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Old 03-02-2016, 13:53   #1
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Miami Charter?

Hi all,

We are looking for ideas for a family spring break vacation and I was considering pitching a charter out of Miami to my wife. She wants something sunny and warm and I'd love to get a week on a boat somewhere. We are doing Antigua/SXM in June and have done the BVIs many times so I was thinking Miami might make for a nice change of pace from the Caribbean. Can anyone fill me in to what chartering southern Florida in April might be like?

  • Is the weather generally settled in April or does it tend to get stormy?
  • Sailing pretty straight forward?
  • Crowded on the water and in anchorages/moorages?
  • Plenty of options up and down the coast for anchoring/mooring/taking a slip?
  • I am guessing our route would take us down to the Northern Keys - is a week enough time for a leisurely trip down to at least Key Largo and back?

We generally like to have options as far as dining and maybe a bit of shopping so it seems like Miami would be ideal on that regard.

Thanks for any tips!

Matt
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Old 03-02-2016, 14:58   #2
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Re: Miami Charter?

Did a 4 day out of Miami in October through Moorings. Made it to Largo and back and had a great time. Roger, base manager, is very helpful. Can't forecast the weather for you.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:04   #3
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Re: Miami Charter?

It was my sailing home for 7 years. I think it is an excellent place to start a charter. For your specific questions:

  • Is the weather generally settled in April or does it tend to get stormy?
There's still some risk of cold fronts, but not so likely that I would use it as a consideration;

  • Sailing pretty straight forward?
Yes. Options are 1) stay in the shelter of Biscayne Bay/Card Sound/Blackwater Sound/etc all the way to Key West if you like (probably too far for a week charter unless you want to sail straight through, in which case I would NOT recommend the inside route; 2) out through Government Cut or Biscayne Channel or Angelfish Creek into Hawk Channel, and again down the Keys; 3) across to Bimini (don't let people convince you that it's not worth going to Bimini when you only have 7 days, I go there for the weekend!). Charts are clear and well marked, plenty of anchorages, etc. There are some tight spots, of course;

  • Crowded on the water and in anchorages/moorages?
Quite simply, no, not in April (just try and get a transient slip today, though...);

  • Plenty of options up and down the coast for anchoring/mooring/taking a slip?
Yes, with some local knowledge or Active Captain, and depending on your draft (5' or less is ideal);
  • I am guessing our route would take us down to the Northern Keys - is a week enough time for a leisurely trip down to at least Key Largo and back?
Yes, absolutely. In ordinary conditions, you will make the northern tip of Key Largo in 5-6 hours, and Port Largo in a few hours more.


I can give you further details when you've made your decision, if you like. Pete
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Old 04-02-2016, 14:33   #4
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Re: Miami Charter?

Thanks for all of the info. Sounds like it would be a great charter for us. I think the family would love the options that South Florida offers in terms of dining, shopping and other activities. They are used to the beach bars and trinket shops of the Virgin Islands so a more metropolitan setting might be a welcome change. I'll follow up if we decide to go for it - though I've got an uphill battle as the kids are casting their vote for surfing in Costa Rica and I think Mexico or Hawaii sounds good to the wife.

Matt
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Old 04-02-2016, 17:51   #5
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Re: Miami Charter?

Well just so we're clear, once you leave Miami headed south there is absolutely nothing metropolitan about it. The keys are burger bars and seafood restaurants, bad music, and little else AT BEST. At least until you get to Key West. Don't get me wrong, this is fine with me, but it's not my definition of metropolitan.

For places you can get in from the outside, Port Largo has a few options, as do Whale Harbor and Marathon. But if you're looking for bright lights and variety it's best to stick to Miami and vicinity or go all the way to Key West.

Pete
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:20   #6
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Re: Miami Charter?

Thanks for the followup Pete. It's fine if it's not all glitz and glamour and we do enjoy the quieter beaches a lot of the time. I think just having the option of sticking around Miami/Ft. Lauderdale if we wanted more infrastructure would be appealing. We would just play it by ear when we are down there. I understand though, if we want more civilization (people, shopping, food, etc...) stay in the Miami area. If we want beaches/nature/less people head South.

Matt
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Old 11-02-2016, 17:48   #7
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Re: Miami Charter?

Only one correction. Limited beaches in the keys. Crazy, but beautiful beaches in Miami. Love the keys

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