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Old 17-07-2016, 16:30   #1
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Key West by boat for the first time...

Sailing my new (to me) Morgan 462 from Fort Myers Beach to Fort Lauderdale next weekend, and plan to stop off in Key West for a few hours, just for fun. Probably getting there Saturday early morning, and leave against before sunset. Any suggestions on where to anchor or moor, within easy dinghy distance of downtown? My boat draws 5'9". Are the dinghy docks pretty safe?

Apparently it's Hemingway Days in KW next weekend, so we hope to join in the festivities for a little while.


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Old 17-07-2016, 16:56   #2
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Re: Key West by boat for the first time...

Dinghy dock is safe and crowded and you need to pay. Just anchor out front past the Coast Guard Station. Don't short scope, give yourself some room. It'real choppy sometimes so closer to town is better for the dinghy ride.

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Old 18-07-2016, 11:35   #3
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Re: Key West by boat for the first time...

With the summer thunderstorm season in full swing in the Gulf, better count on a little butt whooping in the afternoon- early evening. Not my favorite part of the trip, we usually take roughly 40 hours from Tarpon Springs to Key West and I don't think I've ever made it without squalls.


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Old 18-07-2016, 13:25   #4
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Key West by boat for the first time...

I stayed in Garrison Bight mooring field, won't do that again. Guy is right, best to anchor where he said and forget the mooring filed, dinghy dock is $6 a day and you can buy a shower card too, I didn't shower there, but next trip I'll anchor out and skip the mooring field. I believe it has cameras everywhere, and everybody knows that and seemed things weren't messed with. I still locked mine.
After 6 PM I think the marina is closed and the masses come in to tie up their dinghy as no one is there to collect a fee, if your in the back part of the dock, good luck getting out, best if you can to tie up on the outside of the dock.
If you stay more days and stay in the mooring field, have a big motored dinghy, the current under that bridge can get interesting if you have a little motor.

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Old 19-07-2016, 05:35   #5
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Re: Key West by boat for the first time...

Your time, your choice, but I wouldn't bother to stop in Key West for just a few hours. If you're going to stop, at least make it an overnight. If you're not going to do that then I would cut the corner, save some time, and bypass Key West entirely.
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Old 19-07-2016, 07:44   #6
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Re: Key West by boat for the first time...

Just a suggestion, but coming from Lauderdale you might think of stopping in Marathon and taking the bus down to Key Weird... As stated above, most (if not all) anchorages and moorings are in open roadsteads and can get pretty sporty in an afternoon squall depending on which direction it comes from.

Marathon mooring field is wide open this time of year $22 a day ($110/wk) includes City Marina dinghy docks, showers, day room, laundry, plus one free pumpout. Lower Keys shuttle stop right across the highway from City Marina. $4.00 each way to Key West ($2.00 if you are 60 or over) 0800 bus will put you in Key West (one block off Duval) about the time the bars open, and last standard bus back to Marathon is at 2100.

Just a thought... Have a good trip and if you stop by Marathon don't forget to check in and say hi on the local cruisers net (0900 channel 68)

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