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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Archive For: EASTERN FLORIDA – All Cruising News

  • Rivers Edge Marina (San Sebastian River, St. Augustine, near St. M. 779)

    Rivers Edge Marina is newly renamed Oyster Creek Marina. This facility is accessed by way of the San Sebastian River,  which leaves the AICW south of  the St. Augustine City Marina and anchorage/mooring field.

    10 May 2010.
    I heartily agree with the previous comments. Paul is a gem and where else can you go where you will find a Winn Dixie and a West Marine in the same shopping plaza, a short walk away? The next door to the marina restaurant and pub, Hurricane Patty’s, is excellent value for money, and for marina patrons, it is at all-day happy hour prices. Ask Paul about it.
    The marina has changed its name to River’s Edge for some reason, risking confusion with one further north on the ICW. Signs for both names remain on the property.
    When Paul learned about our ice box and $.30/day electricity usage, he charged us only a couple of dollars for our 5-day stay, saying it was ridiculous to ask for more. At last, a sane marina operator! Paul told me some of his story, a sailboater coming from New England – Nantucket – finding it increasingly difficult to find an available, affordable mooring, receiving a pink slip at work and deciding to sail away for other climes.
    Paul was informative about what is driving marina pricing these days which is useful for understanding their side of the story, at least up to a point. Paul said municipalities are increasing charges to marinas for city services – water, sewage, electricity – in order to stay within their cash-strapped budgets, despite marinas telling them they will pass the costs on to their customers.
    Marinas, however, are not equipped to meter usage so they apportion costs by dividing their bill amongst their clients, with little regard to the difference between say, a 30-foot sailboat using ice for refrigeration and a 30-foot power boat, more common from our experience – or sailboat, less common – with air conditioning and a refrigerator.
    The result is, some people make out like a thief while others are required to pay for the thievery and marinas are let off the hook for installing metering. Am I surprised marina customers are mostly powerboats in Florida these days?
    What is not being acknowledged, however, is another factor – the corporatisation of marinas. River’s Edge – nee Oyster Cove – is a family-run operation. The industry – attempting to establish “industry standards” – is increasingly being taken over by corporations – buying or managing. From my experience, marinas have traditionally been owned by people who love the business. It has never been a huge money-maker but a labor of love – obvious if you look at the reality of overhead and effort involved in running marinas.
    When corporations move in, the corporate bottom line dominates to maximise profit. They offer access to “resort facilities” – swimming pools, etc – at a price. It’s nice to dip into but deadly if that is all that’s available.
    For the sake of those who cherish the old cruising values and want the option to continue, it is useful to support the existing family-run marinas. May they always continue.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten, S/Y Discovery II

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Rivers Edge Marina

  • Bridge of Lions Vertical Clearance in Question (Statute Mile 778)

    For those of you who have not been following the Cruisers’ Net, or have not cruised through St. Augustine over the past two years, the historic Bridge of Lions has undergone a radical rebuilding. For a time, a temporary bridge was in place to serve automobile traffic, while the older span was being rebuilt. Now, the Bridge of Lions has reopened, and the temporary bridge is being removed.
    Below, Captain Bob presents some IMPORTANT information (copied from the MTOA List-Serve) which could easily be interpreted to mean that the new Bridge of Lions incarnation ACTUALLY HAS LESS VERTICAL CLEARANCE THAN WHAT IS LISTED ON THE NOAA CHARTS and in the Federal Registry.

    Here was the situation; we were approaching the Bridge of Lions in St Augustine at 7:45AM on 28 April 2010, with a tide level of +4.5′ and a listed bridge clearance at “low iron” of 25’ above Mean High Water (MHW). According to NOAA, the MHW level for the St Augustine City Dock, which is next to the Bridge of Lions is 6.41′ (see NOAA link below). The tops of our VHF antennas were measured at 22’ above the water level. My calculations were:
    Charted Bridge Clearance +25′
    Plus Mean High Water +6.4′
    Minus the Height of Tide -4.5′
    Calculated Clearance 26.9′
    Simply said, the listed bridge clearance 25′ is measured above MHW, and if the tide was at zero, the actual clearance would be 31.4′ (25′ + 6.4′); but we had a 4.5′ tide so the clearance should be 4.5′ less, or 26.9′ (25′ +6.4′ -4.5′).
    Here is what we found as we approached the opening between the old temporary bridge, which is being demolished, and work barges from the north. Sue spotted a temporary tide board below the new bridge with red spray painted numbers indicating the current clearance was 22′ at low iron. We passed under the bridge with less than a foot above our antennas at the center of the bridge. I think the temporary tide board was correct, which would mean the actual clearance is closer to 20’ above MHW, and not 25’.
    What am I missing? I contacted the Bridge of Lions and their contractor told
    them that when I passed under the bridge the tide was extremely high and thus I
    had less than the listed 25’ clearance.

    MHW for the St Augustine City Dock:,%20FL&type=Datums

    Bob and Sue Mimlitch
    M/V Our Independence

    I asked Captain Bob to send me additional info when possible, and received the heartwarming reply below:

    I should have said more about the difference between the listed bridge height on the charts and cruising guides, which is clearance at the center; versus the tide board which is clearance at low iron. A few bridges in Florida have signs that specify the number of feet of additional clearance at center.
    I love Salty Southeast Cruiser’s Net. Thanks for all your efforts.
    Bob Mimlitch

    As of Monday, 5/17/10, the new Bridge of Lion’s vertical clearance has become a HOT topic! The Cruisers’ Net, Waterway Guide and ActiveCaptain are all in the hunt for information. We thank Waterway Guide editor, Chuck, for the info below. Since we received Chuck’s e-mail (actually a posting on the MTOA list-serve), I have personally spoken with both Captain Jay Bliss, member of the St. Augustine Port Commission, and Ms. Laurie Sanderson with the Bridge of Lion’s rehabilitation project. As Chuck notes below, this question will arise at a meeting tomorrow, and we have everyone’s promise to shoot us the results ASAP!!!! I will post this data the second it’s received, and probably send out a special “Alert” as well!

    I have just spoken with Laurie Sanderson from the Bridge of Lions Rehabilitation Project and the bridge clearance is up for discussion at their meeting tomorrow. According to the contractor on site, the MHW clearance for the new bridge is indeed 22′ regardless of what the charts say. We will post more tomorrow after the meeting and more details are known.

  • Beach Marine (Jacksonville Beach, Statute Mile 748)

    Beach Marine guards the AICW’s eastern banks, immediately north of the new B. B. McCormick high-rise bridge.

    15 May 2010.
    We stopped only for the night, a Saturday, and found it to be a pleasant stay. We didn’t eat at the restaurant in the marina although there is a 10% discount for marina stayers. It had live entertainment that was not intrusive from our boat, located near the fuel dock. We came in at low water during a big spring tide – 6.2 feet! – and dragged through a soft mud bottom coming into the slip. They were aware of our 4’6” draft when assigning the slip so may have other deeper ones available further out.
    There were plenty of lights on and no evidence of rough trade in the marina. The floating docks looked new. The washrooms were clean and spacious but worn. There were at least three sets of them available at various locations.
    Overall, it was a first-class operation although I declined paying $8.00 for 30-amp service, offering to make a deal for our expected $.30 electrical usage but it wasn’t taken up. There was no manager available to talk to. Instead, we purchased our usual 30 lbs of ice for our icebox. The illogic of paying $8 for others’ refrigeration and air conditioning on top of our own refrigeration costs is not being acknowledged by marinas, unfortunately.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten, s/y Discovery II

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Beach Marine

  • One Unhappy Review And Many Postive Comments Concerning the Dinner Key Mooring Field (near St. M. 1094.5)

    Even though the inspiration for Captain Sherman’s message below was in response to an earlier posting here on the Net concerning Dinner Key Marina, I’ve posted this note separately, as it pertains more to the adjacent mooring field than to the marina.
    Clearly, the mooring field is a facility that some cruisers love, and some cruisers loathe. We have had comments both ways here on the Cruisers’ Net. Read what Captain Sherman has to say, follow the links below, and make up your own mind!

    Opinions appear to vary widely on the Dinner Key Marina. We stayed three nights on a mooring in the new mooring field. We will NEVER do that again and suggest others pass this mooring field by!!! In moderate winds from the east or south (10 knots) it was a wet and close to dangerous dinghy ride to the totally inadequate dinghy dock!! There is a shuttle boat that they want you to use but two friends who are in the mooring field warned us that their boats had been hit and damaged by the shuttle boat so there was no way we were going to expose Enchantress to that!!!
    We were assigned a mooring ball by the shuttle boat and then they wanted to change it when we went in to check in. They sent us to a slip on a fixed dock in our dinghy to fill some Jerry jugs with water but didn’t tell us to bring a hose, so no water! The dinghy dock which doesn’t have anyway near enough space anyway had a sign saying half of it was closed as apparently the are going to tow it out of the semi-secure marina and put it at the public boat ramp in the adjacent park where there is no security at all!!
    The shower/restroom facilities are tolerable (barely), although the big roach did have me checking my shower bag carefully before taking it back to the boat! They close the restrooms for an hour during peak morning and afternoon times for cleaning although what is done during that time was not readily apparent.
    This is a marina that may understand the needs of boaters who stay in slips but they have no concept of what cruising boats or boats that use moorings or who anchor need. We need easy access to water to fill Jerry jugs in the dinghy and adequate dinghy access.
    Although we anchor almost exclusively when on the move, we like mooring fields (we spend our winters on a mooring in Boot Key Harbor) but not this one. It is poorly managed and not worth paying for. Protection is horrible, may as well anchor in the middle of Biscayne Bay or out in the Atlantic! Provisioning is not convenient, Publix Supermarket requires a bus and trai ride. The only grocery store is a gormet Fresh Foods with poor selection and high prices.
    We have anchored or moored in more than 100 harbors and would return to most but NOT this one!! Did I mention the murder that occured in the anchorage adjacent yo the moorings just before we arrived?
    Larry Sherman

    And, here are several very different point of view:

    Clearly many folks have many opinions, but I was shocked by Mr. Sherman’s review of the Dinner Key Mooring Field. I just spent a night there and I agree it is an exposed area. But almost 10 years ago I lived in the anchorage where the moorings are now, and let me tell you it felt good to be on a ball.
    I can’t help to feel a bit sorry for Mr. Sherman who obviously had a bad stay. Perhaps his experience should serve as a wakeup call to himself and others; that life at sea is subject to many things (we don’t always get what we want). Perhaps those who find they have experiences like this where they don’t get what they want when they want it should look into life in an R/V or retirement village, because if you are getting everything you want when you want it on a boat your probably some middle eastern sheik with deep pockets or worse on a cruise ship.
    So I am clear, the weather was rough the dingy ride was wet, the dingy dock was small, the supermarket was to much money not enough selection, the supermarket was too far yadadayada.. , Were you really expecting the Ritz? Because if you were, just across the street from Dinner Key is the Ritz, but I wonder if you would just find it failing your expectations. Maybe the city of Miami should have planned the city around the mooring field?
    I had an excellent time at Dinner Key, and hope one day to return soon.
    Peter Shemp

    I had a wonderful experience at the new Dinner Key Mooring Field. When I dinked in to get some water I brought my own 2ft hose (because I like to be prepared) and had no problem.
    As far as the dinghy dock goes, yes it’s a first come first serve deal but that’s the wat it is everywhere. Maybe Mr. Sherman didn’t realize that Miami, like all major metropolitan cities, have certain amounts of danger. I felt safe in the managed moring field. I wouldn’t have felt safe if I just dropped the hook.
    I thought the staff and management were professional and the facility up to par. I will stay at the Dinner Key Mooring Field again!
    Charlie Stewart

    Perhaps if Captain Sherman would have spent a few days on a Rickenbacker Marina Mooring he would have appreciated the Dinner Key moorings a bit more.
    I had my boat at Rickenbacker marina for about two years where the dingy dock was a mud bank under mangroves trees. So either you got your dingy full of mud and dirt when you got in it or the tree leaves would fall into the dingy and foul it all up in no time.
    And not only are the moorings there exposed to all but east winds, they right next to a power boat and jet ski freeway. weekdays were bearable if the winds were calm but weekends were like being in a washing machine. And the bathrooms were in terribly shoddy condition. I would take dinner key bathrooms any day after that.
    I only wish that the dinner key mooring field existed at that time, I would have taken on in a heartbeat.
    It seems to me that Captain Sherman has some axe to grind as any sailor with experience can tell from which direction he is going to be exposed prior to taking up an anchorage, and as if the city had any control of how mother nature created the bay and how much wind and from where it was going to blow when he pulled into town.
    As the other post said, we have to take cruising with a grain of salt. and sometimes a geat big one…… but that is what makes it an adventure and what makes it worth doing at all.
    P.S. I forgot the mention, I have very fond memories of my days at Rickenbacker Marina.
    Jules Robinson

    Captains Jule and John have a GOOD idea below, AND Coconut Grove Sailing Club is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    An alternative to the Dinner Key mooring field is the Coconut Grove Sailing Club mooring field. CCSC is just to the south of Dinner Key, and its moorings are completely sheltered by mangrove islands. While CCSC is a private club, they do have several moorings for transient, non-member cruisers. They have shower/restroom facilities and a water taxi that runs 24 hours a day. We spent 5 very windy days there ( winds up to 35 knots) in comfort and felt very welcomed by the staff and members.
    Julie and John Stocksdale
    s/v Jolie

    Hey folks
    Just want to say that the folks at Dinner Key seem to really try to make your experience a good one. We had a wonderful experience with them. When we couldn’t return as planned due to a medical emergency, the guys checked our lines and even went aboard found my husband’s passport and sent it to him so he could travel for some work out of the country.
    Yep, the moorings are exposed and the shuttle may ding your boat on occasion, but I think they’re really trying and doing a great job. Thanks James and Daniel and all the crew!
    on S/V SEEKER

    Click Here To Read An Earlier, Positive Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Read Another Positive Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

    Click Here To Read An Earlier, Negative Posting About the Dinner Key Mooring Field

  • Pirates Cove Resort and Marina (on Manatee Pocket, off the St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    Pirates Cove is one of the most upstream facilities on Manatee Pocket. This body of water lies near the intersection of the AICW/Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River, known locally as “The Crossroads.” I’ve always been impressed with Pirates Cove, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sailcraft at their docks. Always has been 100% power vessels.

    We stayed here on 4/5/2010 for one night and had a nice stay. Since we were there for one night they put us on the fuel dock which was fine with me since access into and out of the slips looked like it could be a little tight (50′ LOA). We were enroute from Ft. Lauderdale to the northern Gulf Coast and some of our group who were driving a vehcile home stayed in the rooms and reported them as nice. The restraunt was pretty good, the marina staff were helpful. I’d stay here again. The location is very good if your headed to the west coast of Florida and you’re breaking the trip across into two days.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pirates Cove Resort and Marina

  • New Port Cove Marina (Statute Mile 1017)

    New Port Cove Marina is owned by the same group as Old Port Cove Marina and North Palm Beach Marina. All three of these facilities are first-class operations!

    1 May 2010.
    We elected New Port Cove Marine Center because it was close to the Fort Worth Inlet and with a Boat US discount, bringing the per foot rate down to $1.75, reasonable for the area. Based on a Waterway Guide ad, New Port is part of a “family of marine businesses”, consisting of three marinas in the area, with New Port nearest the inlet, all with the same rates.
    As an overnight stop while inlet hopping up the coast, it was a good place to stay. The busy – we were there on the weekend – stacked dry storage operation near the transient docks would encourage one to go further up Lake Worth for a more pleasant longer stay.
    The minimum charge for electricity hit an all-time high, at $12/day, but the manager saw the logic of this not being a feasible cost for a small boat with an ice box for refrigeration and offered it at half price, saying he doesn’t usually do deals. He was rewarded for his wisdom by making a $5.70 profit on what would cost him $.30 based on our kilowatt usage. I agreed to pay as we were mostly sailing outside and inlet hopping and my batteries were low. The alternative was to motor in the slip to charge batteries, something neither the manager or I wanted.
    As with other marinas, he attempted to justify the gouge by saying the fee was for all marina facilities, not just electricity, despite being labelled a charge for power in their rate sheets. The Loggerhead Daytona manager sympathized with why I objected to the fee but said it was an “industry standard”. I said I could understand why the industry wanted to create such a self-serving standard but I was adhering to my personal standard of paying a fair price for what I required.
    We entered and left Lake Worth Inlet, a class A inlet, at near slack water, headed for Fort Pierce, another class A inlet, avoiding the up to 4-kt current possible at max velocity in both inlets. NOAA provides times for slack and max and current strength at max for Ft Lauderdale, Lake Worth and Fort Pierce on their website:
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For New Port Cove Marina

  • Hammock Beach Resort – Marina at Yacht Harbor Village (Statute Mile 802)

    Our sincere thanks to Captain Whitten for calling this facility to our attention. It is now listed in our “Eastern Florida Marina Directory.” Just follow the link below for full info!

    We went to the marina just south and on the east side of the ICW from Palm Coast, Hammock Beach Resort, a new condo-marina. No one responded to the VHF call or to a phone call so we pulled into a large, mostly empty marina, tied up and went looking for personnel. A person in charge, Neil, arrived and was quite welcoming, charging us $1.50/ft, electricity included, for a luxurious facility. The showers and toilets were in a nearby condominium building – towels included. Use of the condo swimming pool was also included. There was a shuttle bus to a restaurant in the main condo complex.
    We were passage-making so only stayed the night but it was a nice taste of luxury. Clearly the rates and availability will change as the condo fills up but for now, it’s an opportunity you may want to take advantage of.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    8 May 2010.
    Our previous visit was in February when the marina officially opened. This time, the rate was higher but we experienced the full impact of the luxury on offer during a two-day visit, fully justifying, in our view, the $2.25/ft charge with only one minor extra charge. Electricity, wi-fi, access to the full resort, shuttle service and complimentary ice – a first – were included. A 25 lb bag nicely topped up our ice box.
    The extra charge was triggered by Hammock Beach Resort’s “no tipping” policy, with a 20% gratuity built into everything purchased at the resort. In the case of marina charges, I’m not sure who receives the gratuity, but the staff certainly aimed to please. Our $67.50/day docking charge (yes, they have a 30-ft minimum, which is a pet peeve, but it affects few cruising folks these days) resulted in a $7/day service charge.
    Now for the luxury… We have paid as much as $3.50/ft at other marinas that cannot hold a candle to what Hammock Beach offered. Showers, toilets and swimming pool are housed at a nearby condominium building. Towels at both the swimming pool and baths are provided. The uncrowded nature of the marina and condominium adds to the exclusivity.
    A 24×7 shuttle bus is available at your beck and call – for a cell phone call – to transport you to the main resort complex on the ocean side, a couple of miles away. The resort hotel is HUGE. Several restaurants are located in the complex. Neil, the marina manager, recommended the Atlantic Grill, with a panoramic view of the ocean. A qualified chef was obviously in charge, attested to by the cuisine not the price, which was reasonable, for lunch.
    You are provided with a card when you arrive at the marina that gives you “membership” status, equivalent to those staying at the resort. Restaurant charges and anything else purchased at the complex are charged to the card. A credit card, upon arrival, backs this up.
    For us, the numbers of people present at the resort were a bit overwhelming. Many were there for golfing. Families on holiday also proliferated. The marina area was more simpatico but it was interesting seeing how others spend their vacations and then to be able to return to the marina.
    As noted in the description, the shuttle bus passed a Publix on the way to the main resort and I was assured they would let us off and pick us up on a phone call, making this a truly special marina.
    In summary, everything at the marina seems ephemeral – take advantage of it while it is on offer. Hopefully, others passing through will provide updates on the current status. I have always depended on local knowledge from other cruisers for valuable updates.
    Austin Whitten

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Hammock Beach Resort – Marina at Yacht Harbor Village

  • Lighthouse Point Marina (Statute Mile 1054)

    Not only is Lighthouse Point Marina a very cruiser friendly facility, but they are one of the only true marinas on the Waterway between southern Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

    30 April 2010. A very nice marina, close to Hillsboro inlet, handy for an early morning departure out the inlet. Local knowledge – the dockmaster and personnel on the Boat US boat located there – assured us there was quite adequate depth in a recently dredged, well marked, short channel out to the leading sea buoy, only cautioning not to turn off before reaching it and that currents could be strong. We timed our departure for the trip north to Lake Worth Inlet for slack water, two hours after low water to avoid wind against current in the face of a 15-20 kt SEer blowing up the channel. We had to punch out against a seaway, at half throttle, with no problems except for bouncing the cat out of her forepeak bunk in the incoming chop! After turning north, we had a fast wing-on-wing run to Lake Worth.
    Typical of marinas near inlet entrances, the clientele was mostly pleasure fishing boats and we were somewhat of an oddity but the banter between them,– the stink-potters and us, the “rag sailors” – was friendly. As expected, the fish at the on-site restaurant was fresh and cooked well.
    The $10 charge for electricity was the highest encountered to date and I declined the service after first trying to strike a deal, pointing out our lack of refrigeration, corroborated by buying 30 lbs of ice from the marina. Pointing out our metered rate of usage averages $.30 per day made no difference. An attempt was made to justify the high price by saying it was a general charge for the facilities available – primarily the swimming pool (no wi-fi) – which as transients we did not have time to use.
    We were allowed to decline a power hook-up without being charged, however, unlike at some marinas we have encountered.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Lighthouse Point Marina

  • Titusville and Titusville Municipal Marina (Statute Mile 879)

    451 Marina Rd., Titusville, FL 32796, Phone: 321-383-5600, Fax: 321-383-5602, Contact: Joe Stone General Manager, Hours: 8:00 am - 1:00 am, Groceries within walking distance  , Restaurants nearby  , 5 minutes from Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge  , 10 minutes from Canaveral National Seashore  , 20 minutes from Kennedy Space Center  , 1 hour from Orlando Attractions , I don’t normally do this, but on this occasion,  I’m going to disagree with the premise of the message below. We have always found Titusville to be a charming community with which it has been our privilege to visit. It offers superb dining,  and the city marina, besides being a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR,  is, quite simply, one of the very best medium sized, city owned pleasure craft facilities, I’ve ever reviewed! I think Captain Austin may be looking for a downtown business type district,  which is, sadly enough, no longer typical of medium sized coastal Florida communities.
    To be succinct, all of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net recommend a visit to Titusville and its excellent city marina. However, in the spirit of airing all well-thought-out points of view, we present Captain Austin’s comments below.

    5 May 2010.
    Stayed here twice, in March and now. With Titusville not having much to offer (and about to lose space shuttle viewing) except a Sav-A-Lot within walking distance where you do save a lot as the choices are limited, it’s only a pit stop for cruisers. Sadly, Titusville is typical of small town America – the towns have disappeared, done in by big box shopping on the highways, not easily accessible to cruisers.
    The marina has a small store with a good cruising guide book section, a reasonable selection of wine and basic marine supplies, so if you are stuck here for weather you can have a chardonnay, bone up on cruising lore and knock off some maintenance items on the to do list.
    The bicycles in front of the marina office look like loaners but they are reserved for marina staff servicing the docks. The municipality won’t allow them to be used by transients for insurance reasons – or maybe so you won’t see there’s little to see in Titusville.
    Austin Whitten

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Titusville Municipal Marina

  • Halifax Harbor Marina (Daytona Beach, FL – Statute Mile 831)

    Halifax Harbor Marina is a HUGE facility, encompassing two dockage basins, and located in the heart of downtown Daytona Beach. While I can certainly sympathize with Skipper Austin’s problems with a “30 foot minimum charge,” I still think Halifax Harbor is a truly first class pleasurecraft facility!

    24 February 2010
    When I called ahead and asked for rates they neglected to tell me about the 30-ft minimum for charges which, for our 27-footer, makes it more expensive than the Loggerhead Marina next door. Their website also did not contain the minimum. I asked why a municipal marina would do this, essentially penalizing smaller boat owners. There was no reason given but the Waterway Guide website noted the municipality recently ‘outsourced’ the management of the marina to the Skipper Bud chain, not known for bargain basement prices. The harbormaster said she would raise my point with the corporation but it was a long, laborious process.
    Other municipalities are going in this direction to reduce costs, resulting in rate hikes for locals as well as transients, essentially changing the focus of what municipal marinas represent – affordable boating for the general public. Whether money is actually saved is problematical as the municipality is left responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and only receives a percentage of the collected fees.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    <a href=””><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Halifax Harbor Marina</strong></span></a>

  • Palm Harbor Marina (West Palm Beach, Statute Mile 1021.5)

    This marina was under complete reconstruction when we put together its listing in the Net’s “Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory.” We will update this info very shortly!

    The reconstruction is done and this is a great facility. Floating docks and full services. Great service and a wonderful location right in downtown West Palm Beach.
    Don’t forget to visit the clubhouse.
    Sheldon Gawiser

    Concur with Sheldon… And really really reasonable rates off season. Three nights at Palm Harbor was the same as two nights in Dinner Key. Downtown West Palm and City Place are great places to eat, shop, go to a movie and/or enjoy an adult libation.
    John and Susan

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Palm Harbor Marina

  • New Smyrna Beach City Marina (Statute Mile 8465)

    I’m so glad that Captain Austin found New Smyrna Beach City Marina “friendly.” We have ALWAYS enjoyed our stays here, AND this facility is a valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    7 May 2010. Friendly marina, with only restaurants within walking distance. Supermarkets are a few miles away. A promising-looking bakery downtown was recently shuttered, unfortunately, the last remaining useful store for re-victualling. A bus service that might be useful for getting around, uninvestigated by us, was not promoted by the marina for some reason.
    Austin Whitten

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For New Smyrna Beach City Marina

  • Loggerhead Club & Marina – Daytona Beach (Statute Mile 830)

    The Daytona Beach version of Loggerhead Club and Marinas used to be Caribbean Jacks. We have not stayed here since the changeover.

    8 May 2010.
    The charge for electricity was not optional. I tried to waive the service, exorbitant, for us at $7.50 to no avail. Our metered electricity usage is $.30/day. We have an icebox and no air conditioning or other heavy power draws. The excuse marinas are using these days for charging for a service you choose not to use is that it is not just for electricity but is a general “service” charge for water, swimming pool, cruiser’s lounge, wi-fi access (only available in the lounge here), showers, etc. – what you thought was included in dockage, especially at marinas with high-end rates – and generally not used by us when in transit.
    It would be useful to note in the general description section whether the electricity charge is mandatory. We chose Loggerhead because it worked out to be cheaper for us than the nearby municipal marina, now run by Skipper Bud’s, which has a 30-foot minimum. It used to be simple knowing what it will cost to stay at a marina – multiply the length of your boat by the per foot rate. Now, marina rates seem to be drawn up by corporation lawyers focused on maximizing profits. No wonder folks want to anchor out whenever possible.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Loggerhead Club and Marina – Daytona Beach

  • Bal Marra Anchorage (Statute Mile 1042)

    I’m a bit perplexed by the posting below from Captain John and Susan. We have never had a problem setting the hook here, but granted, it’s been good four to more likely five years since we anchored on these waters. So, I check the “Comment” on this anchorage (follow link below), and discovered no-one else has had such a problem here either, or at least they have not reported it to us. If any of you out there have dropped the hook on Bal Marra, please share your experiences by clicking the “Comment on This Posting/Marina/Anchorage/Bridge” link below.

    We tried to anchor there today (May 9, 2010) and had NO holding at all. 45 Lb CQR dragged through the black mud like there was no anchor on the chain! It did not jump, grab or anything, just ran along the bottom smooth as can be. We tried three times and gave up. At one point we had 90 feet of chain out. We continued north.
    John and Susan

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Bal Marra Anchorage

  • Dinner Key Marina (south Miami, near St. M. 1094.5)

    Dinner Key Marina is now the principal city of Miami Marina pleasure craft facility. It sits in the heart of the Coconut Grove community, and there are lots of restaurants and shopping within walking distance. Security might be a concern in Coconut Grove, however, after dark.
    I notice Captains John and Susan do not say anything below about the shower/bathroom facilities here. We have always found these unit sub-par!

    We enjoyed Dinner Key Marina. Had no problems finding the slip. The Piers were well marked on the ends and each slip has the number on its dock box. We didn’t have any help on the way in, but we didn’t ask. Saw several dock hands helping others who asked, though. On the way out, a line handler showed from the Marina and several volunteers were there as well. We had great dinners and thoroughly enjoyed the walking and Coconut Grove area.
    John and Susan

    We live in Miami and have kept our boat at Dinner Key Marina for about a year now and have had no problem with security at any hour and we have had some very late nights, we walk to and from the bars, shops and restaurants at all hours of the day or night and never had a problem.
    The bathrooms are in very good condition. The showers are in just good condition. Most important is that they are cleaned daily.
    We are very happy with this marina and the overall location is excellent. Everything you need / want is within walking distance.
    Jules Robinson

    On Sunday, July 11th we did not want to run all day since we wanted to celebrate my birthday. South of downtown Miami and south of the Rickenbacher Causeway, we found the long, privately marked, channel into Dinner Key Marina. 6-feet was the least depth I noticed in the channel. We have stayed here numerous times. It is a huge facility with a diverse and fun liveaboard community. Restaurants on the water are just north of the marina. The funky-artsy village of Coconut Grove is a short walk to the southwest of the marina. After dinner on the boat, we went to a dueling piano bar to continue my birthday celebration. We paid $2.50 a foot per night plus electricity. They hold a $25 deposit for each gate/restroom key you want. This is a city marina (its sister marina is Bayside in downtown Miami). The restrooms here are always questionable. They seemed better maintained this visit, but they are old and could use a refurbishment.
    Jeff and Michele Prahm aboard MV Java Girl

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Florida Keys Marina Directory Listing For Dinner Key Marina

  • City of Fort Lauderdale New River Docks

    For many years, in fact since this writer was a kid here in Fort Lauderdale during the 1950’s, the city has maintained a series of docks along New River, hard by the Las Olas Boulevard business district. These facilities are not as new as the city marinas at Cooleys Landing or at the Las Olas Bridge, but it is an easy step to good dining and shopping.

    The New River Docks (also owned by Ft. Lauderdale) are slightly less expensive, but you have the opportunity to give back to the community by making friends with the people who sleep/live in the park (and there are some interesting people there – and I’m not saying that in a bad way).
    S/V Pelican

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For City of Fort Lauderdale New River Docks

  • Cooleys Landing Marina (on New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale)

    Cooleys Landing is the most upstream city of Fort Lauderdale owned and managed marina facility on New River. We have always found it to be a very superior stop for all pleasure craft.

    Cooley’s Landing up the New River (a Ft. Lauderdale city owned marina) is a good place to go. We stayed there for a couple of weeks before heading to Key Biscayne and then the Bahamas. While there, we were able to spend lots of money on the local economy (provisioning, boat repairs, museums, mass transit, restaurants, etc.). The people at Cooley’s were great and the facilities were good. As long as you time your docking to be at slack tide (the current rips through this area so other times are tricky), it’s a nice place to be. You can certainly see some pretty crazy megayachts being tandem towed by bow and stern coming through the narrow river.
    S/V Pelican

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Cooleys Landing

  • Lake Sylvia Anchorage (near Statute Mile 1064.5)

    Anchorage in Lake Sylvia is a new possibility for cruisers, now that the city of Fort Lauderdale is adhering to the new Florida state law that prohibits local and county regulation of anchorage, except on bottom lands leased from the state by a city or county.
    Lake Sylvia lies to the south, southeast of marker #13, itself just south of huge Bahia Mar Marina.

    Sylvia Lake is a fine anchorage (now that you can use it) and it’s nice to have the option of the mooring field. With regards to the “expanding mooring fields in Florida” – yes, that is something to be watched closely, but the Ft. Lauderdale “field” (if you want to call it such) has been there for quite some time. During the last several years with municipalities fighting cruisers and liveaboards over anchoring rights, boats were rapidly kicked out of Sylvia Lake. With the latest regulations, it’s back to being a viable anchorage.
    S/V Pelican

  • Ponce Inlet (near Statute Mile 839.5)

    Do note that Captain Chris’ info below is almost a year old at the time of this posting!
    Ponce De Leon Inlet (which all the locals refer to as “Ponce Inlet) cuts the eastern banks of the AICW between Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach. Personally, I always choose to continue south of Canaveral Barge Canal Inlet before putting out into the briny blue, or reversing the process, but, hey, everyone has their own opinion!

    In June of ‘09 we ducked into Ponce de Leon Inlet during a pretty major storm (45kts+ and lots of electrical activity) and had no issue. We came through the inlet and then anchored between 7A and the beach in 12 feet of water (we draw 6′). The depth between 7A and the beach is not marked on the chart, but we were in communications with the local SeaTow outfit and they gave us the local knowledge. Anyway, Ponce de Leon inlet is known as being a tough inlet, but we had no issues. A call to SeaTow before entering can give you all the info you need. By the way – after the storm passed we continued on to the New Smyrna Beach Marina where we received a wonderful welcome and nice facilities. If you go there and are coming from the Ponce de Leon Inlet, I would highly recommend taking Sheephead Cut as opposed to following the magenta line of the ICW. From what I understand, there is (was, I should say since we came through in mid-2009) significant shoaling on the line, but we always saw big depth on the cut. Have fun!
    S/V Pelican

  • Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, on the South Fork St. Lucie River)

    Here’s a different point of view on Stuart’s Sunset Bay Marina. Heretofore, the messages received here on the Net concerning this facility have been overwhelmingly positive!

    8 March 2010. It looked like it would have been a great marina but available only to folks who book six months in advance. When we asked for a one-night transient dock, we were told to come back in June! There were empty slips and a big inside protected fuel dock that no one was on. Something wrong here.
    Obviously no transient slips were reserved, despite the Waterway Guide claim of there being 60. This was the first marina we encountered that had nothing available for transients, keeping in mind our size usually guarantees a spot can always be found for us.
    The facilities for the mooring field were excellent but as noted by others, it is completely open to high speed waterway traffic, subject to gunnel-to-gunnel rolling and wet dinghy rides. And why is there no bum boat available for such a large mooring field?
    Two of the three other marinas in the area also claimed to be filled, with only the Harborage Yacht Club and Marina having transient places available. One said they don’t take sailboats despite the visible masts. For short term stayers like ourselves, Stuart wasn’t that attractive of a place. We anchored up the North Fork after the first rolly day on a mooring, moved to Harborage for a day for provisioning, walking over the bridge, cabbing back.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    Below is a response from the management at Sunset Bay Marina:

    As Assistant Harbormaster at Sunset Bay Marina I can tell you that our marina is always available to transients and since we opened last year we have not had to turn down, due to lack of availability, any transients who have wished to come in on a daily basis. We offer side to ties on our fixed docks for transients of all size vessels from 25′ to 125′. We have, however, had to put those who own vessels under 40′ and who wish to have a long term dockage on a waiting list as all of our slips that accommodate those size vessels filled up almost as soon as we opened last year. We are trying to accommodate these vessels on our waiting list as soon as slips become available.
    The Okeechoobee Waterway traffic problem that we have had in the past has been addressed as the entire area surrounding the mooring field and the marina has just recently been designated as a no-wake zone by the State of Florida and slow no-wake signage has been installed.
    As far as the “bum boat” goes, unfortunately we do not have one but we have always personally patrolled our mooring field several times each day with our carolina skiff and constantly offer assistance to our mooring field guests in any way we possibly can, helping them with provisions, etc.
    We apologize for any misunderstandings that may have occurred.
    Ruth Conrad

    <a href=””><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina</strong></span></a>

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