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Old 21-03-2022, 15:36   #16
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

Lots of great info in this thread - my $0.02 FWIW- unless your boat is <= 30 the waitlist for slips in Tampa Bay Area is looooooooong. And the slips are expensive and rising. Some municipal marinas have begun restricting slip rentals to residents only. Having said that, the sailing community in the Tampa Bay Area is extremely active w regattas every weekend during season as well as more informal races during the summer months (lack of wind notwithstanding).
Currently we live in North Palm
Beach and the boat is docked at a private dock in Stuart. Locales north of PB county are way more affordable. If I were looking to buy Id check out Indian River area north to the aforementioned Rockledge/cocoa areas
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Old 08-06-2022, 22:59   #17
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

Just wanted to loop back and thank everyone for all the responses. I checked several marinas in Carrabelle and Apalachicola, but all were booked out.

If anyone has leads on marinas or mooring fields that tend to have openings, please let me know. Advice on what people do with the boat during hurricane season would also be welcome.
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Old 02-08-2022, 13:56   #18
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

I'm following this thread too. I'm thinking about moving from Georgia to Florida and taking our boat with us.

Lack of state income tax is a huge motivation, but also cheaper land availability. My boat draws 4'-10" so right there with OP on slip access.

My question is echoing OPs.... What do you do about hurricane season? Savannah usually doesn't get hit like Florida. I was looking at the Florida northeast coast by St. Mary's inlet and considering just making a seasonal pilgrimage to that marina for haul out, DIY work, and hiding from the winds.

What do you all do with your boats in Florida? Is insurance even possible?
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Old 02-08-2022, 14:14   #19
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

Don't forget the hurricanes. I love Key West and would still be there but for family on the west coast. Anyway I think it was 2003 I was leased on to FedEx Custom Critical and we were in a long train of trucks driving through Pensacola to Fairhope, Al area with relief supplies. Some of the I-10 bridges were knocked out and we had to wiggle through town to get out. All the lights were out, soldiers with machine guns were on many corners when drove though one neighborhood people were on their porches cheering us as we drove through. It was surreal.
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Old 02-08-2022, 14:58   #20
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

The potential Hurricane threat to Florida boaters needs to be viewed in perspective. Florida is a huge state with an enormous coastline, so statistically, the odds of a hurricane hitting somewhere in Florida during any hurricane season are statistically significant....BUT....

1. There are sizeable areas of Florida that are much less likely (when looking at historical data) to get hit. Northeast Florida (Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine) have rarely gotten direct hits, historically. Likewise, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa have largely (though not entirely) escaped direct hits.

On the other hand, certain places in Florida -- like the panhandle (Pensacola, Appalachacola, Ft. Walton Beach) have been regularly hammered. Where you choose to live and sail in Florida can have a big impact on your likelihood of experiencing a direct hit.

Also, there are several places in Florida where, depending on your mast height and draft, you can take your boat to relative safety if faced with a likely direct hit. To name a few: the St. Lucie canal near Stuart on Florida's east coast, and the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers on Florida's west coast, are good refuges from the worst of a hurricane's effects.
Likewise places on the St. John's River near Jacksonville are (relatively) safe during hurricanes.

Regarding insurance, it's an ever-changing landscape. Some carriers require you to move your boat north of the Florida/Georgia line during hurricane season. Some require you to haul your boat if a named storm is going to hit your area (some will pay for a portion of the haul-out fee, as well). Some raise your deductible for damage caused by a named storm. Some don't do any of those things.

So, the best advice I can give you regarding insurance is to shop around. There are over 1 million registered boats in Florida as of March, 2022. I would venture to say that most are probably insured. So that's a lot of insurance coverage in the State. Insurance is out there. You just have to do your homework.

I've lived in Florida since 1980 and have owned 5 registered boats during probably 30 of those 42 years. Never suffered any hurricane damage to any of my boats -- or to my homes, either. Like I said, you need to put it in perspective.

Hope this helps.

Bob
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Old 16-01-2023, 14:17   #21
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

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The gulf coast of Florida has wonderful sailing grounds. Secluded anchorages, deserted or almost-deserted islands to explore, fair winds (usually), light waves (usually), some of the best beaches in the world, year-round sailing, and spectacular sunsets. It's the reason I moved to Florida from Michigan in the early 80's, and I have never regretted my decision.

PM me if you would like a bit of "local knowledge" about any of west Florida's sailing grounds from Hernando Beach (about 60 miles north of St. Pete) south to Key West and the Dry Tortugas and everywhere in between. The long and short of it is that there is something for every sailor's tastes in these waters if you do your homework.

Bob
Reviving this thread, I'm on the way from the windward islands through Virgin Islands and exploring options along FL and up the coast to Nova Scotia. I'm a little deeper (6'3") and longer (51') than the OP, but curious how to go about finding morning balls in good condition or marinas that have easy in/out in the west coast region.
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Old 17-01-2023, 13:19   #22
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

Well, Florida's west coast region north of Key West is a bit out of your way if you're headed to Nova Scotia. But still well worth visiting if you get a chance.

As to your 6'3"draft -- it's just like anywhere else. You have to stay farther offshore than someone with a 5' draft, but closer to shore than someone with a 7' draft. There is no scarcity of deep draft sailboats cruising Florida's west coast.

One thing I would point out is that hurricane Ian did a lot of damage here in the west coast from Marco Island north to Venice, with the worst being in the Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island areas. The main impact of that damage is twofold:
1. Infrastructure damage -- marinas and mooring fields badly damaged or wiped out altogether. Repairs are ongoing but will take years to complete.
2. Uncharted Navigation Hazards. Lots of sunken boats, docks, pilings, navigational aids, etc., stuff washed out to sea, then sank. It can be dangerous navigating close to shore, even if the charts show adequate depth. The USCG has issued a bulletin that it may not be safe to cruise the waters between Marco and Venice. It's getting better everyday, but proceed with great care.

North of Venice and south of Marco, it's business as usual.

BTW, if you are intending to do any parts of the ICW (west or east coast) your water draft should be fine, but your air draft could be problematic. There are a few fixed bridges that have 55' clearance.

Bob
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Old 17-01-2023, 13:31   #23
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

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BTW, if you are intending to do any parts of the ICW (west or east coast) your water draft should be fine, but your air draft could be problematic. There are a few fixed bridges that have 55' clearance.

Bob

Actually, south from Biscayne Bay on the east coast, the ICW (west side of the Keys) is too shallow for 6+' draft. You would use Hawk Channel.
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Old 17-01-2023, 13:56   #24
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

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Actually, south from Biscayne Bay on the east coast, the ICW (west side of the Keys) is too shallow for 6+' draft. You would use Hawk Channel.
Agreed. The "ICW" such that it is through part of the Keys has largely been abandoned by the Army Corps of Engineers. I should have pointed that out.

Likewise, from Marco Island to Fort Myers Beach the ICW is actually referred to in sections as the "Old ICW" and is not reliably navigable for any great distance by anything drawing deeper than 4'.

Bob
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:05   #25
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

My vote would be for NE Florida.

This part of Florida is indented from the general coastline, and for what it's worth, seems to be out of the way for a direct hurricane hit. Hurricanes that have passed by here, typically stay offshore, where the worst of the wind will be. Other hurricanes that have come near here, have come up the spine of Florida and while impressive, being over land, have reduced wind speeds.

NE Florida has the St. Johns River, ICW and off course, the Atlantic ocean. You can sail the St. Johns River a good ways up river.

Fernandina to the north and St. Augustine to the south make for fun day sails with an overnight stop.

The B'mas is just a short 2 night hop away.

Georgia is just up the coast, Brunswick, Savannah and Charleston. All easily attainable by ocean or ICW.

Being on the NE, it does get hot in summer, but not quite as hot as S. Florida. Winters are generally mild.

There are dozens and dozens of artificial reef's close by for your fishing adventures.

The key attraction, off course, is the proximity of the B'mas, without question, the finest cruising ground in the world. This would make the east coast a lock. NE Florida is just a bit further away from the madness that is south Florida.

Hope this provides food for thought. The rest of Florida has been covered in previous responses.
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:14   #26
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Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

We should not be talking up NE FL. i had a frozen water pipe this winter and am now sailing this 2 day hop to Bahamas, which really takes 6 to 9 days in the hazard prone ditch. .
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:24   #27
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

Taking the ICW south is a royal pain in the rear end. I did it once, never again.
The offshore route to the B'mas for me.
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:45   #28
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

We have taken a few recon trips down to FL and liked the west coast better than the Atlantic side, but would really suggest you fly down, rent a car and do some visiting. Places have different vibes and what we liked might be the opposite of what you want.
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:48   #29
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

If trying the ICW on the west coast, you can't go through Venice. Th bridge is broken.
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Old 17-01-2023, 15:50   #30
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Re: Places to Live and/0r Sail in Florida?

I also must disagree a little bit with McHughV.

that north eastern part of Florida is not as hurricane safe as it seems. It looks great on one of those maps of historic hurricane data.

But all of the hurricane damage my boat sustained was in the north east area of Florida.

2 category 3+ hurricane eyes went right over it in the St Johns.
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