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Old 10-01-2009, 11:28   #1
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ICW-Tampa to Charlotte Harbor

Hi,

Planning a little trip to Charlotte Harbor from Tampa. We will be going down via the Gulf but I was thinking of slowly coming back via the ICW.

40' boat 5' draft and 58' mast Is in passable? Are there any problem areas with either depth or bridge clearance?

I just started looking into this. I saw people talking about the skipper bob book and will probably look into it.

Thanks
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Old 10-01-2009, 15:38   #2
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I have made this trip a number of times. We just returned over the holidays. We went down on the outside and returned on the inside to Venice, then jumped in at Long Boat Key.(great mooring) In short;stay in the channel! Mooring out this time of year is difficult. Winter tides can be 2 feet lower. You are OK with a 5 ft draft and 58 mast in the channels.(you have same specs as my boat) The bridge names are best looked up in advance. Some of the tenders can have quite the little attitude.(some are great) The names have changes from some of the cruising guides. Google Florida bridge names or I can send them to you. Venice Airport is now Circus,etc.On the way down I would stay away from the Sarasota passes if you plan on stopping. If you are thinking of some mooring locations I can give you some input. Example; Pelican Bay is OK if you hit high tides or close. Englewood was super low and we watched a few boats go hard aground. We had a great trip going on the outside on the way down because the weather was excellent,etc. The return trip was fantastic! The birds were unbelievable. We observed white pelicans,etc. Have a great trip!
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Old 10-01-2009, 16:46   #3
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Great post George thanks!

I've looked up the bridge names and I think I have the current ones.

Just a couple questions;
Quote:
and returned on the inside to Venice, then jumped in at Long Boat Key
Did you go in the Gulf from Venice and came back in the ICW via longboat pass?

Would it be safe to assume no problems in the the ICW from Tampa bay to Charlotte Harbor with the only usable passes to the gulf being Longboat Pass and Venice?
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Old 10-01-2009, 17:36   #4
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Acadia--

George has some good suggestions. Also, there is a good spot to stop on the trip up from CH to Venice--at Lemon Bay. If you choose to go outside from Venice, there is nowhere that you can get inside sooner than Longboat Pass. That's not necessarily a problem but, frankly, it can be a bit boring until you get to Longboat, which can offer more excitement than some care for.

OTOH, the trip from Venice to Sarasota can be interesting but it is a bit slow (bridges). There is a good anchorage just south of Bird Key that you should be able to get into if you choose the inside route as well as the downtown anchorage in Sarasota. In either case, there is also a good anchorage and place to stop just south of Longboat Pass, west of Jewfish Key. And, there are a couple of good spots on the Manatee River--at and across from Desoto Point and in the special anchorage in front of the Bradenton Yacht Club. If you'll PM us your real email we'll send you some coordinates and a a recent survey of Pelican Bay with waypoints if you like.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 10-01-2009, 18:31   #5
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I am with Hylyte, I would forget about any thing north of Venice , except for mooring out at Longboat Key. We jumped in Longboat and moored inside Jew Fish Key. Had a great time. Went back out to Venice Pass. Mooring next to the Venice YC is good. Call the dock master at Venice YC and ask the best place for mooring. Nice guy, his name is Jim. I would jump back out Venice pass and go direct to Boca Grande pass. Useppa Island is a great place to moor, if you do not have a dog. Long Boat pass can be difficult with the current! Narrow opening also. If you use it going "in the pass" make sure you stay left(north) a little after the bridge.This will place you north of the red marker directly between the bridge on the island in front of you coming in the pass. On the return we stayed inside from Boca to Venice . You can not be in a hurry from Boca to Venice due the bridges, but if you want a great view, we had one. Jumped out Venice pass direct to St Pete. We have moored at Desota Point in the past and it was excellent. Heading south I would go something like; Desota point,Longboat Key,Venice, Boca. Returning inside if you want to Venice then Longboat , Desota ,Tampa. It is safe (in my opinion) to say your will be fine in the ICW to Boca, but do not day dream and get out of the channel! (You may want to give Sea Tow a call on 16 and ask for any problem areas) Easy to say, harder to do. We talked to two sailer over our holiday trip that got towed off due to day dreaming,etc. One outside Pelican Bay and the other in Lemon Bay. We saw a power boat go hard AGROUND going into Englewood from the ICW. I would not use big Sarasota pass, New Pass, Stump pass. With all this stated you will have agreat trip. Take HyLyte up on his offer for coordinates! Have fun and give us an update. George
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Old 11-01-2009, 19:41   #6
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great info once again!! Looking at the weather this week with the 3 cold fronts blowing down with cold temps, we have decided to sick around the Tampa area and maybe venture down to Longboat pass.

Although it will not happen this week, it's in our sights for the near future.

I have heard comments about desoto point having low water depths.... any comments?

Hylyte, thanks again, I will be PMing you shortly
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Old 11-01-2009, 19:57   #7
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FYI - I live on Longboat and almost every night we make a sunset cruise through New Pass or Big Pass. Should you ever need to come inside between Venice and Longboat Pass, I would recommend New Pass over Big Pass. Both of the passes do have shoaling, but I think New Pass is easier to navigate.

The main thing is to "hug the reds". Don't even get close to the green bouys on the North side of the pass, it is less than 1 foot deep once you get North of the channel and we have personally seen boats go aground there even as we yelled at them and tried to raise them on channel 16.

Also, the channel is NOT the straight shot from the seaward marker to the mouth of the pass. It is south of the direct line between the marker and the mouth. When you are coming in, you will actually be heading to Lido Key beach to almost the beach, then you will head north into the mouth of the pass when about 100 yards off the beach. It is really not hard and there is always at least 6 ft of water, even at low tide.

As long as you remember to stay on the south side, near the red bouys, you will be fine.
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:46   #8
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Slider--

While you may be technically correct, those passes do require local knowledge that is more than an infrequent visitor will have at his/her disposal, so I dismissed them out of hand.

In fact, the Sarasota Yacht Club maintains a plot of the supposed safe channel through Big Pass on their web sight, which is up-dated from time to time. We tried to follow that during a cruise last April and, at mid-tide with no sea to speak of, hit the bottom pretty hard in several supposedly clear spots. Fortunately we were only creeping along and were able to back off, but, with that, we decided the effort wasn't worth it. (FWIW we draw 6.5'). Those passes are for the more adventuresome than we and those with (much) shallower draft.

Acadia--

The anchorage at Desoto Point is nominally at N27 31.326 W82 38.263. There is a shoal in the middle of the "bowl" with only 3-4 feet and another shoal building up in an easterly direction from the point by marker "12" that has only 2' of water so the best approach to the cove is heading in a southwesterly direction, toward the Cross, from a point on the northeast side.

While the cove looks inviting, it gets very crowded and several boats invariably end-up on the shoals. A much better location is on the north side of the River at (nominally) N27 31.664 W82 37.721, or anywhere along the north side. This also offers much better protection from easterlys and the northwesterlys that seem to prevail in the area. Further into the River, there's a designated "special anchorage" at about N27 31.392 W82 36.949, to the south of the Bradenton YC breakwater; and, further, an anchorage at about N27 30.966 W82 35.976 on the east side of Hooker Point (where there are no Hookers to my knowledge).

There is shoreside access at Desoto Point, where there is a Park and historical site; on the north side of the River, where there is another park at Emerson Point; and, along the shore of the River on the east side of Hooker Point. There is no convenient shoreside access from the special anchorage unless one is a member of a yacht club with reciprocity with Bradenton YC and there there is only one small floating dock, adjacent to the Pram shed on the west side of the Snead Island Cut, and they get very touchy if that dock gets blocked during sailing activities.

Further up-river there is a good anchorage near the Green Street Bridge with shoreside access at both Regatta Point (and a great breakfast place--the Riverside Cafe) on the north side; and, at Twin Dolphins (with a good waterfront bar/restaurant) on the south.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
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