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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: East FL – 11 – Fort Lauderdale

  • Dania Marine Flea Market, Fort Lauderdale, FL, March 14-17, 2013

    The Dania Marine Flea Market will be held at the Dania Jai Alai, south of the Fort Lauderdale Airport. See link below for more information.

    The Marine Flea Market is recognized as the largest event of its type in the world. Private individuals and corporate vendors sell marine equipment, coral encrusted antiques, used boats, fishing tackle, diving gear, marine artwork and other boating related items in a pleasant, almost party-like, atmosphere. The Dania Marine Flea Market provides the ideal environment for buyer and seller to engage in friendly and, sometimes, intense ‘bargaining.’ Thousands of boating related items are bought and sold through a system of dickering and dealing at a fraction of their retail value.

    http://www.daniamarinefleamarket.com/

  • “Sailorman” Highly Recommended, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    As many of you already know, this is a fascinating place to visit – a great way to spend a rainy afternoon!

    If you want a great [marine] Flea Market, look at Sailorman. You can spend a whole day ogling their good stuff. Google the word Sailorman and you will get their website.
    Their address is:
    350 SE 24th St. (aka State Road 84)
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316
    Sailorman’s waypoints: 26.05.55 N, 80.08.36 W
    Cheers,
    Ken Bloomfield
    m/v Tellico Lady

    Right next to the biggest West Marine store in the corporation (I think).
    Jim Ward

    I am looking for a nice set of navigation lights for a 50′ boat. In the past I have purchased things from your consignment deals and hope you have something that would work for me. I will be in Florida for the next two weeks so let me know if you have something that I should look at.I am from Toronto Canada and have dealt with Chuck in the past.
    Thanks
    Rolf

  • Anchorage with Shoreside Access in Ft. Lauderdale: Middle River (St. M. 1063.4) – Captains Mark and Diana Report

    On the Water GuidebooksThe Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net is very pleased to publish the latest in the superb series of articles authored by our good friends, and strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of “On The Water Chartguides.” This story centers on a body of water, Middle River, which provides excellent anchorage. This stream lies off the AICW’s western shores a few miles north of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Bridge.
    I know this area well, as my parents used to rent a winter home which fronted onto Middle River. As a boy of ten our so, you could find me almost daily piloting either my sailfish or our 16-foot Boston Whaler around these waters. Those were truly golden, broad days.
    But, now, back to the present. Let’s hear what Diana and Mark have to tell us!

    Hi Claiborne,
    South Florida’s AICW is a bit like a “Tour of Homes” as you motor by impressive and varied waterfront lots.

    We love gawking at the mega-mansions with million-dollar poolside landscaping and the pink bungalows with flocks of plastic flamingos.

    But the downside of wall-to-wall canal-front real estate is that shoreside access is much harder to come by. Shore is all private property, often within private developments that prohibit any dinghy dockage. That’s why Middle River anchorage, with shore access at Fort Lauderdale’s George English Park, is so special.

    Middle River, at STM 1063.4, is a deep and relatively quiet (by South Florida standards!) anchorage, convenient to the AICW, in a no-wake-zone river lined with homes and park land.

    Exit the ICW southeast of G3 and proceed northwesterly up charted Middle River, north of the large east-west canal home island. Anchor in the river’s wide spot, with the fixed bridge (vertical clearance 5 feet) to the north. Middle River is substantially deeper than charted: we surveyed depths of 15-26 feet (at 2.3’ above MLLW).

    Shore access is at the George English Park boat ramp to the north, upriver just past the low-clearance fixed bridge. The park is 20 acres, with a recreation center, tennis courts, and a walking/jogging trail. Many restaurants and Galleria Fort Lauderdale are nearby, including a supermarket across the bridge to the west.

    I’ve included a photo of the anchorage as well as a sample page from our new AnchorGuide series showing the anchorage location, the actual versus charted depths in the Middle River, and the location of the park boat ramp.

    Unfortunately, for all the park’s excellent amenities and access, the park does not allow dogs.

    Best and see you On the Water,

    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
    http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Middle River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Middle River

  • Report from Fort Lauderdale Official Anchorage/Mooring Field, AICW Staute Mile 1064

    The Fort Lauderdale Anchorage and Mooring Field is located in the charted cove indenting the westerly banks south of the Las Olas bascule bridge. If your vessel is under 40ft, this is an inexpensive way to stay in Fort Lauderdale.

    The anchorage was completely empty for us. Nice beefy tackle on the mooring ball handled our 15,000 lb 32 foot boat just fine in the modest current. We arrived at 4PM and left at 7AM and we not asked for a mooring fee. Nice spot.
    John Byrne

    Also, don’t forget about Lake Sylvia [see link below], just south of Bahia Mar. Plenty of cruisers still anchor there without a problem.
    Capt. Norman Quinn

    fyi – you’re expected to go into the Marina office and pay there…they don’t come out to the ball for you.
    Just so you know…
    Wally Moran

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Ft. Lauderdale Official Anchorage/Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ft. Lauderdale Anchorage/Mooring Field

    Click Here To View An Earlier Report on Lake Sylvia

  • Good Experience at RPM Diesel and Rolly Marine in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Rolly Marine Service, Inc. lists itself as “The Biggest Little Shipyard in South Florida” and is located on the New River, 2551 St. Rd. 84 (Marina Mile), Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312 and RPM Diesel is next door at 2555 St. Rd 84. See Websites below.

    Please note that we have no connection with RPM Diesel or Rolly Marine Services other than being totally satisfied customers. We gladly take this opportunity to share our story on this forum as it may help other members of MTOA who find themselves in a similar situation as ourselves.
    Heading north this year, after a late start from Marathon, our normally reliable starboard engine, Detroit 4 53, started to overheat and the engine oil showed signs of contamination with diesel fuel.
    After research we were directed to RPM Diesel [ Contact: Mike Desderio. [305] 947 2607],who recommended Rollys Marine Services [ Contact: Greg. {954} 583 5300} a shipyard on the New River as it is adjacent to RPMs office and work shop. A brief word about Rollys, this is a full service shipyard for mega yachts, our 44 FT Thompson, LILY MARIA, became known affectionately as the “little boat” but the care and attention extended to us made us feel like we had the “largest boat” in the yard. Prices for dockage most reasonable considering the area, Marina Row.
    RPM Technicians diagnoised our problem, recommended solutions, had new parts ready and installed within 24 hours, price was very competitive with other mechanics who perhaps do not have the experience,training and facilities offered by RPM. Parts for 4 53 Detroits, no longer in production, are hard to find but RPM had the resources to supply replacement parts where needed. Work and parts are subject to guarantee. Prices competitive with industry standards.
    Subsequently we had a second, but unrelated problem, experienced in the Lake Worth area, on contacting RPM they had “our” Technician dockside at Old Port Cove Marina. within 2 hours of our initial contact. He arrived in a fully equipped mobile workshop,. No shade tree mechanics here.
    With our Detroits humming like tops we are looking forward to some good cruising this summer.
    Captain Colin Day, Jean Henderson

    www.rolly-marine.com
    www.rpmdiesel.com

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Now Readily Available in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties, Florida

    Within ten minutes of receiving the important message below from Captain Hyde, the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net was on the telephone with Wise Gas, Inc. to determine their area of service. That’s one of the advantages of being a “non-wicki,” professionally moderated web site. Anyway, what we discovered is a potential boon for cruisers in southeastern Florida. More on that in just a second.
    So, why is a ready source of CNG such big news for the cruising community? Quite simply, CNG is a superior fuel for all on-board cooking and heating purposes, as compared to propane/LPG. As many of you already know, LPG/Propane is heavier than air and, should there be a leak, can accumulate in bilges or a low place in a boat, leading to a potentially explosive situation. Conversely, CNG is lighter than air, and tends to naturally disperse.
    The problem is, as we so clearly learned while formulating the SSECN’s LPG Availability Directories, that CNG is hard to obtain. Quite simply, there are very few dealers to which cruisers have easy access where their CNG tanks can be refilled.
    Back to Wise Gas, Inc. Our telephone call revealed that this company will pick up, refill and deliver back to your vessel, CNG tanks from the “tri-county area” of southeastern Florida, which is comprised of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties. Additionally, WITH ADVANCE ARRANGEMENTS, sometimes the same procedure can be undertaken along the west coast of Florida, particularly in the Tampa Bay region.
    So, while it’s still not a perfect solution, nor one so broad ranging as we would like, at least now from North Palm Beach to Miami, cruisers can be sure of having a source to refill CNG tanks. It’s a start!

    Claiborne —
    On your recent visit to Punta Gorda, Florida I mentioned to you that if I was ever able to locate a source of CNG for those using the gas onboard their boats, I would let you know. I have finally found a source. Wise Gas, Inc., 1058 Bluewood Terrace, Weston, FL 33327 is source of CNG for vessels and vehicles in south Florida. Its website advises the following:

    “At present time, Wise Gas, Inc. is offering CNG tank refills to marine boaters in the South Florida area only. We do anticipate expanding this service in terms of geography and service options in the future. Call Wise Gas, Inc. in advance at (954)-636-4291 to coordinate a CNG refill. A member of our team will meet you, pick up your current, approved cylinder in good condition and refill it for you and deliver it back to you.”
    The cost of this service varies based on cylinder size and location. Call in advance to schedule your refilling needs.
    E-mail: info@wisegasinc.com
    Phone: (954)-636-4291

    I recently met with a Wise Gas representative who was in Punta Gorda making deliveries on the west coast and exchanged my empty tank for a full one. It was a smooth and convenient process. The cost was $40.
    I would advise your readers to visit the Wise Gas website at http://www.wisegasinc.com for all the information. I hope this helps and thanks for a great presentation to the boaters of Punta Gorda.
    Noel Hyde
    s/v Kismet

  • Security Caution For Bahia Mar Yachting Center, AICW Statute Mile 1064.5, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Bahia Mar Yachting Center is located along the Waterway’s eastern banks, south of Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Boulevard bridge.

    Heads-up on security here.
    Arrived a few days early to attend Trawlerfest Feb. 2-4 2012. Tied up on H dock north marina. Very gusty winds that day/night, 25-30kts N-NE. Middle of the night woke up to boat moving about excessively. Went out to check lines and found both spring lines lying in the water. I’ve been tying lines for 30yrs and my knots do not come loose. Fortunately dock lines held and no damage.
    Next day had a brand new Trek bicycle stolen from parking lot in broad daylight. Had been cable locked to bike posts about 100yds from the security office. Security is present but focus seems to be down at the south marina where all the big mega’s are tied up. Incident(s) reported to security and local FLD police. Police attentive, security folks not overly impressed.
    Unfortunate black eye for what appears to be a well run and well maintained maintained facility.
    Frank Arndorfer

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Bahia Mar Yachting Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bahia Mar Yachting Center

  • Report from Fort Lauderdale Municipal Docks at Las Olas Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 1064

    One of three municipal docks in Fort Lauderdale, the Las Olas docks lie off the Waterway’s eastern shoreline immediately north and south (mostly on the north side) of the Las Olas bascule bridge.

    Las Olas offers a Boat US discount of 25%. We agree with the other reviewers, the facilities are first rate and a real waterway bargain. Pump out only at fixed dock, C. Great pump out, no fee. Don’t look for dockhands to catch your lines or assist with the pump out, we couldn’t get anyone on VHF or phone. When we went into office, one employee was at his computer the other was playing with his phone, too busy to assist on the dock. Very disappointing. Also, dock numbers are written vertically on faces of posts so that one must enter the fairway to see them.
    The Quarterdeck as mentioned is great; good food, reasonable prices, and good service. Also, it’s only a two block walk to the beautiful beach.

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Municipal Docks

  • City of Fort Lauderdale – Cooleys Landing Docks (off the AICW on New River, in downtown Fort Lauderdale)

    Cooleys Landing is one of three city of Fort Lauderdale owned and managed dockage facilities. Cooleys Landing is the most upstream (on New River) of these three facilities. A host of restaurants (including the memorable “Shirttail Charleys”) are within easy walking distance!

    Cooloey’s Landing is a great spot from which to enjoy Ft. Lauderdale. Free trolly to beach and another up and down the beach takes you near West Marine, Sailorman, Blue Water Books, etc. We spent a most enjoyable week there just before Christmas.
    Hank Evans
    M/V Queen Ann’s Revenge

    It was one of our favorite stops last year on our way south, spent a week also….hope they have the stealing in check now. Great spot for yacht watching, eating and walking on the water front. Enjoyed the water tours that let you on and off and back on to many stops including the beach. Would do it again..just have to time the current when docking there, can be very very strong at wrong time.
    S/V Colleen Mae

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Cooleys Landing

  • Navy Equipment Lost Offshore of Ft. Lauderdale

    This LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS, Week 32/11 is of interest to those of you who navigate offshore of eastern Florida. No comments please about how our Navy could lose a piece of equipment in only 3 foot seas!

    SEACOAST-FLORIDA-FORT LAUDERDALE: US Navy (SFOMF) Lost Equipment
    The United States Navy, South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility (SFOMF) lost equipment offshore Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 1424 EST on July 27th, 2011. The lost equipment is an ”Unmanned Underwater Vehicle” (UUV). The vehicle is 6 feet long, 6” in diameter and is colored yellow and black with “WARD” stenciled on the side. Last known position of the UUV was Lat 26 03.336 Lon -080 03.918. Seas were 3’ or less the day of loss, winds out of the east, and 4 knots of current to the North. Vehicle is positively buoyant and contains no hazardous materials. Should the vehicle be found, please contact SSC Pacific: POC: Peyton Hall 619-221-5245 e-mail: peyton.hall@navy.mil Alt POC: Chris Young 619-553-5387 or 619-607-9000

  • Fort Lauderdale Anchorage on Middle River (Statute Mile 1063)

    Middle River, the site of the anchorage described briefly below by Captain Nicole, cuts west from the AICW, between markers #3 and #4. I am very familiar with these waters, having operated out of Middle River a couple of years ago while researching a new edition of “Cruising Guide to Eastern Florida.”
    Heretofore, I’ve always shrank from recommending anchorage on these waters due to consistent reports that cruisers dropping the hook here were being hassled by the local water cops. However, with the new Florida anchoring law hopefully protecting us all, perhaps these waters can be considered as an overnight anchorage. Of course, as Captain Nicole notes, on weekends in particular, all the jet skis and Cigarette boats can make for a very bumpy stay!

    To save even more cash in Fort Lauderdale there is a GREAT anchorage in the Middle River. Gets a touch wakey on the weekends but weekdays and at night, this anchorage is well protected and has awesome dinghy dock access on a floating dock in a public park.
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For The Middle River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Middle River Anchorage

  • Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge – Captain Jane Reports (Statute Mile 1064)


    The Las Olas Marina is one of several maintained by the city of Fort Lauderdale. All the others are found along new River, hard by the downtown section of Fort Lauderdale. The Las Olas facility also has the twin advantages of being directly on the AICW, and within walking distance of the beach.

    I don’t normally supply a photograph of laundry machines for a story on a Florida marina, and if you’re not a cruiser and are reading this by accident, you might be thinking — is this what cruising is about? Well, yes, and no. It’s what makes boaters comfortable so that they can fully enjoy their cruising. To me, as a boater, this photograph speaks volumes. It says “respite”, it says “you can get your chores done and it will be a clean experience!” It says: Here’s a marina that cares about its boat-living customers.

    View of Las Olas Marina from southern group of slips facing north and the bridge

    I’m not sure why we never tried the Las Olas City Marina, but after recently reading veteran cruising writer Tom Neale’s glowing review of the city’s facilities at Las Olas, we decided to give it a try. Well, well, well. This is very different from what we’re used to. At first, as we spied the marina tucked under — literally — the Las Olas draw bridge, I thought, Tom, what were you thinking? But I was wrong and I now get it. This is yet another Florida city marina that shows what good government can and does do while keeping affordable and good facilities available to the transient boating public.
    As I just mentioned, this marina oddly occupies both sides of the Las Olas bridge. Yes, that Las Olas, the last and huge opening bridge you encounter southbound that brings you into the heart of Fort Lauderdale. So, before you arrive, find out which side of the bridge your slip will be, North or South. The marina staff is very courteous — they offered us a slip on either side clearly explaining the advantages of each. The North side of the bridge brings you closer to the cruisers lounge and facilities and the South side gets you (a) past the opening bridge and (b) a little further from the bridge noise. One thing to note at the moment is that the pump outs on the South side are broken and there are no immediate plans to replace it.
    So what’s it like living under a busy draw bridge? The bridge noise is definitely noticeable — the first night I felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie describing my childhood living under the Elevated train in Brooklyn. After a while, it became white noise. But, a bright side is that being under the bridge, you are in the no-wake zone — so there is surprisingly less wake here than from the apparently more-protected marinas we have stayed in here. Also, odds are a mega yacht will occupy the ICW T-head and lucky you will be protected even more from ICW traffic.
    As for “amenities”, the cruisers lounge, laundry, heads and showers are first rate municipal facilities. They are far better than most facilities we have been offered on the ICW and certainly better than facilities we have used in neighboring private marinas in Fort Lauderdale, perhaps these facilities are designed for cruiser-customers and are not what I have experienced as barely sufficient for their purpose after-thoughts constructed for the crew of or day workers servicing a mega yacht. Euphemistically called “Comfort Stations” in Las Olas-speak, these really are.
    In sum, Las Olas is an impressive facility and well located. It gets special Captain Jane Gold Kudos for its copious and accessible recycling bins (plastics 1 and 2, cans, bottles and paper!) Thank you, Las Olas for your commitment to recycling and for helping cruisers do their part to reduce our impact on the environment! This is yet another example of a Florida city marina that is in many ways superior to its privately-owned pricey counterparts.
    Captain Jane
    S/V Lady Jane

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For the Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Fort Lauderdale Municipal Marina at the Las Olas Bridge

  • Drawbridge Incident at AICW Statute Mile 1062.6

    Captain Ehlen does not name the bridges he describes, but we assume he was at East Sunrise Boulevard Bridge which is a twin span bascule bridge north of Ft. Lauderdale. The closed vertical clearance of the bascule spans is 25 feet.

    One of the draw bridges north of Ft. Lauderdale had two sailboats waiting when we arrived for the opening. Four spans rose, and as the northbound sailboat started to go through one of the spans began to close. I radioed the bridge tender. I’m guessing the high winds had something to do with the problem, but in the meantime all three boats started a mad scramble in the wind and current to get out of the way. Once the spans were up and stationary, Shady Lady went through first. As the two sailboats were going through the spans started waving again, but we all made it safely.
    Captain Wade Ehlen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunrise Blvd. Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunrise Blvd Bridge

  • More on Ft. Lauderdale’s Sun Trolley

    The days of operation and fares of the Fort Lauderdale Sun Trolley do appear to vary with each route and some routes are free. It can understandably be a bit confusing, but for more details (or more confusion!?!), go to their website www.suntrolley.com.

    Sun Trolley is 50 cents on both the A1A and Las Olas routes every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Passengers are a mix of residents and visitors to Fort Lauderdale Beach. The agency plans to expand the A1A route from Harbor Shops to the Galleria Mall on Sunrise Blvd. by October 1, 2010. Sun Trolley is the community bus service for the City of Fort Lauderdale and is managed by the Downtown Fort Lauderdale TMA, a nonprofit agency incorporated in 1992.
    Patricia

    Click Here To An Earlier Article on the Sun Trolley

  • Good Visit and Good $$ Fortune at Pier 66 Yacht Harbor in Ft. Lauderdale (AICW Statute Mile 1066.5)

    Pier 66 Yacht Harbor lies on the eastern side of the Waterway just north of the SE 17th St. Bridge. With 148 slips and every convenience imaginable, Pier 66 is a first-class marina and welcoming to transients, as Jeff and Michele relate below:

    A fellow boater told me that Pier 66 had a dollar per foot special last summer and might repeat it this year. Michele called and was told that they were not doing that special this year. She started to hang up when the dockmaster said he could give us that rate for the night. A dollar per foot at Pier 66? We took it and pulled our little 34-foot Marine Trader into a slip suitable for a 120-foot mega yacht. We loved the location, the swimming pools, the restaurants and the bars (we couldn’t enjoy the revolving bar atop the Pier 66 tower since a wedding reception was being held there. The restrooms were clean with good water pressure and working AC. Laundry facilities, fuel and a small marine store are available on site. Of course, being the Yachting Capital of the World, just about any service is available in the Fort Lauderdale area.
    Pier 66 is located on the east side of the ICW, just north of the 17th Street Causeway in Fort Lauderdale. You can bike east to Lauderdale Beach and the tourist shops at Beach Place. Just south of the 17th Street Causeway is Port Everglades. From there, you can continue south on the ICW to the Dania Beach Cutoff Canal or Hollywood Beach and Miami or head east out onto the Atlantic Ocean. This is a nice jumping off point to Bimini.
    Jeff and Michele Prahm aboard MV Java Girl

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Pier 66 Yacht Harbor

  • 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).
    Chris
    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.
    Chris
    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.
    Chris
    S/V Pelican

  • Fort Lauderdale Mooring Field and Florida Mooring Field Analysis (St. M. 1064)

    Well, two for the price of one. Not only do we get news about the Fort Lauderdale mooring field, and how it works, but Captain Austin gives his views on the current situation with the expanding use of mooring fields in the Sunshine State.
    I will say that Fort Lauderdale is one of the only municipalities in the state that can legally restrict anchorage, but ONLY on the cove south of the Las Olas Bridge. That’s because the city has leased this bottom land from the state of Florida, and can do with it whatever they like. Notice though, in the message below, the city is no longer restricting anchorage on Lake Sylvia. That’s because they are NOT leasing this bottom land, and to enforce anchorage regulations here would violate the new Florida statewide anchoring law!

    Well, it has indeed changed. We were there on 29 Apr 2010. The only two unoccupied moorings were near the channel, subject to traffic wakes and the significant current so we went in back to anchor. Our 27-footer with all chain rode is ideal for pocket anchorages. In the late afternoon a boat labelled “harbormaster’ came around from the marina and told us the municipality has made Las Olas a no anchoring zone. I questioned this as the three cruising guides we have aboard all say anchoring is allowed for 24 hours, asking when the rules changed. He did not know, saying Lake Sylvie was the nearest designated anchorage where anchored boats can stay for up to 72 hours.
    He said I should either pick up one of the front moorings or move to Lake Sylvie. I told him we were passage-making and would be off first thing in the morning and asked if he was ordering us to leave. He said he was only advising what the marine police would tell us to do if they came around. Feeling that was unlikely considering the advanced hour, we stayed.
    The next morning we left early. While waiting for the Las Olas bridge to open, the harbormaster boat came around again with a different person aboard who said he knew we wanted to save money but that anchoring was not allowed. I said we were willing to pay for a mooring if an acceptable mooring had been available but to leave a comfortable anchorage for an uncomfortable mooring didn’t make much sense
    The expanding mooring fields in Florida have advantages for cruisers but are motivated by what municipalities want, not designed for cruisers’ needs. The Las Olas field is first come first serve, with no reservation system. What happens if you arrive late and there are no moorings? Only the rare mooring field has a bum boat or welcomes checking in by cell phone, requiring launching your dinghy and many times enduring a wet ride. Las Olas sends around a boat, but that is also a rarity.
    Cruisers are not free of blame. They buy boats bigger than they can afford to cruise in without nickel and diming municipalities, earning the “grotty yachtie” label. Visitors to Florida are the local cash crop and locals need to harvest us to some extent. Arriving with lockers full of provisions, we spend relatively little locally.
    On the other hand, Floridians gouge transients whilst wooing long term stayers with deep discounts, clogging facilities designed for cruising, seemingly competing with those offering land based accommodations. It may make sense to charge more for a hotel short stay, with linen and room cleaning requirements, but not for dockage where the laundry and dirt leave with the boat! Boats are designed for moving, not for living aboard in one place for extended periods. We should not be encouraged to become “boat potatoes”, either by pricing policies or by free anchorages with unlimited staying periods.
    On the south coast of England when we cruised there, it was common to charge a daily anchoring fee. This, and an imposed time limit may be ways to deal with the detritus that inevitably fills up anchorages in warm climes, those without a ‘killing frost’. We are all being forced to pay for it in some way or other.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Austin Whitten
    S/Y “Discovery II”, Vancouver 27

    67.84.70.30
    Submitted on 2010/05/10 at 12:35am
    While I have respect for Discovery II crew’s opinions (sharing your opinion is a great thing!), I would just like to say that our trip through Ft. Lauderdale was a bit different. I’m not an expert by any means on Ft. Lauderdale, so please correct me if I make an incorrect statement.
    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.
    If you are looking to stay a bit longer, 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.
    Alternatively, 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).
    Yes, both options are a bit more than the moorings, but they are reasonably priced alternatives that can be reserved in advance. And you always have Lake Sylvia.
    Chris
    S/V Pelican

  • Cruising Dog Owners Beware in Fort Lauderdale

    If you happen to berth at the City of Fort Lauderdale Las Olas piers, or stay at one of the other nearby private marinas such as Bahia Mar or Hall Of Fame Marina, be sure NOT to walk your dog on nearby Beach Avenue! Read on.

    Can’t say that I enjoyed my stay in Lauderdale last time I visited. I stayed on my 40 foot boat at the City Marina right near the beach, and took my three dogs walking on the main drag along the sand. I saw the signs banning dogs from the beach, so I kept them on the sidewalk. About 3/4 of the way through the walk, a cop stopped me, demanded to see ID, and told me that I was violating the dog walk ordinance since the beach included the street and sidewalks. I asked him how I was supposed to know that, and he gave me the ignorance is no excuse lecture.
    I wouldn’t have minded if he politely asked me to move over a couple of streets, but the cop held me up for 15 minutes as he did a record check, and thorough interrogation. FYI, I looked like a clean-cut, educated 40 y/o who gave him no lip or attitude.
    When he finally finished with me, I abandoned plans to find a restaurant and do some shopping, returned to the boat, and made plans to continue north the next day. I spent nothing during my stay aside from marina rates for one night’s berthing.
    Amazing difference between Lauderdale and most other places along my trip.
    On the plus side, when I came through the next time, I anchored for a week in Lake Sylvia, and had no problem from neighbors, cops, Natural resource officers or other boaters. Kept a low profile, and had a nicely maintained boat. Must depend on how many dirt dwellers complain to the city as to whether you get bothered or not.
    Bob Martinson

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