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Old 04-11-2016, 09:38   #1
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Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Hello everyone!

My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Florida keys and we are looking for a decent liveaboard marina. I know there are several small marinas and such and I've tried searching and calling. I've found 3 that have slips available, but would like to hear from anyone living down there. Personal experience is greatly appreciated. We are currently looking to purchase a 30-35' cruiser.

My husband has his Captain's license and we will be looking for work once there. We have a fair amount saved up, but any advice or suggestions be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:47   #2
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

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Originally Posted by Dawn0506 View Post
Hello everyone!

My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Florida keys and we are looking for a decent liveaboard marina. I know there are several small marinas and such and I've tried searching and calling. I've found 3 that have slips available, but would like to hear from anyone living down there. Personal experience is greatly appreciated. We are currently looking to purchase a 30-35' cruiser.

My husband has his Captain's license and we will be looking for work once there. We have a fair amount saved up, but any advice or suggestions be greatly appreciated.
Boot Key Harbor in Marathon is great for liveaboards, as long as you don't want to be tied to a dock with electric and water hookups. It's all moorings, and a nice shore facility to hang out and meet people, shower, get mail, etc.

http://www.ci.marathon.fl.us/governm...oring-dockage/

-David
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Old 05-11-2016, 02:34   #3
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

A number of marinas in Marathon, but all are pretty pricey come the winter "season" For example, City Marina canal docks are 14.75/ft off season 19.50/ft Nov 1 thru Apr 30 (plus electric) ...

Best deal is the mooring balls at $324 a month any length up to 65' space permitting. Includes all City Marina facilities, one parking space and dinghy dockage. First come first serve, no reservations. Live aboards only, no wet storage.

Good luck
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Old 05-11-2016, 03:58   #4
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dawn.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:18   #5
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Burdines Marina ...not cheap but decent...
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:51   #6
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Marathon is a good base. Key West tends to be expensive and crowded. Burdines is good but not cheap. You would be better off checking Craig's List and others for a lower slip rental. First know what your minimum requirements are- depth, distance from ocean, frequency/availability of pump out service, power, water, internet, cable TV, showers, etc. Many Marathon motels have slips, some have minimum depth others do not. You might be best off booking with Burdines and planning to find something cheaper in a few months.

The idea of finding local jobs is another story. Jobs are hard to find and decent paying jobs far harder. Unless you have some highly marketable skills you may have a major problem. For service jobs the more expensive, more touristy areas will have the best availability.
Good luck as you develop your plans.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:18   #7
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

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The idea of finding local jobs is another story. Jobs are hard to find and decent paying jobs far harder. Unless you have some highly marketable skills you may have a major problem. For service jobs the more expensive, more touristy areas will have the best availability.
Good luck as you develop your plans.
^^^^^^^ WHAT HE SAID ^^^^^^^

You've already received excellent advice on where to tie-up.

However, you may want to seriously consider scouting Marathon (or wherever in the Keys you are looking at) for work opportunities BEFORE you pull the trigger on buying your liveaboard and moving down, cold-calling for work.

First, the Keys aren't cheap, for anything except sunshine. Second, I will venture a wild guess that your hubby has a 6-Pack license.

There are tons of guys (and several gals) who have 6-Packs and are perpetually looking for work. Third, if hubby is looking to captain a sportfishing charter, he had best have a proven track-record of putting fish in the boat. Otherwise, the best he'll find is maybe a low-paying Mate's job. Its purely an employers market in the Keys for 99.9% of the jobs, and the wages are generally, well putting it nicely, pretty poor. And, little or no bene's.

Not trying to throw ice-water on your dream, but do your due-diligence well before you put your plan in motion. That nest-egg can vaporize in a short period of time.
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Old 05-11-2016, 11:44   #8
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

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Burdines Marina ...not cheap but decent...
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Old 05-11-2016, 14:17   #9
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

If you're gonna have to find work you might want to consider Fort Meyers, Sarasota, Tampa, St Petersburg, Miami, Fort Lauderdale .....
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Old 05-11-2016, 15:11   #10
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

www.ActiveCaptain.com is a resource to check out. For what you're looking at, as well as many other things.
In terms of slips, as has been mentioned, draft is a big consideration. Ditto on deep water channels. And what's your plan for hurricane/storm season? That needs figuring out as well.
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Old 05-11-2016, 15:25   #11
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

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If you're gonna have to find work you might want to consider Fort Meyers, Sarasota, Tampa, St Petersburg, Miami, Fort Lauderdale .....
You make a good point about work. It would seem the food or bar service business and housekeeping may be the biggest industry on Key West. A commercial shrimper or crabber might find a job.
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Old 05-11-2016, 19:23   #12
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Sent you a pm
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Old 05-11-2016, 19:40   #13
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

Thank you! Looking forward to the wealth of knowledge here!
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Old 05-11-2016, 19:42   #14
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

We currently live in st pete and work here is hard to find. We are both hard workers so I think we'll find something. Thank you for all the advice. I think we are going to stay at the mangrove marina for a month or so. Husband wants to ease me into living in boat before we take a mooring.
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Old 05-11-2016, 20:26   #15
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Re: Liveaboard marinas in the Florida keys

You say your husband had a captains license so folks are assuming that's his line of work. If it is then I can somewhat agree with all the negative comments regarding work. There are a ton of captains down here. However as a former employer in the Keys who placed adds all over the country to locate and import skilled trades people. Starting salarys were between 60k and 80k and that was over 10 years ago. Management level compensation was over 100k. This was usually a fair amount above what they were making elsewhere.
Of course that was still not enough when you factored in the cost of housing. But if you come here with a skill and are reliable you will do fine as you solve the housing problem by living aboard.


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