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Old 02-03-2021, 09:53   #1
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Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Hi guys, Im hoping to get some local knowledge about Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida, I am on a strict budget and can not pay what marinas asks to pay to dock and I am ok to anchor or use free mooring balls but there is absolutely no info about this anywhere. can anyone help me with the info would be highly appreciated. I am not there yet so no panic, I will be there in a month to pick up some stuff and also get some maintenance jobs done.
fair winds to y'all
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:09   #2
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

there is LOTS of info avail on Active Captain
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:11   #3
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Reference: Tips to arriving to Fort Lauderdale by boat

Snipet:

Anchoring in Ft. Lauderdale: First and foremost, there is a 24 hour anchoring limit, which means that you can only anchor for 24 hours within city limits. There are two known anchorages in Ft. Lauderdale. The "free" anchorage is at Lake Sylvia, which can be accessed from the ICW (consult for exact location and approach). Lake Sylvia is a large circular basin surrounded by large waterfront homes. No dinghy facilities or places to come ashore are nearby. The nearest places to bring a dinghy or tender to are a few waterfront restaurants near the mouth of the entrance to Lake Sylvia, but they are not free and will expect you to eat or drink there and you can't leave your dinghy there. Lake Sylvia is well protected though, so if the weather is nasty you can drop an anchor there and rest for a while. There is a sandbar in the middle of the entrance to the lake, so you must hug the eastern side of the channel to stay in deep water. Once inside the lake there is more depth.
The city mooring field is on the south end of the Las Olas Bridge and features 10 mooring balls at $20 a night. You can hail the Las Olas Marina on the VHF Channel 16, or call them at 954-828-7200. The moorings are available on a first come, first served basis. If you take a mooring you must dinghy over to the marina to fill out the paperwork. There is a dinghy dock there, as well as comfort facilities. If there is no mooring available when you arrive, you may anchor on the outside of the mooring field overnight but you must pull anchor by noon the next day. The dinghy dock is only available during the business hours of the Las Olas Marina, which are 8 am to 4:45 pm.
If you arrive during bad weather and have to choose between the city mooring field and Lake Sylvia, the latter is much more protected from the elements and traffic from other boats.
Getting around Ft. Lauderdale: Fort Lauderdale is graced by a unique and wonderful water taxi and bus service, with many convenient stops. This is definitely the way to go if you want to get around town to run errands or if you just want to see the sights if you are in town. Most water taxi operators entertain riders by pointing out historical or cultural spots along the waterway, making it seem almost like a narrated tour at times. Best of all an all-day pass costs only $5. The water taxi also connects with several bus lines if you need to travel to an area that is not near the water, such as the largest West Marine on the east coast.
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:15   #4
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

On Navionics you’ll find a wealth of info showing good anchorages
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:15   #5
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Generally you can anchor for extended time in Biscayne Bay, at the Stadium, or No Name Harbor (Bill Baggs St Park).

Closer to Ft L, try Lake Worth. It's North Palm Beach actually though.

Ft L in general is expensive and tightly controlled and someone will harass you.

There are some places to anchor near Ft Pierce too and it's not a bad place to do work with hardware nearby.
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:02   #6
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Thank you ¨Montanan¨ for taking the time to give this great info. Much appreciated...
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Old 02-03-2021, 11:06   #7
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Generally you can anchor for extended time in Biscayne Bay, at the Stadium, or No Name Harbor (Bill Baggs St Park).

Closer to Ft L, try Lake Worth. It's North Palm Beach actually though.

Ft L in general is expensive and tightly controlled and someone will harass you.

There are some places to anchor near Ft Pierce too and it's not a bad place to do work with hardware nearby.
Thank you great info
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Old 02-03-2021, 13:09   #8
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

I can guarantee you that there isn't anyplace that you are going to find a FREE mooring ball. If someone pays to put in a mooring, they are going to insist on you paying to use it.
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Old 02-03-2021, 13:34   #9
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Some observations from the Bob423 AICW FaceBook Group notes that the actual number of balls available at Los Olas is probably down to only a couple 'serviceable' balls.
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Old 02-03-2021, 15:15   #10
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Large urban areas generally are not where you look for free anchorages and moorings. South Florida has what, 7 million people? It's like trying to find a spot in New York City.


Plus South Florida, being in the subtropics, is a major boating center. We're talking tens of thousands of boats between locals and cruisers passing through on their way to somewhere else.



If you do find a free anchorage (some exist), you have to have a place to store the dinghy onshore. Those folks with the multi-million-dollar mansions are not going to extend you any hospitality because they don't want you there. Especially because people anchoring for free for any time are pumping sewage into their water.



If you find a spot for the dinghy on public land, good luck on it still being there when you return. Theft of unguarded and poorly guarded items is common in big cities. It is an art form in South Florida. (Queue the bicycle front wheel locked to the pole ...)



In addition, you will likely be many miles from the stores you need and maybe even the bus lines you need to get there. Area-wise, South Florida is HUGE, sprawling and bigger than many states.



I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I'm just saying that big cities are not the best choice to do what you want to do. Better to find a town or small city on the ICW.
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:28   #11
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Free and Ft Lauderdale do not fit into n same sentence it question. Go elsewhere!
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Old 03-03-2021, 10:53   #12
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Take a look at Sunrise Bay - I have seen boats on the hook there for days. The yacht club is there - I have no idea if they will let you tie your dinghy there - and it is a block or so from a Publix. It is a short dinghy ride to George English Park which has a public boat launch - and it is a block in the other direction from that same Publix. There is also a mall right there.

Good luck!
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:19   #13
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanachie View Post
Large urban areas generally are not where you look for free anchorages and moorings. South Florida has what, 7 million people? It's like trying to find a spot in New York City.


Plus South Florida, being in the subtropics, is a major boating center. We're talking tens of thousands of boats between locals and cruisers passing through on their way to somewhere else.



If you do find a free anchorage (some exist), you have to have a place to store the dinghy onshore. Those folks with the multi-million-dollar mansions are not going to extend you any hospitality because they don't want you there. Especially because people anchoring for free for any time are pumping sewage into their water.



If you find a spot for the dinghy on public land, good luck on it still being there when you return. Theft of unguarded and poorly guarded items is common in big cities. It is an art form in South Florida. (Queue the bicycle front wheel locked to the pole ...)



In addition, you will likely be many miles from the stores you need and maybe even the bus lines you need to get there. Area-wise, South Florida is HUGE, sprawling and bigger than many states.



I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I'm just saying that big cities are not the best choice to do what you want to do. Better to find a town or small city on the ICW.
Thanks for your concerns I guess I didn’t make it clear saying “do you know for fact” at the beginning of my question. All the points of your concern I’m already aware and that’s why I asked to those who actually know if there is availability. Not some “if so, therefore” answers anyway thanks for taking the time.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:21   #14
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timethief View Post
Take a look at Sunrise Bay - I have seen boats on the hook there for days. The yacht club is there - I have no idea if they will let you tie your dinghy there - and it is a block or so from a Publix. It is a short dinghy ride to George English Park which has a public boat launch - and it is a block in the other direction from that same Publix. There is also a mall right there.

Good luck!
Thanks appreciate you taking the time
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Old 03-03-2021, 14:02   #15
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Re: Free Mooring or Docking @ Ft. Lauderdale or S. Florida

In Ft. Lauderdale, we anchored several days in lake Sylvia. Short dink ride to the Southport Raw bar where you can have a beer & snack and leave the dink. plenty of access to shopping/provisioning from there.


In Miami south beach, you can anchor south of Belle Island. Dink up the canal and there's a dock for Publix, which is right across the street. You can also walk to many South Beach attractions. There's supposedly a ~45min time limit or something, but we had left our dink there all day several times without an issue... Note, this is 2019 data, though I doubt much change.


ActiveCaptain !! check it out
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