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Old 16-04-2008, 08:27   #1
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Living Aboard in Ft. Myers Area (Sailboat)

I am moving to SW Florida, Ft. Myers area and plan to live on a 45' sailboat that draws 7'. I will need to go ashore three days per week to work in the Port Charlotte area. I am wondering if 1. Is there any place to rent a wet slip or dock in this general area (Ft. Myers, Port Charlotte, Englewood, Marco Island, Cape Coral, etc.) without joining an expensive Marina, and where it is possible to sleep on the boat for three nights per week? I would like the cost of monthly rental of slip or dock to be less than $250 per month. I would also need a place to park a small car. I have found docks for rent but they are typically on canals that are less than 5' deep and are too narrow.
I would appreciate any ideas. Alternatively, if anyone knows of an inexpensive apartment complex (less than 1000 per month) that includes a boat slip/dock for this sized boat, that would also be helpful. Thank you.
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Old 16-04-2008, 09:54   #2
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a 45' slip for less than $250 in southern Floriduh is not very likely. I am not even sure you will find a mooring for that amount. There are moorings for rent at Ft. Meyers Beach but not sure what the monthly costs are.
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Old 16-04-2008, 10:34   #3
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Katie, I've looked at some of those canals, watch for low bridges. as far as the $250 per month, everything I have looked at in that area has been 2-3 times that amount. When I was there I stayed at burnt store marina, very nice but not cheap. There were people living there that did some part time dock boy stuff and got a break on their slip fees, so that might be an idea.

good luck with your search.
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Old 16-04-2008, 13:20   #4
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Katie,
I think you will find the drive from Ft. Myers to Port Charlotte quite long and unpleasant over time.
Punta Gorda now has the new city marina open (managed by Laishley Marine, I think) but I don't know about their "liveaboard" policy...3 nights/week might be OK.
There is also Fishermans Village in P.G. ... not sure about rates.
Call them @ (941) 575-3000.

You might consider the anchorage (or a marina) in Sarasota. Right downtown, convenient and MUCH nicer than Ft. Myers. About the same commuting distance (give or take) but it is pretty much a straight shot down the interstate to Port Charlotte.

Or you might consider even further north @ Anna Maria Island. The Bradenton Beach Marina has liveaboard slips available (not cheap,of course--- 15.50/ft...750/mo. for 45' + elec ($90 - 175) and you might really like it here (kinda like Key West before it got screwed up). Commute time to Port Charlotte... about an hour and a half (interstate).
You could anchor out (the powers that be keep talking about a mooring field but so far it hasn't happened) here and rent a place...about $1000/mo (or less if you look around...we are paying $600 for a nice little eff.)

Don't know what line of work you're in but Sarasota might offer an option...
much nicer that Port C.



Good luck!!

mm
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Old 16-04-2008, 13:33   #5
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anchoring out

thank you for all of the helpful responses so far. where would one "anchor out"? do you mean to row to shore?
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Old 16-04-2008, 13:47   #6
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K,
The anchorage here in B.B. would be a very short row, paddle, motor compared to many situations I've seen. Same for Sarasota... Have you experience w/ boatlife?
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Old 16-04-2008, 13:51   #7
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No experience with living on a boat. I like the idea of this, but where would I be able to keep a car in within walking distance from the place I rowed in from? Thank you!
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Old 16-04-2008, 14:59   #8
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Originally Posted by katiekates View Post
No experience with living on a boat. I like the idea of this, but where would I be able to keep a car in within walking distance from the place I rowed in from? Thank you!
Ahhh... the eternal challenge of the liveaboard!
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Old 16-04-2008, 15:22   #9
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Fisherman's Village Marina

Have a look at Yacht Basin and Marina Located on Florida's West Coat in Punta Gorda . (Click on the "Learn About the Marina" lable for an A/V presentation.) This may be just what you've looking for and its reasonably well sheltered. The price is typical for all of southwest Florida.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 16-04-2008, 15:55   #10
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SW Florida

I have spent considerable time in Ft. Myers, FMB, Cape Coral, and just got back in January from Charlote Harbor and the surrounding area abaord a Tayana Vancouver 42 which drew 6ish.

First, as I have owned a house just off the ICW in Cape Coral, you might be able to get a slip behind a house... but most of the canals are going to restrict you. For example, there is a 55 power line across one of the main canals leading into the cape - about 5 canals up from the river. That likely shuts off most of the cape for you. In addition, the water depth will be a problem for much of it... if you can even get to the canals friom the river. We hung up all the time at 5'4 coming in off the river. The neighbor across the street from us had 6 and could only leave at high. The house I bought was a few canals in from the river and just off the ICW... which is much, much, much better than 99% of the rest of the cape.

You can grab a mooring ball at Fort Myers Beach. We did that for a bit. I too do not know the monthly rates, but I think we paid $16/day in January. That includes pumpouts and laundry facilities. Mantanzass Pass Inn runs the field and not Salty Sams now, unless that has changed since January. You should be able to get in there, but will not have much water under your keel at low. MANY of the moorings will NOT work for you as they are well less than 7. Also, has been mentioned, you have a solid 45 minutes to PC from FMB or the Cape (and maybe much more). That assumes no wrecks and everyone drives nice.

You can anchor out in Port Charolte. We did for a bit - right outside Fisherman's Village. It is a fun little place and lots of LA's there. You might squeeze in there at 7, but may need a high. I know we hung up at 6 on the Tayana just outside of the village. Fisherman's village is nice and I think that is where you would be the most happy. I do not know the rates, but I can almost guarantee it isn't $250/month. 45 foot boat will be almost 4 times that I would guess.

Outside of that, you start running out of options. Anchoring out long term in Port Charlotte would not be wise as you will have to anchor WAY away from shore and you will be very exposed to storms. You cannot go up the river (ICW) because all bridges are 55 starting at the Cape. The cheapest place to get a LA slip is probably Fort Myers Marina (run by the city), but there is a 2-3 year waiting list and 55 bridge... not to mention water. Salty Sams will do Liveabaords as will SNook Bight in FMB, but you are again back up to close to $1,000 and probably a waiting list.

I do not mean to sound like I am giving bad news... but I am giving reality. I lived aboard there for quite some time and know the area well. 7 foot draft around there is almost the kiss of death. I hung up consistently at 5'4 on my 380... often in the middle of the ICW!!! If you have to keep your outgo "close" to $250/month, I reccomend the mooring field at Fort Myers Beach as the closest option. It you can quadruple the money for slip, go to Fisherman's Village - you will be happiest there all around.

- CD

PS I cannot imagine the drive down from Bradenton or Sarasota being any better than coming in from Fort Myers Beach. It seems they have a wreck on that highway every minute of every day. When they do... you cannot hardly even bail except to 41 and that is already a parkinglot.
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Old 17-04-2008, 20:47   #11
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KatieKates:

I’ve been sailing, living, and working in the Fort Myers / Cape Coral area for 17 years (Real Estate & Mortgages). Finding a condo to rent with dock space for less than $1,000 shouldn’t be a problem. Finding one to accommodate your boat will be difficult, but I think it’s possible. I’ll sleep on it and get back to you ASAP.

-Jim
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Old 18-04-2008, 19:01   #12
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KatieKates:

I did a quick search of the local MLS and found 30 condos with sailboat access from $700 to $1,000. There were many more, but they were over $1,000. Most of them are in Punta Gorda, which could be a good location for you. As to whether or not they’ll accommodate your boat, I don’t know off hand. We could probably make some phone calls to find out, but I’m afraid the only way to be 100% sure is to inspect the conditions in person. I might be able to help you with that.

I’m going to PM a link to you that will allow you to view the details of those listings.

I’ve also called an associate who has a sailboat access home in Punta Gorda listed for sale. The owner might be willing to rent it for $1,000, but that would be pretty cheap for this home. If I remember correctly, it’s a huge custom built 4 bed / 3 bath, pool home. I’ll let you know.

Finally, since I told you that I am in the business, let me assure that I’m not doing this for the money. If the owner offers a finders fee I’ll accept it, but I’m doing this as a sailor and don’t expect anything from you (ok – maybe a cold beer).

-Jim
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Old 18-04-2008, 21:10   #13
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So just out of curiosity what does a condo with sailboat access sell for for a 40' to 45' by 6'2" deep?
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Old 18-04-2008, 22:02   #14
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Tonight, there are 131 condos listed for sale between $112,000 and $200,000. They go up from there. Depth is usually an issue around here. Where I am, the slips have filled in over time if they weren't used by a sailboat. There are some big sailboats around, so I know there are accommodations, but you have to check on a case by case basis.
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Old 19-04-2008, 01:43   #15
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Well then, I'm paying over 780 a month for a live aboard slip. If there is a condo available, for about the same amount of money, and I can keep my boat there... heck, sign me up!
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