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Old 25-12-2012, 19:54   #1
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Florida Keys

Seasons Greetings
We've managed to get the boat from Lake Ontario to the Ft lauderdale area and plan on continuing south through the Florida Keys in Jan and then sail over to the Bahamas in Feb - March. We would appreciate any comments on places to stay (marina), moore or anchor along the Keys. the General plan is to stop at Dinner Key, Marathon and then Key West. We are not in a hurry and would like to know some must see places to spend a couple of days along the way. Cheers
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Old 25-12-2012, 20:10   #2
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Re: Florida Keys

Good golly there are hundreds,,, air and water draft have a lot to do with your choices. Just use the search feature and I'm sure you can read for hours on member's favorites. What are the specifics of your boat, and what do you like to do?
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Old 25-12-2012, 20:37   #3
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Re: Florida Keys

We need over 60 feet clearance and we have a 5' draft. We enjoy a range from quiet anchorages to exploring beaches and meeting other sailors at the tiki bar...
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Old 26-12-2012, 08:33   #4
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Re: Florida Keys

two frequent stops for me, about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way between Dinner Key and Marathon, are anchoring in Card Sound (somewhere between Pumpkin Key and the W side of Ocean Reef), or Marina del Mar at Port Largo. Card Sound: nothing to do here except enjoy a spectacular subset at a sheltered anchor. The controlling depth for Angelfish Creek (the passage from Card Sound to Hawk Channel) is just over 5' at #2, so you should avoid the dead low. Controlling depth at Port Largo is reported to be 4-1/2' just outside of a line between #1 and #2, although I have never seen it to be this low (I draw 4'11" by spec), this is what the dive and sightseeing charter boats say. The marina here is one of the best in terms of value for money: $3 per foot, pretty standard for the Keys, except that it comes with unlimited water and electricity, pool, towels, showers, and a decent continental breakfast for all on board. Numerous restaurants nearby; Coconut's is now closed, but Sharkeys always delivers a decent meal, the newly renovated Snooks is pretty high-end, and there is everything in between withing walking distance. Nearest grocery is 1.8 miles, you'll probably need a cab, at least for the return. pete
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Old 26-12-2012, 09:10   #5
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Re: Florida Keys

OVER 60' is a hardship in the Keys.... Most bridges are 65' or less.... how MUCH over 60' are you?
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Old 28-12-2012, 15:24   #6
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Re: Florida Keys

just over 60, we didnt have a problem scoming down the ICW all the way to Lake worth inlet then the bridges and timing got to me so we went outside to Ft Lauderdale.

thanks for the info Pete, it seems like anyone over 5' draft will have problems... once i get back to the boat early next week i will have to pay close attention to the waterway guide.


seasons Greetings and happy sailing
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Old 28-12-2012, 16:13   #7
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Re: Florida Keys

With 5 feet you won't be able to do too much exploring on the Florida Bay side (north) of the Keys, but I have always found Lignumvitae Key really neat and I've been surprised how many people don't know about it. Also, don't know if it is in your plans, but the Dry Tortugas are very special.
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Old 28-12-2012, 17:34   #8
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Re: Florida Keys

Well we lived aboard and cruised the Keys for over 10 years with a 6 foot draft. There are some places you can't go and some you will need to play the tides. But overall 5 feet is no problem. Have a good set of charts and know where you are at all times and you'll have a great time. We're in Marathon right now and have been out cruising around the middle Keys for a few weeks now. Have a safe trip. A few cuts on the Bay side may need to be done at half tide or more but for the most part your OK. Hawks Channel is plenty deep. Chuck
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Old 29-12-2012, 09:17   #9
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Re: Florida Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete33458 View Post
Controlling depth at Port Largo is reported to be 4-1/2' just outside of a line between #1 and #2
Sorry, not thinking...controlling depth is just outside of a line between #7 and #8 (just before the jetty). Sorry
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