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Old 21-06-2014, 07:13   #1
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Newbie on deck

Greetings all,
Just getting into the sailing thing and will periodically have questions.
to start, how realistic is it to sail round-trip from Tampa to the Middle Keys in a week? And, if so, what months would be the best times to try it? It would be in a 28' Catalina with a 5' draft.
Also, looking for good places (in south Florida/Florida Keys) that offer bareboat charters in the 25'-35' range.
Thank you.

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Old 22-06-2014, 05:54   #2
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Re: Newbie on deck

Welcome aboard! The round trip is almost 400 nm so, even if you were to overnight it there and back, weather willing, you wouldn't have much time to enjoy the keys. (If you don't overnight it, you won't make it there and back in a week). Bad weather crops up, and you've got no extra days for a buffer.

There are lots of charters out of Miami and a few others in the Keys...should be easy to find them on the internet (I've never chartered, so I'll leave that for someone else).

Winter/spring is the big season due to all the "snowbirds," with later March and April providing the best weather during that period...but fall might actually be the best time if you're flexible, with weather as nice as in the spring. If you can stand the heat and bugs, summer might work too (I've never been there in the summer). Good luck, and happy cruising!
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Old 22-06-2014, 06:45   #3
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Re: Newbie on deck

Second half of April and May are the best months as it is after the big northerly cold fronts but before tropical storm threats. Doing it in a week wouldn't work because you would no sooner get down there before you would have to turn around and head back. Instead consider sailing down and spending a few days around the Boca Grande and Cabbage Key areas. Nice sailing area, laid back, with islands to explore. You could get down there in a full day.
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Old 22-06-2014, 07:01   #4
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Re: Newbie on deck

Welcome to the forum.
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
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