Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-03-2016, 14:03   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 378
Question Florida as a jumping off point?

I was reading another thread where someone was thinking about getting started in live-aboard sailing in California or the Pacific Northwest. People were suggesting that Florida would be a better place to start.

I'm a few years, yet, from moving aboard a boat. I have no plans in mind, only possibilities. But somehow, Florida never figured in them. Just seemed too expensive.

One of the possibilities that's been bouncing around in my mind is buying a boat on the great lakes, and summering a couple of seasons, then when I was ready dropping the mast to get it by Chicago, then heading down to Mobile Bay. Spend some time their, for a bit, getting ready for the ocean, then heading out to the islands for a couple of seasons, heading back to Mobile Bay, or up to Pamlico Sound in the summer.

So what I was wondering if there were any advantages to starting out in Florida, as opposed to Alabama or North Carolina, as a place to learn, prepare, and generally get your feet wet, that I wasn't aware of? Or specific disadvantages to Alabama or North Carolina?
__________________

__________________
Jdege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:16   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sail any boats from 28 to 60 ft
Posts: 530
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

May be you should tell us where are you now and some essential background. This is an international site, the answer is so person specific.
__________________

__________________
rockDAWG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:19   #3
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I was reading another thread where someone was thinking about getting started in live-aboard sailing in California or the Pacific Northwest. People were suggesting that Florida would be a better place to start.

I'm a few years, yet, from moving aboard a boat. I have no plans in mind, only possibilities. But somehow, Florida never figured in them. Just seemed too expensive.

One of the possibilities that's been bouncing around in my mind is buying a boat on the great lakes, and summering a couple of seasons, then when I was ready dropping the mast to get it by Chicago, then heading down to Mobile Bay. Spend some time their, for a bit, getting ready for the ocean, then heading out to the islands for a couple of seasons, heading back to Mobile Bay, or up to Pamlico Sound in the summer.

So what I was wondering if there were any advantages to starting out in Florida, as opposed to Alabama or North Carolina, as a place to learn, prepare, and generally get your feet wet, that I wasn't aware of? Or specific disadvantages to Alabama or North Carolina?
Given the choice between Florida and NC.. I choose Oriental NC as my training base any day.. Pamlico Sound and the Neuse.. the Outer Banks.. 6hrs down the ICW to Beaufort and the open sea..
America's retirement home sucks in my opinion..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:21   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

I spent a couple summers cruising the Great Lakes, mostly Superior. Some nice territory for sure, but it's a short season, the water is always cold and the flies can be horrific.

I also kept a boat in Florida for years. Florida has year round sailing, there are some affordable marinas and best of all for me is that the Bahamas are just a day sail away.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:29   #5
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,953
Images: 6
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

So your objection to Florida is that it "just seemed too expensive," is that right? What makes you think Florida is any more expensive than anywhere else? I mean, there are lots of reasons to prefer one area over another, but if you are eliminating Florida from consideration because it is "too expensive," I have to wonder what gives you that idea.

Personally, I have lived in Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, and New Jersey. And that list is pretty much in order of my perception of the cost of living. Nebraska, Iowa, and North Dakota were all about the same, and all fairly cheap. But then, none are a very good "jumping off point" for an ocean voyage. Florida is a less expensive place to live than North Carolina, Colorado, or New Jersey, in my opinion.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:43   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 378
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
May be you should tell us where are you now and some essential background. This is an international site, the answer is so person specific.
I'm in Minnesota, which is why sailing the Great Lakes is in my bundle of possibilities. But I'm not sure why my being from Minnesota or from Belarus would matter when it comes to choosing Florida over North Carolina.
__________________
Jdege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:48   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 378
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
So your objection to Florida is that it "just seemed too expensive," is that right? What makes you think Florida is any more expensive than anywhere else? I mean, there are lots of reasons to prefer one area over another, but if you are eliminating Florida from consideration because it is "too expensive," I have to wonder what gives you that idea.
I've spent several weeks in Florida, and the trips were expensive. But that may have only been because of the areas I visited. (Do you consider Sanibel island to be cheap?)
__________________
Jdege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 14:57   #8
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

My Florida experience is limited to Ft Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Ft Pierce.. pricey and everything to spread out.. apart from Ft Pierce where things were walking distance.. and you guys hate walking..
NC limited to the areas I mentioned above.. Oriental and surrounds I could get slips from $150-200/mth for 5ft draft going down to $125 if a centreboard.. with access to elec and water.
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 22:08   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,948
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Ive "jumped off" from From Florida twice to go cruising long term (many more times if you include short term trips). Once, from the Dry Tortugas (S & W bound). Once from near Key Largo (E & S bound).

Its a good, and very common, jumpimg off point. Smaller towns are generally not as expensive for dockage.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 22:31   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Boat: In Between Boats
Posts: 148
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I've spent several weeks in Florida, and the trips were expensive. But that may have only been because of the areas I visited. (Do you consider Sanibel island to be cheap?)
Sanibel is a tourist area so on land (hotel) or marina it's relatively expensive.

Anchoring is free. The whole Fort Myers area is very nice.
__________________
Hearts Content is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-03-2016, 22:45   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 378
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hearts Content View Post
Sanibel is a tourist area so on land (hotel) or marina it's relatively expensive.

Anchoring is free. The whole Fort Myers area is very nice.
I'd be looking for someplace I could prep the boat for ocean sailing, at a minimum hauling out to repaint the hull, and whatever else seemed necessary. I was thinking that might be cheaper a ways upriver in Alabama or Mississippi than in a Floridian tourist trap. (Though to be sure, there have to be parts of Florida that aren't tourist traps - I've just never visited them.)

All of this is hypothetical, and years from any possibility of becoming a reality.
__________________
Jdege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2016, 07:12   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,948
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I'd be looking for someplace I could prep the boat for ocean sailing, at a minimum hauling out to repaint the hull, and whatever else seemed necessary. I was thinking that might be cheaper a ways upriver in Alabama or Mississippi than in a Floridian tourist trap. (Though to be sure, there have to be parts of Florida that aren't tourist traps - I've just never visited them.)

All of this is hypothetical, and years from any possibility of becoming a reality.
FL certainly meets all those requirements, but cheap boat yards are almost non-existent in the USA. There are places outside the USA which are radically cheaper. You might consider doing the essentials in the USA and then heading for a more econimical refit venue for the rest.

Along the Redneck Riviera, Ive only used Dog River Marina in Mobile Bay. Ive also used a yard in Slidell, but neither were cheap and that was many years ago. There are others here who have more recent knowledge of yards/marinas in that area...anyone?
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2016, 07:24   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,381
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

Florida is very expensive if you mean South Florida (Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Palm Beach) and the fancy tourist areas like Sanibel. Most other areas are reasonable to cheap, especially if you are comparing to California.

Advantages: year round sailing (just keep an eye out for hurricanes in the summer but then that applies to anywhere on the US east coast), close proximity to the Bahamas and Keys, lots of resources for boat repairs parts and such.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2016, 07:36   #14
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,210
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

I spent 2 x 6+mth periods at Sailcraft, Oriental.. Alan the owner (Nice guy tho' some may argue differently )was very helpful to me during my time there.. and the time on the hard compared very favourably to costs in the UK.. like half the price.. there is also a small yard down the ICW halfway to Beaufort that many have praised.. fewer facilities but very helpful.. the name escapes me but someone here should know.
As for a jump off.. to my mind its good.. a nice training area for all types of sailing from shallows to the GS.. and a 600 mile sail to Bermuda and Route 65 down to the Islands.. then its easy to carry on south down the chain on a beam reach.. or go west running before.. No Thorney Paths..
All boils down to what you call an adventure.. the above or.. the ICW and 50 mile hop to the Bahama's.. heading further E is hard work.. hence the name.
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2016, 08:42   #15
Registered User
 
timbenner's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Boat: Lagoon 380, 38', I Dream of Jeanne
Posts: 313
Images: 7
Re: Florida as a jumping off point?

TRY JACKSONVILLE, IN NORTH FLORIDA. No hurricanes, much cheaper than south Florida, plus river sailing. Prices in North Florida can be as cheap as anywhere. In Jacksonville you have the St. Johns River sailing, with full on wind, but no swells. If you go up river past downtown Jacksonville, past I-295 bridge there's plenty of room as the river is roughly 2 miles wide and unlike the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW), it's deep across the 2 mile width.

Another advantage is fresh water. Less maintenance. I was on the St. Johns for a couple of years and loved it. Lots of sailing clubs, races, good wind, with no swells.

Get tired of the St. Johns River, go out the Mayport inlet and you're in the ocean. If the weather is bad, go up the ICW to Fernandina Beach or down to St. Augustine.

Travel 10 miles on the ICW in South Florida and you've waited for 5 bridges to open. In North Florida there's 1 draw bridge between Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach and no draw bridges between Jacksonville and the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. Most all of the bridges are 65' high on the ICW.
__________________

__________________
timbenner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
florida

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recreational boaters to pay for being towed through electric jumping carp barrier. David M General Sailing Forum 6 15-09-2009 21:31
Jumping-Off Points for Bermuda Sonosailor Atlantic & the Caribbean 20 06-03-2009 08:42
Point No Point Lighthouse For Sale TaoJones Atlantic & the Caribbean 10 25-11-2007 08:14
Sailor from Olympia, WA jumping on board zboatman Meets & Greets 1 01-10-2007 13:43



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.