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Taking 23'''' , Buzz Bay > FLA - Advice?

In your size boat, I would definitely recommend taking the Intracoastal. You can enter at Manasquan, NJ.
go along the IC to Delaware Bay, then the De;laware-Chesapeake Canal to the Chesapeake, along the Chesapeake to Norfolk, VA and then on down to Florida.
 

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Taking 23'''' , Buzz Bay > FLA - Advice?

I did a similar trip in 98/99 with a friend in a pair of 22'' MacGregors, from Baltimore to Key Largo and back... 6hp outboard with 12gal fuel... ICW all the way except for a few day hops outside, 15-25 miles each (and the 25 mile one was pushing it - didnt get back in til after dark)
Id get an additional type of anchor, as the dansforth wont hold well everywhere.

Can you find a way to easily bring the inflatable aboard? I had a soft-bottom inflatable, and it noticeably slowed me down - my friend in an adjoining 22'' had a hard dinghy on a 25'' polyprop painter with about 3'' of bungee laced into the middle to allow some bounce - seemed to work very well.

There''s a booklet called (Skipper Bobs?) which lists and rates anchorages all along the ICW, and includes location, depth, type of bottom, interesting things in the area, and comments by people who have anchored there... its about $15 and well worth it, although Im not sure where to get a copy, other than in random marinas along the coast (we were given one by a couple who had just gotten a new copy)

Our 12gal of fuel usually lasted 2-3 days (figure on motoring about 75% of the time on the ICW) and the only time that almost became a problem was in Georgia, where we found nothing in the way of waterside facilities until the Florida border (100 miles or so, and 3 1/2 days in thick fog)

Just be prepared for it to take a while (we did 48 miles on our best day, and averaged about 30 miles - of course if youre not sailing solo you''ll likely do better), and be prepared for some serious cabin fever after a month or so! But its a great trip, and well worth the experience, and one a well-equipped 23'' should easily be able to make...
 

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Taking 23'''' , Buzz Bay > FLA - Advice?

PS Sensible Cruising (Don Casey, Lew Hackler) is far and away the best book Ive ever read on cruising in a small boat on a shoestring budget... very practical and *very* inspirational

There are numerous cruising guides to the ICW but I couldnt recommend one over another...

Having a bridge list is very handy - gives the mileage locations of all the bridges, along with their heights, opening schedules, and the VHF channel they monitor... theyre available from probably any boat shop or marina on the ICW for about $2
 
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