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Old 14-05-2007, 15:04   #1
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marinas/slips in FL keys in August

My sailing partner and I (both relatively new to S. Florida) are planning a short 5-6 day trip in the Florida Keys in early August, leaving from Miami Beach Marina on a 36’ Hunter (5-1/2’ draft). We belong to a fractional sailing club, and thus, our boat does not have a dinghy (nor can we buy one and store it at the marina…). Although we could provision enough to just stay on board, we prefer to sail hard and long during the day and leave the night’s cooking to someone else. I am wondering if anyone can suggest some good stopping points in the Keys, especially those with docks where we could at least tie up long enough for dinner, but preferably for the night (to avoid anchoring while it’s dark, and other potential evening hazards…).

Thanks for your help and good sailing!
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Old 14-05-2007, 17:03   #2
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No free dockage in the Keys period. Not much available in paid dockage since many marinas are now condo. Finding space in August should not be bad since it is off season but make sure the credit card has plenty of limit. Public marinas in Key Largo, Marathon and Key West. Very expensive. Not much shore access by dinghy either. There are moorings in Boot Key harbor if available, but they are not free and you still will have to pay for the dinghy docks, showers, laundry etc. It's a rich mans playground now and they are not real fond of the boaters.
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Old 14-05-2007, 17:26   #3
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Having just come from there ... yeah ... what Chuck just said!!! Cost of dockage will exceed the cost of buying a dinghy in a matter of a few days. If ya have to ask what it's gonna cost .... ya can't afford it :-)
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Old 14-05-2007, 17:40   #4
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There are many state parks down in so Fl that have marinas and might allow you to tie up to their dock for a few hours and would be pretty reasonable. If you already live in Miami, just call the parks dept and they would be able to direct you in the right direction. Like Chuck said most of that area is now rich mans land and they don't want a stinking boat blocking their veiw.

Of course you might just might be able to find a few nice "rich" guys with a dock out back that you can tie off to.

You may also want to rethink what time of year you are planning on that. August is the start hurricane season in Florida, accourding to all the weather forcasters this year will not be a good Hurricane season at all. Take a look at the tornados that hit Kansas already, several months early. There has already been one name tropical storm so far this year and the season does not start for several months. Last year that the storms started this early brought us Dennis, Emily,Katrina,Rita and Wilma. Maybe this year would not be a good year to venture to the sountern most tip with no hurricane holes to hide in.

Good luck to ya!!
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Old 14-05-2007, 18:01   #5
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Yeah ... State Parks like Bahia Honda or John Pennecamp, give 'em a call, they will ask you what year you're trying to make reservations for .. 2008 & 2009 are booked full ......... get the picture?
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Old 14-05-2007, 20:19   #6
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Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately, the "cost" of buying
a dinghy isn't the issue; as I stated, there is nowhere for us to store it. We're not looking for free dockage either, just specific names of places we could tie up (I don't think there were any specifics in the responses above, unless I'm just not reading clearly). Thanks again to all.
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Old 14-05-2007, 22:27   #7
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Pete...boot key harbor municipal marina in Marathon is a good stop off. There are other marinas in the channel there as well if they cannot accomodate you.
You are in PEAK hurricane season then so keep your weather radio on!!
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Old 15-05-2007, 04:20   #8
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Here is a good link -
http://www.cruisingguide.com/cruise-news/wc-florida.asp

Garmin "Find Places" has the marinas, a few have tidle currents that you may not want. The cruising guides have most of the marinas and list places to eat as well. Not knowing if you are going on the bay side of the altantic side it is hard to give you some advice on where to stay. I have not found a bad resturant in the keys, however some are very good and are noted for such and $$$$. Marathon harbor, Boot key, has plenty of services. If you want to stay at a dock or marina you should have not problem. Just call ahead to see where you want to stay.

As you know, watch your draft!
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Old 15-05-2007, 07:56   #9
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Don't forget that the sport lobster season opening weekend is in August I believe.... things usually pretty crowded around the waterfront. Even more so than usual that is...

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Old 15-05-2007, 11:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpj23
Don't forget that the sport lobster season opening weekend is in August I believe.... things usually pretty crowded around the waterfront. Even more so than usual that is...

Actually sport season is in the last week of July. The regular season starts August 5th and is almost as crowded.
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Old 15-05-2007, 16:47   #11
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Maybe you should wait till March, April of next year. I was down there in '04 and there was alot of empty slips at all of the marinas that I stopped at. March is also nice and warm without being to hot.
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Old 18-05-2007, 00:25   #12
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Sorry, the link did not work. Here is the correct one.

Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net ~ Your home for all the cruising news along the ICW
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Old 18-05-2007, 10:47   #13
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Having just crossed over to the outside at the Channel 5 bridge, and then made my way up to Miami, about the only place you might get in, draft-wise, is Key Largo. There are free mooring balls at Indian Key on the west side. Further west, I can't really say. Perhaps you might think of a couple of inflatable kayaks, or a two person one. Solves the storage problem, and gives you something to get to shore in.

Currently at Dinner Key Marina, Florida
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