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Old 16-04-2014, 14:36   #1
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Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

I just joined the Forum and just bought at 40' Sabre (draws 5'3"). Need to bring it from Marco Island to Miami as quickly as possible through channel 5. Would like whatever advice and experience giving best way to go, time to leave, how long it should take, etc. Thank you.
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Old 16-04-2014, 15:35   #2
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

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I just joined the Forum and just bought at 40' Sabre (draws 5'3"). Need to bring it from Marco Island to Miami as quickly as possible through channel 5. Would like whatever advice and experience giving best way to go, time to leave, how long it should take, etc. Thank you.
I would suggest to not use the Yacht Channel with your draft, others may differ with my opinion. I would round the Romano Shoals light and head for the ICW on the north side of the Keys just west of Bamboo Banks. Follow the ICW east then under Channel 5 bridge. Again, with your draft and not knowing your sense of adventure, crossing back to the inside at Angelfish Creek is your call, I've been thru there a lot, but draft 1'+ less than you. So staying on the outside (vs Biscayne Bay), from Marco to Gov't Cut is ~175nm. Can't tell you how long it takes, don't know you or your boat speed. I would suggest crossing Florida Bay in daylight, it's covered with crab pots right now.

As far as stops, you are safe at Little Shark River (from everything but bugs), Fiesta Key (Jewfish Hole) is nice in E thru SW winds. Rodriquez is good place to anchor, simply chose the lee side.

Remember, having a schedule is what ruins passages.
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Old 16-04-2014, 16:32   #3
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

A 64 just did this route. Ask him.
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:29   #4
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

Ha, Ha, I have no idea where Marco island even is
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:37   #5
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

OK, looked it up, I had no idea as we left Marathon on a bee line to Panama City and Marco Island is on the west coast
DotDun knows far more than I, I can tell you we tried unsuccessfully to get out of the southern end of Biscayne bay to get to the hawk channel, go through where the houses on pilings are, water is good and deep in that channel ,the rest to Marathon is easy. He is running it in reverse of course.
Fl Bay is full of crab traps, I can attest to DotDun being correct on that.
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:45   #6
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

We're a bit bigger and took the whole trip outside and had a blast... you can sail nonstop to Key West or sail to Little Shark and then to Key West; from there Marathon, Rodriquez and then Miami. The Hawk Channel is well protected but lacks the good fishing of being just outside the reefs; depends if it's a cruise or a delivery. Whether your draft permits an 'inside' passage is up to you but the outside/Hawk Channel trip is a lot of fun and hits some good anchorages...
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Old 16-04-2014, 19:00   #7
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

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I just joined the Forum and just bought at 40' Sabre (draws 5'3"). Need to bring it from Marco Island to Miami as quickly as possible
Tvans,
Apparently you are the young executive type, in such a hurry you don't even want to respond to the posts in your thread-
Save you time!
Sell your boat!
Your boat is going to do nothing but take your time, and this passage is just the start of it. She will need to be cared for on a regular basis, with paint, varnish and redoing almost every section of the ship. Sailboats have rigging that needs care, they have engines that spew oil at any provocation, and most importantly of all:
They aren't aware of your schedule.
So unless you are willing to listen to something else besides your own schedule-sailboats are not going to make you happy.

Now if you want quick as possible, with $$ being no object, I would suggest a truck- hauling down gator highway.
If I have made a mistake and you are one of the poor lowly sailors around here who are watching every penny, then the way has already been posted. (and welcome to the club)

But think about it: "quick quick" in our world usually means "plane plane"
One of those are usually for sale too BTW.
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Old 16-04-2014, 19:35   #8
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

Nice boat. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 16-04-2014, 20:43   #9
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With your draft you will need to wait for high tide in at least 3 or 4 spots which could lead to an extra day or two taking route 5 channel. But if you get in a strong easterly itll be worth the wait.
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Old 17-04-2014, 04:27   #10
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Tvans,
Apparently you are the young executive type, in such a hurry you don't even want to respond to the posts in your thread-
Save you time!
Sell your boat!
Your boat is going to do nothing but take your time, and this passage is just the start of it. She will need to be cared for on a regular basis, with paint, varnish and redoing almost every section of the ship. Sailboats have rigging that needs care, they have engines that spew oil at any provocation, and most importantly of all:
They aren't aware of your schedule.
So unless you are willing to listen to something else besides your own schedule-sailboats are not going to make you happy.

Now if you want quick as possible, with $$ being no object, I would suggest a truck- hauling down gator highway.
If I have made a mistake and you are one of the poor lowly sailors around here who are watching every penny, then the way has already been posted. (and welcome to the club)

But think about it: "quick quick" in our world usually means "plane plane"
One of those are usually for sale too BTW.
I'm not young (78), executrve, or a novice (40 yrs.uusailing). This is a delivery. I'm new in Miami and just wanted some expertise. Thank you all for your comments.
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Old 17-04-2014, 05:26   #11
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

Yup always someone on each thread,,, anyways I'd plan for 3-4 days stopping each night. Guessing you motor 5-6 knots you can leave marco go around Romano shoals, bee line it to shark river entry anchor there.50 miles or so. Follow the edge of the boundary on the inside for the everglades you should have enough water, and there are no traps. Go straight to 7 mile bridge. Anchor outside boot key or go in and grab a mooring. Next day head offshore do an overnight and your in Miami. Or take two days pushing it, leave early anchor one night Tavernier key the next should get you to where you are going.

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Old 17-04-2014, 06:37   #12
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

What is the air draft maximum (with a safety buffer) that would be encountered for the inside routes suggested above that I am assuming would encounter some bridges and/or wires?

Bob
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Old 17-04-2014, 06:54   #13
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

50'. Need to go under Channel 5 bridge.
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Old 17-04-2014, 07:02   #14
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

Last I checked Tvans, you would not make it under the bridge without heavy side loading and the ditch is too shallow because of the lack of water coming off the lake. My information may be a bit out of date however.
Sorry I pegged you as something you are not. We are always getting the impatient types here that demand know how without the go how. I think you will get stuck in the channel, but I do not try to tell people senior to me what to do- its your call.
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Old 17-04-2014, 07:09   #15
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Re: Advice on sailing Marco Island to Miami

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What is the air draft maximum (with a safety buffer) that would be encountered for the inside routes suggested above that I am assuming would encounter some bridges and/or wires?

Bob
There are 4 bridges in the Keys for sailboats (plus Snake Creek bascule) and all are charted at 65' as are the wires on the west entrance to Boot Key Harbor. Sister Creek entrance to Boot Key Harbor has no wires. At the bascule bridge over Snake Creek at Islamorada has uncharted wires that have been reported at 75' (see Active Captain).

IMO, the 7 Mile Bridge is on the 'lower side' of 65'. I believe the paddle boards are incorrect by ~1' (when it shows 66' it's actually 65'). YMMV.

My mast is 64' 10", plus lights, anemometer, and ~2.5' of SS whip antenna above that (total ~67.4'). I transit under 7 Mile Bridge at low tide folding the antenna in half. Bridge height is suppose to be listed at MHHW. After going under 7 Mile bridge, if I immediately head for west entrance to Boot Key Harbor, I don't even touch the wires (they are telephone wires BTW, not electric wires, no sparks if you do touch them ).

I have not been under Channel 5 bridge with my boat, but have with a 63.5' mast (+ antenna) at mid-tide and never touched. I have not been under the other 2 65' bridges around Key Largo, nor thru Snake Creek.
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