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More Good Words for Port Salerno Marine in Stuart, FL, off the AICW at Statute Mile 987

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 06-21-2012

Port Salerno Marine lies west of green marker #1 near the south end of Manatee Pocket, departing west and southwest from the intersection of the AICW and Okeechobee Waterway in Stuart, FL.

Danny Also just painted my 46′ island trader motor sailor. I agree so far he has completed the hull and it’s look like it was sprayed. Very good prep and clean up.
Steve & Val Young, FOREVER YOUNG 46′ S/V

Click Here To Read Earlier Remarks about Port Salerno Marine

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Good Words for Sailfish Marina of Stuart (on Manatee Pocket, near St. M. 988)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-28-2012

Sailfish Marina of Stuart on Manatee Pocket (not to be confused with Sailfish Marina near Palm Beach and Lake Worth Inlet), is the first facility encountered after entering the recently dredged Pocket entry passage. Nice to hear that Captain Gary had a good experience here.

We have used Sailfish Marina, just inside the Manatee Pocket, very close to the St. Lucie Inlet. Ray is the contact for maintenance work,
1-772-263-6779. They did a great bottom job and other maintenance on our 504 Carver.
Gary Oles
“Rose’s Pick”

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sailfish Marina of Stuart

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Good Times at Sebastian Inlet Marina (Statute Mile 938)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-11-2012

Note that the “Capt Hiram’s Resort” mentioned in Captain Soule’s report below, and Sebastian Inlet Marina, are one in the same!

Cruising News:
We want to share with the cruising community a great place in Sebastian, Florida to use as a stopover and dinghy shore access point. Capt Hiram’s Resort at AICW MM 938 has a marina that is our favorite place in this area to anchor off of and dinghy into. For some time now they have allowed us to pay for transient dockage for our dinghy at the very fair rate of 25$ a week or 100$ a month. This gives us use of the docks for our dinghy, and use of the showers, the pool and the parking lot. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Within
a mile is a Walmart, an Ace Hardware, and a large RV supply store with good prices.
We anchor just south of their entrance sign on the west side of the channel in 6′ of water (we draw 4′).with good holding in marl.
Capt Hiram’s also has on their entrance sign that they will come out and bring you in to the restaurant with their water taxi if you’ll call on Ch 16 after anchoring.
On site also with their excellent restaurant is a sand bar with live music most nights and concerts most weekends. It’s a very fun spot done up like a Bahamian beach bar including a ships lifeboat to add to the seating.
Try it, you’ll like it! Here’s their website:
http://www.hirams.com/things-to-do-at-the-resort/marina.aspx
David Soule

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sebastian Inlet Marina

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Good Words for Sebastian Inlet Marina, AICW Statute Mile 938

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 05-10-2012

Captain Soule is describing Sebastian Inlet Marina which is west of unlighted daybeacon #66 in Sebastian, FL.

Cruising News:
We want to share with the cruising community a great place in Sebastian, Florida to use as a stopover and dinghy shore access point. Capt Hiram’s Resort at AICW MM 938 has a marina that is our favorite place in this area to anchor off of and dinghy into. For some time now they have allowed us to pay for transient dockage for our dinghy at the very fair rate of 25$ a week or 100$ a month. This gives us use of the docks for our dinghy, and use of the showers, the pool and the parking lot. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Within a mile is a Walmart, an Ace Hardware, and a large RV supply store with good prices.
We anchor just south of their entrance sign on the west side of the channel in 6′ of water (we draw 4′).with good holding in marl.
Capt Hiram’s also has on their entrance sign that they will come out and bring you in to the restaurant with their water taxi if you’ll call on Ch 16 after anchoring.
On site also with their excellent restaurant is a sand bar with live music most nights and concerts most weekends. It’s a very fun spot done up like a Bahamian beach bar including a ships lifeboat to add to the seating.
Try it, you’ll like it! Here’s their website , http://www.hirams.com/things-to-do-at-the-resort/marina.aspx
David Soule

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sebastian Inlet Marina

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More Good Words For Sunset Bay Moorings (and Marina), Stuart, Florida (on the Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River, South Fork)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-23-2012

The praise for this Stuart, Florida facility just keeps piling up here at the Cruisers’ Net. Clearly, this is a GREAT stop on the Okeechobee Waterway, though AICW cruisers should know it’s a trek of several miles up the St. Lucie River from the Waterway to access Sunset Bay. Now, if we could only convince these good folks to become a Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net sponsor!

Just spent 4 nights here [Sunset Bay Moorings and Marina] on a mooring in pretty rough weather. This is one of the best marinas for transient boaters we have found anywhere. 5 stars!
Dave Lanting

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina

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More Good Words for Harbortown Marina, AICW Statute Mile 965, Ft. Pierce, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-19-2012

Harbourtown Marina sits on the northern banks of Taylor Creek, which cuts into the Waterway’s western flank, south of unlighted daybeacon #184, just north of the Ft. Pierce Inlet.

We stayed here April 1st 2012 and had a pleasant stay. We were assigned a fixed pier across from the gas dock. It was long enough to go bow-in an still step off our 32 footer from just forward of the cockpit.
There is a West Marine, a liquor store, and grocery within (uphill) walking distance. The restaurant/bar is frequented by locals and live-aboards but closes early (after my bedtime).
They have wifi that we could access from our boat but you have to create an identity and password to get started with it.
We have been here before and were surprised to discover that a tidal current moves through the marina. To avoid embarrassment (nuff said), check for current when casting off lines.
Max Miller

Stayed here April 7 -8, 2012. We have friends here and tied up near the end of the pier, close to the trees on the cigar-shaped island that separates the marina from the canal. If you react to no-see-ums as my wife does, use muchas bug spray.
This marina has fixed docks but there is no tide here thanks to NASA who built a lock system to keep the sea off their property.
Manatee frequent the marina and gators and sharks have been spotted.
Watch your speed as you approach the Christa McAuliffe Bridge, (the tenders offensively call it the “Rt 3 bridge” saving 3 whole syllables). The tender might scold you and tell you that you are too late for the opening for which you were on time. She also doesn’t seem to monitor 9 until you are approaching and scold you for not calling sooner.
There is a friendly group of live-aboards here and dock parties happen frequently.
Currently, they are running a $0.75 per night (two nights only) special.
Max Miller

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

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Praise for Fort Pierce City Marina, AICW Statute Mile 966.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-06-2012

 Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Sometimes it’s the details that count at this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, whose entrance channel runs to the west, just south of the Fort Pierce high-rise bridge, and well north of unlighted daybeacon #188.

Nice marina, some good places to eat in town, and the only marina in 4 months where the driers dry a load with one cycle.
John Pholeric

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Pierce City Marina

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Praise for Harbourtown Marina, AICW Statute Mile 965, Ft. Pierce, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-27-2012

Harbourtown Marina sits on the northern banks of Taylor Creek, which cuts into the Waterway’s western flank, south of unlighted daybeacon #184, just north of the Ft. Pierce Inlet.

We have just finished a three month stay at Harbourtown and it was great. The marina has just had a major refit with all new pilings and decks, so it is a solid place to dock. It is very sheltered; even in a hard blow the water only ripples. The bathrooms are kept clean. We have a very large golden retreiver, and it was no problem to have him there, for it is dog friendly. A few miles away on North Hutchison Island is a wonderful ocean beach where our dog could swim and run. The Fort Pierce inlet is very close to the marina (20 min.) so it was fantastic for us to day sail as we got to know our boat – we are new sailers. The yacht services seem to be well run if you need work done, and finally the dockmaster, Dan, and his crew are very friendly and helpful.
Ian MacInnis

I was in Ft. Pierce in June, 2011 and shopped price at Harbourtown Marina and the City Marina. At that time Harbourtown Marina was significantly higher in price. I like the Marina and hope that they have gotten more competitively priced since then.
Tim Benner

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

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Good Words for Loggerhead Club Marina, Vero Beach, AICW Statute Mile 948.5

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 02-10-2012

Loggerhead Club Marina lies west and a bit south of the ICW’s unlighted daybeacon #122 in Vero Beach, FL

Very clean marina. Always uniformed staff ready to help. They have one of the best hurricane holes on the east coast. New Publix opening in Sept. 2012 1/2 mile away. They have reduced rates for seasonal and monthly visitors.
Stephen Haigis

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Loggerhead Club Marina-Vero Beach

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Recommended Anchorage South of Melbourne, FL, AICW Statute Mile 923.3

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 12-30-2011

This open unlisted anchorage is on the west side of the Waterway at mile 923.3. Marker #17 is southeast of Cape Malabar.

As I type this I am anchored west of Green Marker 17 just south of Melbourne FL. South of here there is no place to anchor till Ft. Pierce, unless you get a mooring ball at Vero Beach. Vero’s is a great stop and very convenient but they are now almost $15 a day with tax or $430 a month. Heading north this is the first good anchorage, although from here to Titusville you can anchor almost anywhere. The winds today are blowing between 15 and 20 knots and the ride here is very reasonable. This is mainly a overnight stop although I’m spending a few days here to unwind and let the winds shift back to the north.
If you had to, you could dinghy to the west 1/2 mile and find several convenience stores and some other misc shops.
Henry Zalegowski S/V Turn’er Loose

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Green Marker #17

Mother Natures Bites Again! Vero Beach Municipal Marina, AICW Statute Mile 952

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 12-26-2011

Vero Beach MarinaThose bugs can find you anywhere on the water, even at this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! However, if you are cruising through VERO, please stop off here and let them know how much you appreciate their support of the cruising community, by way of their support for the SSECN!

We stayed on a shared mooringball in Vero beach about 3 weeks ago and although had planned to stay for 2 days left after one night because of voracious no seeums ! Unfortunately the people moored alongside us said bugs were not a problem so we did not use nets or take precautions until too late ending up with up to 50 bites each. I must add that we have stayed before in a more breezy location and not had a problem.
Kat

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

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Vero Beach Mooring Field

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Possible Height Discrepancy at Wabasso Bridge, AICW, Statute Mile 943

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 11-29-2011

Wabasso Bridge-crosses the ICW at Statute Mile 943, southeast of unlighted daybeacon #80. Has anyone else noted less than charted vertical clearance as noted by Captain Mathias below. If so/not,please click the “Click Here to Submit Cruising News” link to the upper right, and share your information!

This bridge is not 65′. We are sitting at high tide and the board shows 63 1/4′ with a .48′ total tide.
Pete Mathias

We passed through Wabasso 8 November 2011 with no problem. Our mast is 64.5 with another 3′ for the VHF antenna. The board indicated 64.4, the antenna didn’t touch.
Della

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

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Jones Fruit Dock (Eastern Florida, Statute Mile 945) Question

Posted by admin | Posted on 11-07-2011

Subject: Jones Fruit Dock
Cruising News: This is a question about Jones Fruit Dock at mile 945.7. Does anyone know if it is still possible to dock there? We've stopped on each trip up or down the ICW and have always enjoyed a visit with Dick Jones. Last fall though he was failing and we're wondering whether the dock is still a viable option. Thanks. Connie Bryon aboard Snow Goose

11/7/2011 Jones Fruit Dock is apparently still available for overnight dockage. When we arrived there was another boat already here. We were told that the gate at the end of the dock is normally locked, but a neighbor who has a key, unlocked it. So don’t count on being able to get off the dock. Fees are not being collected at this time.
Barbara Semper

Click Here To Read an Earlier Update On Jones Fruit Dock

Good Words For Sunset Bay Moorings (and Marina), Stuart, Florida (on the Okeechobee Waterway/St. Lucie River, South Fork)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-30-2011

Wow, sounds like a GREAT place to spend the winter months, whether you pick up a mooring, or coil your lines at one of the marina’s wet slips.
Sunset Bay also has the advantage of position. It lies directly on the patch of the Okeechobee Waterway, and only a few miles off the AICW, via the St. Lucie River. See you there!

We see some of you returning from the north. The Sunset Bay Moorings are alive and well and about half full. Stuart has much to offer – close shopping, close restaurants, public transportation(the moorings have private for free also) and good entertainment. The mooring offers fine facilities – lounge, outside seating with tables, ship’s store and a great riverside walking path to downtown. Join us and have a great winter!
Other things that are of interests to cruisers are arts and crafts shows, beautiful public parks, music in the downtown area on many most Sundays and a Sunday green market, all within a comfortable walking distance. There is also limo and bus transportation available to the West Palm Beach airport.
Fred and Elaine DeFoor

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina and Moorings

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Good Words For Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce, FL – Statute Mile 965)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 10-03-2011

Fort Pierce’s Harbortown Marina overlooks the AICW/Indian River’s western banks, a short hop not of Fort Pierce City Marina.

I just returned from a trip where I spend two days at this marina. I was amazed at the changes that I witnessed. Apparently new owners took over this place in the springtime. Since that point, the docks have been completely renovated. The decking has been replaced, many pilings replaced. Existing pilings have been cut to a uniform length and capped. A completely new wireless internet system has been installed. ( service is very fast and reliable ). The main marina building has been renovated and the boaters lounge has flat screen TV, new furniture paint and carpet. The Bar/restaurant now has a large waterview deck overlooking the sportfish area. The Bar itself is completely new and the restaurant has been upgraded substantially. Supposedly it will open at the end of October. The gas pumps are brand new as well. The 150 ton lift is brand new and the small lift has been rebuilt. All the employees have a spring in their step and seem eager to please. It’s obvious the new owners want to run this place the right way. Most definitely recommend and I see this place getting even better in the months ahead.
Jeff S

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

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Fort Pierce City Marina Has a FULL Service Fuel Dock (Statute Mile 966.5)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-23-2011

 Fort Pierce City Marina 1 Avenue A, Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 Toll Free (800) 619-1780 (772) 464-1245 Facsimile (772) 464-2589Well, these pictures speak for themselves, and we sincerely thank Captain Benton for passing them along to the Cruisers’ Net! And, let’s also note that Fort Pierce City Marina is a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!!

Claiborne
Here’s proof that the Fort PIerce City Marina has a ” Full Service ” fuel dock
Bill Benton
aboard ” Courtship”

 

 

Many of you have asked for more info on the “vehicle” pictured in the photos below. We queried Fort Pierce City Marina, and Catpan Bill Benton was kind enough to respond:

Claiborne
Anne ( at the Fort Pierce City Marina) asked me to send you a synopsis of what occurred with the seaplane that landed out in front of the marina.
As you probably recall, this is an older seaplane built in 1947 that left on June 15 from Nassau intending to land at the St. Lucie County Airport. He almost made it but due to a fuel leak, was forced to land on the water in front of the city marina.
The plane engine was designed to run on regular gasoline as opposed to Avgas and was refueled by Craig Kilgore at the city marina fuel pumps. The plane was equipped with a variable pitch propeller which was stuck in reverse causing him all kinds of problems trying to taxi out of the marina. I towed him out into the area in front of the marina and, frankly, was scared to death when 30 yards or so out in the Indian River and still under tow he started the engine up and began to increase the RPMs. I didn’t realize it at the time but in order to shift the propeller from reverse into forward he needed the engine at increased RPMs and oil pressure. I had visions of my 14 foot Edgewater dinghy “ Jester” being run over by an airplane and was more than a little bit nervous. The propeller shifted into forward and I quickly disconnected the tow line and began backing away as fast as I could. The tip of the Port wing actually passed over the bow of my dinghy. He tried several times to take off but was unable to for some reason. He finally shut the engine down and I towed him back into Moore’s creek, backed the plane into the launching ramp and a good Samaritan with a pickup truck tied a line to his Tailhook and pull him backwards up into the parking lot. The plane sat there until Sunday, June 19 while the owner/pilot dealt with all of the Government agencies involved. Customs and Border Protection, FAA, Coast Guard, County Sheriff, City Police, Parking Enforcement ( parked a plane in an area reserved for vehicles with trailers) and hundreds of admirers.
The pilot and I were involved in a number of conversations over the days and he asked me to tow him out of Moore’s creek and into the area in front of the marina early Sunday morning. In the interim, he used borrowed 5 gallon gas cans to add additional gasoline to the plane’s tank and at about 7:30 Sunday morning I towed him out to the area in front of the marina. He taxied for a few minutes out in front of the marina during which time he apparently checked his gauges and instruments, finally taking off southbound where he got airborne quickly. He made a slow circle around the Marina area and on his second pass wiggled the wings to say goodbye. He called me about 10 minutes later and told me that he had landed safely at the St. Lucie County Airport, was topping off his fuel tank and was ready to head home. He called me again early in the afternoon to thank me for my help and advise me that he was safely at home in Bell, Florida, about 30 miles west of Gainesville. So ends the story.
Bill Benton
aboard ” Courtship”

Being an old airplane driver, I believe this is a Republic Aviation “SeaBee” Republic Aviation of P-47, F-84, F-105 fighter fame went into the civil aviation business after WW II. Good to see some are still around
Reginald Holden

Hey, that looks just like the one I carry around on my seaplane catapult on the fantail just aft of turret four.
Rich Gano

Gee!, Does the airplane have right-of-way over a sailboat when its taking off???
Al

Wow. I never cease to be amazed at the “wonders on the water”……… Is that a officer of the law or USCGstanding there looking at the “aero-aqua craft”???
Winston Fowler

Nettles Island Marina, AICW Statute Mile 979.3

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-20-2011

Below is a note about Nettles Island Marina, an Eastern Florida facility that lies directly off the AICW, between Fort Pierce and Stuart.

Nettles Island Marina SM 979.3
Very nice stop. Minimum 8′ approach depth, 9′ at docks. Good restaurant on site and several others within walking distance. Marina has a well-stocked convenience store and small shopping plaza, Publix Market a short cab ride. 10% discount for Boat US. Does not answer VHF. Phone them at 772-229-2811.
Bill Root

We visited Nettles Island Marina on 5/19 and found it be a very nice place. It’s not a 5 star resort but is clean and the dockmaster is extremely friendly and helpful. There are quite a few transient slips and several large boats were there. The only “negative” is they are fixed docks and several boards need replacement. Other than that, we were very glad to have stayed there.
The Landings restaurant was open during our visit for dinner only & the food was fine. I was more impressed with the other services on site like the fully stocked market.
If you are in the area and would like a clean, secure berthing for a day or more, you should definitely check this out!
Jack & Temme Peterson

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Nettles Island Marina

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Excellent Boatyard in Stuart, FL, AICW Statute Mile off the AICW at Statute Mile 987

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 05-08-2011

Port Salerno Marine is west of green marker #1 near the south end of Manatee Pocket, departing west and southwest from the intersection of the AICW and Okeechobee Waterway in Stuart, FL.
For the many cruisers who pass through Stuart, Fl. every year, this will be of interest to you. I recently had my 1985 Albin 36 trawler hauled at Port Salerno Marine for renovations. Jack Sharp runs the yard (772-223-5022) and, unlike some yard managers I’ve encountered, is friendly, welcoming and very helpful. This is a do-it yourself yard and you can do whatever you wish to bite off yourself, but independent (not yard employees) skilled professionals of every discipline at very reasonable prices are readily available in this Manatee Pocket location. I had the entire boat painted, Awlgrip above the waterline and bottom paint. The boat looks like new. Danny Cabrera (772-521-2732) and his crew did a flawless and detailed paint job at a very reasonable price. I also had a new genset and air conditioner installed with 3 new thru hulls and associated electrical panels. My mechanic, Bob Downey (772-485-4292) did a first class installation and really gave a lot of thought to locations, access, maintenance and aesthetics. A real pro, in the process he also caught a few unrelated electrical and hull issues that certainly will help the wife feel more secure on the way to the Bahamas or crossing the Gulf. Bob maintains a long term relationship with his “clients” and treats the boat like his own. The yard is located next to Finz restaurant with Walmart and many boating support companies in the immediate vicinity.
Skipper Jim Tracey aboard Albin 36 “O’Dea” MTOA # 3919

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Harbortown Marina (Fort Pierce, FL, near Statute Mile 965)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-29-2011

Here’s a well thought our review of what sounds to be Captain home marina.

We’d like to clarify the reports about the conditions of the docks here at Harbortown. Overall the conditions are acceptable. And certainly the staff is very courteous and helpful.
My beef with Harbortown is the design of their docks. These are designed for big sport fishing boats that back into the dock with their twin screws. The pier, per se, only extends 15′ or so NOT the full length of the slip. So a sailboat or any boat for that matter, that pulls in bow first, has a high step off the bow to climb on to the dock.
Moreover, the pilings at the stern of the dock (if you are bow in) are excessively high if you are sitting in a cockpit a few feet off the water. I’d speculate they are 12′-15′ high and make for a very hard piling to lasso from the cockpit, so you get blown to the windward side.
While painfully functional, the design is old and tired compared with modern, floating docks.
Jeff Graham

Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Harbortown Marina – Fort Pierce

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The Good and the Less Than Good at Sunset Bay Marina (Stuart, Fl – Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 7)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-25-2011

The recently rebuilt and enlarged facility has garnered a host of favorable comments here on the Cruisers’ Net. Below, Captain takes a look at both side of the proverbial coin.

Lots of good comments regarding this marina and staff here. I moved over here in January from another local marina with intent on making this my permanent home port but am leaving after 4 months. Some good points to be aware of … some not so good.
Sunsets are to die for here. Locals and tourists line up on the seawall by the restaurant to watch and photograph them.
Pricing was considerably more expensive here for a lift slip than where we came from. But given the resort-like feel, the proximity to my house, nice ship’s store for sundries, cleanliness and the comments here about staff we felt this was a good move and that the $250 more per month we would pay would be worth the cost increase.
The lifts are brand new and there are 10 or 12 of them at the marina. I had to adjust the bunks to my specifications after the staff told me that the bunks could not be tilted (they can be). They are a bit slow and have no automatic raise/lower feature enabled, but there is a good 8 feet of water under them. The current happens to run in-line with the lifts so getting on and off even in a cross-wind is easy.
For transients, this is definitely one of the better marinas in Stuart in terms of facilities, boat access and nearby amenities. Note the comments above with other posters really reflect and center around the transient and live-aboard populations.
Fuel pricing is competitive with the other local marinas. The problem of boats running the Okeechobee waterway at speed parallel to the fuel dock has been resolved with a “Slow, Minimum Wake Zone”.
For locals, parking is incredibly limited and gets way worse during weekends when the Sailors Return restaurant gets wound up. The marina started using a valet parking service in an attempt to deal with what they even admit is a very poor parking lot design with small spaces and too few spaces.
At first the valets were best described as rude and confrontational with the paying marina partrons and restaurant customers but that seems to have been ironed out. A parking permit sticker is made available to marina patrons and we get priority handling without the attitude from the valets.
My experience with the staff was mixed. Some were among the most customer-oriented and customer-friendly people I have conducted business with. Others not so much … with some pretty surprising authoritarian and uncaring attitudes toward the paying customer from a few. Once in a while is just a bad day but there are a couple of guys there that just do not get it and it is recurring enough to be noticed.
One example of staff not meeting my expectations: We had one recurring issue with dock people driving their three wheel electric scooters at high speed on the narrow docks. Even after repeatedly asking the offending staff guys to slow down, the behavior continued. The Harbormaster did tell me after complaint to him that he would slow them down, but it did not happen.
After nearly being hit on the narrow dock while getting some supplies from my dock box once too often, we decided to move on. You cannot hear these scooters coming so be aware of this safety issue especially of you end up on the “A” dock that has the fuel dock at the end. Be told “coming through!” as the dock boy flies by is just not acceptable.
Another example of staff not meeting expectations: Last weekend while I was not there, my son was reportedly told by one of the staff that he was not allowed to wash our boat due to South Florida Water Management District regulations forbidding water use. I was not there to see who actually said this but that was incorrect.
When I talked to the Harbormaster about this and to point out that SFWMD does not have a rule forbidding boat or car washing, he agreed and stated that he did not ask people to not wash boats. He did state that the marina has high water bills and that they are asking people to conserve water. I suspect something got lost in interpretation with one of the staff when this issue was discussed with them.
So… *some* staff is great and “gets” it. Others I am not so sure I would say do.
Ultimately, we just did not feel we were getting the value and service expected for the *premium* price charged us. Granted there are a good 300 slips here and our experience needs to be taken in light of how many seem happy. We were disappointed to have to leave but decided it was for the best for us.
I hold no ill will with Sunset Bay Marina and wish them luck. They just have a few things to work on as I suspect they have back-slid a bit since opening.
Bill Barrett

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