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Old 04-01-2015, 19:56   #1
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Approaching Marathon from the north

We are currently in key west in our 5.5 foot draft boat.... The prevailing winds are east and I was looking at the charts and it appears we would get a better angle on the wind going around the north of the keys to head back up to marathon. It looks like the moser channel would offer us a chance to get under the 7 mile bridge and into boot key harbor but there are many miles of shallow draft sailing north of that.

The question is... Is it possible to sail that area north and are there coral heads or other obstructions that rise above the charted depths that could cause problems?


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Old 04-01-2015, 20:17   #2
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

I don't believe you'll find coral heads if you stay in 12'+ charted water, but, IMO, the added 20nm+ and fighting a bazillion crab pots wouldn't be worth it over simply motoring Hawk channel.

YMMV
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Old 04-01-2015, 20:59   #3
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

DotDun is correct......coming from Key West to Marathon( like all of the Keys)do some homework ahead of time and pay attention to your charts/ plotter.

Do your homework before you depart Boot Key. Running Hawks Channel out of Marathon up the coast is the ok route.

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Old 04-01-2015, 21:02   #4
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

I don't even bother moving for crab pots if we are sailing, they just slide around the keel.

Also, I don't really think that there are that many crab pots compared to the chesapeake, where we come from. The Chesapeake has ALOT more crab pots than I have seen here.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:19   #5
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

Either route is good as your charts show. Hawke channel is much shorter and plenty deep. The shallow stuff comes in at the channel into Boot Key. Even Sisters Creek is deep enough at most tides for you.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:27   #6
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

I don't think you get much of an improvement on the wind angle by going inside, and you do have a lot more navigation, etc. I would just look for a slightly more southeasterly day and take Hawk Channel. You'll get a little push from the current as well, ordinarily. But to answer your question directly, yes, you can navigate the intracoastal with 5.5, all the way to Miami. But stay in the channel... Pete
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:10   #7
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

I wasn't really concerned about taking the intercoastal all the way to Miami, just trying to get to Marathon on a good point of sail so we don't have to motor sail. Unfortunately, with the age of our sails, we can maybe point as close as 50 degrees off the wind. We had an awesome couple of days sail coming down from Miami. Its going to be a while before we can get a favorable wind direction to get from West to East.

Maybe a day of motoring wouldn't be too bad because Marathon is kinda at the turn of the easterlies, so we should be able to get a good heading after Marathon.
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:34   #8
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I wasn't really concerned about taking the intercoastal all the way to Miami, just trying to get to Marathon on a good point of sail so we don't have to motor sail. Unfortunately, with the age of our sails, we can maybe point as close as 50 degrees off the wind. We had an awesome couple of days sail coming down from Miami. Its going to be a while before we can get a favorable wind direction to get from West to East.

Maybe a day of motoring wouldn't be too bad because Marathon is kinda at the turn of the easterlies, so we should be able to get a good heading after Marathon.
Wasn't saying that you should go to Miami, just that you could. You are right, it's going to be a while (if you're ready to go), the next week is generally forecast to be more NE than SE. But I'm still not sure inside is going to help you much unless it sits just right...
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:53   #9
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

Z,
If you have a better angle on the wind, go north of the keys. Exit Key West at G "1"(NW Channel) and stay in 10-20 feet of water(outside the keys) in the Gulf to north of Marathon. Then plot your course to Marathon through Florida Bay. With a 5.5 foot draft I'd take the passage on a half/rising tide. From there, You can get to the Hawk Channel through Moser Channel/Bridge. Read the water along your course as depths may change once you're in Florida Bay. It is a beautiful sail to the North of the Keys and you'll rarely encounter any traffic other than commercial/sport fishermen.
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Old 05-01-2015, 14:44   #10
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

Just heard from a friend of mine that Boot Key is full. They plan to move to the upper keys when when the winds change. FWIW
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Old 05-01-2015, 19:25   #11
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Re: Approaching Marathon from the north

Yep, it was full when we went past there two weeks ago. We ended up staying outside the harbor at molasses key for the evening (highly recommend if you draw under 5.5 feet and enter on a rising tide) before moving onto KW.

KW mooring field is empty.

Plans at this stage are to move up to boot harbor and see if we can find a decent place to anchor until a mooring opens up. Stay there for a month or two until going over to the Bahamas.
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