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Old 11-20-2014, 02:30 PM   #1
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ICW from Fort Lauderdale to Stuart then Indiantown.

My Dad and I are going to move my boat from Lauderdale to Indiantown Marina early December. I am going to haul the boat at Indiantown and store it on the hard for a few months, then come back to Florida early summer to cruise around FL some, and eventually bring it back to Texas.

The trip looks like about 97nm from the current slip in Lauderdale to Indiantown, and we were planning to split it up into two days of running. Any marina recommendations around halfway or so that would make a good overnight stopping spot? Maybe something with a decent restaurant/bar? We may not not have a dingy on this trip if that matters.

Anything I need to be aware of on this route? I think there is one lock we need to negotiate-- my dad is 80 but still pretty strong so I'm hoping he will be OK helping out with the lines.

Is two days enough time to make this trip? The boat does 6-7 knots and draws less than 4'.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
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Old Port Cove Marina North Palm Beach. Great restaurant, nice docks, right off the ICW the right distance to end a long day from Lauderdale. A little further south Palm Harbor Marina in West Palm Beach is convenient to downtown WPB restaurants and bars. Right off the ICW. I would get an early start to make NPB in a day coming up the ICW. From NPB it will be a loooonnnng day to Indiantown too. I would stop at Stuart just past the bridge at the Sunset Bay Marina and Mooring Field. Great restaurant, nice place! Then head for Indiantown in the AM!
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. IF the weather is good (NO "north" in the winds), you would make your best time running outside to Lake Worth. You would bypass 22 bridges (from the best of memory) BUT you would miss all the swanky homes along the ICW.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:37 PM   #4
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Old Port Cove Marina North Palm Beach. Great restaurant, nice docks, right off the ICW the right distance to end a long day from Lauderdale. A little further south Palm Harbor Marina in West Palm Beach is convenient to downtown WPB restaurants and bars. Right off the ICW. I would get an early start to make NPB in a day coming up the ICW. From NPB it will be a loooonnnng day to Indiantown too. I would stop at Stuart just past the bridge at the Sunset Bay Marina and Mooring Field. Great restaurant, nice place! Then head for Indiantown in the AM!
Thanks for the marina recommendation.

So is two days not enough for the amount of daylight available do you think, or does it just sound like a long (tedious?) day because of all the bridges and slow zones? I've only been on the ICW in south Texas but it's pretty sparsely populated.

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Mr. 01. IF the weather is good (NO "north" in the winds), you would make your best time running outside to Lake Worth. You would bypass 22 bridges (from the best of memory) BUT you would miss all the swanky homes along the ICW.
Thought about that, but this will be the first time I've run this pretty much unknown (to me) boat, so I'm a little wary of heading offshore so soon. Had a Yanmar tech check out the main and he cleaned the heat exchangers, changed the impeller, belt, oil, filters, fuel filters, and he says it all looks fine, but I'm not very comfortable yet.

Maybe I'm just a chicken....
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. Chicken is a misnomer. Prudent is more appropriate and that's a GOOD thing. You're not really "offshore". 5 miles maximum, if that. Buy a BoatUS or Seatow membership (about $100-$150) and rest easy. A LOT less traffic to try to avoid IF you happen to have a breakdown. As mentioned, no speed/manatee zones or bridges outside either. It's about 50 miles.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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Try using your anchor in north lake worth!
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:22 PM   #7
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I didn't see it mentioned - if you have to have more than a few of bridges lifted, 2 days might be stretching things a bit at 6 knots with the lack of sunlight available.
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:27 PM   #8
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ICW from Fort Lauderdale to Stuart then Indiantown.

Air draft is less than 15'. How many bridges will that let me get under without opening? I forgot to consider all the bridges obviously.

I might have to alter my plan if two days is going to be too much of a slog. I can alter things and get 2.5 days.

Thanks...
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
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Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Florida Bridge Schedule & Restrictions Here is a list of ICW bridges.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:35 PM   #10
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I checked quickly - there are some great interactive places for getting all of this info and more...

It looks to me like you have 4-5 bridges that will have to be raised to get through at 15'. That's better than the 18 you'd need if you were at 35' but between those bridges and a bunch of no wake zones, it'll make for 2 long days.

Looking at the numbers, 97 / 6 is over 16 hours. The bridges open generally twice an hour so figure worst case of 4 * 30 minutes or 2 hours delay, mainly on the first day. Now you're up to 10+ hours before no wake zones and traffic waiting at the bridge that you might not be able to easily go around.

If you took 3 days instead, you could do it all in a much more comfortable way and probably actually enjoy it!
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:31 AM   #11
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The bridges will drive you INSANE , many are about 2 miles apart and it is almost impossible to get thru one and make the next opening on the next bridge.

My advice Danforth 12 lb. HT anchor and 100 ft of 3/8 line.

Accept the hassle , steam up, anchor (SHOW your black anchored BALL!) and just watch the fun till its opening time.

Makes for a very relaxing trip, but not a quick one.

Quick is to plod along 1/2 mile offshore and ignore the hassles.

Why haul out and store on land? when for $50 a week you can store afloat with no harm to the bottom paint?
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:44 AM   #12
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Check this for lots of valuable info......https://activecaptain.com/X.php
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:33 AM   #13
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Check this for lots of valuable info......https://activecaptain.com/X.php

Wow! You're not kidding! I forgot I had signed up for Active Captain almost a year ago, but never really checked it out that closely since I had no boat at the time. That's an incredible amount of useful information right at my fingertips. I have Garmin Blue Charts on my iPad and Active Captain is integrated. The last time we cruised the Texas ICW from Port O'Connor to Port Isabel down near Mexico all we had were some paper charts I printed off the internet, so this will be much nicer with all that info available.

I've never seen so many bridges in my life-- I think I counted almost 40 bridges from where the boat is docked down the New River to Indiantown.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:42 AM   #14
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I have to echo what everyone said, if weather is nice go outside. We once took the ICW from lakeworth to FTL in our Camano. Never again, never want to see a bridge again.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:58 AM   #15
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It is interesting to see the frequent comments about how unpleasant the ICW from Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale is. And I totally understand the frustration when driving a boat with an air draft of 60ft. And if I am getting paid a flat fee to get a boat from the New River to Rybovitch in West Palm Beach I'll hit the outside and set the pilot for the LW Inlet sea buoy. But on a non-weekend Decmember day I think that the ICW through this area is one of the coolest trips going! Lots of great boats underway and at the dock. Houses and buildings like nowhere else on the planet. Not to mention some of the hottest looking women riding on those boats or in the back yard of those homes! I love a secluded anchorage in the Chesapeake or the Exumas but Ft. Liquordale to Palm Beach is one of the greatest rides ever. IMHO!
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:56 PM   #16
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With an air draft of less than 15', you won't have too many bridges to wait for - Commercial in N. Lauderdale, Atlantic & 14th Street in Pompano all feature 15' of clearance - minimum. You will definitely have to wait on Camino Real near Boca Lake - then again at Atlantic and George Bush Bridge in Delray. Southern Boulevard in Lake Worth SHOULD be high enough unless you hit it at a really high tide. From there it's smooth sailing.


I have done the trip from Stuart to Lauderdale on the ICW in a single day aboard 7 knot trawlers many times - even in winter. However, this time of year it would take a couple hours of night running (not a problem on the southern half of the trip.) So, two days should be PLENTY to do the trip. If you've never done it before, the run up the ICW is actually quite beautiful - don't let all the bridge horror stories scare you off.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:05 PM   #17
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On one trip down the ICW the weather was snotty outside. So negotiating bridges was the order of the day. In Lake Worth I notified a couple of bridge tenders for an opening next scheduled time. I called about 10 minutes prior to time. Both said I had called too early, and to call back close to time.

Well, I got down to the Commercial Boulevard bridge a little early, and circled around until 5 minutes before opening time. I then called for an opening. Mind you, the bridge tender had seen me circling around. He said that I called too late, and would have to wait another half hour. I said what is it with you people. I called 10 minutes ahead in Lake Worth, and two tenders said I called too early. I called 5 minutes before opening here, and you told me I called too late. Give me you name. I am going to report this incident, and make certain the CG, COE and FDOT know about what is going on.. There was radio silence, but the bells started ringing, and the barricades went down. I went through the bridge with no further comments from either of us.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:01 AM   #18
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I see it as a good trip one time only. Most of The bridges are timed and are set up for a 7 kts travel speed. Active Capt is a great tool and we use it everytime cruising. There was one bridge, I forget which one but is still under construction and only opens once/hr. I got hung up there for a whole hour. We went North from Boca Chita to Boca Raton Lake, then to Jensen beach bridge. Going South we from Stuart to Delray city docks, then from Delray to Homestead. Its good to have a back up plan where to anchor if you start running late.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
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On one trip down the ICW the weather was snotty outside. So negotiating bridges was the order of the day. In Lake Worth I notified a couple of bridge tenders for an opening next scheduled time. I called about 10 minutes prior to time. Both said I had called too early, and to call back close to time.

Well, I got down to the Commercial Boulevard bridge a little early, and circled around until 5 minutes before opening time. I then called for an opening. Mind you, the bridge tender had seen me circling around. He said that I called too late, and would have to wait another half hour. I said what is it with you people. I called 10 minutes ahead in Lake Worth, and two tenders said I called too early. I called 5 minutes before opening here, and you told me I called too late. Give me you name. I am going to report this incident, and make certain the CG, COE and FDOT know about what is going on.. There was radio silence, but the bells started ringing, and the barricades went down. I went through the bridge with no further comments from either of us.
Amazing how grumpy some can be and your right at times seems little to no standard from bridge to bridge

Some of these newer ones make it easy
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:25 AM   #20
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Oh yeah forgot to say we did encounter some rude bridge operators. I guess the under paid operators have an axe to grind with all of us wealthy yacht owners who think we own the ICW. Next time I'm going outside if all possible.
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