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Pamlico Sound

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by kelpy, May 24, 2011.

  1. kelpy

    kelpy New Member

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    I have not gone up Pamlico Sound. I would like to get from Beaufort to Coinjock in one day and the Sound seems to be the way to go. Are there any areas that should be avoided other than the charted shoal areas? It seems to be pretty straight forward with good depth all the way.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I'd never run the sound but recently someone here mentioned depths were all good and itwas a good alternate route

    That said, there so little traffic this year that you wont loose to much time on the icw.
  3. Swamp fox

    Swamp fox New Member

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    I ran it twice a few years ago and had no problems. Just watch the shoal areas and shrimp boats trawling.
  4. sagharborskip

    sagharborskip Senior Member

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    I do both kind of regularly...

    Pamlico sound route generally easier as more open allowing more use of autopilot for longer, straighter runs.

    That said, we bumped the bottom while dead on center ICW approaching the Mann's Harbor Bridge from the south on our way to Coinjock in mid-April.

    We were 82' long and 6+ feet draft (6'6"). Lucky just soft bottom but it happened round about the same spot about 5 years ago, too.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The one time I took the Pamlico Route I got my butt handed to me. It chops up a lot due to its shallow depth and exposure. It does save about 2 hours, but I find the Alligator River much more enjoyable and interesting. Much depends on weather and your size and cruise speed.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    do you remember what kind of winds you had? I believe dpeths on the Pamlico are affected by wind, just like other sounds and rivers in the area.

    I draw 6+ as well and i'm always reluctant to try alternate routes...
  7. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    There is a section just before the bridge 9south side) that can get quite shallow, if there is a low water situation you better use caution. I did that route last fall in a 130' and it saved me two hours on the trip from Coinjock to Beaufort. Call Louis at Coinjock and he can fax you a small chartlet with the deep water route, I did not need it as we had high water at the time.
    That route can get rather bumpy, so watch you weather, it might not be worth it if it is blowing hard.
  8. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

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    When it's blowing 30+ knots from the NNE it is definitely bumpy. 8's, 10's, and maybe a 12 footer. Had to leave Hatteras village going north in that mess. Once we got up on the shoals it actually got better. It is very easy to navigate once you are out in the open. There is a 45' fixed bridge at Roanoke Island but that's about it for issues as I recall.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Any easterly winds get you pretty good out in Pamlico, and west winds get you when you turn into the river (going south).
  10. sagharborskip

    sagharborskip Senior Member

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    @Pascal

    Winds were WSW, can't recall tide, though...
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've run it many times and never had an issue and never noticed concerning shallower depths. I think the shallowest I ever saw was about 9'. They changed the channel north of I think it's the 1st bridge and it's deep. The only part that could be concerning is the narrowish channel just south of the 1st bridge. I've never had really rough seas in there either, but it is pretty open and if it's blowing 25 knots I'm sure it could get rough. It saves a lot of time. If the boat I'm running is under 20 knots, I use the ICW. If it's faster than that I run the sound and save a lot of time, because you just run at cruise the whole time. There are a few spots in the ICW route in that area that shoal also and you have to watch.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The big thing that makes Pamlico not worth it to me southbound from Coinjock is that, although it saves you about 2 hours, unless you're running round the clock or your boat does close to 30 kts. you still end up in Beaufort, just earlier. When you get near 30 kts. you can make Writesville Beach, but there's nothing much in between. And if you get to Camp Legune and they have maneuvers going on you'll have rushed for nothing. With a 10 kt. boat that 2 hours gets you to Beaufort for dinner though. Northbound from Writesville or even Charleston via ocean (with a fast boat) it can get you to Coinjock for dinner. I usually just plan to stop in Beaufort because I enjoy it, and if the ocean is good I'll be outside and running at dawn to at least Georgetown and maybe as far as Hilton Head with a good boat.
  13. kelpy

    kelpy New Member

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    The boat is 100' and it can get up around 16 or so (better in shallow water) but I usually cruise at 11.5 or so. Could I make it from Beaufort to Coinjock in one day at that speed using the ICW?
  14. ychtcptn

    ychtcptn Senior Member

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    Take the ICW, at that speed you will just be sucking bottom and probably not save much time. Figure on 12 hours from Coinjock to Beaufort. Any time I ran a boat that could not get up and go I went the ICW. The sounds are only worth it if you can go fast.
    PS- for updated hang ups, check the Waterway guide web site, there's alot of useful information on there.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    actually, i find that Active Captain has a lot more good up to date info than most other sites.

    that stretch of the ICW is easy and plenty deep. the only spot where some folks get in trouble is at the north end of the Alligator river. Northbound, at G9 you want to go straight for G7 and follow the ICW line which pass on a building shoal on the west side.

    another reason to take the Pamlico route is the Alligator river bridge which doens't open when winds are over 25kts. but then, if it's blowing 25kt you may not want to be in the sound anyway... :(

    it's about 140NM from Beaufort to Coinjock so while doable in a day at 11kts, it's a long one... I never stop in Coinjock, instead i anchor out in the Alligator river. Depending on the wind, there is decent protection at the south end, either off the east shoreline or if it's blowing from the north there is plenty of room and water between the end of the canal and the river.

    that leaves about 100NM for the next day arriving in Portsmouth in time to refuel (fuel there is usually the cheapest arround)
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree, I would take the ICW with that scenario regarding the boat size and speed.

    While we're on the subject, has anyone taken Pamlico sound to Oregon Inlet.....I think it's called the schoolhouse channel that runs from Pamlico sound to Oregon. If so, is it deep?
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Beaufort to Coinjock is 160 SM (139 nm) on the ICW. She'll make it in a day.
    I've known sever people who do Oregon and swear by it, but when pressed further they tell of getting nailed at the inlet or between there and Norfolk. (Think it's a misery wants company thing). To me it's just not worth it, especially coming north. You could get outside, find it lousy and lose 1/2 a day back-tracking.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    At his stated speed of 11 knots, that's about 14 hours. Not including any slowdowns for passing boats or a bridge. That can make for a very long day when you include getting the boat ready and tieing up.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's a pretty normal day for this time of year. If he wants to cut it short. there is always Bellhaven or Orient, or that marina by the Aligator River bridge.
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I wouldnt take anything with a 6 ft draft into alligator river marina...

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