2013 was the 300th Anniversary Celebration of Edenton, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and Edenton still has lots of celebration in store for visitors to this historic port.
2013 was the 300th Anniversary Celebration of Edenton, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and Edenton still has lots of celebration in store for visitors to this historic port.
The following article from BoatUS on how to choose a good boat yard is certainly helpful, and you can find among our SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSORS! two of the finest yards on the east coast. Sponsors that are helping to keep this service FREE to the cruising community. Those yards are, of course, Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, VA and Bennett Brothers in Wilmington, NC.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 24, 2014 – While boatyards are busy, summer may be a better time to have repair work done on the boat. Why? The typical boatyard and shop warranty on labor is 90 days, giving boaters the time necessary to use the boat and ensure a correct repair. But where does a boater go to get repairs done right? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some tips:
Use what your eyes are telling you: Sometimes it’s the little things that give you a sign that the yard you are entering isn’t the best. One BoatUS member took his boat to a repair facility and thought that the abundance of boats in the lot meant that the boatyard was popular. It wasn’t until after the yard started giving odd excuses for delays and then made him pay for hundreds of dollars of ineffective engine repairs before releasing the boat, did the member notice that few, if any, of the boats in the lot had been moved in years.
All recommendations aren’t the same: Online recommendations are a mish-mash of good and bad: more reliable ones have real names attached and specific details in postings. Fellow boaters are likely the best folks to recommend a yard, but go one step further: be sure that the repairs are similar to what you need. Another option is to ask a marine surveyor. These professionals are often knowledgeable about the quality of work in local repair yards, as long as they’re impartial and unaffiliated with any shop or boatyard. Look for a boat surveyor having SAMS or NAMS credentials as these surveyor associations require their members to be independent. Another good sign to see is a shop that follows American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) guidelines for repairs, which ensures that crucial safety standards are met. ABYC technicians also get specialized certification in a range of boat systems.
Dealerships may offer more, but don’t write off independents: There are certain benefits to taking an out-of-warranty boat or motor to a dealership, with the best training and equipment being at the top of the list. Dealerships also enjoy better parts connections. On the other hand, most well established independent repair facilities also produce high quality work – especially those run by former or current factory-trained technicians. And unlike a dealership, they must compete on repair business alone and their prices are usually lower.
Look for shops that specialize: Boats vary in type, size and complexity and so do repair facilities. Don’t bring a 34-foot trawler for repairs to a shop that mostly works on trailer boats, and don’t expect the guy living in a van down by the river to fix your high-tech outboard.
“Always check around first before doing business,” said BoatUS Director of Consumer Affairs Charles Fort. “Many boaters only have the summer to enjoy their boats, so any problems could lead to a premature end of the boating season.”
Most of the reports we receive from Dismal Swamp travelers are downright amorous! See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=138522. There are occasions, after high winds or high water, when the canal may be trashed with extra debris and duckweed, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=88326. In fact, it is sometimes closed to order for the ACOE to remove excess debris. Obviously, Captain Grimes came through at one of those congested times, and I hope you will join me in encouraging Captain Grimes to give the Great Dismal Swamp Canal another chance! It is a favorite part of the Waterway for many folks.
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center lies along the eastern banks of the Dismal Swamp Canal at statute mile 28.
We traveled southbound in August, 2012, at < 6 knots with two of us on the flybridge looking for debris in the water. We hit no fewer than 5 submerged objects. Fortunately, our hull sustained no damage, but we will not venture into the Dismal Swamp Canal again. We saw numerous floating logs tied to brush along the bank with flimsy rope.
Capt. David Grimes
Left River Dunes yesterday heading for our home marina in Beaufort, NC.
We were 4-5 hours away and decided to stay 2 nights at this high end marina because it is so nice. The pool, the staff, the cabanas, the hot tubs, the porches, the quiet places to unwind…well you get the picture. One morning a dock hand was walking the dock “knocking down the spider webs” to keep up the appearance of this beautiful place. Truly a little piece of heaven so very close to home.
Thank you River Dunes staff!
As we have said many times, it’s always good to hear good things about Miss Wanda and her crew! Alligator River Marina lies on the western shore of the mouth of the Alligator River/AICW, just north of the swing bridge and southwest of flashing daybeacon #12. This facility provides the ONLY readily available dockage and fuel along the patch of the AICW between Coinjock, Elizabeth City and Dowry Creek/Belhaven!
We stayed in Alligator River Marina for the first time June 11 and 12, 2014. The entrance is well marked. The 17 or so individual docks are on starboard as you enter. The first few are longer and have four posts on each side. The smaller docks are further in and have three posts on each side. Most of the posts have cleats on them. The bulkhead is supported by a line or rip-rap so be careful backing in. The piers are about 25 feet long. The rest of the marina has alongside tie-up with ample power stations.
A slender man named Logan came to greet us and help with our lines. I could hear the hospitality in his southern drawl. He was knowledgeable about clove-hiches and spring lines.
We met Wanda in the restaurant and she was sweet as southern tea to us. She told of the recent death of a local favorite alligator called ‘Cheeseburger”. He had wandered onto the highway one night and was hit by a passing car. Pictures on the wall of the restaurant tell the story of him and the many black bears that live nearby.
They have free Wi-Fi but we never used it. We did use the roomy boater’s lounge with Dish TV. The restrooms, washers/dryers are in the same house north of the boat ramp.
I loved watching the moonrise at the end of the long pier that looks over the river.
We recommend this marina and hope to get back in the fall.
On our way North this spring we attempted to anchor in the alligator river but the wind was too strong and getting stronger – the radio was busy with boaters looking for alternatives – we hailed the marina and were told there was plenty of room with a side too tie up we requested. The marina is very sheltered and well taken care of – Wanda is great – and for all those who still like good old fashioned marketing and customer service I got a card from Wanda thanking me for using the marina!!!!
Wells Moore “Flying Corgi”
The Waterway typically shoals either immediately north or south of the four-way intersection with New River and New River Inlet. Dredging at this intersection was begun in November of 2012 and was to have been completed by February of 2013.
June 12. On advise from TowboatUS heading north, kept two Green markers just off to starboard, then hard right past red to my port. Went through with no problem at dead low tide. His advice, don’t inadvertently cut a green, which is mistake many make. Lowest depth I read was approx. 7 feet. I was on a Catalina 42, 5 Ft. wing keel.
With a closed vertical clearance of 13ft, Surf City – S.R. 50 Swing Bridge crosses the Waterway at Statute Mile 261, southwest of unlighted daybeacon #69. A meeting with NCDOT for public comment will be held July 29, 2014.
PRELIMINARY PUBLIC NOTICE
NC – Albermarle Sound to Sunset Beach – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (AICW)
The purpose of this notice is to notify mariners, adjacent property owners, and government agencies that the North Carolina Department of Transportation proposes to replace the NC 50/210 (Topsail Island) Bridge [Surf City Bridge] at AICW mile 260.7, at Surf City, Pender County, NC. Presently, in the closed position to vessels, the charted vertical clearance of the existing drawbridge is 13 feet above mean high water (MHW) and unlimited vertical clearance in the full open position, with 92 feet of horizontal clearance between the fenders. The proposed replacement would be a fixed bridge that will provide a vertical clearance of 65 feet above MWH, with a horizontal clearance of 120 feet. The bridge piers would be designed for vessel impact with no fender system to be constructed. It is requested that the Coast Guard be provided with navigational information such as the sizes and types of vessels presently owned and operated around this location on the AICW as they relate to the proposed vertical and horizontal clearances. Comments should be forwarded to the above address attention (dpb) no later than July 11, 2014. Copies of Preliminary Public Notice 5-1302 which describes the proposal in detail can be obtained by calling (757) 398-6587 or by viewing at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=pnBridges. Chart 11541 LNM: 23/14
This reported shoaling is west of Morehead City in a long narrow channel in the open waters of Bogue Sound, where the Waterway runs east/west. Marker #7 sits on the south side of the channel opposite the mouth to Peletier Creek. If you have also experienced shallow water at this spot, let us hear from you.
Shoaling in the channel Bogue Sound, NC near mile 210 south of Beaufort, NC. Ran aground near G”7″ today. Seems the spoil area has spilled into the channel. We were slightly right of center in the channel, mid tide rising (2.5′ above MLW) when our 6′ draft sailboat was brought to an abrupt haul. It was sand or silt and were able to get free without a problem, but the new shoal extended to near the center of the channel. A large catamaran with 4′ draft was two miles behind us, that we were unable to contact on VHF, also ran aground on the same shoal.
Recommend cruisers be alerted to favor the red side for 12′ plus depths north of mile marker 210 until past G”7″.
We ditto the comment. We got to the green side at this same marker and were in 4.5 feet of water at near low tide.
This anchorage is west of West Thorofare Bay’s #11WB marker; West Thorofare Bay lies south of West Bay; West Bay cuts the extreme southern shore of Pamlico Sound. We don’t hear much about this anchorage, so we are grateful to Skipper Merriman for this report.
First of all, shame on me for my poor chart reading. This anchorage is a long way off Pamlico Sound.
The route in is fairly easy with a chart plotter. Had plenty of water under the boat all the way in. There was 8 feet of water in the anchorage.
The winds were out of the West @ 21kts when I anchored and got settled in. The boat did a lot of swinging and turning. Not much bouncing though which was nice. Some time during the night I dragged the anchor a bit. When I hoisted the anchor this morning, it came up clean so I am unable to say what the bottom is like. Grass maybe??
This anchorage is in a marsh. There is no “land” nearby, so there is no stretching your legs or giving your pets a break.
I was in the anchorage by myself. Had one boat come by the next morning. Other than that it was peaceful.
The Air Force bombing range was active but too far away to see anything.
W. Merriman, s/v Sheila B
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of West Thorofare Bay
34 56.585 North/076 23.529 West
The US 74 Bridge has a closed vertical clearance of 20ft and crosses the Waterway in the heart of Wrightsville Beach. For a Local Notice regarding a reduction in clearance in June, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140201
The Wrightsville Beach Bridge is operating on it’s published schedule. I arrived there at 1300 today in time for its regular opening. The bridge tender was helpful and courteous. He tried four times to contact a sailboat captain who was having radio trouble and even delayed the opening so the sailboat could make it. One o’clock is .9 foot from high tide and the bridge markers showed 16 foot clearance. I confirmed that with the bridge tender. Since the bascule bridge was shaped like an arch I asked the tender if there was any more room to work with. He stated that was all he could say because of “liability”. I believe there was about two feet more in the center. In fact the NOAA chart shows a 20 foot vertical clearance.
Skipper Matthews sends a fresh report on a Problem Stretch south of Swansboro. The intersection of the Waterway and Browns Inlet has been the site of shoaling for some time, as well as a mysterious underwater hazard.
Came through here on May 25, 2014 at 745am. This one spot is mentioned here as a problem. Most advice says “stay to the red side” which I have during 4 passages without incident. However this last Sunday, going southbound, I passed a trawler going northbound a few miles south of this spot. Later on channel 16, I heard his call to USCG and his tow service with the words “engine runs but prop not turning”. As USCG was contacting him and asking him to verify his position, he did. N34,36.41, W077,13.84. The same spot.
There are multiple references which mention bent shafts and struts, and damaged props. Most shoaling reports merely mention that someone got stuck or kicked up some mud. This is one of the few that consistently mentions damaged hardware.
On a prior visit, I photoed a tug stuck here:
Notice the prop wash to the side. I hailed him but no answer. Saw him later heading south, obviously freed.
Came through that spot (Browns Inlet) at low tide with no problem. Draft 5 feet. May 30, 2014.
Raymond W. Smith – The “Firer Dog”
We went through the Brown Inlet area (marker 63) May 23 at near low tide with 10 ft at low tide. Just follow the marks. The problem is the temporary red and green are way off the normal channel and look like the are for a side channel. They are also in a straight line but they are for the intracoastal waterway marks.
New River Marina overlooks the Waterway’s western banks just north of marker #4 at Sneads Ferry, which has long had a reputation as a source for good fuel prices.
Stopped here Memorial Day weekend. Very popular, about 3 boats lined up behind us for fuel 5 minutes after we tied up. Very rustic. Fixed fuel dock. Fast diesel pumps. cheap fuel but they will charge 7% tax with an old calculator. Be alert for this calculation and CHECK it. Young girl behind the counter doing the calculation charged me 40% tax with the old calculator (twice). I showed her the calculator on my phone for the true 7% (which, to be honest, not sure if that rate was right or not for diesel?) So it’s not really $3.58 (of this writing), they add on tax. Be advised pulling straight out from the dock can put you in 4 foot of water for a brief moment. Better to turn hard after untying and leave with the dock at your stern.
This shortcut that runs northwest from the western end of Snows Cut to the Wilmington bound Cape Fear River has been a temptation and a hazard for several years, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=105372. Skipper Matthews did not leave all his good sense behind, because he went slowly, kept an eye on the depthfinder, was able to do a 180 and escape the shoal. It’s a tough rule to remember, but all charted channels are not necessarily navigable.
I left good sense behind and tried this channel Memorial Day weekend 2014. It dropped to 3 foot fast! Was lucky enough to turn around and make it back to deep water after a good barnacle scraping. I draw 3-1/2 feet.
We continue to hear good things about this marina in Bridgeton, across the Neuse River from New Bern, NC. Cruisers heading upstream to New Bern on Neuse River, depart the AICW at the northern entrance to Adams Creek, Statute Mile 185.
Bridgeton Harbor Marina has the best, bar none, slips and piers of any Marina I have been to. The dock master is very helpful and easy to get along with. The live-aboards are open and very helpful. If you want excitement or drama, this is not the place to stay. But for an easy access, non intimidating stay, this is the place.
Late breaking information as of late May, 2014, shows that, very much in keeping with the reports below, shoaling has built up rather alarmingly from the seaward side of the AICW channel, near marker #99A. It appears that, at the current time, the best plan is to traverse this section mid-way between #99A, and a new dock which will be spied abutting the northwestern banks. HOWEVER, it is also possible to get too close to the mainland shoreline.
We strongly suggest that all cruising craft traverse this troubled intersection at idle speed, and preferably as near to high tide as possible!
Good luck, you may need it!
And, before we close, MORE INFORMATION IS NEEDED FROM FELLOW CRUISERS WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY TRAVERSED THIS INTERSECTION. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO USE THE “COMMENT” FUNCTION BELOW, OR CLICK THE “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE RIGHT SIDEBAR ON ALL (EXCEPT CHART VIEW) SSECN PAGES!
New Topsail is a problem a hundred yards before 99A till you clear 99 by the same distance. On 4-22-14 our sailing vessel with a 4′ 3″ draft was temporarily grounded on the green side of the channel. This happened very near low tide. Passage is no problem at this time if vessels run the red side of the channel close to the many docks on that side. At the time of our grounding another sailboat with a draft of 6′ 7″ ran the “red side” without a problem.
We were able to hoist our sails to free the vessel and also passed through staying close to the various docks on the red side (extreme left side of marked channel).
Transiting Topsail Sound today at 11:26 AM. Sailboat was hard aground inside the channel at green marker 99A, Topsail inlet area. He called us and advised taking green with wide berth. The skipper was awaiting tide and expected to be able to get off by @ 2:00 PM. We passed by and saw 6 feet abeam of him.
SV Simple Life
Transited this area 5/22/14 about 8AM. G 99A was waaay over on the north/mainland side, only about 150′ from the shore where a dock is under construction. We honored the buoy, squeezed in between the buoy and the construction, and saw 8′ depth (reduced to MLW). The current LNM lists 99A as “damaged” but not “off station.”
Just in case it hasn’t been reported, as of 5/15/14, there is extreme shoaling just north of Wrightsville Beach, NC at marker number 99A, where Black Mud Channel enters the ICW. Vessels drawing more than 3 feet, maybe less, must stay to the extreme west side of the channel. This is the red side, but no red marker is located at this position.
Rudy and Jill
Black Mud Channel – 5 foot draft sailboat transited one hour before high tide on 5/17 and saw only 7 feet on extreme left side of the channel off the docks.
We passed here headed north on 5/27/2014. We were directly in between the green marker, and the new dock, and had 6′ under our boat at low tide. The channel is quite narrow. The green buoy will look out of place as it is so far toward the red side, but it is not.
AICW Black Mud Channel MM 270
We can confirm that 99A has been moved. On June 1/14 We passed half way between 99A and the docks, and saw 8ft MLW. This passage is very narrow.
Richard Ross M/V Chez Nous
I later passed by markers 99 and 99a at exact high tide (1425). I have a four foot draft and passed through the area without incident. I honored the green markers at about 20 feet. During the passage I never showed less than 9 feet of depth. There is a boat docked at marker 99a with its bow protruding into the new channel.
One boat can easily pass while two could be a problem.
Thanks again for your great service.
Nordic Tug 37
PLEASE, if you have even the slightest interest in ever cruising the Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route, follow the link below to see a truly amazing video. The talented sailors who put this together employed one of those new drones for aerial photography. And, in addition to the canal itself, there are some truly stunning aerial shots of our good friends at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center! DON’T MISS THIS ONE!!!
We wish more cruisers would choose to depart the familiar confines of the AICW, and cruise west on Albemarle Sound to this impressive body of water’s many anchorages and ports of call. The Scuppernong River, which makes into the sounds southern banks, west of Alligator River, is one of the best destinations for Albemarle Sound cruising, and the free (for 48-hour) Columbia Town Docks are a great place to rest from your travels. Or, you could choose to pick up a wet slip at Cypress Cove Marina (see below). Either way, it’s well worth your time, IF the Albemarle does not have its dander up!
We spent the 17th and 18th at the Columbia town docks. This is a very nice place to visit. The docks are limited in space with room for just 3 or 4 boats. Because of this we had to raft next to a friends boat as all the space was full.
Because it was Saturday no one was at the office but bathroom was open and clean and it has a very nice shower.
We had a great meal that night at Old Salt Oyster Bar and Sunday morning we had a good breakfast at Mikes.
All in all this is a very good place to cruise into and stay for a night or two.
2013 was the 300th Anniversary Celebration of Edenton, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140147. SSECN Contributing Editor, Captain Jim Healy, has sent us a wonderful article on this historic North Carolina town.
It was great to read your write up. Just wanted to let you know about the Edenton Yacht Club. We welcome out of town visitors at our events. Join us at a party just to say hello, or participate in one of our races if you’re in the mood. Visit our website http://www.eycnc.org to see what is happening with the club when you are in town!!
That is our Monk 36 “Journey” docked in Edenton. We had a wonderful visit in this welcoming historic town. The following day we visited Plymouth, NC. Which we highly recommend. We are from Swansboro NC and are headed to the Chesapeake Bay for the summer. We completed the “Great Loop” in April 2014. Love your site.
Just realized that is my good friend Jim Healy’s Monk “Sanctuary”. Great article!
Waterfront Marina is located on the western shores of Doughs Creek, northwest of Shallowbag Bay marker #10, off Roanoke Sound, and north of the great Pamlico Sound.
Our thanks to Assistant Dockmaster, George Barr, for sending this list of waterfront activities. Note especially the need to reserve a slip immediately for July 4th! Manteo
I’ve also enclosed a list of special events in Manteo for the summer & fall that boaters will want to be aware of:
Manteo Special Events Summer/Fall 2014
*Saturdays…8am till noon Downtown Manteo Farmer’s Market…produce, crafts, gifts
*First Friday…of every month 6PM, great street music, merchants hospitality &specials&late hours
*Dare Day… June 7th, art, crafts, special events, kid fun and street food.
*July 4th… Take a trip back to the 1950’s with an old fashioned 4th..FIREWORKS SHOW and events all day.
Minimum 2 day reservation for boaters. Almost FULL as of 5/14…reserve NOW!
*New World Art Festival…dockside August 13/14…wonderful art and crafts of all kinds.
SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina has produced a really useful video about how to successfully navigate the Shallowbag Bay entrance channel from the waters of Roanoke Sound to the Manteo waterfront. Not only does the commentator describe the channel via NOAA Chart 12205, but there is a HIGHLY useful on-the-water sequence where navigators can visually review exactly what they will see from the water while running the channel.
This video is especially useful for these waters, as they are populated by a huge collection of aids to navigation, some of which are founded in shoal water, and the channel is narrow, in spots, and changeable.
So, if you have any idea of visiting the popular port of call in Manteo, NC, may we strongly urge you to follow this link!
Thank you so much Claiborne and Manteo Marina. I’ve approached that turn several times with my heart in my throat because of uncertainty with all those markers. I’ll be there next week once again, but this time, I’ll be confident thanks to the video.