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Old 18-09-2021, 14:21   #1
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Mooring in Miami

Hello,


I'm looking to buy my first boat, but need to make sure I have a place to keep it. Looking at a 33 foot monohull for liveaboard.


Here's my situation. I work 2 weeks on / 2 weeks off in the Alaska oilfield. So I'll be leaving the boat unattended for around 16 days while traveling and working, then returning for my 2 weeks off. Dhingy would be on davits.



Dinner Key Marina in Coconut Grove has moorings available for $400/month. This would really just be a place to keep the boat while I'm away. When I come back, I'd find nicer, more protected places to anchor. The Dinner Key mooring field is not very protected and can get 'wavy'.


This would be for November-April.


Is this plan feasible? What am I missing? Thanks for sharing your knowledge with a rookie.
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Old 18-09-2021, 15:07   #2
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Hurricanes.


Most will hit Biscayne Bay with some sort of southerly or easterly winds. Look at the fetch around the mooring field. You know it's rocky in normal weather. Imagine 90 mph winds and rollers of 8-10 feet.


I believe the moorings themselves are hurricane-resistant helixes, but that ultimately won't matter when the waves roll in. No matter how many lines you run from the boat, they will all snap, and your boat will be wrecked.


Maybe not the first storm. Maybe not the second, But, sooner or later, it will happen.


In South Florida, there are two reasons why docks and moorings are cheap. One is inconvenience, like being an hour or so up a river. The second reason is vulnerability.


Your choices really are to cough up a lot of money for a protected dock or move your base farther north to Port St. Lucie or beyond, where rates for decent dockage are more reasonable.
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Old 18-09-2021, 16:05   #3
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Iím in Dinner Key; with a morning, you must haul the boat out or drive it up river anytime a hurricane comes through if on morning ball, per their rules.
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Old 18-09-2021, 16:06   #4
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Thanks for that insight Shenachie on the hurricane risk and possible better option up the coast. I think November-April/May would be a much reduced storm risk for mooring in Miami, then take it north and dock it somewhere safer for the summer. I lived in Miami over 20 years, and don't recall any big storms after October. Am I thinking wrong?
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Old 18-09-2021, 17:47   #5
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Re: Mooring in Miami

The chances of a hurricane are much reduced, but not impossible. November hurricanes have happened.


There are other issues with living on a mooring in the bay that you will have to decide for yourself.



For one, there are many strong cold fronts in the dry season, usually one every week or so. You will find it difficult or impossible to travel between the boat and shore in some of these.


Dinghy security on shore is also an issue, unless things have improved since I was in the area. It isn't any fun to get to the mooring field and find that your dinghy and motor are gone.


How are you going to get water and fuel to the boat? Just washing up and making coffee, you'll empty your tanks once a week or maybe more. Diesel will go quickly if you need to charge the batteries with the engine.



Is there a pumpout boat these days? When I was in the bay years ago, there wasn't. Pumping waste into the bay is not cool.



The convenience of a marina dock for a liveaboard can't be overstated. Doing laundry. Loading groceries. Charging batteries. Pumping out. Avoiding isolation. Not having to row or motor a mile to go somewhere.


That said, the bay and the Keys are a wonderful place to sail, once you get beyond the Miami hornet's nest of small powerboats with large speakers blaring loud music.
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Old 18-09-2021, 18:16   #6
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Quote:
Originally Posted by Networker View Post
Iím in Dinner Key; with a morning, you must haul the boat out or drive it up river anytime a hurricane comes through if on morning ball, per their rules.
If ever a hurricane was within reach, could you even find a place to hull out or an available dock? Seems like it would be slim pickings.
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Old 18-09-2021, 19:02   #7
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Thanks for that feedback Shanachie. There are a lot of challenges to consider. Might still be worth a go. Going to think about it some more.
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Old 18-09-2021, 23:34   #8
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Try Pelican Harbor marina. I think is 200 for mooring and 500 at the dock.
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Old 25-09-2021, 17:44   #9
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Re: Mooring in Miami

I can second Pelican Harbor. The dockmaster Tommy is great and there is an odd little community there. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, I keep my sailboat there.
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Old 25-09-2021, 20:03   #10
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Re: Mooring in Miami

Wilburleft,

No matter where you leave the boat while you're up on the slope, make sure you have a hurricane plan.

During Hurricane Dorian my boat was near St. Augustine FL, while I was in Kuparuk...

(Thread drift warning)

I had pre-arranged with the marina harbormaster to help me hire a local rigger to secure the boat, had extra dock lines available, etc. I hired the rigger (best $200 I ever spent) sight unseen to secure her.

It was near terrifying to watch that storm approach on TV, and worse online!

It was in a mandatory evacuation zone, and cell service went out in the area. When the closest (personal) weather station, only 1/4 mile from the marina hit 80 kt winds, then went offline, I started smoking cigarettes again

Huge relief about 12 hours later when photos of my boat popped up on my phone, sent by the rigger. A couple badly chafed lines was the only damage we took. A couple more feet of surge might have taken the floating dock and that would've been all she wrote.

Which field do you work at? I just retired from working up there...
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