Experience the ICW with SAIL

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Let’s not kid ourselves—the ICW transit can be a long, lonely and sometimes daunting slog. Commercial traffic, strong currents, shifting shoal spots and lifting bridges—help! That’s why we came up with the idea for a Snowbird Rally down the ICW, to help make the ICW an experience you’ll look back on with a grin on your face. Last year’s event was a rousing success, and this year’s will be even better. You’ll learn new skills, hone your existing ones, and come away with a group of new friends and some lasting memories.

1sv-Circe-sv-Turning-Point-Surf-City-Bridge

Ably led by On the Water ChartGuides authors Mark and Diana Doyle, with Tom Hale, former Technical VP of the American Boat and Yacht Council, providing technical support, the Snowbird Rally departs Hampton, Virginia on Friday, October 23, and winds up in St Augustine, Florida, on Tuesday, December 1.

The event will actually kick off with our annual Secrets of the ICW Seminar on Sunday, October 11 at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, to which all Rally entrants receive free registration. Then we’ll meet up in Hampton on October 18 for the famed Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous (also free registration to Rallyers), which will really set the scene for the adventure ahead. Following that, we’ll get together for two days of boat inspections, socializing and the first of seven formal briefings you’ll receive along the way.

Once the Rally is under way, crews will enjoy regular navigational, weather and safety briefings, along with mechanical and electrical troubleshooting and advice, parties, potluck dinners and shoreside outings, all the while getting star treatment at marinas and towns along the way. You’ll enjoy docking and fuel discounts, and assistance and guidance from on-the-spot harbor hosts. Don’t worry about those notorious ICW trouble spots—you’ll be getting lead-boat guidance through those.

The schedule has been tailored to keep long motoring days to a minimum and allow plenty of time to explore the attractive stopovers along the way. We—I say we because a crew of SAIL editors will also be joining in this adventure—will pass through the fabled Dismal Swamp Canal to historic Oriental, NC, and spend time in Charleston and Beaufort, SC, and Savannah, Jekyll Island and St Mary’s in Georgia.

At the end of the journey you may be wondering what to do next, so SAIL will host a one-day Sailing South Seminar in St. Augustine with expert advice on sailing to the Bahamas, Cuba, Caribbean, and Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.

Space is limited, so sign up now!

Registration has opened for the 2015 SAIL Snowbird Rally down the Intracoastal Waterway.

Related

SunFast-600x

Video tour: Jeanneau SunFast 3300

Jeanneau America's Mike Coe takes SAIL aboard the brand new Sun Fast 3300 for an exclusive tour. This mid-sized stripped-down racing boat has a perfect balance of amenities and weight-saving simplicity to make it a blast to sail. Though it boasts sleeping space for up to six, ...read more

furlex2

Know-how: Installing an Electric Furler

Push-Button Reefing Boats have never been easier to sail, and yet, designers and builders still strive for that extra iota or two of convenience. A case in point is the growing acceptance of powered headsail furlers. Roller-furling headsails are ubiquitous not only on cruising ...read more

New-Lead

Know-how: Modify a Blackwater System

My dissatisfaction with the head and holding tank plumbing arrangement on our 1987 Sabre 38 had grown as we cruised the boat away from the comforts of a marina for longer periods of time. When we are tied up at a marina, the use of regular bathrooms generally trumps the ...read more

01-LEAD-Suzuki-55f19d31e297c

Choosing the Right Outboard

Two of the most indispensable items on board a cruising yacht are a dinghy and an outboard motor. At anchor or on a buoy, of course, they are your only means of getting ashore. They also have a thousand other uses. For example, they can allow you to motor across to friends’ ...read more

2019-giftGuide

2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Sailing America Rizzoli International Publications has released this striking portrait of American sailing by nautical photography legend Onne van der Wal just in time for the holidays. Featuring 200 stunning photographs spanning the length and breadth of the sailing scene—from ...read more

01-Sailing-La-Vagabonde,-Outremer-48

Cruising: the Vagabonde Life

Once upon a time conquering your dream of sailing off into the sunset was enough, but these days it seems like you have to be popular on social media too. Balancing the stresses of sailing around the world while keeping a successful—not to mention financially lucrative—social ...read more

191114

Video: 11th Hour Racing Arrives in Brazil

Team 11th Hour Racing finished in fourth place this past week among the 29 IMOCA 60s competing in the 4,335-mile doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Aboard were American Charlie Enright and French sailor Pascal Bidégorry, ...read more

Video--Edmond-de-Rothschild-Maxi-tri-Pitstop

Video: Edmond de Rothschild Maxi-tri Pitstop

. On Sunday, after having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques race , Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard the Ultime maxi-tri Maxi Edmond de Rothschild reported they’d be making a pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil, after damaging one of their ...read more