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njlarry 02-26-2011 01:42 PM

Tampa area charter
 
We are looking for a bareboat charter around 30' during the last three days of March.
Can anyone recommend a charter company or nice anchorages in the area.
Are there any good water front restaurants with dockage?
Thank you.
Larry

fallard 02-26-2011 09:10 PM

Have you considered going south of Punta Gorda to Burnt Store Marina, on Pine Island Sound? It's been at least 10 years since we chartered from Yachting Vacations, but they featured Island Packets and we enjoyed the restaurants at Gasparilla (not waterfront) , Cabbage Key, and at 'Tween Waters Marina, where we docked overnight. We anchored and dinghied in to the first two. Anchoring was easy in both of those spots at the time. There was a restaurant at Burnt Store Marina, too, which we enjoyed.

Back then Yachting Vacations was top-rated and we can verity their quality standards from our experience. But that was then and now there doesn't seem to be anybody rating charterers like they used to. Still, you might check them out. The Pine Island Sound area was maybe too relaxing for us, otherwise we would have gone back.

njlarry 02-27-2011 08:44 PM

Thanks for the info. We will look into them for a future trip but have a meeting in Tampa later in the week so wanted to explore the Tampa/St Pete area this trip.

lans0012 02-27-2011 09:12 PM

St. Petersburg Yacht sales and Charters
 
Would recommend checking out St. Petersburg Yacht Charters. We do weekend trips all the time on our boat out of the St. Petersburg Municiple Marina. A weekend or 3-4 day trip could consist of hiking on Egmont key, anchoring at Desoto or Emerson Point, spending a night at one of the two great marinas up the Manatee river, and dinner at Moore's Stone Crab on Longboat Key There is a nice anchorage in Longboat key with a couple of nice spots for dinners.

The Manatee River has two great marinas with excellent restaurants (Regatta Point Marina and Twin Dolphin Marina.) Have stayed at both and rate both equally great. About a 5 hour sail from St. Petersburg depending on wind.

Moore's Stone Crab is a great place to stop in and have dinner and stay after a day anchored off Egmont and hiking. No cruiser facilities but they let you dock there overnight if you eat dinner there. It's about 9 feet at the dock MLW.

Mar Vista is next to Moore's but they don't have overnight dockage. The anchorage is very protected and most would rather anchor anyway.

If I had my pick I would charter out of Burnt Store in Charlotte Harbour though. It's only about a 2 hour drive from Tampa. Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa, and Boca Grande/Gasparilla Island would be my destinations.


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