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Author Topic:   North Carolina saltwater boating
russellbailey posted 05-04-2001 05:04 PM ET (US)   Profile for russellbailey   Send Email to russellbailey  
First, this is a great site. I check it nearly daily. Despite being an inland waterskier, which seems rare here, I really like Boston Whaler's and enjoy this forum.

With all the saltwater boaters on here, these questions will seem obvious. But they're new to me.

I'm traveling with my inlaws to near Beaufort NC this July for a week. We plan to take our 15' Striper there and use it to explore, maybe ski some, and to fish. I'm relatively comfortable in the ocean - I'm a competitive whitewater canoeist (US Team 3 years) and have played in sizable surf in my decked canoe (C1) - I understand currents and waves. But I have not been in saltwater in a powerboat.

My biggest question is regards to tides. We plan to go out to Bear Island and maybe Cape Lookout to explore the lands. On lakes, we just pull the boat ashore. What do you do at the coast to beach the boat? Obviously we'd beach from the sound side. But suppose I want to head to Cape Lookout and then get out and walk around a few hours. It would seem the change in water level with the tides would be problematic. I could see anchoring offshore and swimming in, though that would require an anchor.

Thanks for your feedback. If anyone has any particular suggestions for something especially interesting to boat to close to Beaufort, that would be great also.

Oh, I'm aware to flush the motor afterwards. I assume this would be ok to do at the end of the week versus every day?


andygere posted 05-04-2001 07:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The most important thing to do is get an accurate tide chart for the body of water you will be boating in. Pay attention not only to the time, but the magnitude of the tide (example: low tide at 9:27 am, -0.3 ft). On the West Coast, anything lower than a 0.0 tide is very low, and water levels will be below those shown on your charts (chart depths are for mean low water). If beaching or mooring on a falling tide, you can take 2 approaches: Keep an eye on the tide, and add length to your anchor line as the tide drops; or moor the boat in deep enough water that it will still be floating on the low tide. The opposite applies for high tides.
andygere posted 05-04-2001 07:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Re-reading your original post: You will need an anchor and sufficient length of line. This is an important saftey item in the event of a motor failure in any type of moving water. If your engine quits at the wrong time, you may need to stop the boat from drifting into hazards while you are getting it going again. I wouldn't run my boat anywhere without one. Have fun!
AZdave posted 05-04-2001 11:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for AZdave  Send Email to AZdave     
A great spot to go with the inlaws! We have been renting on the other end of Emerald Isle for a number of years. It's great just messing around on the bay side. Lots of clams to rake and fish to catch. It's especially great for kids on the back side of these islands. I don't bring my Whaler from Az to NC, so I have not been out through the inlets. They run like fast rivers, fastest on the changing tides. The inlets can have very strange wave forms when the swell and wind get added to the strong currents. Don't set too much faith in tide tables if you are on the bay side. High and low tides lag way behind those on the front of the island. The sound has to be filled and emptied by flow through the inlets. Enjoy!
tarbaby posted 05-05-2001 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for tarbaby  Send Email to tarbaby     
On a good day it can be fun back behind Shackleford Banks(Spanish Mackeral) but if it is blowing at all getting there can be tricky. I have gone through there and stayed back behind the jetties and have encountered 8 foot swells. I have just sold my Mauntauk to buy a bigger ( read deeper V) boat. Have fun but use your head. If it feels too dangerous, then it probably is.It would have to be the right day for you to go out in the ocean there. There are lots of places to explore and check out. I put in at the Anchorage Marina. 15 bucks and you can leave your truck there. Nice folks. While you are there make sure you go to Windansea restaurant. Make reservations 2,3 days in advance. Enjoy your stay. It is as close to heaven as you can get. Shay
Pat Smith posted 05-06-2001 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Pat Smith  Send Email to Pat Smith     
Russell,Your going to like Cape Lookout.I'm going back next week.Close to the lighthouse is a small pier that is used by different boats that carry people across from Harkers Island,you may use that.(there is a visitors center & restrooms in the lighthouse,I would ask them if you could use the pier)I've anchored off shore about waist high and had no problems.I've made that mistake already with anchoring to close to shore and having to push my 18' outrage back into the water.The guys are right about the tides,watch the local weather and ask the local people about the tide.Also get an anchor,its a good investment.Pat
alvispollard posted 05-09-2001 09:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for alvispollard  Send Email to alvispollard     
I vacation on the crystal coast 2 weeks a year. You can tie up at Cape Lookout on either tide. There is a nice dock. You and your family will enjoy the Cape. With a whaler you can navigate the sound any time if you stay in the marked channel. A north wind is bad in the sound. All other winds are fine. You will enjoy shakleford island and the wild ponies. Use an anchor and long rope. Hope this helps.
Pat Smith posted 05-14-2001 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Pat Smith  Send Email to Pat Smith     
Just got back from Cape Lookout this weekend.Had a great time.Launched from Beaufort,took me about 15 to 20 mins to get there.-Pat

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