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Old 30-12-2013, 07:08   #61
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

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Sure, I understand, although I'm more often a "been there, done that, and back for more" style of cruiser. Since we are accustomed to paying $35 to $50 a night for places in New England that offer fewer amenities than St. Augustine, we don't mind the $20+tax St. Augustine mooring for a couple of days. We also tend to spend a couple days on the even cheaper (ca $13+tax) Vero Beach moorings when we pass by, but these are the only two mooring fields we frequent in Florida. Actually, Vero Beach is the most cruiser crowded place we normally go to in Florida.

We always stop at Vero. I'm in Vero right now but in a buddy's condo not on a mooring. Boat's in Fernandina, heading back up in a day or two.

Here's the reply I got from the Fernandina dockmaster.

"We do not have a set wind speed. We do not recommend the balls for strong winds such as gales, tropical storms, hurricanes, etc. This is because the harbor is very exposed , with a large fetch to the north thru the southwest. We rcommend seeking a more protected area during wind events. The harbor gets rough any time the wind is against the current or is strong from the NE, N, NW or West.

We do have a maximum length of 50 feet on the moorings; this is to give adequate swing room.

If you are looking for a protected mooring field, this is not the location. This is a good location for getting in to see the town, etc. and for mild to moderate weather conditions. I hope this helps."
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Old 30-12-2013, 07:27   #62
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

While it won't satisfy the conspiracy theorists...

Most of the mooring fields are in locaitons that were packed with anchored boats previously and new boats coming in often had difficulty finding a place to anchor. With well organized moorings, you can pack more boats into the same area.

As "cruisers" we find this an excelent alternative as we are more likely to find a spot and not have to worry about other boats who don't know how to anchor or decide to anchor too close for safety.

At $20/night, that is far cheaper than the vast majority of marina slips in florida. We were happy if we found a nightly rate of $1/ft, which works out almost double for our boat and those are not very common most are substantially more. If you really want cheap, in the vast majority of areas, there is a available anchorage within 5 miles of most mooring fields in florida, so it's not that you can't find a safe place to put than hook down for the night.
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Old 30-12-2013, 07:43   #63
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

Vasco, Thanks for sharing the Fernandina response. I notice they don't give us a well defined policy. I guess this gives them a little more flexibility. I agree that the place is a little exposed, but the limiting factor for me would probably be the dinghy access. If the winds were anything but east and over twenty we probably would not take the dinghy trip to the docks for a town visit anyway. We would more likely be tucked up across the inlet close to Cumberland Island or over at St. Mary's, Ga for worse weather. If it were a named storm we would be well up the St Johns River south of Jacksonville about eight to ten hours away.

We are off the boat now and up in the Blue Ridge Mts. We'll be southbound and through Vero Beach in January,- we'll keep an eye out for.....? "La Belle Aurore" or "Breathless"?
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Old 30-12-2013, 08:13   #64
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

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We are off the boat now and up in the Blue Ridge Mts. We'll be southbound and through Vero Beach in January,- we'll keep an eye out for.....? "La Belle Aurore" or "Breathless"?
"Breathless", La Belle Aurore doesn't leave Lake Ontario anymore and the bridge tenders could never get the name anyhow.
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Old 30-12-2013, 17:29   #65
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

Vasco, thanks for posting that. I guess that's the crux of it, being really exposed there. Hopefully with a little 34 footer they would have confidence in their gear for a gale??? But would I...
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Old 30-12-2013, 18:21   #66
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Re: Have You Seen the Price of Mooring Balls in Florida Lately ?

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Vasco, thanks for posting that. I guess that's the crux of it, being really exposed there. Hopefully with a little 34 footer they would have confidence in their gear for a gale??? But would I...
I would prefer to be on my own ground tackle than most moorings. I still anchor in Fernandina but nowhere close to the moorings. There's a little shelf in the harbour with 10 ft at low. Good spot. The dockmaster's reply was a bit equivocal. I think they highly discourage you from taking a mooring if it's blowing. The marina is now run by a private outfit, no longer run by the town.
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