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Old 24-04-2014, 13:21   #1
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Key West to Naples Fl.

For this 100+ mile stretch, would like a recommended half-way stopping point to anchor. My boat is a sailing cat, 46 ft, 25 ft beam and draws 5 ft.
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Old 24-04-2014, 14:22   #2
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

There is no land between those points. You could divert further east to shark river or Marco, but that just increases your distance. Why not just sail through?
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Old 24-04-2014, 16:43   #3
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Sampatico,
As Alpine mentioned, there is no halfway point to anchor in the Gulf of Mexico. However, if you wanted to do the trip in two days, you could sail from Key West to Marathon and then Marathon to Naples. You can sail on the Gulf or Atlantic side to Marathon. However, you can also sail direct to Naples from Key West but, depending on the season ,you may encounter crab pots not only along shore but offshore as well. A good rope cutter on a pole is recommended especially if sailing at night. Hope that helps.
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Old 24-04-2014, 17:14   #4
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the distance from Key West to Naples is not much different from marathon to Naples
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Old 24-04-2014, 22:25   #5
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Some crazy blonde chic once anchored 20 ish miles off shore in 50-60 feet of water, SW of Everglades city on the way back from the Dry Trotuga's. No wind that night and flat seas. It was a peaceful night on the water. That only works if the weather is calm.

Second trip from Key West, I anchored at little shark river with the biting flyes. Very protected but have the bug screens ready. Went up little shark a few miles just to look around. Then a lovely bash direct into the wind, north to marco to catch a few hours sleep and on to cape coral.
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Old 25-04-2014, 06:00   #6
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Sampatico, Most boaters, ourselves included, go to the Little Shark River for an anchorage and then on to Marco Island and/or Naples. It in't half way but very doable. Chuck
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Old 25-04-2014, 06:52   #7
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Marathon is only possible IF the Trades aren’t blowing (rare in the Summer) or you run the Iron Genoa.

The Air Force maintains some navigation towers which are (sort of) on the rhumbline. If I decide to anchor up for the night, I head for one of those. Sounds silly to people without local knowledge, but the shrimpers in that area are notorious for running on autopilot for miles at a time without a watch; they avoid plotting course near the towers in fear of hitting them…. a sailboat? they don’t care so much about hitting!

+1 on Little Shark, +1,000,000 on the screens!
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Old 25-04-2014, 10:06   #8
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Marathon is only possible IF the Trades arenít blowing (rare in the Summer) or you run the Iron Genoa.

The Air Force maintains some navigation towers which are (sort of) on the rhumbline.
From personal experience, one of those towers IS on the Rhumbline from Ft. Myers to the Dry Tortuga's. They are not lit either. Darn near came too close to that one at 2am one morning. That got the old heart going. I had studied the charts before hand and knew it was just by the Rhumb line. But comming upon it in the middle of the night...exciting.

Most of the shrimpers/commercial fishing boats were closer to the keys in deeper water, when I was out that way, years ago. Can't miss the bright lights on the those boats at 4 am either.
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:08   #9
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

A night crossing of Florida Bay isn't a good idea for a lot of reasons. But the number one in our book is the blanket if floats attached to all the commercial traps that are just waiting to grab a passing prop. No fun in the middle of the night. Chuck
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:25   #10
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

What's your cruising speed? If it's around 8 knots you can do that distance in daylight hours.
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:31   #11
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

I've made this trip multiple times. While I agree the crab pots are many in season Florida bay is maybe 30 miles across from marathon so figure 6 hours to cross you should be able to plan your trip in such a way as to get across it in the daylight. Obviously Key West is farther but that also put you further out into Florida bay, without plotting it maybe even outside the bay. Another though although I've never done it but in settled weather why not just throw the hook out in the bay and spend the night?
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Old 25-04-2014, 14:01   #12
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

I just came up that way, and we were in and out of crab traps from just North of Marthon and we still in them way off shore in 60 to 70' of water beside of Tampa. Until then I had never seen crab pots out that far, or that deep. More than once running in the night I saw the little while balls appear directly in my wake, I guess the Lobster strap on an Island Packet works. I did have an 18 yr old kid and his SCUBA gear if it didn't.
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Old 25-04-2014, 14:02   #13
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Two months ago we made the trip from Marathon to Cape Coral during the night. About 120 NM. I was going to duck into Shark river if the Lobster pots were too bad, but they cleared up by dark so we kept going. Great cruising until midnight when we closed in on Marco Island then they returned in force. Pots everywhere, but luckily I tinkered with my radar and found a setting that I could see the bouys and we kepts steaming. Everytime the radar would sweep around I could see a line of bouys in a row so we would cut in between them. I would then hit them with a spot light just to make sure. Over all it was a great night on the gulf. I wouldnt try it unless you are profeicent with your radar.
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Old 25-04-2014, 14:10   #14
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

That must be some good RADAR, what kind is it?
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Old 25-04-2014, 15:06   #15
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Re: Key West to Naples Fl.

Its a furuno 1715. I dont think its a top end radar unit either. What I cant believe is how many people dont know you can see crab pots/bouys with a radar. Its also shocking all these people I think are seasoned cruisers dont even travel at night or in the ocean. How do you make a sailing trip from Keys West and anchor at Snake river? Its way out of the way, a total waste of time and not practical. The OP has a 46' Cat and I'm sure a decent radar. Its beautiful at night and cool, but it sounds like everyone doesnt run at night. You dont have a radar on your IP? It also sounds as if your doubting that I can see lobster pots with a radar.
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