Florida Intracoastal speed limit?

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Feb 24, 2008
St. Lucia, West Indies
Vessel Name
"Dragon Lady"
Vessel Make
DeFever 41
I will be delivering my DeFever 41 down the ICW from Stuart to Ft. Lauderdale in mid-February. I have done my homework on channel markers, bridge heights and openings etc, but am still concerned about speed limits. I have been unable to find any useful information on what speed limits apply over what stretches of water. Can anyone can shed some light?

Any info on current speed and direction on different sections of the ICW? Tide tables don't help.

Any other advice or info relevant to my trip would be much appreciated.

Don't worry any speed limits are far above what any "trawler" is going to do.

This is a far better OUTSIDE trip as the all too numerous bridges are only a few miles apart , and most have 1/2 hour openings only.

So you spend HOURS !! waiting , as the bridge spacing is a horror for going from one to the next.

When we HAVE to transit this area , we bring soothing tapes to play , and use the 12# Danforth , rather than mill about smartly for 20-28 min every bridge.

A real pain in the butt ,but interesting if you enjoy Mc Mansions done in the most tasteles, garish style you could envision.

It makes the backyard built homes in NJ between Atlantic City and Manasquan look good by comparison.

An interesting view of South FL ,not usually shown on TV , so perhaps interesting ONE TIME!

Thanks for the input Fred.

There are 29 bridges on my trip. BUT my mast hinges in a tabernacle, so I only need four of them to open for me - two at 9ft. and two that are too close for comfort.

If there are enforced speed limits, I would really like to know what they are - even if I can't reach them! I have seen references to no-wake and minimum-wake zones where engines are (reportedly) to be at idle.

Mike, I doubt you are going to find any online sources or any other for that matter. The speed limits vary considerably, change according to times of year, where you are in the channel, are different in the channel than outside the channel, are changed all the time, and are dependent on location of marinas, private docks, Manatee zones and a whole host of other things. Some are strictly idle speed, no wake, which is different on different boats and some are MPH. My suggestion would be to solicit time and distance runs from those that have made the trip in your type of boat to do your planning. Chuck

Very few areas where you can run WOT, so pull back on the throttle, enjoy the sites and pace your speed so you don't have to wait at most of the bridges. Avoid the weekends, too much traffic and a few narrow areas.

El Sea
WOT is probably 8.5K (if that) at 9gph fuel burn, 6.5 K will probably cost 2 gph.

Never met a trawler owner that ran at WOT , except to asses engine cooling ....5 min or so.

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