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Old 21-12-2014, 05:42   #1
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Living aboard in Key West

Greetings this Christmas season !
We want to move our Swan 48 (8.5 ft draft) to Garrison Bight and live aboard 8 months each year.
Does anyone have the time (or kind energy) to touch on a few subjects? If so -

1. Safety factor when leaving a boat from June to Oct. (are there boat watching services?)
2. Insurance requirements
3. Any serious drawbacks
4. Wind and heat - we now live in the southern Caribbean where the wind keeps things cool.
5. Any thoughts or opinions and all the good things there (music scene, for active musician)
(volleyball, basketball) ...... and the flat bike riding appeals to us too.
Thanks for your time - any and everybody!
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Old 21-12-2014, 06:39   #2
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re: Living aboard in Key West

Have you ever looked at a chart?

The channel carries 6.5' depth, and you certainly won't get in there with your mast height, there's a 50' power line.
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Old 21-12-2014, 06:41   #3
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re: Living aboard in Key West

Key west bight is possible but not Garrison bight.


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Old 21-12-2014, 07:23   #4
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re: Living aboard in Key West

Check with your insurance provider about leaving your boat there during hurricane season. If you're talking about leaving your boat at anchor or on a mooring, I'll bet you won't get coverage. I was able to talk my underewriter into covering our boat, which was in a slip an enclosed marina in Bradenton, FL, but it took some effort and I had to cough up a higher premium payment.
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Old 21-12-2014, 09:41   #5
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re: Living aboard in Key West

You'll find trillions of musicians in KW to jam with. Every one of the 19 million bars there has live music pretty much nonstop.
Cooling breezes are non-existent. It's bloody HOT there most of the time.
Food prices are very high.
i've never heard of any boat watching services; those of us who liveaboard out in the mooring field north of KW bight keep a close eye on each other's boats. Don't forget there is also a big Coast Guard presence in KW.
If you are on a mooring you'll have to pay a monthly docking fee in order to be able to use the dinghy dock (and that still won't guarantee you'll get a space!). After a while you figure out what's the best time to get to the dock in order to find an empty space.
A boat as large as yours will want to look at KW bight rather than Garrison bight for the reasons stated by other posters: channel depth and mast height.
There are lots of sports minded people in KW. Lots of runners, bocce ball courts, tennis courts and even a rugby club (check out Shanna Key bar for info on that!).
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Old 21-12-2014, 11:44   #6
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

The mooring field is OK while you are there but when you a gone for extended times you may want to consider Marathon, Marco Island or Fort Myers Beach. We prefer to stay in Boot Key Harbor while visiting the Keys. It is a cheap and short bus ride to KW and Key Largo and Miami.
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Old 21-12-2014, 12:10   #7
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

"1. Safety factor" There must be boatwatchers, but petty theft and pilferage are pretty common in many east coast towns. Although, the "Flori-DUH!" stories are sometimes truly headspinners.

"2. Insurance requirements" Hurricane zone in hurricane season. Ask your insurer what might be possible, or not. Florida hasn't taken a big hit since Wilma, some folks would say that's overdue now.

"3. Any serious drawbacks "
Check the Key West Cruise Ship calendar, about four or five thousand of your new best friends come into town something like 28-29 days in most months now. Which is good news, if you own a bar or sell t-shirts or want to play music for them.

"4. Wind and heat " A bit subjective, but you can find daily wx records online to show you what's really been doing there, and compare that to what you call acceptable.

"5. Any thoughts or opinions and all the good things there "
Why not fly in and check it out for a couple of weeks?
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Old 21-12-2014, 14:41   #8
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

Also there is a decent current running at anchorage. If anything happens to your rode (not a small chance during the hurricane season) and the boat starts dragging it could get ugly. Especially if you're away for 4 four months. I'd guess same risk would be present at a mooring. May be even higher as you may not know what there under the mooring chain.
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Old 21-12-2014, 19:11   #9
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

Try manatee bay and marine in key largo for leaving your boat for any extended time.
I do not know the entrance depth
I second boot key harbor for a mooring
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Old 21-12-2014, 20:14   #10
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

As a recent former employee of Boot Key Harbor city marina, leaving a boat unattended is a no go. There is absolutely no wet storage allowed on moorings in Boot Key. If you want to leave your boat for even a brief trip it involves setting it up with the staff and having someone agree to care for the boat ( we are talking a week or two max )..
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Old 21-12-2014, 21:13   #11
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
Try manatee bay and marine in key largo for leaving your boat for any extended time.
I do not know the entrance depth
I second boot key harbor for a mooring
Pete


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I once squeaked into Manatee Bay Marina for a rudder repair with my 4'3" draft. I would say 4 and 1/2 is the maximum to get in. This is west off Barnes sound on the ICW and north of the Key Largo town area.
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Old 22-12-2014, 04:28   #12
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbine View Post
You'll find trillions of musicians in KW to jam with. Every one of the 19 million bars there has live music pretty much nonstop.

Agree. You can't swing a six-toed cat anywhere around KW without stumbling across another musician playing something somewhere.

Don't know that there's much money in it for the artists, though. Might be beer money, maybe less, and you schlepp your own equipment including sound... until you work up enough of a following to be able to command the enormous sum of $100/apiece per gig at venues with house sound. Just guessing, though.

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Old 22-12-2014, 12:31   #13
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

What musical instrument do you play?
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Old 22-12-2014, 20:08   #14
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

You are likely not addressing the question to me, but I excel with a shoehorn!
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Old 23-12-2014, 05:30   #15
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Re: Living aboard in Key West

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Davemachado.
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