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Old 12-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
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North on ICW

I would appreciate some suggestions from those who have done the trip North on the ICW. We are presently in Key Largo, have ben there since purchasing the boat in August. The plan was to enjoy the Keys and then start heading North in January. We would travel North for a week to 10 days, put the bot in a slip for a couple months and return to continue North. After the January trek we would return in March to again go North and finish the trip to Buzzards Bay Ma. in May. Here is where I would appreciate some suggestions. I called one Marina in Ft Lauderdale, actually it was the city marina and they seemed perplexed that I wanted to leave the vessel unattended for two months. Regardless the cost was $1200 per month plus 5 cents per foot even though we were not using any power. This seems high to me. Am I right or wrong? The vessel is 36 ft long. Maybe Ft Lauderdale is not the best place to leave it for two months. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Ken
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Old 12-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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In 10 days, you could get pretty far (ok... DaddyO can <- another member here). The further north you go, the cheaper it gets ;-) I don't have 1st hand knowledge, but I would venture there are lots of marinas in Charleston, SC where you could keep it. I do know that in the Wilmington, NC area, and on the Neuse River in NC there are tons of places.

How far do you WANT to go? I mean, it's January. I would vote to stay in the Keys :-D
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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I understand the marina's concern. Clearly somebody needs to responsible for your boat for the 2 months that you are gone. Some marinas can provide that service, others are renting you a hole in the water, period. While my boat is squared away, I'm not leaving it unattended for 2 months in the water. Another option would be to go north to maybe Jacksonville and get it hauled and blocked for the 2+/- months. Might be the same money or less compared to the boat slip. Lots less to worry about when your boat is on land and you're a thousand miles away.

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Old 12-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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Try Ft. Pierce City Marina or Harbor town. They also may can recommend a capt. to look in on your boat. Hauling is another option to consider.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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I'm sure you have a reason to go North in January, but I wouldn't go too far either. When I did some research I found that in the area of Ft.Lauderdale you're looking at $20-$25 p/f per month for a nice marina. As you get closer to Stuart the price goes down to $14 or so.

I didn't take my boat to that part of ICW yet, but a friend with 50'er runs down to St. Lucia all the time and says that ICW is fine there.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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Check these rates at Harbortown Ft. Pierce.

Harbortown Marina - Ft. Pierce, Florida - A Full Service Marina.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:39 PM   #7
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We are a Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona Beach.

Check the rates, much cheaper.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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I'm sure you have a reason to go North in January, but I wouldn't go too far either. When I did some research I found that in the area of Ft.Lauderdale you're looking at $20-$25 p/f per month for a nice marina. As you get closer to Stuart the price goes down to $14 or so.

I didn't take my boat to that part of ICW yet, but a friend with 50'er runs down to St. Lucia all the time and says that ICW is fine there.
Alex, did you mean St. Lucie?
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:52 AM   #9
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If you are willing to enjoy the ride across Lake O, we and our neighbors charge $50 a week for the boat to sit .

2 days over , 2 days back, but the savings might be huge!

And the lake adventure is great for birders.
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:02 AM   #10
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Think we will stay in the Keys. Seems to be the smartest thing to do. We will then start the trip North by the Middle of March. Another question: Does anyone have from experience the distance that can be covered in a day heading North. I know this is an unanswerable question due to many variables. One issue is not extremely variable and is what I will call the "Slow down factor". It would appear to me that issues like "no wake zones" and bridge waits would slow a vessel down by a specific %. This slow down factor could be by geographic area. As an example it looks like Southern Florida, Miami, Ft Lauderdale would be much slower than areas North. Yes I also understand that for some vessels the difference between no wake and cruise is large while a trawler like mine it is not as great. Still some sort of constant could be used. Or maybe best is what do others plan for time / distance in various sections of the ICW with a 6 knot cruise speed
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:05 AM   #11
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Wow FF. Crossing Lake O might be a possibility. I think the main reason we want to move North is simply "anxious to start the trip and see new areas".
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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I'm not sure why you would want to head north at that time of year but that aside I would haul her. Including the haul it would be cheaper and safer then in the water. Chances are you need some bottom work done by now anyway. The next option is rent a dock behind a house in Lauderdale. Usually about $400 per month. Or I have two new brokers working for me that run a marina in Brunswick, GA, you might want to consider a slip there if they have space and pay them to check on her.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:12 AM   #13
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Greetings,
Mr. kp. We've found that 60 miles a day on the ICW is a long day but doable. From Ft. L. you may want to go outside to Stuart Fl. to bypass the 22 bridges. Nice trip if the seas are calm and you get a bit of a boost from the Gulf Stream. Heck, you could even go outside from Miami.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. kp. We've found that 60 miles a day on the ICW is a long day but doable. From Ft. L. you may want to go outside to Stuart Fl. to bypass the 22 bridges. Nice trip if the seas are calm and you get a bit of a boost from the Gulf Stream. Heck, you could even go outside from Miami.
We always figured on 50 miles a day, and it worked pretty well. Going outside from Miami is better, in my experience. Being in the ICW in that area, with a LOT of boat traffic, is not much fun.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #15
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Greetings,
OOps, sorry. We usually ran to Lake Worth, not Stuart but Stuart could be do-able. Oh, hell, I can't remember.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #16
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Greetings,
OOps, sorry. We usually ran to Lake Worth, not Stuart but Stuart could be do-able. Oh, hell, I can't remember.
If weather conditions are right, I concur with going outside from Ft. Lauderdale. Lake Worth is a good inlet, but if you want to stay out side Jupiter and St. Lucie inlets are not on my preferred list. From Ft Lauderdale it's only about 100 nm to Ft. Pierce Inlet which is one of the most straight forward and safer ones on the FL east coast.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:34 PM   #17
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If you're considering hauling her for storage (not a bad option, imo), Green Cove Springs marina, near Jacksonville, is a good, reasonably price option.

Green Cove Springs Marina - The Cruiser's Homeport

Or the run across the Okeechobee and cheap dockage sounds great too!
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:41 AM   #18
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We usually ran 60 stat miles per day in a 28ft LWL with a mast, 6K-6.5K 3/4 GPH.

BUT we are early risers , anchor up just after sunrise , breakfast in the PH.

Now with a 10 ft air draft , and near double the LWL its only 7K 7.5K and almost 3 GPH , but 70-90 miles in SPRING (longer days) can be done.

Our plan was to use the old ICW strip charts to find an anchorage at near 60 miles out.
Then look for a backup at 45-50 should some bridge or current be a problem , and at 70 miles as the current can not be predicted , so only underway can you get an idea of how the day is going.

We try to anchor out by 4PM so the trip is more fun than just a delivery.

A few towns ARE worth the expense to dock and visit , maybe 2 or 3.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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Alex, did you mean St. Lucie?
Thanks for correction. Yes, St. Lucie Inlet.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #20
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If you are willing to enjoy the ride across Lake O, we and our neighbors charge $50 a week for the boat to sit .

2 days over , 2 days back, but the savings might be huge!

And the lake adventure is great for birders.
That is some awesome deal. I'd love to take advantage of it some day....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpinnn View Post
Think we will stay in the Keys. Seems to be the smartest thing to do. We will then start the trip North by the Middle of March. Another question: Does anyone have from experience the distance that can be covered in a day heading North. I know this is an unanswerable question due to many variables. One issue is not extremely variable and is what I will call the "Slow down factor". It would appear to me that issues like "no wake zones" and bridge waits would slow a vessel down by a specific %. This slow down factor could be by geographic area. As an example it looks like Southern Florida, Miami, Ft Lauderdale would be much slower than areas North. Yes I also understand that for some vessels the difference between no wake and cruise is large while a trawler like mine it is not as great. Still some sort of constant could be used. Or maybe best is what do others plan for time / distance in various sections of the ICW with a 6 knot cruise speed
IMO it's a good idea to stay in the Keys. But, if you wish to change the scenery moving a bit north within FL would be on my radar. I don't think you can beat FF's deal.

In regards to cruising distance I think the main question is what's your limit factor. What I mean is that are you only considering to cruise during the daylight or you feel comfortable enough to cruise after sunset?

As you know, in the winter season we get around 10hrs of a daylight. This is the rough number I was using when planning my trip to Charleston. To keep things simple, I like to round numbers. So, you mentioned 6kts speed, this would translate into approx. 50-55NM (I'm referring to congested leg of the ICW with bridges or other reasons for slowing you down), which is in line with what others have posted from their experience.

However, if you don't mind cruising few hours after dark, obviously your cruising distance will be greatly improved. Since I don't know your level of experience this is something only you shall decide for yourself. I'm just going to share my experience and say that cruising in the new waters it's wise to cruise during daylight. But, for an experienced captain it's not that big of a deal (after all the homework is done) to cruise after dark. After cruising for few days on AICW south of Norfolk I got pretty good idea what I'm up against. I've studied the charts, marked the trouble spots, and had a pretty good idea what area would be easier (e.g. wider sections that are well marked with no or minimum number of bridges) to run after dark and which areas is best to avoid (narrow and shallow, perhaps too many dog legs sharp turns, few bridges, etc.).

As others have mentioned open ocean is a great option, especially after dark, of course providing that conditions are acceptable for your experience.

As you can see, this is one of those "it all depends" questions, but I'm sure that now you have a good idea and a benchmark to go by.

Hope this helps a little.
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