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  #1  
Old 02-25-2014
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Where should we retire with our boat?

This winter has done us in. In a couple of years we will be ready to retire and as much as I love Lake Michigan, it is now frozen and that doesn't work for sailing. Where in a warm would anyone suggest we retire with our 35 foot cruiser to be able to sail most of the year? South Florida?
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

Sounds like you need to take your boat and go looking.
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

I recommend SW Florida. Good weather, not TOO crowded, good services...and still relatively affordable.
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

Just about anywhere on the northern Gulf coast from New Orleans to, say, Panama City is nice. The closer to New Orleans the better the food is ;-)
On an 'out of the frying pan into the fire' note, you need to think seriously about hurricanes down here where it's warm.
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

Anyplace where the average temperature is higher than your age - at least that's my dream. I hate this winter more than any I've experienced in my 73 years on this planet. Next winter, Marathon Key, Florida for January through March, then back again with the boat in October through March. The older I get the colder I get.

Gary
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Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregrosine View Post
This winter has done us in. In a couple of years we will be ready to retire and as much as I love Lake Michigan, it is now frozen and that doesn't work for sailing. Where in a warm would anyone suggest we retire with our 35 foot cruiser to be able to sail most of the year? South Florida?
I've been thinking the same thing, with my boat on the hard in Milwaukee for 6 months. I've looked closely at SW Florida. The waters are interesting but there are so many many miles of 3' water. Intercoastal is just a narrow string of markers. Outside might be nice, but my favorite areas of Lake Michigan are beyond 15 miles from shore, where the depth exceeds 400' and the fishing boats are all out of sight. I'm not sure that happens much around Florida.

One thing I've found helpful is to cruise the coastline with Google Earth or satellite view on Google Maps. Not only can you see where the marinas are, you can see the channel cuts and the population areas. When working up and down the coastline you can see which marinas are all power boats and which ones have a lot of sailboats. If there is nothing but power boats in a marina then you can guess that there will be very shoal water about, probably a bridge or two, and not a lot of sailors to hang out with in the local bar. Sailboat dominate marinas are pretty rare but there are a few. Also, if your boat is not shoal draft then you're going to need a different boat.

GTJ
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

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Originally Posted by SailingJackson View Post
I've been thinking the same thing, with my boat on the hard in Milwaukee for 6 months. I've looked closely at SW Florida. The waters are interesting but there are so many many miles of 3' water. Intercoastal is just a narrow string of markers. Outside might be nice, but my favorite areas of Lake Michigan are beyond 15 miles from shore, where the depth exceeds 400' and the fishing boats are all out of sight. I'm not sure that happens much around Florida.

One thing I've found helpful is to cruise the coastline with Google Earth or satellite view on Google Maps. Not only can you see where the marinas are, you can see the channel cuts and the population areas. When working up and down the coastline you can see which marinas are all power boats and which ones have a lot of sailboats. If there is nothing but power boats in a marina then you can guess that there will be very shoal water about, probably a bridge or two, and not a lot of sailors to hang out with in the local bar. Sailboat dominate marinas are pretty rare but there are a few. Also, if your boat is not shoal draft then you're going to need a different boat.

GTJ
I live in SE Florida. Plenty of 400' of water around here. But know this, ocean deep water is *VERY* different than Lake Michigan or Great Lakes. Yes, the Great Lakes can get snotty, but there is just *NOTHING* that compares with ocean swell, Gulfstream Currents, and a NE winds pattern.

I'm all about protected bay sailing when I can get it. In Florida, that means Biscayne Bay, Tampa, and Charlotte Harbor. Great sailing and plenty of space to do it.
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

My idea of retirement is an easy condo in the north (New England) to spend summers and live aboard down south in the winter. This way, I don't have to pick just one southern location and I still get home to see family and friends.

While I never really enjoy putting the boat on the hard for the winter, I'm usually starting to wear out from the constant chores. Then, by now, I'm dying to get her back in the water. It would be nice, if that break was only 2 - 3 months, instead of 5. I'm sure, if I had access year round, that I would bore of it from time to time. However, I wouldn't mind finding out.
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

The best location for sailing is Biscayne Bay and the Keys. Lovely sailing, clear water and easy access to the Bahamas.

However, you have to understand that for 5 months of the year you have to be on hurricane alert and constantly be available to secure the boat for hurricane conditions.

Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club is a great place to keep the boat but if you fail to evacuate the boat for a hurricane you loose your mooring rights.

Without a good hurricane plan you have a significant risk of loosing the boat. CGSC had 50 boat destroyed or badly damaged in the 2005 hurricane season.
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Old 02-26-2014
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Re: Where should we retire with our boat?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
My idea of retirement is an easy condo in the north (New England) to spend summers and live aboard down south in the winter. This way, I don't have to pick just one southern location and I still get home to see family and friends.

While I never really enjoy putting the boat on the hard for the winter, I'm usually starting to wear out from the constant chores. Then, by now, I'm dying to get her back in the water. It would be nice, if that break was only 2 - 3 months, instead of 5. I'm sure, if I had access year round, that I would bore of it from time to time. However, I wouldn't mind finding out.

I have thought about something like this too. Seems like the best compromise, but a long slog back for most boats, maybe not yours.

Greg-

I love the water access, especially in the keys but I get a sort of claustrophobia if I am in Florida for too long. Mountains, lakes and big rivers start calling me. Hard to trade those for views of concrete overpasses and strip malls.

This is a terrible winter. For me, it's life changing. It seems like with the jet stream curving around so much we in the North East are now vulnerable to polar vortexes in winter and Hurricanes in summer.

If you figure out the perfect answer let me know.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 02-26-2014 at 08:58 AM.
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