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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

Next year (or maybe the following year) we are going to have our boat hold over in South Florida (east coast) during hurricane season. We will cruise the Bahamas for one season, head back to Florida, and than head far south for the following season.

I have been researching marinas in Fort Lauderdale area that might afford the best protection. I am a little shocked at the prices but this is for one hurricane season only.

Questions:

1. Which marina(s) best meets this need in that area?

2. Which is better, in the water or on the hard?

3. What kind of costs (punishment) should I expect from Insurance companies for a new'ish 45 foot boat being held in South Florida during HC season?

4. Do insurance companies prefer some marinas over others?

Being from the PNW this is all new stuff for me. My wife and I are chomping at the bit to make this move.
 

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For being on the hard for hurricane season, Id suggest that you consider to keep your boat 'a bit more north' than SE FL .... eg. St. Johns River, Fernandina - St Marys River, Brunswick, Ga., Jekyll Is Ga, etc. for considerably less risk of Hurricanes, better and more competitive marina prices, better insurance rates based on physical location, less restrictions for DIY, etc. etc. .... and youre only a ~few days sail from SE Florida when your not 'on the hard'.
 

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Hello,

Next year (or maybe the following year) we are going to have our boat hold over in South Florida (east coast) during hurricane season. We will cruise the Bahamas for one season, head back to Florida, and than head far south for the following season.

I have been researching marinas in Fort Lauderdale area that might afford the best protection. I am a little shocked at the prices but this is for one hurricane season only.

Questions:

1. Which marina(s) best meets this need in that area?

2. Which is better, in the water or on the hard?

3. What kind of costs (punishment) should I expect from Insurance companies for a new'ish 45 foot boat being held in South Florida during HC season?

4. Do insurance companies prefer some marinas over others?

Being from the PNW this is all new stuff for me. My wife and I are chomping at the bit to make this move.
You better get ready for a wakeup call. Mom and dad's boat is in the PNW. I know the costs up there. They are only a fraction of what it costs down here.

Are you going to live aboard? Better start checking out those marinas really well then. Many won't allow a live aboard or there is a waiting list. Quite honestly, I would not leave my boat in Ft Lauderdale at all. I would either sail it north of West Palm where prices start dropping quickly or around to the west coast.

The cheapest way out is probably to head over to something like Marathon and try and stay on a ball at least for part of the season. Marathon (Bot Key Harbor) is a natural hurricane hole. The marinas here offer steep discounts in the summer. I think we were paying around $450ish for a 40' boat. The nicer marina here, which we prefer, runs about $22/foot during the summer, which is why we stay at the other marinas during the summer. In season rates run $22 a foot here pretty much everywhere. In Key West, it jumps to $34.50/foot plus electricity which ran us about $55/week ($220/month). Do note that these numbers are based upon your overall length, not LOA... which means from the tip of your anchor to the back of you tender hanging off your davits.

THe prices drop to about $15ish/foot once you head up to Fort Myers. However, they start hitting you with a lot of other fees, like electricity, pumpouts (we were hit with $25/pumpout), $50 for the first liveaboard and $25 everyone thereafter.

The Saint Pete area is probably $100 less than Ft Myers (total)/month. Pensacola is probably $100 less than that.

Insurance for us is very low (comparatively) because we have been with Boat US a very, very long time and no claims. I think we are grandfathered into some of this stuff. Our hull value is $225k, with 300k liabilities on full coverage. We can stay inside the hurricane box during season. It runs us right at $3000/year. Note that yours may be significantly higher. I had a friend quoted on his trawler, $125,000 hull, $5000 for the same policy (he did not go with Boat US!!). For new people or those with less boating experience, some of the numbers I have heard have been staggering AND they are forced out during hurricane season.

You should also add in about a 50% increase in the cost of food in the Keys, more if you go to he Bahamas.

My favorite marinas down the west coat and Keys are:

Panama City: Panama City Marina
Saint Pete: The Harborage
Venice: Crows Nest
Charlotte Harbor: Fisherman's Wharf, but we spend time at Cabbage Key too.
Fort Myers Beach: Snook Bight
Key West: Key West Bight
Marathon: Marathon Marina

Let me know if you have any other questions. Look forward to having you down here.

Brian
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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669 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you going to live aboard? Better start checking out those marinas really well then. Many won't allow a live aboard or there is a waiting list. Quite honestly, I would not leave my boat in Ft Lauderdale at all. I would either sail it north of West Palm where prices start dropping quickly or around to the west coast.
Brian
Yup, I have seen 2x to 3x what we pay in the PNW moorage fees.

We are not planning to live aboard. We will head back to the PNW during the summers and leave the boat.

I think we will stay away from the west coast, we were in Tampa during Charlie.:) But the idea of heading north seems like the best plan. We just need to figure out how far north we go until the costs become more reasonable and balance that with how much time we want to spend to get back down south to cross to the Bahamas the following year.

Actually, it seems like heading to Georgia is a great idea. Looking at historic hurricane path's, (thanks NHC!) Georgia looks even more promising. After our first outing in the Bahamas we can ride the Gulf Stream up to Georgia (or northern FL). Then take the ICW back down the following year.

Is this viable?
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
or you can go into the Okeechobee Waterway, where there are yards which specialize in storage at a far lower cost than the coastal yards
Well that is an interesting idea. There are a number of yards along that waterway I see. I require a 70 foot clearance. Would that be a problem on that waterway? (yes, i could probably find that info myself but am a tad lazy). :)
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well that is an interesting idea. There are a number of yards along that waterway I see. I require a 70 foot clearance. Would that be a problem on that waterway? (yes, i could probably find that info myself but am a tad lazy). :)
NM, I looked myself, looks to be a 55 foot clearance on many of the fixed bridges, darn.
 

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Yup, I have seen 2x to 3x what we pay in the PNW moorage fees.

We are not planning to live aboard. We will head back to the PNW during the summers and leave the boat.

I think we will stay away from the west coast, we were in Tampa during Charlie.:) But the idea of heading north seems like the best plan. We just need to figure out how far north we go until the costs become more reasonable and balance that with how much time we want to spend to get back down south to cross to the Bahamas the following year.

Actually, it seems like heading to Georgia is a great idea. Looking at historic hurricane path's, (thanks NHC!) Georgia looks even more promising. After our first outing in the Bahamas we can ride the Gulf Stream up to Georgia (or northern FL). Then take the ICW back down the following year.

Is this viable?
If I recall, Georgia has a wierd law that if your boat is there for over X days, you have to register that boat in Georgia and $$$$.

I would not go all the way up to GA. Prices up near Jacksonville and south to Merritt are much more reasonable. Or if you really want to save a buck, head up out of the hurricane zone and put it on the hard.

Also, I was in Cape Coral in Charlie!! DOn't talk to me about Charlie! I was front-row-center stage!

Another comment, there is a LOT of stuff and pretty islands to see on the west coast of Florida. I like it much better than the east coast... but that is your decision.

Brian
 

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"Anhinga" St. Augustine
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Yup, I have seen 2x to 3x what we pay in the PNW moorage fees.

We are not planning to live aboard. We will head back to the PNW during the summers and leave the boat.

I think we will stay away from the west coast, we were in Tampa during Charlie.:) But the idea of heading north seems like the best plan. We just need to figure out how far north we go until the costs become more reasonable and balance that with how much time we want to spend to get back down south to cross to the Bahamas the following year.

Actually, it seems like heading to Georgia is a great idea. Looking at historic hurricane path's, (thanks NHC!) Georgia looks even more promising. After our first outing in the Bahamas we can ride the Gulf Stream up to Georgia (or northern FL). Then take the ICW back down the following year.

Is this viable?
Good plan, but you cant run the ICW with a 70' mast height. That will also limit you to marinas with no height restrictions from the inlet. St. Augustine has two options...Conch House Marina, and the Municipal Marina. Other options are Savannah, Hilton Head, Charleston, Fernandina, St. Mary's.
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input everyone.

If there was an option for either "on the hard" or "on a slip" on the east coast of Florida for hurricane season, which would you prefer?
 

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Hello,

Next year (or maybe the following year) we are going to have our boat hold over in South Florida (east coast) during hurricane season. We will cruise the Bahamas for one season, head back to Florida, and than head far south for the following season.

I have been researching marinas in Fort Lauderdale area that might afford the best protection. I am a little shocked at the prices but this is for one hurricane season only.

Questions:

1. Which marina(s) best meets this need in that area?

2. Which is better, in the water or on the hard?

3. What kind of costs (punishment) should I expect from Insurance companies for a new'ish 45 foot boat being held in South Florida during HC season?

4. Do insurance companies prefer some marinas over others?

Being from the PNW this is all new stuff for me. My wife and I are chomping at the bit to make this move.
First of all, marina's are no where near as safe as being on the hard. So if you are leaving town for months, being on the hard is the way to go. I'd look into Harbortown Marina in Ft. Pierce, FL. They have experience keeping boats for the hurricane season. (Lots of Canadians leave their boats there.) They haul, block and tie down the vessel with straps. Additionally you can arrange to have a humidifier on board and have some one check the insides one a week (or more) if you like. As I recall the prices were reasonable for this part of the country. And you can get there without worrying about bridges. Some folks go toward Lake Okeechobee by tilting their mast to go under bridges. While I seriously doubt if this can be done successfully with a 70' mast, there are other problems. It is so humid there in summer and as is no electrical power available for stored boats at most yards, mold is a very serious problem. I saw a former US Marine in tears when he saw what had happened to his beautiful Hinckley that had been left their for the summer months.

As to insurance costs, I pay about $2,500 per year for very good liability and $100K of hull insurance in Miami. That is a reasonable starting point.

Good luck. Look forward to having you here.

Regards,
Ron
 

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Puget Sound Pounder
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
You can do the Keys and Bahamas, but check your charts. THat wont be fun.

Brian
I have read the "Thornless Path" front to back, read Stephan Pavlidis cruising guides, and have some of the Explorer Chartbooks for the area. Clearly there are challenges. There is a bunch more studying to be done but at first blush, definitely doable if you mind your P's and Q's. We won't be able to go down the Exuma Bank as far we would like to but that is ok. Many of the Exuma Cays will be off limits, but still some great spots to land.
 

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Try Harbortown Marina in Merrit Island or Fort Pierce, orthe Titusville marina.....all are really inexpensive for Florida may be willing to make you a good deal for long term storage.
 
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