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Old 05-20-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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need help on the Okeechobee

I done a boo-boo. Been looking for a trawler to begin the loop in 2022, found a good match for me in Fort Meyers, Florida, 38' Californian, diamond in the rough, but well proportioned. twin perkins removed and volvo TMD-31A 's installed. Having the tanks and fuel scrubbed now while at Glades, then to a wet slip for 1 month. then on to New Jersey. Now for the boo-boo. I thought I could do this alone but I am feeling this would be the irresponsible thing to do.
Specifically from thru the lake and to Stuart, open ocean is my grounds, hide at the nearest inlet when the weather looks iffy. How can I get help? Anyone experienced want to go for a ride? how do I get people back to where they belong? How much would a captain cost?
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:50 AM   #2
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Should not need help as the locks shut down in the late afternoon, 6 PM ?

This means you can anchor in any wide spot that looks comfortable , as much boat traffic will be mostly outboards or canal patios.That ceases ar dusk.

You may need help in most locks as you cant be in 2 places at once, to tend bow and stern , but folks alone have done it.
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:11 PM   #3
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I think locks close at 5 and they wont hesitate to tell you that they are starting a cycle and will shut down at the end of it. So, depending on direction and which end of the lock is open, could be a bit earlier.


Lot of people do it single handed, but if you are not experienced with locks might be a bit of a challenge. You can't tie up, its hold the lines (wrapped around a cleat).


After you go through 1 lock - it then is simple as pie.


There are captains for hire all around FL. They are pretty experienced at getting home from where they jump off the boat. Note in most cases, you are responsible for their transportation costs.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:24 PM   #4
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I've been back and forth on the Okeechobee waterway maybe13 times with most of them solo. It's actually not that difficult to solo these locks. You will have to cleat the lines moving back and forth making adjustments. Typically I keep the stern line snugger and the bow line is more about keeping the bow from swinging to far away from the lock wall.

Up is more difficult than down. If you're now at Glades, your only up lock heading East will be Moore Haven. The locks flood by partially opening the doors. The current from the in rushing water can push you around a bit. Being solo, you don't want to be too close to the front doors where the current is strongest. Ideally, from mid lock back is best. The object of the bow line is to keep the boat ruffly parallel to the lock as the current may try to push the bow toward the middle.

Going down (heading away from the lake) is easy as water is being drained out the front doors which generates a gentle current pulling you forward. Again, the bow line is just to keep the bow from drifting into the center of the lock. The stern line keeps the boat from moving forward and the stern against the wall. The risk on descending is that you don't want to pull the cleats out of the boat when the line draws taunt. Basically the line needs to go up on an angle. As the water goes down, the boat will be pulled back making the line more vertical. With very little practice, you will be able to have enough angle on the line where adjustments are only every few minutes. The bow line adjustment might be once for every 3 or 4 stern line adjustments.

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Old 05-21-2019, 04:33 PM   #5
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Moore haven was drive through today.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:21 PM   #6
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Hang a row of old tires to both sides of your hull and have a go at it. The Californian hulls are tough...they can take a little abuse. The tires will protect you from lock 'patina'.

Anchoring for better conditions can also be helpful if you're not on a tight schedule.

Is it the 38 sedan? If so, you've got excellent line and deck access.
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:46 PM   #7
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Open ocean and inlets are wayore concerning than Okeechobee, it's a milk run.

Locks stop at 4:30. Keep that in mind. Otherwise it's easier than most runs up/down the east coast
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Old 05-21-2019, 08:55 PM   #8
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Ted, yesterday I was eastbound and at Mayaca the river was 3' higher than the lake. That's right a 3' lift on a down bound lockage. Seems to defy the laws of nature.

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Old 05-22-2019, 05:22 AM   #9
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The locks are not on a sked , so most lock operators can slow the process to make it easier to single hand.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The locks are not on a sked , so most lock operators can slow the process to make it easier to single hand.
The lock operators on the Okeechobee are among the nicest and most helpful you'll find. They're use to a lot of newbies and it's nearly all recreational. Plus the rise and fall of the locks is the least you'll find. There you get 2 to 3' versus 50-90' you might encounter on other bodies of water. If it's your first time, let them know and they'll be even more patient and helpful. They'd far rather deal with first timers listening to them than know it all's who ignore their instructions.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:41 PM   #11
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Yes, that was my criteria for my boat, I needed a deck I can walk all the way around, for this reason.
I have been thru locks with a houseboat (missisipi rental), but there were several people on board. I may be over thinking this as being twin screw I have good mobility and just 3.5 ft. draft, I can't wait. Thanks for the info, I'll be reporting more as I figure out how to use this forum. Going to trick a friend into driving me down then I'll leave him in Stuart :=} just kidding/
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Devoted Sun View Post
Yes, that was my criteria for my boat, I needed a deck I can walk all the way around, for this reason.
I have been thru locks with a houseboat (missisipi rental), but there were several people on board. I may be over thinking this as being twin screw I have good mobility and just 3.5 ft. draft, I can't wait. Thanks for the info, I'll be reporting more as I figure out how to use this forum. Going to trick a friend into driving me down then I'll leave him in Stuart :=} just kidding/
Well, there's 4 tires right there!!
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