Suggestions requested on getting IP 380 from Rock Hall, MD to Hilton Head, SC

Anuska

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I have ICW experience and have been from Norfolk to Savannah a few times....but piloting a powerboat that would cruise at 16 knots. I have almost no offshore experience power or sail. Furthest trip I've piloted a sailboat was from Hilton Head, SC to Cumberland Island, GA. From what I gather so far, getting the boat here via the ICW (and stopping when dark) would probably take 2 weeks. Whereas offshore route, depending on weather, running non stop 4 days at best. Do you agree ?

ICW route I could single hand it most of the way....but the thought of 2 weeks of it is daunting, thus would prefer to hire a delivery captain depending on price. Offshore I would definitely want to hire a captain and mate (which could in theory be me) but have yet to find one willing to do either route. Draft of the IP is 4.5' thus reasonably "ditch" friendly.

Time of year certainly not ideal (weather and less daylight)... but the boat needs to be gone from Rock Hall sometime in October... might be first week, might be last week or in between. Thoughts ?

(and FWIW the Island Packet 380 had recent survey/haulout and is in near Bristol condition.. with 900 engine hours.. I only mention that as it might be more inspiring for a captain to know it's less likely things will break on the voyage !)
 
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Anuska

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Since I posted I'm finding out what many southbound cruisers do is the ICW to Beaufort, NC then hopping offshore to SC... thoughts ?
 

GMiller

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Eastern NC
With an unknown boat and limited experience, the inside route makes the most sense. 2 weeks of transit time would be lazing about, I think realistically it would be 8-10d.
 
Mix it up? Down the Chesapeake, inside through the NC Sounds, then meet a captain at Beaufort or Wrightsville Beach for the 36-48hr passage to Hilton Head? That skips Hatteras and could shorten the inside daysailing trip by 3-5 days. Downside is you skip a couple of nice places, like Georgetown and Charleston (and the, ahem, delights of the Myrtle Beach area).
 

Nettles

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What does it do for speed under power? I am unfamiliar with the 380, but I know from bitter experience the 42 is a gutless wonder. Even if it will only power at 5 knots I would still take the suggestion above and go inside Hatteras. Diamond shoals and IPs are not a good combination if the weather does what it does all too often. I haven't been down the Ditch in years, but It could be fun as long as you are not in too much of a hurry. Definately take another set of hands though.
 

Jim in Halifax

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If you just want to get it there, nothing goes to windward like a Mack truck towing your boat on a low rider trailer. I haven't priced boat hauling lately, but it might be fun to get a price for comparison with the delivery captain / mate scenario.
 

monkphunk

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I'd second the suggestion to stay inside to until Beaufort. It's really not bad; kind of scenic actually through VA/NC. South of Beaufort it becomes more of a ditch.

If you don't want to sail straight from Beaufort to Hilton Head offshore, you can sail across Onslow Bay to Wrightsville Beach/Masonboro Inlet in a long day (probably starting before sunrise as the days get shorter). There's a nice anchorage at Wrightsville Beach, then inside to Southport (another nice stop). You save distance not needing to go around Frying Pan shoals and both towns are worth a visit.

From Southport, you could ahead offshore to Hilton Head, or even stop in Charleston along the way.

Georgetown is great but really only makes sense if you end up on the ICW south of Little River. That stretch combines just about the worst of ICW (through Myrtle) with some surprisingly beautiful scenery and anchorages along the Waccamaw River just north of Georgetown.

The key to mixing the inshore and offshore routes is timing the inlets - even the best inlets in good conditions really benefit from hitting the flood tide coming in, and slack-ish heading out. Unlike a 16-knot powerboat, you want everything in your favor going through those inlets in a slowing-moving sailboat. So your departure is going to be based on working backward from when you want to hit the inlet.

Is your time constraint just on departure from Rock Hall, or do you have limited time to complete the journey? Offshore legs are a lot more weather dependent. If you can be opportunistic (i.e. wait for good weather), I'd recommend enjoying Beaufort, Southport, etc. until the right conditions presents to go outside and sail, but the nice thing about the ICW is you can just keep plugging along...
 

monkphunk

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Sorry for the double post, but one more thought - you want crew even if you motor down the ICW. That's harder work than sailing offshore! It's more like a road trip than a passage.
 

Ajax

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Edgewater, MD
Many variables to consider here. There is a risk assessment process.

1. Whether surveyed or not, the boat is new to you and a "variable" in the equation.
2. It's September, hurricane season is entering the active phase (but rather quiet at the moment) The longer you delay, the less time outside the ICW I would spend.
3. You mention limited "outside" experience.

Based on all of that, I definitely would not do the entire trip on the outside.
Either ICW all the way, or ICW to Beaufort, then outside to Hilton Head.

If you singlehand the ICW, you need to prep the cockpit with everything you'll need for the day because it's hazardous to leave the wheel while you're underway. Water, snacks, a cooler with breakfast/lunch. A bottle to piss in and pray that you don't need to make a #2. Make sure the VHF functions well.
 

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
You have already done the trip once. This will be the same deal, just at 1/3 the speed. Doing it alone will be a challenge. Offshore you can make coffee, use the head, and so on while Otto drives. In the ICW you really don't want to be doing that.
Are you insured to be south of Norfolk before November? Many policies do not allow this.
 

irazu

Member
Good suggestions Ajax. I did this trip last fall, singlehanded from Boston to Florida on a 35'. Only did ICW from Norfolk to Beaufort NC. Most stressful ICW part was going through Great Bridge lock with no one else to help with lines. Offshore in 24 to 36 hour hops after that. Its very doable. First "overnight" from Beaufort NC to Wrightsville is a good test run, since its just long enough to not be able to do in daylight.
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
I have ICW experience and have been from Norfolk to Savannah a few times....but piloting a powerboat that would cruise at 16 knots. I have almost no offshore experience power or sail. Furthest trip I've piloted a sailboat was from Hilton Head, SC to Cumberland Island, GA. From what I gather so far, getting the boat here via the ICW (and stopping when dark) would probably take 2 weeks. Whereas offshore route, depending on weather, running non stop 4 days at best. Do you agree ?

ICW route I could single hand it most of the way....but the thought of 2 weeks of it is daunting, thus would prefer to hire a delivery captain depending on price. Offshore I would definitely want to hire a captain and mate (which could in theory be me) but have yet to find one willing to do either route. Draft of the IP is 4.5' thus reasonably "ditch" friendly.

Time of year certainly not ideal (weather and less daylight)... but the boat needs to be gone from Rock Hall sometime in October... might be first week, might be last week or in between. Thoughts ?

(and FWIW the Island Packet 380 had recent survey/haulout and is in near Bristol condition.. with 900 engine hours.. I only mention that as it might be more inspiring for a captain to know it's less likely things will break on the voyage !)
Not two weeks to run that section of the ditch and why "daunting?" This is nothing more than a series of day trips strung together. If the boat and mechanical and anchoring gear is sound this is pretty straight-forward and even fun!
 

accnick

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This time of year in a sailboat in the ICW, you can at most do 75 miles per day, probably less in a lot of cases since you have to plan out your stops. Inside as far as either Beaufort NC or Cape Fear, then outside jump to Charleston. Easy inside from Charleston to Hilton Head.

Do not think of going outside Hatteras on a boat you have not shaken down and are not that familiar with.
 

Anuska

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Not two weeks to run that section of the ditch and why "daunting?" This is nothing more than a series of day trips strung together. If the boat and mechanical and anchoring gear is sound this is pretty straight-forward and even fun!
Daunting probably not the best choice of words.... "tedious" perhaps... then again maybe I'm thinking more of our trip from HHI to St Simons Island ...my only multi day ICW sailboat trip that required constant vigilance not to run aground and miles and miles of "hairpin" curves in the river with zero possibility of actually sailing.

Btw, fantastic responses from you guys, well thought out voices of experience ! (y)
 

Wess

Super Anarchist
Daunting probably not the best choice of words.... "tedious" perhaps... then again maybe I'm thinking more of our trip from HHI to St Simons Island ...my only multi day ICW sailboat trip that required constant vigilance not to run aground and miles and miles of "hairpin" curves in the river with zero possibility of actually sailing.

Btw, fantastic responses from you guys, well thought out voices of experience ! (y)
Yea, not much chance for sailing, and yes you do need to be mindful of draft and not running aground... and if you ain't done a lot of ditch in a sailboat there are also the bridges so be well aware of your air draft as well and bridge schedules. But all of that aside, this is not hard and can be fun if taking the mindset of just enjoying the journey. Good luck.
 

kent_island_sailor

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Kent Island!
Is there any way to get crew?
Daunting probably not the best choice of words.... "tedious" perhaps... then again maybe I'm thinking more of our trip from HHI to St Simons Island ...my only multi day ICW sailboat trip that required constant vigilance not to run aground and miles and miles of "hairpin" curves in the river with zero possibility of actually sailing.

Btw, fantastic responses from you guys, well thought out voices of experience ! (y)
My last ditch run was 4 of us. Doing it alone would suck, you really would have way more fun with one other person.
 

SemiSalt

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To point out the obvious, just because you have to leave Rock Hall by a certain date doesn't mean you have to set off for HH on that date. You can find another place to wait out a week or so as needed until crew or companions are available.
 

Max Rockatansky

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My take on the ICW:
-Follow the marks you see. Sandbars shift and the marks with them. Entrance to Alligator River from the Albemarle Sound is a fine example
-Your half of the channel begins in the middle. Dont let douchecanoes shove you into the marks, and a tall wake will do that
-Commercial traffic is predictable and sane. Recreational boats... not so much.
-Be nice to bridge tenders. They can damn sure wreck your day, and in some cases are balancing a lot of demands
-ActiveCaptain is very, very useful
-Remember that the ICW marks have the little yellow shapes on them
-Remember also that marks generally are aimed corresponding to the channel. There are only lights on marks where turns are

Socastee is pronounced 'sock-a-stee' not 'soh-castee'
 
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