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Old 26-12-2010, 03:09   #1
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Location: aboard Horizon- currently in Thailand
Boat: Bristol, sloop with staysail, 32' HORIZON
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Cruising / Sailing from West Coast of Florida ?

What is the sailing/cruising like from the West Coast of Florida?

We are currently in Thailand, having left the states in 2005. We lived in the Ft. Lauderdale area for many years, cruising the Bahamas, Keys, etc. before retiring and leaving for the Pacific.

We were wondering what cruising would be like on the west coast of Florida, if we choose to become land based again.

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Old 26-12-2010, 04:21   #2
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Drafts over five feet limit much access on the Florida west coast and even less draft is a problem north of Tarpon Springs. There's the full array from wilderness anchorages, "blue collar" fish camps, to exclusive resorts. We tend to spend most time on the hook on the Florida Gulfside,- Little Shark River, Fort Myers Beach, Gulfport, north end of Longboat Key, Anclote Key...Take care and joy, Aythya crew

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Old 26-12-2010, 06:18   #3
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We live in the Sarasota area of Florida, just south of Tampa Bay, and cruise a 42+ foot boat drawing 6.5'. Having lived and sailed in the Seattle area, in San Francisco, in SoCal/Mexico; and, on the east coast of Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), we have found the west coast of Florida one of the most enjoyable areas to sail. Not as scenic as Washington or California perhaps, but no where near as crowded; and, for the most part, it's warm so the fishing and swimming are good. The water's a little thin in a few spots but our draft has never really been an issue.

"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 26-12-2010, 06:30   #4
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As others above said, the draft issue does rear its ugly head from time to time. Personally 90% of my time on the water has been on the West Coast of FL and the Keys. I can't say the area didn't suffer a LOT of waterfront change during the "boom"; we lost a good deal of the marinas and waterside eateries to condos. The nice part is that in ***** weather, you have the ICW that covers most of this side to hide out in... the bad part is that 90% of that outside the channel is too shallow for a keel boat.
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
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