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Old 08-02-2019, 10:48   #1
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Boat: hunter 27, hunter 41
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South West Florida

Ahoy all
We are soon heading down the Florida coast, departing Pensacola, then Apalachicola, then overnight around Big Bend. I need suggestions on layovers on our way to Marathon. We prefer to stay at marinas, stops of 2-4 days each and don't want to go any further inland than necessary as our rumble line will average 8-12 miles offshore. Tarpon Springs in the north to Marco Island in the south I would like 3-4 layovers. After Marco then to Marathon, then Key West. I am sure many skippered out there that know this coastline well. Mid March departure.
Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 08-02-2019, 17:00   #2
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Re: South West Florida

What are you sailing? Your Hunter 41? Draft?

Tarpon Springs as you mention, is a nice stop, a scenic trip up the river to marinas. Good anchorage for most condition behind Anclote Key, if you choose.

Tarpon Springs to Bradenton can be done in a day. There are 2 good marinas to choose from there (Regatta Point & Twin Dolphin) up the Manatee River. Pay close attention to marks/channel on the way into the Manatee River.

Pine Island Sound is a beautiful area, but Ive never used a marina in the area (too many pretty places to anchor).

Ft Myers beach is a pleasant stop. Ive usually docked at Moss Marina there.



more later.....
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Old 16-02-2019, 16:47   #3
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Re: South West Florida

belizesalor, yes we will be on our H41, 5' draft. We enjoy marinas and the dining, exploring of the towns. Remote sand beaches are great and we will certainly have a few of them.
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Old 17-02-2019, 03:03   #4
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Re: South West Florida

The phrase "Marinas & Dinning" makes me think instantly of Crows Nest in Venice. Little pocket marina with a great pub & resturant.

There are many resturants along the ICW with docks, not all allow overnights, but some do.

Both Twin Dolphin and Regatta Point on the Manatee River have resturants and others within walking distance.

Further inland up Tampa Bay any of the marinas are within walking distance to decent resturants. The Vinoy marina is especially nice and you get access to the amenities of the hotel.

Tarpon Springs has great Greek food, an artifact from its Greek immigrant past. I used to keep my boat there. One trick I learned to beat the tourist crowds is that a number of the resturants do take out. So, I would call in a take out order, then zip over in my dink to pick it up from the back. Yum.

Clearwater municipal marina is right on the tourist strip with access to lots of resturants.

Cabagge Key is a cool place to drop in for dinner. Dont go for lunch, they just churn out junk for tourists then. Its a whole different vibe and way better food at night. They used to have a few ricketty slips.

You can cover a lot of SW FL with 5' draft, but there are many places where you will have to stay in the marked channels.

Note: its been a long time since I lived in SW FL so best to confirm with the marinas/resturants above.
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Old 17-02-2019, 08:54   #5
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Re: South West Florida

South Seas on Captiva is a world-class marina and resort with great dining choices and a trolley into the little town. You get use of the entire resort with your marina fee. Weve loved it for years. Will cost you $135/night and totally worth it if you enjoy marinas. Very easy access to deepwater Red Fish pass. No draft worries here.

Pink Shell Marina is a great choice in Ft. Myers beach. Also a great resort and very nice marina staff. Dockmaster Dave is excellent.
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Old 21-02-2019, 10:07   #6
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Re: South West Florida

Thanks skippers, very helpful.
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