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Old 28-09-2011, 21:38   #1
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Cruising

I just purchased a 30' sailboat in Stuart FL and plan to sail it to Panama City, FL. The Okeechobee Waterway's low water level at this time doesn't allow for my 5' draft so I'm forced to consider a trip around the south coast of Florida via the Keys.

My question is, has anyone made this trip that could provide information that could prevent having to go as far as Key West to head NW toward my destination. Checking the charts has unbelieveable low depths west
of the keys highway all the way to the end.
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Old 29-09-2011, 05:22   #2
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Re: Cruising

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jopech.
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Old 29-09-2011, 07:16   #3
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Re: Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by jopech View Post
Checking the charts has unbelieveable low depths west of the keys highway all the way to the end.
The charts don't lie. The depths in the Florida Bay tend toward the very shallow. Still, you should be able to go under the Channel No. Five bridge and head northwest from there. Watch the charts and you should be able to stay in 8-10 foot depths pretty easily.
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Old 29-09-2011, 07:25   #4
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Re: Cruising

Hi and welcome. denver0n is quite right, under five mile bridge and into Florida Bay is relatively easy, we just did it with a six foot draft in August. Get good charts and watch your nav, and you should be OK. NB, TONS of lobster pots when we came through, good lookout is essential.
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Old 29-09-2011, 07:46   #5
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Re: Cruising

dont forget to use your depth sounder there..... helps. at least you will know when the water is too skinny to sail in...


oh yeah-- welcome!
is pretty sailing there- go farther of shore into deeper water....
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Old 29-09-2011, 07:58   #6
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Re: Cruising

We went up the inside earlier this year with five-foot draft. Not recommended: there's lots of places you need to wait for high tide to get through, and then follow the deepest-looking keel marks. Taking the Hawk Channel along the outside to Channel Five (near Matecumbe Key) is lots better, and even better is to go inside at Boot Key.
Good luck
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Old 29-09-2011, 19:24   #7
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Re: Cruising

Hey jopeck, I was wrong, please accept my apologies, I actually went through seven mile bridge, not five mile bridge (my memory is like a sieve). Benz seems to have better data, and his advice to go in at Boot Key (seven mile bridge) is the way I did it.
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