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Old 12-09-2019, 14:06   #1
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Isle sailers going to the keys

I am waiting to start planning a sailing trip with my wife and another couple from lantana fl to key west and this will be are firs time sailing the icw and donít really know anything about icw or keys sailing but not planning on going till mid January so my question is where and how do I even start ?
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Old 12-09-2019, 14:58   #2
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

https://www.waterwayguide.com/ might be a good start.
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Old 12-09-2019, 14:59   #3
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

Okay thanks I will check it out
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Old 12-09-2019, 15:17   #4
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

Skipper Bobs is good. Gives you all the anchorages and bridge schedules listed by mile marker. Very handy for planning.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:56   #5
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

Frank Papy has a good guide to the keys.
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Old 13-09-2019, 09:56   #6
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

Sailing in the ICW through south Fla isn’t going to happen. You will be slowly motoring through concrete canyons and waiting for bridge openings. If you want to actually sail you will have to go offshore, but remember prevailing winds will be SE.
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Old 13-09-2019, 10:03   #7
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

What kind of boat, draft, how much time do you have? etc. We did the Florida loop Leaving Punta Gorda on the West coast, crossing lake O via the Caloosahatchee, south on the east coast (1000 bridges) to the keys and then closed the loop back to Punta Gorda. We did it too fast at 26 days. We should have taken 60 days.
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Old 13-09-2019, 11:19   #8
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

Don't let the nay sayers scare you! There are 16 bridges from Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale. If you can make 6.5 it's or better over the ground, you will make them all with minimal, if any wait.

If you can make Ft. Lauderdale in one day, over night at a marina or anchor out at lake Sylvia orctske a mooring at the Las Ola's mooring field. If your air draft is less than 55ft, you can go all the way to Miami motoring down the ICW. If not, you must go outside from Port Everglades to Government cut in Miami. No sweat!
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Old 13-09-2019, 11:42   #9
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

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Originally Posted by dennismenace111 View Post
Don't let the nay sayers scare you! There are 16 bridges from Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale. If you can make 6.5 it's or better over the ground, you will make them all with minimal, if any wait.

If you can make Ft. Lauderdale in one day, over night at a marina or anchor out at lake Sylvia orctske a mooring at the Las Ola's mooring field. If your air draft is less than 55ft, you can go all the way to Miami motoring down the ICW. If not, you must go outside from Port Everglades to Government cut in Miami. No sweat!
The fact remains; it's not "sailing", it's motoring if you're going down the ICW. The stretch between Palm Beach and Lauderdale is particularly frustrating with as you point out 16 bridges, with confusion, traffic and all sorts of nonsense at more than a few of them. On the flip side, sailing down the outside absolutely wonderful. I can't for a moment understand why anyone would subject themselves to the ICW through Florida unless they had no other choice.

And that first fixed bridge in Miami is 55' on a good day. Can easily be 54' so if you're anywhere close to that, go outside.
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Old 13-09-2019, 13:55   #10
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

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Originally Posted by sailm8 View Post
What kind of boat, draft, how much time do you have? etc. We did the Florida loop Leaving Punta Gorda on the West coast, crossing lake O via the Caloosahatchee, south on the east coast (1000 bridges) to the keys and then closed the loop back to Punta Gorda. We did it too fast at 26 days. We should have taken 60 days.


A hunter 26 and we are looking at spending about 14 days going from west palm to key west and back
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Old 13-09-2019, 13:58   #11
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

And thanks for all of your advice looking forward to the trip
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Old 13-09-2019, 14:52   #12
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

The short answer as to where to start is Not in Lantana. Lantana is located in the area us Florida sailors know as Bridge Hell. There is no practical way to sail in this part of the ICW as there is a Drawbridge ever couple of miles on scheduled openings. If you are motoring at 6-7 knots you can make progress. Your best bet is to go off shore until you get to Key Biscayne. After that you can take the ICW inside route if you draw less than 5 feet of go down Hawk channel behind the reef on the ocean side. Also note that even if you motor the ICW if your mast height is more than 56 feet you must go offshore between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami as the Julia Tuttle fixed bridge is only 56 ft high. That should get you started. You can download charts from NOAA and start looking at them in the meantime.
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Old 13-09-2019, 18:43   #13
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

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Originally Posted by joshash View Post
I am waiting to start planning a sailing trip with my wife and another couple from Lantana fl to key west and this will be are firs time sailing the icw and donít really know anything about icw or keys sailing but not planning on going till mid January so my question is where and how do I even start ?
Hi all, CaptVR here. Been running the waters your talking about for 50 of my 72 years. Number one GET ALL CHARTS AND WATER WAY GUiDES FOR YOUR CRUISE, check notices to mariners, mark your charts and guides accordingly, it will save your ass.......Garmins good, you can't mark themmmmm. Besides, your electronics fail, your paper is worth a million bucks.
If your leaving Lantana, you might as well go down to Lauderdale on the inside. You did not mention your draft nor height. But if your over 55' you might as well go outside from Lauderdale down to Gov.Cut. There is one lower bridge in downtown Miami. You could go back up to WPB and go outside, but you will probably have prevailing winds on the nose, and don't forget the Gulfstream is 1 - 3 knots against you. I lived in WPB and took boats south, you will find yourself motor sailing with maybe 3 knots over the bottom, long trip down at walking speed. Inside, if your good at math, you can time the bridges pretty good and have little wait at them. Before entering the cross state canal, you have a railroad bridge that restricts you to 49'.. They also had some shoeling at areas of west side of the lake with controlling depth of 4' about 6 months ago. We had to backtrack in an 85' motor yacht that drew 4' they were reporting 6'. Long way back out to the gulf and south around via the keys. And that's also a motor, if you can make the lake, you can sail for a couple hours, but if you continue to motor around the canal at the bottom, it's like Disney with all the wild life. By the way, that is a total motor across the state. Bulk of that canal is maybe 150' wide with 10-20 foot bluffs on each side. No sailing it at all. After coming out by Stuart, try to make it to Pecks Lake in the ICW, great anchorage... With a full run the next day, you can make WPB..
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Old 14-09-2019, 04:14   #14
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

The Hunter 26 with water ballast has 6' draft with the centerboard down, but only 1'9" with it up. With the board up it still has a shoal keel, so it is a good boat for the ICW. But don't forget the rudder. With it fully down it draws about 3'4". Maybe a little more if you've got the boat heavily loaded for the trip. The air draft is 41', so no problem with bridges. Whether you can average 6.5 knots to hit all the bridge openings just right depends on what kind of outboard you have on it.
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Old 30-09-2019, 06:10   #15
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Re: Isle sailers going to the keys

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Originally Posted by joshash View Post
I am waiting to start planning a sailing trip with my wife and another couple from lantana fl to key west and this will be are firs time sailing the icw and donít really know anything about icw or keys sailing but not planning on going till mid January so my question is where and how do I even start ?
Florida keys articles

https://issuu.com/southwinds/docs/so...dsfebruary2012 pg 40

https://issuu.com/southwinds/docs/southwindsoctober2011 pg 42
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