Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-09-2011, 17:03   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Viking 44
Posts: 183
Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

I just bought a trawler and want to sail it from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West in December. Is anyone going that way. I've never done this before. If not does anyone know the best source for charts, maps, and info?
__________________

__________________
edbulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 17:22   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sailing from NC
Boat: 1999 IP40, Charbonneau
Posts: 82
Re: Anyone cruising the Keys this winter?

Hi Ed and welcome to the Cruisers Forum. My wife and I wintered in the Keys last year, going out side on the Atlantic whenever the weather was decent. Depending on your draft and mast height, you could possibly stay on the ICW the entire distance. We passed Miami about 3-4 miles outside and over-nighted at Noname Harbor. The next day took us to Rodriquez key where we snuggled up on the eastern side for the night, and then the third day to a mooring ball at City Marina in Marathon.

Charts...We use Kettlewell for the ICW and Maptech for inlets and coastal cruising. Both are excellent investments for anyone planning to cruise. If you're planning to use marina's, get Skipper Bob's Marina Guide. He also publishes a great guide for ICW anchorages. Source?...Most Marine suppliers sell these guides and many other sources can be found with an internet search.

If your draft is 5 feet or more, you may want to consider going outside on
Hawks channel. There are a number of very shallow spots on the ICW and it's a safe bet, given the current budget situation, that little or no money is available for dredging.
__________________

__________________
bchaps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 17:50   #3
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Hi, Ed, and welcome to CF!

With a trawler, I'm guessing you probably draw at least 4.5 to 5 feet, so I agree with Bchaps and recommend Hawks Channel. In Ft. Lauderdale, Bluewater Books can get you set up with charts and cruising guides. They are very good folks there and very helpful, even with newbies. If you have a chartplotter on the boat, then you will want to make a note of the brand and model if you're interested in electronic charts.

Noname is a very nice stopping off place for your first day south. It is also a popular jumping off point for crossing over to the Bahamas. I would also recommend Key Largo for your second night, and maybe even longer. There are several marinas, though they aren't inexpensive. However, the big draw for Key Largo is for snorkling or scuba diving at the Pennekamp State Park. A truly excellent reef system with very good shallow water diving. You can tie up to the mooring balls (but they are not for overnights) for diving off your boat.

You don't say how experienced you are, so if you are a total newbie, you might want to consider getting some instruction, first. Either by taking a class and/or hiring a training skipper to go along with you for a bit. There really are a lot of skills that you want to have down pat before taking off on even what seems like a short trip. Even things like maneuvering in tight spots, VHF, navigation, etc. will seem quite overwhelming at first and mistakes can make your first trip miserable and you don't want that! By the way, I'd also suggest joining BoatUS and specifically getting the unlimited towing insurance! Even one time of having to call them will more than pay for the premium.

Have fun!

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 17:58   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Viking 44
Posts: 183
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Very good advice. I am surly going to sign up for the towing service, by God I'll probably need it. I'm totally new. Never been on a power boat. I've sailed for twelve years on the Great Lakes but going down the Keys is a new thing. I'll be leaving Ft. Lauderdale in late November and going to Key West for the winter. Do you think I'll need a wet suit in case of the props getting fouled in fishing lines etc? And if so a full body suit or just a vest? I don't think the electronics are up to date on the boat so i was thinking of getting an Iphone with the charts and gps apps they are amazing.
__________________
edbulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 18:04   #5
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edbulmer View Post
Do you think I'll need a wet suit in case of the props getting fouled in fishing lines etc? And if so a full body suit or just a vest? I don't think the electronics are up to date on the boat so i was thinking of getting an Iphone with the charts and gps apps they are amazing.
Personally, I found a shorty to be just right, for up to an hour or so in the water.

iPhones are very nice, but for a cheap chartplotter it is really hard to beat an iPad (with the 3G/GPS chip). There are several very good apps, even Navionics is doing them with the same charts they use for the plotters. I would still take paper charts, though. As bchaps said, the Maptech ones are very good for the Keys.

ID
__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 19:27   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,848
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

I did that trip last year in my trawler icw to marathon great place by the way then outside to hawks channel to kew west it was an easy run takes two day in my marine trader
__________________
motion30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 20:21   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Viking 44
Posts: 183
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Great, what do I need to do it. What guides, books, etc. Is it a straight run down the coast, and how far should we do the intercoastal, (I don't know how far it runs.)
__________________
edbulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-09-2011, 21:06   #8
Mooderator
 
capngeo's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Key West & Sarasota
Boat: Cal 28 "Happy Days"
Posts: 4,211
Images: 12
Send a message via Yahoo to capngeo Send a message via Skype™ to capngeo
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

The Keys are great cruising ground! Look me up when you get near the end!
__________________
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
capngeo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2011, 10:45   #9
Registered User
 
fla.sailor's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: cape coral, fl
Boat: gemini 3200
Posts: 96
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

"I am surly going to sign up for the towing service, by God I'll probably need it."


Tow insurance is a good idea, but if you run aground and over sea grass in the keys, it will be an expensive grounding. Watch your depth!

CHeeRS!
-dennis
__________________
fla.sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2011, 11:49   #10
Registered User
 
Amapola's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Florida
Boat: Matlack, Trawler, 48 ft
Posts: 809
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Claiborne Young's Cruising Guides cover the area thoroughly and are great resources. His cruisers net .com website aka Salty Southeast Sailors gives up to date information and changes to the guides. We've done the inside route numerous times with no trouble. Our trawler draws 4.5'. We're headed to Key West in November from Southwest Florida so maybe we'll see you there. What's the name of your boat?
__________________
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
—Jacques Yves Costeau
Amapola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-09-2011, 14:01   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Therapy's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: W Florida
Boat: The Jon boat still, plus a 2007 SeaCat.
Posts: 6,894
Images: 4
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Active captain is a pretty good source of info too.
__________________
Who knows what is next.
Therapy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 10:08   #12
Registered User
 
Ortolan's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Where it's warm!
Boat: PDQ MV34 Powercat
Posts: 64
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

ActiveCaptain is excellent-an interactive cruising guide that interfaces with Navimatics Charts & Tides to create our most-used iPhone app when cruising. Last year was our first year cruising south from CT to the Keys and we used it all the time to find good, and often not obvious, anchorages and get very current info on marinas, stuff to do and all sorts of info you can not find in any guide.
Used Kettlewell for ICW- easy, concise and make notes in the margin to help you for next time. Official AICW ends at SM1095, but does continue down to Key West for the most part. Marathon to KW was best done outside, but we went in as well as out for trips between Dinner Key Marina (lots of moorings) and Marathon.
Best of Luck!
Lori
__________________
m/v Twin Sisters - 34' PDQ Powercat
www.esc-pod.com
Ortolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 17:00   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Viking 44
Posts: 183
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Cool. We will be cruising down to Key West at the end of November also.
See you there. We opted out of the Marine Trader. It had been let go and there were too many repairs needed. We are now in the midst of purchasing a Viking 44.
Now we're looking for anyone who will be cruising back up the coast from Key West in the beginning of April
__________________
edbulmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 17:39   #14
Guest

Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 433
Thumbs up Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Waterwayguide.com has lots of good info.
__________________
Noname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 21:27   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Anyone Cruising the Keys this Winter ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edbulmer View Post
--- Is it a straight run down the coast, and how far should we do the intercoastal, (I don't know how far it runs.)
The ICW ends (for all practical purposes) at Marathon. From there you will need to go through the 7 Mile Bridge and run down Hawk Channel.

Off topic - What's the dumbest tourist question in the Keys? "How long is the 7 Mile Bridge?"
__________________

__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cruising

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
Cruising and the Coming Storm ~ Recession, Depression, Climate Change, Peak Oil jtbsail Off Topic Forum 162 13-10-2015 13:17
Hello from the Florida Keys ! Mellowsail Meets & Greets 6 20-10-2011 17:19
For Sale: Bahamas Explorer Chartbooks, Florida Charts, Cruising Guides sinberg Classifieds Archive 4 06-08-2011 15:01
Crew Wanted: Cruising from BVIs to Grenada sailinlee Crew Archives 4 02-08-2011 05:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:19.


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.