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Beaufort Inlet - Navigation and Transient Dockage

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Beaufort Inlet - Navigation and Transient Dockage

Old 09-28-2020, 11:44 AM
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Default Beaufort Inlet - Navigation and Transient Dockage

Some friends and I are running a 1995 43' Viking express down to Florida from Point Pleasant, New Jersey the first week of October. As of right now if all goes according to plan and the weather cooperates we'll run the outside from Rudee Inlet to Beaufort and arrive in Beaufort/Morehead City the evening of Thursday, October 7th.

I've never been in/out of Beaufort Inlet so have been reading up. Seems straightforward based on charts but the USCG NTM mentions shoaling. Anything we need to worry about in a boat with 4' draft? It looks like we'll be pulling in right at a dead low tide of 1.1'.

Once we get in, where does everyone like to get fuel and tie up for a night in Beaufort or Morehead City? We'll sleep on the boat, but anywhere with a restaurant on-site or nearby gets the nod because it'll be our first "real" meal since leaving NJ (Virginia Beach is just a quick fuel stop). The plan is to leave at dawn on Friday the 8th to head straight for Charleston, SC so the closer to the inlet the better.

Thank you.
Old 09-28-2020, 12:09 PM
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Check the weather. Once you leave Rudee, Beaufort Inlet is the next "safe" port. Oregon, Hatteras and Ocracoke take a little experience to navigate. Don't cut Cape Hatteras and Lookout too close.

Beaufort Inlet is dredged to approximately 45'. Stay in the shipping channel and you will be ok.

MHC and Beaufort both have town docks, fuel and nice places to dine. MHC has Ruddy Duck, Redfisih, Southern Salt, Off the Hook, Full Circle Cafe for nice dining on the waterfront. Beaufort has the City Kitchen (at Town Creek Marina) Aqua, Beaufort Grocery, new place 34 North that I haven't tried but have heard good things about them (down Taylor's Creek)
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:11 PM
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With that route ducking in Oregon Inlet and running the sound down to Beaufort is much easier and shorter, a very good thing as daylight is getting shorter now. You also should be able to do it in a straight run without the refueling stop in Va. Beach on that boat. Oregon inlet is not a problem and the markers inside are easy to follow too.

Beaufort docks have several restaurants right there but their fuel closes at 5 and doesn't open till 8 AM which would make Charleston tough to do by dark. Not sure about the open times but Morehead has the Yacht Basin with several restaurants across the street too. Make sure you call and reserve dockage, the snowbird migration is already starting and they'll be busy!
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:17 PM
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Just recently had our boat moored at TownCreek Marina in Beaufort for a week. Great facility , very clean and reasonably priced, with an onsite restaurant that we didn't try. There's an onsite full service yard - which may come in handy . If you're coming in at low tide, swing way to the port ( towards the bridge), of the mid channel shoal marker ( angling away from the marina) , then come in towards the marina with the bridge dead astern, cheating towards the marina side of the Creek. There's an "island" shoal in the center- its charted but was larger than the chart- or the marker, indicated. At dead low tide it was 3'.



Old 09-28-2020, 03:49 PM
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Morehead City Yacht Basin is the best and easiest stop. Especially for a sportfish like that... you will be among your kind there and will see some of the best and biggest fishing boats in the area. Mike and the team are excellent. You'll likely get a large face dock. Fuel is cheap, and unlike Beaufort, the marina facilities are way newer and cleaner. Floyd's 1921 is the best restaurant in town and is just a short walk away.
Old 09-28-2020, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
Morehead City Yacht Basin is the best and easiest stop. Especially for a sportfish like that... you will be among your kind there and will see some of the best and biggest fishing boats in the area. Mike and the team are excellent. You'll likely get a large face dock. Fuel is cheap, and unlike Beaufort, the marina facilities are way newer and cleaner. Floyd's 1921 is the best restaurant in town and is just a short walk away.
This ^^^ And if the weather offshore gets sporty, follow bills106 advice and run inside. The ICW will take you right to the yacht basin.
Old 09-28-2020, 06:35 PM
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Guys(Bills106 and Big Rock) if he runs the inside do you think we should tell him to take the Straits route behind Harkers. I ran both the old route on the outside of Harkers from Mashallberg and the Straits route and the old route running the diamond marks had very little water. I was in a 23' seacraft and was worried at low tide. As someone on here is fond of saying there is a lot of water in Core Sound but it is spread really thin. I am not a local so I will defer to you all. You know better than I.
Old 09-28-2020, 06:41 PM
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Plenty of good places to eat and drink in mhc. Inlet is well marked but as said make sure you get around the the cape. Mhc is much more of a southern town then Virginia Beach so don’t expect everybody to be wearing masks.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by skedaddle View Post
Guys(Bills106 and Big Rock) if he runs the inside do you think we should tell him to take the Straits route behind Harkers. I ran both the old route on the outside of Harkers from Mashallberg and the Straits route and the old route running the diamond marks had very little water. I was in a 23' seacraft and was worried at low tide. As someone on here is fond of saying there is a lot of water in Core Sound but it is spread really thin. I am not a local so I will defer to you all. You know better than I.
the route comes in Oregon Inlet, down Pamlico Sound, into Neuse River, and down Adams Creek to MHC. I agree with Bills, this should be your preferred route
Old 09-29-2020, 02:29 AM
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Originally Posted by skedaddle View Post
Guys(Bills106 and Big Rock) if he runs the inside do you think we should tell him to take the Straits route behind Harkers. I ran both the old route on the outside of Harkers from Mashallberg and the Straits route and the old route running the diamond marks had very little water. I was in a 23' seacraft and was worried at low tide. As someone on here is fond of saying there is a lot of water in Core Sound but it is spread really thin. I am not a local so I will defer to you all. You know better than I.
This is not the ICW route!
Old 09-29-2020, 05:12 AM
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I you decide on the Beaufort Town docks or the waterfront docks in Morehead City just pay attention to the current as it can rip through both places. I personally would spend the night at the Morehead City Yacht Basin , good people , good location and zero current.
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Old 09-29-2020, 05:32 AM
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I just ran from Cape Charles, VA to Oriental. First leg was Cape Charles to Coinjock and the second leg was Coinjock to Oriental which took 8 hours including a fuel stop in Bellhaven. You can make Cape Charles to Bellhaven in one day and Bell Haven to MHC on the 2nd day. From there if I could run outside from Beauford inlet to Mansboro I would, there is a lot of traffic, marinas, small boats, paddleboards and whatnot on the ICW that you will have to always slow down for not to mention the transplants sitting on their dock shaking their fist at you because they think their amazon no-wake sine makes it a legit no-wake zone.

As for Beauford inlet, you can't really screw it up. It's marked very well and the is always a lot of traffic out there you can follow. If you decide to stay inside the channel to Beauford coming out of Taylor Creek where it splits to MHC or Beauford is good, just watch the markers, there are a few spots where it looks like you are looking at the next marker but you are not seeing the one for a twist in the channel. Sometimes heading to Beauford we go the route to MHC then go around Radio Island. If you are taking the inside route there is no real reason to detour to Beauford unless you want to see it. The yacht basin in MHC will have everything you need/want at the marina and in the area.

There is also a decent West Marine in MHC that you can take an uber to if you need anything.
Old 09-29-2020, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SEARAT36 View Post
This is not the ICW route!
You are 100% correct. I was thinking inside route not ICW. I have only run the ICW there 10-12 times, the other thing was just fresh on my mind. Thanks for correcting that. Westco also.
Old 09-30-2020, 05:03 AM
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I'll pile on and strongly rec Bill's recommendation. About the only people that take the outside route from VA to Beaufort are large sailboats that can't get under the bridges. Otherwise makes zero sense.

I've made this run in our old 56 Hatteras when we were cruising full time, and we kept our boat at the Yacht Basin for several years after we settled down. Everything you need is in walking distance, including a very good marine supply store, ACE. MCYB has a courtesy van available if you need to go get groceries. Beaufort inlet comes into play when you head south. It is a major shipping channel and one of the best inlets on the entire east coast.
Old 09-30-2020, 08:22 AM
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Someone said it's hard to screw up Beaufort Inlet, but if you turn south too soon, you could end up on Willis' Lump, especially on a calm day when the waves aren't breaking on the shoal. Also, if you decide to go into Beaufort, there is an underwater rock jetty, on your port side coming from MHC, if you short cut the turn before the red and green split channel marker.
Old 09-30-2020, 10:43 AM
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Thanks everyone.

I haven't been in or out of Oregon Inlet in a few years and that was with Capt. Brynner on the Smoker and I still didn't enjoy it. Sounds like now might be the time to give it another try if weather permits.

Starting to look like the weather won't permit so we're debating hanging out at the dock for an extra day or two to let things lay down or just going for it and taking our licks from Point Pleasant to Norfolk then running the ICW until it's calm enough to jump outside again, hopefully at Beaufort/MHC.

We've got 5 guys going right now which will be helpful from a crewing standpoint but makes logistics tough. Half the crew arrives in NJ next Tuesday night, the other half the following morning so we wouldn't be able to get underway until midday which raises the question of whether we bother or just start fresh early Thursday morning and put in a long day and get as far as we can.

The last time I did this trip was in January of 2015 on a brand new 66' Viking with no hardtop and no electronics so we just wanted to get home to FL and warmth. Luckily with a Seakeeper and 30kt. cruise we were able to go from Atlantic City to Rudee Inlet, Rudee Inlet to Southport, NC, Southport to St. Augustine, and St. Augustine to West Palm Beach. The few times I've made the run before that were in my grandpa's 1977 54' Hatteras that cruised 17kts. on a good day and I was much younger so we'd run the ICW 90% of the way from Stuart, FL to Keyport, NJ and keep it to 6 hour days at most. Trying to plan with a boat that sits basically right in between those 2 in terms of speed makes it a little interesting.
Old 09-30-2020, 10:59 AM
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If you have a crew of five, you could run 24hrs and knock a big hunk of the trip out running slow speed at night. Saves fuel $$$ too. Takes a lot of time to dive into a port and fuel/eat when you could knock out another 120nm at night on the bee line.
Old 09-30-2020, 11:47 AM
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First rule of boat deliveries - mother nature makes the schedule NOT an impatient owner or customer!

Second rule (for me) - it will take a caliber larger than .45 to get me to run the ditch

Until I retire, I just don't have the patience to deal with an endless parade of blowboats and trawler yachts, three zillion no-wake and manatee zones and irritated bridge tenders who think I should drop my outriggers and antennas instead of asking for an opening (never mind the snailboat behind me with a mast that hasn't seen canvass in 25 years!). If I ever retire though, I might just get a trawler yachit and cruise the ditch and yell at anyone who tries to pass me!

Good luck SirFer and be safe!

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