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Old 01-10-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Beaufort/Savannah/Hilton Head Cruise

I’m planning to do a trip to Beaufort SC, Savannah and Hilton Head in mid April. Looking for some local knowledge on things to-do, good marinas and restaurants.

I’ll be reviewing the charts, but can you guys tell me if the ICW in general is in decent shape between Charleston and Savannah (I draw 4’)?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:02 PM   #2
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I’m planning to do a trip to Beaufort SC, Savannah and Hilton Head in mid April. Looking for some local knowledge on things to-do, good marinas and restaurants.

I’ll be reviewing the charts, but can you guys tell me if the ICW in general is in decent shape between Charleston and Savannah (I draw 4’)?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Check the hazard posts on Active Captain and Cruisersnet.net

https://activecaptain.com/X.php

Use Yelp! to find good eating spots...

http://www.yelp.com/wilmington-nc-us
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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I’m planning to do a trip to Beaufort SC, Savannah and Hilton Head in mid April. Looking for some local knowledge on things to-do, good marinas and restaurants.

I’ll be reviewing the charts, but can you guys tell me if the ICW in general is in decent shape between Charleston and Savannah (I draw 4’)?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
The Ashapoo/Coosaw cut off is notorious for shoaling. Especially at the south end. Be sure to give the last marker a wide birth, and watch your depth all the way through.

On entering Skull Creek from Port Royal Sound, it gets a little tricky. You will enter from the far eastern side nearly next to the piers. Then move to the far west side almost against the shore. There should be plenty of water but most of Skull Creek calls for full attention.

I like Shelter Cove on Hilton Head. It is about a 25 minute run up Broad Creek, but worth it. 7 or 8 restaurants surrounding the harbor plus more within walking distance. A super market is also within walking distance. Palmetto Bay Marina is on the way to and from. Captain Woody's restaurant there is good.

Watch the shoaling at the south end of Ramshorn Creek, and at the north end of Fields Cut.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:40 AM   #4
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I found the following on the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut:

"To avoid the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoffs, turn to starboard away from the magenta line and head down the Coosaw River towards St Helena Sound. Round Combahee Bank, respecting the southeast corner, and turn up the Ashepoo River. Rejoin the ICW at Fenwick Cut. Plenty of deep water and stress-free!"

It makes perfect sense, so I think I'll use this advice if I will choose to stay inside.

I'll make sure to review the other spots you've mentioned. Shelter Cove looks like the place to stay at HHI.

Any preferences on marina in Beaufort and Savannah?
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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I found the following on the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cut:

"To avoid the Ashepoo-Coosaw Cutoffs, turn to starboard away from the magenta line and head down the Coosaw River towards St Helena Sound. Round Combahee Bank, respecting the southeast corner, and turn up the Ashepoo River. Rejoin the ICW at Fenwick Cut. Plenty of deep water and stress-free!"

It makes perfect sense, so I think I'll use this advice if I will choose to stay inside.

I'll make sure to review the other spots you've mentioned. Shelter Cove looks like the place to stay at HHI.

Any preferences on marina in Beaufort and Savannah?
I like the Beaufort Downtown Marina. They are right downtown with several restaurants very close by. Blackstones is best for breakfast. They have a loaner car for grocery shopping. If you want to anchor or take a mooring ball, you can tie up to the park wall during the day, but no overnight. Tides are pretty swift in that area. If staying in down town Savannah, I would stay at the marina behind the Market. It is on the downriver side of the waterfront. It is a little more secure. If in Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt Marina and eat at Tubby's Tank House. Isle of Hope is a good marina, and sometimes has a loaner car, but walking distance to nowhere.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
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I like the Beaufort Downtown Marina. They are right downtown with several restaurants very close by. Blackstones is best for breakfast. They have a loaner car for grocery shopping. If you want to anchor or take a mooring ball, you can tie up to the park wall during the day, but no overnight. Tides are pretty swift in that area. If staying in down town Savannah, I would stay at the marina behind the Market. It is on the downriver side of the waterfront. It is a little more secure. If in Thunderbolt, Thunderbolt Marina and eat at Tubby's Tank House. Isle of Hope is a good marina, and sometimes has a loaner car, but walking distance to nowhere.
Don,

Thunderbolt Marina looks nice. Is it a walking distance to downtown or do we need to find some type of transportation? What's the common way of getting around there, curtsey van, a cab, trolley?
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #7
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Don,

Thunderbolt Marina looks nice. Is it a walking distance to downtown or do we need to find some type of transportation? What's the common way of getting around there, curtsey van, a cab, trolley?
Thunderbolt Marina is only in walking distance to Tubby's Tank House. However, they may still have donuts in the morning for transients. Out at Thunderbolt cabs would be my preference to get into town. They may have city bus service out there. I don't know that they have a courtesy car.

If you want to be downtown, the River Street waterfront is best. Just fender up, put away, lockup and enjoy. You will not lack for activity both on the water and in town.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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Alex, when do you intend to go?
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:21 AM   #9
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Alex, when do you intend to go?
Mid April, during kids school break.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:57 AM   #10
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Mid April, during kids school break.
Alex, when you get to Hilton Head there is a great bike path system all over the island. From Shelter Cove you can even go under the main highway to access it. It is very friendly to both kids and adults. If you don't have bikes, you can rent them. Just take the Beach Buggie shuttle over to Palmetto Dunes. There is also good beach access.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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Alex, when you get to Hilton Head there is a great bike path system all over the island. From Shelter Cove you can even go under the main highway to access it. It is very friendly to both kids and adults. If you don't have bikes, you can rent them. Just take the Beach Buggie shuttle over to Palmetto Dunes. There is also good beach access.
That's great! Thanks for the tip, Don.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:50 AM   #12
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If you stay here in Savannah River Street Market Place: Dock you will be very close to the action on River Street and the surrounding area. Lots of restaurants, bars and shops. No worries about catching a cab or bus and when you get tired, just walk back to the boat.

There are festivals and activities, especially on weekends.

Be aware, this is not a marina. It's a dock with water, electric and security. No pool, no hot tub, no showers or laundry.

https://www.seapines.com/resort_acti...cht-basin.aspx is a pretty good place on Hilton Head.

Downtown Marina of Beaufort, SC is probably your best bet in Beaufort. Walking distance to restaurants and bars and the historic district.

You can look any of these places up on Active Captain or Cruisers.net and read reviews from other boaters.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:25 PM   #13
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If you stay here in Savannah River Street Market Place: Dock you will be very close to the action on River Street and the surrounding area. Lots of restaurants, bars and shops. No worries about catching a cab or bus and when you get tired, just walk back to the boat.

There are festivals and activities, especially on weekends.

Be aware, this is not a marina. It's a dock with water, electric and security. No pool, no hot tub, no showers or laundry.

https://www.seapines.com/resort_acti...cht-basin.aspx is a pretty good place on Hilton Head.

Downtown Marina of Beaufort, SC is probably your best bet in Beaufort. Walking distance to restaurants and bars and the historic district.

You can look any of these places up on Active Captain or Cruisers.net and read reviews from other boaters.
Thank you from great info. It seems like the easiest one is the Beaufort. The Downtown Marina sounds like the clear winner and I added it to my float plan.

I thought it was pretty simple choice for HHI after I looked at Shelter Cove, but Seanies looks great, judging by their website. I suppose you can't go wrong with either of them, but from what I see Shelter Cove has pretty much everything.

The Savannah happens to be more of a puzzle. On one hand we have most expensive place that's just a dock with power and water in walking distance to town. On the other hand we can be in a nice marina, but will need to arrange transportation. ....Hmm...decisions...decisions...
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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...........The Savannah happens to be more of a puzzle. On one hand we have most expensive place that's just a dock with power and water in walking distance to town. On the other hand we can be in a nice marina, but will need to arrange transportation. ....Hmm...decisions...decisions...
"Town" is at the other end of the ramp. You are right in the middle of it. Remember, the price includes electricity, it's not extra.

I would do it at least once to see how you like it. One neat thing is the cargo ships coming up and down the river a couple hundred feet away. If you want to tour the city, there are several companies doing guided tours and you can catch the trolley just a couple hundred feet from the dock.

We like to go for the Oktoberfest weekend but you've missed that for this year. St. Patrick's Day is one of their biggest festivals but we've never been there for that one. You would need reservations, I'm sure.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:07 PM   #15
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Look up Isle of Hope Marina...they have good rates if you are staying a week or longer.

They also have loaner cars...but there was a big personnel turnover since I was there last spring so a call for what's there now is in order.

When we were there they begged us to use the cars and even keep them overnight if we were the last drivers of the day.

it's in a great neighborhood to walk/bike around with a few restaurants that can be walked to and I think one will drive you back if you eat there (about a mile away).

South side of town but we enjoyed 2 visits there one about 8 days and one 13 days.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:07 AM   #16
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I was debating between Shelter Cove and Harbor town. Both look very attractive and it's hard to pick one over the other. So, considering that they're located in different parts of the island we decided to stay in both.

I figure it would be a nice diversification of scenery and things to-do. So, my itinerary looks like this:

Charleston to Beaufort (1 night) - Downtown Marina
Beaufort to HH (2 nights) - Harbour Town
HH to Savannah (2 nights) - River Street
Savannah to HH (2 nights) - Shelter Cove
HH to Charleston

I've learned that HH has a gulf tournament Apr 16-21 and the Harbor Town has astronomical prices with 5 nights minimum during this time frame. So, if anyone was planning a trip, keep that in mind.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:58 AM   #17
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We love to go all the way up to Savannah and have had no problems doing so. The Hyatt Regency and Westin both have great facilities. There are some areas for anchoring around the islands as well. Our favorite spot to drop the tender and go explore. Then one can go the opposite direction and take advantage of the spa at the Hyatt. Savannah is so much fun.

Hilton Head is beautiful and nice and great resorts but it has somewhat less appeal to us. Beaufort is a typical old waterfront town. Beautiful and they love boaters and tourists.

In that area we spend as little time on the ICW as possible, taking the outside when we can. We arrive to the area from the outside and leave by going outside. We only use the ICW as we must to get from one to the other. If traversing the ICW in that area (and really most areas) use sites like Cruisers net and Waterway Guide but even they can be outdated when only five days old. Talk to those who have just come through. Talk to dockmasters. And use SeaTow and TowboatUS for information. They typically are most current of anyone and do not mind at all providing information. I encourage also anyone to join one of those two. Because of the extent of our cruising we actually are members of both as some places one has better coverage than the other. Inland this is especially true.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:05 PM   #18
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I was debating between Shelter Cove and Harbor town. Both look very attractive and it's hard to pick one over the other. So, considering that they're located in different parts of the island we decided to stay in both.

I figure it would be a nice diversification of scenery and things to-do. So, my itinerary looks like this:

Charleston to Beaufort (1 night) - Downtown Marina
Beaufort to HH (2 nights) - Harbour Town
HH to Savannah (2 nights) - River Street
Savannah to HH (2 nights) - Shelter Cove
HH to Charleston

I've learned that HH has a gulf tournament Apr 16-21 and the Harbor Town has astronomical prices with 5 nights minimum during this time frame. So, if anyone was planning a trip, keep that in mind.
Sounds great although personally I'd add a night to Savannah and take one away from Hilton Head. We love exploring the Savannah River with all the islands, by tender Steamboat River and Middle River. the Wildlife refuges. I won't say we spent a lot of time exploring by tender but the last time we were there we started with a full tank and refilled it three times during the day and one more before putting it away.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:28 PM   #19
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.....In that area we spend as little time on the ICW as possible, taking the outside when we can. We arrive to the area from the outside and leave by going outside. We only use the ICW as we must to get from one to the other. If traversing the ICW in that area (and really most areas) use sites like Cruisers net and Waterway Guide but even they can be outdated when only five days old. Talk to those who have just come through. Talk to dockmasters. And use SeaTow and TowboatUS for information. They typically are most current of anyone and do not mind at all providing information. I encourage also anyone to join one of those two. Because of the extent of our cruising we actually are members of both as some places one has better coverage than the other. Inland this is especially true.
I did a quick and dirty plotting (just to get an idea) and ICW seems to be about 20NM shorter vs. going on the outside. Based on what I've learned so far, there are only couple of trouble spots on ICW. But, these are just preliminary findings. I'll do more detailed study of the charts and AC postings as I get closer to the date.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:46 PM   #20
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I did a quick and dirty plotting (just to get an idea) and ICW seems to be about 20NM shorter vs. going on the outside. Based on what I've learned so far, there are only couple of trouble spots on ICW. But, these are just preliminary findings. I'll do more detailed study of the charts and AC postings as I get closer to the date.
Well, part of it's the boat you're in, the draft, the speed. We can actually do the outside as fast or faster than the inside plus enjoy it more. For others it's different.
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