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Old 22-10-2010, 07:54   #1
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Marathon Key

Will be bringing a sailboat from Florida to Texas next month. Plan on crossing under the highway at Marathon. Need advice on best place to fuel and top off the water tanks plus tie up for a night. (Best place might need to include and good restaurant and drinks are necessary.)
Also, we draft 6 foot with a mast at 64 feet. I see on the maps on past Marathon along 7 mile bridge the bridge heigth is 90 feet? Is this accurate or is their a better place to cross under the highway?
We'll be bringing the boat from West Palm Beach headed for Galveston. Any advice or heads up would be appreciated. At this point we're planning on leaving and heading east offshore a couple of miles before we turn south. Not far enough to get into the Gulf Stream but far enough to avoid lobster pots and such. Once through the Keys we'll stay offshore and aim for a waypoint several hundred miles due south of Galveston. Hoping to avoid rigs that way. Then we'll turn and head north into Galveston. Feel free to point out the lunacy of this plan as you would like ......
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Old 22-10-2010, 07:57   #2
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Marathon Key?....No such place..
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:08   #3
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You will find that there is a fair amount of northerly current relatively close to shore. We usually stay within a mile or so of the coast. About along the 60 to 70 ft contour line. You won't see any pots until you get way south. Then jump into the Hawk Channel and enjoy the diving spots along the way
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:11   #4
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The seven mile bridge is 90ft horizontal, 65ft vertical. There are several
fuel docks ocean side in Marathon and drinks/food across the highway
bay side.

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Old 22-10-2010, 08:12   #5
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Marathon, Vaca, Fat Deer....heck. One of them places were dat dere bridge is high enough and the water be deep enough to get the dang boat under it without knocking off the radio antenna, strobe light, black light, and mast mounted fog horn with built in wolf whistle option......
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:15   #6
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LOL...I just learned that myself last week...I had to share...LOL.....Dont want you sounding like a tourist down there and get taken advantage of....Lol..
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:19   #7
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Heck, I'll get taken advantage of no matter what I do....
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:22   #8
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Denny and Diane have it right, from West Palm south we stay inside the 100 ft line which sometimes is very close to the beach but relatively safe to run at night.

You can pick up Hawke´s Channel just south of Key Biscayne but at night you have to pay attention.

There are lots of places you can overnight on the hook once you get south of Miami.

You can fuel and water at Snake Creek. The bascule bridge is 24/7.
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:47   #9
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I don't think you gain much time for the risk of going under the highway at Vaca Key with 64' air draft. If I was heading to Galveston I'd go all the way to Key West. From there head to 27.50N, 92.35W and then turn onto a course for Galveston. It's just about 750 miles Key West to Galveston that route and it takes you outside all the wells.

You can get fuel at Marathon and Key West. You can choose to go inside Hawkes Channel or stay outside until turning in at Marathon or Key West or both. As others have said you can hug the coast down from West Palm to Biscayne but if you're going into Hawkes Channel be careful to get it right at that point.
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:48   #10
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Why do you want to go inside at Marathon? Once you do you are in very shallow water for a long ways. Stay outside in the Hawk Channel, round Key West and head out the Northwest Channel to deep water.

The rumb line from KW to Galveston might put you against the Gulf Stream loop. Check it out just before you go. You may want to head north a while before turning east. I did the rumb line from Tampa to Galveston early this year. We dodged a few deep water rigs (including the BP rig) but no big deal.

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Old 22-10-2010, 08:52   #11
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We draw 6 feet too. You shouldn't have any problem getting into Boot Key harbor, especially to the marinas before the mooring field. The bridge shown leading to the mooring field is in a permanently up position.

The red markers are marinas. Clicking on them will get many details and reviews about each one. The three main facilities with fuel before the mooring field are Marathon Marina and Boatyard, Pancho's Fuel Dock, and Burdines Waterfront. All have current fuel prices too in the red markers.

If you pan the map over to the east, you'll see the bridge (blue marker - saying that it has been removed) and then the very large mooring field.

We spent a month on a mooring in the mooring field. Getting in there with a 6' draft isn't any problem at all especially if you're staying on the 16 larger (45'+) moorings. There is a section of the fairway toward the main part of the mooring field where there is a 5.5' bump. If you'll be going back there, ask the municipal marina that runs the mooring field for guidance to get around it.
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Old 22-10-2010, 08:58   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
You can fuel and water at Snake Creek. The bascule bridge is 24/7.

While you can fuel and water at snake creek, don't go to the gulf side, there's only 5 feet of water there. Also at 7 mile bridge you'll have to pick your way very carefully to make it to deep water. The gulf side will be marginal at best. I concur with the others in suggesting the channels in Key west as your best option.
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Old 22-10-2010, 15:31   #13
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Been looking over the charts for the Key West area. Any suggestions on favorite approaches, marina's or moorings for one night and channels out when we leave?
I'm about to toss the Marathon stop in favor of Key West based on the time it will take to pick our way through once into the Gulf Side plus I like the idea of stopping in Key West for an evening (as will most of the crew).
Any discussion about that as an alternative? or to put it another way, does anyone prefer one to the other?
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Old 22-10-2010, 15:40   #14
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well once on the hard there is plenty to do in key west and not much to do in marathon
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Old 22-10-2010, 18:21   #15
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Key West Bight is your best bet. There are four marinas there and they are all about $4.00/ft/night. But you are within a few minutes walk of Mallory Square and the Duval Street main drag.

Approaches into KWB are straightforward. The channel is clearly marked on the chart.

When you leave, turn west and then northwest after you pass G17 and follow the channel out past G1. It is all deep water to Galveston after that.

David
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