Jupiter Inlet

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by Blueone, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Every part of the country has boating that is challenging (even dangerous). I have heard how bad the water gets on the Great Lakes and about "crossing the bars" in the pacific Northwest. I have done neither, so can't comment on those.

    East coast inlets, specifically those on the east coast of Florida can be very problematic.

    All of the factors mentioned by ttmott - I agree with.

    Couple of other points about them. For several that are not ship channels, they often times are not that deep. As the rollers start the trough in between can be several feet below MLW. Not hard for running gear to hit bottom - when the chart says several feet of extra water.

    Second, these inlets are not static. Every time a major tropical storm or hurricane moves through - all bets are off on a lot of inlets. Government Cut is not going to change - but Stuart and St Augustine probably will.

    There are no markers on the charts in St Augustine - changes too often. Is all temporary markers. I went in there this past week. Did some homework. Called TowboatUS, talked to a local captain there. Found out that 1) temp markers were correctly on station, they had not dragged off station, 2) dredging had happened since I was there 3 years or so ago, controlling depth was 14ft.

    An additional note on St. Augustine, they didn't dredge a channel in a straight line. More or less straight from the STA marker, then takes an abrupt turn with a green temp marker at what feels like almost to the beach. In darkness or inclement weather would be very difficult to find.

    Hiring a captain to run the inlet with you for the first time really wont help that much. As ttmott was alluding to, you have to learn what the different conditions are at different times - and understand what it means to that inlet.

    Finding experienced captains and talking to them about when and when not to go is a good place to start.

    Finally - watch when you are running them. Find slack water.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  2. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers

    I'm glad you made it through with just a scare. It happens so fast that you really don't have time to think about alternatives. Sometimes it looks like you are riding the back of the wave in front of you perfectly and the next set of waves behind overtake you in the inlet creating instant chaos. There is no where to go except forward. If you don't get on the throttles bad things happen. My biggest worry is someone coming out while I'm headed in....that just makes the situation far more dangerous. I'll watch the inlet for 15 minutes just to see how the waves pile up and to make sure no one is coming out.

    Rough conditions make you want a bigger boat. The 50+ Sportfish boats don't slow down...they just plow through the waves.
     
  3. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Ahhhh - Florida inlets can have conditions that will toss a 50+ Sportfish around.

    There was a video online a few years ago. 20+ year experienced charter captain on a 50+ Sportfish decided to take a short cut - which took him in a dicey inlet at the wrong time. The video showed him losing control - boat rolled - threw him off of the fly bridge. He hit the side rail which broke his back and killed him.
     
  4. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers

    This one?



    Hard to tell what happened other than the Captain going overboard. Allegedly 9 foot waves cross rocked the boat as it passed through the inlet. Smart first mate gets control of the 48' boat and brings it in.
     
  5. tc410

    tc410 Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    910
    Oct 9, 2006
    Charlevoix, MI/Jupiter, FL
    2005 550DB
    MAN CRM-900
    Yes, that incident was at Jupiter Inlet on an otherwise sunny beautiful day. Incoming surf lifted his aft starboard corner and caused the boat to pull a hard right and nearly roll....
     
  6. JimT

    JimT Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 7, 2009
    Charlotte, NC- LKN
    2010 330 Sundancer
    T-350mags w/BIIIs & Axius, 5.0 kw Kohler
    I have run most of the Carolina inlets from Bogue to Port Royal in very rough conditions up to 12' swells. But I did it in a sailboat with 3000 lbs of ballast to keep me upright. No way I would do that in my present Sea Ray 330.
     
  7. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    It might be the same boat - but was not the same video. The video I saw was from someone's cell phone, no reporting. Evidently they were just randomly filming a boat coming in - and just happened to catch the events.

    Was more or less a classic example of what ttmott described. Tipped over a wave, stern came out of water, boat broached. When the boat rolled over the captain was thrown off the fly bridge.

    That same inlet on the same day - few hours later or few hours earlier would not have been an issue. Wanting to think the incident I am thinking about was Lake Worth - but could be wrong. I do remember the Captain was DOA, this report said the Captain was in the hospital with injuries.

    Bottom line - as others have said you need to know the impact of your choices. Local knowledge is important. Most important is the timing.

    There are inlets which I will go through anytime. Some I will only go through at specific times, and some that I am really not interested in ever going through.

    Bottom line get some local knowledge that is recent. Talk to the towing service and get their input. Pay attention to the times of the tide cycle.
     
  8. tc410

    tc410 Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    910
    Oct 9, 2006
    Charlevoix, MI/Jupiter, FL
    2005 550DB
    MAN CRM-900
    Just to add a little flavor to the Jupiter incident above, it’s worth noting that guy was a longtime seasoned charter captain and I can’t even begin to have a count on the number of times he went in and out of Jupiter. So the notion of being experienced enough to handle these situations is a misnomer as evidenced by this guy’s death.
     
  9. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    DOA - that's how I recall it too.
     
  10. Gimme Time

    Gimme Time Active Member

    794
    Jan 7, 2007
    Charlottesville, VA./ Deltaville, VA
    2006 52SB, Ray Marine E120, Garmin 7612 through BOE site sponsor,
    QSM11s
    He was DOA and the original footage was unedited as it was out on the web within hours. His tragic death was a tremendous education for myself and I’m sure many others. In the original footage the boat rolled so far over you saw one prop several feet out of the water the boat self righted which allowed the first mate to gain control. Very unfortunate accident as I have been through that Inlet myself back in 2007/08. You never ever want to see someone die so tragically but many got more than an eye opening and for that loss some good has come from the accident.

    There was a Gentlemen there filming surffers beside the Inlet from a recently pass storm as I recall. He saw the sport fishermen coming in swing his camrea around and that’s the footage he captured.

    Very sorry for his loss and he had been using the Inlet for years.
     
  11. douglee25

    douglee25 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Cruisers 3575
    Twin 7.4l
    Where is the video that you're speaking about on Lake Worth. I can't find it.

    Here's Jupiter again... Boat looks like he's doing ok at first riding the back of the wave... Whelp not so much!

     
  12. El Capitan

    El Capitan Active Member

    409
    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    Holy moly, that's captaining your vessel. Cool listening to you work the throttles...
     
  13. PMC

    PMC Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2001 40 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 6CTA
    wow, I've been through Jones Inlet many times....that is a scary video. I went through Shinnecock Inlet on my 280DA (I had @tdschafer aboard - LOL). We were in some crazy waves, 12' in the mouth of the inlet. It was a following sea and the spacing of the waves were so that you had to surf them in (a following sea). I kept on and off the throttle between the sets and we made it in without incident. It does give you an appreciation for how mother nature can change things up in a split second though....It was a crazy ride that day out in the ocean, and my props saw the day of light a few times.

    @Havana Shamrock was behind us in a 320DA and Todd got a great picture of his spot light giving a "closer look" at the next wave.
     
    tdschafer likes this.
  14. douglee25

    douglee25 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    Cruisers 3575
    Twin 7.4l
    And no life jackets on those guys!!
     

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