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Old 25-11-2010, 06:43   #1
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6' Draft in the Keys

almost to the keys. i'm looking for some info about cuts and anchorage. looking to work a littel before heading west. islamorada, key west any help would be of great thanks?
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Old 25-11-2010, 07:02   #2
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Active captain for navigation and anchorage info. Craigslist for work
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Old 25-11-2010, 07:09   #3
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N27.37.59, W80.35.80 in Islamorada is a dandy place to anchor and ride a storm, great swimming and clear clean water. (I'm there now) but the channel entrance from the Atlantic side is a bit tricky, it shoals to about 5' at low tide before you make the channel entrance. The best way is to stay about 1/2 mile off shore, align the flashing red light with the center of the bascule bridge then turn to 330 and stay in the channel, it's narrow and a monster current.

6' seems pretty deep to be mucking about in Florida Bay side of the keys, pretty shallow out there, the birds wade from key to key without getting wet.

Key West has crappy holding, strong current and is kind of obnoxious (my opinio, some folks love the area). The most popular anchorage is near N24.34.17 W81.41.81 which is about .75NM to Key West Bight dinghy dock ($80 month, $6 a day), there is a "free wall" of sailor exchange (books, old gear, clothes). The holding there is crappy too, rumors of boat trash piracy abound. I anchored at N24.34.034, W81.48.210 and paddled 1.4 NM to the free beach at Simonton St.

Chain, lock, nail down, anything you don't want to loose.

Marathon has a very well protected harbor located at N24.42.22, W81.06.19. There are pay to use mooring balls, a city marina that has showers and laundry ($13 for day use I think), fuel, ice, groceries in walking distance. The channel entrance is at N24.41.973, W81.07.204, the shoal from Boot Key has a shoal that extends out into the bay a good way (I hit it in the dark and I'm only 3' draft), I recommend approaching the channel entrance from no less than 350 degrees 1/2 mile offshore
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Old 25-11-2010, 07:13   #4
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6 foot draft isn't too much of a hindrance on the ocean side, the bayside gets a little dicey in some places. There are several 65' bridges to cross from one side to the other. As to the best places to anchor if you are going to have a job..... Marathon@ Boot Key Harbor, and Key West. There are several more, but for shelter, shore-side services, and employers, those two are the best.
If you need any detailed info, let me know; I know the area well
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Old 25-11-2010, 08:04   #5
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We were based out of the Keys for ten years with Sea Trek and a 6 foot draft. There are lots of options for you. I strongly suggest that you have a current set of paper charts and use them. There is plenty of deep water on oceanside and lots on bayside, but also some very shallow spots on both so know where you are. The charts are pretty accurate and if you run aground in the Keys it can and will cost you thousands of dollars. Running aground on many reefs or sea grass areas will cost you a very expensive removal, the cost to asses the damages you have done to the reef or sea grass, the cost to restore it to the condition it was before you ran aground and the cost to monitor it for years afterwards. Having said that, we love cruising the Keys, but is expensive. Chuck
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Old 25-11-2010, 08:41   #6
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I thought I would share a couple of our posts from our last visit,
http://tinyurl.com/34a76sg
http://tinyurl.com/2cbmd43
Chuck
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