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Old 23-12-2019, 07:37   #1
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Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

Looking for current info and opinions / recent experience with Garrison Bight Mooring Field in Key West. Helpful information would be current mooring field depths and approach depths at low tide, safety/crime issues, dinghy ride to dinghy dock at Turtle Kraals.
Thanks
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Old 23-12-2019, 07:58   #2
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

I didn’t like it, but that’s just my opinion.
The Bathrooms appear to be honest to God prison bathrooms, you know stainless steel toilets with no seat etc.
Where you check in at will be your longest dinghy ride and it’s not an easy place to find either, and the people that work there I think may never have seen the field. I was telling her I was in front of an aircraft hanger how do I get to where you are, her answer is there are no aircraft hangers, you must be somewhere else.

Anyway be prepared to show proof of Insurence and registration of the boat and dinghy, I’ve never had to show and fill out so much paperwork at any place before, not even Marina’s.

The people hanging around the showers and dinghy dock were worrisome to me, and the shower / dinghy dock is a long walk to town.

We ended up buying a dinghy dock pass and shower tickets I guess you would call them right in town, much nicer showers and in town.

I’ve not been in a couple of years so maybe things have changed, but I think I may give the mooring field a pass if I go back

I’ve never anchored out in KY, but was determined if we ever go back that we would.

I draw 5’ and was nervous but never touched, we met someone who said they drew 7’ and I have no idea how they got in, I assume plowed their way in at high tide.

I’m attaching a picture, the small lake looking area to the upper left is where you check in, and where water is available, but of course your big boat isn’t getting in there.
To get into the area of town you probably want to go to, you go under the bridge to Garrison bight and buy a dinghy pass to tie up, it’s also a better place to shower.
If you have a small slow dinghy the current under that bridge can get swift and the water out by Garrison bight rough so be careful, if you have a RIB with a bigger motor you will have no problem and wonder what I’m talking about.

When I was there the pump out boat never showed and when I called the office they said they didn’t think he would, and I swear their answer was they thought the wind would be blowing that day.
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Old 23-12-2019, 09:09   #3
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

Wow! Thanks for the info.
I've stayed at Conch Harbor Marina once and Stock Island Marina once, using them as take off points for the Dry Tortugas.
Their prices have gotten ridiculous recently - approaching $200 per night.
Guess I'll start looking for anchorage areas. Satellite view shows boats anchored around Wisteria island but also shows blue tarps/encampments? scattered on the island. A little worried about security issues around there.
I draw 6' so a little limited where I can anchor.
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Old 23-12-2019, 09:33   #4
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

The water is shallow there, so stay in the channel.

It's close to Key West overall, but a bicycle ride to downtown.

It's usually pretty safe for your boat because of the proximity to other boats. You're usually pretty safe because it's an island, and people don't want to have to leave there. Crime is generally of the petty type, like if you leave something out somewhere that isn't secured.

You can't reserve a ball in advance. You have to put your boat there, and then go pay at the marina office.

If you stay there, put your dinghy sticker on. I didn't get one when I registered for a mooring ball (Marina office didn't give me one, and I was in a hurry and didn't think to ask), they towed my dinghy, and I ended up forfeiting it to Anchor Towing, and paying them a couple of hundred for the privilege of all of that.

It gets crowded there when the wind is blowing, but that's because it's the good side of the island to be on.

A64's comments about the shower/laundry facilities are correct. Not so much an enjoyable, comfortable modern day experience. More of a "nobody cares, it's a cinderblock building in a public place" situation.

I'd put it in the "It's affordable if you need the piece of mind and can't find a place you trust to anchor in" category.
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Old 23-12-2019, 11:07   #5
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

Good advice WindwardPrinces.
I wasn't aware it was first come, first served.
Any recommendations on anchoring around Key West with 6' draft?

Thank you
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Old 23-12-2019, 11:32   #6
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

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Good advice WindwardPrinces.
I wasn't aware it was first come, first served.
Any recommendations on anchoring around Key West with 6' draft?

Thank you
The water is plenty deep on the west side of Fleming to Anchor a boat with 6' draft. You have to have a good anchor and chain as the holding is not great. It can get very rough here in the winter . The past 3 days the wind has been blowing in the mid to high 20s and the water has been very rough. There will be times you cannot get to shore. No better in the mooring field. You can buy a pass to the dinghy dock at Key West bright in front of the truttle craw $92 per month. Easy access to old town and all the fun:
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Old 23-12-2019, 13:00   #7
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

I've been living on a mooring in the Garrison Bight field for the last year. Here's my take:


- I'm not a fan of Key West (the town). It's ok for a week or two then gets old fast. I kinda got myself stuck as I found a decent paying job and need to finish some projects.



- In KW, in general, petty theft is rampant. I've not had issues in the mooring field or with leaving my dinghy at the dinghy dock in Garrison Bight. But I've had my dinghy stolen twice in the last year tying up outside of the dinghy dock. I'm on the Facebook group for KW Lost and Found and bicycles are getting stolen all the time (daily).



- While I agree the bathrooms are more "institutional" they are cleaned and stocked regularly. The water is hot.



- The laundry room machines are terrible. They eat coins and do a poor job of washing/drying.



- The holding in Key West is not that good for winds over 20 knots unless you have a dramatically oversized anchor (IMO).


- If you follow the Channels around Fleming you shouldn't have a problem with depth.



- If you are anchored out for a longer period you open yourself up to interactions with FWC.



- The pump out boat has been regular in the mooring field since I've been here.
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Old 23-12-2019, 18:16   #8
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

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The water is plenty deep on the west side of Fleming to Anchor a boat with 6' draft. You have to have a good anchor and chain as the holding is not great. It can get very rough here in the winter . The past 3 days the wind has been blowing in the mid to high 20s and the water has been very rough. There will be times you cannot get to shore. No better in the mooring field. You can buy a pass to the dinghy dock at Key West bright in front of the truttle craw $92 per month. Easy access to old town and all the fun:
Looking to be there mid April through May. Hopefully conditions will be calmer at that time or better prevailing wind direction at least.
Have 77 lb. Spade and 65 lb. CQR each on 300 ft. of chain. Hopefully more than enough unless the bottom is really crap.
Dinghy is small though, ~9í AB aluminum bottom RIB with 10hp.
How rough are we talking?
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Old 23-12-2019, 18:20   #9
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

I believe. By april summer has begun
Calmer winds and flat water. Will dominate. Ur spade should be fine. As will ur dinghy. There's a big difference here between summer and winter
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Old 23-12-2019, 18:24   #10
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

ď- If you are anchored out for a longer period you open yourself up to interactions with FWCĒ


Do you mean anchoring in one location for too long without moving?
How long is too long?
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Old 23-12-2019, 21:02   #11
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

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Looking to be there mid April through May. Hopefully conditions will be calmer at that time or better prevailing wind direction at least.
Have 77 lb. Spade and 65 lb. CQR each on 300 ft. of chain. Hopefully more than enough unless the bottom is really crap.
Dinghy is small though, ~9’ AB aluminum bottom RIB with 10hp.
How rough are we talking?

By that time of year, it's a better place to be. Winter is over and it's less crowded. You can even get dock space by then for a reasonable price. Everyone leaving to go wherever they're going for the summer.

Weather generally isn't as rough that time of year, and you have a lot more options.
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Old 24-12-2019, 07:25   #12
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

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Originally Posted by VChild View Post
ď- If you are anchored out for a longer period you open yourself up to interactions with FWCĒ


Do you mean anchoring in one location for too long without moving?
How long is too long?



It's arbitrary. Depends on the condition of your boat, who you are, how long you've been there and where you anchor. I know of a person anchored just outside the mooring field that had a "safety check", where I've never seen them check anyone in the mooring field.



Just something to be aware of to make sure you have all your i's dotted and t's crossed.



I live on the far northern edge of the mooring field. With my 3.5 hp motor on my little 9' dinghy it takes 20 minutes. My 6 hp motor takes 10 minutes. I've not had an issue (other than wet and bumpy) getting to and from the dinghy dock in the bight, I think the larger issue is running under the flemming key bridge as the current flys through there.
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Old 25-12-2019, 21:01   #13
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

Thanks all, great advice.
Merry Christmas!
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Old 25-12-2019, 21:08   #14
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Re: Garrison Bight Mooring Field - Key West

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I didnít like it, but thatís just my opinion.
The Bathrooms appear to be honest to God prison bathrooms, you know stainless steel toilets with no seat etc.
Where you check in at will be your longest dinghy ride and itís not an easy place to find either, and the people that work there I think may never have seen the field. I was telling her I was in front of an aircraft hanger how do I get to where you are, her answer is there are no aircraft hangers, you must be somewhere else.

Anyway be prepared to show proof of Insurence and registration of the boat and dinghy, Iíve never had to show and fill out so much paperwork at any place before, not even Marinaís.

The people hanging around the showers and dinghy dock were worrisome to me, and the shower / dinghy dock is a long walk to town.

We ended up buying a dinghy dock pass and shower tickets I guess you would call them right in town, much nicer showers and in town.

Iíve not been in a couple of years so maybe things have changed, but I think I may give the mooring field a pass if I go back

Iíve never anchored out in KY, but was determined if we ever go back that we would.

I draw 5í and was nervous but never touched, we met someone who said they drew 7í and I have no idea how they got in, I assume plowed their way in at high tide.

Iím attaching a picture, the small lake looking area to the upper left is where you check in, and where water is available, but of course your big boat isnít getting in there.
To get into the area of town you probably want to go to, you go under the bridge to Garrison bight and buy a dinghy pass to tie up, itís also a better place to shower.
If you have a small slow dinghy the current under that bridge can get swift and the water out by Garrison bight rough so be careful, if you have a RIB with a bigger motor you will have no problem and wonder what Iím talking about.

When I was there the pump out boat never showed and when I called the office they said they didnít think he would, and I swear their answer was they thought the wind would be blowing that day.
KW sucks in all possible ways.
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