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Old 14-09-2021, 17:57   #1
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pirate Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Good morning,

Long story long, I lost my Dad earlier this year to cancer at the ripe age of 65. With him goes about 40 years of experience as he worked in the boating industry starting in his teens. Most of those years as a professional captain on sportfishing boats. He leaves behind a family jewel that weve been enjoying for the past 10 years a 1984 Beneteau First 42. I cant stomach the idea of selling it yet so I would like to take over making memories with this thing and the family.

Right now, the boat is in Jupiter FL which is also where my family is from. We already had to move slips one time because the owner of the slip finally bought a boat. It was a scramble to find something suitable that wasnt a fortune for hurricane season. Now that short term lease is up and dockage options in the Jupiter area are hard to find. I started looking in Marathon and there are some good options and I think we will use the boat more down there.

One critical issue is Ive never done such a trip before. Ive grown up around boats, helped my Dad on 80+ sportfishing boats, and weve done a few nice trips to the Bahamas with this sailboat (as well as sail around locally) and I know enough to be dangerous but Ive always had my Dad nearby. I own a Hobie 16 that I sail for fun as well as a 27 center console we use to get offshore for diving and fishing. So not a complete newbie but still green when it comes to larger sailing boats. Im planning the journey south and its anxiety inducing.

The boat has brand new, never used sails. I just replaced the water pump, changed the oil and replaced oil/fuel filters. Motor seems good. Im trying to figure out the best plan for replacing the bimini as it shredded during some summer storms. I have a laundry list of things I would like to do but really I think the only thing it needs is to install the sails back on. Everything else would just be a bonus. Safety gear we already have 2 PLBs and 1 EPIRB. Really heavy duty ditch bag with all kinds of gear. Towboat US membership ready to roll. One thing that really concerns me is the 7 draft on this boat. Weve had issues in the past with this and I need to keep a watchful eye wherever I go.

So early/Mid October Im thinking the plan should be:

Day 0 (Thursday) Leave in afternoon, motor from Jupiter to Peanut Island and anchor overnight.
Day 1- PI to Fort Lauderdale sailing offshore. Anchor up in Lake Sylvia or find a marina (Pier 66?)
Day 2- FLL to No Name Harbor or find a marina. Going offshore again because of 63 air draft. This is hopefully the halfway point so I really wouldnt mind being in a marina to charge both the batteries on the boat and also the batteries of the crew. Not thrilled to deal with Miami boat traffic on a Saturday but so be it.
Day 3 NNH to Rodriguez Key night on the hook
Day 4 (Monday) RK to Marathon to a marina near Vaca cut. Rent a mini-van and head north.

Ive recruited 5 of my good friends with me. All have boating experience but only one has decent sailing experience. From Miami to Marathon Im thinking we either motor or motor sail in Hawks Channel to avoid obstructions. Otherwise, the plan is to just pay attention to the charts and head south. Im open to all suggestions particularly things like:
  • How far offshore to sail to avoid fighting the gulfstream/ safely navigate traffic/ where to find the Mahi
  • Marina recommendations for Ft Lauderdale and Miami that arent too far out of the way/ accessible with 7 draft
  • Things to triple check on the boat
  • Things to consider while sailing
  • If you think this is a horrible idea and I need to hire a captain
  • Things I should buy to be prepared

A wise man once said if anything's going to happen it's going to happen out there. I can watch all the youtube videos in the world but until I actually get out there and rack up some hours Im never going to be able to truly learn. No better time to start than now.
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Old 14-09-2021, 18:30   #2
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Relax. You got this.
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Old 14-09-2021, 18:34   #3
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Stay a few miles off shore and you will be fine. The Gulfstream shifts but is typically about 10(?) miles off shore at Palm Beach. You should be able to do those stretches in daylight. Entering everglades inlet and finding anchorage might be the most stressful part. Try to avoid doing this on a weekend for your sanity.

I may be passing by you on my way to Fort Pierce.
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Old 14-09-2021, 20:21   #4
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

We live on Biscayne Bay and we have done the trip a dozen times. There is a south going counter current running opposite the Gulf Stream close to the beach, often delineated by a weed line.

We stay on the 100 ft contour line in sight of the beach.

We sail none stop to No Name Harbor and anchor outside the harbor, fewer mosquitoes, on the south of the route taken by the power boaters. Good holding, sandy bottom in 10ft of water. From Carysfort reef south we pick up the dive and snorkel mooring balls on the outer reef, no charge, a breeze and no mosquitoes.

Enjoy,
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Old 15-09-2021, 09:46   #5
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

We are in North Palm. I'm assuming you'll be coming down from Jupiter on the inside and not braving the inlet. Avoid Peanut on the weekends and be sure to go around on the west side, the current on the east side can be a bear. You may want to anchor past the turning basin vs. close to peanut. Note that there is 1 fixed bridge in Miami that does not conform to the 65' height. It's 54-56, something like that. Our Beneteau 423 has no depth issues with a 6' draft. We recently stayed at Marathon Marina which was recently bought by the Safe Harbor group. Very nice marina...check pricing as we get it for free because we are in a Safe Harbor. Easy in and out as well with no depth issues.
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Old 15-09-2021, 09:47   #6
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

In Fort Lauderdale another marina to consider is Bahia Mar. It's right on A1A within walking distance to restaurants, bars, and shops. If you choose to go to Lake Sylvia, keep on the East side of the entrance. Seven foot may be a challenge. To keep from pushing against the Florida Current, stay within 60ft of water. Unfortunately you'll not likely find any Mahia Mahia at that depth. No Name Harbor is very crowded on the weekends and music is played loud into the night. Although if you like to dance, the salsa is fabulous. You can refuel at Cranden Park marina on Biscayne if needed. There is a small convenience store there too. Have fun!
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Old 15-09-2021, 10:04   #7
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

You might reconsider Pier 66 if you haven't been in there before. In some ways its a good location, its very near the inlet, but, it is also right after the bridge which likely means holding in a pretty stiff current in a very busy area, waiting for the bridge to open if you don't time things correctly.

Well, you'll have the same wait for all the other marinas too.

But Pier 66 is also very narrow and tight in there and might be a bit tricky (I have no experience if the others are the same).

Finally, Pier 66 is undergoing a complete multi-year reconstruction project and essentially NO facilities are available. No pool, laundry, showers etc. There are portable toilets. Fuel is available as is pump out in your slip.
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Old 15-09-2021, 10:31   #8
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Thumbs up Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Sounds like a great trip. Some suggestions for novice crew:
  • Make sure you have at least 2 people who will not get seasick
  • Adult beverages can be an issue with novice crew, set some parameters before the party starts
  • Do not navigate by committee
  • Remind everyone to alert you if something doesn't look, feel or sound right
  • Collision avoidance is a good thing, which way to turn is not intuitive to novices
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Old 15-09-2021, 11:37   #9
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

I made this journey as a novice sailor with a new boat.

I would think about a short shakedown cruise before committing to an extended day sail.

Either a short run out the jetty, put the sails up, and return, or a cruise to the Conch bar, or other nearby anchorage.

A Dead battery, and clogged seawater intake put a monkey wrench into my trip after I already had committed, and made the schedule the next few days chaotic, and rushed.

An overnight will insure the water, and toilets, and batteries are working, and there aren't any last minute maintenance items.

And second, add in some weather days.

Check ahead at your stops to insure there is room.

Pier 66 had ZERO openings when I was there last.

Boat shows, rallies, cruiser clubs, and Bahama flings can pack an anchorage, or marina.

And have a plan B for each day of the trip in case a breakdown, or unexpected storm requires a run for shelter, or spare parts.
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Old 15-09-2021, 12:45   #10
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

I like michaeld's advice about the Bahia Mar marina instead of Lake Sylvia anchoring. The entrance and even some center areas of Lake Sylvia can be limited with your draft. I would also favor calling the Ft. Lauderdale City Marina for moorings available on the south side of Los Olas Bridge.

Don't expect to be able to anchor on the protected side of Rodriguez Key with any significant wind out of the NE, but this is a fine good weather choice. The best option for anchoring down Hawk's Channel before Marathon will be at the Channel Five bridge where you can choose protection on either side of the bridge. On the "Bay Side", inside from the "Atlantic Side", you can choose between Lower Matecumbe bight and around Fiesta Key.
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Old 15-09-2021, 13:11   #11
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enyar View Post
Good morning,


So early/Mid October I’m thinking the plan should be:

Day 0 (Thursday)– Leave in afternoon, motor from Jupiter to Peanut Island and anchor overnight.
Day 1- PI to Fort Lauderdale sailing offshore. Anchor up in Lake Sylvia or find a marina (Pier 66?)
Day 2- FLL to No Name Harbor or find a marina. Going offshore again because of 63’ air draft. This is hopefully the halfway point so I really wouldn’t mind being in a marina to charge both the batteries on the boat and also the batteries of the crew. Not thrilled to deal with Miami boat traffic on a Saturday but so be it.
Day 3 – NNH to Rodriguez Key – night on the hook
Day 4 (Monday) – RK to Marathon to a marina near Vaca cut. Rent a mini-van and head north.

.
Lake Sylvia was packed when I was there. I ended up going to the Hollywood city marina. There are a couple lakes near there with plenty of anchor room, although 7 ft draft might be sketchy in places.

I anchored in No Name Harbor, good holding, easy to navigate too even at night, plenty of room.

Rodriguez key - Way too ambitious. I spent the next day at Billy's point South Biscayne Bay, (Elliot Key near Adam's Key), and went out Ceaser creek.

Next day Rodrigues key - Not a bad place. Lots of crab traps when I was there.

From Rodrigues key to Marathon in one day is doable with good wind, but I spent a night at Long key, instead of trying non stop.

Easy sail to Marathon Key from Long Key.

This gives you shorter days, and less stress trying to make anchorage before sunset, or trying to find a place to park in the dark.
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Old 15-09-2021, 13:15   #12
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

PS, I spent several days at Long Key Because of a North Front until things calmed down.
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Old 15-09-2021, 13:39   #13
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

I grew up in Jupiter myself. Lost both my parents in Jupiter.

Anyway, I'm a newbe at sailing, after tons of years of Bahamas bound power boats (mostly). We returned from GBI recently, and are headed out again with our sailboat.

JUST went thru installing a new mainsail. So, first advice. Put the sail up a few days before you leave. We had batten length issues. As in, the sailmaker cut a couple too SHORT....You may find some other issues too. Don't be in a mad rush...

on the way down: Second advice. Avoid going thru Boca inlet, but Lake Boca this time of year is, well, survivable. Just got back from Cudjoe Key, but no particular advice for the lower keys, other than, there are still some lobster there.
The dolphin are in the GS, so forget that when southbound...

Get the basics working, nav lights, bilge pumps, the head, chartplotter with details of where you are headed. U will be fine....

Oh, I hope ur airdraft number includes the little skinny things on top. Have you seen the Southern Blvd bridge lately?
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Old 15-09-2021, 14:01   #14
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enyar View Post
One thing that really concerns me is the 7 draft on this boat. Weve had issues in the past with this and I need to keep a watchful eye wherever I go.
This part here is going to make the trip adventurous........

I won't add to much, other than to say, if you should need to go into Boot Key Harbor, do not go into Sisters Creek with that draft.
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Old 15-09-2021, 14:42   #15
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Re: Jupiter to Marathon FL with a rookie crew any and all assistance welcome!

Bahia Mar is probably the most expensive marina in Ft. Lauderdale. Also look into Las Olas city marina. Hollywood city Marina, Coolies Landing. I know people like Lake Sylvia, but North lake in Hollywood has an anchorage that you can drop the hook for a few days without getting bothered. It shows shallow water on the charts but far bigger mono hulls with deeper draft anchor there a lot.
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