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.
Titusville (east coast) probably has the best combination of DIY yard, anchoring community, and friendly marina, but not a big town vibrant economy. We have lived aboard and frequently anchored in Florida since 1972 without experiencing the negatives, but I know some have had problems. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
"DIY yards" have been getting harder to find all over the US for the past 20 years. Concerns with EPA violations and liability issues and simply keeping the profits have hit everywhere.
You scrape off some bottom paint, it gets into the gravel, goes into the ground, and in some states the marina has to bulldoze the top six inches off the entire property and have it hauled off as hazmat. Crazy, sure, but I can see why some owners are simply in terror of DIY.
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