Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-10-2015, 09:32   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Long Beach MS
Boat: 1977 New Bombay Trading Co. Pilot 31'
Posts: 68
Images: 4
Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

My wife and I are expecting to take the boat to the keys in the next year for a semi permanent "base of operations". We are making trips from now until then getting the feel for different places, liveaboard options, etc. We have decided that we would like to be Marathon or lower Keys. Some of hte options we are looking at include:

Anchorage somewhere, moving from time to time
Pros- cost, privacy, ???
Cons- dinghy access to land, isolation, must be self sufficient???

Boot Key Harbor Mooring ball
Pros- relatively low cost, good cruiser crowd, protected harbor, close to shop and bars, etc,
Cons-- Have to dinghy back and forth to boat, less privacy than anchored, No 110V so have to have good means of charging 12v system (working on that)

Marinas in Marathon
Pros--Convenient,
Cons--Cost, Crowded

Stock Island Marinas--
Pros--close to Key West for night life, convenient
Cons--Stock Island, cost

Key West Marinas
Pros--Key West
Cons-- Key West, cost

Renting a private slip from someone
Pros--Usually less cost than marina from what I have seen, somewhat more privacy
Cons--Usually not "in the center of things" activity wise

So for all you folks in the keys, comments? corrections? Additions? Subtractions? Suggestions?

The one good thing about a boat if we choose one place and dont like it we just move to somewhere else! Love that!
__________________

__________________
SebastianB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 20:29   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

One subject you haven't touched on is sewage disposal. It can be quite handy in the keys to be in a mooring field with a pumpout boat, or a marina with pumpout facilities.
Most private docks will not have a pumpout, for that matter many private docks do not allow live aboards.
The keys tend to be rather rigorous about such things.
__________________

__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2015, 22:22   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Boat: Custom 30
Posts: 154
Images: 9
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Pumpout is available at anchor throughout most of Monroe County.

Pumpout Florida Keys

I recommend you call rather than use the on-line form. You call and give a little info, the pumpout boat comes to you once a week, and the cost is covered under your requirement to register your boat in Florida. You don't have to be at the boat each time once the Captain knows where your deck fitting is. When you move, notify them, and they'll come to your new anchorage.

They will even give you a sticker, which is supposed to keep the horde of water cops from hassling you over waste.

They also hit some small marinas and private docks.

Nice people tip the Captain, as he has... well...you know what kind of job!




'
__________________
Custom30 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 06:52   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Custom 30 -
I certainly didn't know that! Things have changed.
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 07:23   #5
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom30 View Post
Pumpout is available at anchor throughout most of Monroe County.

Pumpout Florida Keys

I recommend you call rather than use the on-line form. You call and give a little info, the pumpout boat comes to you once a week, and the cost is covered under your requirement to register your boat in Florida. You don't have to be at the boat each time once the Captain knows where your deck fitting is. When you move, notify them, and they'll come to your new anchorage.

They will even give you a sticker, which is supposed to keep the horde of water cops from hassling you over waste.

They also hit some small marinas and private docks.

Nice people tip the Captain, as he has... well...you know what kind of job!

'
Spectacular!
I hope the granting/funding keeps these guys in the profit region...
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 09:02   #6
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

The pump out boat in Monroe County is in danger of being defunded so it may go away or the cost will be high outside places like Marathon. The Keys are very, very anchor out unfriendly. IN most cases you will not have shore access for any length of time. There are a few exceptions, like some areas of Boot Key Harbor and Key West. The Key West anchorages are crowded and not great holding. Private docks on canals are by law not allowed liveaboards. Do your research and you will find the costs for marinas and moorings to be much more expensive than most other places. We were based out of the Keys for over ten years. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 09:18   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Long Beach MS
Boat: 1977 New Bombay Trading Co. Pilot 31'
Posts: 68
Images: 4
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

I have researched the costs, I understand they are higher than many other places but thats not really an issue. What I was looking for was opinions from those who have lived in the Keys aboard as far as preference, what they liked, what they didnt, etc. As far as "Private Slip" I was thinking more like renting a privately owned slip like at Coco Plum or Bonefish Marina, etc which do allow liveaboard. I am not asking people to talk me out of moving to the keys as the decision is made. I am asking for experiences, compare contrast different options. I understand the downsides of the Keys in general. As far as costs go, its not one of the deciding factors as I have a decent paying career that I will be commuting to every month as my wife stays with the boat. But of course I always wnat the most "bang for my buck". I really want personal anecdotes, views, etc from those in the Keys. Thigns like "we experienced xxxxx" when living here and xxxxx when here. I am not trying to be rude but stuff like "the keys are anchor unfriendly" or "you have to get pump out" is not needed. I know that stuff already.
__________________
SebastianB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 09:31   #8
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Sebastion, I managed the marina at Bonefish for 3 years. It is a good option, they are condo slips rented by the owners. But you are WAY out of town and will need transportation to get anywhere. Marie's is even farther and more remote. Most all of the marinas fill up quickly after January 1 and many snowbirds reserve their slips a year in advance to be sure they have one the next time. We preferred Marathon to Key West but we are not you. If you want the party atmosphere and touristy locale, you can't beat Key West. Your needs and preferences are going to be different than ours. I also was the Dockmaster at Faro Blanco and Sombero Lighthouse Resort. Faro Blanco oceanside is closed but bayside re-opened and is now a first class marina, at first class prices. It is very exposed to winter weather. Any marina in Boot Key Harbor will offer the best protection in the Keys for the winter months. Anywhere in the Keys is wide open during hurricane season. Offhand, I don't know what the draft is for your boat. Marinas in the upper Keys will be a problem for most drafts. One option is Pilot House in Key Largo, if they have space. It is right in the heart of things. But available space is going to be an issue most everywhere during the winter. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 09:47   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Long Beach MS
Boat: 1977 New Bombay Trading Co. Pilot 31'
Posts: 68
Images: 4
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Thanks, Man! Thats definitely the typ info that I am seeking! More than likely we will be making the move in the off Season, May maybe (yeah just in time for hurricanes, but we are in coastal Mississippi, so not much better anyway) so hopefully will have more choices than if we went in the high season. We will have a vehicle so that is another concern also--parking. Although we have a close friend on Duck Key who said we could park our car at his place but wouldnt serve much purpose unless we stayed at Hawks Cay which is just a little too pricey for any long term stays. We are gonna do some investigation next week when we go for our next visit. We really are down to deciding either Mooring Ball in Marathon or Marina either there or Stock Island unless we run into a slip at Bonefish or CocoPlum or similar. Our boat is a shoal draft at 3'6" so we can go most places. I like the idea of Mooring, wife likes idea of marina, lol.
__________________
SebastianB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 10:52   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SW Florida
Boat: Grand Banks 49
Posts: 449
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SebastianB View Post
Thanks, Man! Thats definitely the typ info that I am seeking! More than likely we will be making the move in the off Season, May maybe (yeah just in time for hurricanes, but we are in coastal Mississippi, so not much better anyway) so hopefully will have more choices than if we went in the high season. We will have a vehicle so that is another concern also--parking. Although we have a close friend on Duck Key who said we could park our car at his place but wouldnt serve much purpose unless we stayed at Hawks Cay which is just a little too pricey for any long term stays. We are gonna do some investigation next week when we go for our next visit. We really are down to deciding either Mooring Ball in Marathon or Marina either there or Stock Island unless we run into a slip at Bonefish or CocoPlum or similar. Our boat is a shoal draft at 3'6" so we can go most places. I like the idea of Mooring, wife likes idea of marina, lol.
===

I'd recommend dockage at a marina if you're wife is going to be alone on the boat for any length of time. It's important to keep her happy with the whole living arrangement and dock side is much more convenient. She'll also enjoy the opportunity to kibitz with other women.
__________________
wayne.b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 11:01   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: fl- various marinas
Boat: morgan O/I 33' sloop
Posts: 1,102
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

I've lived aboard in Marathon for some years. You probably need to put more weight on shore power, hot showers for the wife and regular pump out service as important. There are a number of quality marina choices at about 800/mo for up to 40' . I looked at slips in the public Boot Key Marina and chose Burdines instead. the marinas are never crowded but they do tend to fill up in season so making reservations is critical. Marathon is much more laid back then Key West- less touristy, few great restaurants, no crowds but reasonable retail outlets. There are lots of less urban marinas on the other keys if more quiet is what you want. I hope you find what you are looking for.
__________________
Dave22q is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 15:37   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Oriental, NC
Boat: '83 Bayfield 40 Ketch
Posts: 3
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Seb,
I only have one winter in the Keys under my belt, but your list of options does not seem to contain a very good option!
I suggest you try Garrison Bight's mooring field. ~180 mooring balls with screw type anchors on the balls, that are checked regularly. It is managed by the city of Key West. First come, first serve, but last Winter it was never more than half full. Pump out boat comes out each week (Wednesday?), and it is free, though a small tip is a nice touch.
Fairly large dinghy dock in the inner harbor, with shower facilities. Depending on weather, and wind direction, your dinghy ride can be wet, but that applies to most anchorage situations as well. If you pay a little extra, you can but a dinghy pass for the "downtown" dinghy dock, otherwise you are a 20 minute walk, or a short bike ride from Duval St. With my small portable generator, and wind solar, I was able to maintain battery levels with a short run of the gen every other day.
Last winter's rate was ~$325/month, which sure beat marina fees.
Hope this helps!
Cap'n Dan
__________________
DJBolder1948 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2015, 17:43   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Boat: Gemini, 1993 #379 34' Shearwater
Posts: 267
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Marathon Boot Key is better for boatig life. Yoga, pot lucks, clubs and lots of support for boaters. Summer brings very inexpensive slips with power air conditioning and swimming pools.

Boot key needs a reliable dinghy to get to shore.

Bonefish is clean but VERY isolated

If you can dinghy, i think you will like thd Marathon community.
__________________
captstu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2015, 05:26   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,596
Images: 240
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Cap'n Dan.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2015, 06:52   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Rockland Harbor, ME
Boat: Triangle 32, center-cockpit ketch
Posts: 40
Re: Live-aboard Options Florida Keys

On a similar topic - is there a requirement to register a non-Florida boat (registered in another state and Documented with the USCG) if you're planning to be in FL for a longish cruise (7-8 months)?
__________________

__________________
kjdavie01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
florida, florida keys

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Live-aboard or Survive-aboard zeta Liveaboard's Forum 77 11-08-2016 10:40
Giving up the ranch in Colorado and moving to a live aboard sailboat in the Keys sillybilly Liveaboard's Forum 188 23-10-2014 06:40
Anyone out there Need a Live Aboard Occupant or Helper in the Caribbean or Keys? STJ00830 Liveaboard's Forum 4 30-08-2014 05:12
Options for Learning the Live Aboard Ropes sengsational Meets & Greets 18 01-10-2013 18:50



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.