34 hours). We've stayed at Charleston Maritime, but it can get rolly in there. It's more $$ but the Charleston Harbor Resort Marina is also very nice and w/o the rolling.
 

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Careful on the Dismal route... controlling depth is 6ft, and he said he draws 6ft. It MAY be more, or it might be less. You can call the first lockmaster to find out the conditions... I can't say I have any experience with that route though - we skip it since we draw 6ft too.
 

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Just did the trip in reverse Charleston to Old Saybrook. Our new to us Newport 33 with 6' draft no problems in ICW. You may find acouple of shole spots on the inside just N. & S. of Carolina beach inlet but very soft sand, I was through them before I could react. If you pik your days/nites overnight from NYC to OceanCity Maryland approx 140nm stayed at Sunset marina very nice. O.C. to hamptonVa approx 115nm stayed at Bluewater yacht basin $1.85/ft on the hampton river easy access. then Coinjock Midway marina and motel, you will need to stay on wall, don't miss dinner at Crabbies I think they are closed on monday and tues. Excelant food. We stayed at Tuckahoe Pt anchorage S. end of Alligator riv. soft mud bottom use plenty of chain and scope. going S. donn't miss a night or to in Oriental very relaxing. Oriental marina and motel, I think it was $1.75/ft. easy access off the Nusse riv. from Hampton down these are nice day runs 48 to 60nm each. Beaufort is about another 38nm from there. stayed at Dockside marina in moorehead city, approx $1.50/ft small but clean and nice. Wreightsville beach marina, watch the current, expensive call ahead. Coquina yacht club in little river, very nice gated docks approx $1.50/ft watch channel going in shollow at low tide at inside of main jetty very soft but only 6' at low rest of harbor 7'+. George town harbor walk marina off of Wynia bay, beautiful town. In Charleston stay at Charleston harbor marina and hotel, well worht it they have shuttles in to town. If you need a great machanic in the Morehead city area or in the Charleston area pm me I'v got acouple of great guys they helped me alot.
Enjoy your trip God speed calm seas and good wind
Peter Carey
Justified !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey... great input from all... thx much! Soooo, here's the plan: we leave NYC sometime during the week of Oct 5th (based on crew arrival and weather window), head down the coast down to Cape May, NJ (near my old stomping ground back in the day out of Barnegat w/many trips up/down the coast/inlets between NYC and Ocean City, MD). From there we'll decide to continue off-shore or duck-in through the CD Canal and down the Chesapeake (never been there but hear its pleasant sailing in Oct). Norfolk-Beaufort looks like the ICW is best for me (I'm a heavy displacement yawl w/6ft draft), although the natural beauty of the DS looks attractive. At this point we'll decide if a straight shot to Charleston is in the cards, or we need to hop in and out along the way (again weather window dependent). Can't wait! If anyone else is making the trip I'd like to hear from you. Also, any experiences and/or recommendations from others is always appreciated... I like hearing from folks w/common interests. I'm fairly new at this cruising thing (but lots of years racing) and could always use help. Lastly, love to get the names of these great mechanics from Justified. Thx again.
 

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That time of year you'll find a lot of people heading in the same direction as you. Hopefully we'll be on our way ourselves, business depending. The Annapolis boat show will be going on Columbus Day weekend, so if you plan to stop there be aware it will be VERY crowded.
 
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