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Old 12-11-2014, 08:35   #1
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Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

We are in Naples, FL and want to get over to Marathon, FL - we have heard about channels that cut across but are unfamiliar with them. Any Advise about crossing without going to Key West? We draw 5'5" and we hear it is kinda shallow cutting across - anybody done it? We would like to leave next week (November 17th or so)....
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:29   #2
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

I've done that run several times. You can make it no problem. There are a lot of crab pots, so keep a careful watch so you don't end up with one wrapped around the prop.

Little Shark River is a nice spot to pull in for the night.

Cross the Florida Bay aiming for G15 north of Marathon, and go between G15 and R16. From there aim for the gap between G12 and R13. Once thru the gap, proceed to G9 and R10 and proceed straight to the 7 Mile Bridge gap.

If you have a chartplotter, should be pretty straightforward. I'm sure others have suggestions also...Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:42   #3
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

No problem like Bob says, unless you can't clear the 7-Mile bridge (65').

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Old 12-11-2014, 10:06   #4
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

Thanks for the Information. How about the 5 mile bridge cut to Key Largo, have you done that one? I hear it is even more shallow.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:52   #5
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

If you are thinking about using the ICW on the Florida Bay side, probably not a good idea. Waterway Guide says 4 1/2 foot depths. Also, with north winds associated with cold fronts, you'd be better off on the other side anyway. Go under the 7 mile bridge to get to Marathon, and follow the Hawk Channel if you want to make Key Largo.

Have a nice trip. Wish we were there, instead of freezing in Texas!

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Old 12-11-2014, 10:58   #6
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

I am so glad we are here instead of Texas. We almost froze to death last winter there as liveaboards. Thanks for the info on the ICW.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:15   #7
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

I see that you made it through the locks in New Orleans. Did you leave from Texas? Do you have a blog?

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Old 12-11-2014, 20:02   #8
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

Yes we have a blog - type in SV Kooky Dance in google and look for it. It is a blogspot blog.

My husband wrote a few good posts about the locks and our passages.
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Old 13-11-2014, 09:20   #9
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

Several times I've done this run. Always left from Ft. Meyers Beach. Made Factory Bay at Marco Island the first stop. Little Shark River the second night and in Boot Key Harbor in Marathon the third day. I had a 5' draft and no problems. You do need to watch for crab pots as mentioned. Once at 7 mile bridge you're there. Easy and fun trip.
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Old 13-11-2014, 10:36   #10
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by NautiNurse63 View Post
Yes we have a blog - type in SV Kooky Dance in google and look for it. It is a blogspot blog.

My husband wrote a few good posts about the locks and our passages.
I found it, and am now caught up. You guys have fun.

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Old 13-11-2014, 16:44   #11
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

Easy peasy, Marco has good anchorages at Factory Bay and Smokehouse Bay a good next stop is Little Shark River as mentioned. However, a stop at Little Shark is best done about a half mile off. Any closer and you will need a transfusion - the bugs will eat you. After Little Shark head for Red Bay Bank North of the 7 Mile Bridge. Once through the bridge make a left to the Boot Key entrance. Call the Marathon City Marina on 16 for a mooring ball. We bus it from Marathon to Key West, so much easier.

If you want to head up the Keys from Little Shark for Channel 5 you may use the Yacht Channel route. It is skinny but well marked.

READ YOUR CHARTS. There are a bunch of folks who do this. Send me a message if you want to discuss it.
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Old 13-11-2014, 17:13   #12
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

We do the Yacht channel and channel five with a 6' 8" draft but only at high tides. The run to Marathon is no problem any tide except for lots of lobster and stone crab pots for the last 40 miles. A surprisng amount of boaters incorrectly read the markers at Yacht channel. Take a good look on the chart to identify the correct side the red and green go on before you approach the area. It's an easy short cut instead of going to Marathon.
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Old 14-11-2014, 05:33   #13
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Re: Naples, FL to Marathon, FL - Advise Wanted

You should have no problem making that passage with 5'5" of draft. We have 5'2" and have done it many times, and never seen anything of threat to our keel. Of course, as you approach Marathon (and there are several routes to follow depending on how much westerly you go from FL) into Marathon and under the Seven Mile Bridge, you will need to watch he depths. Make sure to follow the channel markers carefully. And, keep a sharp eye out for crabpots, all the way, including in those final channel approaches. If you want to stop en route, in addition to Little Shark, you might consider Panther Island (but it is north of the crossing over Romano Shoals (and make sure to give them a wide berth) or Indian Key, which has a shallowish bar over the access to the anchorage N of Indian. Enter and depart on a rising tide, and pick your conditions; open to the West.
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