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Old 15-03-2024, 16:29   #1
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Travel time

Hi folks,
I'm new to cruising and just getting back into sailing so call me rusty.
My question is does anyone have real world experience sailing from Key West to St Lucia Florida. Moving a new purchase over to Indian Town before I go broke. How much time should I allocate and what should I expect? Hope to head out on the 22nd of March. I would appreciate any & all input.
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Old 15-03-2024, 17:04   #2
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Re: Travel time

I don't think anyone can realistically answer any of your questions without knowing a lot more about you and your purchase. From Key West to SL, is typically an easy trip, especially going the offshore route.
Nobody here has a crystal ball, so the weather is always an unknown, but this time of the year, should be smooth sailing.
Before heading to IT, be sure you check your air draft as some bridges might be in your way.
If you remain concerned, think about hiring some competent crew that will know this route.
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Old 15-03-2024, 17:25   #3
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Re: Travel time

Thanks michughv,
Not looking for an exact number just an average over years of folks that may have made a similar journey. I'm guessing 4 days in good to fair conditions.
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Old 15-03-2024, 18:02   #4
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Re: Travel time

Well, from KW to SL you've got the Gulf Stream pushing you the whole way, so that would be my preference. Trying to do the waterway from KW to SL is gonna be fraught with problem areas and lotsa traffic.

Since this is a new...to you boat....I'd try to do a quick shakedown trip around KW to make sure all systems are working as they should.

My best advice I can give you is to become a member of BoatUS or Towboat, as these folks will come bail you out of jamb. If you are not a member, their help can cost an arm and a leg.

You don't mention whether you plan to go solo or have crew. At the very least, consider competent crew for the trip.

SL inlet is notoriously bad, so I'd plan to come in elsewhere, WPB has a pretty decent inlet. Take the ICW north from there to SL.
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Old 16-03-2024, 09:19   #5
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Re: Travel time

Thanks, good to know about coming in down in PB. Iím definitely onboard with the tow service as well.
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Old 16-03-2024, 15:05   #6
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Re: Travel time

Personally, I prefer to trip north from Key West to Fort Myers and then through the Okeechobee to Indiantown, assuming you can clear the 55-foot bridges. One overnight sail to Ft Myers Beach (maybe 135 miles). Then about 120 miles to Indiantown--probably 3 days.
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Old 17-03-2024, 05:02   #7
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Re: Travel time

Not sure why you'd want to go IT. It's a kinda isolated place in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:09   #8
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Re: Travel time

Thanks JJKettelwell,
Going through the locks does intrigue me but if the spec's are right the Endeavor has a 63 foot air draft. I'm somewhat concerned about the bridge west of the St Lucie Lock, shows up as 55 feet? May have to step the mast anyway.
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:12   #9
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Re: Travel time

What is your intent in going to IT ??

There are other storage yards available.
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Old 17-03-2024, 14:31   #10
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Re: Travel time

You can't get to Indiantown with a 63-foot stick up. There were several boatyards at Ft.Myers Beach where you could have taken the stick out, but I don't know what their current status is. Bridges over the St. Lucie River are 55 feet too, so you would have to find a yard before then to unstep your mast.
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Old 17-03-2024, 15:22   #11
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Re: Travel time

Indian Town is close to my dadís place in Stuart & I know he would love to be involved with the work. I would like to have the boat on the hard through the hurricane season for insurance purposes. There must be a place in Stuart that is equipped to put a mast? That being said, if you know a place to put it on the hard between West Palm & St Lucie please feel free to share Iím not locked in by any means.
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Old 17-03-2024, 15:40   #12
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Re: Travel time

There are several haulout yards in Ft. Pierce......three I think...I don't remember their names...I think Cracker Boy is one, They are all conveniently located very close to the inlet.
Worth a shot, and it's very close to Stuart.
That'd be my recommendation and you wouldn't have to pull your mast either, so there is that.

My 2c is that there is no place safe from hurricanes. A cat 5 'cane will take out any place it hits, whether close to the ocean or further inland.
Keeping a boat at IT is no guarantee you'll be spared.

I have been to one of these yards some time back when I was boat hunting...maybe it was two, can't remember anymore, but liked what I saw. Would definitely prefer it over IT.
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Old 17-03-2024, 15:53   #13
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Re: Travel time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Personally, I prefer to trip north from Key West to Fort Myers and then through the Okeechobee to Indiantown, assuming you can clear the 55-foot bridges. One overnight sail to Ft Myers Beach (maybe 135 miles). Then about 120 miles to Indiantown--probably 3 days.
The Port Myacca bridge on the Okeechobee waterway has only about a 48' air clearance. Before the lake level was raised we could make it under the bridge at 49'6" with the VHF antenna pinging the bridge. My last trip from Glades Boat Storage had to be made via the Florida Keys. A beautiful trip but it took us 7 days.

With your air draft the Okeechobee waterway is definitely a no go.

It is a beautiful trip up from KW on the east coast though it's about 250 miles.
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Old 17-03-2024, 16:28   #14
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Re: Travel time

Thanks All,
I will take a look at Cracker Boys. My moto has always been to keep it simple.
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Old 17-03-2024, 16:39   #15
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Re: Travel time

If you are really concerned about hurricanes, there is Green Cove Springs Marina on the St. Johns River. They have a massive yard there and any number of people working full time on their boats.
Nowhere near Stuart, but hey...it is some 15 odd miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean.

From Ft. P it is about a 2 day sail to the mouth of the St. Johns River, and a day to get to GCS marina from there.

If you are considering long term storage, GCS marina would be tough to beat.

There are several other yards there as well, but I don't know their names.
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