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Old 22-04-2014, 12:47   #1
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Sailing the Keys with Deep Keel

I have a 39' grand Soleil yacht with 7' draft. Can you suggest marinas, anchorages from Key Biscayne to Key West, where i can have safe access?
thanks
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Old 22-04-2014, 13:04   #2
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

I could not find any comfortable situation for 6-5 draft. But didnt do alot of research. You will have to get there on the outside I believe...?
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Old 22-04-2014, 16:26   #3
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

Get a chart book/ cruising guide for the keys. For sure boot key and the key west anchorages are acceptable
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Old 22-04-2014, 17:52   #4
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

I recommend Maptech waterproof charts for Florida Upper Keys (Miami to Upper Matecumbe) and Florida Middle Keys (Tavernier to Sugarloaf Key).

Hawks Channel is good for getting you up and down the Keys, but you need a GPS+chart or chartplotter for the odd shoal draft areas even in the Channel.

If you don't snorkel/scuba dive anywhere else, I highly recommend the reefs Dry Rocks (with the Christ of the Abyss statue), Molasses, and Alligator. The latter two are like swimming in an aquarium. Get the mooring ball arrangements online and use a chartplotter to approach from the favorable (for depth) side(s). Overnight mooring has been known to happen without interference.

There are four mooring balls in a cluster about a mile off the small bridge in ten feet of water at Indian Key Anchorage. All the marinas I know of in the Middle Keys are in water too skinny for you even at high tide. If you try one, have the local tide tables; there can be significant variation even over short distances for particular reasons. Bahia Honda has a great anchorage for you between the two bridges (over a week, we saw a 44ft Island Packet sailboat and a Nauticat 44 motorsailer anchored there).
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Old 22-04-2014, 19:06   #5
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

Ded - thanks for the tips. We are 58 feet & 6'-8" draft with 80 mast. I studied the OPEN CPN & SEACLEAR charts & cross-checked on Google Earth. Sometimes their photos help.

We also concluded there are few options and none on the inside. Biscayne Bay offers a few places and open anchoring should be possible in fair weather. No-Name Harbor at Cape Florida park is small but recommended & has nice beach access.

Just East of STAR ISLAND is a place to anchor near Miami Beach. Access is tricky.
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Old 26-04-2014, 15:19   #6
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

Key Biscayne to Marathon outside the reef. Marathon to Key West inside the reef staying in the "channel" from marker to marker. In Marathon, you can anchor off the mouth of Boot Key Harbor channel (to the east) in good holding sand 10-14 feet. Take one of the marinas in Key West as anchoring is difficult and crowded. That's about it unless you want to sail to Bimini and enter the harbor on a high tide. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 29-04-2014, 06:55   #7
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

A general rule with that kind of draft would be to avoid the gulf side. Watch your charts you'll be fine in a Marathon and Key West.
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Old 29-04-2014, 07:05   #8
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

As for Marathon, you won't be able to get into the harbor for the mooring field due to the power lines going to Boot Key.

You can get into Marathon Marina which is right at the entrance of the channel and is a great place to stay.

As mentioned earlier, you can anchor on the outside to the west of Boot Key, but any weather from the west or south will make it very rough.
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Old 29-04-2014, 07:24   #9
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

I almost drug bottom getting into and out of Marathon Marina and I only draw 5'. I did see 6' depth quite a bit, so be careful.
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:16   #10
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

Power lines going into boot Key in Marathon are 65'
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:49   #11
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

there are some deep water anchorages in the newfound harbor area near ramrod key on the atlantic side but you might need to go in at high tide.
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Old 29-04-2014, 15:07   #12
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Re: Sailing the Keys with Deep Keel

60' Ketch, 7' Draft, 78' Mast (to top of antenna)

We like the Marine Stadium for a anchorage; from there we just make it under the bridge (easier at low tide) and out Stiltsville to the Hawk Channel; you might need to go through the cut with your mast? It's a good daysail to Rodriguez Key; anchor on the leeward side (whichever that is); we never saw less than 8' of water and it's easy to dive the anchor in the clear water and verify the set. From there we sail the Hawk again to Marathon. Good anchoring west of the entrance to the harbor in all but south wind. You can, perhaps, go though Sisters Creek at high tide but the wire over the channel won't let you in otherwise as noted. From there it's an easy sail to Key West. We find anchoring off Flemming Key easy and the dingy dock at Turtle Kraals fairly priced and secure if busy. Have a great trip and enjoy a dozen at the Half Shell Raw Bar ($5/dozen at happy hour!)
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Old 01-05-2014, 19:04   #13
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Re: Sailing the Keys with deep keel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
As for Marathon, you won't be able to get into the harbor for the mooring field due to the power lines going to Boot Key.

You can get into Marathon Marina which is right at the entrance of the channel and is a great place to stay.

As mentioned earlier, you can anchor on the outside to the west of Boot Key, but any weather from the west or south will make it very rough.
I don't think I can turn around in there and we are 80 feet on the mast.
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