History of the Intracoastal Waterway - Part 1

Have you ever wondered the history behind the popular Intracoastal Waterway that you are always boating on? It has a unique history, unsurprisingly with its long stretch in size along the country, and is used today as a great route alongside the states without the hazards of open ocean travel.

It’s a popular choice for Floridians to get out on the water, but it actually stretches along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico from Boston all of the way to our very own south Florida and continuing to Brownsville, TX. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what this space has been used for in the past and how it came to be, check out parts 1 and 2 of the history of the ICW for the story.

The early history behind the ICW

The 3,000-mile inland waterway of today was originally the solution to shipping hazards that were created by travel on the Atlantic coast. When the US had first become independent, it was a time when the commercial and military use of the Atlantic coast had become very important.

The Intracoastal needed to be developed from the erosion and sedimentary deposition caused by the Atlantic currents, and it was the best option for transportation without governmental control like there was so much of on the coastline. Inland transport wasn’t taking place yet, and the river systems became the solution to a free transportation policy.

Today, you may have heard of the Great Loop, the improved ICW that allows for a circumnavigation of the water in the eastern continental US without much ocean travel involved.


The struggle to get development

With natural transportation route improvement becoming a hot topic around the country at this time, issues began to come up about how the improvements could be made. There was much division among the people about who should be paying for such improvements and even, who should be doing the work. Finally, in the early 1800’s, the first plan was presented by the government, which included ideas for where transportation could take place and where it already was.

When a plan was presented by Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin to the Senate regarding future transportation development including east to west improvements and north to south improvements, it did not get approved at the time. He had included all of the details from construction crews to costs, as well as benefits for the country and international markets, the $20 million plan, was turned down.

Ironically, it was implemented anyways just after the War of 1812 when it was realized that something like this was so badly needed. Gallatin’s ideas were translated by taking the known advantage points and making navigational improvements through state-built improvements under the General Survey Act.

Now that at this time people were finally taking Gallatin’s Intracoastal plan seriously, things were improving thanks to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Check out part 2 in an upcoming post to find out how things developed from there, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Does My Dog Need a Life Vest or Jacket to Go Boating?

Thinking about taking the dogs boating this weekend? Dogs make great company when you are out enjoying the water since they love the outdoors. You have everyone’s life jacket ready to go from the kids to any extra guests so for safety’s sake your dog will need one too.  Not only will your dog look great he/she will be able to enjoy boating safely. When you are making a reservation with the Jax Boat Club make sure you are reserving one of the pet friendly boats we have in the fleet.

Up until now, dog jackets have been not rated by the U.S. Coast Guard, so it is up to the owner to do a bit of research and find the right product for their dog. Pet flotation devices basically act as flotation aids and lifting devices-as most devices have a handle found on the top of the flotation device.  If your dog falls overboard you will have a better chance of lifting him/her out of the water by using the handle.

Can’t All Dogs Swim?

You may feel like your dog is a fine swimmer but with boating you have other factors to think about. Deep water, strong currents, and large waves are among some of the challenges you may face while out boating with your dog. Even breeds that are natural swimmers could struggle when placed in a condition mentioned above.  Keep reading for some great recommendations on choosing the right life jacket.

Choosing the Right Jacket

The best advice on choosing a jacket is to try it on! Dogs come in so many shapes and sizes so it is highly recommended to try on a jacket with the features you are looking for.  The following website http://dogsrecommend.com/life-jacket/  has a lot of useful information concerning sizing, functions, pricing, and safety. You will also find the best features to look for when buying a dog jacket -what type of material, ease of use, handles, a good fit, and if the jacket has buckles and straps.


Before You Get on the Boat

Develop a plan in case your dog goes overboard.  Talk to your passengers ahead of time on who does what if the dog goes overboard.  Remember the waterways can be busy with boating traffic and it is imperative that the boat operator is focused on other boats as well as passenger safety. 

Most importantly, whether you’re boating with 4 leggers, 2 leggers, or both…be safe and have fun!

How to Determine the Type of Boat You’ll Need

When it comes to hitting the water at the Jax Boat Club, there are many great boating options to keep things enjoyable for you and your whole group. Whether you are fishing, waterskiing, or just cruising the ICW there is a specific boat for all interests.

Every activity on the water offers the chance to try a distinctive style of boat, which is why joining JBC is so remarkable, as a boat club has most of the options you would need. You don’t want to find yourself on a cruising boat trying to catch fish, or a fishing boat wishing you could go tubing. Take a look at what type of boat options there are and how to determine what you’ll need when you hit the water.

Fishing boats

If you are trying to work on your fishing game, it is important to find the proper fishing boat and not to fish from another style of boat. With the Jax Boat Club, you will be able to reserve excellent fishing boat options in a variety of styles.

Almost all JBC fishing boats are pet-friendly and they come in sizes as small as the Key West for the skinny water with a maximum capacity of 3 people and as large as the Wellcraft for offshore fishing designed for 8 people. Other options include the 21’ Sea Chaser by Carolina Skiff, or the Pro Sport 17 and Tidewater 20’. All the fishing boats are equipped with GPS, Sonar, and live bait wells.

Waterskiing & Cruising boats

When it comes to getting active on the water, you will need an entirely different vessel to allow your crew to feel the power of the waves. A water skier, wakeboarder and tuber will need the right sports boats to pull them to get to the correct speed and make some waves.  

Great options for water sports are the Monterey Bow Riders, the Chaparral Bow Rider 22 and Nauticstar Sport Deck 21.  You will find that cruising the water is a dream in the Rinker Express Yacht 35 that can seat up to 10 people as there is nothing more spectacular than cruising down the ICW with your friends. You will love getting to put up some shade in the Regal Sundeck Bow Rider 24 when the sun is shining and you want to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The newest member to the fleet, the Stingray Deck Boat 22, is another choice when cruising with a group of friends as it seats up to 11 people.  When it comes to your boating needs this weekend, make sure you have selected a boat that suits the activity you plan to do. Don’t make it a fishing trip combined with a watersport trip; you’ll want to narrow it down to make sure you get the boat you need most. See you on the docks!


Advantages of a Boat Club Membership

Have you ever considered taking the plunge and joining a boat club? If you are passionate about boating, want access to a boat and enjoy a sense of community the Jacksonville Boat Club could be for you.  You already love the water and everything it has to offer, but you aren’t interested in the expense and hassle of owning a boat and having a place to store it. This is where a Jacksonville Boat Club membership comes in.

Take a closer look at what a Jax Boat Club membership is all about, and what you could gain by being a member.

What does a Boat Club Membership do?

Just like a golfer that joins a country club, a boater can join the Jacksonville Boat Club to gain membership benefits much like a golfer would as a part of the golfing community. A golf enthusiast joins a Country Club to share facilities with other golfers; likewise, you can join the Jax Boat Club and get access to a wide variety of boats and the joy of the great outdoors. The Jacksonville Boat Club is a private Boat Club for people that want the benefits of owning a boat without the aggravation of boat maintenance, repairs, insurance payments and boat storage costs. A Jax Boat Club membership eliminates all of these common boating problems.

How does it work?

When you join the Jacksonville Boat Club, you pay a one-time initiation fee (price depends on which level you decide on), and monthly dues. The only other charges will be for the fuel you use. You will have unlimited boating options and can bring as many guests as the boat allows according to the US Coast Guard rating. With the Jax Boat Club, training is free and this includes our on the water training with a certified captain!

With a state of the art online reservation system, you will be able to reserve boats that vary in style; from deck and ski boats to fishing boats, as well as twin engine offshore boats and express cruisers. Several pet friendly boats are available, as well. Free amenities also include: wake boards, tubes, skis, and of course free ice from our ice machine.

If you are ready to enjoy all the benefits of a Jax Boat Club Membership, stop by the floating office at Palm Cove Marina behind Marker 32 Restaurant or call 904-477-9794 and speak with our membership director Barry Turnbull.