Sailing across the Florida keys - SailNet Community
 1Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 25 Old 03-08-2012 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Sailing across the Florida keys

I am interested in bringing my sailboat from the northeast around Florida and up to the St. Petersburg area. Can I get some input as to where to go through the Keys and the shallows which is the safest. My boat is a Beneteau 49. It draws 7' of water and has a mast height of about 63'. I obviously do not know the area around the Keys so I have major safety concerns. I'm sure there are many hazards that may not appear on charts and Chartplotters. I would be planning this for late Sept./12. Any and all advise would be appreciated.
festivus is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Senior Member
 
jimrafford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: ct
Posts: 626
Thanks: 1
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
re: Sailing across the Florida keys

If your thinking the iCW your draft is going to be a problem and that time of year is not a good time to be outside. Hurricane season.
Jim

S/V Deja Vu
CS 40
jimrafford is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 25 Old 03-08-2012 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
re: Sailing across the Florida keys

Would not attempt the intercoastal with my draft and understand the hurricane concerns. I probably have soon flexibility with delivery date. Want to make it safe and sound.
festivus is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,619
Thanks: 1
Thanked 188 Times in 156 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
re: Sailing across the Florida keys

As far as the Keys are concerned, your only viable route is the Hawk Channel on the ocean side of the Keys, no way is the ICW route down Biscayne and Florida Bays an option with your draft...

The first place I'd recommend cutting through with your draft would be the Moser Channel at Marathon... You could probably make it thru the Yacht Channel up from Channel Five west of Islamorada, but you'd be VERY close to the bottom thru there. Since there's not that much to be gained distance-wise, I wouldn't recommend it, I'd go on to Marathon, instead...

However, as long as you're that far west, you may as well consider going out to Key West, anyway - if you're inclined to spend any time there, that is...

Main problem with the Hawk Channel and your draft, is the dearth of good, protected anchorages or marinas between Miami and Marathon... The Ocean Reef Club is your best bet, but it's a private club, and I'm not sure what their policy is towards accepting transients is at the moment. Otherwise, you'll likely wind up anchoring somewhere in an open roadstead, tucking in behind Rodriguez Key is one of the few spots you can gain any protection at all, but not if the breeze is NE-E... And, you really don't want to be running the Hawk Channel much after dark, plenty of crab pots thru there, for one thing...

As for the ICW between Norfolk and Miami, don't necessarily rule it out because of your draft... Most of it will be do-able, you can certainly go inside Hatteras to Morehead City... Between Morehead and Little River, and then Georgia and some spots in FL north the St.John's River are the most likely trouble spots (don't even THINK about doing the ICW in Georgia south of Sapelo Sound), but otherwise most of the ICW can still be an option for you... Not to suggest you'll never find the bottom somewhere, but by playing or waiting for the tide, you should always be able to make it thru...

And, for the most up-to-date info on the changing conditions along the ICW and east coast, this is probably the best resource:

Cruiser's Net
JonEisberg is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Crazy Woman Boat Driver
 
Melrna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New Bern NC
Posts: 807
Thanks: 16
Thanked 17 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
Send a message via AIM to Melrna Send a message via Yahoo to Melrna
re: Sailing across the Florida keys

Like others have said the ICW is not doable with your draft. You will have to be careful about Marathon Bridge because it is not the normal 66/68' height that most bridges are. You might have to wait until very low tide to get under it. I would go to Key West and around. Key West is way to much fun to miss if one hasn't been there before especially on a boat.

Melissa Renee
Moondance
Catalina 445, Hull #90
Melrna is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Member
 
whroeder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Palm Bay, FL
Posts: 89
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
re: Sailing across the Florida keys

I wouldn't attempt to sail "acroostss the Florida Keys." Too much rocks, roads, cars and houses. I would keep the boat in the water.
Plus what they said
BreakAwayFL likes this.
whroeder is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Barquito
 
Barquito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 2,246
Thanks: 0
Thanked 26 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Sailing across the Florida keys

Quote:
I wouldn't attempt to sail "acroostss the Florida Keys." Too much rocks, roads, cars and houses.
Hey, if they can do it in a motor boat, why not with a sailboat?
Attached Thumbnails
country_fried_home_videos_016-x600.jpg  
Barquito is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 25 Old 03-08-2012 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Sailing across the Florida keys

I certainly appreciate any and all input to my questions, especially from those that may have first hand knowledge of the keys and what would be best for my situation. Having said that, safety is the most important thing, but would also like to get through the trip as fast as possible as its a long way from Nova Scotia and its a long time at sea for my delivery crew. I was anticipating staying outside for as much as possible to avoid the obvious shallow water hazards. First stop somewhere around the Carolina's and then maybe in the Keys.

It's great to get this help from you all. Thx
festivus is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Morgan 33 O.I. Perryville
 
travlineasy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,371
Thanks: 3
Thanked 141 Times in 126 Posts
Rep Power: 5
 
Re: Sailing across the Florida keys

I would think, even with that draft, you could do most of the ICW down to Charlestown, SC. You probably could not navigate through those Georgia swamps at all and should consider heading offshore at Charleston, then you can duck back into the ICW at Fernandina Beach, FL. Keep in mind that you'll have lots and lots of bridges to contend with, but overall the depths appear to be more than adequate.

Now, if you have a crew, and the weather cooperates, the coastal passage would be very doable all the way to Key West. Like others have suggested, I would consult the Cruisers Net for the most up to date information. Additionally, I would wait until at least October 1 before making the trip.

Good Luck,

Gary
travlineasy is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 25 Old 03-08-2012
Senior Member
 
night0wl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 1,457
Thanks: 0
Thanked 21 Times in 21 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Sailing across the Florida keys

I've gone down the inside...and I specifically remember staying *IN* the channel and sounding 5'. Especially at Marker 74a near Islamorada. This was at Thanksgiving time-frame. Don't recall the tides, but I want to say I was seeing 5' with some tidal help.

Take that for what its worth.

My recommendation, find a suitable 3 day weather window and stay on the outside and take Hawks Channel (watch for crab pots) all the way down from Miami. None of the cuts/inlets except Gov't Cut can support your draft - even Stiltsville/Cape Florida is spotty in a couple spots, but maybe doable. When you're down in the Keys, then cross as Channel 5 and pick up the Yacht Channel to the southwest.

Whats your air-draft. If you're drawing 7 ft, I'd imagine its pretty damn close to 65. If you're over that...well, then you're making the trip down to Key West and coming around!

S/V Jendai
Beneteau 343

Last edited by night0wl; 03-08-2012 at 02:14 PM.
night0wl is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Info, experience, tips needed sailing from Turks and Caicos to Florida keys pireality General Discussion (sailing related) 4 07-21-2009 11:01 AM
Looking for Sailing Mates in the Florida Keys garydory28 Crew Wanted/Available 3 03-04-2009 02:41 PM
Voted #1 Florida Press 2004 and 2005 Best Web Site Florida Keys Keynoter (Keynoter.com) NewsReader News Feeds 0 11-07-2006 10:15 PM
Voted #1 Florida Press 2004 and 2005 Best Web Site Florida Keys Keynoter (Keynoter.com) NewsReader News Feeds 0 08-16-2006 10:15 AM
Sailing the Florida Keys! navtron Chartering 0 11-30-2001 06:45 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome