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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning a trip into the Gulf of Mexico and was wondering about two things.

1. the advertised clearance of the Channel 5 Bridge is 65' so does it vary much from that?
2. the channel WNW from the ICW at Long Key, adjacent to Channel Five, through Florida Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. The charts show depths of 6' and up. What is it in reality. Anyone been through it?
 

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I'm planning a trip into the Gulf of Mexico and was wondering about two things.

1. the advertised clearance of the Channel 5 Bridge is 65' so does it vary much from that?
2. the channel WNW from the ICW at Long Key, adjacent to Channel Five, through Florida Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. The charts show depths of 6' and up. What is it in reality. Anyone been through it?
The 65' clearance is a minimum at higher high water. The sign boards on either side of the bridge will give you actual clearance. On your boat, it's not a problem. Do not pay much attention to the magenta line, lay out your own way-points between the marks, The biggest issue you'll find will be the fish traps. They are usually laid out is fairly straight lines so if you can see two you can estimate where the next will be. A night passage would be unwise but the Bay isn't that challenging for most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ya... the fishing traps... what a pain. We were there last year for a vacation and one the more annoying things I recall were the incessant lines of fishing traps. The boat we're bringing through this year is a bit bigger tho' and that's why the questions. Draft is about 6' so I'm not going to risk that channel to the WNW unless I know it can "float the boat." If I can navigate it tho' it would shave some time off our passage north.
 

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Ya... the fishing traps... what a pain. We were there last year for a vacation and one the more annoying things I recall were the incessant lines of fishing traps. The boat we're bringing through this year is a bit bigger tho' and that's why the questions. Draft is about 6' so I'm not going to risk that channel to the WNW unless I know it can "float the boat." If I can navigate it tho' it would shave some time off our passage north.
Ah.. With that draft, I'd stay outside to Marathon and then pass through Moser Channel and cross the bay from there. We draw 6.5' and if you'd like, I'll send you our waypoint list for Garmin from Marathon to Tampa Bay. PM me with your email address if you like.
 

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Hello


My wife and I are planning the same trip across the bay (Tampa to Miami) in a Hunter 36 which draws 4' -10" (this November). Would you recommend Moser Channel or Yacht Channel?

Thanks -- Dave
 

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Dave, With a 4' 10" draft, take your pick. It's just important to know where you are at all times on Bayside. Have a good set of current charts and you will be fine. We made the same transit from both Channel 5 and Moser Channel with a 6 foot draft and had no problem. There are lots of options and no need to transit the 6 foot areas. Chuck
 

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Also, if you use the Yacht Channel, keep a good eye on the markers, as it's a bit of zig-zag.
 
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