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Old 28-08-2015, 10:19   #1
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FT Lauderdale to Pensacola

I'm looking between a couple boats to buy in the FT Lauderdale area, but need to sail "the one" to home port of Pensacola (estimating about 7 days; hopefully less). Looking at charts it seems I can cut up Channel Five north of Long Key; both boats have a draft just under 5ft. I know I'd have to stay in a couple channels, but wondering if anyone has frequented that area and could enlighten me on tide affects, etc; charts show a lot of 6-7 ft areas and looking at online tidal forecasts (EZTides I think it was) it looks like the tides only ebb around 2ft. Obviously the other option to head furhter south, so I'm looking for advice from the forum.
Mike
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Old 28-08-2015, 10:29   #2
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Re: FT Lauderdale to Pensacola

Lots and lots of posts about this area. Short answer is that you will have no problem with a draft under 5' as long as you stay in the marked channels. Remember that the charted depths are MLW, and even an unusual low will not take you to below 5' in any of the areas I've been (which is exactly the route you are planning).

Don't leave the channel though!!!

Have fun! Pete
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Old 01-09-2015, 17:16   #3
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Re: FT Lauderdale to Pensacola

Still considering the ICW Port St Lucie to FT Myers, but I'd really rather go through the keys and if all goes well try to spend at least a day in that area. Seems a waste to have the boat there and not enjoy the Keys a bit; even if the main goal is to move the boat from FT Lauderdale to Pensacola..
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Old 01-09-2015, 18:52   #4
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Re: FT Lauderdale to Pensacola

I brought my boat from Biscayne Bay to Tampa, via the ICW last year. It took me 5 days call, even though I went on the outside rather than the ICW up to Port St Lucie.

You have to be careful going up that way, as there are very few places stop off if you plan on anchoring overnight. West Palm Beach is the obvious one, and even though if you go to the charts Jupiter is another one, I'd be careful because the bar there can be quite challenging if there's any sort of wave action or weather. It is doubtful you would make Fort Lauderdale to Stuart in one shot.

You can anchor in various places in the ICW at night, and there is a nice little marina at Olga run by the Corp of Engineers before you get to Fort Myers.

Along with your charts, ActiveCaptain was very useful for the trip.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 01-09-2015, 20:48   #5
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Re: FT Lauderdale to Pensacola

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhansen View Post
Still considering the ICW Port St Lucie to FT Myers, but I'd really rather go through the keys and if all goes well try to spend at least a day in that area. Seems a waste to have the boat there and not enjoy the Keys a bit; even if the main goal is to move the boat from FT Lauderdale to Pensacola..
You might want to stop at Marathon and get a mooring in Boot Key Harbor if you want to see the keys a bit, then go through the 7 mile bridge. A bit easier navigating from a depth standpoint than Channel Five.

What's your air draft? Channel 5 and the 7 Mile bridge both have a clearance of 65', while the Okeechobee Waterway has a bridge clearance of 49'.

You should also check with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville, Fl. office for the latest Okeechobee Waterway depth information and any scheduled lock closings.
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