Originally Posted by fisherman.ben
i've been thinking of sailing to the keys for the winter, if i do, what should i know about the achorage, as i see this is a topic of debate, is there still a good one left? (i didn't spend over 500 bucks on an anchor and chain to use it as ballast) my boat draws 6ft, and would like to know if there is a good dingy dock, and if anyone knows what the pump-out fees
Ben , Hundreds of places to anchor in the Keys. 4 feet depth
is better but 6 is doable. The new "law" per se will not be of any issue to you.
Pumpout fees run from free to 5 bucks. Public money from Hunting, fishing
, boating fees where set to the marinas
to buy the equipment
. It is not a money making thing.
The areas of issues are these
1)Boot Key Harbor which is small but pretty much a hurricane
hole. Because of this you can imagine the abandoned boat issue. These have been removed and there are moorings there in a large field. There was once a few spot for anchoring but no longer.
Dingy dock , showers etc come with mooring fee which is not excessive considering the area and protection.
2)Key West.....busy place. Huge mooring field which comes with usual amenities. Not expensive at all imho compared to the ridiculous dockage fees being charged. Most of the Harbor has poor holding. The area in front of xmas tree island was popular with liveaboards with boat in various states of repair
often with many anchors out. Holding is poor but it is a close dinghy
ride and the liveaboard
workers are not big on expensive dinks usually. and the area is one of the better spots as far as wind
protection. These boats will have to go to a mooring now. Frankly the pay is pretty high in KW (not compared to housing cost) so mooring cost won't be a burden except those that have a monkey to feed.The sea plane basin and a small harbor by Stock island will also be off limits. There are plenty of anchor spots in the area but not what most would consider primo or convenient. Considering the holding is bad and the area is busy with many trying to use a limited resource your better off finding a mooring to rent.
Anchor anywhere else you want outside of channels etc. there are about a 100 spots. People looking for free storage
, drug addicts on bum boats and the like have been a part of the Keys culture and to some extent will never go away considering you cant possibly police such a large area. but the harbors should be clear for the 99% now. Anchoring is not the issue in most of the
Keys but access to stores etc is as there is a lack of free dingy docks and day docks. Marina Rates are truly high.
St Pete has moored off Vinoy basin but frankly there is nothing to do downtown except eat bad food
in overpriced bistro's The rest of Pinellas county and Tampa Bay has many many places to anchor for free that are better anyway. Vinoy basin is protected so was favored by those who needed to leave the boat for a time. Again leading to derelict issues.The mooring rent is so high there that the moorings are all empty and are losing money by the bucket. A issue for the local taxpayer.
St. Augustine has some rules but there are plenty of free anchor spots. Contact local boats on VHF
has a whole anchorage filled with unsafe moorings. Put in for the benefits of passing the laws to make waterfront homeowners happy. More boondoggle and again not a very attractive spot anyway. The west coast
has Hundreds of FREE and PRETTY places to be. Give Sarasota
Manatee River is much better place to be in the area.
Stuart has not had there plan approved. Miami/Miami Beach pulled there plan as far as I know when the FWC started shooting down the stupid provisions in the laws which had more to due with waterfront homeowner issues than boating ones.Granted I don't feel I the right to camp in there backyard but they don't own the ocean either and noone is making them live there.