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post #1 of 9 Old 11-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Disney World on 40'

We are planning on heading south again for the winter next year. One of our thoughts is going up the St.Johns as far as possible and spending a week with our grand kids visiting Disney World. How close can we get on the St. Johns on a 40 footer that draws 3 1/2" and do you have any marina recommendations.

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post #2 of 9 Old 11-18-2009
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What is your bridge clearance?
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-18-2009
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Are you in a trawler or sailboat? "Air" draft (mast height) probably matters more than hull draft.

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post #4 of 9 Old 11-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Our air draught is 15' (sorry, raised in Scotland, can't bring myself to spell it "draft".

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-18-2009
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Here is a great site to see NOAA charts in a "google maps" esque browse experience. ActiveCaptain - The Interactive Cruising Guidebook - Marina Reviews, Fuel Prices, Anchorages

You'll need an account (free) then go to "X-Preview".

I tried navigating down the St. Johhs and got all the way to Winter Springs with either bascule bridges or a fixed bridge with 45'...but then the charts are less detailed.

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post #6 of 9 Old 11-19-2009
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With only 15' of bridge clearance needed you are good all the way to Lake Monroe. Transient dockage is available there. From there it is about 30 miles to Disney World. You definitely cannot get any farther than Lake Monroe. From there the St. Johns gets very shallow and is crossed by very low, fixed bridges.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-21-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys, good info. I especially like the Active Captain site and will add a link to it on my own site.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-21-2009
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I've never heard of a 40 footer that only draws 3 1/2".
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-21-2009
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Denverd0n has it...Lake Monroe/Sanford is as far one would dare venture given your draft. I have seen some shoal boats in Lake Jessup. The fishing must be really good there 'cause you couldn't fall out of the boat without landing on a gator...they're HUGH too!

There are 3 fixed bridges that limit a sailboats mast height to 45', so your only restriction would be the RR bridges @5' to 7' but are in the up position unless preparing for a train...maybe a 1/2 hr. wait.

I've always wanted to make your planned trip, but have only been as far as Lake George from Lake Monroe. The closer you get to Lake Monroe the narrower the river, so be advised that although seldom, barges (think BIG) do transit the river to supply the power plant just north of Sanford with fuel. The river's bends can be 'exciting' with the bass boats moving from their favorite honey holes at mach 1.0, so one should never let their guard down in the twisty sections.

There is a lot of history the entire length of the river (pick up a river guide) so 'low & slow' is key. If not into the history, the scenery and wild life 'make' the trip. Sanford (lots of history there as well) is nice...lots of antiques and shops within walking distance from Monroe Harbour Marina St. Johns River but the river makes it all worth the trip. The River Walk is nice to stroll at night and runs by the marina.

Only drawback to the trip is the tannins in the water from the decaying vegetation and cyprus that will leave some evidence of there you've been. So, wax her up and enjoy the trip!
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