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Old 16-02-2012, 15:39   #1
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Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Hi cruisers, im seeking advice from Floridians here..
I'm looking for the safest (from hurricanes) and hopefully inexpensive marina to leave our boat for 8-9 months after the cruising season, dry or wet, somewhere in or near Florida, SC, Cuba, Bahamas, or Puerto Rico. Please suggest a good safe place to leave her. I realize that nowhere in this area is completely safe from a direct hurricane hit in Aug or Sept but I'm hoping that some people can offer experience and insight.
I'm Canadian and the boat is registered in Canada (so Cuba could be feasible). I've heard that Florida has some red-tape or fees/permits involving long term storage for non US residents. Could someone please send a link or provide some info on this, it would be much appreciated.

Basically, Im a young Canadian on an un-insured boat currently in Guatemala's Rio Dulce (boat's only worth 35g so insurance is hard to come by). I'm working my way around the Carib' and need to store the boat from mid-April until next Jan.
I just met a young yank' who suggested Green Cove Springs Marina 20miles up a river near Jacksonville. Inland Florida does seem like the convenient choice (safer from sea-surge, easy flights home, easy provisioning and maintenance next Jan).
thanks for your time and suggestions,
james
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Old 16-02-2012, 17:33   #2
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Re: Long term Florida/northern Carib mooring for non-Americans, suggestions?

From a former Floridian now Rio-Dulce-ite: SW Florida historically has been hit by very few hurricanes. So, check out New Port Ritchey, Tarpon Springs, Tampa Bay Area (Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete), Bradenton/Palmetto/Sarasota and on down into the Pine Island Sound area. Some of the smaller coastal towns might have some reasonable rates for you.

Be sure and ask about their insurance requirements though because, unlike here on the hurricane-and-hassle-free Rio, some US marinas will require proof of insurance.
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Old 16-02-2012, 17:50   #3
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Re: Long term Florida/northern Carib mooring for non-Americans, suggestions?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, James.

Indiantown Marina
Dry Storage
16300 SW Famel Blvd. Indiantown, FL 34956
Tel: 772-597-2455
Fax: 772-597-2451
Email: indiantownmarina@juno.com
Indiantown Marina
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Old 21-02-2012, 14:19   #4
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

A great place and reasonable is the glades boat yard. Go to
Florida & Southern Sailing Information - SOUTHWINDS | Sailing & Cruising - Florida - the South

And they should have all you need in their magazine. I know the boatyard advertises in it.
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Old 27-02-2012, 15:48   #5
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

thanks for the info people. In northern Belize now headed north.
The okeechobee looks like the natural way to go. i assume that there are quite a few options once inside. Both those suggestions are good ones, they really give me a sense of what the standard is along the waterway,
thanks for the help
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Old 27-02-2012, 16:04   #6
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Check out Punta Gorda, on Charlotte Harbor in SW Florida. It's well protected and less than 20 miles to the Gulf.
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Old 27-02-2012, 16:34   #7
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

I personally wouldn't leave it wet stored for that long in Florida as it will likely be so foul you'll have to immediately haul it anyway in order to go anywhere, so you might as well haul out before you leave it and have less issues to worry about. Green Cove Springs and Indiantown are both good places for long-term inexpensive storage in Florida. Nowhere there is immune to hurricanes--you have to take the luck of the draw. There are some inexpensive places to haul and store in the Carolinas and the Chesapeake too.
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Old 27-02-2012, 16:59   #8
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

merrit island, Harbortown marina. Totally enclosed and isolated even from the intracoastal waterway. Far enough north to lessen the hurricane risk too. Cant imagine even a surge getting in there. Wind will though!
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Old 27-02-2012, 17:31   #9
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Florida has been my home base for 27 years, and I think GordMay's suggestion of Indiantown is your best bet. Loads of Canadians leave their boats on the hard there during the summer. You can get there by coming in the back way from the Gulf and across Lake Okeechobee if your mast is under 50 feet as there is a fixed bridge on that route.

I think there is a bridge en route to Green Cove Springs that is 46-48 feet. I would check that out more closely before considering that as an option.
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:12   #10
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Can't really put my finger on the name,but recall there is a place somewhere between the east side of Okeechobee and the Atlantic side of Fla. where they actually dig a trench to lower your keel into near ground level and then block your boat. One couldn't get much safer in South Fla. Whis I knew more info, I do recall reading it somewhere and thinking what a great way to long-term storage in a Cane Zone.
I have lived in Key West for 30 yrs. - 20 on a sailboat at anchor , 9 with property and am now back on a boat. As mentioned by Belizesailor, SW Fl. has not been hit hard with direct hits. Andrew wiped out the Homestead, Fl. City as well as Mia. Georges Hit Big Pine hard with storm surge and then Wilma which hit Big Coppitt and Key West very hard with stoom surge. Most people down here have a hidey-hole somewhere where they run to either up into a canal at a private resident that lets them weather there and tie off in the middle of the canal. Myself I go into a natural canal surrounded by large matue Mangroves and tie myself off to the mangrove, weathering the storm on my boat so I can adjust my lines as needed.
As with any bad storm it is a crap shoot, as someone who wil be an absentee owner whith no isurance I woud say as inland and as low as you can find. The further inland the less chance of the surge getting you. If the boat is stripped and preped for a cane and the jackstands are chained tightly together and holddowns drilled into the ground with rope or straps over the boat lead to them you should weather what we usually get.
Unfortunatly it is a "you buy your ticket, you take your ride" type of thing.

STAY OUT OF CUBA for hurricane protection, they are the South Fl. buffer, and the storms to worry the most about either form in the Gulf and move west, or slide around the south side of Cuba and hook back into south Fl. I track the path of the canes on the net using Cuban Radar from thier weather stations, don't have the link right now , but will post it later.

Sorry to be so long winded, but one should know that the ones that survive the canes with all in tact have thier "ducks in a row"
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:38   #11
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Just to clarify an earlier post, the lift bridge just to the west of Indiantown on the Okeechobee Waterway is 49 feet vertical clearance, and the bridges up to Green Cove Springs have at least 65 feet, but the bridge just after Green Cove Springs is only 45 feet. There is also a small, really funky boatyard just east of the bridge in LaBelle on the Okeechobee where boaters, including some Canadians, store longer term.
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:39   #12
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Green Cove Spring is just before the low bridge so you'll be ok there. I also suggest Lee Shore Marina, Inc. > Home just outside Savannah, Georgia. Generally reckoned to be pretty safe in hurricane season, no direct hits in many years.
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Old 27-02-2012, 18:45   #13
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

That Lee Shore Marina looks interesting--my kind of place. From the pictures it reminds me of what Lady's Island Marina in Beaufort used to be like. Thanks for noting it.
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Old 27-02-2012, 19:44   #14
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amapola View Post
Check out Punta Gorda, on Charlotte Harbor in SW Florida. It's well protected and less than 20 miles to the Gulf.
It got whacked pretty hard with Hurricane Charlie? a few year ago though. Just sayin'.
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Old 28-02-2012, 06:47   #15
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Re: Long Term Florida / Northern Carib Mooring

If the boat is in Florida for more than 90 days then it is supposed to be registered with the state. This is not expensive--around $100 per year for the typical 30-40 foot boat.

I have heard that if the boat is on the hard then they will let that slide for some time. Not certain about that, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to store it on the hard anyway, if you're not going to be sailing it for most of a year.

Information about FL vessel registration here: Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
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