I cruised my 8 ft draft Beneteau
up and down the east coast
for several years, and have done Florida from Jacksonville
to Key West
I don't know why you are set on Florida. We have a house guest from Ft Lauderdale. She bought a one way ticket to Santa Cruz
, and isn't going home until Fort Lauderdale
cools off. She is tired of being cooped up in an air conditioned house, and getting up at 5 am to go for a walk.
If you are still bent on going, you should realize that northern Florida has winters. I remember being on the boat
in 26 degree nights in St Augustine. That is not the case south of West Palm Beach.
As far as 8 ft goes, the ICW
is out. Look at the detailed charts to see how deep the channels and marinas
St Augustine has several marinas
that carry more than 8 ft. The inlet is dodgy at low tide.
Fort Pierce has a deepwater inlet, but the anchorage is less than 8 ft. We had to anchor
in the main entrance, which did not work
well with wind
is doable for marinas, but moving around at low tide is not.
I looked at Biscayne Bay on the charts, and decided to give it a pass.
is a different country. Stayed at anchor
there for a month, but cold fronts can be uncomfortable with dragging boats, and moving around at low tide is out.
I'm sure that there are places available if you are motivated enough. The classic
Merlin is being homeported in Tampa Bay and she draws 11 ft (but currently like our guest she is on the West Coast).