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Old 03-19-2017, 04:18 PM   #1
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Trawler boating in Charleston SC?

Considering a business move to the Charleston SC area. Not familiar with boating in the area or its appropriateness as a home base for our GB 42' trawler. Appreciate any comments...how is boating in Charleston??
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:27 PM   #2
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Many a GB or similar trawlers in the marinas around the city. On the ICW so easy transits.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:30 PM   #3
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Great boating location. Easy access to ICW and ocean. You can so south a short run to Savannah, Hilton Head, and not all the far from northeast FL. Or explore north to Myrtle and then to NC.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies. How about skinny water, fairly tidal area isn't it? Something like 5'?? How is year round boating? In South Florida right now. Good year round but hell on the boat inbetween marine growth, heat and ever present sun beating down. Has to be a little easier on teak decks up there.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:55 PM   #5
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Summer you're talking very little difference in temperature. Winter a significant difference as you do get a lot of days in the upper 50's and nights in the 40's. Tide is about 6'. Some skinny water on the ICW. Worst is generally south in GA. We don't normally arrive in Charleston from either direction by ICW so others can give you more information there. As to growth, not as heavy, especially in winter, as south Florida but still fairly heavy growth.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:57 PM   #6
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Good year round but hell on the boat inbetween marine growth, heat and ever present sun beating down. Has to be a little easier on teak decks up there.
I kept our boat in St. John's yacht harbor for several months. Because there is always a lot of moving water the growth was pretty rapid. I'm not sure how it would compare to S. Florida since when I was there we kept the boat moving almost every day so no growth. In the winter when the water is in the 50s it is not so bad but in the summer we used a diver every 2 months max.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:06 PM   #7
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Some skinny water on the ICW. Worst is generally south in GA.
Trouble spots have been as follows: behind Sullivan's island has been dredged. McClellanville to the north is still a problem spot. Heading south the places that stand out for me are the opening of the Dawho River (at low tide) and Hell Gate and Little Mud River GA (all at low tide). Tides are so extreme in GA that you never have a problem at high tide.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:54 PM   #8
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Considering a business move to the Charleston SC area. Not familiar with boating in the area or its appropriateness as a home base for our GB 42' trawler. Appreciate any comments...how is boating in Charleston??
We do a lot of boating in SC. Here are some spots we particularly like Beaufort about 60 miles, Hilton Head Island about 90 miles, Savannah a little over 100 miles. Those are all South of Charleston. Going North we like George Town, then South Port in NC. The Wilmington downtown water front is nice, but be sure to lock your boat. There is a mooring field behind Carolina Beach which is fun. Off shore the fishing is good, but not the species available in SE Florida. The Gulf Stream is far off shore.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:09 PM   #9
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Going North we like George Town, then South Port in NC. The Wilmington downtown water front is nice, but be sure to lock your boat. There is a mooring field behind Carolina Beach which is fun.
If you go that far North, then you'll go through the Waccamaw River, which is very lovely to cruise through. If you want to anchor, look up Sandy Island, but don't go there on a weekend in the Summer season since it will be crowded with day people. Georgetown is also lovely when the wind blows from the right direction. Southport is awesome and we go there only to get the "underground tuna" from Mr. P's bistro. Best food you'll ever get. As long as we're in the area, a visit to Bald Head Island is great too. Stay a few days and rent a golf cart and explore the island. Wrightsville Beach is another good spot, depending on how you perceive things, and Carolina Beach is the same. Good donuts.

Going South there are good anchorages in the Edisto River, and Edisto Beach is worth a visit. Beaufort (BU-fort) SC is a very nice place too, as is Isle of Hope. Heck, when I make it to Charleston I park the boat and get an Uber to Taco Boy -- you won't regret it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:53 PM   #10
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I used to live and work in Chucktown right out of school. It is a maze of waterways. So many opportunities to explore and visit. But yes, try to find a dock that is out of the current. Bottom growth is incredible if the water is moving. And lots of skinny water. But that is what a keel is for. Lots of deep water, too, just have to pick your way through it.

Neat town and surroundings.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:10 AM   #11
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Considering a business move to the Charleston SC area. Not familiar with boating in the area or its appropriateness as a home base for our GB 42' trawler. Appreciate any comments...how is boating in Charleston??
As several have pointed out, Charleston is directly on the AICW so basically, your choices are to go north or south. You can also go inland on the Cooper River, Ashley River or Wando River if you just want to mess around for a day or two.

There are many days in Winter when boating can be done comfortably and you won't have to winterize your boat.

I suggest buying the Waterway Guide for this area so you'll have a guide for day trips and longer trips out of Charleston.

Boating is pretty big in the area. There are lots of boats and several marinas.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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Live in Beaufort, SC; tides run about 8' twice a day. Docking is always a plan ahead event for embark and disembark. Watch for no wake zone between bridges in Beaufort and narrow passage leaving Cossaw River going north. Lots of bottom growth in summer. Soft bottom and sharp oyster shells.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:13 AM   #13
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Live in Beaufort, SC; tides run about 8' twice a day. Docking is always a plan ahead event for embark and disembark. Watch for no wake zone between bridges in Beaufort and narrow passage leaving Cossaw River going north. Lots of bottom growth in summer. Soft bottom and sharp oyster shells.
Beaufort is definitely more challenging than Charleston. The harbor in Charleston is deeper and the tide less.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:28 PM   #14
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............. Watch for no wake zone between bridges in Beaufort ..................
I have always slowed to no-wake speed in that area. I have observed that many local smaller boats do not and I've never seen anyone stopped by LEO in that area.

I was at the Downtown Marina last fall and talking to the dockhand when a smaller boat went by the marina on the other side of the river far faster than no-wake speed.

I asked him if the no-wake policy applied to everyone or were locals exempted. His answer - "Well his wake isn't as big as some boats."

There's a good reason to have a no-wake zone in front of the two marinas. The middle two or three miles; not so much.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:29 PM   #15
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All good info. here.

Definitely look into dockage rates and availability in the Charleston area marinas. Many are full and have wait times of a couple of years.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:42 AM   #16
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Thanks to everyone for their comments. Sounds like the area has a lot to offer albeit with some challenges not unlike most areas.
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