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Old 11-07-2016, 16:33   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Boat: Gemini, 1993 #379 34' Shearwater
Posts: 209
Flagler Bridge in Palm Beach Fl, and Boca Inlet

Flagler Bridge in West Palm Beach just South of Lake Worth Inlet is closed for several more days for construction. I went by this weekend - no one is working on the new bridge, nothing is happening, and no one of the various bridge tenders knows anything.

It is just closed - seems to be part of the new South Florida "we hate boaters" campaign.

The old bridge remains operational and the new bridge is down, blocking the channel - but no one is there working on anything.

If you are headed South, your alternative is to go out of the ICW at Lake Worth inlet and, if you are a sailboat, head back in at Boca or Hillsboro inlets.

Both these inlets are local knowledge and very difficult in anything but calm seas and calm high tide.

Boca inlet is especially difficult at the present time. Between the "red (2)" and "green (1)" just outside the jetty rocks are BREAKING WAVES. These are a new hazard apparently caused by a bar that has developed in the channel.

On either side of the channel are unmarked but charted shallows - been there, hit that.

Today I entered Boca inlet by clearing the new bar to the South and just missing the shallows. This approach involved 3 to 4' swells but no waves - not for the faint hearted.

If you choose not to wait for Flagler Bridge, I would advise against entering Boca inlet in a sailboat, Hillsboro inlet is marked poorly, but is passible. If you choose to enter Boca inlet, go well past the light until you can see well into the inlet and follow in a local boat. There is a false inlet just North of the real inlet and you can not make the false inlet in anything drafting more than a kayak.

If you choose to wait for the Flagler bridge, you might use your time to write your congressman. The anchorage North of Peanut Island is an excellent place to wait and the free docks at West Palm Beach provide a freely trolly/bus to and from PUblix and many, many nice places to shop or dine.
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Old 26-02-2017, 19:04   #2
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Re: Flagler Bridge in Palm Beach Fl, and Boca Inlet

Hey, can you give details on the free docks in West Palm.

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Old 26-02-2017, 19:45   #3
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Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Boat: Gemini, 1993 #379 34' Shearwater
Posts: 209
Re: Flagler Bridge in Palm Beach Fl, and Boca Inlet

The free docks are excellent quality floating docks just South of Flagler Bridge - a bascule about a mile south of Lake Worth inlet.

There is 7 to 9 feet MLW at the docks. There is water available if you know where to look.

The docks are located just south of a commercial marina - so there is fuel and pump outs available a few feet from the free docks.

The land side is in the middle of the West Palm Beach tourist district - free weekly concerts on Thursday plus lots of other activities including farmer's markets and such. Look up Centennial Square on Google for a good list.

A wide variety of places to each ranging from pizza slices to white table cloths.

There are free busses to City Place for up scale shopping - show your support for Bloomingdale's if you choose. More free entertainment at City Place and more places to eat.

Best of all, eating wise, is the free bus stops at a Publix where there is good reasonable priced shopping and provisioning.

Should you need access, there is an Amtrack Train and TriRail train on the free bus route. The Tryrail will take you to PBI, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami airports for under $5 if you need a crew change or have a home visit need.

The docks are not crowded and are DAY USE ONLY.

Howeveer, right next to the docks are excellent, protected, FREE anchorages - nearly the last in South Florida.

We often go to the free docks for the day and drift off the docks to the anchorage for a quiet night.

There is some security but since this is in the high class part of town (next to the TRUMP Towers and across from Palm Beach, there is little crime risk. Even the street bums wear designer clothes.

Want to move even higher, you can walk across either Flagler or Royal Palm bridge to Worth Avenue where the least expensive pair of shoes is $1000 and prices at the goodwill thrift store start at $150.

Class dock, free, and good company.
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