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Old 14-07-2017, 03:47   #1
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Catamaran parking in southern Florida

We are moving to Florida for work in the Ft. Lauderdale and Miami area.
We have a cat in mind- pending survey- and should take ownership within 60 days.

So- next step is finding a place to slip it and live aboard. Did i mention we have 2 dogs. Each over 60lbs. So pet friendly is a must

If anyone has any tips or hints- we would greatly appreciate the help.

Rich and Crystal
(and Moose and Chivo)
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Old 14-07-2017, 04:01   #2
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

What's your beam and required vertical clearance? There are some places up the New River, but beyond the 55' fixed bridges of I-95. Have you looked at the online dock listing? 'google Ft. Lauderdale docks. Also, look at the choices up the Dania Cut-off Canal.
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Old 14-07-2017, 05:02   #3
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

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What's your beam and required vertical clearance? There are some places up the New River, but beyond the 55' fixed bridges of I-95. Have you looked at the online dock listing? 'google Ft. Lauderdale docks. Also, look at the choices up the Dania Cut-off Canal.
Not many live-aboard docks up the New River.
The exception would be LMC, (Lauderdale Marine Center) a working boat yard catering to mega yachts but a with a few sail boats now and then.
Marina Bay may have some slips, but not sure about max beam, perhaps in the low 20s.
Bahiamar Marina is a liveaboard marina, but never seen dogs there, fairly pricey..

Most liveaboard slips are on the Isle of Venice and Hendricks Isle:
Either drive up and down the street looking for signs, or read the Waterfront News, paper or online. Perhaps Craig's List as well.
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Old 14-07-2017, 11:35   #4
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

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Not many live-aboard docks up the New River.
The exception would be LMC, (Lauderdale Marine Center) a working boat yard catering to mega yachts but a with a few sail boats now and then.
Marina Bay may have some slips, but not sure about max beam, perhaps in the low 20s.
Bahiamar Marina is a liveaboard marina, but never seen dogs there, fairly pricey..

Most liveaboard slips are on the Isle of Venice and Hendricks Isle:
Either drive up and down the street looking for signs, or read the Waterfront News, paper or online. Perhaps Craig's List as well.
I used to squeak under I-95 to spend some time at "Marina Bay" Marina, but that was some years ago. Is that no longer a liveaboard option? I agree with the Nurmi Isles choices. I've also spent some time on Hendricks Isle.
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Old 15-07-2017, 08:54   #5
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Go to "Active Captain", "Crusingguide.com, Marinas.com and get all the information you need. South Florida is the most expensive area to dock, mid state and Western Florida will probably be cheaper and more plentiful for live aboard. You can also try "Craigslist".
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Old 15-07-2017, 09:16   #6
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Bring lots of cash. U gonna need it. Maybe an extra job to pay for dockage fees. You will understand how a ram feels after being fleeced down there. It is surreal.

There are private homes that rent out their dockage. Nothing goes cheaply on the Gold Coast. With your dogs...whew. I love dogs so don't get me wrong.

I am from California. Our real estate is pricey enough. My wife and I found a house that didn't look to fancy. Drove over to the real estate office. By the looks of the house ...one story...brick...built maybe in the 60's by architectural style...we thought 200-300K. When the real estate agent quoted 1.3 million....well....I guess our jaws dropped to our knees. She smiled...that all knowing smile of the jaded....who was looking at a couple of bumpkins from out West. She said, "you didn't know, did you, about Gold Coast real estate?"
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Old 15-07-2017, 09:40   #7
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Prices compared to the Panhandle are insane, I'm in a working yard now with no showers or facilities of any kind, crappy old wooden docks and paying $550 a month, where I lived in a OK Marina in the Panhandle for $350.
However we stopped by Ft Lauderdale to order a custom mattress, cruising by the Mega Yachts etc there, I didn't even call about dockage, figured it had to be $200 a night so we found an anchorage.
Well no wind it was hotter then you know where so I called the city Marina which was closest.
It was $40 a night, really nice marina. I thought they made a mistake so I asked saying I figured it would be $200, Active Capt reviews had said $2.65 a Ft too. They laughed and said those were Winter rates, so maybe if you shop around during off season, you can find something reasonable.
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Old 15-07-2017, 09:41   #8
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Two big dogs AND a wide beam? Before you close you had best be sure of a slip. There is a real chance that it is just not doable within a reasonable commuting range. A mono hull would greatly improve your chances.
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Old 15-07-2017, 09:45   #9
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Catamaran parking in southern Florida

West Palm Beach. About 2k a month or more but you are right down town if you stay at the Palm Harbor Marina. They have a commuter train that takes about 30 minutes to get to Fort Lauderdale and just a bit more to Miami. It's a 5 minute bike ride from the marina to the station. They have parking at the marina if you insist on driving.

The important part is that they are well protected from hurricanes.

The other option is a slip in Coconut Grove, maybe at Dinner Key Marina. Same expensive cost and not as well protected from hurricanes but it's in Miami in a nice area. Parking available but more congested.
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Old 15-07-2017, 11:15   #10
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

West Palm down to Fort Laud or Miami can be a real killer trip. Limited public transit options unless you are on the train stop at both ends. And I95 in that stretch is regularly closed for accidents. When it isn't closed, it can be as bad as Seattle or NYC at their worst.One of the Broward commissioners got real good press this year when they said they were going to make traffic SO bad that the public would have no choice but to pay whatever it took to build a transit system. (Current plans include closing traffic lanes to put up sparsely used bike lanes.) Nice way to get things done, Robert Moses would have approved.
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Old 15-07-2017, 20:01   #11
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Consider renting a house on a canal and putting your cat behind it. You may find that it doesn't cost too much more to have a rental house with your own dock compared to marina dockage around here.

We rent in Lighthouse Point and have our 40 foot Manta cat behind our place. Hoping to retire on the boat at some point.

If you'll be working in Ft. Lauderdale, check out Pompano Beach, Lauderdale by the Sea, and Lighthouse Point. You'll be within 5-15 miles. Likely commute will be reasonable (10-30 minutes).

Good luck!

Jason
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Old 15-07-2017, 22:02   #12
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

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Consider renting a house on a canal and putting your cat behind it. You may find that it doesn't cost too much more to have a rental house with your own dock compared to marina dockage around here.

We rent in Lighthouse Point and have our 40 foot Manta cat behind our place. Hoping to retire on the boat at some point.

If you'll be working in Ft. Lauderdale, check out Pompano Beach, Lauderdale by the Sea, and Lighthouse Point. You'll be within 5-15 miles. Likely commute will be reasonable (10-30 minutes).

Good luck!

Jason
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Good advices on places to look. There are docks on Isle of Venice and Hendricks and the marinas mentioned above.

Where is the CAT you have in mind pending survey? If it's in South Florida I would seek help from the broker in finding dock space. They have a real incentive and should have knowledge.

Someone mentioned Nurmi Isles. While it's legal to do short term rentals and to rent dock space on Hendricks and Isle of Venice, it's not on the other islands, not on Las Olas Isles, not in Seven Isles. Pompano is far easier. What is your beam? Sometimes in 80' canals you can't put the wider beams but in 100' canals you can.
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Old 16-07-2017, 08:21   #13
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

I just closed on a Lagoon 42 two months ago and was lucky that the boat was already situated at a dock in Dania at Harbourtown Marina off the Dania cut.
The fees are really insane as we are paying 1.95 per foot per night for a monthly rental. It is supposed to drop down to 1.00 now during the low season, but if you do the multiplication, it is still a VERY expensive proposition. That does not even include the water and shore power, which is extra.

I have applied for a spot at Dinner Key, but from what I have heard the waiting list can be a year or more. I have not heard anything yet.

I have sailed in the Abaco's and there are some nice places that are significantly less costly, but it's obviously not South Florida.

In calling around, I have spoken to many different yards, and as soon as they hear "catamaran", they dismiss you. One guy told me he would have to give me 3 slips and charge me accordingly because of my beam. Frankly, I would have preferred he just overcharged me and not told me he wanted to charge me for 3 boats.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 16-07-2017, 11:24   #14
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

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I just closed on a Lagoon 42 two months ago and was lucky that the boat was already situated at a dock in Dania at Harbourtown Marina off the Dania cut.
The fees are really insane as we are paying 1.95 per foot per night for a monthly rental. It is supposed to drop down to 1.00 now during the low season, but if you do the multiplication, it is still a VERY expensive proposition. That does not even include the water and shore power, which is extra.

I have applied for a spot at Dinner Key, but from what I have heard the waiting list can be a year or more. I have not heard anything yet.

I have sailed in the Abaco's and there are some nice places that are significantly less costly, but it's obviously not South Florida.

In calling around, I have spoken to many different yards, and as soon as they hear "catamaran", they dismiss you. One guy told me he would have to give me 3 slips and charge me accordingly because of my beam. Frankly, I would have preferred he just overcharged me and not told me he wanted to charge me for 3 boats.
Just my 2 cents.
Harbourtown's rates do come down significantly on annual rates.Just Catamaran's is located there and they should know of other places. Fort Lauderdale, including Dania Beach, is mostly a powerboat area. Marina's like Pier 66 can accommodate catamarans but they would be charged like megayachts.

The OP never told us the beam of his boat. Sometimes a smaller Catamaran can get an end tie or side tie or can rent a slip for a larger boat to get the beam. I'd check out these sites:

docksearch.com
dockandslip.com
thedockage.com
docklocators.com
dockseekers.com

One area that wasn't mentioned but often has docks available is Middle River.
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Old 17-07-2017, 13:46   #15
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Re: Catamaran parking in southern Florida

Thanks for all the useful info everyone. We are buying a lagoon 410 and it is being surveyed in Ft Myers. We have called and spoke with a realtor in the pompano beach area about trying to find a home on a canal near lighthouse point. Second option in that area would be to rent someone's dock and rent a cheaper home that is 10 to 15 min away from the boat. That way we can have a home base close to the boat, a place to keep our stuff and still be able to take off relatively quickly.
Another idea is to slip the boat in the Ft Myers area and drive over to the gulf coast on the weekends to start. I do like the gulf coast a lot.
Any and all info is greatly appreciated.
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