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Old 15-02-2013, 13:38   #1
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Fla

I am planning my first trip to the Keys and srounding area in late Oct or early Jan of 2014...I have ask around to numerous sailors , who for years, have made the same passage over and over, and they all say flordia is not very boat friendly and they the welcome mat is never out...Why is that and is it true and if so how can i avoid the money traps....
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Old 15-02-2013, 13:48   #2
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Re: Fla

I have lived aboard in Florida since 05 and haven't had many issues. I have been boarded by the USCG and Border Patrol and have been pulled over once in my dinghy by the USCG and FWC. Keep in mind that there are a ton of LE officers of all classes down here, but you should expect that considering the notoriety from the 80's.

Other than that, many people consider the mooring ball pilot program negatively, but at this time I think there are only five harbors participating.

Most places you will find a large group of boaters with a friendly welcome mat so I guess like everything else, it just depends upon your perspective.

What do you consider a money trap?
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:16   #3
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Re: Fla

Remember, you mostly only hear about the bad experiences from the complainers! Yes, Florida does have some odd rules and regulations, and it does also have more than the usual number of law enforcement boats on the water all looking for something to do. But, as long as you have all your ducks in a row, stickers in place, Y-valves in the correct position, etc. you won't have any problems with authorities. A few places down there are expensive, but overall cruising can be as cheap as you can find in the USA. Marathon now charges as much for using the dinghy dock as they do for a rental mooring, so avoid there unless you want to hang on a mooring ball--than it isn't a bad deal at all. There are still tons of great places to anchor and most harbors have somewhere you can access shore from the dinghy for free. You will meet cruisers from all over the USA and the world, and most of them are very friendly. I have been to every state by boat from Maine to Florida and they all have their pluses and minuses. Florida has both, just like the others.
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:43   #4
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Re: Fla

Right now the neg's are running at 25 to 1...the mooring fields are ahead of the line...i changed my departure date till Jan from nov as I wanted to leave my boat and come home for the holidays turkey day till New Years but after reading all the rules covering the fields (no wet storage) and $600 for a month slip rent for a 30 footer...its not looking good for this old poor boy....
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Old 15-02-2013, 16:51   #5
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Re: Fla

Hank, how are the negs 25:1 when there are only 4 posts in the thread? I'm confused about your plan on what you are hoping to do. Maybe spell out the schedule a little more and some of us might be able to come up with some better suggestions. For example, I've found a dock behind someone's house in the Okeechobee Waterway for $150 per month before. Prices escalate quickly once you are south of the St. Lucie River. If you are looking for cheaper storage options, as opposed to transient cruising, there are some places up the St. John;s River that are reasonable too.
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Old 15-02-2013, 18:09   #6
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Re: Fla

I'm not certain what your problem is. Transient Florida slip rental runs about $2 and is $3 per ft. in the Keys. Try RI at $6 or Block Island where they not only charge high rates but will raft you up with several other boats. I think the city mooring fields are great and at $160 per month are reasonable when you consider the on shore amenities. Got any complaints then talk to some RVers.
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Old 15-02-2013, 18:17   #7
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Re: Fla

Need to lower the temperature in this thread! Freshly made, coconut ice cream anyone, with a hint of rum? Yum!!! Mauritz
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Old 15-02-2013, 19:20   #8
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Re: Fla

The 25:1 is comming from my canvas of sailors in and around the NC area who winter there and move here in NC for the summer...now as for the moriing field..my contact with the city of Marathon i was given the price of $300.00 per month but the price is not bad but the problem is "you can not leave u boat unattended" meaning no water storage which required me to cut my trip short by 2 months. Now yes i probably could find a wet slip to leave my boat for the 6 odd weeks. I want to return to NC for the holidays but here again its the coast of that stay. As for the LE officers, CG and WLO hey thats the price of anywhwere i guess and i dont have a problem with them and fully expect to see them around and on board. But as it stands now all I have to go on is what i am being told by thoses that go back and froth from here.
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Old 15-02-2013, 19:39   #9
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Re: Fla

You are probably rigth Kettle...I may have to consider moving up the coast some in order to leave the boat for that time period...I have looked at Ft Pierce as a possibile storage spot. Its a timeing thing...picking the right time to leave in order to make Ft Pierce a few days before heading back up here. I dont plan on staying in one spot long anyway so the transit rates dont bother me.
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Old 15-02-2013, 19:53   #10
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Re: Fla

Kettle: you mention if all your "stickers in place" explain what sticker or stickers are u referring too...is that something issued by the state of Fla...????
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Old 15-02-2013, 20:03   #11
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Re: Fla

You'll need the state registration sticker and if you can get the boat inspected in Florida before they stop and board you, that will get you the inspection sticker for safety equipment. Once you have that sticker showing, you very likely wont get stopped unless doing something wrong or suspicious. Without that sticker its going to happen!
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Old 15-02-2013, 20:11   #12
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Re: Fla

Yeesch! Been in FL for 35 years... doesn't seem much of a hassle for me
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Old 15-02-2013, 21:44   #13
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Re: Fla

ok seahag where do i get this sticker from whom...marinas, coast guard, inspection stations what offices or who do i call write or visit...thanks i appericate the help
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Old 15-02-2013, 23:17   #14
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Re: Fla

I checked into it online. All I could find was a sticker issued by the coast guard which you can arrange tot get at your present location. Doesn't cost anything and is good for one year. Shows your boat passed safety check. I got mine after being stopped by Florida patrol boat- thought it was a Florida sticker but my boat is 250 miles away so I couldn't verify that. In any case the officers told me what I told you. The other thing is if you were born after a certain date you have to hAve a safety card showing you took a class. I'm too old so don't need that.
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Old 15-02-2013, 23:46   #15
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Re: Fla

I'm a native of Florida and I love to meet cruisers. I have about fifty years of playing in boats in Florida and I've been boarded by the Coasties exactly once. They were very nice and professional. You don't need no stinking badges, err stickers. The Coast Guard Auxillary will inspect your boat for free and give you a sticker if you want one but it isn't mandatory. I've never had one.



"The 25:1 is comming from my canvas of sailors in and around the NC area who winter there and move here in NC for the summer"
So those guys hate Florida but spend every winter here. Interesting. Is someone forcing them to come down or might they just be trying to keep a good thing to them selves?
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