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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're planning to move to the Tampa area, live ashore, and currently have a 31 foot sailboat.

Anything we should know about marinas or other sailing issues in the Tampa Bay area?
 

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We're planning to move to the Tampa area, live ashore, and currently have a 31 foot sailboat.

Anything we should know about marinas or other sailing issues in the Tampa Bay area?
Boz--Your question is so general it's difficult to formulate any meaningful response, particularly considering the size of the Tampa Bay Area. Substitute the name Chesapeake, or San Francisco, or Delaware or Jamaica, or Galveston, or Biloxi or... for Tampa and you'll see what I mean. In general the Tampa Bay area is a nice place to live and the Bay and surrounding waters good sailing although "thin" and often "too thin". The marinas are, by and large, reasonably nice and affordable for most and often include amenities not seen in other venues. If you have a choice, the south bay is preferable. For more on the area, click over to ActiveCaptain.com, register (it's free) and use the interactive cruising guide/charts to see the locations of marinas, anchorages, and marine services together with reviews by users that are freely contributed.

FWIW...
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So yes, it is a general question, but you've already helped with the "thin" and "too thin" comment because it alerts me to watch for that. Also, the south bay helps as it could influence our decision between homes (e.g. Riverview vs Spring Hill).
 

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Actually, Spring Hill might be quite good, depending on whether you want to do most of your sailing inside the Bay, or out in the Gulf.

There are plenty of marinas around here, but if you don't need the amenities of a marina then there are also a lot of homes with docks behind them. You can quite often find good deals on docks for rent behind the homes of folks who live on the water, but don't have a boat of their own.

Besides ActiveCaptain, mentioned above, another good resource for information is here...
WEST FL ? All Cruising News | Cruisers' Net
 

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So yes, it is a general question, but you've already helped with the "thin" and "too thin" comment because it alerts me to watch for that. Also, the south bay helps as it could influence our decision between homes (e.g. Riverview vs Spring Hill).
Boz--

Even with the deep draft version of you yacht (5'-4"), you shouldn't have too much difficulty on most of the southwest coast and its a good boat for these waters. More important to where you situate yourself is where you'll be working (unless you're retiring of course) and the time it may take to commute. The rush hour traffic can be quite a pain in some areas (although nothing like DC and many areas in the northeast). Are you sailing the yacht south or having her delivered?
 

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The rush hour traffic can be quite a pain in some areas (although nothing like DC and many areas in the northeast).
Good point. Traffic around the Tampa Bay area can be pretty bad. I once read where someone said it takes about 20 minutes to get from downtown St. Pete to the Tampa airport. In fact, if you get directions from Mapquest or Google Maps, they both say it should be less than 25 minutes. Anyone who has made that drive, though, should get a good laugh out of that.

Maybe at 4am, with no traffic (and assuming there's no road construction going on, which would often be a BAD assumption!), you might make it in less than 25 minutes. But anytime between 6am and 11pm I can guarantee you that it is going to take a lot more than that. Try it during rush hour and you'd better allow for well over an hour.

So, yeah, definitely want to consider your commute, if you still have to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the links. I don't have to worry about a commute so we've got more leeway on where we live.

Spring Hill looks nice, with good prices, albeit with a sinkhole problem.
 

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Thanks for the links. I don't have to worry about a commute so we've got more leeway on where we live.
If that's the case, you might want to take a close look at Manatee County just south of Tampa Bay. The prices are better on homes, the property taxes lower, the area is far less crowded, one is still within easy reach of Tampa/St. Pete when desired and there are good marina's and excellent sailing on/out of the Manatee River with good access to Tampa Bay, the Gulf and the keys south of Tampa Bay. One is also likely to be more sheltered in the event of a Tropical storm which, tho' infrequent, do happen.

Regardless of your choice, good luck with your search.
 

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Any input on live aboard Marina's in the Tampa Bay area, retired military (both Boz and I)??
No commute for me either, but I'd prefer the north side.
I can go with a mooring, but prefer dockside if the cost is not too high.
I've got kids looking for orders to the AF base there.
 

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Hey Chuckles,
You are looking to move to where I grew up. I was a Base Brat at Mac Dill AFB. Amy and I both went to Robinson HS just outside the gate and our families are still all around the area.

Sailing Tampa Bay is not like the Chesapeake. Tampa Bay is shallow with few out the way places to gunk hole. When I stayed on our boat in the area I chose to stay over the bridge in St Petersburg. I stayed at the City Marina for about 4 months. They are very welcoming of live a boards and there were several full timers making for a nice community. The location is good, security good, facilities good, and plenty to do onshore. The sailing was good in the bay and St Pete is an easy departure point for west Florida sailing. Easy jump across the Gulf to Pensacola (about 30 hours sailing) and points northwest or the GICW is just under the Sunshine Bridge. When I rounded Fl I ran the GICW from St Pete to Port Charlotte then jumped outside to Key West. The GICW was spectacular in that area and the Key West jump was straight forward single handed.

The drive to and from Mac Dill isn't one I would want for a daily commute, but it is close enough that I would go to the commissary once a week or so. Just time for traffic and it isn't bad.
 

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So, did you decided on a place?
 
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