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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Florida & SE US East Coast > Florida - Western > Destin Harbor Information
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Thread: Destin Harbor Information Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
4 Weeks Ago 08:37 PM
Silvio
Re: Destin Harbor Information

Hello JPR55,
I think the run to Panama City would be a very nice shake down. You can sail the bay from Ben's Lake to just past the bridge on the ICW. After that it gets quite narrow with shallow water outside the marked channel. It is a long day to get to PC so you should plan to leave early. The bay is scenic, the ditch isn't. There really isn't much to see once you get into the ditch until you come out the other side. The bay on the other side is a nice bit to look at. Stay in the channel as you exit the ditch until you clear mile 275 or so then you can get the sails up again. I have anchored all over St Andrews Bay and enjoyed the peace and quiet very much. One of my favorite stopping places is just off the Diving School within sight of their buoys but clear of their restricted area. The Panama City Marina is a nice place to stop as well and I have stayed there and have no complaints.

If you want to explore the beaches just be careful of anchoring near the jetties, the current really gets ripping near the exit of the bay.

If you decide to run back on the outside I can assure you that there is some spectacular sailing to be had if the weather is good!

Enjoy your trip. I almost didn't see your post as I don't visit the site often so please feel free to e-mail me anytime. We kept our boat at Ben's Lake for a while. If Gray Dog is still working there tell him that guy that used to live on his sailboat says he is definitely "Livin' the Dream!"

My email is silvioandamy @ gmail. com
4 Weeks Ago 08:13 PM
jpr55
Re: Destin Harbor Information

Silvio,

I found your posting informative about the Destin area. I have my 31 Allmand over at Eglin's Ben Lake Marina. I have done some extensive upgrades and my wife and I are ready next week for a little shake-out cruise. We were thinking on taking it to Panama City via ICW. My thinking is it would be a descent length trip to test the motor, new prop and instrumentation.

Having never made the trip what are your thoughts; is it scenic enough to keep my wife's interest? Outside of the bay sailing how much time do you think we will be motoring in the ICW? I am also concern with the depth of the ICW because from the charts it looks very narrow and right and left of the channel it looks extremely shallow. I draw only 4ft so I should be ok but still concerned.

Your thoughts and others are most welcome.

Happy sailing,
JPR55
Business 31 Allmand
Eglin AFB, FL
08-24-2011 10:04 AM
turfguy Thanks guys. I have found a couple of places to dock in the harbor as I can't get under the bridge in Destin. I will be down again after Labor Day to checkout more.
07-20-2011 09:13 AM
Silvio
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARC2012 View Post
Penascola to Destin. Fort walton bridge is only aprox.48 ft.marc
Hey Marc,
If your talking about the Brooks bridge I believe it is 50' as marked on the charts. It does have a gage going both directions. There has been work on-going for quite soe time now that has reduced the clearance by 1-2 feet. The contractor has chain link fencing strung under the bridge to catch debris. The CG announces the low clearance on vhf 22A several times a day. Either way 50' or 48', it's too close for comfort for me. I have slipped under after very carefully eye balling the gage but I don't need that kind of stress
07-19-2011 09:18 PM
MARC2012 Penascola to Destin. Fort walton bridge is only aprox.48 ft.marc
07-19-2011 10:33 AM
PBzeer Forget off hand about coming in from Pensacola, but that's how we got there (I have 46' clearance).
07-19-2011 09:40 AM
Silvio double post
07-19-2011 09:38 AM
Silvio Turfguy- I don't know anyone off hand that is livin aboard in the harbor. I am sure there are some though. You might consider posting in the general topics forum and you might get lucky and find someone that is currently living there. Destin is a great area to live in general. If you are coming from ATL the traffic during tourist season shouldn't seem too bad in relation and after tourist season it drops right off and the locals have the place to ourselves. Commuting on hwy 98 can be rough but again perspective. The harbor is definitely the party area during the summer and if you have never been to crab island (just inside the Destin bridge) you are in for a sight.

I agree that this would be a very different place if the bridge were taller. The Bay is quite a nice area to sail and a wonderful place to drop the hook for a couple days.

PBzeer- If he is unable to clear Destin bridge the only way to Shalimar is coming in at St Andrews Bay in Panama City; that is my preferred route btw. The chanel through the bridge seems to be correctly marked now. I last went out that way a month or so ago and it seemed correct. It definitely does get shallow fast to the west of the chanel though! The skinny water combined with the parasailors cutting back and forth can make for an interesting exit to the Gulf.
07-17-2011 10:40 PM
PBzeer Check up around Shalimar. When I went out the Destin Bridge in '07, you had to go outside the marked channel (thank goodness for getting some local info).
07-17-2011 05:00 PM
turfguy Thanks for the info Silvio, I am planning on moving there soon due to business. Matter of fact will be down tomorrow for a few days. My mast will definately be too high for the Destin bridge, thats why I wanted to stay in the Harbor area. I have checked out a couple places and it seems they have ample room and water depth. Mirabella and West and East Towers are a couple that fit the bill. Less in price then Harbor Walk and a bit quieter I would imagine.

Is living aboard at the marina's in Destin a problem as a rule?

Shame that bridge is so low would change things alot down there. The bay seems really nice. I will check out a lot more things this week.
Thanks again for the info and if you think of anything else please let me know.
turf
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