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Old 10-02-2014, 11:46 AM   #21
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The bar is where the sand silt builds up from discharge from the inlet. All inlets with an ebb current have one somewhere. The "Class A" inlets that Jeff listed will be maintained if needed by dredging through the bar, as they service commercial and military ships.

I have been through most of the navigable inlets on the southeast coast, in a five foot draft, 60ft LOA boat. Even the Class A inlets can be challenging on an ebb tide, especially against wind and particularly trying to enter. I always try to hit them at or near slack, and the Class B and C inlets with some tide under me. I personally hate and if at all possible avoid going into any inlet at night or in bad visibility.

In my personal rating system, a Class B inlet is one used regularly by larger boats such as commercial fishing boats, casino boats, larger recreational boats. The markers are regularly maintained by the CG and the channel gets dredged now and then if necessary. Good examples to name a few would be Masonboro, Little River, North Edisto, Calibogue, Wassaw, St. Catherines, Sapelo, and down Florida, Ponce.

Class C is a little sketchier, requiring more precise local knowledge, and/or being prone to bad shoaling problems, even with maintenance and fairly heavy use. Oregon Inlet in NC is the poster child for this, or Jupiter in Florida. Or white knucklers like Rudee in Va or Boynton in FL. We're pleasure boaters, in that order. No thanks unless conditions are perfect.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:44 PM   #22
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I should have noted in my first sentence that the bar in virtually every case is well under water and not a grounding threat in the channel, except some of the sketchy inlets class C and D inlets. It's critical effect is on the sea state, as noted in the Doboy reference; the Columbia Bar in Oregon being a big and famous example.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:48 PM   #23
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Thanks for detailed explanation, George.

I have couple of questions on ICW. Are there any section(s) of ICW between FL/GA border and Ft Lauderdale, which are commonly skipped by going outside, due to shoaling or other obstructions?

Looking at the northern section of ICW (just south of Coinjock). I understand that official ICW is via Alligator/Pungo. I used it both ways last year. On my return trip, the Alligator Bridge broke down twice within few hours apart. I was scheduled to meet a crew in Coinjock. So, it was very uncomfortable few hours, until I finally cleared the bridge. So, I was thinking to try avoiding it by going through the Croatan and Pamlico Sounds. I'm not sure if it's worth starting off via Currituck Sound and skip Coinjock altogether?
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post

Always interesting to hear various personal perspectives. We enjoy exploring places that are best experienced (or only experienceable)by boat. So our opinions are virtually the reverse of most of the above:[*]We found North Carolina from Morehead City to South Carolina to be one of the most skippable sections of the ICW, weather permitting. (Beaufort to Masonboro inlet, then inside to Southport/Baldhead, then back out to Little River, or do a long haul Beaufort straight to Charleston, the latter not being my cup of tea)[*]The Waccamaw west of Myrtle Beach is one of our favorite destinations on the whole ICW. We loved anchoring and exploring with the dinghy for a few days there. Then Georgetown being one of our favorite town stops. As noted heading back out from G'Town is a big detour unless you are going a lot further past Charleston.[*]We like the Low Country above and below Charleston, some favorite anchorages and we like McClellanville as a dock stop . One advantage of not being a slave to a schedule is playing the tides, which I consider part of the sport.[*]Again, for us, Georgia was a destination, lots of wilderness anchorages, side trips to explore. A lot of good inlets if you want to mix it up a bit, but it took a few trips for us to bring ourselves to miss some of our favorite spots. Though after one trip, we almost always took Wassaw Sound out from Thunderbolt and came back in St. Catherines to Walburg Creek, and its a pretty trip.[*]If you haven't done Florida on the inside, then by all means do, just to see it. But in our opinion, once you get past Jacksonville it is mostly "no need to do that again", passing through areas better explored by car.[*]And, one more time, the most dangerous and fun depriving thing you can have on a boat is a schedule.
Very well said!
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:57 AM   #25
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Simple explanation:
Many inlets have a bar across the opening at some point. Dirt is carried out during storms etc and when the water flow hits the ocean it slows for various reason. The dirt then falls to the bottom building the bar.

Look at the chart of most inlets and you will see a shallower area a bit offshore of the entrance. If it is dredged, of course, the main channel may not change depth.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #26
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I have couple of questions on ICW. Are there any section(s) of ICW between FL/GA border and Ft Lauderdale, which are commonly skipped by going outside, due to shoaling or other obstructions?
Not that I am presently aware of. Unless you count the weekend or high season boat traffic on the ICW south of say, Fort Pierce, which is maddening, especially in a boat that requires bridge openings. Once we pretty much had seen the sights along there (and I am glad we did), we always went outside.

Quote:
ooking at the northern section of ICW (just south of Coinjock). I understand that official ICW is via Alligator/Pungo. I used it both ways last year. On my return trip, the Alligator Bridge broke down twice within few hours apart. I was scheduled to meet a crew in Coinjock. So, it was very uncomfortable few hours, until I finally cleared the bridge. So, I was thinking to try avoiding it by going through the Croatan and Pamlico Sounds. I'm not sure if it's worth starting off via Currituck Sound and skip Coinjock altogether?
If you are worried about shoaling, Currituck is way too shallow for anything but a small flats boat. Weather permitting, the Croatan/Pamlico route is a nice trip, especially if you stop in places like Manteo and Ocracoke. But be aware it can be really nasty, building a very steep, close chop. "2-3 ft" seas there can be no fun at all, believe it or not. There's a reason they built the ICW...
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:27 PM   #27
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I am currently moving a 45' boat from Mich. to the FL Keys. We are currently in Cape May NJ waiting out weather. I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have as I move along.
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Old 10-06-2014, 01:32 PM   #28
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Been to the C-View Tavern for a cheesesteak yet?

Let me know if you need anything...just up the road a tad...so is High Wire if he hasn't left for Fl and his trawler yet.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:04 PM   #29
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Not yet. :-)

Thanks for the offer.

How's the up coming weather look to you?

Owner hates waiting but isn't interested in doing the bay/canal/bay trip.

This has turned into the strangest delivery I have ever done (on many levels) in my 30+ years of running boats.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:25 PM   #30
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If it were me I wouldn't go outside until Thursday. Bay looks a lot better.
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:31 PM   #31
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And you would be correct George. But then you are a smart man and an experienced boater.

In fact you probably know there are no tides in the Great Lakes nor tide tables for the Great Lakes. You probably know there are no nuclear submarines in Lake Erie.

I'll bet you even know that Charlston is in SC and more than a days run from Cape May NJ.

In fact you may even know that it doesn't get calmer the farther offshore you go when the wind is blowing onshore.

I bet you even understand why freighters coming up the Hudson River don't/can't slow down for every little marina they pass along the way like small boats do and should.

Are you getting the picture?

If not I could go on and on and.............
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:49 PM   #32
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Not that I am presently aware of. Unless you count the weekend or high season boat traffic on the ICW south of say, Fort Pierce, which is maddening, especially in a boat that requires bridge openings. Once we pretty much had seen the sights along there (and I am glad we did), we always went outside...
I'm not so much concerned about boating traffic as I was a bit shocked to find out that in the leg between Palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale I'll need to open 14 bridges. My vertical clearance is 22', so depending on the tides, I may need to open couple more or squeeze under couple of them where mid section is higher than posted. I've read that some bridges have extra 3-4' in the curved center.

So, depending on how I'm doing on time, I think that this leg is #1 candidate to be done on the outside. I'd love to see the whole ICW, especially in this area, so I'll let the weather and my timing be driving factors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
...If you are worried about shoaling, Currituck is way too shallow for anything but a small flats boat. Weather permitting, the Croatan/Pamlico route is a nice trip, especially if you stop in places like Manteo and Ocracoke. But be aware it can be really nasty, building a very steep, close chop. "2-3 ft" seas there can be no fun at all, believe it or not. There's a reason they built the ICW...
Thanks for clarification on the Currituck. I've heard that there were some marked channels, the chart looks kind of questionable too with depths ranging between 5'-7'. So, I'll cross this off my mind as possible option.

However, I'd like to seriously consider Croatan/Pamlico route and have Manteo and Ocracoke as my possible stops.

A question on the Croatan/Pamlico route. I usually have long cruising days and travel in the dark most days to cover more distance. Is this part just wide open? Looking at the chart I don't see much of a channel after Roanoke Marsh. Are there many lobster/crab pots to be concerned about? I know that Albemarle Sound is full of the traps outside of the magenta line.

I know what you mean about getting beat up in the open sections of the sounds, but when it's blowing hard the alligator bridge will not open either. So, at least with the sounds we can watch the wind direction and speed, and make the choice. If it's at the tale, it may not be a bad run after all.

When stopping in Ocracoke, do you usually head to Neuse River to pickup ICW or go outside via Ocracoke Inlet?
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:03 PM   #33
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"I may need to open couple more or squeeze under couple of them where mid section is higher than posted. I've read that some bridges have extra 3-4' in the curved center."

Don't count on that extra clearance unless the bridge has a sign on it stating that to be the case.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:18 PM   #34
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"I may need to open couple more or squeeze under couple of them where mid section is higher than posted. I've read that some bridges have extra 3-4' in the curved center."

Don't count on that extra clearance unless the bridge has a sign on it stating that to be the case.
Thanks for heads up, Bill. In my float plan (spreadsheet format) I've included all the bridges and all details I could find on them. According to AC notes, only few of them state that there are boards posted. So, I'll take the conservative approach and will go with the official max clearance.

I guess, as my plan A, I'll look to jump out via Lake Worth Inlet and stay on the outside until Port Everglades.

Is there anything I should be concerned about Lake Worth Inlet? From what I see on the Jupiter Inlet, it doesn't look as better choice.
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Old 10-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #35
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I have not been in or out Lake Worth in a while. But other than lots of traffic at times and watching the tidal flow it has always been a straight forward inlet to use.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:29 PM   #36
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The forecast I'm seeings says Wed afternoon the wind should swing west.....then Northwest at night and be OK till it looks like early Friday Morning when the Sou'wester returns with it's vengeance.

If you are headed to Norfolk and will make it before Friday lunchtime....looks like you could leave before nightfall on Wed (hopefully the westerly will lay things down along the beach) and should be fine depending exactly how quick the winds shift easterly and you are headed into the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at that point.

If you are thinking of continuing and rounding Hatteras....it may be mostly on the stern quarter Thursaday but Friday/Early Sat on the nose or bow for a choppy ride to the Morehead City Area....
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #37
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I personally do not consider Jupiter navigable other than very ideal conditions and intimate local knowledge. A very experienced captain of a large sportfisherman who had done it many times was killed (thrown off the flying bridge) coming in during an ebb a few years ago. Lake Worth is a Class A inlet.

Yes, the Pamlico is pretty wide open, the channels into Manteo and Ocracoke must be respected, and call the marina in Manteo for verbal pilotage into Shallowbag Bay.

The bridges in S FL are charted at center; the on-site height boards are the height at low steel within the channel. THe biggest key to happy navigation of that area is to understand the opening times and set your speed to match them so you are not spending excess time standing off. And yes you have to call each one and request an opening.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:47 PM   #38
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If you are thinking of continuing and rounding Hatteras....it may be mostly on the stern quarter Thursaday but Friday/Early Sat on the nose or bow for a choppy ride to the Morehead City Area....
Going around Hatteras and the Cape Lookout is taking the real long way. If proceeding outside instead of going in at Norfolk/Va. Beach, Oregon Inlet is the only thing that makes sense, and that has been very sketchy lately; you would want to call the CG and Towboat US and/or the OI Fishing Center for latest conditions and pilotage instructions.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:48 PM   #39
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I hate plans, at least I don't have a strict Schedule. I am/was thinking of leaving Thursday AM from Cape Cod with a stop at Block Island and then a Long over night at Trawler speed to Cape May....

psneeld "The forecast I'm seeings says Wed afternoon the wind should swing west.....then Northwest at night and be OK till it looks like early Friday Morning when the Sou'wester returns with it's vengeance."
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:29 PM   #40
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I hate plans, at least I don't have a strict Schedule. I am/was thinking of leaving Thursday AM from Cape Cod with a stop at Block Island and then a Long over night at Trawler speed to Cape May....

psneeld "The forecast I'm seeings says Wed afternoon the wind should swing west.....then Northwest at night and be OK till it looks like early Friday Morning when the Sou'wester returns with it's vengeance."
that's weather for someone else...not where you are or gonna be....
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