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rusbet 04-18-2004 05:52 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?
We hope to retire in Florida in 2006 and want to take up sailing, probably ending up with a fixed keel about 30''. We would want to do day sailing, maybe some racing, and multiple day cruises.

We are going to check out the Leesburg/Ocala, Sarasota, Punta Gorda, and Naples areas in a couple of weeks.

Would your readers have any comments about those places or advice other locations we should consider?

DuaneIsing 04-18-2004 09:17 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?

All I can say is to stay away from Punta Gorda. You don''t want to move there! (grin)

Seriously, we just moved (sort of) to Punta Gorda this month (I''ll be there permanently in 3 months) and we love it. Of course, we have had to take the word of fellow sailors since we won''t get our boat until after June.

There is relatively thin water in most of SW Florida, so any draft deeper than 4 feet makes you watch your tides a bit when you are gunkholing. PG is at the north end of Charlotte Harbor, which a fairly large body of protected water and plenty deep (over 8'' at low tide) away from the shorelines. It''s about 18nm from PG to Boca Grande pass and the wide-open Gulf of Mexico.

You can email me directly at if you want to chat more.


sailaway50 04-18-2004 04:34 PM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?
My two cents worth on Punta Gorda. We have a house there, finally got our 36'' Gulfstar sailboat down there in Jan. 2004. Weather didn''t cooperate so we had very little sailing time before heading back to OH. After sailing the Great Lakes, the depths and tides in Fl is going to take a lot of adjusting. But we love the Punta Gorda area, have looked a little bit at other areas but keep coming back to this. As you probably already know the water is brakish from the mangroves, which may be a reason for it being more afforadable, but you don''t have to sail too far to get in lighter, prettier water. And the dolphins don''t mind, they''re right there in the canals and Charlotte Harbor. We''re still limited to our time in Fl at this time but I''m hoping with the boat there, we''ll make more time to be there.

rusbet 05-10-2004 12:36 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?
Thanks for your comments. We just came back from a trip that included Sarasota, Punta Gorda, and Naples.

After weighing all options, we decided on Naples. Although we will not be living on the water, we are only a 10 min. from a gorgeous, private marina. And the marina is only 10 min. from open water.

Naples still retains small town charm and has all the amenities. What good fortune!

DuaneIsing 05-13-2004 03:31 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?

Well, best of luck to you in Naples! Enjoy.


BigRed56 08-04-2004 12:35 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?
Ahoy me Mateys Naples sucks. It sucks your wallet and your mind and iffin ye got an ounce of Pirate in ye sail north. Look north and ye can probably still see de smoke rising from me sacking of Cape Coral to guide ye. Pirate of Pine Island.

sonofasailorsailing 11-07-2004 08:46 AM

Best Florida Sailing in Retirement?
We live and sail near Panama City, a quiet little drinking village with a fishing problem called Mexico Beach. We are in semi-protected waters with Cape San Blas just to our south and can be in deep water very quickly. We almost always have a light land breeze in the morning and a good sea breeze in the afternoons. Wish us luck, we''re going for a three day adventure this next weekend. There will probably be no one else on the sea! Pity the fair-weather sailors, they miss half the fun.

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