Author Topic: Florida Keys - need advice  (Read 287 times)

Offline mkaplan

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Florida Keys - need advice
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:06:35 PM »
My trip in Southwest Florida during November was great.

I'm planning to leave in a few days to trailer my boat to the Keys and spend a month there. I'm thinking of starting in/near Biscayne Bay and sailing south to Marathon where some friends are spending the winter on their sailboat.

Can anyone recommend a place to launch? I'd like to use a boatyard or marina to lift the boat from the trailer so I can keep the trailer out of salt water.

If you can suggest places to visit or stop along the way, I'd like to hear that as well.

Thanks for your help.

Offline Potcake boy

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 09:43:22 PM »
Hi Mike,

Nice to hear that you are heading out again. The Keys is one of the nicest (if not THE nicest) places to cruise.

My favorite place to depart from when trailing is South Dade Marina, in Key Largo. It is a sailboat only marina and for a very reasonable cost you can leave your vehicle and trailer right there. However, I don't believe he has any sort of lift. There is non potable water available to rinse your gear with.

The location is great, you can go East into Biscayne Bay, or West down the keys. If you will be there for a month, you may have time to get to the Dry Tortugas, a trip well worth it.

Just be sure to have a fish taco at Keys Fishery Restaurant in Marathon. They are on the water and you can tie up to the restaurant pier.

As for marinas with a lift and vehicle storage I have no experience, but Active Captain may be helpful.

Another handy thing to keep in mind is the express bus that runs up and down the Overseas highway. You could use it to return to your vehicle instead of sailing all the way back to your starting point, extending the length of your cruise. It runs all day long from Key West to Marathon, and from Marathon to South Miami.

My wife and I plan to take our pilot house to the Keys, but probably not till March. We will be sailing down with stops on the way.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water

Offline Yamaha33410

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 11:31:38 AM »
I've used south dade marina before too, its very cheap. You get what you pay for, but in this case I just need a place to launch the boat and store the truck/trailer. They have someone who lives on site and it is gated all the time. The ramp is very steep once it gets to the water and makes launching a sailboat a dream...

1981 Compac 16

1979 Compac 23

-West Palm Beach, FL

Offline mkaplan

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 06:58:47 PM »
Guys, Thanks for the info. I called South Dade Marina and they put me in touch with a boatyard about 2 miles away with a travel lift.

I can leave my car and trailer at South Dade for about $350 for a month. Does that seem reasonable to you? It seems high (I paid $100 for a month in Tarpon Springs) but I suppose that land is not cheap in the Keys.

Ron, can you remind me where you got your sleeve for your cruising spinnaker? I'm going to try rigging my Generator as a Genoa and hanking the head to the fore stay to help in lowering the sail. If that doesn't work then I'll try a sleeve next.

Offline Yamaha33410

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 11:09:58 AM »
you will probably not find any cheaper launching/storage fees then that place in all of the keys unless you are very lucky. I paid like 30 bucks to launch my boat and keep my truck/trailer there for 3 days... Anywhere in the keys and south east Florida is HIGH on price, I'm envious of the west coast having regular folk type marinas... Everywhere here is geared for the 50 foot + yachts in West palm to miami...

At my local marina in Lake Park, its 25 plus the 10 launch fee just to park overnight..
1981 Compac 16

1979 Compac 23

-West Palm Beach, FL

Offline Potcake boy

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 07:34:51 PM »
Mike,

I suspect that the taxes are a major factor for prices that you find in the Keys. Is Bob still the owner or has it changed hands? That could be a reason that it is more expensive than I remember it to be last time I was there.

I have been using Shaw Chute Scoop on all my spinnakers, and wouldn't use any other. Gary is a life long sailor, and makes these more as a service to sailors than a thriving business. He will make it right if there is any problem - very good person.

Have a safe and great time in the Keys.
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water

Offline mkaplan

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 07:13:29 PM »
No, Bob sold it. A guy named Paul bought it just before Irma. He said his timing was not great.

Thanks for the info on the Chute Scoop.

Offline Potcake boy

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Re: Florida Keys - need advice
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
Well that explains the sharp increase in pricing. I'm pretty sure Bob owned the place and seemed to simply enjoy being around the sailing environment. He once asked me if he should increase his fee, which at the time was $5.00 a day. Bob was the real salt of the sailing community, but I hope he is spending his time with his grand kids. His presence will be missed.

Obviously the new owner made this acquisition with an eye toward turning a profit, so it stands to reason that his pricing would be in line with the area.
Ron
Pilot House 23 - GladRags
Punta Gorda Florida

A mouse around the house - but much hotter on the water