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Old 04-01-2018, 17:02   #1
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Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Hello all:

I'm Dave Stephens. I'm a new member. I'm looking for advice on cruising from the tip of Sanibel Island to Key West.

My boat is a 2002 39' Bayliner that draws 3' and cruises at 23 knots.

My trip planning software says I can make a direct line from the tip of Sanibel to the first marker on the entrance to Key West in about 5 hours and burn approximately 200 gallons (300 gallon capacity).

Assuming a good weather forecast, is there any reason I should not do this?

FYI: I've been cruising in the Cape Coral/Pine Island/Sanibel/Captiva area for the last five years.

I've spent most of my time on the water in Alaska boating out of Prince William Sound from my hometown of Cordova and other ports in the Sound. If anyone is planning a trip to Southcentral Alaska and specifically Prince William Sound, I'm happy to give you detailed advice.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Cheers!

Dave
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:36   #2
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Hello Dave, no reason not to do this with very good weather. The return trip may be more challenging as there are a lot of northers this time of year. Your fuel burn seems really high, almost 2 gallons per mile if you slowed down a bit does it improve a lot? We've always enjoyed going coastally and exploring the little shark river etc. Don't cut any corners at key west north channel entrance and avoid the known shoals and you'll be fine, it's a nice very wide channel.
E joy!!
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Old 07-01-2018, 05:44   #3
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

It is a straight forward route. Just watch out for the pot floats. Many in the area use very long lines! It would be a shame to miss the Shark River, especially this time of year with fewer bugs. Great secluded anchorage and lots of creatures about.
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Old 07-01-2018, 06:00   #4
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Watch for FastCat out of Ft Myers during your trip. You should have few problems with 3 foot draft. Plan on hitting the entry on the north channel and follow the channel into the bight. It gets shallow quick outside the channel. Make sure you have communication that you can use in an emergency if your engine has problems. Watch the weather. It can be a very light sea trip or some mighty big waves. Iíve had both. Great trip. Have made it Sailing a lot of times from Punta Gorda.
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Old 07-01-2018, 19:10   #5
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Thank you for the advice, everyone! I appreciate it.

I'll post pics after the trip.

Dave
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:58   #6
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dave.
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:26   #7
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Hello all,

I recently did Marathon to Marco Island, via Big Spanish Channel on my sail catamaran. On the first day to Little Shark River and in the second the rest. Next week I want to return and I would like to make direct from Marco Island to Marathon. Can I leave Marco Island at night? On a direct course are there pot floats?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Cheers!

Luiz
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Old 14-01-2018, 18:41   #8
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lflbeltrao View Post
Hello all,

I recently did Marathon to Marco Island, via Big Spanish Channel on my sail catamaran. On the first day to Little Shark River and in the second the rest. Next week I want to return and I would like to make direct from Marco Island to Marathon. Can I leave Marco Island at night? On a direct course are there pot floats?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Cheers!

Luiz
I'm curious if you considered heading straight north from 7 Mile Bridge to the green 15, then set a course for Little Shark. Big Spanish Channel is a lot of trouble for no reason.

To answer your question, once you round Romano Shoals, you can set a course straight to the green 15 north of Moser Channel. Yes, there are lots of crab pots, the crab season ends May 15th.
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Old 15-01-2018, 03:56   #9
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Thank you.
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Old 15-01-2018, 18:34   #10
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

Dave, I have done this trip on our powerboat as well. Itís not hard. Make sure you have something for long range communication in case of engine failure. There are times with no other boat around for 20-30 miles and VHF and cellular are useless. We have an InReach Communicator device. Crab pots are everywhere this time of year. Far fewer after Memorial Day. As someone above mentioned, maybe go down to KW offshore and come home along the coast at Little Shark, then Marco, then home.
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Old 08-02-2018, 19:15   #11
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Re: Cruising from Cape Coral to Key West?

I have not made this run for several years. Can anyone on this thread tell us if the DOD Towers are still there????
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