Fort Myers, Cape Coral area. - SailNet Community
 
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Fort Myers, Cape Coral area.

We are interested in finding out about sailing in this general area. Any info about Depth, wind, summer heat would be appreciated.
We think that we may live South for about 6 months per year.
I have noticed that there are many islands around there which may increase
the gunk holing etc.
Thanks
Bill.
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-03-2011
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Burnt Store Marina

Check out the recent thread in the Chartering forum for Charlotte Harbor. There is a ton of great sailing there. The biggest marina there to my knowlege is the Burnt Store Marina. I called them recently and they have slips available at reasonable rates, liveaboard too. I was thinking of moving my boat down there from St. Petersburg.

We recently sailed down there from Tampa Bay over the holidays and it is a beautiful sailing ground with a ton of anchorages. There is also a large mooring field at Fort Myers beach which I have never been to but is supposed to be great from what I've heard from others in the area.

Boca Grande, Cayo Costa, Pelican Bay, Useppa Island, Cabbage Key, Captiva, Sanibel are the areas of interest for most.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-03-2011
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Beautiful sailing....very skinny waters. Lots of cities trying to restrict anchoring (Naples, Sarasota, St. Pete).

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post #4 of 6 Old 03-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omaho5 View Post
We are interested in finding out about sailing in this general area. Any info about Depth, wind, summer heat would be appreciated.
We think that we may live South for about 6 months per year.
I have noticed that there are many islands around there which may increase
the gunk holing etc.
Thanks
Bill.
I was born in Ft. Myers, raised over the bridge in Cape Coral. The Caloosahatchie River divides the two. It empties into the Gulf, or you can go through the locks all the way to the other side of the state. Towards the Gulf, you'll hit Pine Island, Sanibel, Ft. Myers beach.

The river itself is kind of like the Chesapeake Bay- Brackish, thin water, good for shoal draft boats, but the bottom is more sand than mud. There is a stretch, just out of the mouth of the river, across San Carlos Bay called "Miserable Mile" because it's very narrow, very busy and the ground rushes up to meet the edge of the channel.

Much of the area is now one huge, "no wake" zone because of the manatees, so I think a sailboat is ideal to own there, instead of idling around in a powerboat. If you have to go slow, may as well let the wind push you.

I was just home for Xmas. It's still beautiful there.

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-03-2011
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I know that area very, very well. My boat is even at Fort Myers Beach now.

The sailing grounds are beautiful, but be aware that the water is very shallow. ANything over 6 feet is a killer, and anywhere over 5 has many restrictions.

Bridge heightws should also be a concern. All the bridges in the Cape are 55'. THe sanibel is 75, I think, and FMB is 65.

Slippage is high. be prepared for 15-18/foot/month plus elec and any live aboard fees, if you so decide. Some require up front payment, cash. Get ready for a lofty insurance premium too.

If you move to the cape, make sure you check water depth and mast height. Bimini canal (feeds the Western half of the cape before the bridges) has a 55 foot power line that restricts tall masts in that direction. I woned a house a few canals up from that just off the ICW, so know that area well too.

There are many places to go and many islands to visit. But again, you will have to watch your water very close. Take a look at the map and you will see many of the islands around Pine Island are inches deep. But even 6 footers can acces many places. THe water south and north of the river is pretty, warm, and good fishing. It has improved over the years due to changes in water dump from the okechobee.

It is a great place, in all and a good gateway to many other places. Buy a good tender and outboard and where you cannot get via main boat, you can motor to via tender.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Brian

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post #6 of 6 Old 03-03-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks, folks. WE are going to be visiting the area in May. I hope that it is not too hot then.
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