Electronic Cruising Guide
for the ICW
by CDR Wayne Strausbaugh (U S Navy, retired)
Finally, an Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) Cruising Guide with all the information needed to get you safely and enjoyably up or down the "ditch".
Until now, all that was available was of a general nature because it was 6 months to a year out of date by the time it was printed. Now you can get all the details and get them fast! Whenever something major happens on the ICW, an updated ICW Cruising Guide is released. Do you really want to make the trip with last yearsí information?
This is probably the largest cruising guide ever written. It contains at least a hundred times more information on ICW shoaling and waterway conditions than any other guide. Data this comprehensive could not be displayed in an easily used manner until the advent of the CAPíN Electronic Charting. Only the CAPíN can present the data when and where you want it. No more looking through an index. The CAPíN automatically shows you the data for the route leg you are on. New information appears automatically every .25 (ľ) mile or so as you pass each waypoint Ė right on your computer screen in a window next to your boats position.
Is it hard to use? Just select the route you need for your dayís travel, open the waypoint information window, and go! The CAPíN handles everything for you until you arrive at your destination. Donít want to put the computer by the helm? Just print out the route plan and use the CAPíNs automatic upload capability to load the waypoints into your GPS! Flexibility is built in!
And whatís inside?
every turn in the ICW & almost every lighted mark (with light characteristics)
the recommended distance in feet to pass abeam almost every light, buoy, and daymark. Thousands of them! Now, you have a reference at every mark to keep your boat in the deepest water. When a thunderstorm or darkness makes visibility a problem, the CAPíN gives you heading and distance. Once you spot the mark, youíll know how close you can get.
every Range with light characteristics & whether the range is forward or astern (the route line covers up the charted range line and normally the range lights are off-screen. Without this information, you may not even know you are on a range until you see the marks).
every occurrence of depths less than 11 feet (the controlling depth is 12 feet). This includes detailed coverage of all major shoal areas with the maximum depth available at Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) and how to find it. This information is critical to safe navigation and can probably save the first time ICW traveler a grounding or two. Now, you can do what no one could do before Ė distinguish between the natural shoal areas and those times when you are just edging out of the channel!
almost every anchorage suitable for deep draft vessels with information on approach depths, holding, protection from winds and fetch, currents, tides, and access to shore. Includes about a hundred anchorages.
every major transient marina with depths, type of docks, currents if they affect approach and docking, and recommended docking procedures if special considerations are required. Even how high to set your fenders! Most marina facility information and rates are updated annually. Even recent diesel prices are included so you can make comparisons. Do they have an E-mail jack for your computer? Itís in here. And new for 2000, the ďICW Marina & Web PlannerĒ! This MS Word document includes almost every transient marina with Y2K transient rates, phone number (they all are accurate Ė I just called them all!), detailed facility and dock information, plus interactive web site addresses. Just click on the link and their website pops up. And the list of websites is far more comprehensive than anything you will find elsewhere in 2000.
every instance of Buoy Color Reversal. The ICW is Red-Right-Southbound but intersecting channels change this at some rivers and inlets.
the recommended electronic chart for each waypoint and a list of electronic charts for each route. Also, the corresponding page number and chart in the latest paper BBA ChartKit (now Maptech ChartKit).
many points of interest to the navigator and special cautions including notes on errors contained in electronic charts and when the ICWís "magenta line" is in error. And it is in error a lot! Let the guide tell you when you need to favor a shoreline. It even gives specific distances such as ďa 100 feet off the right bankĒ.
All this information is arranged as a series of route plans, ready to overlay on the your electronic charts. Complete ICW routing with different routes for North and Southbound. Like to make your own routes? Use these as an outline, add to them, change the start or destination. The more you love navigation, the more you will love the route plan structure in this guide!
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