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Old 03-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #21
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I knew I would get some good advice with my post and you guys delivered. Since I have time flexibility I am rethinking the trip and may do it in stages and get some more help along the way.

I have experience cruising and chartering from the outer banks to the Bahamas, so I am not too concerned about the navigation. Just not used to such a large boat and its systems. During the sea trial it seemed pretty easy to handle from the bridge. Yes, picking up a mooring would be tough to do by myself. Anchoring would be the easiest but will require planning. And of course all plans subject to change due to boat or weather issues. I will not succumb to "get homeitis" and push my luck. Its supposed to be fun dammit!

Thanks again all.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:42 AM   #22
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A few bits I might add: I've done the trip both single handed and with help. Having the help along makes for a much more pleasant trip. Being able to hand off the watch so you can pee, make lunch, take a nap, etc converts a trip from tedium to pleasure. Especially the naps. Nothing like a nap with a motor purring in the background!!

Try to arrange family or friends to meet up with you at various places and join the ride, even if for just a day or two. Savannah is not that far from mid Fla, so it is drivable. What complicates it is what to do with cars- The dreaded "car shuffle", as one always ends up 80mile from where you want it!! Someone has to drop off a car somewhere and figure out how to get it back.

Also, anchoring out is fun and saves money- but every couple of days treat yourself to a marina dock. A nice meal, shore power, a store, laundry, zero stress sleeping, top up fuel and water.

A 390 can run 10-12kts, but be aware it will burn like 2-3times the fuel per mile than running 7.5kt. Some folks new to a boat don't know that.
Food, rest and water. All very important. You're taking a delivery captain approach but you're not used to that pace. And if you decide on 7.5 knots then five to six days needed. It will be a very monotonous trip much of the time at that pace. Having someone, anyone, with you just to allow you to stretch your legs, move around, use the head, grab some food or water, would be tremendous help. Consume lots of water. Very easy to get dehydrated on such a trip.

Are you used to sleeping anchored? Also, I don't know your fuel capacity but I'm assuming a stop along the way and that will take some time. I don't know what you've had done to the boat or how much it's recently been used but I'd anticipate some issues on a shakedown cruise of that length.

One other consideration to keep in mind and that is bridge clearance. This will impact your schedule significantly. The first bridge you hit will be Sunrise, 22 ft., opens on the hour and half hour, then Oakland Park, 18', quarter and forty-five, then Commercial 9' hour and half, Atlantic 15' hour and half, 14th 12' quarter and 3/4, Hillsboro 21' hour and half, Camino Real 9', hour, twenty and forty, Palmetto 20', hour and half. And with those you've made it to Boca Raton. It can be a very slow trip up the ICW. Great place if you're in no hurry. And an extra person nice when handling all the bridges too.

Still totally in the dark as to your experience.

Edit: See you do have some experience but not a boat that size or it's systems.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:47 AM   #23
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I knew I would get some good advice with my post and you guys delivered. Since I have time flexibility I am rethinking the trip and may do it in stages and get some more help along the way.

I have experience cruising and chartering from the outer banks to the Bahamas, so I am not too concerned about the navigation. Just not used to such a large boat and its systems. During the sea trial it seemed pretty easy to handle from the bridge. Yes, picking up a mooring would be tough to do by myself. Anchoring would be the easiest but will require planning. And of course all plans subject to change due to boat or weather issues. I will not succumb to "get homeitis" and push my luck. Its supposed to be fun dammit!

Thanks again all.
I know the urge to get home is there plus not as much fun without your family. Still just some great places along the way to take a break from the trip. Weather not likely to be an issue on the ICW. Outside might or might not. I've assumed you'll be inside. You could stretch this into a week, 7 day or 9 day and have an excellent trip. Move two, rest one. Or move full day, then half day and rest. Or just do 6 to 8 hour days.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:50 AM   #24
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Good reason to run offshore with the gulf stream to Ft Pierce to miss all those bridges. Drag a lure or 2 and catch dinner.

Does the boat have an autopilot? If so running offshore all the way to Jax is a possibility if time and safety is an issue as you just have to keep an eye out rather than stress with nav/channels/etc...although I use the pilot a lot in the ICW, especially places like the Indian River where it's wide open from just above Vero to past Titusville. It's great again in the sounds and wide rivers in Georgia. So you are a lot less fatigued and have the mobility to use the head/eat/etc....
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:55 AM   #25
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Good reason to run offshore with the gulf stream to Ft Pierce to miss all those bridges. Drag a lure or 2 and catch dinner.

Does the boat have an autopilot? If so running offshore all the way to Jax is a possibility if time and safety is an issue as you just have to keep an eye out rather than stress with nav/channels/etc...although I use the pilot a lot in the ICW, especially places like the Indian River where it's wide open from just above Vero to past Titusville. It's great again in the sounds and wide rivers in Georgia. So you are a lot less fatigued and have the mobility to use the head/eat/etc....
We prefer offshore but I don't know the speed or range of his boat. We tend to go offshore and move a bit faster.

Also, might prefer staying in as this is his shakedown cruise and doesn't know whether he'll encounter mechanical issues.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:59 AM   #26
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Yes, picking up a mooring would be tough to do by myself. Anchoring would be the easiest but will require planning. And of course all plans subject to change due to boat or weather issues. I will not succumb to "get homeitis" and push my luck. Its supposed to be fun dammit!

Thanks again all.

From the lower helm picking up a mooring is a piece of cake. Just pull along side with the mooring bouy even with the helm. Step out on deck. Hook the eye of the pennant with a boat hook, and walk it to the bow.

The beauty of your trip is that it is one way. You don't have to return, so take your time. There are some great ports to enjoy. Inviting friends and family to enjoy the trip is a great idea. Docking, anchoring, and picking up a mooring just keep the bow in the current. St Augustine can have a mean current in the marina, but being from Georgia you are use to that.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #27
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Can certainly be done even with my 6.3 knot boat...as I'm planning my trip north from Ft Pierce as I write....that's with a dog and a friend that needs to get ashore every 10-12hrs or so and hate boat motion so I have to really eyeball the weather.

But if I was running by myself, wanted to make time and the weather cooperated....I'd run the whole trip offshore as it isn't always shorter or faster for slower boats...but 8-10 knots and 10-12 hr days it would be easy with calm seas and fair winds.

If the trip becomes important for any other reason than delivery...the all bets are off and it's the discussion of many beer sessions.

If Daddyo chimes in.... all bets of for sure...he's probably done the run safely, single handed and non-stop....
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:39 AM   #28
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I've only gone outside. It you have a autopilot and good forecast, picking up over 3 knots really makes a difference in a slow boat. There's fuel close to the inlets from St. Augustine to Savanah, all with wide entrances you can use at night. Come in take a nap. But see no reason to use the ditch.
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:32 PM   #29
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A few 390 points; as I said earlier my get home trip was over 400 miles in a variety of weather. You did not say, but since most 390's were built as singles, I will assume yours is also. if you don't have an auto pilot, you will tire out soon as single 390's tend to wander and will follow whatever track the waves push it in. i ran mine at 10 kts for the whole trip. For a single, that is 2500 rpm's. i now run at 1950 rpm's which will give you 8 kts and much better fuel use. I have a turbocharged 370 Yanmar and Yanmar wants you to run at least 2500 rpms every few hours for 20 minutes or so. Trying to run at 12 kts only uses a lot of fuel. the boat does not like that speed.

Grabbing a mooring single handed is not difficult. use the lower station and open the side door. Position the boat so the wind and /or current pushes you toward the ball. Docking is easy with the bow thruster and you will need it. the rudder is way too small for the boat and close in maneuvering is difficult without the thruster.

Learn all of your switches before you leave. in the saloon, head and each stateroom, my boat has one light switch that is 12vdc and one that is 110vac. if you don't have your generator running you will turn switches on and some of the lights won't work and you'll waste a lot of time changing bulbs out to know avail. I discovered that strange fact my first night on the hook before turning the generator on.

Be careful in shallow water. the boat draws 3' 8". The prop is the lowest portion and is 1/2" lower than the keel. There is a really good Mainship group on yahoo. be sure to join

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 03-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #30
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He is starting his potential solo or family journey in Ft Pierce. Dialing back to hull speed, 7-8 knots will save a bunch of fuel. 6 or 7 days is a better base plan, the more the better to enjoy what the route has to offer. Can run about 8 hours a day with logical anchorages at each stop.

Going outside is probably not a great plan in a new-to-you boat. And inside is a lot more fun and scenic the first time or two until you are in the "been there, done that mode" most of Florida got that way for us after a few trips. We really liked gunk-holing and dawdling in Georgia when we could, though you can do a lot of that jumping from inlet to inlet.

Catching a mooring by drifting down on it is OK up to the moment when you miss it and run over the ball. A nice thing about the 390 is instant access to the starboard walk around deck from the helm.

Good point about sleeping at anchor. The 390 is very noisy with hull slap in the staterooms. I am not good with that (but quite a lot of other people are), so we took to using the fold out couch in the salon, which was a nice set up. Fast access to the electronics and helm and the fridge.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:06 PM   #31
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Catching a mooring by drifting down on it is OK up to the moment when you miss it and run over the ball. A nice thing about the 390 is instant access to the starboard walk around deck from the helm.
"From the lower helm picking up a mooring is a piece of cake. Just pull along side with the mooring bouy even with the helm. Step out on deck. Hook the eye of the pennant with a boat hook, and walk it to the bow.

The beauty of your trip is that it is one way. You don't have to return, so take your time. There are some great ports to enjoy. Inviting friends and family to enjoy the trip is a great idea. Docking, anchoring, and picking up a mooring just keep the bow in the current. St Augustine can have a mean current in the marina, but being from Georgia you are use to that."

I don't recall anything here about drifting down on the mooring.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #32
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Wow do I disagree...running a new to you boat and solo up the coast a mile or two off the beach to me is WAY safer......if anything goes wrong or you hear a sound you can't decipher happens...autopilot or just neutral and a safe drift gives you the opportunity to investigate....obviously as long as the seas are reasonable.

The busy and narrow ICW is no place to just put it in neutral /shut down and run below to find that issue....
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:29 PM   #33
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I have made that trip several times. I just find a place out of the channel that is deep enough for anchoring. Creeks, wide parts of the channel, etc. Even using a paper chart you can find a place. There are several stretches that are dredged ditches with nowhere to stop. So plan ahead.

Creeks are favored, as if the wind comes up you are sheltered. Better sleeping if it is quiet.

Congrats on the boat!!


As much as I love AC and use it all the time, by first ever time, only 10 months ago, I relied on it almost too much. I mean that I would be looking on AC and miss the great spot right in front of me.

So, you can do it. I like traveling outside also, as it is far easier and far less stressful. 70 miles on the ICW is HARD.

When are you leaving?
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #34
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I figure it will take me a week. Any suggestions on anchorages or mooring fields on the way would be helpful and appreciated.




When are you planning on doing your trip?

We did the trip last spring/summer.
These are the places we anchored at either going or coming back:

Lake Boca Raton
Merritt Is. (across from Cocoa)
Jensen Beach (south of the bridge, west side)

Unnamed creek between Ormond by - the Sea and Flagler Beach (mile 809). Behind the Sea Ray factory (surprisingly, very quiet).

Umbrella Creek (southwest of Jekyll Is.)
New Teakettle Creek (west of Sapelo Is.)
Upper Vernon River (south of Savannah)

Moored at: St Augustine
Marinas we stayed at: Titusville Muni
Arlington Marina, Jacksonville

We didnt go outside at all as there were small craft warnings just about every day. The bridges were a pain in the butt, but you will gain valuable experience holding your new-to-you boat in place as well as navigating through some skinny water. I actually enjoyed the ICW quite a bit, more so on the way back (north) then on the trip down.

Also: 10 hour days would be very difficult to do solo. A long day even with two people, but very doable with enough daylight. We did several, covered about 100 miles on those days. Six hour days will give you more time to get settled in at your anchorage and give you time to move if you have to with daylight. An extra day or two allowance can make a big difference.

Before you leave in the morning, review your route for the day to identify areas that require extra attention. Also, plan your anchorages for that day before you leave in the morning. Give yourself at least one alternative in the event there is a problem with your first choice.

Use your ground tackle (solo) before you go.
Picking up a mooring ball solo could be very difficult in windy, choppy conditions.

Gotta have: Adequate ground tackle
Accurate depth sounder
Good chart plotter
Waterway guide
Towing insurance
Should have: Active Captain

Id be glad to help (crew) for some of the legs. KJ
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:40 PM   #35
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Remember that many accidents happen at the end of the day. You feel that you have reached the destination only you're not quite there yet. The glare of the sun, vibration and noise of the boat, and constant attention to the helm take a big toll. Shorter days are better. Just remember to not let your guard down when nearing your daily destination.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #36
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Remember that many accidents happen at the end of the day. You feel that you have reached the destination only you're not quite there yet. The glare of the sun, vibration and noise of the boat, and constant attention to the helm take a big toll. Shorter days are better. Just remember to not let your guard down when nearing your daily destination.
Absolutely...fatigue and accidents go together like mobile homes and tornados or alligators and Labrador Retrievers......

if you are gonna press...go for it...high speed and long days....you'll spend a bit more in fuel and go ahead and go to inexpensive marinas for the night...I can find them for you if you give me a speed you are willing t go and take whatever fuel consumption you get.

Let's say you burn a couple hundred more in fuel and spend 4 nights in marinas for around $80 buck a night MAX......that's $500 dollars more for the trip...might be worth every penny just to slide in, tie up and sleep like a baby.

Heck...I've done it both ways....pressed hard for a client as a delivery skipper and taken over a month to do the same trip....either way works for what you want.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:51 PM   #37
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He is starting his potential solo or family journey in Ft Pierce.
I thought he said in his first post, Fort Lauderdale.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:55 PM   #38
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Absolutely...fatigue and accidents go together like mobile homes and tornados or alligators and Labrador Retrievers......

if you are gonna press...go for it...high speed and long days....you'll spend a bit more in fuel and go ahead and go to inexpensive marinas for the night...I can find them for you if you give me a speed you are willing t go and take whatever fuel consumption you get.

Let's say you burn a couple hundred more in fuel and spend 4 nights in marinas for around $80 buck a night MAX......that's $500 dollars more for the trip...might be worth every penny just to slide in, tie up and sleep like a baby.

Heck...I've done it both ways....pressed hard for a client as a delivery skipper and taken over a month to do the same trip....either way works for what you want.
And you're trying to anchor or dock at the end of the day, when most fatigued. Maneuvering to the anchorage or marina.

I think those kind of days would be tiring to a professional delivery captain. But I know I would have a very difficult time maintaining my energy and alertness and just keeping at it that long.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:59 PM   #39
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And you're trying to anchor or dock at the end of the day, when most fatigued. Maneuvering to the anchorage or marina.

I think those kind of days would be tiring to a professional delivery captain. But I know I would have a very difficult time maintaining my energy and alertness and just keeping at it that long.
well that's the job....

and for the OP...whatever his energy level is and skillset should determine what he should do....

lot's of options...I'm sure he'll figure it out....as far as anchorages...that's always a personal/weather decision...I gave my fav's....
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:00 PM   #40
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In other words, what i think we are all saying is that when you get tired; stop.

Don't try to press on to the next better anchorage.

and have BoatUS or Seatow FULL coverage
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