Posted by Claiborne | Posted on 12-28-2009
I am sorry to hear that things are not going well at Rickenbacker Marina. This faciltiy is owned by the city of Miami, and its fortuntes rise and fall with the city’s current state of affairs.
We were long term customers here, both mooring and slip.
The moorings are in the middle of allot of power boat and jet ski activity, in and around the marina, and also exposed to northerly winds which tend to be the stronger winds we get in the winter, what I did and would recommend, pay for the mooring to have access to the marina facilities but anchor in the marine stadium that has excellent holding and is very well protected, gets just a chop even in high winds. You’ll sleep well there. Bear in mind that I have heard over and over that anchoring will be prohibited there but last I heard boats were still anchoring there. On the plus side the moorings are well maintained, screw type and our boat at the time an Oday 39 survived hurricane Wilma on the mooring.
The dingy dock at the marina is just a mud bank under some mangroves so your shoes get muddy and your dingy will quickly foul from the wet decaying leaves inside your boat. That was always a headache. If you are there for just a few days you can put up with it. The bathrooms are in poor condition so you may prefer to shower on your boat.
The marina facilities are in urgent need of a renovation and last I heard the City of Miami had a complete renovation plan for Virginia Key that included the marina putting up some millions for a major refit. Don’t know if the renovations have begun yet or if they will ever materialize.
As for the slips, they have no finger piers which was a major headache with our now double ender, not so bad with other type boats but not ideal at all, and just two pilings outboard, not ideal for tying up either, and with no central pilings it’s very easy to end up banging into the boat alongside on a windy day. With all the power boat action outside the marina and mega yachts passing by on the inter coastal, strong wakes come in and really thrash the boats especially on weekends but sometimes even in the middle of the night I thought I was going to fall out of my bunk. Double up the lines and get a slip as far in as your draft will allow and if you have a choice don’t get a slip beyond 3/4 out on the piers. On the plus side security is extremely tight, cameras everywhere. Nothing get’s lifted at these docs without it being filmed.
An excellent, very friendly and helpful staff, unfortunately at a marina needing a breakwater and major renovations / redesign. Hopefully it will get done.