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ICW, December south to North

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I'm contemplating coming up the ICW from the Keys to somewhere much further north - exactly how far is yet to be determined but I'm thinking up to the Chesapeake Bay region, possibly a bit further north. My question has several parts:
1) What are the best guides currently for this trip?
2) How good is cell phone coverage throughout this?
3) Is that time of year even recommended to do this trip?

Thanks for any and all input.

dj
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,995
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
All I can contribute is that the cell phones work fine on the Indian River Lagoon.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,954
Hunter 26 Charleston
Cell phones will also work in the NC outerbanks and the Chessy.

I have used Claiborne Young's cruising guide for North Carolina. It is very well organized with the info I wanted and a great resource. I know he has also written others but I don't have first hand knowledge of those.
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,994
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
I'd guess that only you could answer regarding your tolerance for cold. I think plenty of people head south in November and December, finding cold weather along the way. You can find ice during a cold snap in the northern Chesapeake in January, I suppose. I doubt you would have any issues with frozen systems anywhere up to, say, Elizabeth City. I'd probably limit travel to New Bern / Oriental before advancing any further until March.
 
Jan 19, 2010
9,954
Hunter 26 Charleston
I'd probably limit travel to New Bern / Oriental before advancing any further until March.
And those are fantastic places to hang out. If you go to Oriental, check out "The Silos". Great little restaurant. From Oriental you are only about 30 min. sail from a fantastic gunkhole/hurricane hole (the "south river"). You could easily call that home from time to time and skip the marina fees. Downtown oriental has some great marinas but Whittaker Point marina is close and they have a courtasy van.

The channel into Whittaker is narrow and runs shoal on either side so be careful if you go that way. I sail a swing keel so it has never been an issue for me. I've talked to a guy whith a 6' draft who told me he could not go out at low tide.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,995
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
I think OP would get more responses after all the "Cold Stunned" readers get over trying to understand why someone wants to sail North into Winter.
 
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Likes: Jim Hawkins

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
I think OP would get more responses after all the "Cold Stunned" readers get over trying to understand why someone wants to sail North into Winter.
I'm working on buying a boat that currently resides down south and I live in New York. I could leave the boat there for the winter, but that gets excessively complicated. The thought of coming North only as far as North Carolina might also be a good option. Then in the spring I could bring it the rest of the way north.

dj
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,713
TBD Looking for my next boat CT
I'm working on buying a boat that currently resides down south and I live in New York. I could leave the boat there for the winter, but that gets excessively complicated. The thought of coming North only as far as North Carolina might also be a good option. Then in the spring I could bring it the rest of the way north.

dj
Have you sold your current boat?
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
Have you sold your current boat?
Hahahaha - I wish. But working on it.

But I can't pass this one up so I'll, hopefully, be the proud owner of not just two but three sailboats, two of which I need to sell...

dj
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,405
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I'd find an "inexpensive" (in boat terms) place to have the boat hauled and stored during the winter, even if its a little further north or a little further south than NC. I assume that is what you are planning to do? Leaving it in the water unattended has its own risks. A few days either way from New Bern won't make that much difference in transit time to Lake Champlain if that is the ultimate destination.

If you are going to leave it in the water you could do that in the Chesapeake as far north as Annapolis just as easily as NC. I left mine in the water on a small protected bay off the South River in Annapolis for the winter in 2012-2013 with no problems. You're going to have a potentially cold trip depending on when you get started in November anywhere north of the SC/NC border. Bundle up, have some heating available and stay in marina's on the way up where you can hook up to shore power and have an electric heater going at night.

"Suck it up Buttercup" :D Nothing like a Foul Weather Jacket, a watch cap, hot coffee and a cigar on the bridge in the North Atlantic but those tools will do you well on your trip. Be safe.
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
@smokey73 that sums it up pretty well. I've got a good place in the Chesapeake. I thought at this time of year, that would be a good stopping point. Make the rest of the trip to Champlain in the spring.

dj
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,405
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
Interesting trip to Lake Champlain. How is that accomplished? Hudson River, canal? Obviously drop the mast, Where do you store it while transiting under power.
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
You run up the Hudson to Albany, drop the mast and run up into Champlain, restep mast and there you go. It's actually one of the great circle loops. Doing the loop, lots of folks run straight through to the St. Lawrence and restep the mast.

dj
 
Oct 10, 2019
103
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
There are professional mast shippers up this way so you don't have to keep all that heavy stuff cluttering up your boat while you do the canals. Trip hazards. Also, saves building a potentially sketchy mast stand, I can tell you about THAT one...
 

dLj

.
Mar 23, 2017
1,779
Belliure 41 Snug Harbor, Lake Champlain
There are professional mast shippers up this way so you don't have to keep all that heavy stuff cluttering up your boat while you do the canals. Trip hazards. Also, saves building a potentially sketchy mast stand, I can tell you about THAT one...
Got names? That's an interesting option. I was thinking to build a -ah well- non sketchy- mast stand... One of my longer term plans is to cross France via the canal system there...
dj
 
Oct 10, 2019
103
Signet 20 107 Ithaca
Got no names, sorry, but I've seen trailers loaded up, there's demand on the Erie Canal for big boats transiting at both ends of the season. I could Google it but it is, as they say, your party... As to the French canals, you're on your own, but if you need a swabber of decks for that trip, give me a call, sir...
 
Oct 26, 2008
4,994
Catalina 320 Barnegat, NJ
How far south is it that people don't winterize their boat when it's in the water and left unattended? I am under the assumption that as far north as Annapolis, you would winterize your boat in the water if you are going to leave it unattended. Our marina in Barnegat has a boat that is down from Canada in the winter with a live-aboard. I've seen the lagoon iced over just 1 winter out of 5. They run bubblers in temps below freezing. We can't store our boats in water, but they let this one resident live on his boat while he works at the marina over the winter. There are marinas as far north as Haverstraw that will store in water during winter. I'm guessing that you would travel as far north in December as you can with tolerance for cold before leaving in the water for storage. January would probably be the end of the road, wherever you happen to be if it is north of North Carolina. How far do you think you can get by the end of December?

I have a friend whom purchased in Daytona and it took him 2 weeks to get to Charleston in March. He had just 2 weeks available time and hoped to get to the northern Chesapeake, mostly by ICW. He used his back-up plan, which was to have a delivery captain bring her the rest of the way from Charleston. :huh:
 
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