Cruising speed – 24 knots
Engine type/horsepower – Twin Yanmar 370 HP
Starting location – Fort Pierce, FL
Final Location – Miami Boat Show
It’s Miami Boat Show time and we have a lot of boats to deliver to the show. Our first boat is the Beneteau Swift Trawler located on Florida’s Treasure Coast in Fort Pierce. We fuel up the day before departure so we can cast off before sunrise. The weather is looking iffy for an ocean run from Fort Pierce Inlet. So, we run down the ICW to Lake Worth Inlet in Palm Beach to decide if the ocean is friendly.
The ocean is NOT FRIENDLY- just too rough. We are doomed to the ICW and the million bridges we have to open. Well, maybe not a million bridges but enough to slow us down to keep their scheduled openings. As we cruise south in the No Wake Zone I lower the mast to reduce our bridge clearance requirements to make our passage easier and less dependent on bridge opening schedules.
There used to be some open areas on the ICW that you could run a boat as fast as 25 mph but the rules have changed. Please be aware that it is basically a NO WAKE ZONE from Lake Worth all the way to North Miami with very few exceptions. We were “reminded” of a speed zone sign limiting boats over 35 feet to NO WAKE while boats less than 35 feet could do 25 mph. Other areas post signs that boats may travel the posted speed limit of 25 mph BUT NO WAKE GREATER THAN 15 INCHES. These municipalities mean business and you are always responsible for your wake.
We decided we were not going anywhere fast so we settled in for a long easy day’s ride to the boat show. It’s a good thing we accepted this idle cruising speed because we were delayed an additional hour when we entered Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Our dumb luck brought us to the port at the exact departure time of FOUR cruise ships. We thought we might scoot around them but the local Coast Guard had other plans for us- to WAIT!
Because of the reduced speed limit and the cruise ship parade we arrived at the show location after dark, moved into our slip assignment and cleaned the boat. The next morning we stepped the mast and dinghy boom to prepare the boat for the show, rented a car and drove north to board another boat headed to the Miami Boat Show.