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Old 27-11-2019, 12:47   #1
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Florida Winter Living

I admit to not searching this topic in advance so I apologize if this topic was recently done.
We are looking at becoming snowbirds for the winter months, and considering living on our boat in a slip in Florida for the winters. I prefer the beaches on the Gulf side, but like the idea of being on the Atlantic so that we are close to Bahamas should we wish to go that way.

Are there any sailors experienced with living aboard in Florida? Any specifics you can advise on? Area, Cost, do's & Don'ts etc.?

Thank you,
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Old 27-11-2019, 13:10   #2
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Re: Florida Winter Living

Greetings and belated welcome aboard the CF, Wannasailaway.
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Old 27-11-2019, 13:19   #3
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Re: Florida Winter Living

It's been a while for me. But we had a great time living behind a small apt building in the Los Olas area of Fort L. The place had just added a pump out setup that tubing went to each boat. Most of these moorage were found just by driving around or driving around in a dingy at that time. We had a hot tub there too!
-Whatever you do , have proper head /holding tank etc while there, they are pretty on top of that.
-There are private owners all along the coast and IC waterway from Canaveral to Miami that lease slips behind their houses. Some non live aboard though. West Palm, Ft Pierce etc are good too. Many of these places require minimal draft to get in and out. 5 ft or less is best. Some even less. The side waterways tend to shoal up where they meet the ICW.

I'm not up to date on the latest info.

-Have towing insurance unless you are quite shallow draft. It's worth it. Get the top plan, some lower plans don't really pay for anything.
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Old 27-11-2019, 13:26   #4
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Re: Florida Winter Living

Couple of pointers:

1) Costs vary widely. We pay $0 when on the hook but have paid as much as $2700 a month to be in a slip in Key West. It can be double that.

2) Hurricane season officially ends in Florida November 30 but your insurance may allow you to enter as soon as November 1st. If you have a hurricane rider you can be in Florida whenever you choose.

3) Make slip reservations ASAP - they fill up very fast. A year out isn't too soon.

4) Late season hurricanes do appear here and there. Consider where you would haul out if one were to appear near you.

5) Northern Florida (above Cape Canaveral) can still get cold and rainy in January. Be sure to have some way to get heat.

6) Southern Florida (below CC) can get HOT in the winter. Be sure to have some way to cool your boat.

7) Consider your bottom paint choice. Lots of our waters have an abundance of nutrients that when combined with the warm waters produce a massive amount of bottom growth. If you are living in a slip for a long time you are going to want a hard paint so that the diver can clean the bottom without rubbing off your bottom job.

8) You get 6 months in florida before you need to become a florida boat.

9) Try slip living up and down each coast, moving each month, so you can experience all florida has to offer.
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Old 04-12-2019, 13:57   #5
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Re: Florida Winter Living

Thank you for all your input. Greatly appreciated.
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