Cape Fear River Navigation/Weather - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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PirateJuan
Posts: 245
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:58 pm
Hey guys. Tiny boat question...

Thinking about heading down to Southport one weekend from Scotts Hill. A few people I've spoken with (with bigger boats) have said that the leg between Snows Cut and Southport in the river can get about as sporty as nearshore on a bad day for a boat my size (17').

So, is there a decent way to forecast it before heading all the way down to Snows Cut then potentially turning around? Are there particular rules of thumb around wind speed/direction I should look for? I'm sure a 20-25kt wind day is pretty sporty anywhere, but just curious what I should try to stay under. The ride seems pretty protected from fetch from any direction other than maybe South.

After you're done laughing, would be nice to get tips from those of you that are on the river every day.

Thanks,
PJ
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blueoceaneyez
Posts: 3254
Location: Carolina Beach NC
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Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:10 pm
This time of year (summer heat), mornings are much calmer and then around lunchtime/early afternoon the seabreeze kicks up and SW winds start blowing 15-20+ ((I go early and get back up the river before the big gusts of the afternoons)) You can look at weather.gov's hourly forecast and see the wind predictions and gusts.

Even if you get caught in the SW chop in the afternoon at least it's at your back on the way back up the River. You can also run the outsides of the main river channel to get out of some of the slop. If you know your way around, you can run behind the spoil islands on higher water also to skip all or parts of the river channel. NE, E, or SE winds I hug the New Hanover Co side of the river (behind the islands) to stay out of the chop as much as possible. Any N or S wind like > 12+ with a tidal current going opposite will turn up the chop too. At least from your signature you are in a 17' Scout and not a skiff like me! haha! =)
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Cape Fear River Navigation/Weather - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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