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Old 25-04-2020, 20:35   #1
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GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Iím land locked in Atlanta and am deciding where to base my sailing. GA/SC coast is 4-5 hours away, but I am told the sailing ainít great and the tides make trips difficult. My friend has a slip for me in St Pete/ Tampa where Iíve heard the sailing is good, but itís 8 hour drive. My other buddy (nice to have friends) has a slip in Key West, where Iím sure the sailing is great, but itís a $400 flight away. My goal is to sail every 4-6 weeks, mainly long weekend sails of 3-4 days. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 25-04-2020, 22:24   #2
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Are you planning to buy a boat and keep it wherever? Have done the long distance, absentee owner bit before (actually lived in Atlanta at the time) and didn't work out too well. Sailboats don't like sitting for long periods of time. Stuff mildews and corrodes and you end up spending more time on catch up maintenance and repairs than sailing.

Have you thought about keeping a boat on Lake Lanier? Winds can be fluky but it's good training for sail handling and it's just an hour away or less, depending on what side of Atlanta you live on and what part of Lanier you would keep the boat.
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Old 26-04-2020, 02:13   #3
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Closer is better, because you will go more often.

There are threats of hurricanes every year in Key West, so even if one doesn’t hit, you’ll have to worry about it and go down to deal with it.

If your boat is far, you’ll never see it as often as you think.
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Old 26-04-2020, 02:17   #4
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jimmy.
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Old 26-04-2020, 04:36   #5
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

I kept my boat 7 hrs away for years, many more here have done the same or at even greater distances. Several times I drove down to anchor out for a hurricane, returning home directly after, only to drive back down to assess damage for another round trip. Donít miss that. Eventually I got smart and set a storm mooring.

I sailed out of St Simons for a while. But I just sailed out of the inlet, often just to St Maryís inlet but longer trips too. We often went to Cumberland Is, never got tired of that. Nothing like Charleston, where you can sail the harbor and rivers. Thatís a 4.5 hour trip for you, but thereís current there too. Lots in Wappoo cut. Hilton Head area another option. Lake Lanier is a great place to learn if you want to avoid current. And sail more, drive less.

Gulf coast is also devoid of much current. Since Iíve never really sailed much above Ft Meyers I canít speak to that area. But it is also relatively close.
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Old 26-04-2020, 11:35   #6
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Are you planning to buy a boat and keep it wherever? Have done the long distance, absentee owner bit before (actually lived in Atlanta at the time) and didn't work out too well. Sailboats don't like sitting for long periods of time. Stuff mildews and corrodes and you end up spending more time on catch up maintenance and repairs than sailing.

Have you thought about keeping a boat on Lake Lanier? Winds can be fluky but it's good training for sail handling and it's just an hour away or less, depending on what side of Atlanta you live on and what part of Lanier you would keep the boat.
Chapin Lake near Columbia South Carolina might be another really nice option. Itís big and itís beautiful country.
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Old 26-04-2020, 11:40   #7
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

coastal SC or GA is your best bet. at least it is driveable by car. St. Pete is a zoo and Tampa or Clearwater is almost as bad
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Old 26-04-2020, 12:29   #8
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

If you want to base your boat in Fort Pierce, Harbortown Marina, I can keep an eye on it for you and probably provide crew, at no charge, to sail to the Bahamas, down to Key West, etc. You can contact me at conchaway3@hughes.net. Thanks
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Old 26-04-2020, 14:32   #9
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Can't really comment on the "drive" to what ever location you choose.

But I can say this, the west/southwest coast of Florida has everything you may want.

Want busy tourist areas, go to Clearwater or St Petersburg or even Sarasota. Want to get away from society, go to Cayo Costa. Want to really get away, sail to the everglades, Indian Key Pass, Turkey key, Little Shark River.

Please don't tell anyone else.......
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Old 26-04-2020, 14:51   #10
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

A lot depends on the size of your boat; a smaller boat-- the lake option looks best; a larger boat-- the Georgia/South Carolina coast would work. Take off from work Thursday p.m.--sleep on the boat--sail Friday/Saturday/Sunday a.m.
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Old 26-04-2020, 16:05   #11
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Look around at any marina.

There are plenty of boats that are just a little too far from where their owner is.
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Old 26-04-2020, 20:42   #12
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

our boat is 9 hours away. We happily make the trek once a month for a week or longer. An option you may want to consider is the pan handle. 4.5 hour drive for you and much cheaper to store a boat than Tampa.
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Old 27-04-2020, 08:29   #13
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

St Augustine is your best bet.
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Old 27-04-2020, 17:24   #14
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

Panama City or Pensacola,,,,,,good Gulf sailing or protected bays in winter
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Old 28-04-2020, 07:58   #15
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Re: GA coast/ St Pete/ Key West?

1) we are based on the Manatee River (southwest corner of Tampa Bay). Great sailing and cruising. As mentioned you have your choice of civilization with St Pete, Sarasota, etc. or peaceful anchorages away from it all.
2) our boat was in the yard 1.5 hours away for 9 months. The drive was getting really old (only 65 miles). Just my input on long distance ownership.
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