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Re: BEST Sailing in Florida for possible relocation from New England
wavinback (and others),
I would love to sail in Charlotte Harbor, but there are no bareboat charters available there. Any idea how to rent a 30-34 foot boat in that area?
The closest place I could find is Sarasota bay. I only have 2 days to sail, so will I reasonably have time to get to Charlotte Harbor and back? I have a wife and 3 kids (one of whom is good enough to co-captain), and I want to show them a really nice time, great views, fun sailing, maybe a hike or two, a swim or two, perhaps dropping a fishing line, etc.
My sense is that 2 days isn't quite enough to get down and back to Charlotte Harbor and still have time to explore the harbor. So what's a good 2nd-best option for a 2-day bareboat charter in SW Florida?
Is Sarasota Bay a good option, or would you recommend St. Pete instead? I'll be based out of Siesta Key for the week, but only 2 days to sail, so I could drive an hour north to St. Pete and sail out of there to Tampa Bay area (dodging commercial traffic, from what I hear, no?). Any recommendations for a 2-day route from St. Pete?
One good options is to rent out of Sarasota, sailing in Sarasota Bay for a while, anchoring at Mar Vista for the night, heading out to the gulf via Longboat Pass to experience a bit of gulf sailing, and then back into the bay through Longboat Pass. I worry a bit that the kids might be antsy doing nearly 16 hours (8 hours x 2 days) of sailing around the bay without much in the way of islands and coves to explore.
What are your recommendations?