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Old 10-01-2020, 04:34 AM   #1
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Frying pan shoals cut/slough

This month will run offshore Charleston to Masonboro or Beaufort.
Draw 5ft and single diesel trawler.

Anyone experienced with shortening the trip via the (reportedly marked) cut through the shoals?
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Old 10-01-2020, 05:30 AM   #2
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Yes. We went through northbound at night last spring. There is plenty of water as you sort of zig zag through. The two buoys in the middle are unlit but show up on radar fine. I likely would not go that way if there were any seas running.

We usually cross further out where the depth is 30 feet or more. Depending where you are coming from and going to, it might not make much of a difference. We never go all the way out to the tower buoy.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:45 AM   #3
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The marked crossing at Frying Pan Slough is about 15 miles offshore. The tip of the shoals (tower) is about 35 miles offshore so that is a significant shortcut. There is plenty of water there for crossing. There is another crossing point that we often use that is even closer in. On many charts it's called Four Mile Slue. These are my home waters and after dozens of crossings, the lowest water I have seen at Four Mile is about 9-10 ft at low tide. It's not a marked crossing but I can provide you with east and west side coordinates to cross there if you are interested.
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Old 10-01-2020, 11:45 AM   #4
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I have been through the 15m slough a bunch of times, but not in the last four years. Last trip was in a 90 footer with at least 7' draw, no problems at all. Well marked.

I have never used the four mile slough, but heard it is ok in good weather.
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Old 10-23-2020, 07:15 AM   #5
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Departing Chas tomorrow PM; anticipate arrival neat FPS at 0730-0800.
Seas predicted 3 ft, low tide about 0830. Draw 5 ft.

Woodstock - please post or PM any local knowledge.

If seas running 4+ will probably run inside at Cape Fear. Happy crew, happy life!
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickman View Post
Departing Chas tomorrow PM; anticipate arrival neat FPS at 0730-0800.
Seas predicted 3 ft, low tide about 0830. Draw 5 ft.

Woodstock - please post or PM any local knowledge.

If seas running 4+ will probably run inside at Cape Fear. Happy crew, happy life!
There are some big rollers offshore right now due to Epsilon but that's supposed to subside somewhat over the next few days. With your draft and those swells, I wouldn't recommend the 4 mile crossing near low tide but the marked crossing at Frying Pan Slough will be fine. Be aware that the ICW between Morehead City and Beaufort will be closed for much of the day on Sunday for powerboat races. Safe travels!
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Old 04-09-2022, 10:40 AM   #7
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We are planning to sail from Charleston to Beaufort in a few days and we are trying to find info about crossing/rounding Frying Pan Shoals. Has anyone been through Frying Pan Shoals Slough recently?

In the past we have always sailed well offshore in or close to the gulf stream. Going from Charleston to Beaufort we would prefer to take the slough or cut across the shoals out in 30 plus ft of water further west of the slough. We are anticipating 3 to 5ft seas from the south.

Do people use the slough in 3 to 5 ft seas or 4 to 6ft seas or is it really best only in calmer conditions? We draw 5 ft.

Thanks for any local knowledge or experience traversing this area.
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Old 04-11-2022, 06:12 AM   #8
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There’s plenty of water in the slough. I have never been thru it when seas were running and don’t know the effects of water piling up all around it on the shoaly parts. It might be perfectly ok but if it’s sloppy we’ll go out to 30 feet depth. It’s always dark when we go so we can’t see what’s going on. I think I figured for us at 6.5 kts from Charleston to Beaufort, the slough only saves us 15 minutes or so.
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