Baltimore, MD to West Palm Beach area

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by trebbel, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. trebbel

    trebbel Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Bowleys Quarters, MD
    1999 400DB, Garmin 5212
    CAT 3116TA
    I have talked about taking the boat South for as long as I can remember. A few months ago we were having the same conversation about doing this 'someday'. My Admiral told me to put up or shut up.

    We are taking the boat to Florida this winter. The plan is to leave Baltimore on Friday after Thanksgiving and be in the WPB area by December 3. For the trip down I will have a crew of myself and 3 guys, all (reasonably) proficient boaters. Our plan is to get there quickly but also have fun and an amazing experience.

    I am interested in starting a dialogue to discuss:
    1. Spares to carry on board
    2. Stops along the way
    3. Marina recommendations in WPB area
    4. Advice/Suggestions

    I am beyond excited and more than a little nervous. Stage 2 of this adventure is in March when we come back to the boat as a family and hopefully get to explore the Bahamas.
  2. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    After all the hurricanes, I would look for a marina first. There may be a severe shortage of availability. This is a great trip, don't rush it, a lot to see along the way. There are many great stops.
    trebbel likes this.
  3. carterchapman

    carterchapman Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2008
    Lake Chickamauga/Marietta, GA/Ft. Myers, FL
    2006 Sea Ray 58 DB
    MAN CRM V8-900s, Twin Disc Drives; Onan 21.5 Generator
    Reach out to Sea Gull here - he has done the trip to/from CT to PB at least 4 times.
  4. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Bald head

    St Augustine

    Come to mind.
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars

    Even without the hurricane variable in the picture, the nicer marinas in South Fla book up early and a fair % of the slips are taken by owners who winter every year in Fla and book their slips a year ahead. I'd start there and now........
    trebbel likes this.
  6. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Please start a thread if you do the trip with info. I'd love to follow your adventure.
    I'm not interested in Florida, but I'm half considering running the boat next winter to either Charleston or some other suitable place in SC. Like you, I'd look to leave right after Thanksgiving and return in April.
    Direct flight fares from here in NY to either Charleston or Savannah are really cheap if you have flexibility in travel dates
    The idea would be to dock the boat down there and fly down for a week or two every month.
    We love Charleston, and if we go further south we have friends who recently bought a house in Blufton (20 minutes from Savannah airport) and they plan to spend a good part of the winters there starting next year.
  7. Sea Gull

    Sea Gull Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 19, 2006
    2015 L650 Fly #509
    CAT C-18, 1,150 HP
    At that time of year, you have short days and variable weather. It's a 5 day trip if you run from first light til twilight at cruise speed, and can run outside from Beaufort NC to PB. If weather is bad, the ICW can take an extra day or two. I find it best to let conditions dictate and always have a plan B and C. Always know where the safe inlets are, and never be tied to a firm schedule.

    Baseline itinerary:
    Day 1 Baltimore to Norfolk (Tidewater)
    Day 2 to Beaufort NC (town dock) (+/- 11 hours) or stop after +/- 4 hours in Coinjock, for the famous prime rib and do
    Coinjock to Beaufort the next day.
    Beaufort to Charleston (mega dock)
    Charleston to St Augustine (city Marina)
    St Augustine to PB

    There are some good choices in the West Palm and Riviera Beach area. You need to decide your budget and how close you want to be to town, restaurants, the inlet, and beaches.
    trebbel likes this.
  8. Alegria

    Alegria Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Lancaster,PA Boat: -Sue Creek, MD
    2000 410 DA
    3126 CAT

    Wonderful trip!!! Best wishes and it will all work out. Jealous, so I am going to hold you to a couple of beers and a recap when I see you on the island once the trip is done.

    I have nothing of value to add as I can only live through others that do it and share their adventure here. I would suspect you won't have any issues and already have enough spares on board to handle 5-7 days of cruising.

    Take Care!!
  9. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,

    We plan to leave probably Monday after Thanksgiving headed back to KW till mid April and you need to line up your marina asap as stated before they fill up early. We stop and see friends along the way and don't plan on being there till 12/15 as we're in no hurry. It's about the journey as much if not more than the destination as lots of good stops along the way.

    If, when you wind up inside with all the snow birds the trip can slow down considerably giving trawlers & blow boats slow passes or you might meet unfrenidlies along the way! They can have a cow when they see a SR coming up behind them so make friends not enemies as ya never know where you'll meet them again!

    Have a safe trip and we will keep a look out for yaalong the way.
  10. tcason

    tcason Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    240 Sundeck
    5.0L 260 HP
    plan with
  11. Dan G

    Dan G New Member

    Nov 17, 2017
    2005 Sea Ray Sundancer 390 DA
    Cummins QSB
    A couple of notes about St. Augustine:
    • If you decide to drop hook in the anchorage on the north side of the Bridge of Lions, know that the fort fires its cannons for the tourists pretty early in the AM, and it's loud as hell in the anchorage;
    • Due to constant shoaling in the inlet, the channel markers are not on the chart - and they do move them. I was in and out of there 3 times over a year and a half, and I entered the markers in my chartplotter - over a year and a half they didn't move. Then one day I was coming in with a strong east wind and steep following sea, and the markers were not where my chartplotter said they should be - they had been moved. I almost put a 54' sailboat on the beach that day!
    trebbel likes this.
  12. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Note on St. Augustine about the shoaling.

    Contact the City Marina. They maintain a PDF which shows current location of the temporary markers which they will email.

    I have also called Towboat US. Most of the day they have a boat lingering around the inlet. They can update any last minute changes and provide guidance. I have had them offer to come over and lead us through.

    trebbel and Dan G like this.
  13. Alex F

    Alex F Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    East Coast
    2005 420DB with AB 11 DLX Tender, Raymarine Dual E120 MFD/Radar/XMWeather, ST7001 A/P, AIS, SeaLift
    T-Cummins 450Cs Straight-Drives, 9KW Onan Generator, 40HP Yamaha for tender.
    Even though CG moves the buoys from time to time, the inlet is well marked.
  14. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    I like Palm harbor marina - it is very secure and right across from citywalk.....but it is very expensive - Sailfish marina is right on the inlet and has a pool - you can also walk to the beach from there....those are the only 2 I have experience with in PB.......Just curious, why did you settle on PB - have you considered Ft Lauderdale - more flight options (seem to be cheaper too) and even more marina options....As far as the Bahamas in March......still can be a tough time to cross the stream - really need to pick your window and look ahead to getting back too......Keep us updated with your plans and progress!
  15. thosmann1

    thosmann1 Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    Key west Florida
    500 Searay Sundancer
    Cummins QSM11's
    If you change your mind and don’t want to run your boat back North, I can do it for you. USCG 100 Ton Master, 40 Years experience running up and down the east coast. PM me if you need help. Reasonable rates, professional service.

    Bow Tie
  16. Boat Guy

    Boat Guy Well-Known Member

    Done it from Annapolis.... If you plan on rushing it, which I don't suggest, you should look into just shipping it down. That is a bit late and will prob. be pretty cold... I left beginning of Nov. and the only thing I would change regarding my trip would have been to leave in Oct....

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