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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I am going to be sailing on a 34 foot Pearson (6 foot draw) from Miami to Key West. I would appreciate any local knowledge (good places to stay--place to avoid--best routes to take--inside vs. outside etc......) any of you who have sailed the keys could impart on me. Thank you all.

-Britt
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Britt, sailed that route early this year. Really no reason to go outside, the Hawk channel is deep enough and well marked. You would probably stay over at Key Largo and Marathon on the way down, both good anchorages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No Name Harbour in Key Biscayne is a very nice anchorage

Key Largo, just beyond the first bridge, across from the tiki bar; also behind the Caribbean Club about halfway down the island

Marathon is very crowded - almost like an RV campground for sailboats, but for good reason; also a very good anchorage

Key West, across the channel off Mallory Square, popular anchorage but keep the 3 knot current in the channel in mind if dinghying to shore.

thats about the grand total of my experience with anchorages in the Keys
 

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We did the same trip in November 2001. Our draft is 5''3". We did the Hawk Channel route and had no trouble -- it was gorgeous sailing and we were able to sail most of it.
We stopped in Marathon -- went under the 7 Mile Bridge and up the Moser Channel to
Ft. Myers. The only problem we had was somewhat poor planning in finding a place that we could get into with our draft in the evening. From Key Largo to Marathon, we did in one shot just because we weren''t confident about not running aground. Anchored outside of Boot Key Harbor in Marathon about 8 PM after leaving at first light. Long day, but very nice day.

Fair winds -- Jan
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Be careful of shallow waters. Almost decided to build a Catamaran because of the shallow waters. Careful study of the charts and watchfull eye helped up through.

My husband and I were stuck in the keys for almost two weeks because of the unexpected northern winds in Oct/Nov. PLUS hurricane Michelle didn''t help us much either. BUT it was a good time and I''m sure you''ll enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sailed 445 Beneteau with a 6''9" draft up HawK''s Channel with no problem from Key West to Monty''s Marina in Coconut Grove.

Yes there are shallow areas but the charts are accurate.
Angel Creek Pass entrance into Biscayne Bay was a bit scary when we got hit with a downburst. Did not touch!
The Holiday Inn Marina on Key Largo lists the entrance at 5'' at MLL. We sailed in at high tide following a local with no problem had to sail out with the tide when it was flooding.
Holiday Isle Marina also lists 5'' at MLL but it it is passable at high tide.A great clue is that when the tide is out there is a party on the sand bar with a number of boats.
Great anchorage at Bahia Honda State Park you need to enter through the old train tressel that was cut plenty of room and it shows 7'' all around.
Just check your charts watch the tides and keep in mind that the depths marked are listed at the mean low low tides.
I never touched, the word is! trust your depth finder and know your vessel.
All the entrances I listed have sandy bottoms.
Good Luck.
 
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