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Old 23-09-2022, 07:10   #46
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

You are 100% correct. Everyone stay away from Florida….especially if you have a pontoon boat. 😎. All 8,500 miles of florida coastline are managed the same. Stay away - boaters are not welcome in our state.

Originally Posted by SV Lady Lena View Post
Good afternoon cruisers, I have embarked on a post covid trek to Florida to get a jump on the winter cruising season to the Keys and Bahamas; like i've done many times in the past. Except it would appear during the covid epidemic local and state politicians have been raging war against the poor and lower working class! Hear me out! There is no doubt we've all seen the problem here with derelicts and that problem lies solely with the greedy politicians that created heaping mounds of red tape to clear the water ways of these wasted vessels. But what's new is with Florida's economy in the dumps people can no longer afford to live in their traditional land based homes and there has been a huge trend of people moving to the cheaper alternative of water life. I'm certain many of you guys and gals have seen a huge uptick in live aboard boats every where and many times creating serious navigation and anchoring problems! So it would seem that Florida and every local government agency rather than working with those local communities and new live aboard folks they would rather starve them from every access point to land. It doesn't take a genius to see where this is leading! Yes ever since I started my path down into Florida ICW waters every place that was convenient to stop anchor and access land for water, groceries, food or just a fun night in town has been completely cut off by threatening laws and ordinances! I am currently in Tarpon Bay and can tell you it has been a complete hell trying to enjoy myself! Its hard enough sometimes trying to chart, plan and navigate that far without all this petty BS! I wonder how many millions of dollars was spent trying to implement all this to harass these poor people but I can tell you when I get back I'm selling my boat and ill start flying to the Bahamas or wherever I go without ever stepping foot in Florida again! They have taken the fun and challenge out of cruising! My advise is unless you have lots of money to afford those expensive marinas; (I do not), get them early because they cant accommodate everyone (I'm sure you seen FL marinas only cater to the wealthy yachtsman!) and they'll likely jack their rates up even more. If your like me on a budget you'll want to plan on not stopping even for anchoring; yes new laws are coming into affect on that as well-police harassment included! It was customary for me to spend a week in Largo before heading on but if I can't access land for basic necessities for the trip then that changes everything! I'm guessing these politicians didn't factor in the hundreds if not thousands of cruisers who travel through Florida to reach the Keys, Bahamas or anywhere in the Caribbean for that matter. It's clear they don't want you, your family, your boat or your money! It's their loss I'll take my money elsewhere!
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Old 23-09-2022, 07:34   #47
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

How much cheaper is it to live on a boat of any size? Not much in a marina and only invertebrates can handle the summer FL temps at anchor.
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Old 23-09-2022, 08:21   #48
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Ummm...what? I just finished running from Texas to Marylnad a few weeks ago in our 2003 Carver 444.

The only problem that came up in Florida was traveling during holidays with excessive boat traffic and rude operators. We anchored, stayed at FREE docks and only paid for marina spots four times. In Carrabelle to wait for weather, Tarpon Springs to resupply and stretch our legs, Morehaven to time the lake OC lake crossing and Indiantown to meet friends in the area.

We never paid more than $2 a foot, and never had an issue getting to shore. We found alot of the small towns or cities have free docks for a 3 day limit but a place to anchor nearby. There were lots of derelict boats in some areas but it appeared many more had been removed. Navionics was showing there should be wrecks or derelict boats but they were gone. In Jacksonville area we witnessed a sunken boat being removed from the free dock at Sisters Creek.

So being one of those people with powerboats, we did not opt for the big fancy expensive marinas. We mostly anchored and docked to provision because we do not want to supply from a tender, our personal choice. We never felt like we had to pay to stay, we never felt unwelcome, and we absolutely had a good time, with the exception of boats anchored in the channel or under bridges fishing or swimming.

If you plan to stay in Miami with the super or mega yachts, you are going to pay, if you want to travel on the cheap, you can definetly do it without problems. If you go somewhere looking for a problem, you are going to find a problem.
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Old 23-09-2022, 08:23   #49
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Im not sure where you start from but the Salty Dawgs depart from Hampton, Va and Newport for the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Some boats join the rally from several points south. Check out their website.

Florida and especially local venues have been erecting barriers to transient boaters for several years. It’s a bummer. You might get help from the SSCA local assisting representatives along the way. The issue would end if the complaining adjacent land owners were made to pay the tax liability on their imputed ownership of the ICW bottom. Right now, they get the cake and table privileges.
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Old 23-09-2022, 08:39   #50
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Go cruising. Mexico is not far away and cheaper
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Old 23-09-2022, 10:20   #51
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Just a question, to anyone familiar with cruising Florida - are there many yacht clubs in Florida, and if so, do they offer reciprocal privileges (short-term stays) to members of other clubs?

In our area (Great Lakes) membership at most yacht clubs has reciprocal privileges, which makes it easy and inexpensive to cruise around the lakes.

I think much of florida, and it might apply to the Great lakes, provides reciprocal privileges to other clubs in the region. I don't think that a club in Florida would recognize a club from Maryland for reciprocity.

However, in New England and Canada maritimes, we have found their reciprocity is a little humorous. We have yet to find a club that cares where you are a member. The vast majority don't care if you are a member anywhere, they provide privileges to all yachtsmen. Then there are the relative few, like Biddeford Pool Maine, that provide no services, regardless of any club you are a member of.
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Old 23-09-2022, 11:19   #52
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

I've been reading about Florida issues like these for years, and signed a few petitions supporting anchoring, even though I never sail there. I have little interest in that.

My suggestion? Do what I do. I live in New England. I sail to Bermuda, and follow I 65 South to St Thomas. Or you might want to pick a point farther east so you can then sail downwind through the islands. Lots of places to anchor, and on return you can island hop, skirt Cuba and draft permitting, hit the Bahamas and then time it with the weather for a fast return with a Gulf Stream 4 knot assist. Or you can return straight north via Bermuda which is what I do.

Some people are too timid to go offshore. If you are, try crewing a few times first. I crewed a few times and then skippered myself more times than I could count. A four man crew makes for easy watch keeping--three 2 hour watches 4.5 days to Bermuda, 5.5 to St Thomas. I aim for the west side Jost as the water is deep and free of reefs.

ICW? Never done it. Don't want to have to be alert for every buoy. Yuck! Instead of a month to move north and south--motoring all day, you can be sailing offshore can be done in eleven days, easy lovely sailing. Stop for a Cuban cigar in Bermuda at the smoke shop. Leave New England on a north wind if heading south in November and you have three days of cold instead of two, but a nicer passage.

To provision in the islands. Walmart in Fajardo in Puerto Rico is a good location. Pay for a slip at the marina for a day and Uber over to Walmart with an empty ice chest. Ask the driver to wait and offer to pay him cash directly. Fill up with the maximum provisions on ice, and head back. My only caution would be to not trust anyone there. Ive been scammed a few times. Provisioning elsewhere in the Caribbean is a nightmare, or super expensive IMO.

There are many places in the Northern Caribbean that will do your laundry if you need that. Or you can do it yourself if you like.

After re-provisioning at Walmart, sailing upwind from PR to the USVI when finished will take a bit longer, but it is lovely sailing. I love Vieques, I could hang there for the whole winter. Don't trust the free moorings in Esperanza, and the grassy bottom is poor holding--Ensenada Sun Bay is one of my favorite spots. It is a lovely Mateus bottle shaped harbor with 14-21' depth and a shelf around the edge that quickly drops below 7'. One of the nicest harbors anywhere--and no one uses it. You can walk into town and at night listen to the horses running free.

I find that if I do anchor there people follow me in. Timid folk follow the leaders. Most people want to be close to the town. Not my style. I avoid those places yet everyone else seems to want to have the closest mooring to shore. The free moorings in Esperanza are pathetic and the grassy bottom makes anchoring there a literal drag. Locals will try to scam you for fees claiming to own them. If you do grab one for an hour while people go ashore, leave someone behind and definitely don't trust those moorings unless you dive on it. If it's empty and close to shore--it probably the worst one there.

You can leisurely sail east along the south shore and overnight at the last harbor, Bahia Salina del Sur--I call it Unexploded Ordinance Bay, its' the best departure point heading east. Or you can hit Culebra once you clear the eastern point. Spend a day sailing up to St Thomas and then on to St John on the weekends for live music. I could easily spend the whole winter in that area. The water is clear and you can see down 60' most places east of Esperanza. The few buoys are often missing. Do your approaches in daylight.

Coral Harbor at St John is a bit crowded but that is where you find some great live music. Lots of whales near there in February.

No one tells you where you can or can't anchor. Every place in the USVI and SVI is better than Florida.
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Old 23-09-2022, 11:23   #53
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

So in your first paragraph you said you’ve never sailed to Florida, yet in your last paragraph you state every place in USVI and SVI is better than Florida. How do you know?
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Old 23-09-2022, 11:52   #54

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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Originally Posted by 5BTM View Post
Hundreds of stories like this:

Ever try to negotiate with the irresponsible hippy-dippy crowd
that believes everything should be free?
In the interest of Forum Ethics, HIPPY DIPPY is a disrespectful synonym to the less fortunate, non capitalistic, ideology of frugalistic existence on the Water.

Sorry you have such disrespect for sailors of different ideologies.

By the way... Are you a member of a Yacht Club?

Sounds like..... "Freedom in Texas" should apply to ALL, allowing others to exist as well In what ever way they feel is freedom.


Just more Tyrannical Injustices to insure MORE Capitalistic Ventures.
That's NOT Freedom!

It's Tyranny!

and Texas And Florida are the Top Offenders!

My opinion!
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Old 23-09-2022, 14:37   #55
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

I am in Stuart , and previously sailed the entire east coast to Newfoundland north and Colombia to the south . many of the 17 countries I visited required a mooring ball fee or a dingy landing fee , many did not . The charges even in their less prosperous economies , seemed in line with what the charges are here . Everything is getting more expensive everywhere . It is more difficult to be a boat bum now , it the bum is literal .
I would ask you not to come to my area . My view is , the less bums the better
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Old 23-09-2022, 16:57   #56
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Visited Florida last spring. Never again. Overbuilt ugliness as far as the eye can see, beaches dotted with tar-balls and crowded with drunk college kids.

Quick bucks in real estate as Gov. DeSatan sets the tone.
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Old 23-09-2022, 18:37   #57
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Originally Posted by Boatwright View Post
Visited Florida last spring. Never again. Overbuilt ugliness as far as the eye can see, beaches dotted with tar-balls and crowded with drunk college kids.

Quick bucks in real estate as Gov. DeSatan sets the tone.
That’s funny given that so many from your home state visit florida and have actually retired there.
Sailing a Catalina 470; Working hard
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Old 23-09-2022, 20:34   #58
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

I have done boating and live aboard cruising in Florida since 1959. Yes there have been HUGE changes in cruising in FL.

I pretty much agree with this OP. Pre pandemic it was getting very hard to cruise Florida without a pretty large budget. But now is even much worse. And prices for marinas (especially in South Fl) are crazy high. And the authorities and land based residents are vehemently against anchor outs. I spend absolute minimum time in FL now. Docks even on a monthly basis are thousands a month!! Crazy. Anchoring is becoming very difficult.

I find New England very similar. Pre pandemic it was hard to anchor out. Cruising wasn’t enjoyable until I got up to Maine. The only cruiser friendly area is the Carolinas. N. Carolina is very cruiser friendly with free docks, loaner cars etc. I also found the Chesapeake pretty cruiser friendly although Annapolis proper is pretty darned expensive. But if you go just a few miles away, it is much better. And lots of anchorage. In Fl. You can anchor behind a what use to be about a 3-400K dollar home and the owner comes out to his sea wall, shoots you a bird and says “I.m calling the cops!” In the Chesapeake, you can anchor behind a 5 million dollar home and the owner will come out to the back and say “ hey, nice boat!” Yes there is that much difference.

My answer………..I vote with my anchor. I go where I am wanted. That usually means sailing to the E Caribbean where anchoring is plentiful and free, the weather, sailing and diving wonderful, and the local businesses and municipalities Welcome you! This area makes Florida look like a dump. Yes MON! Panama is another wonderful cruising country. I have also very much enjoyed cruising Pacific Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. Again very cruiser friendly.

Sorry USA, my home country, I would rather cruise somewhere else. Money money money. Bring lots or get lost. Florida? Now the worst. And like the OP said, the politics of greed have a lot to do with it.

Am I bitter? Yes. I grew up in Fl. And really dislike the changes that I have seen.
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Old 24-09-2022, 05:31   #59

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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

I live on a nice street. Costs a bundle to live in the area. If six cousins show up with motor homes and park on the street and borrow my garden house. I’m tossing them off the street.
In Toronto we’ve had homeless destroy city parks disrupt nature and collect dangerous garbage. The cost to the city from fires has been in the millions. Theft from construction sites all over the city near 3 parks. Understand the equivalent to $19,000.00 a year has been collected for each and everyone of them but they choose to burden society with their bad decisions. A yacht is not cheaper to maintain than a home. Just because you found a free boat and put household stuff in it doesn’t make you a boater.
I’ve been in two clubs which don’t allow live aboard boats near them.
Seems folks to cheap to own a home, or too busy dodging taxes, living on a boat call themselves “ cruisers”. That’s nice but quite preaching like the rest of us are at fault for those of us not buying the line.
The folks in yacht clubs have succeeded. They’ve put in the effort and can afford the luxury of a boat and a fine club to park it at. Now we are suppose to feel guilty because folks in leaking boats said so.
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Old 24-09-2022, 05:41   #60
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Re: Cruisers are no longer welcome in Florida!

Originally Posted by Boatwright View Post
Visited Florida last spring. Never again. Overbuilt ugliness as far as the eye can see, beaches dotted with tar-balls and crowded with drunk college kids.

Quick bucks in real estate as Gov. DeSatan sets the tone.

what do you expect Florida to do .. build a wall? people want to come to Florida. they bring their money and ugliness with them. Been going on for a long time.
some of the best times of my life were spent on a boat. it just took a long time to realize it

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