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Old 07-06-2021, 16:36   #1
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Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Hello, thanks in advance for the great info on this forum. I am currently living in Belize and COVID gave my husband and I a chance to finally learn to sail. I will be relocating back to the US on a 40' leopard and looking to buy a condo close to a marina in either Brandenton or Fort Myers. I am going to Florida next week to check out the marinas and it is quite a flooding process!

Our plan is to sail from Belize to the new marina after we are done selling some assets in Belize. While no major urgency, I am hoping to find a marina that will accept a 40' catamaran and from there, we plan on making this home base, but not very often - we want to sail around the Caribbean as much as possible. We are choosing this area because we have a few friends and family there, although I know it would easier to be on the Miami side, we are a better fit for this area.

I have tried to comb through past threads and greatly appreciate the info I have been able to gather. We are new to sailing and will be new to Florida, and very excited to start this phase of our lives! We are in our early 40's, no kids, and look forward to the huge changes this new life will bring . Hope to meet some of you and look forward to any feedback!
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Old 07-06-2021, 17:15   #2
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Hi and welcome from Ontario Canada
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Old 07-06-2021, 17:18   #3
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Don’t know about ft. Myers. But with a 40’ cat in Bradenton you’re basically looking at twin dolphin marina.
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Old 07-06-2021, 18:19   #4
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Seems to me that if you are looking for an apartment and a place to dock your vessel, you could also add to your list St Pete. Downtown has a lot of new development and the marinas are close. With q catamaran is hard to get an outside slip, but doing the homework is just a call or email away
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Old 07-06-2021, 18:53   #5
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Can a 40’ sailboat even get under the bridge to Ft Myers, because mine cant.
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:35   #6
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

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Can a 40’ sailboat even get under the bridge to Ft Myers, because mine cant.


There is this....ft Myers beach would be the only reasonable place.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:02   #7
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

This article is 10 yrs old, but a good starting place.
https://blueturtletrawler.com/live-a...hwest-florida/
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:07   #8
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

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Don’t know about ft. Myers. But with a 40’ cat in Bradenton you’re basically looking at twin dolphin marina.
One of our favorite marinas. Every time we stay there, I tell my wife I want to live there on our boat.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:27   #9
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Agree with above- Twin Dolphin is the only marina in Bradenton that can accommodate your plan. Hugh Miller has gotten proud of his marina ($$$$) over the past few years, but to his credit, they’ve done a lot of improvements, and the immediate area is really up and coming.

It’s the only marina around here with slips for catamarans. You might try Marina Jacks (Sarasota), but they don’t have a pier dedicated to catamarans as T-Dolph does.
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Old 08-06-2021, 05:50   #10
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Thank you for the tips! Will put Dolphin high on the list to check out. There are definitely limits to the available marinas for sailings cats but this actually makes it easier to pick from, the number of marinas down there is overwhelming!
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Old 08-06-2021, 19:23   #11
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

I used to live in Bradenton many years ago and kept my boat a Twin Dolphin. Great area and marina.

W Florida from Tarpon Springs down to the Keys is a great cruising ground, way better than most of the E coast. A good area to build some experience before heading off on other adventures.

Twin Dolphin will be spendy of course, you might find less expensive dockage in some of the smaller communities along the coast. I moved my boat up to Tarpon Springs for this reason.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:25   #12
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, FlCat.
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Old 09-06-2021, 07:36   #13
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

I bought my current boat which was at Twin Dolphin at the time. It was very well kept and clean(2016). Parking was right there, and never a problem, even for the seemingly abandoned old VW bus that was painted "hippie style". LOL. I never understood why the slips on either side of the restaurant parking lot in the middle of the marina were always pretty much empty..
Slip fees were $900/month for a 50' boat, if I recall correctly...
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:25   #14
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Re: Bradenton vs Fort Myers

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I bought my current boat which was at Twin Dolphin at the time. It was very well kept and clean(2016). Parking was right there, and never a problem, even for the seemingly abandoned old VW bus that was painted "hippie style". LOL. I never understood why the slips on either side of the restaurant parking lot in the middle of the marina were always pretty much empty..
Slip fees were $900/month for a 50' boat, if I recall correctly...
Those slips fell into disrepair, as did C dock, but they invested the money and refurbished them. They’re not yet at capacity, and (this is purely my guess) I think the slip fees are driving that.

When I had my boat there about 7 years ago, I paid around $700-something for a 40’ boat. I was just quoted somewhere in the neighborhood of $1100-1200 for my 43’ boat today. By comparison, I’m paying $550 in another area marina. But here again, that’s for a monohull- we have more options. Twin Dolphin is about as good as it’s going to get on the Manatee River for a multi.
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