239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Gulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.netPink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, FloridaTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.com Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Southwest Florida YachtsLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City of
The Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesRegatta Pointe MarinaThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersSt. Andrew's MarinaPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationThe Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, Fl

Report from Hurricane Pass, Gulf Coast, North of Clearwater, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 09-07-2012

Hurricane Pass, which intersects the Western Florida ICW between Dunedin and Anclote Key, was formed by a violent hurricane in 1921 resulting in a seaward cut dividing what is now called Honeymoon Island to the north and Caladesi Island to the south. Depths in this cut run 4 feet or less and, as Captain Battistoni reports, the channel shifts constantly. Our advice: avoid this inlet like the plague.

Cruising News:
Not sure if this is where I report this, however we have a 43 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht. I went through the hurricane pass which is a inlet to the ICW just north of clearwater. If you follow the markers you will run aground even during high tide as the markers have you going right through a large sandy landmass that is extending from the north. This was even during high tide. You have to go well south of the markers, and even when you do that we registered only .5 foot under the keel (and this was at high tide).
Roger Battistoni

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Hurricane Pass

Hurricane Pass (Western Florida, north of Dunedin) Depth Question

Posted by admin | Posted on 11-11-2008

Need to know the soundings of Hurricane Pass west of Dunedin, Fl.
John briscoe

Email Claiborne at CruisingWriter@cruisersnet.net   to respond to this posting

Hurricane Pass (near Dunedin, FL – Western Florida) Question

Posted by admin | Posted on 16-04-2008

We are leading a boat club cruise to Caladesi Island and would like to know the condition of hurricane Pass for power boats.
Mike Laird

Email Claiborne to respond to this posting.

We are leading a boat club cruise to Caladesi Island and would like to know the condition of hurricane Pass for power boats.
Mike Laird

Email Claiborne to respond to this posting.

Report from Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 29-11-2012

Caladesi Island Marina - Click for Chartview

As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd. It lies just north of the Dunedin and the Honeymoon Island Bridge

Caladesi is located immediately north of Clearwater Beach. The beach is still great for shellers, especially near the northern end. Dockage is $1/ft at a slip, $2/ft on a t-dock; 30 amp elec. and water included. 24/7 bathrooms on shore, and a snack bar. Florida senior citizens (65+) pay half. Limit is 14 days, but you can contact them and offer to be a volunteer: free dockage in exchange for 20 hr/wk easy labor. For example we met someone who’s job was to pick up any trash (rare) on the beach. She would carry two bags; one for trash, one for shells.
There are signs that say “watch out for rattlesnakes” but we haven’t seen any. We have seen lots of armadillos, some raccoons, numerous types of birds, gopher tortoises, and very few people.
The channel is shallow in places, but marked and doable for our 4’6″ draft. A great place to visit. Chosen twice by “Dr. Beach” as the best beach in the country.
Wade Ehlen
MT 36 Shady Lady
New Bern NC

Wade is spot on about Caladesi Island. It was one of our favorite weekend spots since it was so close to home yet so far away. The beach is absolutely beautiful.
But Wade, the rattlesnakes are there, although they tend to be in the wooded areas. There used to be a skin mounted on the wall in the rangers office that must be 6′ long. We have seen them that big in the winter, warming themselves in
a sunny spot on the nature trails.
Regards,
Randy Pickelmann
Morning Star

When we were in Caladesi last year we caught a line in the prop while in the marina so my husband hopped over to free it. About five minutes after he was back on board a rattlesnake swam by on its way over to the mangroves. We were glad we hadn’t seen it before freeing the line because we might have left the line in the prop rather than risk swimming with the snake. The next day, we also watched as a ranger chased one off the park’s work boat. Still, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone. And Caladesi is so beautiful its worth the stop, even with the snakes!
Paige Caldwell

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Caladesi Island State Park Marina

Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 30-04-2010

As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd. It lies just north of the Dunedin and the Honeymoon Island Bridge

This is a great spot after you get in. We draw 4 1/2 and saw 5 and 4.8 going across the small bay to the marked entrance into the Park. Definitely do it on a rising tide. Great protection once you are in. Avoid the weekends as it is a popular spot for boat clubs. The 100+ slip marina was full the weekend we were there, but during the first part of the week there were only 8 boats. The fairways are narrow and become more so after the 30+ powerboats and sailboats are in the slips.
S/V Two If By Sea

Subject: Hurricane Pass
Cruising News: We just visited Caladesi Island State Park which is near Hurricane Pass, north of Dunedin. Although we did not use it, we saw several sailboats going in and out of it. We talked to one boat who uses it regularly, drawing 4.3\’. He told use that the markers are accurate and he saw nothing less than 6\’.
David S. Power

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Caladesi Island Start Park Marina

Marco Island to Naples Waterway

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 26-01-2010

The “waterway” that runs from Coon Key Pass, behind Marco Island, and eventually north to Gordon Pass and Naples, is NOT a part of the official (maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers) Western Florida ICW. HOWEVER, for vessels that draw 4 feet or less, this passage is an intriguing alternative to cruising between Marco and Naples.
There some real navigational quirks, and the depth limitation outlined above is based on one 4 1/2 foot spot, found near Goodland (southern Marco Island). Perhaps the trickiest section is an easy to miss marker, just south of the Goodland Bridge. If you miss that ATON, you’ll be giving Sea Tow some business every time.
The discussion below is copied from the AGLCA (American’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association) mail list. As always, I HIGHLY recommend this organization for ANYONE doing or contemplating the Great Loop!

Is this a viable alternative to going outside with a 4.5 foot draft boat? It looks like it might be a nice place to transit and anchor.
Do it at high/rising tide?
Thanks,
Jim

Jim:
We took about 4’4″ through there a few years ago (2006) with no problems. It is shallow and narrow in spots, so your thought of doing it on a rising tide is a good one. It is a rather isolated but pretty route.
Also, be aware they are dredging in Gordon Pass near Naples, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you.
Bill

A nice place to anchor is in the channel west of Little Marco Island beginning at daymark G”33″. We anchored there and found ourselves partially aground next morning. No problem, we just waited two hours for the incoming tide to float our boat. Evidently, we did not allow enough room to swing on the tide change. Why does the boat always swing on the short shore side when there is gobs of room on the other side?
Alan Lloyd
Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes
(http://www.navigationnotes.com/)

Jim,
Yes, inside route is OK for your draft boat.
Sanctuary draws 4’2″. In March, 2009, we left Punta Gorda via Charlotte Harbor to the G-ICW, south and went out into the Gulf at Redfish Pass (Captiva Island), and south on the Gulf to Gordon Pass.
There is only one high tide on the gulf side of Florida, and the high tides are normally in the afternoon, so we entered Gordon Pass on a rising tide around 14h00. Or, you could come all the way from
Charlotte Harbor south on Pine Island Sound and past Sanibel Island to Ft Myers Beach. From Ft. Myers Beach south to Gordon Pass, outside. When you come off the Gulf into and through Gordon Pass, after a mile or so, you’ll take a hard stbd southbound on the old ICW. That’s the worst part of the entire trip for shallow water, narrow channel and inconsiderate local go fast fishing boats. But, about 4 or 5 miles south is a terrific anchorage called Rookery Bay. It’s a wild mangrove swamp area, and beautiful. Mind the correctly charted shoal on the north east of the opening. There’s plenty of water to the south. Some fisherman wakes until dark, but fine thereafter. No place to walk a dog.
From there, we proceeded south to Marco. Mind the charts very carefully at Marco. From Rookery Bay on the old ICW, you’ll need to go nearly all the way out the Marco inlet and make a 340 degree turn
back to get to the old ICW channel south of Marco to Goodland. You can anchor or marina at Marco. There is plenty of room, and more than one area to anchor.
When you leave Marco Southbound, there is a hiway bridge immediately south of Marco where the channel marker colors change sides. So… When you go under that bridge, southbound, you MUST take a 90 degree stbd turn and find R”26″, which lies against the shoreline in a line parallel to the bridge. It can be hard to spot, but you must go around that marker, leaving it to your port side. You will see
smaller boats skip it, and head straight at the bridge. DO NOT FOLLOW THEM. It is too shallow for your boat! From R”26″, make another 90 degree turn, this time to port, and find G”25″. It’s a mile off, but
find it. The channel from R”26″ to G”25″ is a bit narrow, but carries 6 – 8′ of water, so no problem. There is a collection of remains of pilings to stbd after you make the turn at R”26″; leave them to your
stbd side and follow a rhumb line from R”26″ to G”25″. This all sounds complicated, but forewarned, it’s not bad. However, it can be confusing and unintuitive if you don’t know the marker colors change
side there.
The rest of that old ICW channel is fine, and well marked. Follow it through Goodland and through Coon Key Pass to Gullivan Bay. You can anchor or marina at Goodland. If you marina there, be sure to check on approach water depths. The area is shallow. The north portion of Gullivan Bay is also shallow: 5 ft or so at MLW, but no problem. As you proceed south past coon Key Light, you have entered the 10,000 Islands.
Jim
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
Currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL

The Old ICW from Naples to Rookery Channel Anchorage
So far so good…..Shallow yes, Twins arrived in Naples about noon yesterday and took the old ICW to the channel between R46 and R48. We anchored up the channel to the east as far as you should go to the 8ft charted hole where the bay opens. The tide was still rising.
I’ve estimated that the tides here run one to two hours after the tide tables for Marco and Naples which are about an hour different. At low tide this morning the slack occurred almost 2 hours after the stated Marco low at 7:34 of -1.0. We still had a good 9 feet under the swim platform. You could also tie off to the mangroves here but there is lots of room to swing. A pretty spot.
Definately do this trip at high tide for Naples or Marco if you carry a trawler draft. The advice from Sanctuary (and others) is great! Thanks.
I’ll cross my fingers again at high tide when we head for Goodland today.

In 2006 (so info is that dated, but post Hurricane Charlie) we took a chartered 46′ Grand Banks from Marco to Naples using the inside route, a delightful trip on a rising tide. The junction with Gordon Pass is tricky, as noted by Jim. At that time an alternative anchorage to Rookery Bay, and one of our all time favorites, was inside Hurricane Pass. There is a very nice beach that we swam or took our inflatable kayak to that would be good for a dog if you cleaned up after it. One of those places where we could have spent a week . The Pass itself is not usable to get to the Gulf.
George

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For The Little Marco Island Anchorage

Caledesi Island State Park Marina (north of Dunedin)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 24-11-2009

As I recall, the entrance channel leading to Caladesi Island State Park Marina (from Hurricane Pass) can be a bit of a challenge for first timers, but otherwise, this is a pretty good facility for those who just want to get away from the maddening crowd.

Subject: Caladisi Island State Park Marina
Cruising News: We visited Caladisi Island State Park\’s marina for three days beginning 18 November 2009. The marina is modern with new floating piers, water and 30 ampere electricity at almost all slips.
Most of the slips are for 12 foot beam, but there are eight for various beams up to 17 feet. The wider beam slips can not be reserved but the T heads can be used for wider/longer vessels, however one must pay for two slips on the T. Prices are $1.00 per foot (plus 12 percent tax) with a 50 percent discount for Florida residents over 65. There is a snack bar (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) and individual rest rooms, but no fuel, pump-out, or services. The beach has been rated America\’s Best Beach two years in a row. There is a really nice nature path and picnic shelters. This is a great, inexpensive place to relax if your boat can stand the relatively shallow approach channel. We left at low tide and had enough water for our 3 foot 6 inch inch draft.
Doug Kendrick

We must have been following in Capt. Kendricks footsteps, we were at both Caladesi and Tarpon Springs City Marina this last week. I’d second everything he says. Cladesi Island is a fabulous unspoiled beach and park with a very well protected clean and well maintained marina. Following the reccomended course line from marker #14 of the Hurricane Pass channel straight across to the Caldesi channel marker #1 we never had less than 5 feet at mid-tide. There were a couple of 50 foot power boats and some 35 foot sailboats there when we were there. 30 amp electric is reliable and included in the slip price. The only disapointment for us was no showers. There are shore heads and changing rooms, but the only showers are open-air, cold water showers on the beach crossovers. The sunsets and the shelling on the beach are world-class.
Jonathan Gorham

April

Posted by admin | Posted on 03-09-2008

Hurricane Pass (near Dunedin, FL – Western Florida) Question

 

Published: April 16, 2008

We are leading a boat club cruise to Caladesi Island and would like to know the condition of hurricane Pass for power boats.
Mike Laird

South Carolina Property Tax Question

How much would the property tax on a new boat with a coast of $17,000 ?
Ronnie Parsons

Key Largo (Florida Keys) Marina Question

 

Published: April 14, 2008

I want to go to the key largo area with my family.  I need a marina that has a pool and restaurant for a resonable monthly rate in july. 
thanks
Sam

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Suwannee River Question (Western Florida)

 

Published: April 14, 2008
 

Hello all,
Does anyone have any recent information on navigating the Suwannee River off the west coast of Florida? I would like to take my boat (38 ft Marine Trader) and go up the river as far as possible. From looking at  the charts, this could be tricky and highly dependent on tidal stage.
Thanks for any information.
Norm Blake

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Navionics Chip Question

 

Published: April 14, 2008

Subject: Navionics chips for old Northstar
Cruising News: I have an old Northstar 951X GPS Chartplotter and have been using Navionics chips in it. I recently tried to order (through West Marine) a couple chips (for North Carolina and South Carolina ICW) for this unit and was told that it is no longer supported by Navionics. Does anyone have old Navionics chips for these cruising areas that they would be interested in selling? Or does anyone know of an aftermarket site/business that may deal in such items. Thanks for any help.
William Bagwell

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Crossing Lake Okeechobee Question

 

Published: April 14, 2008

We're headed to the Chesapeake on May 1st from Punta Gorda on a 38\' Carver drafting 3.5\'. Is it wishful thinking, or is the lake route now feasible?
Eric Norlin

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Cruising Guide Question

 

Published: April 10, 2008

Hi,
My husband and I are purchasing a 48' trawler in Marblehead, MA this June.  We are moving aboard, and we plan to  stay north through the summer and hurricane season and then will head to Florida and the  Bahamas and Beyond.
I've been trying to find cruising guides for these areas.  Can anyone  please give me a list of guides we should buy?
We are new to the East Coast.  Moving from Baja Mexico to start this new adventure.
Thanks so much,
Sharona

Hi Sharona,
Since you asked the question in April,  we don’t know if you have bought your charts yet for your trip or not, but thought we’d respond anyway.  We have been cruising the past 18 years from Newburyport, MA to the Bahamas.  We suggest The Intracoastal Waterway Guide (A cockpit cruising Handbook) by Jan & Bill Moeller, the Maptech Chartkits Region 2,3,4,6,and 7.  We advise not to get the Maptech Charts for the Bahamas as they are not accurate.  Do get the Explorer Charts by Monty & Sara Lewis for the Bahamas – there are 3 chart books – Near Bahamas, Exumas, and Far Bahamas as they have lots of formation on the areas and great charts.  We have not cruised further than the Bahamas, so can not help with you Caribbean chart needs.
Cherylle & Skip
S/V Eleanor M

 

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Fuel Prices in the Exumas and Abacos Question

 

Published: April 10, 2008

How much is diesel in the Exumas?  Abacos?
Doug

Georgia ICW Advice Needed

 

Published: April 7, 2008

Has anyone recently passed through Georgia on the ICW? We are interested in any information relative to draft problems. We draw 5 1/2 to 6 ft. and are heading north from Fernandina Beach, Fl. tomorrow.
Steve

We came up last spring. Places in Georgia and the Carolinas where the water is VERY skinny. We draw 4'2" and soft grounded twice. Got off but damaged our props and had to be hauled out. Knowing what we know now, we would wait for weather and go outside as much as possible. Hours of idle speed, staring at the sounder is not something we would do again. The money it cost to have things fixed would have more than payed for the fuel to go outside and run at cruise speed. Just my $.02.
Alvin

Steve: In my openion, the most current information will be posted on Claiborn Young's Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net, www.CruisersNet.net. We came up in January, and one of the worst stretches is the Little Mud River, MM665. Tide becomes important consideration as the tide swing becomes an important consideration. On April 7, at the south entrance to this passage, low tide will be at 4:36 AM at -0.9 ft, high tide at 10:06 AM at 7.2 ft, and low again at 4:48 PM at -1.1 ft. The deepest part of the channel through there is not in the center, but instead towards the outside of the curves as the tide runs out. So, as an example, favbor R 194, G 193, and R192 as you go through. Based on you draft, would not recommend entering from the south until two hours after low and being past R 192 three hours before the next low. On April 7 that would be between 6:30 AM and 1:03 PM. We have churned up mud in that channel with our Hatteras that draws 3' 7" at low tide.
The other trouble spot is Hell Gate at MM 602. I've only gone through here at high tide. On April 8, low mis at 5:26, -0.6 ft, hight at 11:04 AM at 7.6 ft, low again at 5:37 at -0.8 ft. Check CruisersNet for recommendation on the best course through this pass. I would think you would want to make this passage at high tide, minus three hours plus two hours. You surely don't want to go aground in a falling tide!
Good Luck,
Chuck Gorgen
ODYSSEE

When starting a passage with questionable conditions, I always contact a tow captain and ask for specific advice about getting through the tough spots. They ply the waters drawing a lot more water than I do. Just don't follow closely behind them — they kick up a lot of trash and deadheads. Failing the tow captain, TowBoatUS or SeaTow are usually very helpful on local knowledge.
The other thing, as has been stated here, is to go during higher tides. Your tide table (and current tables) are your friends in this part of the ICW.
Happy cruising!
Bill Donovan
"Georgia Peach" DF44

 

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Looking for Info on Waterlog Watermakers

 

Published: April 7, 2008

I am looking for information and second opinions from anyone with any knowledge of the WaterLog WaterMakers. Would like first hand information if possible.
Captn Ron

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NCSail Mooring (Taylor Creek – Beaufort, NC) Question

 

Published: April 4, 2008

The NC Sail Mooring buoy in Beaufort, is there only one buoy? What happens if a owner comes in while you're moored there? Are there any other moorings in this area, or is it an anchorage?
James Nelson

 

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Southeastern USA Inlet Information Question

 

Published: April 4, 2008

Is there in one source of information on inlets one can use when cruising north from central FL? Also, which chart one should have showing the St. Augustine inlet? I know the inlet is passable, but my chart shows no markers until one is inside. Or, should I just close my eyes and hope for best — i.e. go down the middle? Thanks.
Raoul
Adria, Symbol 45PH

Steve Dodge has a nice little booklet available through White Sound Press (wspress.com).  Sells for about $20.  It has charts and photos of most inlets from NC to Miami.  My copy is on the boat so I can't give you the exact title of the book, but if you look at White Sound Press web site I'm sure you will find it.  It might be called "Inlet Chartbook: East Coast US" or something very close to that.
Rick

 

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Savannah, Georgia Marina Recommendations Needed to Leave Boat

 

Published: April 4, 2008

Savannah GA marina to leave boat. What are the recommendations for a marina to leave a boat for 3 months while we fly home. Would be September thru December. Need s safe location as well as service to wash & watch the boat
Larry

 

 

 

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Marine Insurance Question

 

Published: April 4, 2008

We just purchased a 1987 Marine Trader 44 Sundeck and are on a hunt for insurance. We will be keeping the boat in South Carolina. If you have good insurance at a fair price, I'd like to know your agent and carrier.
Thanks
Bill and Lynn
1987 Marine Trader

I have a 1978 40' Marine Trader. My home, farm, auto and life insurance is with Farm Bureau of Tennessee so I checked with them. Previously, I had used Progressive (until hurricane Isabel) and then BoatUS. Farm bureau gave me a great quote and it was a no brainer for me to use them since all my other insurance was with them already.
Robert Lockey
Old Cod
1978 40' Marine Trader

Last year we insured a 1976 Marine Trader with BoatUS and we were extremely happy with the cost and the service.
Lee Cote

Call Al Golden at International Marine Insurance Services. Al is THE guru of Marine Insurance in the USA. You can reach him at 800-541-4647!
Skipper Fowler

Try Stephanie at Atlas Insurance in Cocoa. 321-459-9905 They beat Boat US by $5K on my 1990 Tradewinds 47. Included was $2500 in towing coverage. Progressive Insurance Co.
Harold & Kay

After 15 yrs with Boat US their price for winter in Florida forced me to shop. I went to Hartge Insurance in MD. They placed me with Zurich and I saved $2000 per year. I do have the restriction that the boat must be north of Cape Hatteras from June 1 to Nov.1, but that works for us. Contact Christine Hartge at 800-999-5251. BTW, I have a 1988 Jefferson 42.
Regards,
Peter Colket
Sea Angel

We are also with Hartge Insurance and saved big bucks over BoatUS and the restrictions are less limiting for travel to Florida.
Mike and Kay Jones
Lowe Key
Kadey Krogen

Bill & Lynn:
Congrats on your new boat. There are only a few players in the marine insurance market, especially for boats over 10 years old.
The main ones are Boat US ( I think its actually CNA who writes policy ), Zurich, Travelers and Markel.
Any good independent agent who understands marine insurance should be able to get you quotes from the main players.
I too like others was with Boat US for many years, but their Florida prices forced me to switch last year.
Your cruising plans with have a big impact on your insurance. Insurance in SC will cost more than the Chesapeake but less than Florida.
I know Zurich offers a policy that will give you the ability to be in Florida and the Bahamas between Nov 1 and June 1 and above the Florida / GA line the rest of the year.. Cost quoted last year was about $2000 for $135000 coverage with a 5% named storm deductable.
Joe Urban

Ditto on Atlass Ins. Group, Cocoa and Ft. Lauderdale..they put me with Zurich.same ideas as already written. They initiated the change to save me money, and service is great.
Jerry Greenhoot
MV Jewel

Thanks to everyone for your help. You gave me some great advice and direction.
Bill Murray
Falcon
Port Royal, SC

 

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South Carolina Boat/Property Tax Question

 

Published: March 31, 2008

I have a question regarding the SC bill for property tax. What will happen to boats that have already been on the water for 60 days? Will they be taxed? We had a vessel at a SC marina from December /07 to February/06- being a little over 60 days. Do you know if it is then subject to the tax before the bill is officially changed?
Sincerely,
Sherry Loeffler

Sherry,
The 60-day rule is for a single tax (calendar) year so the time your boat was in SC in December would not count toward the 2008 tax period, assuming you meant February 2008. If you moved your boat out of SC before being here 60 days in 2008, you can still return using the 90 aggregate days in a single tax year before being liable for property taxes. Hopefully, that law will be changed to 180 days by early June.
Fair winds,
Suzi DuRant
Executive Director
South Carolina Marine Association

 

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Living Aboard in Florida Question

 

Published: March 29, 2008
 
Help:
I am interested in living aboard in the Indian River, Banana River, Crystal River or Swannee River areas. Have only a 26’ boat so don’t need deep water access. Would like to rent or buy dockage. Any suggestions?
Many thanks from this snowbird in Wisconsin.
Doug

 

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Titusville – Max Brewer Bridge (Statute Mile 879) Question

 

Published: March 29, 2008

Anyone heading north on Florida's ICW encounter a delay at the Titusville Bridge just south of the city marina? I heard a rumor.
Dave Friedrich
Monk 36

Dave and friends:
You may be thinking of the George Musson bridge at mile 840 (near New Smyrna Beach). It is now back in normal operation, opening on the hour and 20 and 40 after each hour.
The Max Brewer Bridge, just south of the Titusville City Marina is scheduled to be replaced, but the work won't start until about 2010, if then. However, it does have a strange restricted schedule —
closed during rush hour, sort of.
I hope this is helpful.
Bill

 

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Where to Put Boat on the Hard – North Carolina to Florida

 

Published: March 26, 2008

Cheers form Georgian Bay!
I’m looking for a secure marina in which to leave my Cabot 36 Cutter, Draft 5’, on the hard, somewhere between North N.C, and Florida, for the summer months, April to Sept. I plan on wintering in the Bahamas starting this fall. Insurance is going to be an issue as to where I leave the boat but need to start the selection process so I don’t leave it to chance. Any information or ideas would be appreciated.
David

A great spot is Anchors Away Boat yard in Hampstead NC Marker 90 on the ICW. Telephone 910-270-4741.
James Nelson

 

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Swash Channel (Boca Grande Pass – Gasparilla Island) Question

 

Published: March 25, 2008

Any recent reports or experience passing through the Boca Grande "Swash Channel" west of Gasparilla Island? We need 3.5 feet.
Rick George,
M/V Hale Kai

 

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Cooling Canal Anchorage (near Southport, North Carolina) Question

 

Published: March 25, 2008

Does anyone have 1st hand knowledge of the anchorage at the public ramp just up the "Nuclear cooling water canal" prior to Southport. Chart shows underwater dam but have read that this is not a hindrance to the small cove at the landing. We draw 3'6".
Larry & Kathryn Byrd
Aboard Slo M'Ocean

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Andros (Bahamas) Question

 

Published: March 24, 2008

I WOULD LIKE SOME CRUISING INFORMATION FOR ANDROS. WE ARE GOING LAST WEEK OF APRIL FROM FT LAUDERDALE, WILL CROSS THE BANKS AND HOPE TO HAVE SOME TIME DOWN THE EAST COAST OF ANDROS, THEN CROSS OVER TO SAMPSON CAY.
KARIO,
FT. LAUDERDALE

 

 

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Crossing Florida's Big Bend, Cruising North from Clearwater Question

 

Published: March 24, 2008

Hello everyone and thank you in advance for any help or suggestions,
We just bought a 34 ft trawler in the Clearwater area and will be bringing Her up to the Northern Gulf Cost. What route would you suggest and what sea conditions should we expect with each route? I have several years experience fishing in the gulf up to 100 mi.out but only out then straight back in and only in the mobile area.
Mark

 

Florida Big Bend Crossing Question

Posted by admin | Posted on 30-04-2007

It looks like I may be buying a boat in the Tampa Bay area and bringing it back to Mobile and up to the Tennessee River home port.  Does anyone have any suggestions for the best "jumping off" point and destination port for this Gulf passage?
The boat is a 43 foot trawler and makes 8-10 kts.  I don't want to be too descriptive because the "deal" is not yet finalized.  But suffice to say that it's a reasonably decent blue water boat.
Is there VHF coverage for this passage?  Should I get marine SSB installed before the trip?  I will likely make the trip around June 1.  Is there likely to be any "buddy boats" to make the crossing around that time period?
Any other advice?
I will have two or three additional crew members for the trip.  Any and all comments greatly appreciated.  :o)
Ed Savela,
Tennessee River

Ed,
I live right near the Pass a Grille channel, which is just north of the main shipping channel into Tampa Bay.  You can get into this channel without going into the Gulf, and there are many fuel stops and marinas there if needed.  Plus many other types of marine needs; supplies, provisions, and repairs.
I have crossed the northern gulf from tampa bay to mobile many times.  As long as your trawler is mechanically sound, it is an easy trip.  I have even done it on a 26ft wood sailboat !
The trip is about 375 miles from bay to bay with a heading around 300.
You will be out of range of land based vhf systems for most of the trip, however, there "SHOULD" be plenty of shipping traffic to be able to reach someone.  Do you have an EPIRB ?  Life raft ?
Squalls that hit this area can come out of nowhere, not being predicted in weather forecasts, and can be more violent than hurricanes.
Right now you will have the northeasterly trade winds dead ahead, but as summer approaches, and the land heats up those can switch all over the place.
As for the gulf stream/gulf currents, they will generally be in your favor, however, the currents up in this panhandle area can vary.
SSB would be a nice addition for this crossing.  Weather, email, and other emergencies that VHF will not be able to handle.
Since it is a new boat to you, consider taking the intracoastal and coastal route.  It might take a week longer, but much safer.
Dale Long

Hi Ed,   
The typical route is Tarpon Springs to Carrabelle a distance of 170 statute miles which will take about 19 hours at 8  knots.    Port Tarpon Marina at  marker 39 in Tarpon Springs would be a good departure point.   Some sailors anchor off Anclote Key opposite the mouth of the river to get an early morning start.  
A second choice would be to depart from Clearwater Inlet which adds about 20 miles to the crossing.  Clearwater Municipal Marina is close to the inlet. The channel from the marina to the inlet is clearly marked on the chart but less clear on the water due to the profusion of markers and could be a problem if planning to depart before daybreak.
Alan Lloyd
Great Circle Navigation Notes
http://www.NavigationNotes.com

You won't need a SSB.  Start by keeping your eye on the weather for  the several days before you leave from Tampa,  You can head up to Tarpon  Springs, stay at the municipal marina as jump off point and locate a  buddy boat. Pick your day and leave a float plan with the CG.
From the Anclote River to Appalachacola, with a 7 knot boat it is about a 20 to  24 hour cruise, about 150 miles, approx heading 312 degree heading. Pick a cast  off time so as to arrive in the
daylight. Once in port, the trip to  Mobile can be made in the ICW. 
I made the reverse trip twice,  each with a crew and a buddy boat.  Keep both guys at the helm, each can  cat nap during the trip but both should always LOOKING for floating objects with  radar.??   VHF and Cell coverage can be iffy in the middle of the  trip.
Regards & Lots of luck
Ciao, Capt.  Joe

Well, for the FLA Big Bend crossing, I'd suggest leaving from Tarpon and go to Crystal River, as long as you draw 4'6" or less. If the wind is blosing from the east and it is low tide, then call BOATUS on Channel 16 before entering the channel. It is an easy channel to navigate, and you can easily anchor and swim with manatees, eat at local great places, or stay at marinas. Or just north, anchor at the FL Barge Canal – good protection. From there, go to Steinhatchie, and the same applies, except the water is plenty deep for even an 5' draft. ALso an easy entrance. In both cases, just pay attention to markers. Great spot also, and marinas. Both runs are much less than 100 miles. From STeinhatchie, then to Carrabelle, App'cola.
Why kill yourself doing a night crossing, and what is an extra day or two in the overall scheme of things. In any manner, you can brag to other loopers along the way that you "did the bend" while you hear of horror stories of the crossing from many of them. Skipper Bob convinced me (and others) to take this route, and we all have been thanking him ever since for that advice. We'd leave at sunup, and arrive before sundown going slow – one boat was a Nordic which traveled at 6 knots or so. Just my humble opinion.
Miss Liberty

Last week we crossed from Hurricane Pass at Dunedin and went straight to Panama City.  We travel about 7 knots in our 37' Pacific Trawler and it took us about 30 hours.  The weather forecast was good for about 50 hours, so felt this long crossing would work well.  It was perfect – low waves and wind and about a half moon.  We heard VHF announcements on channel 16 the whole way.   Since it is a new boat for you, you may want to rent an epirb from Boat US if you are concerned, but we didn't.  Check Internet weather forecasts for the Gulf before making the leap, don't just rely on TV forecasts.  Our Buddy Boat contacted us about every two hours.
Some other taking off harbors that are convenient from Tampa Bay are Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.  If you are going long distance, we would suggest Carrabelle rather than Apalachicola because the entrance into Apalachicola is not as deep as the one into Carabelle.
Good Luck crossing

You now have lots of opinions, so here's one more. Cross from Tampa to Carrabelle, a trip of about 150 nm. Leave at 1500 hours and you will come through the pass at Dog Island and St George at 0600 the next day. Continue to Port St. Joe or Panama City on the intercoastal. Then if weather is good jump out for Mobil or Pensacola cut. With these routes you are not out of VHF range with the new Coast Guard Repeaters. Also remember to file a float plan for any open water passage. We prefer Pensacola due to less ship traffic and it can be done during daylight and then you can cut Mobil Bay from ICW marker  24 to Mobil ship channel 51. Then you are only 4 miles to Dog River. We (wife and I ) have made this crossing many times on our 9 knot trawler. As a two person crew we switch watches every 2 hours from 1800 to 0600. This allows us to be somewhat rested. (Latest just two weeks ago).
Mike & Irene Bingham

It looks like I may be buying a boat in the Tampa Bay area and bringing it back to Mobile and up to the Tennessee River home port.  Does anyone have any suggestions for the best "jumping off" point and destination port for this Gulf passage?
The boat is a 43 foot trawler and makes 8-10 kts.  I don't want to be too descriptive because the "deal" is not yet finalized.  But suffice to say that it's a reasonably decent blue water boat.
Is there VHF coverage for this passage?  Should I get marine SSB installed before the trip?  I will likely make the trip around June 1.  Is there likely to be any "buddy boats" to make the crossing around that time period?
Any other advice?
I will have two or three additional crew members for the trip.  Any and all comments greatly appreciated.  :o)
Ed Savela,
Tennessee River

Ed,
I live right near the Pass a Grille channel, which is just north of the main shipping channel into Tampa Bay.  You can get into this channel without going into the Gulf, and there are many fuel stops and marinas there if needed.  Plus many other types of marine needs; supplies, provisions, and repairs.
I have crossed the northern gulf from tampa bay to mobile many times.  As long as your trawler is mechanically sound, it is an easy trip.  I have even done it on a 26ft wood sailboat !
The trip is about 375 miles from bay to bay with a heading around 300.
You will be out of range of land based vhf systems for most of the trip, however, there "SHOULD" be plenty of shipping traffic to be able to reach someone.  Do you have an EPIRB ?  Life raft ?
Squalls that hit this area can come out of nowhere, not being predicted in weather forecasts, and can be more violent than hurricanes.
Right now you will have the northeasterly trade winds dead ahead, but as summer approaches, and the land heats up those can switch all over the place.
As for the gulf stream/gulf currents, they will generally be in your favor, however, the currents up in this panhandle area can vary.
SSB would be a nice addition for this crossing.  Weather, email, and other emergencies that VHF will not be able to handle.
Since it is a new boat to you, consider taking the intracoastal and coastal route.  It might take a week longer, but much safer.
Dale Long

Hi Ed,   
The typical route is Tarpon Springs to Carrabelle a distance of 170 statute miles which will take about 19 hours at 8  knots.    Port Tarpon Marina at  marker 39 in Tarpon Springs would be a good departure point.   Some sailors anchor off Anclote Key opposite the mouth of the river to get an early morning start.  
A second choice would be to depart from Clearwater Inlet which adds about 20 miles to the crossing.  Clearwater Municipal Marina is close to the inlet. The channel from the marina to the inlet is clearly marked on the chart but less clear on the water due to the profusion of markers and could be a problem if planning to depart before daybreak.
Alan Lloyd
Great Circle Navigation Notes
http://www.NavigationNotes.com

You won't need a SSB.  Start by keeping your eye on the weather for  the several days before you leave from Tampa,  You can head up to Tarpon  Springs, stay at the municipal marina as jump off point and locate a  buddy boat. Pick your day and leave a float plan with the CG.
From the Anclote River to Appalachacola, with a 7 knot boat it is about a 20 to  24 hour cruise, about 150 miles, approx heading 312 degree heading. Pick a cast  off time so as to arrive in the
daylight. Once in port, the trip to  Mobile can be made in the ICW. 
I made the reverse trip twice,  each with a crew and a buddy boat.  Keep both guys at the helm, each can  cat nap during the trip but both should always LOOKING for floating objects with  radar.??   VHF and Cell coverage can be iffy in the middle of the  trip.
Regards & Lots of luck
Ciao, Capt.  Joe

Well, for the FLA Big Bend crossing, I'd suggest leaving from Tarpon and go to Crystal River, as long as you draw 4'6" or less. If the wind is blosing from the east and it is low tide, then call BOATUS on Channel 16 before entering the channel. It is an easy channel to navigate, and you can easily anchor and swim with manatees, eat at local great places, or stay at marinas. Or just north, anchor at the FL Barge Canal – good protection. From there, go to Steinhatchie, and the same applies, except the water is plenty deep for even an 5' draft. ALso an easy entrance. In both cases, just pay attention to markers. Great spot also, and marinas. Both runs are much less than 100 miles. From STeinhatchie, then to Carrabelle, App'cola.
Why kill yourself doing a night crossing, and what is an extra day or two in the overall scheme of things. In any manner, you can brag to other loopers along the way that you "did the bend" while you hear of horror stories of the crossing from many of them. Skipper Bob convinced me (and others) to take this route, and we all have been thanking him ever since for that advice. We'd leave at sunup, and arrive before sundown going slow – one boat was a Nordic which traveled at 6 knots or so. Just my humble opinion.
Miss Liberty

Last week we crossed from Hurricane Pass at Dunedin and went straight to Panama City.  We travel about 7 knots in our 37' Pacific Trawler and it took us about 30 hours.  The weather forecast was good for about 50 hours, so felt this long crossing would work well.  It was perfect – low waves and wind and about a half moon.  We heard VHF announcements on channel 16 the whole way.   Since it is a new boat for you, you may want to rent an epirb from Boat US if you are concerned, but we didn't.  Check Internet weather forecasts for the Gulf before making the leap, don't just rely on TV forecasts.  Our Buddy Boat contacted us about every two hours.
Some other taking off harbors that are convenient from Tampa Bay are Clearwater and Tarpon Springs.  If you are going long distance, we would suggest Carrabelle rather than Apalachicola because the entrance into Apalachicola is not as deep as the one into Carabelle.
Good Luck crossing

You now have lots of opinions, so here's one more. Cross from Tampa to Carrabelle, a trip of about 150 nm. Leave at 1500 hours and you will come through the pass at Dog Island and St George at 0600 the next day. Continue to Port St. Joe or Panama City on the intercoastal. Then if weather is good jump out for Mobil or Pensacola cut. With these routes you are not out of VHF range with the new Coast Guard Repeaters. Also remember to file a float plan for any open water passage. We prefer Pensacola due to less ship traffic and it can be done during daylight and then you can cut Mobil Bay from ICW marker  24 to Mobil ship channel 51. Then you are only 4 miles to Dog River. We (wife and I ) have made this crossing many times on our 9 knot trawler. As a two person crew we switch watches every 2 hours from 1800 to 0600. This allows us to be somewhat rested. (Latest just two weeks ago).
Mike & Irene Bingham