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Old 20-05-2015, 15:59   #1
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Cruising Florida Keys

I would like any comments and suggestions regarding the Florida Keys as a winter cruising destination. We keep our boat in Charleston in the summer and then move south for the winter. For a host of reasons we don't want to go back down island this winter. Mostly because we need to remain closer to home this winter.

Our sailboat drafts 6'6" and as I have looked at the charts it seems there are decently marked channels to get into marinas. Has anyone sailed Hawk Channel with this much draft?

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:12   #2
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

You shouldn't have any trouble cruising the Hawk Channel. Parts of Florida Bay may not be deep enough for your draft.
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:15   #3
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

Hi. Lots of advice found in the threads about the Florida Keys.
Take a look at those via this link.

Florida keys - Google Search

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 20-05-2015, 16:32   #4
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

I went through with 5 feet. There are a few anchorages where you'll be just out of luck, such as the inner and much more protected anchorage at summerland. But you shouldn't have a problem at the big centers: key west, marathon. If I remember correctly, my depth sounder at Dry Tortugas was 8-10 feet. So you should be okay in the anchorage there as well.


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Old 20-05-2015, 17:06   #5
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

We draw almost 8 ft and have spent considerable time in the Keys...Stay on the Atlantic side and out of small harbors, we anchor outside Marathon and take the dinghy in. Hawke's Channel is fine with your draft. You will have longer dinghy runs but will have more privacy. However, do pay your Sea Tow insurance...

The Dry Tortugas are also worth a visit and it has an anchorage that used to take war ships.
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Old 21-05-2015, 07:37   #6
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

We were based out of the Keys for 10 years and had a 6 foot draft. Yes there are some shallow areas you will need to avoid. But for the most part, no problem. We sailed both Hawks Channel and Florida Bay. Have a good set of current charts, watch the tides and be aware of just where you are at all times and you will have a great cruise. Chuck
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Old 19-06-2015, 15:51   #7
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Sailors View Post
I would like any comments and suggestions regarding the Florida Keys ... Our sailboat drafts 6'6" ... advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
As others indicate, your draft may be an "advantage" if you use a capable dinghy (or even two). Anchoring away from the "tribe" in deeper water is pleasant, private, quiet, and even perhaps open to more local adventure.
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Old 26-06-2015, 07:19   #8
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

As stated in other posts, the Atlantic side/hawk channel is not going to be a problem. Florida Bay above channel 5 is going to be too shallow.


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Old 18-07-2015, 15:43   #9
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

We are planing, in January, to take a 35' with a 4'6" draft from Key Biscayne and head South and around Key West, the Marquesas and Tortugas. And then head Northward towards the Ten-thousand Islands, up the coast to Ft Myers and then inland acrouss the state and Lake Okeechobee comming out on the St. Lucie River and pop out in the salt at Stuart then back South to Key Biscayne.
My question is: Can anyone suggest way points along this route where we might put in for a veriety of reasons: site seeing, harborage, supplys, repairs, RR and as I'm single! :-) http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...es/biggrin.gif Mahal'o in advance fo any and all good advicehttp://www.cruisersforum.com/images/smilies/flowers.gif
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Old 19-07-2015, 14:04   #10
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys

If you want a party scene go into Matanzas Pass and check out Ft Myers Beach.
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