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Old 06-05-2017, 10:01   #1
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Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Hi, all-

Bought a 1979 Pearson 365 in Yankeetown, FL last month. Attracted to separate shower stall (her) and ketch rig (me). Boat has been used weekly for 4 years, history before that foggy. Have hauled it and done the bottom, stuffing gland, oil change, various mechanical and cleaning, etc. New halyards and anchor rodes, two good anchors, cqr and Bruce. Engine is "reliable" for a 38 yo Westerbeke 4-107. New kit includes epirb, sat phone, and computer, older furano radar works.

My wife will be seeing her for the first time and going with me on a short (7d) shakedown cruise. We've both sailed a fair amount- I'm a 40 year left coast/puget sound boat owner. Now living in Phoenix.

Planning on going south to Manatee River s of Tampa bay with stops at Crystal River, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, St Pete and Manatee River. Nothing strenuous, just giving problems a chance to show themselves.

Looking for local wisdom, dive spots, restaurants, anchorages. Anything fabulous happening in the area two weeks from now?

Longer term possibilities range from "this sucks"- selling the boat to "Lets do a real cruise after hurricane season"- Dry Tortugas, Keys, and Bahamas.

Have a screaming deal on a private dock in Yankeetown, so this is pretty budget-friendly and don't plan on a major refit, just seaworthy stabilization.

Any helpful advice?

Moving forward!

DreaminFred
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:59   #2
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Congrats!

Since coming through the Panama Canal in 1990 and dropping the hook in Pensacola," Baja Alabama". We have made this trip many times. Some of our favorites are Apalachicola, Tarpon Springs, we love Greek food and have stayed a week in the municipal Marina, so we could smell the food cooking.
Also Clearwater Beach, Frenchy's Saltwater Cafe.
Marco Island is great. Friendly folks.

Key West or "Disneyworld for Adults" . My wife and I have enjoyed many stopovers for the food, bars, people watching, etc.

Enjoy. If you ever get up to Pensacola, drop me a PM and come visit Bayou Chico. We will make room at our dock
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:36   #3
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Thanks OldCal!

Exactly what I'm looking for- Tarpon Springs channel OK for 4'6" draft? Anchorage or dock?

I remember TS from when I was a kid (45 years ago, probably).
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Old 06-05-2017, 17:02   #4
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Yes, TS river is fine for 4'6". I used to keep previous boat there (5'6" draft). Really enjoyed it there...not sure what its like now.

Local Tip: you can avoid the often long lines of tourists at the Greek resturants by calling in a take out order and zipping over in the dink to pick it up...yumm.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:35   #5
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Welcome to the club - we have a 79 365 Sloop rig - LOVE HER - still doing
the "fix this before you cruise" list but sail once or twice a week on
Choctahatchee Bay - Close to Destin - Make sure if you come north
to Apalachicola, you come on through the "Forgotten Coast" to
Port St Joe, Panama City Bays and beaches, Choc Bay / Destin,
Pensacola Bays and on to Orange Beach. This stretch
is known as the Forgotten Coast (App to Panama City) and
the Emerald Coast (PC to Pensacola) As good as the bahamas
with lots to see and do!

Check out Annie and Philip on HaveWindWillTravel fb page - they
are on way from Key West up to Pensacola as we speak - Lots of
posts and pictures to get good details from.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:47   #6
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

During your shakedown there are a couple of places to anchor and visit on the Manatee River. Once you have entered the river and are heading upsteam to the east you will see 3 crosses on your starboard. The area in front of these crosses is a good spot to hang on the hook if the winds are out of the south.

The two principal marinas on the river are the Twin Dolphin on the south shore and Regatta Point on the north. Twin Dolphin is the nicer of the two with floating docks. Pier 22 at the Twin Dolphin marina is a good restaurant and always good for happy hour and a little sushi. River Reef and Grill at Regatta Point is also a nice restaurant and reachable from the south shore by dinghy. Downtown Bradenton offers a couple of good restaurants and several local pubs for a cold one.

If not taking a slip, anchoring in front of either marina is feasible and you'll probably see a few others there on the hook.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:50   #7
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Welcome to the Nature Coast. It's really the most wonderful of US cruising grounds, I've been sailing it for over 20 years. Your itinerary sounds great, might be a little ambitious for seven days and getting back home, consider skipping Crystal River. Remember you are in an area of skinny water, in fact it's a long way out to sailing depths from Yankee Town, and Crystal River, a lot of time getting in and out. It gets a little better the further south you go. When you make that extended trip, you need to check out Charlotte Harbor, it has many wonderful anchorages and is a great jumping off spot for a 24 hour passage to the Dry Tortugas. Then you can gunk hole your way back up the coast through Key West and and the lower keys, Little Shark River and the everglades...we are blessed with great cruising here. Welcome Aboard!
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

We also like Tarpon Springs. If you can move in and out of the Withlacoochee, then Tarpon Springs will be very easy. Also check out the little anchorage just inside the north end of Longboat Key that is just south of Longboat Pass. 'very nice dinghy beach and restaurant & pub. We also like to take a good weather day anchor on the east side of Egmont Key to explore the remains of Fort Dade and the State Park.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:23   #9
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

The area you describe is pretty much my stomping grounds, Tarpon Springs is easy, just know there is maybe 4" of water in the turning basin just past the city Marina, but it's soft mud so I didn't get stuck
However I have never done Crystal River due to concerns of not enough water
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:28   #10
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Sounds like you have all your ducks in a row. Have fun.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:12   #11
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

You are going to have so much fun!

I can't speak to your route, but we had a 79 Pearson 365 and that's how I fell in love with sailing. I cried for a week when we sold it. One suggestion - this boat doesn't move well in light air, after about 3 years we bought a Max Prop and boyo did she love it. We could ghost along in 3 kts of wind like never before.

I am excited for you - keep posting!
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Old 07-05-2017, 13:23   #12
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

I live in Tarpon Springs and cruise the area often. Recommend Caladesi Island State Park (incredible beach) as well as Dunedin (free day docks and lots in walking distance). Clearwater Beach Marina has free day slips, check with dock master and makes for a great day and don't miss Frenchy's (there are several and all are good). Further south, Gulfport is awesome and can anchor and dingy in or very reasonable city marina in walking distance to lots of restaurants and shopping. If you have a dingy, Egmont Key is worth exploring. Agree with previous poster re: Twin Dolphins marina. Great facility and lots in walking distance. Bradenton Beach area is nice too and can anchor off and dingy in for lunch or dinner. Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 07-05-2017, 13:52   #13
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Hello fellow pearson owner, in your travels there is a small marina in dunedin, and a common sailboat anchorage to the west of it, on the inside. Its about a 1/2 mile from the marina. a small old style florida bar and sandwich place at the marina, with great grouper sandwiches, cold beer , down the road a small french restaurant that is what your wife would like ill guess, because a shower, a french meal, now use your imagination..... have fun...😍
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Old 07-05-2017, 14:04   #14
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhowell5558 View Post
Welcome to the club - we have a 79 365 Sloop rig - LOVE HER - still doing
the "fix this before you cruise" list but sail once or twice a week on
Choctahatchee Bay - Close to Destin - Make sure if you come north
to Apalachicola, you come on through the "Forgotten Coast" to
Port St Joe, Panama City Bays and beaches, Choc Bay / Destin,
Pensacola Bays and on to Orange Beach. This stretch
is known as the Forgotten Coast (App to Panama City) and
the Emerald Coast (PC to Pensacola) As good as the bahamas
with lots to see and do!

Check out Annie and Philip on HaveWindWillTravel fb page - they
are on way from Key West up to Pensacola as we speak - Lots of
posts and pictures to get good details from.
Thanks, JHowell! I am starting a list of people to call when I'm nearby! You're on the list!

Fred
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Old 07-05-2017, 14:06   #15
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Re: Shakedown cruise FL gulf coast next week

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirpud View Post
During your shakedown there are a couple of places to anchor and visit on the Manatee River. Once you have entered the river and are heading upsteam to the east you will see 3 crosses on your starboard. The area in front of these crosses is a good spot to hang on the hook if the winds are out of the south.

The two principal marinas on the river are the Twin Dolphin on the south shore and Regatta Point on the north. Twin Dolphin is the nicer of the two with floating docks. Pier 22 at the Twin Dolphin marina is a good restaurant and always good for happy hour and a little sushi. River Reef and Grill at Regatta Point is also a nice restaurant and reachable from the south shore by dinghy. Downtown Bradenton offers a couple of good restaurants and several local pubs for a cold one.

If not taking a slip, anchoring in front of either marina is feasible and you'll probably see a few others there on the hook.
Thanks, Sirpud! Happy hour is an important piece of local knowledge!

F
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