How to Use the ICW Cruisers Guide

How check clearance & transit information for a bridge ICW Cruisers Guide

  • Data in the ICW Cruisers Guide are listed on separate web pages for each 100 statute mile section: 0 - 100, 100 - 200, etc.
  • Determine the location of the bridge by statute mile (note: all locations & features along the Atlantic ICW are given by statute mile as measured south from statute mile, STM, 0.0 in Norfolk, VA.)
  • The listing ICW Bridges by Statute Mile can be used to find the STM for a specific bridge.
  • Next select the appropriate web page in the Index side panel of the site
  • Scroll down the entry for the bridge of interest.

About the ICW Cruisers Guide

Purpose of the
ICW Cruisers Guide

  • The ICW Cruisers Guide is presented as a public service to sailboaters traveling the Atlantic ICW in vessels with an air draft greater than 62'
  • It presents data gathered by SV Onward (and curated other sources) in transiting fixed bridges along the ICW.
  • SV Onward has an air draft of 65.75' (from waterline to the tip of the masthead-mounted VHF antenna.
  • The ICW Cruisers Guide is a living document and is updated as new or revised data become available.

Genesis of the ICW Cruisers Guide
  • SV Onward began making transits of the ICW in the Fall of 2007 heading S to Florida and the Bahamas.
  • Since then Onward has traveled all or most of the ICW each year; southbound in the Fall and northbound in the Spring.
  • In the Fall of 2009, Onward entered the ICW section in the Daytona Beach area, after having made safe & successful (with no damage to mast or equipment at the masthead) three times. There Onward encountered fixed bridge height boards that reported clearances that were too low for Onward to safely transit.
  • In summary, research found that the boards had been somewhat arbitrarily changed in this area and Onward was again able to make safe transits.
  • This hair-raising event led to keeping more detailed records and when enough data was gathered, the website was created as a public service to sailors.
  • See .VVVVVV for the full story.

Information Presented in the ICW Cruisers Guide
  • Data
    • STM: statute mile location of the bridge
    • Bridge name
    • Date of transit
    • Time of transit
    • Height board (North side and South side) indicating if they are present or status if damaged
    • Effective clearance height - based on the interaction of SV Onward's VHF whip antenna which acts as a "feeler gage"
    • Hanging marker lights
    • Tidal conditions - status of tide at time of transit at a station close to the bridge and that reflects the water level at the bridge
    • Comments
    • Photos - photos of approaches to bridge from the North and South that show the water surface level and the bridge

How the fixed bridge transit data is gathered for the ICW Cruisers Guide
  • To gather most of the data presented, SV Onward does visual inspection of height boards wherever present to determine the current clearance height
  • Where the reported clearance is < 66', SV Onward moves under the fixed bridges at idle-forward speed or less.
  • White electrical tape is used to mark the VHF whip antenna at 6" intervals from the tip down.
  • Visual observation of the interaction (interference) between the bridge beams and the VHF antenna are noted.
  • See details of SV Onward's air draft data at: Onward's Air Draft

Updated: 11 October 2018