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Old 31-08-2016, 14:22   #1
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Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Just looking for some general or specific feedback from cruisers who have spent time at boot key marina in marathon. We are looking for a place in the keys to live and get some boat work done (doesn't look like they have haul out ability but is there somewhere close by if we need some time out of the water?) next summer and from what I can gather this seems like a great spot. We have a couple kids and a dog and the conveniences near by seem great for getting stuff done. Plus the cost for mooring balls and even dock space seem pretty reasonable. Open to any other suggestions in the keys as well. We lived in KW for a few years back in the mid 2000's so we are familiar with the area, weather, etc....

Any insight is appreciated. Thank you.


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Old 31-08-2016, 14:27   #2
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

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Originally Posted by nicolettejo View Post
Just looking for some general or specific feedback from cruisers who have spent time at boot key marina in marathon. We are looking for a place in the keys to live and get some boat work done (doesn't look like they have haul out ability but is there somewhere close by if we need some time out of the water?) next summer and from what I can gather this seems like a great spot. We have a couple kids and a dog and the conveniences near by seem great for getting stuff done. Plus the cost for mooring balls and even dock space seem pretty reasonable. Open to any other suggestions in the keys as well. We lived in KW for a few years back in the mid 2000's so we are familiar with the area, weather, etc....

Any insight is appreciated. Thank you.


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I've spent a few months there back in 2013. It's pretty fun there I thought. You can haul out at Marathon Marina (not the city marina). It's the first marina to port as you come in the channel.

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Old 31-08-2016, 14:32   #3
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

I was in Marathon Marina for a week or so last year. It was a nice place, though not cheap. Seemed to have quite a bit of room to haul out. I found good diesel mechanics around there and would imagine there are other boat type trades available.
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Old 31-08-2016, 15:21   #4
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

We stayed there for four weeks last year. And a couple of days the year before. Great place, friendly people, walking distance to restruants and with bicycles you can get anyplace on the island. They have places to lock your bikes up, good showers, water, laundry, a place to dump oil and filters, computer area, outside lounging and gathering areas. You can dinghy to Sombrero beach. No complaints.
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Old 31-08-2016, 16:16   #5
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Summer is an issue there. The water temp in the harbor can be 90 or more which means that is what your cabin temp will be at 2 in the morning without air conditioning.
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Old 31-08-2016, 16:29   #6
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Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Boot Key mooring field and Marina is great for fall, winter and spring. Need AC for summer as stated. Lots of expertise and boat related repair places in Marathon. The community caters to the cruising community. Lots of provisioning close to the harbor and also restaurants and bars. We love the area.


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Old 31-08-2016, 18:59   #7
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

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Originally Posted by nicolettejo View Post
Just looking for some general or specific feedback from cruisers who have spent time at boot key marina in marathon. -----
Technically Boot Key Marina doesn't exist anymore. It was succeeded many years ago by Faro Blanco Oceanside Marina, which itself doesn't exist any more.
There are:
15th Street Marina
Marathon Marina & Boat Yard
Marathon City Marina (sometimes referred to as Boot Key Harbor Marina).
I believe there is also a marina in Key Colony Beach but I disremember the name.
There used to be a boatyard on the north side called Keys Boat Works (I think), but I'm not sure if they're still extant.
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Old 31-08-2016, 19:47   #8
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

There is a facebook group with lots of members who live, or have lived, in BKH. While most folks have a favorable opinion there are some who have had issues. Also doing a search at CF will turn up lots of threads about the pros and cons of the place. There have been several threads about law suits against local businesses who fix boats. Also threads about folks who do a good job. Plenty of haul out places in the area; not to mention places close by in the Keys.

A common opinion is the location is the best feature. While there is a TV room, wifi room, work area, and showers none of these facilities are up to the standards of similar marinas in Florida. To a great extent this does not really matter in season as the weather is wonderful. The result is in season there is often a waiting list and things get crowded. On the other hand out of season the place is often only 1/3 full and it can be hotter than many folks are use to. But plenty of folks live there with no AC. It is also common for folks in the off season to get a slip or seawall with an electric hookup to put a window shaker in a hatch as the prices drop.

Bottom line is BKH, and the Florida, Keys included, is a completely different place in season than out of season.

YMMV
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Old 31-08-2016, 21:57   #9
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Great info. Thanks everyone. Any info on other marinas in the keys with similar dockage/slip rates in the summer ($15/ft/month) since shore power for AC seems like a must. Or would one assume getting dockage there in the summer would not be extremely difficult? Seems to be a little limited but don't mind the price tag for a few months. Thanks again


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Old 01-09-2016, 09:07   #10
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Marithion city Marina is a good place to go with the family if you want to be single. Surviving in the summertime without air-conditioning is only for the very hearty. The good news is it's never crowded and there's no waiting list to get a Mooring ball.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:19   #11
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

If you can get a slip at Pancho's.... it would be good for doing any kind of work while at dock... a blue collar marina but good for working on a boat without disturbing your neighbors .... next choice Burdines marina....
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:40   #12
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Where is Panchos and Burdines?
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:56   #13
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

When you pull into the main channel between Boot's Key and Marathon or Vaca Key.... you will see Marathon (Lazy Days Marina on your left.... next you will see a Marina that sells gas... That is Pancho's Marina.... a working class marina.... next is Burdine's Marina and Restaurant with gas facilities as well and a well-liked restaurant/marina office at the end with a Tiki Hut roof. Pull in to Pancho's first if you are going to use grinders, paint etc. Burdines is more upscale.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:59   #14
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

Pancho's and Burdines are closer to the Boot Key entrance then the City Marina. Pancho's is cheaper and the neighbors and amenities reflect that.
City is priced low but dock space is hard to come by. You can reserve well min advance at Burdines. Not sure about the others.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:01   #15
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Re: Boot key marina in marathon, fl keys

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Originally Posted by nicolettejo View Post
Great info. Thanks everyone. Any info on other marinas in the keys with similar dockage/slip rates in the summer ($15/ft/month) since shore power for AC seems like a must. Or would one assume getting dockage there in the summer would not be extremely difficult? Seems to be a little limited but don't mind the price tag for a few months. Thanks again


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The city marina has plenty of balls in the summer but year round the wall is usually full; there are no slips. Many of the boats on the wall at the city marina have been caught in the infamous BKH vortex, and never leave. There are several other places to get a wall, dock, or slip. As a rule the place with the most empty space will lower their prices to attract customers, so the best deal changes from time to time. Often the Gulf side has more empty space (and places to haul out cheaper) than the ocean side.

If you look at the google map it becomes obvious why BKH is such an attraction; it is protected 360 degrees. There are also some canals that lead out from it to even more protected docks. Not only is BKH well protected it has easy access to the open ocean maybe taking 10-15 minutes to get cruising.
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