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Old 08-01-2017, 11:05 AM   #1
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St Lucie inlet or Ft Pierce?

Sitting here at GTC with good wifi, trying to plan my trip back to FL. Got a decent weather window from Wednesday to Saturday according to Chris Parker, but wanted to run some ideas off the experts here.

First the inlets-- I have a slip arrange in Stuart, but when I came across to West End I went down to Lake Worth, so I have no knowledge of the St Lucie inlet. From what I read it's difficult possibly. It looks like I can hit it around high tide on Friday or Saturday (6:40-7:25pm) but I cringe trying to negotiate it on a weekend.
I could also cross from West End to Ft Pierce and hit it around high tide, but I would then have to come back down to Stuart on the ICW. What should I do? I have a fear of inlets for some reason.

As for the rest of the itinerary, my plan is to leave GTC to Great Sale tomorrow (about 50 miles), then Great Sale to West End marina Thursday and cross Friday early am during the day. Or maybe anchor out at Mangrove Cay Thursday night and leave like 4 am and cross the banks at Memory Rock (that's how I came over so I have a bread crumb trail).

Ideas? I'm new at this so always need suggestions.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:18 AM   #2
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St Lucie Inlet is pretty straightforward, I would not hesitate to enter for the first time if it was in daylight, not so much any new to me inlet after dark.
What's your draft?



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St Lucie inlet. From what I read it's difficult possibly. It looks like I can hit it around high tide on Friday or Saturday (6:40-7:25pm) but I cringe trying to negotiate it on a weekend.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:26 AM   #3
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The St Lucie inlet has a dogleg in the channel at the end of the breakwater. The channel has floating channel markers that get moved as the shoaling moves, make sure you see and follow the channel.
On a weekend I love to follow a big sport fish into or out of the inlet, local knowledge is great.
Be extra careful when you are inside at the ICW intersection with the St Lucie River. This area shoals frequently.
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:51 AM   #4
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I live in that area and don't like to go through St Lucie inlet. It moves all the time and the channel is not easy to see when the sea builds up.
Once inside, you must slalom through more shoals: I don't like it.
Ft Pierce or West Palm (Lake Worth) are very easy.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:10 PM   #5
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I draft 4'.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:24 PM   #6
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St Lucie inlet can be great or really bad.
It is rated as one of the worst inlets in Fla.
The trick is to time it.
You want to go through at slack tide or close to it.
DO NOT try it with an east wind and out going tide, it can get pretty nasty.
If you time your crossing with the tide (not always possible) and no east wind it's a breeze.
If not it can get a little nasty, took water over my transom years ago comming in.
Have used it may times in good timing and no problem, but not my favorite.
I use Lake Worth much more predictable.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:30 PM   #7
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St Lucie inlet can be great or really bad.
It is rated as one of the worst inlets in Fla.
The trick is to time it.
You want to go through at slack tide or close to it.
DO NOT try it with an east wind and out going tide, it can get pretty nasty.
If you time your crossing with the tide (not always possible) and no east wind it's a breeze.
If not it can get a little nasty, took water over my transom years ago comming in.
Have used it may times in good timing and no problem, but not my favorite.
I use Lake Worth much more predictable.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:26 PM   #8
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St Lucie inlet or Ft Pierce?

Man. I know I'm gonna be tired after crossing. Don't think I want to deal with all that. I think I will just ride the stream up to Ft Pierce.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:38 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. 01. VERY simple solution. Stay in the islands for another month and ask us then...

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Old 08-01-2017, 08:27 PM   #10
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You can always make a decision en route. If the weather's ideal and you arrive in daylight, opt for the St. Lucie inlet. If it's snotty, head for Ft. Pierce. I'd sooner do a couple extra hours on the ICW than contend with a crappy experience in a sloppy inlet.
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Old 08-01-2017, 08:53 PM   #11
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I have experienced Ft. Pierce and St. Lucie Inlets under good and bad conditions. Panacea123 and Maerin make sensible suggestions - when in doubt, go on up to Ft. Pierce.
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Old 08-01-2017, 10:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Man. I know I'm gonna be tired after crossing. Don't think I want to deal with all that. I think I will just ride the stream up to Ft Pierce.
Good plan, Dude. I have been out St. Lucie into 5-7 footers with the wind out of the East. Seas were 5-7 all the way to the Bank. It slowed us to 14-15 knots. Returning St. Lucie Inlet was flat as a pancake. So timing is everything. It is a fairly straight forward inlet except for Tucker mentioning the dog leg turn as you come in.

Why fight the Stream with a slower boat. Ride it up to Fort Pierce. It is a reliable inlet. It can get rough with an easterly wind with the tide running out. You might try to raise on the radio Capt. Tris on the charter boat Last Mango. He fishes most days. If he is fishing he will give you an update on the inlet conditions. You can tell him I told you to call him.
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:16 AM   #13
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Thanks Don, et al. I appreciate all the advice.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:36 AM   #14
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Svrs

Another question. I was going to try to do the Small Vessel Reporting System for customs, but I have a couple of problems. Wanted to ask before I lost cell service.

I can't figure out how to activate the float plan.

I don't know what the "cruising license number" is.

I have called customs but they are not open yet and I might lose cell service by the time they are open.

I realize my son aboard does not have his own SVRS number so he might have to go to customs in person? Where is that in fort pierce?

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:46 AM   #15
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As has been said, wind & tide are THE factors for either inlet. I used St. Lucie last month and it was fairly easy. Channel is marked well. The ICW intersection is more dangerous on a weekend with all the traffic. Time your arrival accordingly.

We drove to the Treasure Coast Airport in Ft. Pierce for customs check in, it was really easy. When you get to your slip in Stuart, call customs to check in & get your number. You have 24 hours for a face to face check in. I believe the airport location is open 7 days a week.

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Old 08-02-2017, 12:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Another question. I was going to try to do the Small Vessel Reporting System for customs, but I have a couple of problems. Wanted to ask before I lost cell service.

I can't figure out how to activate the float plan.

I don't know what the "cruising license number" is.

I have called customs but they are not open yet and I might lose cell service by the time they are open.

I realize my son aboard does not have his own SVRS number so he might have to go to customs in person? Where is that in fort pierce?

Thanks.
You are cruising license exempt but you are required to have a decal.

To enter or revise a float plan you just sign in here:

https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Account/log...lanWizard.aspx

Now, I would come into Fort Pierce and spend a night there. Great marina and great town. Then complete your trip to Stuart. Get all checked in at Fort Pierce, let your son go to the airport if necessary.

St Lucie County Airport/Fort Pierce
Also known as Treasure Coast
Phone: (772) 461-1733
Fax: (772) 461-5886
Operational Hours: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (Eastern), Seven Days A Week (7)

Very convenient in Fort Pierce. Much more so than to St. Lucie. Just like Bahamas, first port.

We've never entered at Fort Pierce with anyone not SVRS. We typically do that in West Palm and it may be fast there or take hours.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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Good plan, Dude. I have been out St. Lucie into 5-7 footers with the wind out of the East. Seas were 5-7 all the way to the Bank. It slowed us to 14-15 knots. Returning St. Lucie Inlet was flat as a pancake. So timing is everything. It is a fairly straight forward inlet except for Tucker mentioning the dog leg turn as you come in.



Why fight the Stream with a slower boat. Ride it up to Fort Pierce. It is a reliable inlet. It can get rough with an easterly wind with the tide running out. You might try to raise on the radio Capt. Tris on the charter boat Last Mango. He fishes most days. If he is fishing he will give you an update on the inlet conditions. You can tell him I told you to call him.


Just got some cell signal. About 10 miles out from Ft Pierce. There is a pretty good size easterly swell running. Breaking 4' waves out here. Not pleasant!!

I will catch the inlet at 30 min before high tide however so hopefully it will be OK?
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:54 PM   #18
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You are cruising license exempt but you are required to have a decal.



To enter or revise a float plan you just sign in here:



https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Account/log...lanWizard.aspx



Now, I would come into Fort Pierce and spend a night there. Great marina and great town. Then complete your trip to Stuart. Get all checked in at Fort Pierce, let your son go to the airport if necessary.



St Lucie County Airport/Fort Pierce

Also known as Treasure Coast

Phone: (772) 461-1733

Fax: (772) 461-5886

Operational Hours: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM (Eastern), Seven Days A Week (7)



Very convenient in Fort Pierce. Much more so than to St. Lucie. Just like Bahamas, first port.



We've never entered at Fort Pierce with anyone not SVRS. We typically do that in West Palm and it may be fast there or take hours.


Thanks! I was able to call the guy and he walked me through the SVRS steps. Got checked in over the phone!
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:33 PM   #19
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Thanks! I was able to call the guy and he walked me through the SVRS steps. Got checked in over the phone!
Did he clear your son or does he have to report?
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:44 PM   #20
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St Lucie inlet or Ft Pierce?

He was able to enter him into the system via email and text and clear him over the phone. The guy really went out of his way to help us. Joe Sangawitch (sp?) out of the St Pete office.
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