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Old 28-11-2014, 01:26   #1
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Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

Hi, I dont post often, but i have a question i cant seem to answer on the 'ol interweb thing. I am kicking around a week vacation for my family, I want to leave ??? roughly Cocoa beach FL and head south to Stuart. Cross the Okeechobee waterway, and move north to the Tampa Stpete area. We will be taking a a 21' Chaparral runabout. We will be doing our overnights at dock able lodgings along the way, and when in Stpete staying with family. My problem is this, the charts I have dont show the no wake zones. If I did not have to worry about this, it would be a 1 day trip. 90nm to Stewart, 130ish across (depending on lock times) and 90ish to my friends dock. This clearly wont happen. My realistic goal is one day to Stewart, one day across the state, and one day north. Has anyone done a trip like this?? Where can I find information on the no wake zones? If I could run wide open it would be a one day trip. Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 28-11-2014, 04:32   #2
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

Way to aggressive! Sea state on your third leg will be a concern, not all will be protected. If you are going to rush why not rent a trailer and a truck if needed to pull to St. Pete. Will be less expensive and only take one day.

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Old 28-11-2014, 06:26   #3
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

I have done a similar trip myself in our 23' bowrider but down the west coast of Florida. We stayed at vatious waterfront hotels along the way and it was a blast. Eventually we found ourselves in Key West. The kids were 6 and 8 when we took this trip and another couple went as well.

It's ambitious with the time frame that you gave. For it to be really enjoyable you would need a few more days otherwise the wife/kids will be really tired and bored.

I would limit the legs to 100nm at the most per day. If you can cruise 25kts it won't be such a bad trip and that speed will offset and no wake zones.

Cocoa to Stuart is a 1 day trip so is the trip across the OWW. From the OWW to the Sarasota/ Longboat key area is 75nm so plan on that too being a 1 day trip. Now you are up to 6 days round trip.

As for the sea state on the west coast on the last day. I have run both the inside and the outside. The ICW from Sanibel Island all the way up is very protected and there are only a few no wake zones up to the mouth of Tampa Bay. On my trip I ran outside from Sanibel to Casey Key and spent the night. I then ran outside from there up to Treasure Island.

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Old 28-11-2014, 06:39   #4
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

I made the trip years ago in a 25' Wellcraft. It was a full day to make it from Stuart to Ft Meyers and I was cruising at 45-50 mph but that did include some time for launching, loading gear and time to tied up at the marina in Ft Meyers.
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Old 28-11-2014, 07:31   #5
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

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Originally Posted by tacm View Post
My problem is this, the charts I have dont show the no wake zones. ..... Where can I find information on the no wake zones?
I doubt most "No Wake" signs are legal. It looks like the biggest selling bonanza floggin "No Wake" signs for folks to pin on their ICW houses.
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Old 28-11-2014, 07:33   #6
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

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I doubt most "No Wake" signs are legal. It looks like the biggest selling bonanza floggin "No Wake" signs for folks to pin on their ICW houses.
Those I just ignore. The "official" ones you better watch.
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:20   #7
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

One thing you better watch for is Manatee zones!
From the last lock east of Ft. Myers to the gulf there are many Manatee zones, if you get caught going to fast, you will not like the fine. If you continue up the ICW to St. Pete you will pass through similar manatee zones. Slow down!
If you go off shore, beware of Westerly winds and the associated waves as the seas are shallow as compared to the Atlantic side of Florida.
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:44   #8
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacm View Post
Hi, I dont post often, but i have a question i cant seem to answer on the 'ol interweb thing. I am kicking around a week vacation for my family, I want to leave ??? roughly Cocoa beach FL and head south to Stuart. Cross the Okeechobee waterway, and move north to the Tampa Stpete area. We will be taking a a 21' Chaparral runabout. We will be doing our overnights at dock able lodgings along the way, and when in Stpete staying with family. My problem is this, the charts I have dont show the no wake zones. If I did not have to worry about this, it would be a 1 day trip. 90nm to Stewart, 130ish across (depending on lock times) and 90ish to my friends dock. This clearly wont happen. My realistic goal is one day to Stewart, one day across the state, and one day north. Has anyone done a trip like this?? Where can I find information on the no wake zones? If I could run wide open it would be a one day trip. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I don't think any charts show no wake zones and as others have posted there are official no wake zones where you can be ticketed for producing a wake and there are unofficial no wake zones posted by waterfront land owners and it can be hard to tell the difference.

The real question though is; why do you want to go full throttle all the way? It wouldn't be a fun ride and you'll miss all the sights cruising is about. If you're in a hurry, why not just trailer the boat behind a car or truck?
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Old 28-11-2014, 09:48   #9
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by tacm View Post
Hi, I dont post often, but i have a question i cant seem to answer on the 'ol interweb thing. I am kicking around a week vacation for my family, I want to leave ??? roughly Cocoa beach FL and head south to Stuart. Cross the Okeechobee waterway, and move north to the Tampa Stpete area. We will be taking a a 21' Chaparral runabout. We will be doing our overnights at dock able lodgings along the way, and when in Stpete staying with family. My problem is this, the charts I have dont show the no wake zones. If I did not have to worry about this, it would be a 1 day trip. 90nm to Stewart, 130ish across (depending on lock times) and 90ish to my friends dock. This clearly wont happen. My realistic goal is one day to Stewart, one day across the state, and one day north. Has anyone done a trip like this?? Where can I find information on the no wake zones? If I could run wide open it would be a one day trip. Thanks in advance for your advice.
When you get out of the Okeechobee ditch watch yourself in the river until after the Hwy.41 bridge. The state man lays in wait at the bridge for people exceeding the limit. I believe once you pass the yacht club your past the no wake zone.
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Old 28-11-2014, 10:06   #10
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

a lot of it is no wake. mostly near narrowing or population. Your time frame is too aggressive and wont be much fun that way.
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Old 28-11-2014, 20:51   #11
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

By no wake, I meant the official manatee zones, they are a PITA on the St johns river, especially the 45 minutes near Blue Springs and Hontoon Island. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-12-2014, 13:06   #12
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Re: Advice on a Florida intracostal trip

Your plans are definitely doable although it won't be a really enjoyable site seeing trip. One day down too Stuart is certainly no issue and you may want to go a little farther across the ditch and then spend the night. Crossing the ditch in one day is no problem either. Just check on the locks and be sure no issues. From Ft. Myers to St Pete is a long haul (slightly over 100nm) and will take you most of the day running at cruise if the weather is good on the outside.
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