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Amazing Grace 02-25-2012 09:23 PM

Florida: Stuart or Jupiter
Hi, I'm considering other places to live, and would like your opinion on Stuart vs. Jupiter in Florida.

We enjoy sailing - it is a major aspect of our lives. Offshore. Spend lots of spare time on the boat; sailing or maintenance of some sort.

I was told Stuart or Jupiter is a good place to sail, affordable, good weather, not overly crowded and chaotic (as I'm told Ft. Lauderdale is) and nice to live. I am not familiar with anywhere in Florida at all.

What are your thoughts? Is there somewhere else in Florida that can meet the criteria above that you would recommend?

What are the yacht marinas like?

Really appreciate your input. Thank you.

night0wl 02-25-2012 10:33 PM

Jupiter isn't really affordable on the water...

PBzeer 02-25-2012 11:19 PM

Do you want a place to dock the boat, or live on it?

Amazing Grace 02-26-2012 01:11 AM


John, looking for somewhere to live on land, and berth the yacht in a marina. Sorry, should have made that clear from the onset.

Many thanks

PBzeer 02-26-2012 02:42 AM

That helps, but it brings up a few more questions.

Own or rent a home?

Will you be working? So do you need to be near someplace specific?

You say offshore, for day sails, or with a destination? Or a combination?

Thing with Florida ... it ain't cheap. Plus there's those naughty old hurricanes (and the insurance that goes with them).

If you're not familiar with Active Captain you might want to check it out for navigational info for the areas you're interested in. I should note here that the Inlets by Jupiter and Stuart are marginal, at best (and ones I wouldn't use). ( Jupiter Inlet the most dangerous inlet in Palm Beach County area ) You really should go north to Ft Pierce, or south to Lake Worth. Ft Pierce has less commercial shipping than Lake Worth, it's mostly all recreational/fishing craft.

Basically, it all depends on how you'll be using the boat, and if you need to be near a certain area.

Amazing Grace 02-26-2012 03:12 AM

Extremely helpful - thank you. I've always been under the impression that Florida was a more affordable place to live in regards to buying a home (especially compared to Hawaii and Auckland, for example. Both places I've lived / live). I don't know about Florida's cost of living other than there is no state income tax? But the initial appeal is the accessibility to wonderful destinations like Bahamas, BVIs, USVI (we are bluewater cruisers, but land locked for now), cost of living (so I thought), warm(er) weather. Hence, my initial research on Florida as a possible next destination to live. Maybe not??

Thanks again for your input - I really appreciate it. It's really very helpful. :-)

CaptainForce 02-26-2012 04:29 AM

St. Lucie Inlet near Stuart is OK, but Jupiter and Hillsborough Inlets are not reliable. Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Daytona and St. Augustine have nothing to offer for a quick afternoon of sailing,- everything is offshore. Miami and the Keys give you both casual protected bays and offshore with easy access to the Bahamas. The Indian River area (Cocoa, Melbourne, Titusville) have less cost and a good inlet at Port Canaveral. I like the St. Johns River south of Jacksonville for hurricane protection. There's good sailing there, less expense and a good inlet, but further to offshore and the islands. Take care and joy, Aythya crew

PBzeer 02-26-2012 07:22 AM

Florida is definitely cheaper than Hawaii. And housing will generally be cheaper the further you are from the water.

Ft Pierce, which has an excellent (IMHO) inlet, straight, wide and deep, and about an hour from docks to open water. It's an overnight hop from Miami.

Miami has two Inlets. The Government cut which is what all the commercial and cruise shipping use, and Cape Florida (the one I use).

Lake Worth (Palm Beach area) is between the two, and a popular jump off point to the Bahamas.

If what you're looking for is more of a base, from which to go on long trips, you might want to look further north.

bigdogandy 02-26-2012 08:16 AM

Grace - if you need to work to make a living, be sure to research the local jobs situation before you decide on a place to live. I lived in Key Largo for years, and that is, in my opinion, by far the best place in Florida to keep a sailboat because there is great sailing locally, it's easy to get to and from the Bahamas, and the diving, snorkling, fishing, etc. is awesome. The drawback is that there is virtually no work unless you wait tables, work on a dive boat, or clean rooms in one of the hotels.....

The Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas are incredibly congested on land and on the water, and they are the most expensive places to keep a boat. Ft. Pierce is great, the Merritt Island / Port Canaveral area is good, and most of the towns on the west coast from Tampa south to Naples are great places to live and sail as well.

Also - check out Craigslist as a source for dockage in the areas you are interested in. You can find some great deals there on slips at small marinas or at private residences.

hellosailor 02-26-2012 01:53 PM

Grace, there are pros and cons to Florida and it is a very popular place to die, ergh, live. The "Gold Coast" on the SE, the Tampa area on the NW, there are many different areas with different pros and cons.

No state tax--but low state services. Lots of highway drownings because there are drainage canals and lakes all over--and few barriers to the traffic, because safety barriers can't be built without tax money. A number of the more respectable newspapers call it "FloriDUH" because some things are just so "unique" to the state.

Near a coast? You may have flooding problems that close to sea level. Some places (Chicago, Seattle) raised their downtowns by ten feet (literally) to solve that over a hundred years ago. Florida? Lots of open drainage canals and accept flooding. As the recently appoint RC Archibishop for Miami said two years ago, it was nice to be appointed to someplace so close to the continental United States.

Also, you'll need a car, there's very little public transportation, and it tends to come and go with budget cycles. A bus stop can also be a nasty place to be in 90F heat and 80% humidity.

So where you want to live, and why, there's a lot more than housing costs to consider--unless you're just planning to retire and die somewhere that's cheap, because there are no state taxes. So far.

This is not to put down Florida, just to say, be careful what you wish for. It really has to be experienced to be appreciated. If you can find any books by Carl Hiassen, he's a long-time serious award winning journalist with the Miami Herald. Read his books, you'll say what a farce, could never be. Ah, nope. That's FloriDUH. Can't make that stuff up.

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