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turfguy 07-16-2011 03:10 PM

Destin Harbor Information
I am interested in hearing from people who know the Destin Harbor area. Are there any liveaboard marina's ? Is low water a problem in the harbor or the entrance to the harbor? I do know the Destin bridge is only 49' so I can not get into the bay there. I am considering a move to Destin due to business and want to live on the boat, but am unsure if I can do it or not?

Thanks for any local knowledge.

Silvio 07-17-2011 04:48 PM

Hi turfguy,
I live aboard in the Destin area. Water depth is typically not as much problem as bridge height around here. What are your draft and air draft? I have a 48' mast and only occasionally go out Destin bridge. Instead I run the ICW to Panama City and go in and out down there. This allows me to keep my boat in the bay for easy work commuting/living aboard and I tend to sail east and south anyway so running down the ICW isn't that bad. I generally motor or motor-sail four to five hours of the trip and sail the remainder. It is a pleasant day trip down to St Joseph Bay, 8-10 hours either way inside or outside.

Slip fees at Harbor Walk can be extreme in my opinion, $1000/month for my 31', but they probably decrease as you head into the harbor further. There are plenty available for sure, signs along hwy 98 advertising slips for rent.

Traffic in and out of the harbor is a cluster @#!$%, so be prepared for that. TONS of drunken tourists on everything from motor cruisers to jet skis, some completely clueless of boating laws and guidelines/courtesies. Wife and I enjoy leaving the vhf on while anchored for dinner and listening to the ruckus around the Destin bridge. Beats TV.

Feel free to pm me or post anything specific that I can help with.


turfguy 07-17-2011 05:00 PM

Thanks for the info Silvio, I am planning on moving there soon due to business. Matter of fact will be down tomorrow for a few days. My mast will definately be too high for the Destin bridge, thats why I wanted to stay in the Harbor area. I have checked out a couple places and it seems they have ample room and water depth. Mirabella and West and East Towers are a couple that fit the bill. Less in price then Harbor Walk and a bit quieter I would imagine.

Is living aboard at the marina's in Destin a problem as a rule?

Shame that bridge is so low would change things alot down there. The bay seems really nice. I will check out a lot more things this week.
Thanks again for the info and if you think of anything else please let me know.

PBzeer 07-17-2011 10:40 PM

Check up around Shalimar. When I went out the Destin Bridge in '07, you had to go outside the marked channel (thank goodness for getting some local info).

Silvio 07-19-2011 09:38 AM

Turfguy- I don't know anyone off hand that is livin aboard in the harbor. I am sure there are some though. You might consider posting in the general topics forum and you might get lucky and find someone that is currently living there. Destin is a great area to live in general. If you are coming from ATL the traffic during tourist season shouldn't seem too bad in relation and after tourist season it drops right off and the locals have the place to ourselves. Commuting on hwy 98 can be rough but again perspective. The harbor is definitely the party area during the summer and if you have never been to crab island (just inside the Destin bridge) you are in for a sight.

I agree that this would be a very different place if the bridge were taller. The Bay is quite a nice area to sail and a wonderful place to drop the hook for a couple days.

PBzeer- If he is unable to clear Destin bridge the only way to Shalimar is coming in at St Andrews Bay in Panama City; that is my preferred route btw. The chanel through the bridge seems to be correctly marked now. I last went out that way a month or so ago and it seemed correct. It definitely does get shallow fast to the west of the chanel though! The skinny water combined with the parasailors cutting back and forth can make for an interesting exit to the Gulf.

Silvio 07-19-2011 09:40 AM

double post

PBzeer 07-19-2011 10:33 AM

Forget off hand about coming in from Pensacola, but that's how we got there (I have 46' clearance).

MARC2012 07-19-2011 09:18 PM

Penascola to Destin. Fort walton bridge is only aprox.48 ft.marc

Silvio 07-20-2011 09:13 AM


Originally Posted by MARC2012 (Post 752201)
Penascola to Destin. Fort walton bridge is only aprox.48 ft.marc

Hey Marc,
If your talking about the Brooks bridge I believe it is 50' as marked on the charts. It does have a gage going both directions. There has been work on-going for quite soe time now that has reduced the clearance by 1-2 feet. The contractor has chain link fencing strung under the bridge to catch debris. The CG announces the low clearance on vhf 22A several times a day. Either way 50' or 48', it's too close for comfort for me. I have slipped under after very carefully eye balling the gage but I don't need that kind of stress:D

turfguy 08-24-2011 10:04 AM

Thanks guys. I have found a couple of places to dock in the harbor as I can't get under the bridge in Destin. I will be down again after Labor Day to checkout more.:D

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