Doing the intracoastal waterway on a pontoon boat?

by Don James
(Leesburg, Florida)

Any pontoon boats on the ICW ( Intracoastal Waterway )

Any pontoon boats on the ICW ( Intracoastal Waterway )

I am thinking about doing the intracoastal waterway on a 20 foot pontoon boat.

Hi my name is Don and I live in Florida, and with the following closure I'm wondering if anybody has attempted this yet.

And if there is anyone that knows anything about doing this I would appreciate the feedback. Hope to hear from somebody about this project soon. Thanks for your help, Don.






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Reply - Answer
Well Don, thanks for sharing your post with the community. When it comes to doing the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway), which is basically a canal most of the way, and also has wide/rough bodies of water. I have heard stories about all kinds of people attempting it in various size boats.

I know of people that can cross "small oceans" in specially built rowboats, and most "make it" and some don't. So, with that in mind, I would recommend reading some of the following articles to help you make a decision whether it's a good idea, or simply a thought that should be put aside.

Houseboat travel on the ICW Inter Coastal Waterway

Houseboats to Cruise the Great Loop

Houseboats for Coastal Traveling

Any seaworthy houseboats?

You don't mention if, or how much boating experience that you have, so I would also recommend some Power Squadron Boating Courses to at least start things off.


Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their ICW Intracoastal Waterway houseboat experiences and tips. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.


Thanks again for sharing, IAN - from www.all-about-houseboats.com

If you're still looking for information, you can try our search function, found at the bottom of the left Nav bar.


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Comments for Doing the intracoastal waterway on a pontoon boat?

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Pontoons have personalities.
by: Capt LarryB Bevo

For reasons of breakdown of my vessel and I cannot set still. So I rented a 44 fT Pontoon at H.H. south of Orlando. Three things you prepare for:

Weather - Best be in cover as too much windage and too light a vessel. Really you are a kite.

Have 2 outboards or inboards. One goes and you have a 16+ beam.... you can become a merry-go-round.

Night Security - There are a lot of flipcakes that will mess with anything they can. From starting your vessel and push to full speed and they hop overboard - board to steal or to watch Ladies sleep.

Finally a good dog - and you will sleep well until a barge bear jumps aboard. Dog goes overboard and I am following him. They'll barge in anywhere.

Most dangerous mammal on the Intracoastal is a drunk man OR women. Causes DEATHS ever year. Take control of the boat, tie them up and call Florida Patrol.

ICW travel times
by: Jon Klein

I am planning a trip on the ICW sometime next year after spring. I wanted to know or get an idea of how long it might take me to get from Hilton Head ICW to the Chesapeake Bay.

I planning the trip on a 28 foot Bayliner cruiser. Thanks you in advance to anyone that shares information with me.

John.

Suggestions on a safe houseboat
by: Anonymous

My name is Wally and my question is what would be a good boat to purchase to only do the icw/ canals etc... going back and forth from cape coral to sanibel/ ft meyers with my wife who has muscular dystrophy and may be in a wheel chair?

I do very little fishing so it doesn't have to be a fishing boat per say. But I think I would like it to be a minimum of 24 to 26 ft. Any ideas?

Pontoon houseboat on the ICW?
by: Russell

Just wondering if you ever got away and took your boat up the ICW? If not, we are heading north in about 6 weeks up to the Chesapeake Bay from south Florida. It is late January and we intend to leave here around March sometime.

Possibly leaving Fort Myers and heading down around the Keys and up the ICW all the way to the northern Chesapeake Bay at an idle. An awesome trip if you have never done it.

Actually, it's awesome even if you have done it twenty times or more. Keep in touch.

ICW in a small boat
by: Russell

Okay, I have run the ICW several times from the upper Chesapeake to Panama City Beach and beyond. I have seen and met people with boats ranging from a 17 foot open fishing boat, a 20 foot Wellcraft with cutty cabin, a 27 foot sailboat and even one guy in an 8 foot pontoon seat-boat like you would use for a very small fishing boat.

All said they were having the greatest time in the world. Personally, I would like a bit larger boat but have run my old 26 foot pontoon boat down the Chesapeake to Norfolk and went from Morehead City to Norfolk in a 10 foot wooden rowboat with a 15 hp outboard back in the early 80's.

One guy down in the Keys was traveling with a kayak piled up with a backpack and fishing rod. He said he came down from Canada.

As for crossing open water... Not a great idea on a small pontoon boat but if you really watch the weather and hug the shoreline until you have a fabulous crossing day I suppose it can be done.

I have crossed Pamlico and Albamorrow sounds with glass like water and have also seen them and many other areas as raging lunitics. The main thing is to know your limitations and those of your equipment.

90% of the ICW is narrow and calm other than the idiots in megayachts trying to get somewhere in record time. Watch out for those wakes.....If I was 40 years younger I'd join such an adventure. Russell.

pontoon adventure
by: doc

If you have unlimited time.. A bucket list adventure. The sounds are your biggest challenge. Do pim rather than abal watch the sky and read it well. Consider the dismal swamp route. ( bring bug juice )

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