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Old 04-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Boating to Charleston

I'm planning a weekend trip by boat to Charleston from Columbia. I've never done it and have no real knowledge of the trip. Can anyone offer real advice or a link to something tangable. Everything I have found on the net is Bubba's talking about taking their john boat down.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

i know the SCDNR used to have it mapped out...might wanna check their website
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

Here is some info I found on the locks. I was curious myself so I went ahead and did some searching. I ran across a crude map probably not worth posting so you could also probaby google a map of the place easily. I don't think there is much in the way of getting lost. I've been on Marion a few times and Moultrie once(bad experience in a brand new boat) via the diversion canal.
https://www.santeecooper.com/portal/.../pinopolislock
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

I've never done it myself but have friends who have and know a little bit about it.

What kind of boat will you be in? Also, are you familiar with using lock systems?

Basically the route I would take is maybe put in on the Wateree River out on 378...then head down to where it runs into the Congaree River (Santee River)...through Lake Marion onto Lake Moultrie...and on down to Charleston by way of Cooper River.

I've been wanting to make a similar trip for a good while...get some buddies, lots of cold beer, camping gear, and make an awesome weekend out of it.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

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Originally Posted by ColaCock View Post
I've never done it myself but have friends who have and know a little bit about it.

What kind of boat will you be in? Also, are you familiar with using lock systems?

Basically the route I would take is maybe put in on the Wateree River out on 378...then head down to where it runs into the Congaree River (Santee River)...through Lake Marion onto Lake Moultrie...and on down to Charleston by way of Cooper River.

I've been wanting to make a similar trip for a good while...get some buddies, lots of cold beer, camping gear, and make an awesome weekend out of it.
Is there really any other way besides the launch location? Putting in on 378 really wouldn't even be that far from where the rivers meet. I figured he was going to put in somewhere near the stadium.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

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Is there really any other way besides the launch location? Putting in on 378 really wouldn't even be that far from where the rivers meet. I figured he was going to put in somewhere near the stadium.
Well I would just suggest that because of how close Columbia is to the fall line and if you started on the Wateree, I know you wouldn't have any issues. I've never taken the Congaree all the way down to the swamp area...just seems like it would be tough to navigate at certain early areas.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

My neighbor is taking this trip in May(or June). I believe they are launching in Santee, I think the Congaree near Rosewood or any further up would be too much of a hassle for them. I think they are taking two 20'+ center consoles.
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

One of these days I want to take about a week or two and canoe from Greenville all the way to Charleston.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

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Originally Posted by ColaCock View Post
I've never done it myself but have friends who have and know a little bit about it.

What kind of boat will you be in? Also, are you familiar with using lock systems?

Basically the route I would take is maybe put in on the Wateree River out on 378...then head down to where it runs into the Congaree River (Santee River)...through Lake Marion onto Lake Moultrie...and on down to Charleston by way of Cooper River.

I've been wanting to make a similar trip for a good while...get some buddies, lots of cold beer, camping gear, and make an awesome weekend out of it.
24' pontoon. I was thinking of putting in near 77. The river gets really big down that way. That seems like the path of least resistance.
The only problem I have with that is I don't even know a good landing down in that area.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

Thanks for the info roche.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

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Originally Posted by Cock Strong View Post
24' pontoon. I was thinking of putting in near 77. The river gets really big down that way. That seems like the path of least resistance.
The only problem I have with that is I don't even know a good landing down in that area.
There is a landing at the end of Rosewood kind of near the stadium.

And on the Casey side there is one a bit further down
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:29 AM   #12
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

The closest landing to I-77 is congaree landing in Cayce. Be advised that there are many sandbars, sweepers, sawyers, snags, etc. that you will encounter on your way. A 24' potoon will be difficult to navigate in many spots. The Wateree between 378 & the Congaree is very narrow and swift in many paces and also filled with hazards like the Congaree. I would recommend only trying to float the river at gage levels above 6' on the lower Congaree gage. At low water levels I've had problems with my 16' jon boat in the Congaree. Running the river in a small boat first would be wise before trying it in a larger boat.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

I have some friends who are going the week before me in a similar boat. I'll see what they say before I put my boat in there.
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

We used to put in at Lugoff to go striper fishing and bow fishing. I don't know if they are still there, but if you go down river from the bridge, there used to be about three or four big house boats down there with one of them being a big paddle wheel. They looked like they had been there for years but I'm assuming they came up the river from Santee somehow. In fact, I know a guy who has relatives with land on the Wateree in Eastover who said big boats used to come up the river years ago, I guess to haul cotton or something. I went up the river from Pack's landing to bass fish and it does get to be very winding so one would have to be on their toes.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

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We used to put in at Lugoff to go striper fishing and bow fishing. I don't know if they are still there, but if you go down river from the bridge, there used to be about three or four big house boats down there with one of them being a big paddle wheel. They looked like they had been there for years but I'm assuming they came up the river from Santee somehow. In fact, I know a guy who has relatives with land on the Wateree in Eastover who said big boats used to come up the river years ago, I guess to haul cotton or something. I went up the river from Pack's landing to bass fish and it does get to be very winding so one would have to be on their toes.
Yeah I'm no trend setter by any means, I know others have done it. Just not anyone I know well enough to consult. The people going the weekend before me are taking their 24" pontoon. So I'll see what they say before I do anything. I've seen those boats in wateree, so it can be done.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

I don't have time right now to help you search, but once you get in the Cooper River via the locks at Lake Moultire (That section of the Cooper is called the Tail Race canal) about 5 miles down the river from there and just past Pimlico, which is a no-wake residential zone, you'll come to a train tressel, and a little ways past that to an area filled with old rice patties to what's called "the T's". You definitely want to know what you're doing navigating in that area or you can easily dry dock your boat in a 17-1800s era rice patty in no time. Do your homework on that area for sure. From there it's smooth sailing with navigation markers the rest of the way to Charleston. Once you get just beyond Goose Creek/Bushy Park there's the old Naval Weapons Station. You'll see a submarine docked there on the right and you need to stay the hell away from that side of the river or homeland security will be on you quick-like. From there and depending on your speed you'll be in the Charleston harbor in 20-25 mins.

Good luck with all that!
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:32 PM   #17
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

Oh yeah, Lake Moultrie is a stump-ridden, prop/foot eating nightmare. Stay out in the middle and don't venture too far to your right when heading across from Cross to the Moncks Corner side or you'll be sorry. Chances are you'll be able to follow a local on the right navigation path.
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

Lake Moultrie has markers from cross all the way to the dam. Plus we are at high water levels so unless you are going out to check places like the hatchery or sumerset or whatever u want, there shouldn't be any stump issues. The locks are not always open, but 90% of the time it will be. They do not operate them during bad weather(high winds, lightening/thunder). Definitely know your way around the T's, but if you have to just go slow and if the water goes from 18-20' to 6-8', you have gone the wrong way. Once in the harbour be careful of anywhere you pull up to rest. Oyster beds and rapidly changing tides can make for a bad day. A guy was stuck this past weekend on a island because they didn't keep up with the tide. It's either a 6 hour wait or a 700.00 tow from "sea-tow".
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

Been wanting to do the same trip forever. I've been up and down the Congaree and put in off Rosewood, Cayce and off Highway 601. I'd recommend putting in at the Hwy 601 landing, although I'm not too sure about a pontoon there. You'd be just up from where the Wateree comes in and the water is wide there. If its moving swift, though, it can be a hassle to work around the bridge (especially if the dude with the 2-story houseboat is all in the way).
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: Boating to Charleston

We used to camp out on Capers Island and would make the trip down. With a boat that big you'll have a hard time managing close to Columbia. We would always put in at Week's Landing off 267. Trust me, the trip to Charleston from there is long enough.
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