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Old 29-09-2020, 12:45   #1
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Anchoring in Stuart FL

My wife and I will be splashing our boat on Dec 16th. We plan to spend 2 weeks in a marina, then were hoping to anchor out around the 1st week of January. I'm having trouble finding reviews or recommendations for spots to anchor in Stuart Fl. I believe in the past you could anchor in the St Lucie west of the Roosevelt bridge. I'm not sure that's still true since the Southpoint Anchorage went in.

Speaking of Southpoint, is that still open? I can't find a website or up-to-date mooring information on that either. Just about the only thing I can find for the Stuart area is the Sunset Bay Marina. I believe those mooring balls run $450 a month, and we were hoping to pay less than that. In fact, nothing at all if we can find a spot to anchor.
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Old 29-09-2020, 14:23   #2
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

The mooring field at Stuart is managed by the Sunset Bay Marina, and the cost depends on the size of the vessel.

Regarding anchoring in the area, the most common area where transients anchor is in the southern branch of the St. Lucie River, across the channel and slightly south of the Mooring field. Technically this area is not within the boundaries of the city of Stuart and is part of unincorporated Martin County.

Vessels also anchor in the northern branch of the St. Lucie, typically across the channel to the north of G5. This area is further from Sunset Bay however.

In the same area, vessels anchor in Manatee pocket, closer to the ICW and St. Lucie inlet, however sometimes it can be tight in there.....

From time to time there are vessels anchored in Hooker Cove on the St. Lucie near Manatee pocket. However, this area is fairly far from everything/anything and is mostly used for staging to make a trip offshore.

There is (was?) an online site that detailed the city of Stuart’s “anchoring regulations”, but from what I have seen in the last several years, no one pays much attention to it.
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Old 29-09-2020, 20:07   #3
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

Manatee Pocket was fine for us last year. You are going to need to learn to anchor in tight spots eventually and it gets much tighter in other places. Most of the boats there were unoccupied derelicts anyhow so if you do bump a little it's not like they will be freaking out at you
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Old 30-09-2020, 01:44   #4
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

https://www.waterwayguide.com/anchor...manatee-pocket
https://www.waterwayguide.com/explor...mode=anchorage
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Old 30-09-2020, 09:49   #5
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

I would recommend a mooring buoy. I am all about anchoring out, but in Florida this time of year, there are huge squalls in addition to high winds from hurricanes even if they are not direct hits. 3 months ago, I was anchored in Palm Beach and got hit with a huge squall and winds of 70+ knots for 15 minutes. Luckily, I saw it coming on the horizon and dropped all of my 100' of chain plus a weight on the chain, started the motor and ready....It went from 0 wind to 70+ in a couple seconds. Many other boats, most unoccupied close by and a wreck right behind me. I saw other boats dragging that were at anchor, but the mooring buoys stayed put.I had to run my motor at full throttle to keep it in place in only about 10' of water. 10-1 scope....My anchor has never drug in years of anchoring out. It was a super stressful 15 minutes and thank God, I did not lose my boat.
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Old 30-09-2020, 09:51   #6
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

check active captain. lots of reviews for anchoring in Stuart and all over the USA.

https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/Map
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Old 30-09-2020, 09:52   #7
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

You will have a hard time going to shore and landing dinghy in most of those anchorages.
Make your life easy and rent the mooring ball. Gets you a place to go ashore, dispose of garbage, clean water and pumpout.
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Old 30-09-2020, 12:24   #8
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

While we were on a dock not a mooring ball, take advantage of the Sunset Bay marina and mooring field. Free weekly pumpouts at your mooring, dinghy dock, easy access to grocery and amenities. We were there about 3 weeks.
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Old 30-09-2020, 15:00   #9
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

Reach out to the Harbor Inn Marina. They are a more “rustic” experience and have better views of the sunset than the more expensive, albeit more amenities, Sunset Bay Marina. Depending on your draft, there is usually a slip available for transients. It’s also very close to the Sunset Bay Marina and the anchorage north of the G5, although I shouldn’t encourage that since if the wind blows from the west and you drag, you may hit my boat in that Marina.
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Old Today, 10:33   #10
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Re: Anchoring in Stuart FL

You guys are awesome. So much good information. Thankyou everyone for your thoughtful responses.

If I’m hearing it right, Sunset Bay will only allow us to use their dinghy dock if we are guests. So if we decide to anchor across the river, we’ll need to find another place to come ashore? Any advice or suggestions on where we might drive into from the anchorage on the southern branch of the St Lucie?
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