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Old 12-05-2010
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Looking for a friendly port in Western FL

I am five years out on an ongoing budget circumnavigation (Sailing aboard a 35 foot Pearson Alberg sloop) and need to take a break somewhere in western Florida to do a refit and to try and pay for the refit as well...

All it seems like on the internet about Florida are horror stories about mooring fields taking over formerly free anchorages and guns being pulled on boaters over marine sanitation compliance!

Florida cannot be all that bad. Aren´t there any ports with boating facilities for the average person with average means? DIY yards with reasonable lay day rates, reasonable mooring options (if no more free anchorages), a port town with a somewhat healthy economy to get casual employment, a good liveaboard community?

So far, I am looking at Tampa, St. Petersburg or Sarasota. Key West may be an option but work options seem more varied in the ¨real¨ towns.

Any tips would be appreciated. The name of a friendly marina close to a sizeable town would be really appreciated!

If western Florida is out, I can consider any where else in the Gulf or possibly sailing up the Atlantic side.

Thanks!
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