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Old 09-14-2015, 05:04 PM   #21
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"pacific Ocean, so the ICW is an interesting way to wilderness, nice marinas and very few if any bars to cross......

Maybe too many bars ���������� to cross, and a few are wilderness on the ICW. Seriously a few well known shallow spots that need some Tide timing. (Most are soft bottom except maybe a sunken Tank.

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Old 09-14-2015, 05:37 PM   #22
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A few more thoughts upon further reflection.

There are many, many great destinations between Maine and the Keys, and many of them much superior to the Keys, which you will have all winter to explore if you like (though the siren call of the Bahamas should get you sooner or later).

Starting with Maine itself, depending on where you are starting from.

The islands of southwestern Mass, Long Island Sound (both shores), the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay (like LIS a lifetime of cruising and gunkholing opps in and of itself),
the Outer Banks especially Ocracoke and Cape Lookout, the Waccamaw River and low country of South Carolina and Georgia, to list our favorites.

To give some perspective, we'd leave our base in SW Mass (Westport) and allow 2 1/2 months to make it to southern FL. 3 months or more was better and we'd usually dawdle enough to make it that much. After a few trips we learned what to skip in good weather and take the ocean (for us, NC from Beaufort south/west, and virtually all of FL, but you need to learn for yourselves). We never took the same route or stayed many of the same places coming or going . That's why I get a little concerned a little about "experienced" people dictating the paces and places. We had all kinds of them, many good friends, telling us what we should do. We decided screw it, we'll explore for ourselves. That's also why I don't like "crowd sourcing" sites.. you want to do the same things and go the same places as everyone else, or have your own adventure?

For you westerners, the ICW is really only a portion of their trip. It starts in Norfolk Va, though shallow draft boats can brave the the NJ ICW if they like (we used our Whaler for exploring that)


"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:00 PM   #23
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Maine to the Keys - Are we crazy?

What he said.

We rushed to get to the Keys on our maiden voyage-- 10 hour days, huge crashing seas (not really), desolate, alligator infested anchorages (really).

I had it in my head it would be nirvana when we got there for some reason. I've been there by land before, but the romance of arriving by sea was intoxicating, so I rushed.

The Keys were cool, and I did get intoxicated, but I never reached the elusive transcendent state I was seeking. 😶

In other words, don't rush to get to the end. Enjoy the ride on the way.

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Old 09-14-2015, 06:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post want to do the same things and go the same places as everyone else, or have your own adventure?

The fundamental nature of boating is exploration and adventure into the unknown, with times of unease, excitement, boredom, and sometimes disappointment.

The recreational aspect keeps the adventures relatively safe and comfortable.

Have fun!
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:53 PM   #25
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When you get in the marathon area . Look at harbor cay club for dockage as it is the small marina that no one wants to leave. Pm me for more info,I live there. Jim
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:57 PM   #26
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Go for it!!

Remember to take time to enjoy the process of getting there.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:14 AM   #27
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Intracoastal Water Way here we come ready or not

This post is a duplicate of the one I posted on another thread and I had the helpful suggestion that I start a new thread.

I have not been on the forum for a long time but have a need now to tell you what is happening. In two weeks we leave from Maine to travel the intracoastal water way to the Keys. We have very few hours on our trawler or on the sea. I hang my head in shame that we would tackle such a trip with so little experience. We are not going it alone we are travel with the guides of two very experienced boaters they have circumnavigated, sold their sail boat and are now traveling by trawler. Having them to guide us is priceless but... My husband has spent countless hours preparing the boat for the trip and fixing all the things that we didn't know about the boat when we bought it. I think that friends are worried about us and think we are insane. Since none have you have a vested interest in keeping the truth from us I would like to know if anyone else has done this and how brave/crazy we are for taking this on? I am scared to death and trying to overcome the fear. I grew up on a fresh water pond so I am not a stranger to water. I have been around the ocean for over 30 years but not on it. Any thoughts about this? Thank you Tricia
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:37 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
Sorry for the thread drift but are Sabrelines and Sabres both the same company?
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:40 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Deckape View Post
When you get in the marathon area . Look at harbor cay club for dockage as it is the small marina that no one wants to leave. Pm me for more info,I live there. Jim
Wow! I feel so supported about our trip to the Keys I am really glad that I posted. Thank you all for priceless support. Tricia
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:55 AM   #30
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Many of us could tell you what crazy is and I'm sure it would not sound like your story. Great trip to you.

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Old 09-15-2015, 06:45 AM   #31
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If you want to take a long trip as a new boat owner then there probably isn't anywhere as safe, with frequent stops, plenty of boat yards, plenty of other transients, as the East coast ICW.

I would just make sure not to rush (you probably aren't rushing in a trawler anyway), especially in those areas where you may need to pop outside (NJ). Wait for a good weather window.

Other than that, once you hit Virginia, you can stay inside all the way - unless you want to experience outside you won't have to.

Good luck and enjoy. And get a framed print of Mark Twain's famous words for you boat and read it every day!

Oh, and those friends, probably aren't boaters are they? Landlubbers never understand the lure...
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:46 AM   #32
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Don't worry, you will have a blast. We done it many times and our first trip with our first bait, which was a 40' was from Tampa to Baltimore. One want to learn is to do it. Having experienced boaters on board is a great idea. Take it slow be cautious and have fun. It will be one of your best trips and experiences you will ever have. One suggestion is to plan each day with the end in mind. Where to dock or anchor. There are many ICW books and guide, I would suggest purchasing one. Don't push and take your time, if the weather is bad stay anchored or at the marina on extra day.
Enjoy your trip

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Old 09-15-2015, 07:08 AM   #33
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My wife (no boating experience) and I (limited experience) undertook a similar adventure on the ICW this time last year. It was one of the most rewarding things we've ever done!

Check out This thread, ICW- Your Best Tips , along with countless others on this forum may help.

I recommend that you sign up with it will provide you with great info. Also, download Garmin Bluechart Mobile on your iPad and use the active captain and radar weather that can be overlaid. This served as a backup chart plotter that my wife and I used in navigation and planning. We actually prefer it to the one built into our boat.
Feel free to contact me for help or further explanation.

ICW- Your Best Tips

Relax and have a great trip.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:16 AM   #34
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Take it easy the first week or so, short days in good weather. Save some time to talk to people on the docks who are heading the same way and have made the trip before.
Enjoy the trip!
Steve W.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:25 AM   #35
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You did not state what make/model boat you will be traveling in nor the anchor type. That might help in determining the enjoyment that you will be experiencing.

safe travels
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:26 AM   #36
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Oh, a couple of things you need to remember about traveling in the ICW are to look behind you on a regular basis. For two reasons. Number 1 is to keep an eye out from faster boats coming up behind you can them and ask for a slow pass if they don't call you first. And the second reason, which is the most important reason, is to look back and make sure you are truly lined up inside of the markers and in the channel. It's very easy to get complacent and only look ahead. But remember just because you appear to be in the channel and between the two markers ahead of you doesn't mean you have not strayed outside line between the markers ahead and behind you.

Also if you feel your boat raise up at the bow and start to struggle to move forward, it's telling you you are in shallow water. And that its time to slow down and make sure you are not about to run aground.

Your boat can also tell you you are near the shallow edge of a channel by the fact that your wake on that side will start breaking while the wake on the deeper water side is not. As well as if the edge of the channel is steep you can at times feel your boat trying to push away from it because of the cushion of water between it and the channel bank being compressed and pushing back at the boat.

In other words, if you'll look, listen and feel what your boat is trying to tell you, it can save you from yourself.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:41 AM   #37
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You are not crazy -you are Blessed! Enjoy the experience.

I have been on the water for 50years---started age 12--never did the whole ICW trip to Florida.

This is the year for me--departing NJ November 1st.

Have a great trip!

John P
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:13 AM   #38
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Over the many years that I have been cruising from the Chesapeake to Louisiana I have learned that all areas have their special interest. The Chesapeake is one of the great cruising areas. SW Florida is another. You could spend a season on Long Island Sound as well as the Chesapeake. The Keys are great, but good anchorages and beaches are scarce. Key West is a must do.

I have found that trying to be anchored or in port by 3pm makes for a good day. Any longer than that makes the trip a delivery trip instead of a cruise. If you don't get as far as you planned, all the scenery and ports will be there next time. When you are ready the Abacos are waiting.
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:31 AM   #39
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How about throwing a setting sail party for all of your worried friends? You can "register" for things like impellers, fuel filters, oil, and other maintenance type items that you may need during the trip. You get free supplies and they get the comfort of know they provided you with many of the common spares needed.

Have fun!
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:54 AM   #40
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Get a set of radio headsets so that you can communicate when docking.

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intracoastal waterway, key west

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