The Okeechobee Waterway is 154.6 SM long between its junction with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in Stuart on Florida’s east coast and its junction with the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway just north of Punta Rassa on Florida’s west coast. So you ask: what’s up with the Statute Mile thing? Well, it is a (2) part answer:
Regardless, we have you covered. For those that believe in the more traditional system of measurement, it is 134.3 NM and for those who are lovers of the metric system, 248.8 KM.
The Okeechobee Waterway Distance Table provides distances between major points along the entire length of the waterway. When used in conjunction with your anticipated cruising speed, it is useful in planning your trip as well as an aid in computing passage times along the way.
The Okeechobee Waterway Distance Table (below) provides distances between major points along the entire length of the waterway. When used in conjunction with your anticipated cruising speed, it is useful in planning your trip as well as an aid in computing passage times along the way.
The table below (in statute miles,) is rounded to the nearest 1/10th of a mile. These tables can also be downloaded for your personal and private use. The files are Zipped Adobe (.pdf) format. The Okeechobee Waterway distance file contains the tables in SM’s, NM’s, and KM’s.
|Okeechobee Waterway Distance Table (SM)|
|AICW||Manatee Pocket||Stuart||St. Lucie Lock||Indiantown||Port Mayaca Lock||Clewiston||Moore Haven Lock||Ortona Lock||Julian Keen, Jr. Lock||Ft. Meyers||GICW|
|St. Lucie Lock||15.1||14.5||7.5||0.0||13.9||23.9||50.3||62.9||78.4||106.3||119.7||139.5|
|Port Mayaca Lock||39.0||38.4||31.4||23.9||10.0||0.0||26.4||39.0||54.5||82.4||95.8||115.6|
|Moore Haven Lock||78.0||77.4||70.4||62.9||49.0||39.0||12.6||0.0||15.5||43.4||56.8||76.6|
|W.P. Franklin Lock||121.4||120.8||113.8||106.3||92.4||82.4||56.0||43.4||27.9||0.0||13.4||33.2|
|Distances shown above in Statute Miles.|
Transit times on the Okeechobee Waterway, while primarily influenced by your cruising speed, can also be affected in a large part by whether low water lock restrictions are in effect on the waterway.
Can the OWW be done in a single day’s daylight run? Yes, it can be done. Presuming 12 hours of daylight, such as during the summer months, you will need to maintain an average speed over the bottom of 11.2 knots between the Okeechobee Waterway’s junctions with the AICW and the GICW with absolutely no delays enroute (good luck with that.)
In reality, when you factor in normal bridge and lock delays, the overtaking of slower vessels, meeting of other vessels, and no wake zones, I would suggest that any vessel with a cruising speed of less than 15 knots should plan on the possibility of an overnight stop along the way.
If and when lock restrictions are placed in effect, the severest being (1) at 0700 and (1) again at 1630) and you are traveling from one Junction to the other, it would make sense that all vessels plan for an overnight stop.
During the winter months, when daylight hours are the shortest, it would require a vessel capable of maintaining an average speed over the ground of 13.5 knots for the entire passage. During the summer months, significantly less speed would be required.
If you are not traveling from ICW Junction to ICW Junction and you pre-position your vessel in the vicinity of the 1st lock on either coast it is possible that you could still accomplish the transit during daylight hours.