Tom’s Tips About Planning and Cruising

1. Successful cruising often requires careful planning and scheduling. When exercising your freedom to change plans, itís important to pay attention to future contingencies.

2. For example, laying over an extra day in a nice spot on the ICW or other inland waterway could lengthen your trip for many days if, for example, a bridge up ahead closes for several days of repair work. You can be better informed about bridge repair schedules by getting the free email of East Coast Alerts or reading them regularly on the BoatUS site: (

3. Itís also important to factor in future weather when youíre making or changing plans. For example, if you decide to avoid a bad stretch of the ICW and run outside in the ocean because you have a perfect morning, itís important to consider what the weather will be when itís time for you to go back into an inlet in the evening, as well as the type of inlet. A dayís run north or south may bring you into bad weather in the evening and the inlet may be dangerous for that type of weather.

4. Tides are also important. For example, there are many places in the ICW today where deeper draft boats should wait for half tide and rising or high tide to go through. If you make or change a plan without regard to these areas ahead and the time of tide at the areas, you could delay your trip considerably more than you want. You can find tides in areas ahead by clicking on or if you have a newer GPS chartplotter your software likely includes tidal information.

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Boating and water sports involve risk. Any comments herein should be followed at your own risk. You assume all responsibility for risk or injury to yourself or others. Any person or entity that uses this information in any way, as a condition of that use, agrees to waive and does waive and also hold authors harmless from any and all claims which may arise from or be related to that use.

Copyright 2004-2010 Tom Neale

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