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  #1  
Old 10-11-2008
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Okeechobee Canal

I live in Tampa and am seriously considering buying a boat on the east coast of the state. It is a Quickstep 24 with a 5hp honda outboard. Draft is only 3.5 ft. I have vacation next month, and am considering taking the boat through the okeechobee waterway (instead of shipping it). The whole trip is probably about 300 miles, with 150 miles along the okeechobee waterway.

Has anyone ever taken a boat through the waterway? How wide is it? Can I sail most of the way, or will I have to mostly motor? How long does it usually take? Can I do the whole trip in a week?

Any other info would be helpful. Anchorages, marinas, fuel, food, how to navigate the locks...

Thanks.

Last edited by BlueWaterMD; 10-11-2008 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-11-2008
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Check out the Waterway Net site: Waterway Net Web Site

There's an item on the first page about the Okeechobee Canal, with links.

Basically, there's a LOT more water in the canal than there has been as a result of the tropical storm activity this year.

I doubt you'd have any problems with a Quickstep 24.

Bill
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Old 10-11-2008
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It been a long time I went through. If I remember correct the Lock operators may go home at night, so, you may need to tie up and wait. There are some tie ups. We usually moved as far to the end as possible in case a Tug came up later, they have room too. When we approach the locks we ask what we need to do, some say tie off and wait, some say come on in.
Also, during high automobile traffic they may need you to try and move and groove so you not hold up traffic any more than necessary. One low road have a Turn Table to move the road, I forget what they called in real. Swing Bridge??
What I always do is check here;
South Florida Operations Office, US Army Corps of Engineers
Also, you can give them a call and they good people to tell of water levels and any problems boaters have reported like running into spoils that not where they supposed to be.
This about all I know, as I say, been about 3-4 years I been through there. Real pretty and lots of bugs at night when you not moving.
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Last edited by Gryzio; 10-11-2008 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 10-11-2008
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Lots of current and past Okeechobee info here:
www.cruisersnet.net - Okeechobee
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Old 10-12-2008
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We're putting our boat in at Punta Gorda for the winter with plans of only staying on board during the winter with summers in Wisconsin. I, however, am considering taking the boat across central Florida via the Okeechobee and going up the ICW and just mess around.

Of course it's doable and you need to motor almost the whole way unless you get very lucky with the winds. My own personal experience has been that if I'm going north the wind is blowing south. Still fun as long as you've got no deadlines to meet.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWaterMD View Post
IHas anyone ever taken a boat through the waterway? How wide is it? Can I sail most of the way, or will I have to mostly motor? How long does it usually take? Can I do the whole trip in a week?

Any other info would be helpful. Anchorages, marinas, fuel, food, how to navigate the locks...

Thanks.

It is relatively easy trip. You will need to motor most of the time in the canal. Sailing is possible on the Lake. It took me 4 days to get from Cayo Costa on west coast to Stuart on east, 5 days from Tampa bay, I was pushing. I sailed/motored 28 ft boat this spring. Locks are easy to understand and navigate, I did it solo. Second set of hands would be handy .
There are many marinas along the way. I cooked on board. I'd suggest to get waterway guide. There are many of them available, all have neccery information on marinas, fuel, locks, etc..
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okeechobee warerway

Hey Blue Warer Md Okeechobee Water Way Can Be Transited Form Stuart To Ft Myers In A Good 3 Day Week End As I Have Crossed It In My Old Irwin We Left Stuart On A Sat Morning And Got To Port Myaca Locks They Are The Locks That Let You Into The Lake About 3 In The After Noon I Chose The Across Lake Route There Is Another Route That Is Longer But Hugs The Shore That Takes You South To Pahokee And Over To Clewiston If You Choose Across Lake Route You Can Have A Realy Nice Sail Just Watch The Markers When You Get To Clewiston End There Is A Rock Reef Down There But Its Well Marked As We Navigated It At Nite We Finaly Got To La Belle Locks About 2 Am Sunday Mor Tied Up To Dolphins For The Nite Left La Belle 7 Am Sunday And Arrived In Ft Myers Mid Nite This Is A Great Trip But Your Restricted To Lock Openings So Timing Is Critical No Sailing As Long As Your In The Ditch As Banks Are Pretty High The Lake Is Finaly Up And With Your Short Draft Shouldn T Have Any Problem With Depth Lake Will Average 11 To 13 Ft Also Rr Bridge In Port Myaca Has Height Restriction I Belive 48 Ft But Shouldnt Pose Any Problem For You Good Luck And Enjoy The Trip Its Really A Good Memory Kg
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Old 10-15-2008
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Hi Kale,
What's with your keyboard? It's almost impossible to read with caps.
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Old 10-15-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbo1 View Post
Hi Kale,
What's with your keyboard? It's almost impossible to read with caps.
Hi Ronbo1 I just get lazy yes I see it don't look well makes you slow down to read it I guess my apoligies kg
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Old 10-15-2008
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Get a 10 horse and keep the 5 for a back-up.

Lots of mosquitos!

Lots of mosquitos!

Lots of mosquitos!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . It IS a very beautiful trip! I hope to cross it again some day.
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