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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Miami & Keys Depth?
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Thread: Miami & Keys Depth? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-21-2012 02:07 PM
hurricanehole
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

If you like some peace and quiet at night there's a good chance you'll want to stay somewhere with a depth you couldn't anchor. A good bit of the deep water anchorages have bars with music nearby, especially on weekends. If you like the bar scene... The Keys are great and so near the Bahamas! You're in for a treat.
09-21-2012 01:18 PM
Capt.aaron
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Aaron,

The last time I traveled the Lakes Passage from Mule Key down to Boca Grande Key the average depth was about 6 feet. That was 20 years ago in a center console powerboat. In your opinion do you think I can make the trip with a 3'-11" draft?

Thanks in advance,

Gary
inside the lakes no. Outside from the first marker of nw channel on the Key west end, due west it's 6' close and 10 to 20 out in the channel, that is the way I go and Boca Grande has a ton of water, the depth in the lakes is 2 and 1/2 to 4 and is great for sharpies and cat's. I run a 30 foot cat in the lakes that draw's 2 feet and around Mule where the red and green are it's exactly 2 feet deep. You can maybe come from the boca side at high tide and get in there a way's. On the Nw channel side you can get almost up to Mule key. I run all over the Lakes in my Whaler, One of my favorite areas to explore.
09-21-2012 12:46 PM
travlineasy
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Aaron,

The last time I traveled the Lakes Passage from Mule Key down to Boca Grande Key the average depth was about 6 feet. That was 20 years ago in a center console powerboat. In your opinion do you think I can make the trip with a 3'-11" draft?

Thanks in advance,

Gary
09-21-2012 11:23 AM
ebs001
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Selling your current boat and buying another in Florida seems to me to be the best option. Not only will that solve the draft issue but will also solve the problem of getting the boat from Chicago to Miami. Another option is to convert to a bulb keel and you can significantly reduce your draft with this option. One source to do this conversion is here: Mars Metal). but I understand this is very expensive.
09-20-2012 09:53 PM
TQA
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

I was on a boat hunt in Florida and in the course of conversation with a broker he said that they would not accept a listing from a boat drawing more than 6' in normal circumstances.

Nuff said?
09-20-2012 10:47 AM
svzephyr44
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

I would want more information before I made a recommendation. Yes, the Hawk Channel has thin spots. On the other side of the reef are boats with 40' drafts. You might have to choose your weather a little more carefully but there it is.

If you idea of sailing is going into a different marina each night for dinner then no, you most likely would not like the Keys. If it is sailing and diving there is more than enough water in Key West and lots of great sailing area and diving spots. In some of the more skinny areas you will have to pay attention to the tide but in Key West you have to anyway, the tidal currents are quite strong so you need to know what is going on.

Hope this helps
09-19-2012 06:46 PM
Capt.aaron
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

The thing about the key's is, you alway's seem to wish you drew a foot or two less. With my 3 foot draft I have run a ground more times than I want to admit. A couple of years ago I captained a 30 foot cat for charter that drew 2 foot, and I ran aground with that more times than I want to admit. I'm alway's looking at trailerable 6" draft 25 footers for sale and wish I had one. Then you can really get in deep to the back country. Sharpie's and cats seem to be the most versatile boat's around here. The next best thing is a good skiff for exploring, but it's nice to spend a few day's gunk holed up in some secluded lagoon of the lower key's on the back side to really get a feel for the area. You also want something that can sail to Mexico and beyond if the notion strikes you, My Soverel centerboard sloop has done me well in both regards.
09-19-2012 06:11 PM
Cruisingdad
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBuck View Post
WOW - great insights - many tanks to everyone.

I looked into changing to the 'shallow' keel - but even then I'm at 5'11 and that sounds too deep for what I want to do..

Guess I will have to sell her here in Chicago and start fresh in Miami.

Thx again!

CB
5' 11 is fine. I am 6. Many other boats are too. 5.5 is better, but 6 is doeable for most of what you want You just wont get the gulf side of the keys, but not the end of the world. You have a tender to run about anyways I would imagine.

Brian
09-19-2012 06:09 PM
ChuckBuck
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

WOW - great insights - many tanks to everyone.

I looked into changing to the 'shallow' keel - but even then I'm at 5'11 and that sounds too deep for what I want to do..

Guess I will have to sell her here in Chicago and start fresh in Miami.

Thx again!

CB
09-18-2012 11:40 PM
night0wl
Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

On our most recent trip down to the keys, I sounded 5.5 feet *IN THE CHANNEL* at Marker 74a. Definitely would *NOT* do 7.5 ft in the keys. Miami you should be fine except at low tide near Elliott and the Ragged Keys. Those can get shallow. You wont make the entrance to Black Point Marina either.
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