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Is it getting more crowded out there?

7009 Views 45 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Group9
I keep hearing that sailing is on the decline. Boat sales seem to be down (at least big boat sales), and I keep hearing that fewer young people are getting into activity. At the same time I also keep reading (here and other places) that popular cruising areas have never been busier. Anchorages are apparently full and moorings are hard to get.

Seems contradictory.

As someone just beginning the full-time journey, I'm curious what to expect "out there." Is it more packed than it has ever been (as I often read here), or is there a decline in boaters, and hence a reduction in busy anchorages and marinas?
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As someone who NEVER uses marinas or moorings, I can't speak for those, but the anchorages in the Caribbean we frequent are definitely not becoming more crowded.
Of course, during the Christmas thru Easter season, the charter and bare boats are out in force, but even at that it seems it's less crowded than 3 or 4 years back.
Right now, sitting in Admiralty Bay, Bequia, there are probably fewer than a hundred boats moored or anchored, down from a high of 250+ a few years back.
All in all, I do believe that there are fewer full time cruising boats out here. Many more Europeans and Canadians than Americans, right now. There are many more 'commuter cruisers' than ever before, as evidenced by the number of boats on the hard during the hurricane season, throughout the Eastern Caribbean.
In the 70's and 80's there were a lot of younger people sailing around, but these days there are almost none, proportionately.
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Tonight, I played music at the tiki hut at Marathon City Marina, which manages the mooring field at Boot Key Harbor. Ever inch of the marina is taken, and every mooring ball has a boat attached to it. In fact, every marina in Boot Key Harbor has a boat in it. Fortunately, the old Boot Key Marina, which was owned by Faro Blanco, is now owned by Hyatt and they will begin renovation of this huge marina in the next few months. It should be open by late fall and that will provide another 500 or so slips for cruisers visiting this part of the world. Currently, there are about 20 boats awaiting a mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor, which has 250 mooring balls available most of the time. By early December, they will be filled with folks trying to escape the northern climates.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
I'm sorry Gary, but that sounds like hell to me. Admiralty Bay may be 20 times larger than Boot Key Harbor (I don't know) so 250 boats is busy, but not one on top of another like the BK mooring field.
I guess I'm lucky I got out of the Keys before the mooring buoys and all the rules came in. I actually remember dirt alongside the road in Marathon. I lived and worked there for quite a few years, before the 'got mines' took over looking to make a fast buck at the expense of the quality of life that made the Keys a pleasant place to live.
200 mooring balls in Boot Key Harbor? That's just another form of condominium living.
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