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

  • Skidaway Narrows Bridge OPERATIONAL!, AICW Statute Mile 592.5

    Our “onsite reporter”, Roger Long, gives us the good news that the bridge has been repaired. Capt. Long had been anchored in the immediate area waiting for an opening since early Saturday. Thank you, Roger! However, he warns that more problems with the old bridge may arise before the new bridge is completed. Skidaway Narrows Bridge crosses the ICW at Statute Mile 592.5. A new high-rise bridge is under construction immediately north of the old bridge.

    Opened Sunday evening 12/23/12. In view of the big head shaking gathering by a bunch of people who looked like they had been pulled from church and family activities, I expect there will be more uncertainty about this bridge in its short time remaining.
    Roger Long

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Skidaway Narrows Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Skidaway Narrows Bridge

  • Praise for Georgia Waterway and Report from Hell Gate, AICW 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.

    Captains Glen and Jill Moore provide an excellent picture of and approach to this long-time trouble spot where depths can change quickly due to the narrow channel. And we heartily agree that these miles of undeveloped and unspoiled Waterway in Georgia are well worth the necessary planning and navigational care.

    We traveled through Hell Gate on 11/9/12. The shallowest spot observed on our path was 8’ MLW south of floating R90. Using the large Georgia tides to your advantage, Hell Gate depths provide a good margin of error on your course through this narrow stretch of the ICW.
    Some cruisers avoid the Georgia ICW due to stories of shallow water. They miss one of the best cruising areas of the southeast coast. Those on a delivery schedule, just trying to get south or north as quickly as possible, can save much time by going outside. It is about 115 sm from Hilton Head, SC to the St. Marys River entrance at the Florida line, while traveling between the same destinations following the ICW is a curving course of 150 sm. But, for cruisers searching for memorable experiences, it is 150 miles of natural beauty, 100’s of anchorages, and many interesting places to visit.
    The term ”Problem Stretches” may be part of the problem, adding to a level of fear causing cruisers to avoid Georgia. Yes, there are areas that require attention and planning, all of which are documented on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net website. So, there should be no surprises. The site’s new feature of recently sounded and recorded depths by ARGUS research vessels, detailed directly on NOAA charts, provides accurate and easy-to-understand information on depths. Spending a little time researching the waterway on SSECN, annotating information directly on your charts, will provide a valuable guide to safely cruising Georgia’s section of the AICW. Navigation of these waters is a bit more challenging, but the challenge of navigation should be one of the experiences enjoyed in cruising — a n endeavor rewarded by the outstanding cruising experiences these waters can provide.
    The narrow, and sometimes shallow, Georgia passages should be viewed as “Areas of Concern,” requiring increased levels of attention and planning. Often in life, the greatest of rewards require higher effort to achieve.
    PBS created a documentary of the Georgia barrier islands which provides a visual and narrative description of the history and beauty of one aspect of this area:
    Glen and Jill Moore
    DeFever 40 Last Dance

    Very good to hear positive comments about the Georgia ICW.

    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

  • An Enthusiastic Thumbs Up for Hinkley Yacht Services, Thunderbolt, Georgia (just outside Savannah, GA, St. M. 583)

    Having just returned from a personal research visit to Hinkley Yacht Services on 11/2/12, I agree with Captain Day’s description. This truly seems like a quality operation!
    The Savannah/Thunderbort version of the venerable Hinkley Yacht Services overlooks the Waterways’ western banks, immediately north of the Thunderbolt high-rise bridge.

    In September 2011 we hauled our 34 year old, 44FT. Thompson Trawler, LILY MARIA at the Chesapeake Marine Railway, Deltaville, VA { Contact:J. Farinholt. {804}776 8833 } for serious bottom work.High pressure water utilizing a special nozzle removed old paint.Voids and dings filled, sanded and two coats of West Marine Premium Gold ablative anti fouling applied. This was our second visit to Chesapeake Marine Railway and have always been pleased with there work and consideration to customer needs. Good people!.
    In May 2012 we short hauled for an insurance survey and seemingly the overly enthusiastic pressure wash removed most of the still active ablative paint.Four months in Georgias fast flowing, nutrient rich rivers found LILY MARIAs bottom reminiscent of a tropical rain forest, with abundant slime, weed and small barnacles. A marine biologists delight , a skippers horror show!!.
    What to do?.Haul in Geogia or wait until we returned to Marathon for the winter?. Greatly reduced speed, slugish manouvering and no doubt increased fuel consumption favored Georgia.
    By telephone we contacted 7 reputable boat yards including 2 in Florida where we had hauled in prevous years for quotations. For a fair comparison we reduced each quote to a $ per foot cost. The quotation from Hinkley Yacht Services in Thunderbolt GA came right in the middle of our tabulation. After several discussions with Gebel Seese , Hinkley Service Manager, {Contact: {912} 629 2400 } it became apparent to us that Hinkley offerred the best possible value consistent with top quality materials and skilled labor.
    We found the Sea Hawk web site informative and following Gebel Seese advise we specified Sea Hawk, Tropikote, based on proven longevity and effectiveness of anti fouling properties. Further, via Sea Hawks appointed applicators a written guarrantee is issued which appealed to Jean and I.
    Haul out day saw LILY MARIA in the slings for a full 8 hours while she was scraped,pressure washed and lightly sanded. Of special note,the running gear and scoops were restored to bare metal by the addition of a small amount of silicone sand added to the pressure wash water.This coupled with the extensive work undertaken the prevous year at the Chesapeake Marine Railway has restored the bottom of LILY MARIA to a clean fair surface. As one interested bystander said “Your 35 year old boat now has the bottom of a 4 year old”. We especially appreciated the care and hard work in prepping the bottom on which the finished job would depend.
    Metal primed, 2 coats of Tropikote applied with 3 on the waterline and LILY MARIA was ready to be launched within 5 working days.
    Durring the haul out we lived aboard with minimal inconveience. Hinkley provides good clean shoreside facilities adjascent to the work area. The work areas are tidy, well organized and the work scheduled so the job progresses without interruption.
    The labor force,many of whom worked at the old Palmer Johnson yard, are experienced, skilled craftsmen and proud to carry on the the quality work that Hinkley is renowned for. This full service yard maintains many boats that are not Hinkley built and despite there insistance on customer service and quality there priceing is most competitive.Hinkley is not a do it your self yard.
    We are extremly satisfied with our Hinkley experience which was beyond our expectations. The job was completed on time, within budget and to a high standard. On the run south we have noted at least a 1.25 increse in speed at cruising RPM plus resultant fuel savings.
    Jean sums it up best of all by saying “the only problem I see with Hinkley is that we now have no choice but to return for all future haul outs!!
    Colin Day
    Jean Henderson

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

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

  • Cruiser Finds a New Home at Isle of Hope Marina (Statute Mile 590)

    Captain Gaffney telephoned the SSECN offices a few weeks ago, and asked for marina advice in the Savannah, Georgia region. We suggested he check out Isle of Hope, Fort McAllister and Thunderbolt Marinas. Looks like he’s found a new home at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Isle of Hope Marina!

    Good afternoon.
    Hope you and your better half are well!
    I got your latest news briefing and it reminded me that I had not reported back from last weeks investigative trip to Savannah. Well we were all over!
    We were treated so well by everybody from John Henson or Hanson, the manager at West Marine, who echoed your thoughts on Marinas. To Chris and Rick at Isle of Hope. To the folks at Fish Tales, the restaurant at Ft. Mcallister.
    We visited both of the Marinas 3 times and fell for Isle of Hope. I can see myself there for a few years, with the town near by and the other things that offers us. Restaurants and hotels if family visit.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Now, we just have to make the arrangements to truck the boat there early next year.

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net 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

  • Praise for Delegal Creek Marina, AICW Statute Mile 601

    Delegal Creek - Click for Chartview

    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 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.

    What a gem! Almost as nice as DIYC! We have just returned home from a wonderful weekend at the south end of Skidaway Island, GA, where we spent three nights at Delegal Creek Marina. This was the home marina for Bruce and Jeanne Elder when they were “looping” back in 2006-7. Bruce and Jeanne still live in The Landings near the marina. We had a nice visit with them.
    Delegal Creek is just north of Hells Gate at MM 601 on the ICW. Neat, clean, and friendly, $1.25 per ft. Billy, the Harbormaster makes it happen. This a place to relax, no commercial venues close by, but you can order a very tasty Chicken Pot pie to be delivered to your boat. 96 miles of bike paths and walking trails on the Island. Courtesy vehicle is a golf cart.
    If you’re just looking for a relaxing evening as you head south this fall, would recommend this to an alternate to Isle of Hope. One drawback, there is a shoal that is about 3.5 ft at 0 water at the entrance to the creek between G3 and R4, follow the channel not your chartplotter, so generally not accessable two hours either side of low tide, but channel is well marked and we had no problems getting in or out.
    Chuck and Claria Gorgen

    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

  • Skidaway Narrows and Other Low Clearance AICW Bridges ALMOST Gone – Captains Mark and Diana Report

    High-Rise Bridge Under Construction to Replace Skidaway Narrows Bascule Bridge

    On the Water GuidebooksAs usual, our strategic partners, Captains Diana and Mark Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides, give us a penetrating insight into the topic of cruising the AICW. In this case, our dynamic cruising duo brings to light the eventual disappearance of low level AICW bridges.
    While some may find the demise of these opening spans a bit of a nostalgic experience, I, for one, will be happy to see the last one fall. Over the years, I’ve waited far too long, and worked too hard to say off the fenders at the Wappoo Creek Bridge, south of Charleston, or pulled all my hair out at the old, now long gone, Sunset Beach pontoon bridge. Soon, as Mark and Diana note, all of this will be but a bad memory!

    Hi Claiborne,
    Diana and I went by Skidaway and took this picture for you. And it got us to thinking about the slooooooow demise of low clearance bridges.
    Bridge by bridge, as easments and budgets allow, ICW low-clearance bridges are being replaced by high-clearance fixed bridges. For example, two legendary bridge pinch-points, Jordan Lift Bridge and Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge, are now merely landmarks to note on the chart as your boat passes underneath.
    The Skidaway Narrows Bascule Bridge (STM 592.4) will be next, with the construction of a new 65-foot bridge scheduled for completion in July 2013. Currently they are working on the substructure, driving pilings, pouring footers and building retaining walls, none of which impacts boat traffic along the ICW.
    The next bridge to succumb: the dreaded Dominion Boulevard Bridge (aka Steel Bridge), with a very restricted morning and evening schedule and only 12 feet of vertical clearance.
    Recently the Coast Guard Bridge Office approved a proposal to replace it with a 95-foot high-rise fixed bridge.
    This means that the days of “oh-dark-thirty” early-morning departures from Hospital Point anchorage to clear the troublesome trio of the Jordan, Gilmerton, and Steel bridges may someday only be a distant memory among veteran ICW cruisers.
    Best and see you On the Water,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

    Even though the demise of the old style bridges is way more “convenient”, we can’t help feeling the loss of a part of Americana as the old structures tumble, one by one, into the annals of history. Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge (and its crusty but friendly bridge tender) is especially missed, as is the Titusville (Max Brewer) Swing Bridge. We probably won’t miss Wappoo Creek as much, but still, after hours and hours of relaxed cruising, one needs a little stimulation to get one’s blood circulating again, and Elliot Cut/Wappoo Creek never failed to provided the necessary stimuli. Does anybody have any inside information regarding the replacement of the Socastee Swing Bridge?
    Capt. Norman Quinn

  • Avoiding Hell Gate: A Suggestion, Georgia AICW Statute Miles 575 to 619

    Capt. Hechtman is offering a suggestion for avoiding Hell Gate (statute mile 602), one of the perennial trouble spots in the Georgia Waterway. Walburg Creek shapes the east side of Walburg Island and the Waterway lies on the west side. Good depths and great beach combing. While the creek has both a northern and southern entrance from the AICW, we prefer the northern passage, though there is still an unmarked shoal in St. Catherine’s Sound which must be bypassed.

    A fun alternative is to make the fairly short journey outside through St. Catherine’s and back in at Wassaw and up the Wilmington River (and vice-versa) and avoid what is probably the least scenic part of the georgia ICW as well as
    Hell Gate. Deep draft boats use both inlets, especially Wassaw, that’s how all those mega yachts that can’t clear 65 feet get into Thunderbolt Marine. It’s very handy to the great Walburg Creek Anchorage, and in our opinion more scenic.
    We have a 60ft LOA boat that draws 5 feet.
    George Hechtman

    What about using the Wilmington Rvr. for exit from /entrance into Thunderbolt? I’ve seen the big boats heading down from Thunderbolt and assume that is where they are heading yet the charts look dicey. Anyone with experience out there?
    Peter Malen

    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 Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Wassaw Sound

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of St. Catherines Sound

    Click Here To View the Georgia Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Walburg Creek

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

  • Long Visit with Isle of Hope Marina, AICW Statute Mile 590, Savannah, GA

    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.” Isle of Hope Marina lies along the northwestern shores of the Waterway in the body of a hairpin turn northwest of unlighted daybeacon #46A.

    Our planned two day stay turned into two weeks, then a month, then two months, and now we’re staying here as liveaboards. Georgia has abandoned the 30 day annual limit on living aboard and now allows full time liveaboards in certified marinas. Isle of Hope was the first certified and now there are a handful of us liveaboards here.
    As everyone else says, the staff are great and the facilities top shelf.
    Dave Gibson

    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

  • May, 2012 Report from Hell Gate, AICW 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 should begin to time their traversal of Hell Gate for mid to high tide.

    Entered Hells Gate, abeam of “92” at 1348, about 1 hour after low tide. Strayed a little to far to the red side at the edge of the channel and got as low as 7.5′-corrected to center channel and saw from 8′ to 14′ to “87” at 1355, where it dropped off to 10-12′. There is a nun “90” in the cut that may not appear on some charts. Passage should not be a problem, even at low tide.
    Michael J. Horowitz aboard ALTAIR

    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

  • A Good Night at Thunderbolt Marine, AICW Statute Mile 583

    Thunderbolt Marine is a full service yacht repair, 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 an excellent boatyard.

    We stopped here for fuel and a night on the dock ($1.75/foot) on April 9th, 2012. The current rages here and as I motored against the current alongside the gas dock for a port-side tie-up, I tossed a springline to the dockhand. Since my propwalk swings my stern to port and the 23 ponies laboring ahead down in the bilge couldn’t overcome the rush of water, I expertly backed my boat stern-in against the gas dock. Don’t use a springline to land your boat anywhere in Georgia.
    After fueling, the dockhand backed us down the pier and we tied alongside the end of the long gas dock for the night. Other boats were tied alongside the inside of the gas dock.
    We ate at Tubby’s, a nearby restaurant which has free appetizers if you order a beer before 5:00.
    There is a shrimpdock nearby which sports a sign that reads “Open 10:00″. We didn’t try it but were tempted.
    The marina has clean restrooms and laundry facilities.
    We heard the sound of “bacon frying” all night which we have been told is the sound of shrimp flicking their tails against your hull to knock the grass from the bottom to score a tasty veggie snack.
    Max Miller

    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

  • Praise for Thunderbolt Marine (Statute Mile 583)

    In addition to the extensive repair facilities at Thunderbolt Marine, so ably described below by “Captain T,” don’t overlook the excellent transient dockage available here as well! And, I also second the recommendation for Tubby’s Tank House. The seafood is AWESOME!
    The message below was copied from the GL (Great Loop) Mailing list.

    Try Thunderbolt Marine on the Wilmington River. Coming North go in via Wassaw Sound, but watch the buoys carefully. Huge facility. Used to be the refit facility for Palmer Johnson. If they can’t fix it, I’d be surprised. We had a turbo replaced there a few years ago.
    Watch out for the flying teeth, nasty little black fly thang’s that come out just before sundown.
    Check out Tubby’s Tank House Resturant a short walk from the marina.

    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 Happy Experience at Hinkley Yacht Services (Thunderbolt, GA, near Statute Mile 583)

    The Georgia version of Hinkley Yacht Services guards the AICW’s westerly banks, a short hop north of the Thunderbolt high-rise bridge. This firm has had a wonderful reputation for quality repairs, going back many years.

    Personally we had very good results from the Hinckley yard that is just south of Savannah. Prices were very reasonable, they work fast and they know what they are doing.

    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

  • Good Advice on Navigating the Georgia Section of the AICW

    It almost goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway, that the Georgia stretch of the Atlantic Intacoastal Waterway is the most difficult section of the entire Waterway passage from Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL. Such AICW Problem Stretches as Little Mud River and Jekyll Creek are enough to make any captain lose their religion.
    Below, Captain Grogen gives us all some good, general advice about keeping to the best depths possible in these waters.

    Time to comment on the “rules of the mud bottom channels”. The deepest part of the channel is probably NOT going to be in the middle. Water current on a falling (ebb) tide runs faster than water on a rising (flood) tide, and the faster water cuts a deeper channel. So, the deepest place in a tidal channel is the outside bend in a falling tide current. The next deepest place is the outside bend on a rising tide current. On some curves where the curve is outside for both the ebb and flood, to will find very deep water and the possibility that the curve is even outside the charts. The situation at MM 704 is a good example of that. On some S curves you will find shallow water in the center of the channel. At low tide look at the banks, along a steep bank you will find deep water close to the bank,
    along a gradual bank, shallow water. In some of the cuts that have been dredged, it isn’t always obvious which way the water flows, so you just have to observe which way the water is flowing at a given tide state. So, read the channel by looking at it, and don’t follow the magenta line on your chart plotter. Frequently, your chart plotter will show you in the marsh, and there have even been some places where the deepest water is outside of the buoyed channel! When your depth finder is showing less than the chart, wonder slowly back and forth looking for the deep water, sometimes the deep channel isn’t very wide. You actually learn a lot about a channel at low tide when you can really see it.
    Chuck Gorgen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Georga AICW Problem Stretch Directory

  • Log of the Palmetto Moon: AICW, Port Royal to Kilkenny

    Palmetto Moon with Jim, Su and Lazy Cat Alex have just traveled from Georgetown, SC To Brunswick, Ga. Palmetto Moon cruises at 8.5 MPH and draws 4.5 ft. Here are the issues and observations of their travels:

    4-Port Royal (MM-539.5) to Kilkenny (MM-613)
    Fields Cut (MM-573.5 to 575.5) 1.5 hours before low tide
    North entrance slightly favored Green Side We saw 7 – 9 feet under us
    South entrance entering the Savannah river
    Using center of channel We saw 3.5 feet starting just before R-50 and lasted until in the Savannah River
    Hell Gate MM-601.8 to 602.2 2 hours after low tide We saw 6 feet using center of channel
    This info is what we experienced in our travels. As always you are the captain of your vessel and should use this as info only. Safe travels.
    Palmetto Moon

    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

  • Shoaling Reported 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. With his 6.25ft draft, Capt. Pascal is very alert to depth changes and his is the kind of vessel you would hope to be following through these trouble spots!

    Definitely more shallow, by a couple of feet, again on the same lines I usually run thru there.
    MM602, Hell Gate, 8′ to 9′ MLW thru most of the cut but some readings as low as 5′ to 6′ MLW around R90 and G89. Had 8′ of tides so I tried poking around for better readings, no luck. I usually pass about 40′ from R90, and about 30′ from G89; this time around it s definitely shallower by about 2 to 2.5′ compared to earlier this year.
    Capt. Pascal Gademer

    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

  • 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!!!

    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 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.

    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

    Isle of Hope Marina Savannah.
    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

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