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Old 02-07-2016, 09:42   #1
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Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

I am finally retiring and contemplating moving to the Stuart, FL area.

It is time to sell the floating condo and buy possible purchase something in the 19 to 25' range with shallow draft.

Is there any areas north or south of Stuart where one can sail in protected waters?

I am getting up there in age and would like to jump in a boat for a few hours a day and piddle about.

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:09   #2
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

I know you are asking about the Atlantic side, but you should really look at the west coast of Florida.

St Joseph Sound, Pinellas county
Clearwater Harbor, Pinellas county
South end of Boca Ciega bay
Tampa Bay
Sarasota Bay
Charlotte Harbor
Pine Island Sound

All protected areas that you can piddle around in, all day long, without having to tack every ten minutes.

Maybe someone who lives on the east coast will have some options, but when I look at the charts, it seems you are either motoring on the ICW, or you are in the Atlantic.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:35   #3
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

Thanks, Davy J.

I have family in the Port St. Lucie/Stuart area.

Someone told me there is active racing on the north fork of the St. Lucie River. Even a small fleet of Sonars.

Checked the charts and it appears that area is about 3 nm by .5 nm. So you may end up with a nice run and then endless tacking to get back.
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Old 02-07-2016, 13:12   #4
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

Sounds like it time for a beach cat!
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:41   #5
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

The waterways through Stuart and the St Lucie river are extensive and interesting. For a shallow drasft boat, I would think it would be hard to become tired of sailing this inland water.https://www.google.com/maps/place/St...!4d-80.2528257
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:36   #6
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

OK, seventy is the new fifty. Age is in our heads, still sailing like a kid at 77 and only semi-retired by choice.

Go offshore, 12-15 miles out is 200 foot depths. 1/8th of a miles out is good sailing in the Stuart to Melbourne area. The indian River Lagoon is Ok for very shallow draft or Hobie Cat type boat. The Atlantic coast doesn't have the variety that the west coast has but, like you, I don't travel to the west coast for a few hours or a day of being on the water.

If you do buy a trailering boat you have the Keys.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:58   #7
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

The whole area around Stuart is great, particularly the South fork past and around the mooring field. Look for something with a swing keel as opposed to a center boarder, so that you bump rather than get hung up.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:31   #8
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

There is sailing west of the Roosevelt bridge where South Fork and North Fork meet, and East of the bridge to where the St. Lucie makes an 90 degree bend south. Just below Jensen Beach, on the Indian River is a US Sailing center. What is unfortunate is the blue-green algae bloom which is decimating the area right now. The Governor refuses to spend the money approved in a referendum which passed with an over 70% yes vote, to purchase lands around Lake Okechobee for water retension and releasing it to filter back through the Everglades. He refuses to conform to the Clean Waters act and work to eliminate the pollution going into the lake and down through the St Lucie into the Atlantic. It is sad to say that now is not a time to consider Stuart for any water activities. I have been seriously thinking about selling my small condo there and move to the Charlotte harbor area, anything north of Fort Meyers, because they are facing the same issues with the Caloosahatchee River. Sad, Stuart is a great area.
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Old 03-07-2016, 13:20   #9
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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OK, seventy is the new fifty. Age is in our heads, still sailing like a kid at 77 and only semi-retired by choice.
That's really only correct if you started sailing in your 20's. Its a completely different ball park when you start sailing in your late 60's. Things that you learned over 50 years along the way are simply not available to us when we are in our late 60's and we don't have a lot of time to learn them.

And if you experience some serious difficulties when you are out on the water, its much easier to slough them off when you are in your 20's than it is when you are pushing 70.

We tend to be way more interested in safety issues that we were in our 20's.
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Old 03-07-2016, 18:06   #10
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
----- Look for something with a swing keel as opposed to a center boarder, so that you bump rather than get hung up.
That doesn't make any sense. Unless you meant to say dagger board instead of center board?
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Old 03-07-2016, 18:18   #11
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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That doesn't make any sense. Unless you meant to say dagger board instead of center board?
Many centerboards have a pivot toward the bow. This means that if they hit something the board with swing up on the pivot bolt. Dagger boards like my West Wight Potter will not swing up, they have to be cranked up.
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Old 03-07-2016, 18:30   #12
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

I agree with DavyJ.....the Gulf Coast has so much more advantages to sail.You can sail from the keys right up into the panhandle. That would be my choice. But what ever you do just go out and sail and enjoy your self!
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Old 03-07-2016, 19:16   #13
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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Many centerboards have a pivot toward the bow. This means that if they hit something the board with swing up on the pivot bolt. Dagger boards like my West Wight Potter will not swing up, they have to be cranked up.
But you probably knew that too. So I really don't know what he meant either.
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Old 03-07-2016, 19:20   #14
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Re: Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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I agree with DavyJ.....the Gulf Coast has so much more advantages to sail.You can sail from the keys right up into the panhandle. That would be my choice. But what ever you do just go out and sail and enjoy your self!
+1. Used to live on the Manatee River, really enjoyed cruising W FL.

Used to deliver boats around to the E coast...not very interesting till you get S into Biscayne Bay and the Keys.
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Old 24-07-2016, 06:03   #15
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Best Small Boat Daysailing - Florida Atlantic Coast

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Originally Posted by zedpassway View Post
That's really only correct if you started sailing in your 20's. Its a completely different ball park when you start sailing in your late 60's. Things that you learned over 50 years along the way are simply not available to us when we are in our late 60's and we don't have a lot of time to learn them.



And if you experience some serious difficulties when you are out on the water, its much easier to slough them off when you are in your 20's than it is when you are pushing 70.



We tend to be way more interested in safety issues that we were in our 20's.

Oh c'mon, are you serious? Do you really feel that way?

Sailing at even a simple level can be safe and provide a rich experience of learning and happiness. One thing that is for sure is that if you did not take care of yourself physically for the first sixty years of your life then you may not possess the basic fitness for this activity. The good news is that with some discipline and work, even an older person can improve their fitness level.

As individuals, so much variation exists as to our capabilities that it is not reasonable to make statements about "after a certain age...blah blah blah."
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