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Old 24-07-2015, 10:00   #1
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Summer winds in southwest Florida

I'm retired and got introduced to sailing on western Lake Erie about 5 years ago and love it. Even got some ASA certs this spring. I'm also tired of Michigan winters and have been considering moving down to southwest FL and buying a sailboat. A friend of mine who lives aboard his sailboat in Charlotte Harbor recently told me there's not enough wind in SW Florida during the summer for decent coastal sailing. Any truth to that?
Thanks!
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Old 24-07-2015, 11:45   #2
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

I'd say he has a point to some extent, at least the middle grounds seem often to be becalmed, look at the Wx charts, you often see a high centered in the gulf.
Not always true of course
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Old 24-07-2015, 11:50   #3
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

Of course, it depends on what you consider "decent." There are no steady, constant trade winds here, like there are in some places. The winds usually vary in direction and speed as the day goes on. And most days there will be some period of nearly calm.

Most days, though, there is at least some wind. And I think the fact that there are a HUGE number of sailboats, and sailors, all along the west coast of Florida is a pretty clear indication that a whole lot of people find it quite "decent."
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Old 24-07-2015, 12:25   #4
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

There's always plenty of wind before the afternoon squall...

Balancing the very mild wind in July, August, and September is the fairly consistent wind the other 9 months of the year.

Pete
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Old 25-07-2015, 10:03   #5
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

I would add that although the winds are light, there are many short distant trips to interesting anchorages always available. Also marina rates in many locations drop to as little as a buck a foot making the summer heat somewhat of a viable trade off.
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Old 25-07-2015, 17:56   #6
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by phaon View Post
I'm retired and got introduced to sailing on western Lake Erie about 5 years ago and love it. Even got some ASA certs this spring. I'm also tired of Michigan winters and have been considering moving down to southwest FL and buying a sailboat. A friend of mine who lives aboard his sailboat in Charlotte Harbor recently told me there's not enough wind in SW Florida during the summer for decent coastal sailing. Any truth to that?
Thanks!
He is pretty much on except for hurricanes. It all averages out.


Check the charts for your area and pick a boat with a draft that will not be a problem. If by SW FL you mean Naples or so, check the backwaters on the depth issue. You may want to be able to play in the mangroves.
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Old 25-07-2015, 18:36   #7
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

there's usually wind (10 to 12 average) and the seabreeze starts early in the day when present. a 150% genoa would be good to have. it's almost dark here and there's still a nice breeze blowing out in the gulf. i would say the bays like charlotte harbor and tampa bay would limit rather than enhance your sailing options. the big deal is the sun and heat here and the gulf waters are over 85 degrees now. IMHO.
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Old 26-07-2015, 03:20   #8
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

We live in Punta Gorda and have sailed Charlotte Harbor for 22 yrs. From a Watkins 23 to now a 37 Irwin cc. The winds in the summer are very iffy. fine for small boats but not enough most of the time to move the 37 unless you want to sit there and roast in our heat. Winds will either be next to nothing or blow like stink as a storm comes in. We choose not to roast and will fire up the iron jenny to get to where we are going and get the shades up. Breezes in the winter are much better as long as you watch for the northern fronts coming down. Having said all that, it's still a great place to be. The problem is that the city, no matter what they try to say, is not boater friendly. The city police make it as difficult on cruisers as they can. The attitude of most is its ours and we really don't want to share..
Ted.
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Old 26-07-2015, 10:11   #9
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Re: Summer winds in southwest Florida

A big thanks for all your replies and helpful information! I'll be down this fall and be renting a condo somewhere 'tween Bradenton and Naples. 60 Michigan winters are more than enough! I've also got a first date tonight with gal who says she loves to sail and wants to move to a N. or S. Carolina coastal city....might not be so bad if the winters are mild enough.

Thanks again!
Terry
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