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Old 09-05-2010, 18:45   #1
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Deerfield Beach to Boynton Beach Marinas or Anchorages

Hi All, My wife and I will staying at Dinner Key Marina and heading North from there. This is are first trip up the ICW and am trying to do some planning ahead so that the trip is enjoyable for both of us, mainly her so that this will not be the last. Anyway looking North from Dinner Key 30 to 50 miles I'm not seeing a lot of anchorages or marinas. I see some small yacht clubs (one of them has 1 transient slip) and doesn't really look user friendly. Also should I stay in the ICW and tend with the bridges or head out Government Cut and come back in further North. I am on a 36' sailing catamaran with 18' beam. I really appreciate any and all advice. Thanks so much, JIm
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Old 09-05-2010, 19:32   #2
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Just a thought if you're trying to keep your wife happy. Leaving Dinner Key head out through Stiltsville just north of Bill Baggs light house instead of Government cut. Head north to Ft'Lauderdale. Pull in at Ft.Lauderdale head north on the ICW and just on the south side of Las Olas bridge there is a mooring field. There were a few balls available just the other day. It's a decent day trip without doing too much at once for the wife. Dingy into the city marina and walk to the beach from there (one block). Plenty of places to eat and areas to walk around. You don't say where your final destination is
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Old 09-05-2010, 19:39   #3
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Tellie, Final destination is the Chesapeake, Herrington Harbor near Deale Md to be exact.
Thanks for the advice, that looks like an easy trip and I would rather stay in an anchorage or mooring ball as $100 a night gets expensive. Jim
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Old 09-05-2010, 20:11   #4
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It's a wonderful trip north. We've done it a bunch of times and just left from the Miami Beach area in March ourselves. Here are a couple of thoughts:

- Finding ways to get your wife to love the trip is a major consideration. One thing is to find out what she really likes. OK, this will sound odd but my wife is happy when she can do laundry. Don't ask me why because I don't get it. So I look for places with easy laundry (even though we have a washer/dryer on the boat and she can use them at anchor). We just stayed 5 days at the Charleston Maritime Center. They have free laundry facilities. She washed every sheet and towel we had. Made her happy. Find those types of things for your wife.

- The choice of going inside or outside is a tough one. Some depends on your draft which you didn't give but since you're a cat, I'll assume it's small. The really bad day of bridges is between Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach. There were 21 bridges of which we had to have 18 lifted. They are pretty well timed so if you can make 6-7 kts, you'll have minor waiting. You can get bridge restriction information on each bridge by looking at the details in ActiveCaptain.

For the first time, I'd go Dinner Key to Ft. Lauderdale, the Ft. Lauderdale to Palm Beach, Palm Beach to Peck Lake, Peck Lake to Vero Beach. In later years, go outside but for now, experience it all (even the bridges).

It's great fun to take the dinghy and travel the canals. There are more miles of canals in Ft. Lauderdale than in Venice, Italy!

- For Palm Beach, the traditional place to anchor is Lake Worth

There are many marinas in the area too. We've stayed here (Old Port Cove) and found it very, very nice - there's another anchorage right outside there too

These are good anchorages to know. Someday when you leave for the Bahamas for the first time, you'll do it from one of these two anchorages.

- Peck Lake is a really nice stop. Take the dinghy to the barrier beach side. It's really thin and easy to get great beach access

- Vero Beach is a must-be-at cruising destination mooring field. Plan to spend a few days. Learn the shuttle bus route and walk to the beach section. A lot of people end up paying for a few days and then upgrading to stay a month

From there, it's your turn to explore! Read the various reviews and look at what other people say about the different areas. There are so many incredible things to see and do - my suggestions are just a starting point. Enjoy!
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:44   #5
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Thanks Jeff, just the information I was looking for and yes my draft is very shallow not even 3 ft. It looks like I'll be staying in Ft. Lauderdale instead of trying to get further North. I sincerely appreciate your time. Jim
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:54   #6
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Jim, Still another source for marinas, bridges and anchorages along your entire route is here . You can zoom in and move the map around to find both. You can never had too many resources available.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:02   #7
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Thanks Chuck, will check it out.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:44   #8
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Just to follow up a little bit on Jeffrey's excellent information:

I've stayed at the Las Olas Marina in Fort Lauderdale. While it's not cheap, it's cheaper than most others in the area and is very convenient to the beach, public swimming pool and restaurants. The Moorings are cheaper if you can grab one. I believe anchoring in the area is still limited to one night only.

Between there and Palm Beach, Lake Boca offers a possible night anchorage, especially for shallow draft boats. In the Lake Worth area, I've anchored just north of the area shown on the Map Jeffrey provided - just north of the bridge/island. The park on the island at the base of the bridge now has a nice dinghy dock (north side) and you can anchor for as long as you like. The beaches, grocery store, restaurants and marine stores are all within a reasonable walk.

Closer to Stuart, I've stayed in Peck Lake for more solitude and Manatee Pocket for a short dinghy ride to restaurants on the water.

I've done less travel north of there but this last winter stops were: Fort Pierce, Melbourne area, Mosquito Lagoon and a little Marina for $25, just south of Marineland. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it. St. Augustine is a nice historic town to visit that's easy to walk around.
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:51   #9
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Instead of Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale, we prefer the municipal marina in the New River - reasonable rates, and on top of that, a 25% Boat US discount for 3 days. You are tied to a wall and have an advance reservation, lots of shops, movies, cafes, and a big Publix grocery store nearby. We took the city bus system to the huge West Marine. There is a nearby stop to the sea wall, and it was about a 30 minute ride with a bus stop very near West.

Hope you weren't serious about just staying in Ft. Lauderdale - it's a great stop, but there are plenty more along the way!

Enjoy your cruise.

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Old 11-05-2010, 06:28   #10
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Nautical62, called Matt at Ft. lauderdale marina and was surprised at how reasonable the slip fees are. He said if there wasn't anything available at the New River location then he could park us at Las Olas for .90 per ft. per night.

Entlie, thanks for the info and no we aren't stopping in Ft. Lauderdale, just a waypoint in route to the Chesapeake, Jim
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:38   #11
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Las Olas at $0.90/foot would be the place I'd choose. It's a fine facility and you can really do some interesting things along the Ft. Lauderdale beach.
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Old 11-05-2010, 11:50   #12
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The trip up the ICW is great for sightseeing and there are many anchorages along the way. The bridges will not be a pain if you're not in a hurry. Most of those in S. Florida are on a schedule and you will soon learn to time your arrival to their opening schedule. We do not go into marinas. For Ft. Lauderdale, go into Lake Sylvia, a very protected anchorage and if you want to go ashore run along 17th St. to the end of the canal and tie up at Southport Raw Bar. Get Skipper Bob's little book on ICW anchorages. It'll be a great help for first timers and you can get the distances between bridges from it. All the opening bridges are listed although the schedules may be incorrect.
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