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Old 12-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
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ICW in winter

I just bought a Camano 31 in Beaufort, NC and the plan is to bring it North to Baltimore in March or April. But I've also been kicking around the idea of making the trip in January. The boat is well equipped with a helm station in the salon plus heat, air, generator, inverter, radar. Never been on the ICW but half the trip would be on the Chesapeake Bay. Anyone have any experience in this area during winter? Pros? Cons?

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
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I left the Chesapeake last Dec 28th. Not a problem at all if you have an engine feed "bus heater". Good chance you will have it on the nose on the Bay but not a given. 70s today and tomorrow, 30s Sunday.

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Old 12-05-2013, 11:29 PM   #3
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No problem in Jan in either NC or in the Chesapeake. But creeks can freeze near Baltimore.

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:28 AM   #4
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If the water isnt covered with skim ice , the only hassle may be range.

Many marinas are closed in winter so fuel stops may have to be at the commercial docks.

Hopefully they will have at least one fuel hose with a small enough end to fit your fuel tank deck fill.

A big funnel is Plan B.

Ran south from NYC one Jan/Feb , no big deal except waking the bridge operators from their hibernation.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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I return to Jersey in mid-April and that's bad enough temp/weatherwise.

Many marina still don't have their water turned on so I found that much more limiting than anything else unless you boat camp with minimal water usage.

Also every couple days you get howling Northwesters where it blows pretty much above 20 all day and gusting higher...that's in April and bearable as the temps are in the 40's....not sure I would want that if the temps were in the upper 20's and low 30's because ice on the windshield really stinks for safe operation.

I have seen the bay frozen to the Annapolis Bay Bridge but that's very rare...however if that happens, most places to tie up are frozen in too... If you are to Baltimore by early Jan, the water may still bee too warm for that to happen...but late Jan you just never know and while they aren't predicting a colder than normal January for the Baltimore wouldn't be fun to "almost" get there.

I wouldn't recommend taking a Camano 31 north till late March or later...sure it can be done...but it will feel more like work than pleasure and a schedule would have to be REALLY flexible...maybe 2X the planned time should be allotted.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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Can it be done? Absolutely. The more important question, should it be done?

I'm totally on board with psneeld. The first question that popped up, why would you want to move north when a lot of people try to move their boats south?

Since your boat is already south enough to avoid winterizing process, why not just take advantage of it? I understand that since you just bought it there's endless list of things to-do and having her closer to home is preferred. But, you'll have this opportunity yet to come year after year once she's back north later on. On the other hand, it's not fun to work on the boat when it's 30s outside. This is where having her in NC might give you more options to do anything while it's 50s-60s down there.

But, my advice would be leave the projects for the future (unless it's something that must be done ASAP) and enjoy the time while having the boat in warmer climate.

I just moved my boat to SC and can't wait for keep going back there to spend the time enjoying the boat and new area.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #7
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Mr. evansrr. I'm with Mr. AF and the rest who say stay in NC. If you have the opportunity to do any work on her in NC, as mentioned, it will be a LOT more comfortable @ 60F than 25F. Heck, even sitting on board will be more comfortable.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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Stay in NC for the winter. Or go even further south for a bit.

South River, Chesapeake Bay
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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74 today, December 10th in Eastern North Carolina.

You make the call, but I know what I'd do!


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