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Old 09-12-2010, 12:07   #1
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Florida Fears

The more I read and hear the more I fear... Holy CRAP the things about Florida! I was thinking about spending the Winter in South FLorida in 2111 living aboard but it all sounds pretty whacked out!

The last time I was in Florida waters was 1982-1986 range. There were no issues with anchoring, just plop down the hook wherever it suited you. There was no such thing as a salt-water fishing license which I hear they have now. The Keys were a friendly sort of place. I used to anchor out and dive all up and down the coast from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West. From what I am reading a lot has changed down there and NOT for the better!

Is it possible to just drop the hook and hang out anymore? Can I expect to be harrassed with lots of new rules and regulations that actually amount to coughing up more $ than I originally thought on unforeseen fees that did not exist years ago? Is Florida a nightmare for any cruisers unless you have a wheelbarrow full of cash anymore? I need to read into this more...
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:10   #2
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there are places, depending where you wish to be. west coast of fla is awesome and has all kinds of hidey holes for anchoring,apparently with blessings of folks around. east coast is too full of snowburdees to be useful. too many transients.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:14   #3
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that's planning ahead.............
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:24   #4
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Gavin, The answer to your questions are yes, no and maybe. There are still lost of areas you can spend time and enjoy. There are areas you may or may not be hassled and there are areas you will definitely be hassled. We just received reports that the Sheriff is hassling people in Boca Grande Bayou, stating that the Gaspirilla Inn owns the anchorage and will "soon" be charging people that anchor with trespassing. Miami Beach and Daytona are famous for hassling boaters. There are others. The Keys have reached a point where you will need to stay at an expensive marina or on a mooring or you won't have shore access. Every property owner that see a dinghy heading for shore other than in a marina calls the Sheriff. We were based out of the Keys for ten years, but have moved on. There are still lots of great spots on the west coast with the exception of Naples. There are still many good spots on the east coast. You just have to do your homework. Chuck
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:30   #5
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There is a simple solution, just move around (you are cruising after all), it's only a problem for those that want to be liveaboards on the hook.
Tom
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:37   #6
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yeah--stay away from naples. attitude.
the rest of western fla is awesome and comfy--i have info if ye want it..pm me for it. we found some great and unique spots. great attitudes, friendliness and friends in west fla.
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Old 09-07-2011, 19:29   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Florida Fears

Being liveaboards we chose not to go to the keys. Horror stories from other boats coming back up the west coast of florida made us stay up here. But where to stay? There are some marinas that are not safe, St pete, Cortez . We found a lovely place that just opened, takes liveaboards and does not have a stupid fee for living on our boat. So all that live like we do, try Fishermans wharf in Venice fl. And no bridges to gulf. Floating docks! I am happy to spread the word to others.
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Old 09-07-2011, 19:35   #8
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Re: Florida Fears

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Originally Posted by sailgirlwillis View Post
Being liveaboards we chose not to go to the keys. Horror stories from other boats coming back up the west coast of florida made us stay up here. But where to stay? There are some marinas that are not safe, St pete, Cortez . We found a lovely place that just opened, takes liveaboards and does not have a stupid fee for living on our boat. So all that live like we do, try Fishermans wharf in Venice fl. And no bridges to gulf. Floating docks! I am happy to spread the word to others.
What horror stories about the Keys? Ive visited 4 times but not as a cruiser, the keys are high on our listto spend some time we hope in 2012, what are the bad news stories you have? Is it the price of marinas? e thought there was good anchorage available in much of the Keys?
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Old 09-07-2011, 19:38   #9
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Re: Florida Fears

The west coast of Fl is great for cruising, easy going, few hassles, good people, awesome gunkholes. The panhandle is even nicer as far as the people go. They have this thing called "winter" in the panhandle.
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Old 09-07-2011, 19:59   #10
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Re: Florida Fears

We've been going to the Keys for 20 years and never had a problem anchoring. Even in Marathon were there are 250 mooring balls there is still a few spots to anchor. We have always found a place to land the dinghy with out a problem. The West coast of Florida is great except for Venice where we have been harassed by the FWC a couple of times. No problems for us on the east coast either.
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Old 09-07-2011, 21:38   #11
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Re: Florida Fears

Don't know what hassle in the Keys. You can't get much more laid back than down there. Don't think you can find a cheaper marina than Boot Key. Last I checked $270 per month which incldes dinghy dock, showers, parking, garbage and pump out service at your mooring.

Never have had any problem anchoring anywhere down there, just waych out for coral, big no no...
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Old 09-07-2011, 21:49   #12
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Re: Florida Fears

We have lived and cruised the Keys for 3 years now, and have not had any major issues. We have seen more FWC activity in the keys than western Florida, but no big deal. Go enjoy yourself and stop worrying about what others say.
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Old 09-07-2011, 22:27   #13
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Re: Florida Fears

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We have lived and cruised the Keys for 3 years now, and have not had any major issues. We have seen more FWC activity in the keys than western Florida, but no big deal. Go enjoy yourself and stop worrying about what others say.
Excellent post.

Yes, do ignore the whiners and complainers. It is amazing to me, reading the negativity and complete BS that comes down from the same people over the years... one who posted in this thread ranted against Florida for two years straight... I wondered why he stopped, and found it was because he had settled down in FL...

DO your homework, and be considerate. Nothing to fear, and some really great places to see and sail.

Enjoy! and never let the 'neysayers' hold you back.


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Old 09-07-2011, 22:40   #14
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Re: Florida Fears

You do need to remember one very important thing. Some people are unhappy no matter where they are...
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:11   #15
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Re: Florida Fears

The only place we had an issue from Jax to the Keys. Was in South Beach between Star, Palm, and Hibiscus. We were told we had a week, but with a smile it could be extended. Waiting for family to fly in, being ill, work on the boat, and a few other excuses. This was in 2008, and we used the spot for 4 years as a hub with no interference. There are some wealthy butt heads that think they own the water too, but go, and enjoy Florida. Last year we passed through the same anchorage, and we weren't even approached.............i2f
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