Last Fall I checked out liveaboard
facilities all through the Keys and found this. Unless you have shallow draft
of five feet or less you will want to stay on the Atlantic side of the Keys. The Gulf side is very shallow and we tend to get a lot of northerly's which is usually cold air and it blows the seagrass in to the harbors which really stinks. From Key Largo
to Key West marinas
are fairly sparse. Key West Marinas were very expensive so I ruled them out. I ended up staying at Burdines Marina in Marathon for the Winter. $700.00 per month with great laundry
facilities. Very well protected and a great staff. Downsides? Burdines consists of one long row of slips. On the opposite side is Panchos. I'm not a snob but their customers were typically trailer trash. Sitting in my cockpit
every morning for coffee the guy across the slips at Panchos would dump his bucket of urine in the harbor. Then there were the half brain dead fisherman who get in to very loud verbal arguments every other day and there is the fish
processing which didn't bother me.
Other options in Marathon are the City Marina which has limited docking
facilities. If I remember correctly they were about $900.00 per month. Most of the staff was great but a few who were jerks. You also have to contend with five hundred dinghys going by your boat a day.
Next there is Docksides at Sombrero. Nice slips but very close to the road. They have terrible laundry
facilities. The bar "Dockside" is fun and most of Marathon's crusty sailors hang there. Live music
on the weekends. Walking distance to shopping
which is a real plus. Very well protected.
Then there is Sombrero Resort which is next door. They usually sell out quickly for the season. This is kind of like a big three story resort and you will have guests looking down at you all the time. Personally I like privacy and you won't get a whole lot there.
This year I'll be staying at Marathon Marina and Boatyard. Most slips offer a fantastic view of the Atlantic and Seven mile bridge. With this comes the drawback of the occasional west winds which can make it bumpy and I would not want to leave my boat unattended for long periods. It's quiet, reasonable $800.00 per month, excellent restaurant (Lazydays), decent shower and laundry facilities, best access to go for a sail or fishing
. This year there will be a new swimming pool too!
Most of the marinas offer two parking spaces for autos, utilities are usually included (dockside requires you have the electric
meter in your name), water, cable tv, wifi
and a weekly pumpout.
I found Marathon to be the furthest south in the Keys with reasonable prices. Lot's of good restaurants and decent shopping
. There is also the Fishermans Hospital.
Good Luck and happy marina hunting. I hope this helps!