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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > There's This Place...
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There's This Place... Articles on Destinations for Cruising, by Cruisers, for Cruisers...


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Old 08-10-2009
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Florida sailing

We have an 08 Beneteau 40 and we are thinking of moving the boat to FL for the winter season. We are interested in the best sailing grounds in FL for November to April. I know the Ft. Lauderdale area offers cheap dockage $1 a foot but have not sailed in that area. We'd be interested in knowing what areas, east and westcoast are good for sailing and what the dock rates, are, we definitely want to be on a dock.

We also are interested if anyone knows a captain who would sail the boat down to the east coast of FL and what the cost would be, to the jupiter to FtLauderdale area.
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Old 08-10-2009
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Depends on what you are looking for.

Hubby and I are transitioning from lake sailors to coastal cruisers. We planned to spend a good part of the winter (might not happen - family issues) on the St. Johns. Protected river sailing with ICW access, bridges, ships traffic, etc. to expand our experience. Not to mention plenty of area to explore.

Jax has a large airport and mass transit, available rental cars if needed, and other city amenities.

And I have family there. For us it is a good destination.
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Old 08-10-2009
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Jax

I just was looking at Marinas in Jacksonville when I saw your post to my question. I guess my only concern with the area is that it gets a little cool. Averages in the 60s. Your post got me thinking though that we could start off in Jacksonville and then take the boat down the coast to Palm Beach or Ft.Lauderdale over the winter by doing long weekend trips.

Have you spent time in Jacksonville? Can you sail in the Intracoastal, is it wide enough and deep enough? We have a 5'3" draft on our boat.
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We have only motored in the ICW. Its very narrow in places and you have to watch your depth. But you can sail on the river down as far as Green Cove. I was born and raised in Jax., left town in '75 :-). But we have always wanted to sail on the river. I don't know what your experience level is, but as lake sailors we have a lot of new skills to practice and they are all available here. Check out this forum

Living Aboard Forums

Several of the folks are in Jax. There is a marinas thread but I understand that prices are down since they were last posted. If you drive around, you always see folks anchored out. And the city has some low or no cost (except during "events") facilities available for limited use.

As for cold - it snowed when I was in the 2nd grade!
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Old 08-10-2009
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Sailing on the river isn't much fun unless it's what you know. I hardly take the boat for this reason, and the water is not attractive. I would give Biscayne Bay Miami some serious thought. Lots of anvhorages, and great sailing all year in fairly sheltered waters. Then Bimini is 7 hours away, and a whole new life.......i2f
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Last edited by imagine2frolic; 08-10-2009 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009
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I live in Fort Lauderdale. Our sailing is all ocean. You get a bit tired of just seeing the beach up and down the SE Coast of Florida...not many anchorages along the ICW either because its all built up. That being said, its a great place to launch an expedition to the Bahamas/Bimini. Plus there IS cheap(er) dockage especially at private docks up and down the canals. Bridges are a bit of a pain, but the New River is all on-demand...the current tends to rip through there and watch out for Jungle Queen...she takes those riverbends at full throttle. Ever seen a 2 story dinner cruise throw up rooster tails? I have

If you can get away with it, I'd keep the boat in Miami. Biscayane Bay has more traditional "cruising" grounds, but for your Beneteau 40 (assuming a standard keel of 6 ft) you're going to face draft issues as well as air draft issues as there are fixed 55' bridges to deal with.

That being said, Miami has a ton more in terms of anchorages, is just as convenient to the Bahamas as many people track as far south as possible before heading east for a Gulfstream crossing. Also, the Key's are a weekend trip...whereas in Fort Lauderdale its more of a long weekend/vacation type excursion.

Miami will be more pricey for dockage and you're more likely to deal with little annoyances like petty theft/bad attitudes, but...it has its perks. Hell of a skyline to watch a sunset over in front of Rusty Pelican with a drink in one's hands.
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Last edited by night0wl; 09-26-2010 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undine View Post
Depends on what you are looking for.

Hubby and I are transitioning from lake sailors to coastal cruisers. We planned to spend a good part of the winter (might not happen - family issues) on the St. Johns. Protected river sailing with ICW access, bridges, ships traffic, etc. to expand our experience. Not to mention plenty of area to explore.

Jax has a large airport and mass transit, available rental cars if needed, and other city amenities.

And I have family there. For us it is a good destination.
I've been checking around and although it is cooler than we'd like it Looks like JAX maybe the best place for us. My husband is looking to open a FL office and already has an employee there. It's also less costly to have our boat captained there and back. I am curious about the sailing in that area. What are the NOV to APR winds like and is it sunny or overcast kind of weather. I lived in North Palm Beach and Jupiter for 7 years so I am familiar with that area but not so far north.

ALSO does anyone know how many miles to JAX it is from Montauk? I see captains are getting $250-$300 a day. we are trying to figure out the whole cost.
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Old 08-28-2009
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the captains i know all charge by the mile, plus a per diem fee..there are tools that will show mileage on maps--i believe google maps/earth has that--there is also a chart feature on the new earth---gooood luck....

Last edited by zeehag; 08-28-2009 at 10:17 PM. Reason: boatkat isunt a gud speeler
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Old 08-29-2009
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If you will be working in Jax, You will find sailing out of St. Augustine to be much more pleasant. Dockage ranges from $8.50 per foot on older fixed docks on up to $14.00 per foot on new floating docks on a monthly basis. I dock at Oyster Creek marina on a floating dock for $10.00 per foot during the off season and $13.00 during peak. It is very protected, has a great restaurant, is 2 minutes from groceries and West Marine, and less than an hour from the ocean if you catch a timely bridge opening.The drive from most anywhere in Jax. down to St. Aug. is inside of 1 hour. Most marinas in Jax will eat up at least half a day transiting to the ocean and back. As far as the trip south from Montauk, I have delivered numerous yachts over that stretch of water and usually take 7-10 days to do so . Mileage is roughly 365 to Norfolk, 205 Norfolk to Beaufort[in the ditch], 425 Beaufort to St. Augustine, and 300 St. Augustine to Miami. Feel free to contact me for local information or if you are looking for a captain, Scott 904-540-2291

Last edited by xsboats; 08-29-2009 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 08-29-2009
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Miami will be more pricey for dockage and you're more likely to deal with little annoyances like petty theft/bad attitudes, but...it has its perks. Hell of a skyline to watch a sunset over in front of Rusty Pelican with a drink in one's hands.

Since my boat sits next to the Rusty Pelican I cannot agree more. My million dollar view is priceless. What is so funny is those multi million dollar condos in downtown Miami buy their condo to look at me and my (low cost compare to them) slip is looking at them. Ironic.
In my area I have not experience any theft or bad attitudes. I love my dockmates and the staff at my marina. It is under guard 24/7 with security cameras. I can even plug into the those cameras at home to watch my baby and wish I was there.
In the Miami area you will pay about $18.0-$20.0 a foot a month ($700-800) for a slip. Like others have said the cruising area here is very diverse. Your 6' draft will keep you out of the ICW south of Elliot Island except for high tides. Key Biscayne Bay is a great area for dayand overnight sails. You don't have to contend with the big swells and waves compare to the ocean when the wind pips up. But the ocean is only 1/2 hour away which provides endless opportunities from South Beach to Key West and the Bahamas. I know that my marina, Rickenbacker Marina has a few opening as we speak. Call Jay at 305-361-1900. Tell him the crazy woman Melissa sent you.
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Last edited by Melrna; 08-29-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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