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View Poll Results: Central Florida's East coast, or West coast?
East coast 5 10.87%
West coast 41 89.13%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-2015, 11:31   #1
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To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Hello everyone! I currently live and work in Orlando. I just purchased a 1989 Island Packet 35 and plan to live aboard, yet still work part time 2 or 3 days a week in Orlando. I am considering a marina on the East coast, as far south as Stuart, or the West coast, as far south as Bradenton. My thought process is that the West coast would have better cruising grounds in the immediate area, i.e., Saint Petersburg and Clearwater to the north, and Marco Island and Naples to the South, with the Keys being not too distant.

I just returned from a week in the Key Biscayne, Key Largo area but after returning to Fort Lauderdale, was left with the impression that there was not a lot to see farther north in the Stuart / Melourne area.

Can anyone shine some light on my dilemma and suggest the ideal marina location, given my parameters? Also, what are the pros and cons of each coast in the Central Florida latitudes? Thanks to everyone, in advance, for your feedback!
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Old 08-04-2015, 13:28   #2
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

I think this is a question that's too personal to answer. I have lived all over Florida, including Winter Park. There's good and bad things about both sides. It really depends on what suits you best. Spend as much time as you need on both coasts to see which you like best, especially visiting the marinas, restaurants and bars where you think you'll be spending most of your time.
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Old 08-04-2015, 15:30   #3
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Thank you rassabossa for your response. I am currently living in Thornton Park, next to Lake Eola. As you have lived in Winter Park, you undoubtedly know the area. Please allow me to clarify just a little. First and foremost, I would like to be located where the best cruising areas are, given my constraints. Secondly, I would like to be located where there is a social scene...good restaurants, museums, etc. Also, as this is my first posting here, I inadvertantly included a poll. I didn't mean for it to be a popularity issue, but can genuinely use some insight.
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Old 08-04-2015, 15:43   #4
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Have you considered Sanford, FL on the St. Johns River? There's large marina right in town and Sanford is pretty close to Orlando.

http://www.monroeharbour.com/
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Old 08-04-2015, 15:50   #5
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona is nice. You have the Bahamas and St. Augustine ....Daytona isn't the most exotic place but it's not too bad.


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Old 08-04-2015, 16:24   #6
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

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Halifax Harbor Marina in Daytona is nice. You have the Bahamas and St. Augustine ....Daytona isn't the most exotic place but it's not too bad.


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Quite a few live aboard there, we did happily on a 47ft trawler for a year until I had a stroke, we have a 36ft sailboat now and it is kept at Halifax. the rates are reasonable for Florida, Wifi is free as is a weekly in dock pumpout, leccy is charged per cord not metered,and the natives (and the staff) are very friendly in the marina if a little trigger happy in some parts of town. Orlando is not too awa far down I-4 if it hasn't been closed by wrecks. AFAK there are still some vacant slips at present. Oh and it is very sheltered with all floating docks in the south basin but there are some fixed ones that are a a tad ( $1/ft/month) cheaper in the north basin. There is a West Marine superstore in town ( but no longer at the marina) and also a marine surplus store too is quite close.
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Old 08-04-2015, 17:44   #7
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Thank you everyone for you responses. Since they have all been East coast based, does anyone have input regarding the West coast? Specifically Bradenton, Saint Pete, and Gulfport?
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Old 08-04-2015, 18:21   #8
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

We spent our first year in Florida (1992) on the east coast, in the Ft, Lauderdale area with the yacht moored at Lauderdale Yacht Club. Local sailing involved getting past the 17th Street Bridge and out the channel, competing with Cruise Ships and the various commercial traffic that frequent the Port. It simply was not fun and there was no such thing as a "spontaneous" sunset sail. Relocating to the west coast in '93 was a revelation. While getting to the Bahamas from the Tampa Bay area involves more effort, local sailing/cruising here abouts and south to the Keys is almost as good and far easier. In re: working in Orlando, but living in the Tampa Bay area, that's going to be a heck of a cumute and you will need great patience and presence of mind to deal with the traffic on I-4 safely. IF you're up to it, however,...

FWIW...
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Old 08-04-2015, 19:26   #9
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

We definitely enjoy the west coast more. Generally, much more relaxed. Good inlets with Gulf access for some nice sailing. We're generally on the move, and don't spend too much time in marinas. Gulfport was a favorite anchorage, where we spent about two weeks last trip through. I took the dinghy over to Gulfport Municipal Marina for some diesel, gas, and water. Looked like a nice marina to me. You might check it out. IMO, east coast/west coast - night and day difference. YMMV.

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Old 09-04-2015, 09:06   #10
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

I lived aboard both in the St. Petersburg area and in Ft. Lauderdale.

The West coast if more affordable and I felt the people more open and friendly than on the East coast. That said I enjoyed both.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:24   #11
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

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IMO, east coast/west coast - night and day difference. YMMV.

Ralph

Seems at least to me the East cost is way more High End, where the West coast is more laid back with with more "regular" people, although I admit I have only transited the East side, but that was my impression
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:29   #12
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Thank you a64pilot, without the intention of stereotyping, that was the impression I came away with as well. That said, can anyone give my any firsthand knowledge of the West coast cruising grounds in the General Saint Pete area?
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:31   #13
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

Have spent time on both coasts since I started boating a long, long, time ago. As several mentioned, its kind of a personal choice and both coasts have advantages and disadvantages.

A few general advantages I have seen for either side. Please note, like all generalities these apply in general but there are plenty of specific locations that will not follow these guidelines on both coasts.


West Coast.
- cheaper
- more cruising options.
- more undeveloped areas to cruise
- less crowded
- can be very buggy in places and certain times of the year, mainly further south.
- Fewer bridges

East Coast
- more shopping, dining options
- more upscale
- closer to the Bahamas if you want to go.
- more international cruisers and ICW gypsies pass by.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:31   #14
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

There are pro's and con's on both sides, and it depends if you need to, or want to work. On the East Coast you have the Key's North to North Carolina Via the ICW or off shore and more, plus the Bahamas. I don't see much on the East side unless you decide to go North to New England. On the West Coast it is the Key's to Texas and Mexico Via the ICW plus the Dry Tortugas and the Bahamas. All it takes is TIME to get where you want to go. Though you might consider Hurricanes, something of a drawback, so you have to look very carefully at the Marina's. Good Luck with your decision.... The St. Pete Marina was Good when I was there.
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Old 09-04-2015, 09:46   #15
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Re: To live aboard Florida's East or West coast???

I think the point about getting out the inlets to sail on the East Coast is a good one. It takes a lot of time to do so. Not really a day sail situation.
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