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June 7, 2009

Hurricane Safety – Part II: Hurricane Hideouts of the New River

Filed under: Miscelaneous — Tags: , , — Robert Jordan @ 3:15 pm

Hurricane season started June 1st. This post continues our series on safety in South Florida. In Part I: Crisis in Culebra, Rob described the terrors of David and Frederick in Culebra. He struggled to find a safe place to moor or dock. Here, we’ll tell you where to find safety on the New River. Please, also refer to our New River navigation guide and list of bridges.

Map of the New River

Map of the New River

Side canals off the New River are excellent hurricane hideouts. Avoid the main channel. Tide, current, and flotsam will batter your yacht. Where are these side canals? Today, Jordan Yachts will guide you to the safest spots.

Imagine you are powering down the New River. You are off Shirtail Charlies past 17th and between the Andrews and Fourth Avenue bridges. To your left is Ernies, the north star of the New River. Go past the Fourth Avenue bridge. Watch out for the powerlines! To your right is our first stop, Coolies Landing. Coolies Landing is a city marina and just the kind of dockage to avoid. It is on the main channel and vulnerable to current and tide. And Coolies is not that deep down the New River. For excellent hideouts, we will go down nigh the tips of the river’s snaking tentacles.

The New River splits after Coolies Landing into North and South Forks.

The New River splits after Coolies Landing into North and South Forks.

Continue powering west on the New River. Up ahead, the river is going to split into the North and South Forks. On these forks and beyond are excellent hurricane hideouts. Numerous side canals provide safe dockage. Let’s explore the North Fork first.

On the North Fork are Gill’s Isles. You will have to navigate past the 11th Ave swing bridge. Your beam must be less than 20 feet to squeeze through. Most boats should not have a problem. Grab a dock on these side canals, and you will be safe from turbulence. The Gill Isles are fewer and quieter than the South Fork canals.

The Citrus Isles have great dockage.

The Citrus Isles have great dockage.

On the South Fork are the Citrus Isles. First, you will go past the Davie bridge. Then, the Citrus Isles appear on your left and provide safe affordable dockage. Jordan Yachts often obtains dockage here at reasonable prices for clients. Past the Citrus Isles are the boat yards. There is a single canal to the west behind Summerfield’s. Summerfield’s used to be an excellent boatyard, but developers demolished the yard in 2006. Along this deep canal we used to keep our old wooden racer, Gypsy, which drew 8 1/2 feet. Jordan Yachts also had an office at Summerfields from 1998-2005.

The new river turns right with Riverbend and LMC on the right of the main channel as it heads westward towards I-95. These marinas provide okay docks which are deep inland although on the main channel. Jordan Yachts also had an office at LMC years ago. Past the marinas is the 55 foot I-95 bridge. Power yachts can slide under and find safe hurricane hideouts on the other side. Sailboats can un-step their masts and pass under.

Come back for Part III of our hurricane safety guide when we’ll outline what to do with a dock. Finding a good area is one thing, docking safely is another.

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