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Old 09-06-2020, 08:07   #1
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Boating Marco Island to Key West

As a rookie boater - any words of wisdom on boating form Marco Island to Key West. We are taking our 60 foot Princess.
Thanks
Chris
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:38   #2
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Check windy.com. You can change the setting to display forecasted waves instead of wind. Good planning tool. You'll be out of site of land for a while so it's prudent to have an ePIRB aboard. Practice your Man Overboard and Abandon ship drills. May not need them but always good to do a refresher. File a float plan with someone and then let them know when you leave and when you arrive.
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:46   #3
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

awesome advice - learning fast - greatly appreciated
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:02   #4
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

You'll enter in through the NW Channel. It's a long channel. Well marked though often with a fair amount of traffic, including the fast ferry that runs to Ft Myers which throws a massive wake once or twice a day. Recommend arriving with plenty of daylight and time. I find the approach a bit confusing but could be me. It's not difficult, but taking it slow with at least a couple pairs of eyes is helpful. Makes more sense once your there vs trying to figure it out from the charts.

Personally, for weather, I like PassageWeather.com vs Windy.com, but mostly because I pine for old WeatherFax with a somewhat similar interface. A friend has a subscription to BuoyWeather which he likes a lot.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:06   #5
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Watch out for crab pots out in the middle of nowhere! In season or out.......
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:19   #6
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Good advice above on carefully checking wind and sea state to pick your day. That can be a hard, wet slog in the wrong weather.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:37   #7
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Florida Bay has had some of the worst weather I've found in 20 years going to the Keys. Of course I'm slow so takes a long day/night. Lots of t-storms. In addition to crab pots watch out for fastmoving power boats going each way on the rhumb line. Assume they are asleep at the wheel.
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Old 09-06-2020, 12:40   #8
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Rookie boater............... 60' Princess.................

Did you just hit the lottery........?

Sorry, couldn't help myself.......

Have you been to the Esplanade?? Fun place.

As stated, watch out for the traps.
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Old 09-06-2020, 13:06   #9
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Made that trip overnight a few years back. Rented 37 ft sailboat. Had 35 knot winds and 12 ft seas from east. Make sure about weather. It's about 10hr trip overnight.
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Old 09-06-2020, 13:15   #10
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Ahoy Chris, welcome to the boating world and CF. Your little cruise to Key West is pretty straight forward, but as previously laid out, pick a comfortable WX window. I personally use WINDY along with any other normal WX sources that might offer additional insight.

I have been looking at several Princess boats in the 60-65 ‘ range lately. I would be interested in your take on the boat so far, and which one you ended up purchasing. They are beautiful boats and appear well built. Always open for input about fun boats. You can buzz me offline if you would like. CaptainMike TEYC@gmail.com

Enjoy your cruise and the world of Jimmy Buffett. Try Michaels restaurant, especially their crime Fabulous.

Best
Mike
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Old 09-06-2020, 13:41   #11
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Pick your weather window. It is basically sailing in shallow water with the possibility of swells coming in from the deep of the Gulf which can make for at real sloppy.
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Old 09-06-2020, 16:26   #12
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Watch out for the AF Towers and extended jetty north of KW
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Old 09-06-2020, 17:01   #13
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Use NOAA FOR Weather instead of the algorithm based sites. We did Marco overnight to Key West in our 33 ‘ sloop using Windfinder and instead of 2’ seas we got 5-7. Used NOAA the rest of the way to Cuba and back to Marco and found conditions pretty much as forecast.
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Old 09-06-2020, 17:53   #14
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Isn't this a powerboat? About 3 hr trip if so. You don't enter Florida Bay.
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Old 09-06-2020, 18:14   #15
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Re: Boating Marco Island to Key West

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAM3195 View Post
As a rookie boater - any words of wisdom on boating form Marco Island to Key West. We are taking our 60 foot Princess.
Thanks
Chris

If you're a true rookie and have never navigated offshore in charge of your or other boats, I advise hiring a certified Captain familiar with larger power vessels to go with you - to introduce you to the art and science involved in safe navigation, weather systems, and the maintenance and troubleshooting of the many complex systems in your boat. Not to mention docking or anchoring the beast safely in adverse conditions, which can be the biggest risk to your and nearby boats.
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