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Old 21-10-2013, 07:55   #1
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Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

I am thinking about bareboat chartering either out of Fort Meyers or St Petersburg. I have never sailed in either of those areas and want to know if sailing is good. Also I will have the boat for 5 days and like to go to different harbors, dinghy in for dinner, etc. Are there lots of destinations like that. I have been trying to find charts on line with water depths for these areas and still can not get a good feel for what I want to do. Originally wanted to do such at Key West but can not locate a 32 ft monohull available there. Little more familiar with Key West. Another option is Miami area, but do not want to be dodging other boats all day. I have a sailboat on the Chesapeake and most familiar with that type of sailing. Would appreciate any good info.
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:39   #2
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Both areas are great. It depends on what you want to do. Ft Myers has more isolated woodsy scenic ancorages. St Pete IMO is better, good sailing destanations within 40nm. (St Pete, Tampa, Sarasota, Clearwater) All with good anchorages and great nite life... Plus I think there is more room to sail verse the narrow channels of Ft Myers, Naples, and Cabbage Key on up to Caya Costa. We just sail from Sarasota to Islamorada FL Keys with a 4.5 draft and never had doubts of depth. So from Clearwater to Maraton all has good 5ft + depths. (Caution) Some Marina inlets have skinny water at low tide, so check with the dock before coming and going. FYI Englewood [stump pass] is a no go for sailboats. Hope this helps... Cheers
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:45   #3
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

Welcome aboard the forum! Lots of options in both of those areas where you can sail the open gulf, or sail more protected waters when the seas are too angry. A cruising guide would help you plan. All of the charts are available via NOAA. A shoal draft would give you more options, but any boat will work. Hope you have a great time!
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Old 21-10-2013, 08:55   #4
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[QUOTE="Waterway Guide;1370265"]Welcome aboard the forum! Lots of options in both of those areas where you can sail the open gulf, or sail more protected waters when the seas are too angry. A cruising guide would help you plan.


I secound that... And welcome to CF.
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Old 21-10-2013, 09:58   #5
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

We just moved here in May, after cruising for three years.

We are in Charlotte Harbor, about 30 miles north of Fort Myers.

In addition to the Waterway Guide.... I just purchased the "Cruising Guide to Western Florida", by Claiborne S. Young.

It has lots of local knowledge, Chartlets, bridge information and of course places to go.

There are several other cruising books on Western Florida and having a look at these might be helpful as well.
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Old 21-10-2013, 10:40   #6
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

Have chartered out of both those places. Highly recommended. Had a great time.
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Old 21-10-2013, 11:42   #7
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What kind of experience do you want? Remote, or populated spots? I live in st pete - I can't imagine traveling to charter here, but I suppose the area is pretty nice. Caladesi Island, egmont key, Anna Maria, mar vista all should be on the list.
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Old 21-10-2013, 13:51   #8
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What kind of experience do you want? Remote, or populated spots? I live in st pete - I can't imagine traveling to charter here, but I suppose the area is pretty nice. Caladesi Island, egmont key, Anna Maria, mar vista all should be on the list.
Agreed, I live on Anna Maria Island, and while it's beautiful here....I can't imagine chartering here.
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:48   #9
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

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Originally Posted by the_alpine View Post
What kind of experience do you want? Remote, or populated spots? I live in st pete - I can't imagine traveling to charter here, but I suppose the area is pretty nice. Caladesi Island, egmont key, Anna Maria, mar vista all should be on the list.
It is funny that when we live here and have seen it all it does not seem exciting.

Do those and add Ft. Desoto.

Have you heard of https://activecaptain.com/. Very helpful.
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Old 21-10-2013, 14:53   #10
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It is funny that when we live here and have seen it all it does not seem exciting.

Do those and add Ft. Desoto.

Have you heard of https://activecaptain.com/. Very helpful.
True, I guess I'm spoiled and forget how beautiful it is here.
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Old 21-10-2013, 20:34   #11
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

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Originally Posted by jan watson View Post
I am thinking about bareboat chartering either out of Fort Meyers or St Petersburg. I have never sailed in either of those areas and want to know if sailing is good. Also I will have the boat for 5 days and like to go to different harbors, dinghy in for dinner, etc. Are there lots of destinations like that. I have been trying to find charts on line with water depths for these areas and still can not get a good feel for what I want to do. Originally wanted to do such at Key West but can not locate a 32 ft monohull available there. Little more familiar with Key West. Another option is Miami area, but do not want to be dodging other boats all day. I have a sailboat on the Chesapeake and most familiar with that type of sailing. Would appreciate any good info.
I think this place had nice Gemini cat last year as well.
Florida Keys Bareboat & Sailing Charters
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:23   #12
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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
We just moved here in May, after cruising for three years. We are in Charlotte Harbor, about 30 miles north of Fort Myers. In addition to the Waterway Guide.... I just purchased the "Cruising Guide to Western Florida", by Claiborne S. Young. It has lots of local knowledge, Chartlets, bridge information and of course places to go. There are several other cruising books on Western Florida and having a look at these might be helpful as well.
We looked at buying Young's guide, but with a release date of January, 2008 we were worried it would be too dated. Actually we struggled to find any really current cruising guides for Western Florida when we searched recently. Any current ones out there?

Mike and Brenda
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Old 03-12-2013, 19:05   #13
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Re: Sailing Gulf Coast Florida

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We looked at buying Young's guide, but with a release date of January, 2008 we were worried it would be too dated. Actually we struggled to find any really current cruising guides for Western Florida when we searched recently. Any current ones out there?

Mike and Brenda
Don't know.

You might try Active Captain.
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Old 03-12-2013, 20:17   #14
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I think even a dated copy of Youngs would be useful. Combined with up to date charts.

Also the old BAIL anchorages guide was pretty good and I think copies can still be found online.

Edit: link to PDF copy of BAIL guide

http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/flsgp/flsgph...99001_full.pdf.
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Old 03-12-2013, 20:20   #15
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We do have Active Captain activated and it looks promising for future use. We plan on moving down to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores early summer 2014 to begin outfitting a small cruiser. Our first year we plan on cruising Western Florida down to the Keys and back, so current guides are high on our list.

Mike and Brenda
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