ICW Northbound-newbie

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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:44 pm

ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby Speedo » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:42 pm

Hi everybody.
I am finally an owner of a PDQ 34. I have purchased hull #97.
The boat has new 110 hp Yanmars. It also has a new Northern lights generator.
I am currently heading up the ICW attempting to bring my “new” craft safely home on Eastern Long Island from Light House Point Fl.
Most of my research of the PDQ’s came from this board, and for that I thank-you all.
My first question to the board is for advise on the ICW trip. I believe several of the PDQ gang may have done this trip recently.
Should I take the Dismal swamp, or the Coinjock bay route. Jersey, in or out. Heading out across the open ocean to Long Island, what should I consider “too rough”
So far I have made it to Southport, NC. Where I have taken a short break to drive home for a family event. (1st half was not easy)
I’ll be back at the helm by Friday heading North.
I Thank-you in advance for any input offered.
Jim Earl
2006 PDQ 34 #97
Formally “Plush Toy”
New Name “WellDone38”

1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:36 pm

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby sailkane » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:24 pm

I live on the south shore of Long Island and have made the trip many times. Coinjock faster than dismal swamp.
Norfolk VA. To Cape May ( or Atlantic City ) on the outside.
Then Cape May Home to Jones Beach inlet then inside to great South Bay.

We have done the Cape May to Jones Beach In 5-6 foot waves and 20 knots of wind and our PDQ 34 2005 was fine.

1st mate
1st mate
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:54 pm

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby Ortolan » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:24 pm


Congrats on your PDQ purchase! We have done the same trip north to CT several times. I would agree to skip the Dismal Swamp if you just want to get north. The Dismal Swamp takes an extra day, between the locks & traveling in-line with sailboats at 6 knots.

Depending on weather & your schedule you could consider skipping the Chesapeake & Delaware & go offshore from Hampton to Cape May - if trying to get north quickly. It is about 148 NM, so easily doable with the 14 hours of daylight in spring. If you don’t have good weather and/or want to do the C&D, head up the Chesapeake.

We then wait at Cape May for a good window & go directly to Sandy Hook/Atlantic Highlands in about 115NM. Many go to Atlantic City or one of the other inlets, but if you have the weather, just go. We consider inlets the most risky part of cruising, so why do more of them then necessary? Even “good” inlets can be surprisingly challenging with contrary wind/tide, ocean swells breaking in the shallows, etc.

From what I have heard, going inside thru any of NJ is risky after Sandy - there is very little water except at high tide.

The following day we’ll head thru NYC, adjusting our departure for favorable current thru the Hell Gate.

Others may disagree, but these are only lightweight 34’ boats with low bridge deck clearance. You will learn the sea conditions comfortable for you. We have been in 8’ ocean swells from the stern which were fine, while going into a short 2’ chop loosened our teeth & knocked everything about. Sometimes slowing down will help - other times speeding up helps with a cross chop.

Have a great trip & let us know if you have any other questions!
Twin Sisters
2006 MV34 - Hull #100

Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:48 pm
Location: Punta Gorda, FL

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby deising » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:56 am

I agree that the NJ ICW is not recommended. Even with our boats' shallow draft, it was challenging when we did it a few years ago, and it is very slow.

Good luck with your trip.
Duane Ising
m/v Diva Di
Punta Gorda, FL
2006 PDQ MV 34 - hull 91, 75HP, 3-blade

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:44 pm

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby Speedo » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:24 am

Thank-you for your input and for the quick replies. I will dismiss the Dismal Swamp route.
I’ll consider going outside at Hampton, but weather will be the deciding factor.
It seems everyone agrees that the Jersey ICW is not a good option, again I’ll watch the weather for my
run across the water to Long Island.
I hope in the future I’ll become one of the members giving advise, until then thank-you.
I need all the help I can get.
Jim Earl
2006 MV34. #97

Posts: 645
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:18 am
Location: ICW (32043)

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby duetto » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:33 am

if you get to cape may and are facing a few days of strong e-ne winds, going up inside nj is an option. we did it 6 times. at least you're moving rather than just sitting.
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:52 pm

Re: ICW Northbound-newbie

Postby Corkboulder » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:54 pm

We just passed north out of the Dismal, currently lying High Street inlet, Portsmouth VA. If you’re at all apprehensive about the weather the Dismal is very protected and secure, but if time is a priority transit is very slow. I expect zero delivery captains take the Dismal, however for those who choose to meander it’s a good trip. (That said, on our way south we’re going through Coinjock.)
Kelly C
Bahama Voyager
MV32 #004

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