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Old 28-06-2020, 10:47   #16
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

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Originally Posted by LoudMusic View Post
Second stop I'd make is Marathon. Enter and exit with no bridges. Check depths, though! Or anchor outside to the south/west of the key. It's deeper water but super exposed.
Charts show an overhead power cable at 65ft over the entrance to Boot Key harbor. Can anyone confirm if thatís correct? If so, anchoring outside would be the only option at Marathon (assuming he canít enter via Sister Creek with that draft).
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Old 28-06-2020, 10:52   #17
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

PS" I meant to add Miami to Rodriquez Key to anchor then to Marathon to Anchor THEN to Key West to do it all in daylight. Much more enjoyable if you want to " enjoy it and smell the salt air". No other real option other then anchoring off of Shark River to get to Marco.
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Old 28-06-2020, 10:59   #18
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

Marathon marina is before that and is a great option and great people. Also has an easy fuel dock at the entrance to their Marina. Watch the tides if you go in to Marathon with your draft favor the green side and do not vary from the channel!
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Old 28-06-2020, 11:07   #19
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

Lots of good advice here, Scaramanga is right on. Miami Government Channel. then back outside, Gulf stream is -1.5knts worse is off Biscayne then slows a bit. Hawk's Channel 100' ft to KW. Ship Channel is great as it has nice beacons on platforms and safe and away from 1000s of crab pots. NOT THE YACHT CHANNEL too shallow and is for ICW. It is easier and safer to stay outside (anchor or no anchor overnight). Last I heard Keys are sort of closed up due to covid. Marco Island entrance is a dog leg with shoal on the north side. I'd pass. At Tampa, forget Passage Key continue up to the main channel, no problem with depth if you stay in ship channel, but always keep a watch on depth while in west FL. You can be miles off shore and be in 6 ft of thin water.


Look at the fuel filter... and have spares. Algae is an issue in sitting boats. Looks like black micro dust on the filter. You may have to prime the injectors if a fuel problem comes up.


Before you leave, deploy and retrieve the entire anchor rode!. I had unexpected experiences where I had 1 strand remaining on a 3 strand 5/8 line at about 120' out.
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Old 28-06-2020, 11:15   #20
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

You're definitely going to have to go all the way to Key West and around. I don't think 7'6" has a chance going through the Channel 5 route, and I wouldn't want to try cutting across at Marathon either with that much draft. You don't get much tide to play with in the Keys.
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Old 28-06-2020, 12:00   #21
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

I am based in St Pete and just finished an Indiantown to Cape Coral delivery- and offer the following current and relevant experience. Assuming air draft under 55í, the ICW behind Haulover Beach is tight and shallow- not sure you can get through.

If the air draft is 55-65, the water draft is going to be close going anywhere in the ICW.

Suggest you get another crew person, go down Hawk Channel and anchor along the way. As of a few days ago there were no strings of crab pots, only 1-2 stragglers. So it is a little less hairy. Do NOT take Channel 5 or 7-Mile Bridge to cut across the bay. Once again, your water draft will get you in trouble.

From Key West heading north, you can anchor off the west side of Florida Bay. But stay clear of the islands. Only anchor off Everglades National Park or elsewhere in the west coast if you have AC. The no-see-ums will find you even 2 miles offshore. Donít ask me how, just know it has happened to me.

Once I enter the Gulf, I normally go non-stop on boats without AC.

All that said- if the boat has not been used, be sure to have plenty of spare filters and experience not only changing the filters, but priming the engine. Also the ability to quickly set the anchor to keep you from drifting while doing the aforementioned filter change.

Congrats on the new boat!
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Old 22-07-2020, 17:06   #22
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

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Originally Posted by Jetx View Post
Charts show an overhead power cable at 65ft over the entrance to Boot Key harbor. Can anyone confirm if thatís correct? If so, anchoring outside would be the only option at Marathon (assuming he canít enter via Sister Creek with that draft).
Was there a month ago (and headed back next week) - the cable is NOT there anymore - free and clear opening. Not sure about depths but bridges all the way to BKH are not a problem.

I would think with that water draft - Sister Creek is not an option.
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Old 23-07-2020, 07:07   #23
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

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Was there a month ago (and headed back next week) - the cable is NOT there anymore - free and clear opening.
Thanks... thatís great to know. BKH wasnít an option for us previously, but now should be. Very much appreciated.

PS - Must be a very recent change. Overhead cable still shows on all of my charts?
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Old 23-07-2020, 11:59   #24
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Re: Deep Draft - Tall rig, Ft Lauderdale to Tampa Route and Anchorages

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Charts show an overhead power cable at 65ft over the entrance to Boot Key harbor. Can anyone confirm if that’s correct? If so, anchoring outside would be the only option at Marathon (assuming he can’t enter via Sister Creek with that draft).
Long gone.

If deep draft HUG the green buoys in the channel and go in at high tide.

First time we anchored outside and dinghied into the first restaurant for dinner. Went back later and stayed on a ball for several months.
Highly recommend the second restaurant in called Castaways. Down a channel to the left from near the fish dock.
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