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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: NC9 – Adams Creek to Beaufort and Morehead City

  • Changes to Nav Aids in Russell Slough, Beaufort , NC, near AICW Statute Mile 202

    For many years now, the northwestern tip of the Gallants Channel, where it intersects the Waterway at Marker #35, has shoaled in completely. Thus, southbound AICW craft, bent on a visit to Beaufort, must abandon the Waterway between markers #29 and #30, and run the marked Russel Slue Channel, until intersecting the Gallants Channel southwest of marker #7.

    Russell Slough is a non-maintained channel east of Newport Marshes in Beaufort, North Carolina. Gallants Channel is a federally maintained project that connects to the southern end of Russell Slough. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers state there are no funds or plans to dredge this project. Due to encroaching shoals in these waterways, both channels require the following changes to appropriately mark and ensure safe navigation of the waterway.
    The Coast Guard proposes to relocate: Read More

    Russell Slough DBN 6A (LLNR 38467)
    Russell Slough Light 7 (LLNR 38470)
    Russell Slough Channel Junction Light RG (LLNR 34855)
    The Coast Guard proposes to establish:
    Russell Slough Buoy 8
    The Coast Guard proposes to discontinue:
    Russell Slough Channel Warning DBN A (LLNR 34852)
    Russell Slough Channel Warning DBN B (LLNR 34853)
    Interested Mariners and other stakeholders are strongly encouraged to comment on the potential impacts this proposal would have on navigational
    safety. You may provide feedback using the U. S. Coast Guard Fifth District Waterway Data Sheet, available online at:
    All comments will be carefully considered and are requested prior to 26 October, 2016 to be considered in the analysis. Refer to project number
    Send comments to or
    U.S. Coast Guard Fifth District
    Waterways Management (dpw)
    Attn: Pablo Ortiz
    431 Crawford Street
    Portsmouth, VA 23704
    Chart 11541, 11545 LNM 38/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of Russell Slough with Gallants Channel

  • Dredging Underway in Beaufort Inlet Channels, near AICW Statute Mile 205

    This longterm dredging project is in the main channels of Beaufort Inlet.

    Dutra Dredging will commence dredge operations on July 25, 2016 in Morehead City Harbor and Morehead Channel, Ranges A and B. Operations will be conducted 24 hours/7 days a week in various areas of Range A and B Channel and at approximate position 34 40 47.162N 076 43 37.275W in the ODMDS. Clamshell dredges DB PAULA LEE will carry out dredging operations with 4 white anchors attached to 5 ft diameter buoys with amber light at night. Tender Tug Trojan and Colonel will also be on scene, all vessels will monitor Channels 12, 14, and 82. Operations will continue until October 31, 2016. For further information contact Brad Shoffit (415)-519-4262 or Joe Dunlap (415) 302-8709. Chart 11547 LNM 30/16

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort Inlet


  • Captain Jim Healy on Beaufort, Morehead City and Cape Lookout, NC, AICW Statute Mile 203

    Our thanks to Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, for shareing his perspective on Beaufort and Morehead City, NC, home to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Morehead City Yacht Basin, located on the southern flank of the marked channel that runs west from Mile 203 of the Waterway, just north of the Morehead-Beaufort, Newport River high-rise bridge.

    Beaufort, NC: This is a seaport town near Morehead City; it’s a very pleasant, laid-back, “chillaxin'” place with a small but well done Maritime Museum, many shoppes and some nice local restaurants. For those who might enjoy a short off-shore (maybe 10 miles) cruise, depart the Beaufort Inlet and head out the the bight at the Cape Lookout National Seashore. [See Claiborne’s article on Cape Lookout.] It a large, well protected anchorage, with access to the beach for campfires and swimming. The bight itself is well protected from winds and ocean sea states, but the trip out and back can be too much for some if the wind offshore is up. Plan accordingly.
    Jim Healy

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Cape Lookout Bight Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Cape Lookout Bight

  • Praise for Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina, Beaufort, NC, AICW Statute Mile 205

    Always good to hear words of praise for one of our newest SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS! Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina are located on Town Creek in beautiful Beaufort, NC.

    Went into Homer Smith last week and it is a gem and is going to be a top notch marina (actually already is). Fairly easy walk to town great folks and much easier to dock than downtown docks. Also the price is much better, facilities are much better, and the attitude and service of the owners and staff far exceeds the downtown docks. This is now the place to stay if you want to see Beaufort. He has plans for expansion and even more services down the road. Navigating from the north is a piece a cake as you do not have to go under the lift bridge (which is being replaced). Leaving to founder the bridge is same as before. North bound boats can either go under the bridge, or take the Gallants Cut (even though longer, it is easier). Extremely nice docks.
    John Winter

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

  • Question re Depth in Taylor Creek, Beaufort, NC, near AICW Statute Mile 205

    Taylor Creek runs along Beaufort’s waterfront and the “jig” David Mentions is at the creek’s east end. The Creek connects several narrow cuts through Back Sound that are often used by shallow draft vessels to reach the anchorage behind Lookout Bight.

    My question is, has anyone traveled from Beaufort, NC down Taylor’s Creek toward Harkers Island recently? Is the little jig at the end of Taylor’s Creek passable to vessels drawing 3-1/2 feet, and is it reasonably accurately portrayed on the latest charts? Also, is the channel past Harkers Island and through Barden Inlet to Cape Lookout similarly passable and well charted?
    David Swanson
    s/v Lucky Penny

  • FOCUS ON: Morehead City Yacht Basin, AICW Statute Mile 203

    A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Morehead City Yacht Basin, located on the southern flank of the marked channel that runs west from Mile 203 of the Waterway, just north of the Morehead-Beaufort, Newport River high-rise bridge.

    The Yacht Basin was originally built in 1946. It started out as a pier and a building with an office, lounge with lockers, and a storage room. Around 1952, Bump Styron bought the Yacht Basin and added two piers. The Yacht Basin has always had close ties to the boating and fishing in Morehead City including the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament that started in 1957. Bump himself won the tournament in 1970 aboard the “Reel King”. Legend has it that even Ernest Hemmingway at one time fished for marlin out of the Yacht Basin.
    The Morehead City Yacht Basin has always been known for its customer service. James Hester, pictured below, greeted boaters for over fifty years and customers still come in and tell stories about his smiling, friendly service.
    Today the Morehead City Yacht Basin provides dockage both to slip owners, renters, and transients traveling up and down the ICW. With Mike Pollard as the head dockmaster for close to ten years the tradition of excellent customer service has continued. We have a very comfortable lounge for our guests and we are a short walk to over twenty great restaurants.

    In 2014, Jet Matthews tripled the size of the Morehead City Yacht Basin with modern floating docks, 87 large interior slips, and over 1,250 feet of side tie dockage to accommodate vessels up to 200 ft with 30/50/100 amp power and 2 x 100 amp pedestals.









    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morehead City Yacht Basin

  • More Good Words for Portside Marina, Morehead City, NC, AICW Statute Mile 205

    When entering the Morehead City waterfront from the “Turning Basin,” Portside Marina is the first facility that will come abeam to the north.

    These folks are very helpful, since we had a weather layover. Rate them highly and will return.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Portside Marina

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

  • Reminder re Southbound into Beaufort, NC, AICW Statute Mile 205

    With a closed vertical clearance of 13ft, the Gallants Channel – Grayden Paul Bridge is off the Waterway and is frequently used by southbound cruisers to visit the Beaufort waterfront. Town Creek , on the north side of the bridge, is home to one of SSECN’s newest SPONSORS: Home Smith’s Docks and Marina.

    Just a reminder for those southbound via Beaufort, NC.
    If you are taking the “back way” into Beaufort, via Gallants channel, the Beaufort City Bridge (US 70 – at Town Creek) does NOT open at 4:30pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm or 6:00pm. if you miss the 4:00 opening, it’s best take the Morehead City route around Radio Island.
    It only adds 1/2 hr or so if you know in advance you’re going to miss the bridge opening.
    Geoff Cooke

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Gallants Channel

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

  • Welcome Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina, Beaufort, NC, AICW Statute Mile 205

    Shout out a big Welcome to SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET’s newest sponsor, Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina on Town Creek in beautiful Beaufort, NC.

    Ahoy Cruisers,
    Slip into waterfront luxury with Homer Smith Docks and Marina, where you’ll find friendly staff and the comfort of a home away from home. Dock your vessel here in our new, state-of-the-art facilities and unwind and discover the beauty of downtown Beaufort, NC and the rest of the Crystal Coast.
    Guests who dock with Homer Smith are just an easy walk or golf cart ride away from the history and action of the third oldest town in North Carolina, Beaufort. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, great dining and the quaint shopping on Front Street.
    The Staff at Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina

  • Deep Keel Vessel Needs Your Advice

    This question is unusual, not because of Skipper Aigeltinger’s concern for Waterway depths, but because of his vessel’s 7ft 3inch draft. Whether that draft is fin keel or full keel, that is a lot of draft with which to confront the shallow spots in North Carolina. He has access to our listing of NC Problem Stretches, but is asking for your input into his decision to attempt the ICW from Norfolk to Beaufort, NC, which, fortunately for him, is north of all the Inlet/ICW intersections further south.

    I am considering delivering a 44 ft sailboat from the Chesapeake to Florida. Draft is 7 ft 3 in. Would like to know if anyone knows if it’s possible to get that from Norfolk to Beaufort in the ICW ? Or if anyone could direct me to a source for that info.
    Thanks, Ed Aigeltinger

    Note this praise for Argus:

    The Argus soundings are really helpful. I followed ICW all the way from Norfolk to Beaufort, NC and it looks like the most questionable area is a few miles north of Beaufort. (That area just north of the Alligator River bridge where the channel takes a turn or two around some shoals has always been poorly marked. Have to be careful there but I think there’s plenty of water if you stay channel center.) The shallow area just north of Beaufort is at the south end of the Adams Creek Canal and as I recall that part is narrow and the markers are a little far apart making it a little difficult to stay in the channel. On the chart the Argus readings are shown to be out of the channel. So I wonder if the chart is wrong or if whoever did the Argus run missed the channel, hence the shallow readings there ?? Would appreciate any input from anyone re that. I plan to call Jarrett Bay Boatworks and Beaufort Docks and ask for some local knowledge. Would hate to run 199 miles from Norfolk and get 3-4 miles away only to not be able to get there. However, if the readings are right, the shallowest I see is just over 4 ft and the tidal range is about 3 ft so still might be able to skim through at high tide.
    Thanks again for your help-Ed

    Thanks to all for the info re the ICW depth from Norfolk to Beaufort, NC.

    I also spoke with the dockmaster at Beaufort Docks and he assured me there was plenty of depth at Core Creek if one is careful to stay in the channel. It’s narrow there and the markers are a little far apart. Apparently the Argus boat was a little out of channel hence the readings down to 4 ft. Dockmaster also said he has a friend who comes down each year with 9 ft. He said to be careful to stay as close to center as possible in the Alligator River-Pungo River canal as his friend has hit some pretty hard stuff a little off center.
    As you mention fixed bridge height is also a concern. Boat I may deliver is 62 ft to mast top and 65 ft to antenna top. (I brought a cat down once and rang almost every beam on the bridges with the antenna. A little nerve wracking.) So if anyone has or hears any local knowledge re bridge height problems I would certainly appreciate the info. I may try to do what I’ve done a few times in the past. Install a 4-5 ft long piece of 1×4 wood at the mast head going forward and then a vertical piece at the forward end that is about a foot higher than the highest solid part of the mast. One can then creep up to the first beam and if this ‘indicator’ goes under all is hopefully well. If not heavy reverse is in order.
    Thanks again for the info and please keep me in mind if you hear anything else of importance.
    Ed Aigeltinger

    November 30:
    Thanks again for your help with ICW depth issue. I had no idea about the ARGUS ‘program’. Obviously with that kind of data in the laptop one could cruise the ICW from data point to data point. Really amazing stuff !
    Thanks again,
    Ed Aigeltinger

  • Update on Sea Gate Marina, Adams Creek Canal, AICW Statute Mile 194

    Sea Gate Marina guards the Waterway’s western banks, just north of the Core Creek bridge. This facility has a well sheltered harbor, but we’ve noted some thin depths here in the past.

    Update: Not for big boats. Transient dock has only 30 amp @ 6.00 per night. The pedestals have 50 amp receptacles but are not wired. The water faucets are not plumbed, however a very long hose is available to reach most of the transient dock. The self-service pumpout has been down all summer but has now been repaired as of 11/2014. Wifi is available at the transient dock but is a residence system with limited bandwidth that is shared with the small campground. Clean showers. Pleasant TV lounge. Friendly adult staff at present. Marina store winter hours 8am – 5pm. Good selection of beers. Eight miles to shopping. My 4.5′ draft wasn’t a problem.
    Tom Geren

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Sea Gate Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sea Gate Marina

  • A Great Weekend at Cape Lookout, off the AICW, via Beaufort Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean

    Cape Lookout Bight is a wonderful, natural harbor formed by Cape Lookout’s curve of land. This superb anchorage, one of the most popular in North Carolina, as confirmed by Skipper Merriman, is best accessed via the Beaufort Inlet, rather than through Back Sound.

    Labor Day Weekend August 30 – September 2nd 2014
    Wow! Just Wow!
    This was our first time to Cape Lookout. This place is fantastic. The water is warm and clear enough to snorkel. About 7 -10 feet of visibility, The water has a green tint to it.
    We anchored about 3/4 of the way into the bite. We were in 25 feet of water and just a short dinghy row from the beach.
    When we first arrived I was concerned because there must have been close to 100 boats in there. However, we had no problem finding a place to drop the hook. The very next morning most of the boats were gone, By day 3 there were only a handful.
    The sunsets and sunrises are super. The light house looks great. Although we didn’t make it up to the top. Good fishing, nice walks on the beach,
    Anybody who is sailing the coast and doesn’t stop by here is missing out.
    Will & Sheila
    s/v Sheila B

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Cape Lookout Bight Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Cape Lookout Bight

  • A Marine Professional’s Frustration, Beaufort, NC, AICW Statute Mile 201

    The current Grayden Paul Bridge over Gallant Channel in Beaufort is a bascule bridge with a closed vertical clearance of 13ft. Adams Creek and Gallant Channel connect southbound Waterway cruisers to the Beaufort waterfront.
    The new Grayden Paul Bridge ( will have a fixed vertical clearance of 65ft and a horizontal clearance of 100ft. However, it is obvious from Skipper Cole’s follow-up comments below that the new bridge does indeed impose restrictions on certain vessels. One can understand and sympathize with the frustrations of a marine professional fighting to stay in business.

    Having worked in a boat yard for many years, I understand after living in the area 41 years,that Adams creek is not part of the inland waterway. I have read many articles saying it is so. Please get the facts straight. This new bridge is putting our boat restoration business Out of work. Can’t the NCDOT understand that they are putting a lot of people out of work. Many boats have left the area to go to Charleston, Savannah, and Florida. This bridge if built will also impede the shrimp boats.
    Judith Cole

    August 30, 2014

    As Skipper Cole makes clear, the 65ft vertical clearance imposes restrictions on those boat yards who have been servicing vessels in need of greater than 65ft vertical clearance.

    Dear Larry , When you compared the new unbuilt bridge 65 ft. Against the present bridge. You failed in your comparison by only stating that it is only 13ft. The Grayden Paul bridge is a draw bridge when it is open the height can not be measured large tall ships with masts a lot higher than 65 feet have been using this bridge before either you or I were born. Please in your next writing quit trying to hide the truth. This new bridge will ruin the tall ships waterway . Adams creek is not part of the waterway,it needs it’s own specific concerns . Tall ships need their own consideration. Does hiding things from the public make it right. No, it is not honest.
    Judith Cole

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Gallants Channel

  • Good Visit to Beaufort Municipal Docks, AICW Statute Mile 201

    Location, location is the name of the game at Beaufort Municipal Docks and it is certainly good to hear positive comments about this popular stopping point for Waterway cruisers. The town of Beaufort, NC is known as a real success story along the Waterway and this wonderful port of call remains one of our favorites, anytime, anywhere!

    We took a weekend trip to Beaufort Town Docks this weekend and couldn’t have had a better time. Many thanks to Dock Master Neil for his assistance. If you want great views and nightlife, this is the place to be.
    John Flowe

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Beaufort Municipal Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort Municipal Docks

  • Praise for Dock Hands and Staff at Morehead City Yacht Basin, AICW Statute Mile 203

    A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Morehead City Yacht Basin, located on the southern flank of the marked channel that runs west from Mile 203 of the Waterway, just north of the Morehead-Beaufort, Newport River high-rise bridge.

    On July 12, 2014 my First Mate and I along with 2 guests on board sailed to Morehead City Yacht Basin along with several other boats from the Nuese Sailing Association. This is a very nice marina with floating docks and a dedicated and professional staff. I hailed the marina when I was about 10 minutes out and they gave me instructions on where to go. Upon my arrival there were 2 employees standing by to assist with my docking. Not only did they help with the initial docking, they stayed and assisted until the boat was completely secured with bow, stern, and spring lines in place and the boat connected to shore power. The staff was very friendly and helpful in every aspect of our overnight stay. We had a social on the deck of the Marina’s bath house. The dock master gave us a list of restaurants within walking distance. We had dinner at Floyds which came highly recommended. We weren’t disappointed. The marina also has a courtesy car available for $10.00 for a 2 hour block.
    Upon our departure the next morning (07/13/2014), there was an employee on hand to assist with our departure. We did not request him, he just showed up and assisted. I will definitely stay at this marina again.
    W. Merriman

    Emily and I agree completely. Marina and bathhouse very clean and the people are experts on fuel, docking and the area. We have been there three times in the last several months and each visit has been consistent. They have showed us some pivoting off of spots on dock for our Bristol 47 which will really help us. We try to plan departures to stay at Morehead City Yacht Basin.
    Van Beck

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morehead City Yacht Basin

  • Reports From Beaufort Town Docks (Statute Mile 201)


    SSECN Contributing Editor – Captain Jim Healy

    As some of you may remember, this past fall, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net published a partially negative review concerning Beaufort Town Docks, authored by SSECN frequent contributors, Skippers Chuck Baier and Susan Landry. This veteran cruising duo stopped here, and made their report, at my suggestion to do so.
    The reason for this commission was that, about a year ago, we began, for the first time, receiving several negative reviews of this facility from fellow cruisers. I must admit to being thunderstruck. Beaufort, NC was, and IS, one of my very favorite ports of call, anytime, anywhere. Everyone here knows me on sight, so that is why I asked Susan and Check for a review.
    Several cruisers, and particularly Beaufort Town Dock employees, objected to Susan and Chuck’s review as too negative, and not really fair. We eventually withdrew publication of this story at the specific request of Chuck and Susan.
    So, this year, in a conversation with new Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Contributing Editor (more about this later), Jim Healy, I asked him, if it proved to be convenient, to stop by Beaufort, and share his impressions. As you will see below, this veteran cruiser has presented a largely positive, but, it is only fair to say, also a mixed review of Beaufort Town Docks.

    We bought our Sanctuary in June, 2004. We finished re-fit, commissioned and splashed by the last week of September, 2004. New to boating and cruising, we spent the winter of 2004-05 in North Carolina, first in New Bern and then in Morehead City. During that winter, we also discovered Beaufort, a rustic and historic seafarers and mercantile community.
    Beaufort is not far from the ICW route, but we haven’t visited there in several years. We do stop in Morehead City so I can visit the very best marine “toy store” on the US East Coast, “Ace Marine and Rigging,” which is just a short walk across Arundel Street from the Sanitary Restaurant’s dock. This trip northbound, we decided to divert and visit Beaufort.
    The many mercantile establishments in Beaufort carry a full range of upscale millenaries, clothing, gifts, bric-à-brac, curiosities and books. Merchandise prices are high; we observed “full retail price” in all shoppes, and “well above MSRP” in many. There is a very nice Maritime Museum on Front St. Since we last visited Beaufort, the Post Office has relocated, an inconvenience for those afoot. Local restaurants offer a fine range of victuals. We visited Clawsons for lunch, and were disappointed to find they have dropped their signature “Dirigible” from their menu. Fortunately, their selection of craft beers somewhat compensated; somewhat. We thoroughly enjoyed an excellent ribeye steak dinner at the Grocery Company on Queen St.
    Access to the “Beaufort City Docks” from the Beaufort Inlet is easy. During our visit, two megayachts made overnight stops. Approach depths to 12 ft and slip depths to 7 ft are fine for cruising boats. Taylor Creek currents are moderate. The marina is exposed to winds with an easterly component. The facility has widely separated infrastructure features. Modern, floating docks are in good condition. In-slip fueling and pumpout are available. Fairways and slips are commodious. Shower house/bathrooms are clean and functional in a 1940s high-school locker room style, but are located at the far western end of the facility, so can be a long walk. Complimentary wi-fi is provided and adequate for email and web browsing. There is a well worn courtesy car. Courtesy car use is complimentary and car availability was excellent; finding a place to park it on return was tedious. Net transient pricing (dockage plus electric) is above regional averages, even after organization discounts are applied. On a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being excellent, I’d rate the marina facility as a 7; OK, but overpriced.
    We arrived at the Beaufort City Docks at noon on Thursday. We stayed two nights and felt we had had two very different customer experiences. The reservation process was easy. When we arrived, slip assignment went smoothly. Docking assistance and electric set-up was excellent. It was our impression that there are two separate “crews” of dock attendants and office staff which I will call “Team 1” and “Team 2.” Team 1 – our Thursday experience – was welcoming, friendly, responsive and helpful. They offered local information they knew we would want but did not know to ask about. They smiled and laughed a lot. Team 2 – our Friday experience – was markedly different. They were indifferent and remote. There was no smiling. We asked for information about the Beaufort drawbridge operation and the northbound “Russell Slough” (pronounced: SLEW) navigation channel. “Team 2” pointed to a sheet on the wall. No Captain’s handout was available. We were entirely “on our own” to find a place to park the car. We circled the town for 20 minutes, and finally found a spot two blocks from the marina. “Team 2” made it clear – “if looks could kill” – they were annoyed that we had left the car “so far away.” Our net is, the customer experience that a transient boater might have at the Beaufort City Docks is mixed, and seems to depend on which crew of attendants (and which attitude) is on duty. On a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being excellent, I’d rate “Team 1” as a 10. “Team 2,” well, not so much.

    Well done review, though I would caution that the term “moderate” for the current in Taylor Creek probably depends on when you hit it. I have seen large powerboats have difficulty getting in and out when the current is full tilt and the wind is blowing. My advice to sailors is to time your arrival or departure for slack tide and wind, if at all possible. Anchoring for a short while to await better conditions can sometimes make the difference between a safe landing and an expensive mistake. Also, this is often the first strong current docking experience for many ICW newbies coming from the north where marinas tend to not be situated in current-swept locations for the most part. It’s good practice for places further south on the ICW where currents can be even stronger.
    John kettlewell

    We have stopped at Beaufort Town Docks many times in the past. The last time was in April 2010. Since then, we have regretfully by- passed this wonderful town. We simply will not pay the exorbitant price for a marina that has so little to offer but a superb location. On our 2009- 2010 cruise to Florida, Beaufort Town Docks was the MOST expensive marina we stayed in in four months. When we were there the last time, it was almost empty. Did the cost have something to do with this?
    Norman Mason
    Peggy Sue, Monk 36
    Norfolk, VA

    Having just returned from three nights in Beaufort I can report that we had a great time. The dock masters were extremely cordial and caring and handled any need. They checked on us several times and as we watched others come and go they paid them the same attention. Beaufort remains our favorite destination, besides Ocracoke, on the North Carolina coast.
    John Rebholz

    I arrived at Beaufort Marina on Fri. and experienced crew #2. I totally agree with Jim that there seemed to be an attitude. I think everybody not only wants to deal with competent dock helpers, which crew #2 certainly was, but also wants to feel welcome and treated like the reason for their employment instead of an interruption to their day.
    Joe Apicella

    Just amazes me as the the pettiness of many boaters..sometimes I feel reading this various reports that boaters expect these docks to be 5 star hotels with all the amenities of them. If i can talk to someone, make a reservation, someone meets to grasp a line , and get my power plugged in….i am happy.
    I will bet if i flew into any airport in any city, I would be standing around figuring out what and where.
    PS: BEEN at these docks several time and enjoyed the experience which it is if the current is running!
    Larry Hemmerick

    I’ve gone to Beaufort Town Docks since the 90s. Know it from dock and shore.
    1. It’s expensive by comparison to all other locations within 200 miles.
    2. Roll the dice on whether they’re friendly or not. Honestly.
    3. The bath/shower by comparison to other locations is horrible.
    4. Great location.
    5. Shops are tourist traps, not for bargain seekers.
    6. Some of the best restaurants around. But you have to look and ask.
    If they fix the showers to compare with other local marinas, and get rid of some of the goober, huckster dock-hand behaviors, they’ll be awesome. Not $2.75 awesome, but pretty awesome. Many of their staff are very good, helpful folks, but they’ve got a knucklehead or two they should wish “good luck in your future endeavors”.
    Ben Matthews

    Beaufort Docks has a great location adjacent to a very nice town. We stayed here one night, and the dockhands were courteous and helpful. We dined at the Blue Moon Bistro, and had a wonderful meal. Walking the town and taking in the shops was easy, and the marina had a loaner car we used to provision. We did not use the showers or laundry, so can’t comment on them. The docks are in decent shape, and easy in and out if you know how to play the current.
    About $140 for one night (for a 48’ trawler), however, is a bit steep. Bald Head Island Marina just south was $100 a night. But, due to the location, the owner gets his price, and such is life. My only complaint was the pumpout. First, the hose was not long enough to reach both sides of my boat (I have two tanks and the caps are port and starboard). After untying and turning the boat around for the second tank, I was charged $10 per tank for a total of $20 for the pumpout. While $20 is not going to break the bank, it left a bad taste and is indicative of poor management. Had the pumpout dock and hose been adequate to handle the situation it would be less obtrusive (even though most pumpouts have been free with a slip rental), but the owner should not be surprised at some of the more negative reviews here and elsewhere. It is the little things which can turn a positive experience into a poor one. With that said, I still give the marina four out of five stars, based on our overall positive experience.
    Berwick Duval

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Beaufort Town Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort Town Docks

  • North Carolina Mariners Museum Annex, Beaufort, NC Now Offering Transient Dockage, Near St. M. 201)

    NC Mariners Museum Annex Docks - Beaufort, NC

    NC Mariners Museum Annex Docks – Beaufort, NC – Google Earth

    The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net just received an e-mail from former “Coastal Cruising” magazine contributor, Captain Brent Creelman, who now works with the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, North Carolina. As you will read below, the museum annex, which lies at the intersection of the Gallants Channel and Town creek, north of the eventually to be replaced (with a high-rise) Grayden Paul bridge, near 34°43.669’N,76°40.054’W, is now offering transient dockage for visiting vessels. The transient rate is a VERY reasonable $1.00 per foot, per night!
    While power and water connections are available, there are no other shoreside facilities, and it will be a hefty walk (or a very quick taxi ride) from this facility to the many delights and dining attractions in downtown Beaufort. Mariners should also be advised that to reach these docks, they must either navigate the Bulkhead Channel from Beaufort Inlet, and then pass through the restricted Grayden Paul Bridge, or run the somewhat iffy (but still very do-able), Russell Slue – Gallant Channel route from the AICW to a point just short of Town Creek.
    martimemuseumannexdocksEven with those mild disadvantages, many cruisers will be understandably enticed by the dockage rates featured at these docks. If interested, drop Captain Creelman an email, or give him a call!

    Ahoy Fellow Mariners!
    The Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort invites transient vessels and historically significant craft to visit and be our guests at the museum’s expansion site on Gallants Channel just north of downtown.
    The facility has deep water wharfs running some 1,500’ and floating docks with 10 slips and a 100’ face dock.
    The Friends of the Museum is offering a very reasonable short term dockage rate of just $1/foot per night, or $10/foot per month.
    Water and power are available but there are no shore side facilities at this time. There is ample parking on site.
    Located less than a mile from the AICW the site is well protected, has plenty of water depth, and is just a mile from Beaufort’s Front Street.
    Brent Creelman
    Director of Operations
    Friends of the Museum

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mariner’s Wharf Annex Docks

  • Boatyard Recommendations for Central NC Coast

    This discussion of mechanics and boatyards comes to us from our friends at Trawlers Forum ( and, while the list contains both pros and cons, it does not reflect the opinion or endorsement of Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net. However, we invite you to add your favorite NC mechanic or boatyard to the list!

    For diesel repair, we have had a lot of great results with Coastal Diesel in New Bern. Prompt, on-time scheduling and a team of very good mechanics. They are basically a mobile service and will come to you. It can be pricey, but once it’s done, it’s done. They just rebuilt my mechanical injector pump last week and rebuilt my genset last year. Good bunch of guys.
    Deaton Yachts in Oriental is a good all-around yard. The complaints we’ve heard from there was that their time management isn’t that great. They have trouble meeting work deadlines. In disclosure, we have used their mobile service, but have not hauled out there. They have an onsite parts department and that’s a huge plus.
    Wayfarer’s Cove in Arapahoe, NC is a good general yard. It’s a bit isolated from civilization and the yard, with its dirt lot instead of gravel, leaves you boat very dirty, plus, power hook-us are spotty. They have one of the best fiberglass guys in the area that works there. Tom runs the place quite well and is an honest guy. He will quote you a price and stick to it. If he falls short anywhere, it’s that he’s a bit edgy and sometimes hard to get in touch with. No email either.
    I have called Bach Marine on several occasions, but have never used them. They always came in with the highest quotes and Kenny, while very knowledgeable, I have felt that I would have the same issues that I have with Sailcraft. Just a bit too “old school” with billing and communication.
    Our new guys are True World Marine and Lightning Yachts. Both are boat builders (or former). They are both located in the marine industrial park where Jarret Bay is. True World is a very neat and well kept yard with good power and new facilities. Lightning Yachts is a repair place just up the road that can do about anything with boats. Both respond quickly to emails and will take the time needed on the phone to make sure all bases are covered.
    Chuck Courtney is a mobile guy (Power and Sailboat Repair). He’s a good honest guy, but is very busy. I have used him a couple of times and he’s been good. I don’t think he’s the best engine guy (I would use Coastal for that), but he’s an good electrical guy.
    If you want to do some snooping around, go visit Morehead City Yacht Basin and see who’s working on the boats there. Ask Mike (dockmaster) and ask for some recos.
    Hope this helps.
    Tom & Bess Beaty
    m/v Skinny Dippin’

  • Night Time Opening Restrictions Ended at RR Bridge, AICW Statute 203.8, Morehead City, NC

    Morehead City RR Bridge – Click for Chartview

    With a closed vertical clearance of 4ft, Morehead City Railroad Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statute Mile 204, immediately south of the Newport River Bridge.
    Mariners are advised that the general operating regulations, set out at Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.5, have been reinstated at the Carolina Coastal Railroad Bridge across Newport River, at AICW mile 203.8, in Morehead City, NC. Since October 2012, the drawbridge had been operating on a temporary schedule to facilitate extensive rehabilitation. The re-established operating regulations require that the drawbridge open promptly and fully for the passage of vessels when a request to open is given. However, the drawbridge is normally maintained in the open to navigation position at all times and only closes for passing trains and/or maintenance. In the closed position to vessels, this single-leaf bascule drawbridge has a vertical clearance of approximately four feet, above mean high water. Chart 11541 January 4, 2014

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Morehead City Railroad Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morehead City Railroad Bridge

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