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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
Port of Call, St. AugustineJeykyll Harbor Marina... a Cool Place to Beat the HeatThe Hyatt dock is a popular boating dock along the Savannah River that many tourists and boaters use if they are staying at The Hyatt or just stopping by River Street for some lunch.  If you’re sailing along Tybee Island, park your boat and grab a burger!Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersAmelia Island Yacht Basin - Marina and Boat Yard - Amelia Island FloridaBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida
 Panoramic View of the Sunbury Harbor  Relaxed Laid-Back Atmosphere Fresh Steamed Blue Crabs caught Daily Homemade Crab Cakes and Crab StewRestaurant offers a Full-Service BarSunday Home-Cooking LunchFULL MARINE SERVICE ON SITE TRANSIENT DOCKAGE WELCOMERegatta Pointe MarinaThe FROLI System, developed in Germany has made a big hit with the USA  recreation and leisure travel market. Nickle Atlantic will be at the Annapolis Sail Boat Show, October 8 - 12, in Booth Dockside Cafe - Marathon, Florida on Boot Key Harbor

Archive For: Georgia – News2 – Savannah River, ICW Crossings to Hell Gate

  • GREAT NEWS – Live Aboard Cruisers Now Welcome in Georgia Waters

    The message below comes to us from Charlie Waller, owner of Isle of Hope Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and past president of the Georgia Marine Business Owners Association.  Charlie and his organization have been working tirelessly to get the archaic, often ignored, but still a threat, regulation limiting boat owners to a 30 day stay aboard, changed.  Congratulations to “GAMBA,” and everyone else who worked for this change.
    As Charlie explains below, now, by filling out a simple form, cruisers can stay aboard for up to a year in Georgia waters! Finally, a real victory for the cruising community!!!

    Claiborne,
    Good News!
    The State of Georgia has just modified the Live-Aboard rule so that it will be legal and practical to say on board your boat in Georgia for more than 30 days. A rule change will allow boaters to fill out a simple form to receive permission to be onboard for up to one year in Georgia so long as the boat is docked at a marina that meets the state’s minimum requirements for pump-out facilities. Isle of Hope Marina and just a couple of other marinas currently meet those standards, but I expect that other marinas will upgrade their facilities to take advantage of this rule change. I am heading a committee that will be working with the DNR to finalize the application form in the next few weeks. The rule change will be effective January 1, 2012.
    Charlie Waller
    Isle of Hope Marina

    Below, we present a wide cross section of responses from the cruising community to this change in Georgia’s live-aboard regulations, As you will see, some cruisers are very appreciative, others question why any regulation is needed and/or justified, and at least one fellow captain points out the process of applying to live aboard in Georgia waters for more than 30 days is not necessarily “simple.”

    We had a similar problem in Washington State years ago. The head of our DNR just flatly wanted no live aboards at all. We formed the Washington Live Aboards and fought and won. The big issues now is raw sewage being dumped and soap when washing your boat.
    The best advise I can give is get together with the marina owners and managers, develop rules dealing with sewage and pump outs. Be proactive and get in front of the issue. Getting teamed up with marinas gives you more credability and greater influnce.
    Final thought, don’t bad mouth the state and govermental officals its difficult to further your point of view if they’re pissed at you.
    We work closely with Seattle, Tacoma and Everett and they are all pro live aboards and help keep DNR in check.
    Detlev Willoughby
    President Tacoma Live Aboards, VP of the Washington Live Aboards

    The Seattle situation is still evolving, but it is shaping up to be about greywater. The City of Seattle has proposed limiting liveaboards (where marinas will accept them) to 25% of available slips. Current LABs will be allowed to stay, but once they leave the marina can’t rent to another LAB until they come below the 25% cap. The City has also proposed imposing a fee on marinas that accept LABs and additional administrative burdens. We all know that this will discourage private marina owners from renting to LABs and that the costs will flow downstream. My question re the Georgia situation is: what happens at the end of one year? That’s a good development for cruisers wanting to stay more than a month, but what’s the impact on full time residents of the state?
    Gail L.

    I think the title of this piece should be changed to “Liveaboards now tolerated at a few marinas in Georgia.” The word “welcome” does not come to mind. Like other long-term cruisers I prefer to anchor out, which means I won’t be living aboard in Georgia waters any time in the near future. By the way, I still highly recommend the beautiful ICW waters of Georgia for those who like to anchor and get away from it all–just don’t stay in one place for more than 30 days.
    John Kettlewell

    THANKS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL CRUISERS
    Bill

    Thanks Charlie!!!
    Betsy Basch

    Oh Goddie! The awful is now only bad.
    Why should I need a States permission to live on my boat? And why should I be forced to pay for dockage to do so?
    I use a composting head and had have no need for pump-out facilities. My water and electric needs are also self met. I much prefer to live on the hook.
    Bad precedent to set or accept. My opinion is that Georgia is still a place to pass through until this law is totally abandoned.
    Philip

    Charlie has done a great job along with many other people to help the liveaboard community.
    We & MANY others each year just go off shore to avoid Georgia since they still JUST DON’T get it. They need to make their portion of the ICW navigatible at ALL tide levels. Our money their loss!
    We feel sorry for all the businesses that are struggling, but until Georgia catches up with the rest of the world we & many others will just go off shore & NOT put up with the hassel!
    Mike M/V Elan

    Actually it is a little more complicated than just “filling out a simple form”. The 30 day law has not changed, now you must file for an extension of the 30day rule. You have to file for the extension to the Commissioner of the Georgia DNR. The commissioner, in his or her sole discretion, may grant or deny any request for an extension of time to occupy a live-aboard.
    Again it is not just a simple form you must meet the following Eligibility requirements:
    1. No live-aboard may be occupied in Georgia coastal waters subject to the jurisdiction of the CMPA for more than 30 days during any calendar year unless the live-aboard owner has been granted an extension of time in writing by the Commissioner.
    2. The applicant shall submit a written request for an extension to the Commissioner.
    3. The Commissioner shall promptly consider any written request that meet the following requirements.
    a. The applicant submits the request on the application form provided by the Department to the Commissioner, c/o the Coastal Resources Division, One Conservation Way, Brunswick, Georgia 31520.
    b. The Coastal Resources Division receives the request at least 15 calendar days prior to the requested extension start date.
    c. The applicant certifies that the live-aboard has a secured mechanism to prevent discharge of treated and untreated sewage.
    Examples of secured mechanisms considered to be effective at preventing discharge include, but are not limited to, closing the seacock and padlocking, using a non-releasable wire tie, or removing the seacock handle (with the seacock closed).
    d. The applicant certifies that they will not discharge any sewage, treated or untreated, into Georgia coastal waters subject to the jurisdiction of the CMPA.
    e. The applicant certifies that the live-aboard is capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water and is capable of safe, mechanically-propelled, navigation under average Georgia coastal wind and current conditions.
    f. The applicant identifies the eligible marina at which the live-aboard operator will moor the live-aboard.
    g. The applicant provides written documentation of a slip rental agreement with an eligible marina.
    h. The applicant states the reasons for requesting the extension and the period of time for which the extension is requested.
    Doesn’t seem that simple to me! Is working with the government ever simple? When you give them all that information you have given them all they need to through you out of the state and band you from ever entering the state on your way to Florida.
    What about the fines when you break one of their laws?
    There is no fee or tax this first year!
    What other state do you have to go before a Commissioner to live in that state?
    Kevin R. Quinn

    I don’t see this as a victory for cruisers at all. It is a victory for the marinas. Many of us anchor whenever possible and stay away from marina life and all its distractions and expense. Trust me, I will continue to go outside and bypass Georgia altogether. My dollars are much better spent elsewhere.
    Jerry Simpson

    At long last. Thanks to all who brought this about. It makes sense.
    Diana Prentice

    I have to agree with the other posters–the title of this blog entry is complete propaganda. Shame on you for trying to spin this as some great win/win situation for boaters. As if we are too stupid to figure out for ourselves what the real facts are! Pathetic.
    That form is the opposite of simple, INO. And way too intrusive, asking too many questions that have zero to do with the idea of living for a while in Georgia waters.
    The sad thing is, that with this guy ‘fighting’ for us boaters, we can expect that the status quo for Georgia to boaters will continue for the foreseeable future. The Georgia ‘solution’ isn’t a solution at all, as obviously made note of ad nauseum above by most boaters responding. So I agree, we will continue to avoid lingering in Georgia waters. I can’t imagine how much money the marinas lose in Georgia because of the attitude of the State.
    Alan Avante

    Go to the bahamas instead. I was going to cruise North for a change, but with Georgias new regs and St. Augustines new 10 day anchoring limits upcoming why should I spend my money and time where I am not wanted. Please do not spend money in any places that are not cruiser friendly.
    Dave C.

  • A Night in Herb River Anchorage near AICW Statute Mile 584.5

    The Herb River intersects the Georgia portion of the AICW just south of the facilities at Thunderbolt, GA.

    We anchored in the lower reaches — before any houses fronting the water. We still felt unwelcome. Passing local boats clearly didn’t like us there. It appears they all like to “gun it” just past the houses and we interfered with this. Given the Georgia tides, I would not want to encounter a wind shift at low tide on anchor.
    Skipper Chris

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Herb River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Herb River

  • A Stay at Hinkley Yacht Services, AICW Statute Mile 583

    Hinkley Yacht Services in Thunderbolt, GA is on the western side of the Waterway north of Thunderbolt Bridge (E. Victory Drive) and south of marker #34.

    Stayed in May 2011. Great cheap transient rates. Nice showers and cheap dockage.
    Kerry Appleton

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Hinkley Yacht Services

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hinkley Yacht Services

  • Isle of Hope Marina Recommended (Statute Mile 590)

    Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187The following exchange is copied from the AGLCA mail list. SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Isle of Hope Marina certainly shines in this exchange!!!! Follow the links below for more info on this superb facility!!!

    I’m looking for a nice marina in Savannah, Ga. where we can dock for about two weeks in July. We would be leaving the boat for about a week while we drive to Atlanta to visit our son, then fly to Minneapolis to visit our daughter. When we return we would spend about a week exploring the Savannah area before moving on to Charleston. Marina recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Bill & Kathleen
    MV BUFFALO GAL

    Isle of Hope Marina Savannah.
    http://www.iohmarina.com/
    Bob & Kemba DeGroot

    We also recommend Isle of Hope.
    We spent a month at Isle of Hope last June/July. The people are very knowledgeable and friendly. Laundry on site. Two loaner cars. Restaurants can be reached easily with the loaner cars or by bike. Walmart can also be reached with the loaner cars.
    John & Gloria Weber
    Bombay Lady III

    DEFINITELY Isle of Hope Marina! We spent one night there on our journey from Fort Myers to Maine. (Still enroute….stranded in Newport RI) . They are very accommodating and friendly. Got an email “Thank You” after we left.
    Jane and John Linscott
    The Maine Event

    We live in Savannah and kept our boat at Isle of Hope Marina from 2004 through 2009.
    I highly recommend the facility; it’s secure and the people there – Rick, Patty, Chris, and the rest of the staff – are all very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly.
    The only caveat is to not downplay the current. It can be a bear, particularly if you’re assigned a slip on one of the inside docks. Plan your arrivals and departures when staff is there and they are only too happy to help.
    Bill & Llisa Ballard

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Isle of Hope Marina

  • A Look at Delegal Creek Marina (Statute Mile 601)

    To reach Delegal Creek Marina, cruisers must abandon the Waterway in the Vernon River, and cruise through a confusingly marked channel into Delegal Creek. Contrary to what Captains Tammy and Micheal report below, we’ve always found low water depths on the entrance channel to be very suspect. Plans have been in the works to dredge here for years, but for various reasons, this project has never been undertaken, as far as we know!

    If you will be getting a rental car, check out Delegal Creek Marina on Skidaway Island (ask for directions on getting in. There is plenty of water but there is a dogleg going in.) It’s a nice condo marina with good facilities and walking the neighborhood is quiet and safe.
    Tammy & Michael

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Delegal Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Delegal Creek Marina

  • Reports on AICW/Hell Gate Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 602)

    The AICW follows the narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years. Fortunately, dredging during the summer of 2009 had kept depths decent until December of 2010 when reports of new shoaling began. Looks like the surrounding shallows are once again beginning to creep into the channel. Effective immediately, cautious captains will begin to time their traversal of Hell Gate for mid to high tide.

    May 9th, 2011
    Northbound, I passed a little closer to G89 than on previous runs and found better water, never less than 9′ MLW.
    I passed about 40′ from R90, then 30′ off G89 and made the slight turn to stbd towards G87 about 100′ north of G89
    at the southern entrance, stay on centerline and dont’ cut the corner close to the red, especially with an incoming tide which will push you too far to the red side. as soon as you are passed the red, the current eases off.
    Pascal aboard MY Charmer, 70′ 6+ draft

    Morning Star transited Hells Gate in GA this morning at slack low water. We passed each mark by about a boat length and found 5′ in one spot.
    Regards, Randy Pickelmann aboard Morning Star

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Hell Gate

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Report on Hell Gate and Offshore Options from Tybee to Jacksonville, FL

    The AICW follows the narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years. Fortunately, dredging during the summer of 2009 had kept depths decent until December of 2010 when reports of new shoaling began. Looks like the surrounding shallows are once again beginning to creep into the channel. Effective immediately, cautious captains will begin to time their traversal of Hell Gate for mid to high tide.

    Sanctuary and crew transited Hell Gate at 1500 yesterday, 4/20/2011. We are three days past full moon on celestial high and low tides. At our transit time, our chartplotter tide table showed us with plus 0.8 ft of tide, headed to negative 1.1 ft. The tidal range was greater than 9′.
    In the Hell Gate channel, we saw 5.6 ft of water in the green quarter at G “90,” which is at the slight bend at mid-cut. Due to the current in that area, we were slightly east of the centerline, but only slightly. Don’t know if Red quarter would have been better, but where we were, at -1.1 ft, we’d only have had 3.5′ of water; not enough for us.
    On Tuesday, the weather offshore was good, so we went out at St. Simons and back in at Doboy Sound, to overnight at the Duplin River. That avoids Altamaha Sound and the Little Mud on a falling/low tide. From Doboy Sound, we went out again on Wednesday, headed for Tybee, but had to come back in at Sapelo because of SE short-period waves, which were on our beam and made the ride uncomfy.
    Interesting, from Tybee to Jax, there are inlets every 15 miles that allow for safe exits if the weather deteriorates. Doboy and Sapelo are well marked. Don’t know about the others. Because of the tidal ranges in GA, though, and shallow offshore depths (40 ft at 6 miles) the tidal ebb and flood currents are strong. Plan accordingly. Also, running in 15 ft of water nearer shore can result in experiencing lesser wave size, but dodging shoals for some may increase anxiety. A personal trade-off. As the water depth on the ICW continues to deteriorate and dredging declines, these offshore runs may become more and more necessary.
    When crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, I’ve usually heard advice that winds with a “North” component are to be avoided. Yesterday, I learned that for offshore travel along the GA, SC coast, waves directions/short period swells with an “East” component are to be respected/perhaps avoided.
    Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, Monk 36 Hull #132

    Went through Hell Gate going north at 1 hour after low tide on Monday May 2nd, 2011. Entrance was skinny. I recorded 5.9 feet which left me with about 1 foot of clearance. Once I got through the opening, the water deepened quickly but I took it slow and watched my depth and channel all the way through.
    Captain David

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Hell Gate

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Reports on Depths at Hell Gate, AICW Statute Mile 602

    The dredging of 2009 is slowly being overcome by shoaling through this perennial problem stretch, making Hell Gate another section that requires mid-to-high tide passage for vessels carrying 4ft or more draft.

    Came through Hell Gate with Sea Angel NC44 6′ draft on 3/25/11. Entered south end of Gate at 10:45 with 3.2′ of water above MLW. Stayed center of channel and lowest water was at the Nun on the south end: 8.2″ (<5′ at MLW). This was confirmed by Sea Tow boat operator hovering in the area with whom I spoke before entering the Gate. Rest of passage saw no less than 9″. Mostly 10 to 15″.
    Skipper Ed Grygent

    March 28 2011
    Went through Hell’s gate about 1.75 hour before low tide. Corrected for low tide at Egg Island Tidal lowest reading was 7 feet near the square red and white checkered sign.
    Skipper Stephen Starling

    March 25th travelling northbound with 4.8 draft, Nova Scotia fishing trawler. Approached Hells gate with caution,. set up mid channel between red and green at the south end, depth sounder read 10 feet. We bumped 5 times over something very hard, thought we had lost our connection between engine and transmission. Then all good for rest of passage. Shook us up somewhat we were heading for anchorage and the tide was up 1 foot.
    Skipper Judi Knight

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Hell Gate

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

    Click Here To View Earlier Reports on Hell Gate

  • More Praise for Thunderbolt Marine, AICW Statute Mile 583

    Thunderbolt Marine is a full service yacht repair and refit facility and marina located on the Waterway at Marker #35 just outside the city limits of Savannah. We continue to hear about their good people skills, good contacts and good technical skills that make Thunderbolt Marine for an excellent boatyard.

    Thunderbolt Marine provided me with great service on my Yanmar engine. A bolt that attached my water pump had sheared off. The bolt was permanently attached to a special bracket. Rather than ordering a new bracket, and waiting days for delivery, Thunderbolt Marine took off the bracket, drilled out the old bolt, ground down the weld on the back, and installed a new bolt and welded it to the bracket, and reinstalled everything in less than 3 hours! This is a great full service marina! They are easy to access, close to Savannah, very close to Tubby’s Tank House, and you even get donuts and a paper in the morning. Rates are reasonable, service is excellent. Highly recommend it.
    Skipper David Clark

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Thunderbolt Marine

  • A Vote for Isle of Hope Marina As a Base To Visit Historic Savannah (Statute Mile 590)

    Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187Even before we began the Cruisers’ Net, and Isle of Hope Marina became a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, this facility was our choice as a base of operations when visiting historic Savannah. Dockmaster/owner Charlie Waller simply can’t do enough for visiting and resident cruisers alike. These truly are “good people.”

    I also think that Isle of Hope is definitely the place to stay to see Savannah. The downtown Savannah dock is available, but it is right in the middle of the tourist section; for my money the down side of that outweighs the upside.
    Jack Robinson

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Isle of Hope Marina

  • Reports on Georgia’s Hell Gate, AICW Statute Mile 602

    The AICW follows the narrow, man-made canal known as Hell Gate between the Vernon and Ogeechee Rivers. These waters have been an “AICW Problem Stretch” for years. Fortunately, dredging during the summer of 2009 has kept depths decent from then until December of 2010 when reports of new shoaling began, as noted by the presence of a temporary red marker in the channel. Looks like the surrounding shallows are once again beginning to creep into the channel. Effective immediately, cautious captains will begin to time their traversal of Hell Gate for mid to high tide.

    Submitted on 2010/12/11 at 6:42pm
    Went through Hell’s Gate heading south today at near high tide. No depth problems. There is a new temporary red marker just prior to Daymarkers R92 and G91 that moves you to the G91 side, rather passing evenly between them.
    Captain Larry Hall

    At 1400 hours today 9 Nov 10, we passed through Hell’s Gate going South. Corrected for low water at Eggs Island tidal station we had between 4.9-5.4 feet past 87 and just before the first pair of markers at Hell’s Gate. The distance of low water was very short and we were favoring the red side. Cannot say what depth is between center line and green.
    Captain Stephen Starling

    12/10/2010
    We came through Hell Gate very slowly at 11:55 AM, 45 minutes before dead low. The lowest we saw was 6.5 ft.
    Susan Parker
    2011/03/09
    We passed thru Hell Gate (Mile 603) today 1-1/2 hrs. before high tide and didn’t see less than 11 feet.
    Skipper Larry Thackston aboard M/V Peach

    2011/03/10
    We came through at near high tide heading south with no problems. Follow the advice for mid-high rising tide and you should have no problems. (we are an s2 30 ft. Sailboat with 5 ft. draft)
    Captain Mark

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Hell Gate

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Entrance Channel to Delegal Creek Marina, AICW Statute Mile 601

    According to a spokesperson at the marina, the MLW in the entrance to Delegal Creek is 3 ft with a tidal range of 8-9 ft, so mid to high tide would be the best time to enter Delegal Creek. Once in the creek, there is plenty of depth, however the entrance channel described below is an issue if you draw more than 3 ft. The entrance channel begins northeast of waterway flashing daybeacon #86. just north of Hell Gate.

    The Landings on Skidaway Island is pleased to announce that the first step in a multi-step process to improve access to Delegal Creek Marina has been completed. Larger, lighted navigation markers now clearly indicate the channel to Delegal Creek from the ICW, across Green Island Sound from Hell Gate, just northeast of ICW marker #86. We are the closest marina to the Atlantic Ocean via Ossabaw Sound. All transient and local mariners are welcome to purchase gas, diesel, and ice at competitive prices. Transient dockage is available for vessels up to 100 feet with power, water, wireless, showers, laundry, pump-out, and access to dining at a clubhouse. Hail Delegal Creek Marina on VHF 16 or call 912-598-0023 {or 912-224-3885} for further information regarding tidal conditions.
    Sarah Stamper, Marina Office Manager

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Delegal Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Delegal Creek

  • High Praise for Crew and Service at Thunderbolt Marine, AICW Statute Mile 583

    Thunderbolt Marine is a full service yacht repair and refit facility and marina located on the Waterway at Marker #35 just outside the city limits of Savannah. Good people skills, good contacts and good technical skills make for an excellent boatyard. Thunderbolt Marine proves those skills as Mike will attest.

    We purchased a classic motorsailor in Southern Georgia and had intended to motor her north. Unfortunately mechanical problems cut that plan short. The folks at Thunderbolt Marine were great. Ernie coordinated unstepping the masts, putting us in contact with a trucker and hauled the boat. Less than 30 hours after making the decision to truck the boat we were on our way. As a bonus the bill was significantly less that the estimate due to things going smoothly. I can’t say enough about the way we were treated. Anthony at the marina was great, the complementary morning paper and Krispy Kreme donuts made a nice start to the day.
    Capt. Mike Lochner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

  • More Good Words for Isle of Hope Marina (AICW Statute Mile 590)

    Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway, Skidaway River at Mile 590, Marker 46-A, Latitude:   N  31o 58.78' , Longitude: W 081o 03.35' 2-354-8187As one of the best smaller marinas in the Southeastern USA, Isle of Hope Marina continues to draw raves from cruisers. We heartily recommend a stay here. Tell Charlie we sent you. Located just south of Savannah, Isle of Hope Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Isle of Hope Marine is truly a gem along the waterway. You are not a guest there, you are treated like a local. I can’t imagine what the staff could do to be more accommodating. Swimming at the community pool, showers, laundry, and courtesy car. There is a nice Pavilion at the top of the dock and if your lucky there will be something going on. We were lucky enough to be there for the benefit for the community pool. Live music, food and dancing all while a huge thunderstorm raged outside the confines of the pavilion, We will be stopping here again.
    Captain Dave Kuchenbecker

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

  • AICW Passage Through The Skidaway Narrows Bridge to be Unaffected by Construction (Statute Mile 592.5)

    Contrary to what Captain Judy has heard, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the AICW at Skidaway Narrows Bridge on Hwy. 204 will NOT be closed during the initial engineering phases – beginning this month – of an upcoming construction project to build a fixed 65′ bridge across the AICW on site. The completion date of the new bridge is 2 or 3 years away and may require brief closures at some point, but nothing in the near future.

    Subject: Skidaway narrows bridge and waterway closure
    Cruising News: We have heard that Skidaway bridge and ICW waterway there will be closed on June 2 while they survey for new bridge pilings. Would appreciate info on this.
    Judy Koetitz

  • Thunderbolt Marine (Statute Mile 583)

    Thunderbolt Marine is a good stop, and nearby Tubby’s Tank House restaurant has become something of a minor legend up and down the Waterway. Also consider Isle of Hope Marina, just a bit farther to the south. This latter facility is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    We have stopped here on a couple of occasions. In May 2008 we stopped and while there celebrated our anniversary at Tubby’s Tank House. A great experience.
    Because of predicted nasty weather, we stopped again for three days in 2009 (11/30-12/2/09). The facilites again were very good as were the Krispy Kreme donuts.
    We have not needed to us their yard services, but it’s a great stopover.
    Dick Litchfield

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Thunderbolt Marine

  • Observations and Reservations on Isle of Hope Anchorage (Statute Mile 590)

    We’ve heard from several other cruisers about crowded conditions, local traffic and party noise making this anchorage less than ideal. But if you’re in a party mood and feeling gregarious, this might be a good weekend stopping point for you.

    Submitted on 2010/05/22 at 6:36pm
    We anchored here on Friday, 4/23/10. It’s crowded with lots of boats on private moorings and permanent locals anchoring. That didn’t leave much room for transients. We managed to slip into a tight spot just outside the channel markers. Watch your position with the reversing current. There was some tug and barge traffic. Lots of local traffic and noise from shore. Weekend partying, etc. Lots of friendly boaters curious about our ICW experiences and our live aboard cat. Nice spot, but I wouldn’t count of finding room to anchor here. Better bet is to take a slip at the marina.
    Captain Dick Litchfield

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina and Anchorage

  • Praise for Isle of Hope Marina and Anchorage (Statute Mile 590)

    Isle of Hope Marina is, quite simply, one of the best smaller marinas in the Southeastern USA. We heartily recommend a stay here. Tell Charlie we sent you. And, lest we forget Isle of Hope Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Submitted on 2010/05/19 at 9:37pm
    Another great visit here. Great staff and a clean, well run facility. One of our favorites. Compared to other marinas nearby their diesel fuel is very expensive, however.
    Captain Bob Poovey
    aboard M/V “Threadbare”

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georgia Marina Directory Listing For Isle of Hope Marina

  • Unhappy News About AICW/Hell Gate Depths (near Statute Mile 602)

    The notorious Hell Gate section of the AICW, south of Savannah and Isle of Hope, was dredged during the summer of 2009, and for a time, all has been well on these waters. The posting below from Captain Bob is the first notice we have had that shoaling may once again be rearing its ugly head. Because Captain Bob does not provide an exact time and date when his soundings were taken (see below), it’s not possible to fully verify what an 8.8 foot reading “30 minutes after high tide,” would actually equate to at Mean Low Water. But, it certainly can’t be good news.
    We are returning Hell Gate to the ranks of a true “AICW Problem Stretch,” and ask the cruising community to PLEASE forward ANY information about depths in Hell Gate ASAP, by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below, or sending e-mail to me at CruisingWriter@CruisersNet.net. Many thanks in advance!!!

    Good evening, Claiborne.
    Looks like bad things are beginning to happen again at Hell Gate. Came through here mid channel this afternoon thirty minutes after high tide and observed a depth of 8.8 feet fifty yards Northeast of Green Marker 87. Didn’t believe what I saw so I went back and observed the same results.
    Weren’t the dredges here just a year ago?
    Captain Bob Poovey

    Hi Claiborne,
    We came through Hell Gate at 11.10 – 11.20 hours, May 21. Low tide was at 09.00 hrs. We favored the west side of mid channel a little going north. We never saw less than 13 ft.
    Frans Tieman
    S/V Sophia (The Netherlands)
    Draft 6.8 or 2 meters

    We also passed through Hell Gate on May 19. It was about 1-1/2 hrs after high tide and the lowest we saw was 12 ft. We tried to stay mid-channel.
    Mark MacMahon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Section” Listing For The AICW/Hell Gate Passage

  • Going “Outside” Around the Georgia Coastline Can Have Its Difficulties

    There’s has been a lot of discussion recently about going offshore to bypass the troubled Georgia AICW (principally Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek). However, below we hear from Ted Jones, former editor and co-owner of the late, great “Coastal Cruising” magazine, that going outside can lead to its own set of perils!

    Log April 29th & 30th, 2010 ~ Fernandina Beach, FL to Ashepoo River, SC:
    1200: We cleared St. Mary’s Inlet and set a course, close on the wind, for St. Andrew’s Sound sea buoy intending to stop at Beaufort. However, when we got there we were told there was no dockage available because of a weekend festival. We were dog tired from sailing all night, but as it was early we decided to continue on toward Charleston. But that gets ahead of an eventful passage.
    1400: We motorsailed in the light easterly breeze until it filled in from the SE in the early afternoon as predicted. It was a delightfully sunny afternoon, and we both enjoyed sitting on the cabin top (safety harnesses clipped on) leaning against the dinghy while “Ralph” steered. We secured the engine and enjoyed “silent running” for a change. Ted wasn’t sure how long Ralph could steer without the engine running. We would find out.
    1600: We set four-hour watches with Malla taking the first.
    2000: Ted had an uneventful evening watch. When Malla took over we decided to dog the midnignt to 0400 watch each taking two hours. When Ted checked the GPS, it had stopped working, giving us a position which was hours old. Never mind, we had a good DR working so were not concerned. However, it would be important to confirm our position at the several sea buoys along our course line.
    0200, April 30th: Ted took over from Malla. It was easy sailing with the wind aft and Ralph steering. Malla confessed that it was difficult for her to stay awake.
    Ahead, Ted could see the telltale characteristics of a sea buoy (flashing the morse code for the letter “A”) and wanted to be sure it was the Tybee Roads sea buoy and not St. Andrews. It was soon apparent that it was the former as four ships could be seen headed toward it on a crossing course. Not wanting to cross ahead of fast moving ships, Ted hardened up to parallel thier course in the reciprocal direction. Two ships flashed passed and could be seen rounding the sea buoy. The other two ships were moving more slowly, so we wore around to sail parallel to them and make positive identification of the sea buoy and let them pass so we could resume our course for St. Andrews and have a definite point of departure.
    We were well ahead of the lead ship of the last two when it sounded the danger signal. The radio had been crackling below, which Malla heard someone calling the “sailing vessel in the Savannah River ship channel.” As she knew we were offshore and not in the Savannah River, she did not think they were calling us. I was to busy on the helm to go below and use the radio, and I had not brought the hand held VHF on deck, which we use to contact draw bridges, so could not immediately reply. I held my course toward the sea buoy and again the ship sounded the danger signal. I tacked away.
    Meanwhile a third set of running lights appeared bearing down on the sea buoy. And as we were in the process of keeping clear, this set of lights came along side and Ted could see that it was a pilot boat. Now able to leave the helm for a few seconds, Ted dove below and located the hand held radio in the dark and called the pilot on channel 13. He was pretty irate and wanted to know what our intention was and where were we headed? I told him it was out intention to keep clear of the ships and to resume my course once they had passed. Meanwhile, the first ship of the last two had commenced a 360 degree turn and balled me out on the radio for causing him to need to do that. The fourth ship apparently followed suit with a 360 degree turn.
    It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances which could have been prevented had I been able to use the radio. However, since we had not responded, the closest ship could not know of our intentions and initiated a turn to avoid us. (I have been on the bridge of a large ship and shared the frustration of its captain as small boats darted unexpectedly apparently into harms way. The pilot of a large ship needs to know that smaller vessels intend to keep clear.)
    I was clearly at fault for not being able to communicate, and sincerely regret the inconvenience and possible danger I had caused. We continued to sail south, away from the sea buoy until we were well astern of the fourth ship, then resumed our course for St. Andrew’s Sound, some 10 miles further north.
    0400: By now it was Malla’s turn again to take the watch. We had been steering 025 degrees, on average, since leaving St. Mary’s Inlet, and had recently corrected to 030 to allow for leeway. Now, before turning in, I rechecked the heading between Tybee Roads and St. Andrews and was surprised that it turned out to be 060 degrees. I accepted this, told Malla to steer 060 and expect to see the MO-A in an hour and a half, and lay down to rest.
    0600: When St. Andrews had failed to appear we carried on for another 15 minutes, as I concluded that we had steered a course leading us out of sight of the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the coast.
    0730: We finally spotted what we thought was the sea buoy and changed course to intercept the channel. The “sea buoy” turned out to be another sailboat with a red channel marker astern of it. Then we saw the inner range marker, checked the chart which showed shoal water northeast of it, and hardened up to pass the range marker on its west side.
    0930: In a call to the Beaufort town docks we were told that there were no slips to be had. After talking it over between us, Malla and I decided to continue on toward Charleston, by-passing Beaufort regretfully, and tired as we were, we’d seek out an anchorage where we could make Charleston in one more day’s run.
    1500: Ted selected a creek well off the ICW as a suitable anchorage. We actually passed it and had to double back, but it was deep and protected from the increasingly strong SE wind. The current was strong, so we set a second anchor toward the middle of the creek, and, the next day being Saturday, we remained there, out of harms way from the thundering herds, until Sunday. Despite the strong currents, it was delightful.
    Ted Jones

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