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.
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 !