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Old 10-09-2014, 15:03   #1
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Florida Keys for the winter?

I am thinking about leaving the boat in the Keys for the winter and fly down from NY for a week every month (if I'm lucky).

Can anyone recommend a place and marinas? What are the monthly prices for slips, moorings? Is it generally safe or will I find a broken-in boat on my return?

Any related suggestions welcome. I have never been to the Keys so have no clue.
Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:16   #2
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Do a google search and check craigslist. Marathon is a good area amd you.dont have to stay at boot key only. Look now , do t wait.
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Old 10-09-2014, 15:28   #3
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

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Originally Posted by tominny View Post
I am thinking about leaving the boat in the Keys for the winter and fly down from NY for a week every month (if I'm lucky).

Can anyone recommend a place and marinas? What are the monthly prices for slips, moorings? Is it generally safe or will I find a broken-in boat on my return?

Any related suggestions welcome. I have never been to the Keys so have no clue.
Thanks.
I don't have any answers for you, but I am glad you asked the question.

I have considered the same thing and hope members here can answer those questions based on their experience. For example, is it "safe" to leave a boat for weeks (unattended by owner) WITH substantial gear onboard at a marina in those locations (keys)? Or is theft (burglary of electronics etc.) a problem with yachts that may not see an owner but two days a month
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Old 10-09-2014, 16:22   #4
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

Leave it at dinner key. Quick sail to the keys good sailing in byscayne bay. 300 bucks a month


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Old 10-09-2014, 16:39   #5
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That's actually a really good idea biscayne bay has wonderful sailing as easy in and out of Miami Airport and it's a lot going on down there . plus it is easy sailing to the keys. Easy shot to bimini as well.
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Old 10-09-2014, 16:46   #6
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tominny View Post
I am thinking about leaving the boat in the Keys for the winter and fly down from NY for a week every month (if I'm lucky).

Can anyone recommend a place and marinas? What are the monthly prices for slips, moorings? Is it generally safe or will I find a broken-in boat on my return?

Any related suggestions welcome. I have never been to the Keys so have no clue.
Thanks.
If you are flying Key West and Marathon are the only places I know with commercial air ports, Ocean Reef has a private airport. Marathon has the best anchorage and balls are $US327 or so with tax, but I think you have to stay on the boat ten days a month. There are several other marinas in the area. Problem is in the season the balls have a waiting list and marinas tend to fill up. Slips are normally priced per foot.

Theft issues are location dependent. In general it is safe, especially if you make friends with other boaters and the employees where you are staying and they look out for your boat.

Without knowing more about your plans it is hard to offer advice. As an example depending on your draft and how high your mast is you may want to choose being on the Gulf side or ocean side depending on if you want to sail in the ocean or the back country.
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Old 10-09-2014, 22:12   #7
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

Plantation yacht harbor on Plantation key. $12 per ft per month, very secure. About 1.5 hr from Miami or 45 minutes from Marathon.


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Old 10-09-2014, 23:37   #8
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

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Originally Posted by capttman View Post
Leave it at dinner key. Quick sail to the keys good sailing in byscayne bay. 300 bucks a month


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Times two. Lots of mooring balls, and they are building a new facility on land for boaters.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:55   #9
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

The Marathon Airport has been mentioned a few times. Be aware, there are no commercial airlines flying into Marathon unless something has changed very recently. Marathon is used for private, corporate and charter flights only. The only commercial flights into the Keys is via Key West. Marinas in the lower Keys tend to be very expensive. I would suggest Key Biscayne and either Dinner Key or better yet, Crandon Park. Crandon Park is much better protected from weather and is a much more relaxed atmosphere. Last we checked, the prices were less than Dinner Key. The sailing on Key Biscayne is much better and the other Keys are easily accessible for day trips or longer. Then you have access to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale airports. Chuck
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:47   #10
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

I have stayed in the Keys for several winters now and you will find slips very limited and expensive. Key Largo has the Pilot House, Marina del Mar, & Blue Water. Plantation Yacht Harbor in Islamorada is expensive, but nice. Dinner Key has a six year waiting list. Boot Key Marina is for full time liveaboards.Crime is bad in the Keys unless you lock up and put everything below deck. Dinghy motors are a favorite to disappear.
Do not recommend mooring your boat out unless you are there. Prices are expensive and go up to $20/ft/month. Inspite of this if you can find a slip go for it. The Keys are great!
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:31   #11
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

Dinner Key has been my home base for years, and there is no question that the mooring balls are good value, the slips are not bad either (by SoFL standards). But depending on how long your visits will be, you will have some limitations by using Miami. The two main destinations from there (unless you want to go day sailing) are Bimini and the Keys. If you want to go to Bimini, you have a better line from the Keys (Key Largo, etc), and if you want to go to the Keys, well, why not be in the Keys? The marinas and fields already mentioned are great, I would add Marina del Mar/Key Largo, very safe and protected. Not cheap, I think, like most safe and protected marinas in the Keys or any of South FL, but you'll be where you want to be with a minimum of hassle. It's a little over an hour from MIA to Key Largo, I would guess there must be a bus or something (never had to do it myself) but there is an Enterprise right next door to Marina del Mar and you can do one way. BTW, Port Largo/MdM is about 10 hours sailing south of Dinner Key, so if you want to explore the Keys, that's a good starting location (as is Marathon or the others mentioned).

If you want to day sail, Biscayne Bay is great and Dinner Key would certainly be your best option in Miami, mooring ball or slip.

Best, Pete
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Old 11-09-2014, 14:12   #12
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

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Originally Posted by tomfl View Post
If you are flying Key West and Marathon are the only places I know with commercial air ports, Ocean Reef has a private airport. Marathon has the best anchorage and balls are $US327 or so with tax, but I think you have to stay on the boat ten days a month. There are several other marinas in the area. Problem is in the season the balls have a waiting list and marinas tend to fill up. Slips are normally priced per foot.

Theft issues are location dependent. In general it is safe, especially if you make friends with other boaters and the employees where you are staying and they look out for your boat.

Without knowing more about your plans it is hard to offer advice. As an example depending on your draft and how high your mast is you may want to choose being on the Gulf side or ocean side depending on if you want to sail in the ocean or the back country.
Dude, Ocean Reef is SUPER expensive. It's a private club after all, and the amenities are provided to it's affluent members. My father lives there, bought his membership 25 or so years ago. I doubt he'd be able to afford living there if he hadn't bought it so long ago. I don't think you'd want to fly into there and don't think you can if you aren't a member or a member guest.

Better off flying into Miami and sucking up the extra hour of driving.

If you have a friend there, it's a gorgeous place to visit if you like highly manicured.
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Old 11-09-2014, 14:23   #13
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

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I don't think you'd want to fly into there and don't think you can if you aren't a member or a member guest
A few years back we radioed them to ask permission to take a slip for a day when we were having engine problems, and they told us no...
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Old 11-09-2014, 14:35   #14
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

My limited experience is an over nighter at Ocean
Side Marina 12 years age, Stock Island. I would have felt comfortable leaving my boat there.
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Old 11-09-2014, 14:56   #15
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Re: Florida Keys for the winter?

I miss read your post. Keys not southern Keys. again with limited experience of a night or two, I would recommend Burdine's Waterfront.

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