I've lived both places and they both do the same program, literally but do said program (mornings) in such different ways LMAO!!!
Marathon (boot key harbor) is almost like a 3/4 mile wide by 2 mile long lake with two Inlets to the harbor, still a tide, still currents but it's so flat it's like glass when there is no wind.
marathon city marina being so protected all you need is a 8ft roll up/2 hp honda
as the whole harbor is a non wake zone, you'll get promptly kicked outta boot key harbor for planing a boat, at least kicked outta city marina marathon anyways.
Marathon city marina is a small, overly populated place come season, as I write this the wait list for a ball is 53 ppl today! Being over populated it has a lot of ppl. Who at bored and don't boat but live aboard and gossip to pass the tme as they're so bored. Very cliquish also as it's so small, everyone knows and gossips others buisness hahaha. Sad how this awesome harbor is a "vulture harbor" meaning so many people who will take advantage of you as well as insincere people misleading others for a laugh.
Marathon also isn't a place for people under 50 IMO, after key west/largo Marathon is where most keys jobs are.
Most liveaboards in city marina marathon are pensioned or struggling on SSI as city marina marathon is the cheapest legit place to live in marathon period! no rich people in city marina they are more classy than to hang with the dysfunctional people of city marina marathon. Beware if you tell local merchants you're at city marina marathon they will look down on you as city marina has a bad reputation among locals, look at monroe county sheriffs office website under arrests/calls for service
and look at "800 35st ocean marathon florida
33040" and you'll see all the arrests that happen at the marina. Place needs a security
guard at night IMO.
Key west garrison bite/key west mooring field is the polar opposite of city marina marathon, both in attitude and presentation.
Key West garrison bight mooring field has you in the sigsbee bay! Rough/choppy place on a calm day! You'll need at least a 9ft RIB/9.9hp dink to make the mile plus journey ashore safely!!! The last half mile you're in garrison bight (like a single
enterance mini bay/lagoon)
You'll need fowlies cuz the fetch seas as well as sea sick pills for the touch ride back and forth, can't leave anything in your dink at dock
as it'll be stolen, also wanna chain/paddalock everything secure as high theft area, there are cameras recording BTW.
Plus side is you have best lobster fishing in sigsbee channel/where the us army special forces holds there underwater combat diver school
. You'll see them parachuting into the water
occasionally. If you aren't eating lobster in garrison bight you're not living in paradise right? In city marina marathon you'll have to go out into the 7 mile bridge area bay or ocean off sombrero beach better yet go to reef 4 miles offshore
Key west garrison bight marina has no shop room for projects/boat repairs
unlike marathon city marina which does as well as a lot of people with knowledge/BTDT to help you but then in key west you don't have the kooks like marahon overstepping your boundaries/overbearing people who have been in port too long/live on a sailboat but haven't sailed it in 5+ yrs like marathon either.
Key west garrison bight is a lonely place where it's difficult to make genuine friends as so many are sallow/overly cautious/overly suspious due to the hedonistic/corrupt attitude amoung key west types vs marathon city marina wher you'll be in constant guard against people misleadng you/taking advantage of you're good intentions/generosity.
Key west has a more diverse/affluent/leftist crowd, key west is like NYC
vs Marathon is more like Palm Springs full of greedy self centered/selfish republicans, one place has diversity and the other runs off those who don't fit the mold
of the selfish bratty in crowd trying to hijack control cliquish creeps, they conspire to kick out people from the city marina whom they see as a threat to their power & control of marina staff etc. funny
how we have a guy who has circumnavigated in his vessel and he's demonized, ridiculed, treated as public enemy #1 to the bratty local clique LMAO! (Insecure jealious brats)
Like I wrote, the two mooring fields do the same thing, cost th same but are run so differently as well as the experience is so different!
of anchorage in key west I'd say secure/lock ur hatches better yet leave someone onboard, always anchor next to best looking boats as they prolly won't steal from you. Lots of places to come ashore for free in key west, it's whether your dink will be there when you return is another question...l
As for some solitude of anchorages
in marathon, anchor in sisters creek if it's windy, or outside sombrero beach in the ocean and go ashore at the fishing pier of sombrero beach (outside beach shower
and potable water available too)
pull ur dink up to shore at the kayak
launch north of the sombrero beach fishing pier/lock it to the fence by the traffic circle/turnaround, call "Bob Narly" taxi for 2 mile ride to town/city center where you have 2 grocers, booze, Kmart....west Marne is other end of town but still a $5 cab ride, which in marathon all cabs are $5 flat rate anywhere on island as many people you can fit in cab (double up with others to share fare)