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Old 22-02-2011, 13:57   #16
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

+1 on Google Earth.... Look for boats of your size docked in the area.

BTW use caution on the Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte area there are some DEEP WIDE SEAWALLED canals that lead exactly nowhere!
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Old 22-02-2011, 15:15   #17
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

We just moved to Cape Coral, rented a nice place on a sailboat direct access canal, and found 3ft of water at the dock. What a bummer! We had to rent the place without visiting it first (loooong story) and discovered our real estate agent was not entirely truthful about "8ft depth" in the canal. Oh well. The boat is still under the snow in RI, so we have until early June to figure out where to store it, but there are plenty of options here - just very disappointed to not be able to keep the boat behind the house.

I second what others have said about using Google Earth to look for canals with sailboats. Be aware, however, that when we went out with our dinghy for a canal tour, we found some of those nice sailboats sitting on their keels, at least 2ft out of the water! I'm not sure how those boats ever got there in the first place! I've been told that we are in the dry season (Jan/Feb) and that the water level will rise, but it just seems unlikely to be enough.

My advice would be to avoid our mistake and actually navigate the canal behind any prospective home to be SURE it is deep enough. We just bought a handheld depth sounder and I've been going up and down canals in the dinghy to see which ones are deep enough. What we are finding is that the canals with multiple sailboats are usually safe, but the ones with one or two are frequently too shallow. Good luck!
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Old 22-02-2011, 15:22   #18
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dean.
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Old 22-02-2011, 16:04   #19
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

Honestly, the West Coast of FL is NOT sail friendly... at all! Well..... unless you have a Catamaran!
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Old 23-02-2011, 15:14   #20
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

I have been researching the same topic for some time now. I set up a group of "must have" parameters on a real estate search engine using "listingbook messenger" along with price range and many other options and recieve new listings, price changes, etc... daily. when I get something that interests me, I usually copy the address and paste it on google earth. then take a look at the types of boats in the general area.
I can't help but think now is the time, it's a buyers market down there. A lot of "sailboat water" homes are less than half of what they were selling for in 05 and 06.
We have a trip down scheduled soon to take a closer look at a few over on the gulf side around Cape Coral/Fort Myers area. Florida does seem to be pretty "Tax Happy" though.
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Old 23-02-2011, 15:29   #21
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

I called about a property boasting a canal and the first thing I asked was about accessibility to the canal. There was no access allowed from this property.
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Old 24-02-2011, 06:31   #22
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Re: Residential Canals in South FL

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Honestly, the West Coast of FL is NOT sail friendly... at all! Well..... unless you have a Catamaran!
Oh come on! It's not THAT bad!

Yes, there are a lot of shallow areas along the West coast of Florida. If you have a draft over 5' you are going to be pretty limited here, as well as in the Keys, and in the Bahamas, for that matter.

Nonetheless, there are a lot of very nice, very capable, sailboats out there with a draft of 5' or less. And there are a lot of canals with depth at mean low water of more than 5'. There are, no doubt, even more canals with depths of less than 5' at low tide, but that just means that you have to be careful and know what you're getting into.
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