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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers
 Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Twin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.comGulf Harbour Marina    
ICW Marker 73, 4.5 miles from Gulf of Mexico  
14490 Vista River Dr.,
Fort Myers, FL 33908
239-437-0881
gulfharbourmarina@comcast.netSouthwest Florida Yachts239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Pink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaLocated at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City ofBoca Grande Marina, Gasparilla Island, Florida
Regatta Pointe MarinaFisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLSt. Andrew's MarinaThe Town of Fort Myers Beach proudly operates and maintains the Matanzas Harbor Municipal Mooring Field. The field boasts 70 mooring balls available for public rental year-round, and accommodates vessels up to 48 feet in length. The mooring field is located east of the Sky Bridge between San Carlos and Estero Islands in Matanzas Pass. For recreational cruisers, the Fort Myers Beach Mooring Field is a wonderful destination. Coming ashore at the Town’s dinghy dock puts boaters in walking distance to beaches, restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and public transportation. Mooring ball rental fees are $13/day or $260/month. All renters MUST register with Matanzas Inn upon arrival. The dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). The dock is located beneath the Sky Bridge between Matanzas Inn Restaurant and the public fishing pier. The Port St. Joe Marina is at the heart of Florida's Forgotten Coast, on the eastern shore of pristine St. Joseph Bay on Florida's northern Gulf Coast. Located between Panama City and Apalachicola, FlPunta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by Boaters

Archive For: West FL – 5 – Caloosahatchee River to Fort Myers

  • Southwest Florida Yachts Has A New “Boating Dog!”

    Southwest Florida YachtsI will dearly miss “Star, who I met and played with many times over the years.” What a great pooch, BUT hats off to Barb and Vic Hansen for rescuing “Skye!” Both I and the “first-rate, first-mate,” Karen Ann, have been the proud parents of a (now) ten year old Labrador Retriever, named “Sonny” for four years. I risk no inaccuracy when I tell one and all that you will never know a truer form of love than what comes your way from a rescued animal. They will give you back ten fold whatever you give them. So, please remember that when it comes time to select your next four legged companion.
    For the moment, though, a hearty WELCOME to Skye, and many thanks to Barb and Vic at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Southwest Florida Yachts for sharing news of their new friend!

    Call me Skye the Boating Dog
    By Skye Hansen
    October 2011

    My name is Skye. I’m the new Border Collie around here. My assignment is to be the office dog and security dog for the Southwest Florida Yachts charter fleet. I also serve as the personal house pet and boat dog for my new parents, Barb and Vic Hansen.
    Barb, my new mom, asked me to write this month’s column so I could tell you my story.
    I’m not a puppy. I’m already five and a half. The Hansens adopted me just a few months ago after their beloved Star passed away at the age of 16. They were very sad. One day Aunt Theresa at the animal clinic called them and told them she had a dog – that was me – who needed a home and some attention. They decided to give me a try.
    Of course, I had to be on my best behavior because I knew right away that this would be a special place. First of all, I would not have to work 24/7 and sleep outside in the yard like with my first assignment. Before I was given up for adoption, my first parents kept me outdoors all the time. Today I have my own bed inside an air-conditioned house.
    Right off the bat I learned it would not be a good idea to bother the house kittens or chew on the sofa. No big deal. Mom gives me really good food and lots of yummy treats. I’m pretty sure I’ve passed the probationary period.
    I’ve come to understand that I’ve got four big feet to fill. Star the wonder dog was Barb and Vic’s heart and joy. She was a Border Collie, too, which endowed her with exceptional skills.
    Mom told me that Star was the official greeter at Southwest Florida Yachts. Her job was to welcome all, smile, and to lie down and be quiet when they had visitors. I hear ya, Mom.
    They took me to Marinatown where the fleet boats are headquartered. Mom told me Star was very good at patrolling the docks at the marina, providing security of a sort and shooing away birds from the boats. Heck, I can do that. When I was at the pound I overheard somebody say that that the local airport was spending $5,000 to train a border collie like me to chase birds off the runway. For free dog food and medical care I can shoo birds from boats. It’s in my DNA.
    Please understand I have nothing against birds. It’s only that they need to know that there is a place for everything and a boat isn’t one of them. I went on a short weekend cruise with Mom and Dad recently and, oh boy, did I learn that lesson.
    I haven’t been on any extended cruises but I’m really looking forward to them. They told me Star liked to pace around the boat and when a dolphin surfaced she’d give a shout out to the passengers to let them know the show had started. Mom told me the more Star ran around the deck barking at the dolphins, the more they would perform. I could do that.
    I’m good to go. I could even write a guest column now and then.
    Just call me Skye the Boating Dog.

  • Southwest Florida Yachts Announces 30′th Anniversary Specials

    Southwest Florida YachtsWe are proud to have such as long-lived nautical enterprise as Southwest Florida Yachts as a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! Of course, we are not at all prejudiced you understand, but the entire Cruisers’ Net bunch would wager more than a few scheckles that you will not find a better charter agency anywhere in Florida, for sail or powercraft.
    Congratulations to owners Barb and Vic Hansen!!!! Here’s to the next 30 years!!!!

    SOUTHWEST FLORIDA YACHTS ANNOUNCES 30th ANNIVERSARY PROMO
    The firm announces free cruising days from 2012 to 2014.
    NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. – A 30-year anniversary is a very big deal in the recreational boating industry. Anticipating its big Three-Oh, Southwest Florida Yachts announced a three-year “Berth Day” party culminating in 2014.
    Barb Hansen, co-owner and manager, said the premier chartering firm will give charter customers free cruising days in 2012, 2013 and 2014 on all power and sailing vessels.
    Hansen said it works like this: if you set up a three-days or longer cruise between December 15 and April 30 you’ll get one free cruising day. That’s the winter season. And if you cruise in the summer season you’ll get two free cruising days.
    “It feels very good to be cruising toward another milestone,” said Hansen. She started Southwest Florida Yachts with her husband Vic in 1984 and once described the big decision this way:
    “The year was 1984. Nuclear arms controls with the Soviet Union were unraveling. The prime loan rate was 13 percent. Vic and I started Southwest Florida Yachts. I guess we were in an ‘Oh, what the heck’ state of mind. Hey, if you’re going to get hit by a nuclear bomb, why not move to Florida, get married, start a yacht chartering business and a yacht school and, as they say, live happily ever after.”
    So far, so very good, Hansen reports.
    Today, the company maintains 11 power yachts from 32 to 50 feet at its headquarters at Marinatown Marina in N. Fort Myers just off the Caloosahatchee River. This provides convenient access to the scenic and protected Gulf cruising channels around Pine Island and along Sanibel-Captiva and other Gulf of Mexico barrier islands. The five-vessel sailing fleet charter base is Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda on beautiful Charlotte Harbor. Casting off from either location gives charterers access to what many consider the number one cruising area in the United States.
    Southwest Florida is ranked as one of the best cruising and sailing areas in the world. Visitors have scored the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva as the best islands to visit for their ambiance, beaches, friendliness, restaurants and scenery.
    For more information visit http://www.swfyachts.com, email info@swfyachts.com or phone 800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339.

  • Legacy Harbour Marina (Caloosahatchee River – Fort Myers Waterfront)

    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.Legacy Harbour Marina is one of two side by side SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, on the downtown Fort Myers waterfront, the other being the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin. Clearly, Legacy Harbour has a LOT going for it, and all the many Fort Myers downtown attractions and dining are within easy walking distance!

    My wife and I enjoyed our stay, last winter, at the Municipal Marina, however, we’re looking forward to staying at Legacy Harbor Marina this winter. We’ve visited (walking) their facility on several occasions and are very impressed. Not only are their facilities impressive, the staff was extremely pleasant and down-to-earth. Looking forward to staying there this winter!
    Mike

    Your recent posting about Legacy Marina in Ft. Myers is absolutely true. It is a great place to stay.
    All docks are floating and in excellent shape. The staff is most accommodating and available.
    The ability to walk to nearby downtown facilities is also very good. A very fine Oriental restaurant exists just southeast of the marina, within a few blocks walking distance. This marina is a “must” when transiting the Ft. Myers area.
    Capt. Ken Wright
    North Palm Beach, FL

    December 2010 and January 2011 we spent at Legacy and loved every day of it. The staff is knowledgeable, very helpful and an asset to the marina. The Edison-Ford Museum is just down the street and is a must-see. We could easily spend 5-6 hours there. Ft. Myers downtown has been revitalized and is also a short walk. We look forward to our next visit to Legacy Harbour Marina.
    Laura Bender

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Legacy Harbour Marina

  • Grounded 27-Foot Sailing Vessel Reported on Caloosahatchee River, North of Fourmile Point (near OKW St. M. 137)

    We have plotted the position of the grounded sailcraft reported in the Local Notice to Mariners extract below, and it lies fairly close to the Caloosahatchee River’s western shoreline, north of Paradise Yacht Club. Considering its position, this derelict will probably affect most cruising craft, absent a rather gross navigational error. Nevertheless, all navigators operating on the waters of the Caloosahatchee River near Paradise Yacht Club, should take extra caution.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-FORT MYERS-CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER: Hazard to Navigation
    There is an aground 27FT white sailing vessel anchored and lit in the Caloosahatchee River in approximate position 26-37.8N 081-54.7W. All
    mariners are advised to use caution when transiting the area. Chart 11427

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the General Location of the Grounded Vessel Reported Above

  • Thoughts on Summertime Western Florida Cruising by Captain Barb Hansen

    Southwest Florida YachtsCaptain Barbara Hansen is a long time friend of yours truly, and the co-owner of Southwestern Florida Yachts, the premiere chartering agency in southwestern Florida, and a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    View from the Marina
    It’s Summertime and the Cruising is Easy
    By Barb Hansen
    July 2011
    I was browsing you-know-what and read something a parent posted online. I Googled manatees. It was about Florida manatees, of course, but this entry reminded me about the wonderful age of 10.
    And, may I suggest, it also was about why cruising in Florida ought to be on the summer vacation to-do list for every young family.
    It was posted on an online form and the parent wrote, “We just got home from our wonderful trip to Sanibel for the first time. We saw a mother manatee nursing two babies near the lighthouse close to the shore on Friday Aug. 7… She also had about five other babies waiting their turn just poking their little noses out of the water. What an awesome sight for my 10 yr old daughter and me.”
    This was an awesome sight and awesome times 100, I think, because it was shared by a parent and 10-year-old. Ten-year-olds – I’m sure you know this – are the perfect age for an experience like this but, hey, I’m sure this would be a wonderful thing to see for all children above the age of reason up to and including their parents.
    The thing is, seeing manatees and frolicking dolphins in the wild is not at all unusual in Florida in the summer, especially when you’re on a boat. They call this the “low season” but manatees and dolphins don’t know that. For Florida’s wildlife, summer is the high season.
    By the way Sanibel, mentioned by the parent of the 10-year-old, is one of our famous Gulf barrier islands and it helps shape the popular, protected cruising corridors on either side of Pine Island.
    Here at Southwest Florida Yachts the summer pace is a tad more relaxed after a busy “high” season of chartering vessels to snowbirds escaping the cold up north. In the summer the calls often come from moms and dads asking what summer cruising is like because this is summer vacation and their kids are out of school. They’ve done Disney, and they are so over Disney.
    Oh it’s very good, I say. Then I’m off on a summertime is the best time riff. Cruising is the just right thing for a family with children to do on summer vacation.
    I tell them about seeing manatees and dolphins in the wild. I tell them about seeing a thousand wading birds feeding on a shallow flat and a thousand stars twinkling from the dark sky at night. It’s summertime. Living is easy. Fish are jumping.
    I like showing off our lovely part of Florida to visitors during the low season and I’ve always thought it way too sad that so many fail to come here at a time of the year when Florida really shines.
    This is “Real Florida,” as the tourism people call it. It really is. And the cruising is easy.
    Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts

  • Praise for Owl Creek Boat Works, Alva FL, east of Ft. Myers, Statute Mile 124.5

    Owl Creek Boat Works and Storage Inc. is located 10 miles east of downtown Ft. Myers on the Caloosahatchee River between markers 5 and 6, turn north at sign and follow marked channel.

    Owl Creek is one of those “old school” yards where craftsmen still take a personal pride in their work. Each man (I think the whole crew is about 13) has one or more primary skills (diesel engine repair, custom woodwork, electronics, etc) plus a secondary skill (bottom paint, propeller replacement, etc.) The owner (Butch Futch) walks the yard about twice a day keepingan eye on each project and offering suggestions. Pricing is not a bargain but is fair and reasonable for the quality of the work. And they offer 100% satisfaction guarantee. Hard to find a good yard anywhere these days (none left in Annapolis, Thunderbolt is still good, Lauderdale depends on the individual more than the yard) so finding a place like these tucked away on the north shore of the Caloosahatcheee is a find. Hope other people can benefit from what I’ve experienced there.
    Bert Jones aboard SEA BEAR 54′ Krogen trawler

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Owl Creek Boat Works

  • Happy Times at Fort Myers Yacht Basin (St. Lucie River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    Located at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City ofWell, of course Captains Connie and Ron enjoyed their time at this first-rate, city run facility. After all, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    We were live-aboards here for over 2 years and loved it! Dock personnel are the most qualified, helpful, responsive, and friendly of ANY marina we have been in. They will even have someone stand by after hours to recieve and help you if you call ahead.
    They generally have the lowest price in the area on fuel and are very diligent in maintaining clean, filtered fuel…no water or algea contamination.
    Tell Leif and Wendy “Hi” from
    Ron and Connie!

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Myers Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

  • Bimini Basin Anchorage (Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 145)

    The route to Bimini Basin can be a little convoluted for first-timers, but once you get there, cruisers will discover one of the most sheltered anchorages imaginable. On the other hand, we have been told by a Fort Myers cruising authority that the holding ground here is “suspect.” We have never had any problem getting our hook to hold, and clearly, as you will read below, Captain Gorham did not have that problem either.

    We overnighted at the Bimini Basin anchorage on our way to Cayo Costa and had a pleasant evening. We found the holding to be quite good in grey sticky mud – it got a test because just before dawn a squall blew through with a 180 degree wind shift and 30+ knot winds and we did not budge. The anchor was set so well I had to yank it out with the engine. Jonathan Gorham Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Bimini Basin Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Bimini Basin Anchorage

  • Bimini Basin Anchorage (Cape Coral, off the Caloosahatchee River)

    We have anchored any number of times in Bimini Basin, and you could hardly find a more sheltered spot to spend an evening. Also, as Captain Nicole describes below, the nearby dinghy docking at a public park is welcome indeed.
    On the other hand, while we have never had trouble getting our anchor to hold here, local cruisers have warned that the basin’s holding ground is not up to really heavy weather. Apparently, at least of portion of the basin bottom is silty. At all other times though, give this spot a try!

    Cruising News*: Just wanted to let everyone know that there is a great anchorage in Cape Coral that beats the moorings/anchorage in the city of Fort Myers hands down. Protected, nice dinghy dock at a park, grocery store, hardware store, west marine, and bus transfer station less than a mile’s walk away. GREAT spot to re-provision and all around great anchorage.
    Nicole

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bimini Basin Anchroage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Bimini Basin Anchorage

  • Fort Myers Boat Storage Recommendations

    Below is copied an interesting discussion from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) list about good places to store one’s boat in the Fort Myers region of the Western Florida coastline.

    I need to store my 35 ft trawler somewhere near the Ft. Myers area, while I fly up north for knee surgery. Probably 4 to 6 months.
    Anyone have suggestions for a reasonable, no frills, dry storage yard in the area.
    Glades

    All American Boat Storage and Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage are next door to one another up a freshwater canal off Charlotte Harbor north of Ft. Myers. Both are first class and reasonable.
    RC
    Punta Gorda

    I concur with Charlotte Harbor Storage. Last time I was there it was a well run, clean operation. They do allow owners to work on their own boats if necessary.
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Indian+Rocks+Beach,+Florida+33785&l l=26.87688,-82.234919&spn=0.004172,0.006877&t=h&z=17
    or Tiny URL
    http://tinyurl.com/5wewmal
    Joel Wilkins
    m/s Miss Magoo

    Glades Boat Storage, Moore Haven, FL
    863-983-3040
    Patrick and Margie

    You might want to call Owl Creek Boatworks in Alva, FL. It is just north of FT. Myers on the Caloosahatcee. He has covered fresh water storage and said no damage during Charlie.
    RB

  • Mysterious No-Wake Zone on Caloosahatchee River West of Fort Myers

    I remember the no-wake zone described below by Captain. I could find no satisfactory explanation for its presence either.

    There is a no wake zone about one mile south of the Cape Coral Bridge. It is in the middle of the river and I can see on reason for it. As you say, it is heavily patrolled.
    Do you know why and who determines the no wake zones?
    Thanks
    William Wallis

    I am not entirely sure but I believe that is part of the “miserable mile” and I think that it is a manatee area. I am not sure why else it would be no wake, though being sailors who get waked frequently we kind of like it
    BE CAREFUL there if you have a faster boat, on a busy day we have seen as many as 5 FWC, police, and/or other enforcement boats in this area.
    Nicole

    Sounds like the zone from marker 72 to 76, which is not in the miserable mile. It’s at the entrance to Gulf Harbour Marina. It is a manatee zone by name, but why it’s really there I have no idea. It is patrolled much of the time.
    David Bernstein

  • Good Times at Fort Myers Yacht Basin (Okeechobee Waterway – Caloosahatchee River)

    Located at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City ofFort Myers City Yacht Basin is, quite simply, one of the best city owned and run marinas in the Southeaster USA. It’s a great place to begin or end your trip on the Okeechobee Waterway, not to mention your exploration of the Western Florida coastline. And, lest we forget, these good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

    I’ve been in marinas from the Great Lakes to Venezuela including 3 years at Ft. Myers Yacht Basin. In short, it’s Comfortable, Clean, and Convenient and well staffed with Mgr. Leif and his experienced, extremely helpful crew.
    Downtown Ft. Myers has gone through a total renewal and is a fun place to be. This marina just may be one of the shining diamonds of this wonderful city.
    Jim, M/V Blue Tang
    cruising the Bahamas

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Fort Myers Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

  • Bottom Paint Yard Recommendations in the Fort Myers Region (Western Florida)

    The messages below were copied from the ACLCA (American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association) Mail List. They were all in response to a request for recommendations as to bottom painting yards in the Fort Myers region of Western Florida.

    Ft Myers Beach —Olsen’s Marine or Gulf Marine Ways.
    We’ve used Gulf Marine Ways twice– we were happy with the work. We’re hauling out after first of the year and will probably go with Olsens (they are under new management) because we want to do our own work and they will do the work or DIY.
    Steve and Gina Smith
    M/v Island Time
    Cape Coral, Fl

    I’ve used Olsen Marine in Fort Myers Beach. They are a bit pricey, but I thought they did a good job. I’ve heard good things about Owl Creek Marine, about 15 miles up the Calosahachee River, and that their rates are much better.
    Carl Schultz, Fort Myers, FL

    We use Black Hawk and love it. We get three years from it when applied by a good boat yard. Had it done in Brandeton’s Sneed Island Boat Yard. Paint is manufactured locally and costs more than $200 a gallon but you can save by purchasing it over the internet. Make sure the boat yard will apply paint they didn’t sell.
    Jack on Honga
    Krogen-42

    We would also recommend Gulf Marine. There is also Olson Marine, a smaller yard nearby, for smaller boats. For a harder bottom Paint on a Faster sport cruiser, try Petit Trinidad SR. We once tried an ablative paint on our sportfish and felt it affected our performance.

    There are two areas in Ft Myers Beach that do bottom painting that I am aware of.
    1. Snook Bight Marina – 239-765-4371; Enter from the north under the Manatanzas Pass Bridge. Contact gen mgr Larry Sincoskie. They did a terrific job on our 38′ a few years ago and I last saw them doing a SeaRay 42. They use a 50,000 lb fork lift for haul out, and rack store up to 45′ vessels inside.
    We have used Trinidad SR for years in salt water and it has been excellent.
    2. Gulf Marine @ 239-463-1666. w/ 150 ton travel lift. They do work on large and small cruisers, both power and sail; but I have no personal experience with them.
    Regards,
    Tom
    m/v Marbles

    Bob & Annies Boatyard in St James City – at the south end of Pine Island – does a very good job, and can haul by crane or (gasp!) marine railway
    Captain Mike Smith

  • Praise for Southwestern Florida Yacht (North Fort Myers – Caloosahatchee River)

    Southwest Florida YachtsI have known Barbara and Vic Hansen, the owners of Southwestern Florida Yachts, for years and years, and can honestly say I’ve never found a better run charter operation than theirs. And, all the MANY great cruising possibilities on Western Florida’s Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor, including Boca Grande, are within an easy day’s cruise of their base of operations. If you are thinking about chartering in Western Florida, click the sponsorship panel to the left of this message. Your search is ended. And, oh yes, Southwestern Florida Yachts is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    We are definitely biased having our boat in charter at Southwest FloridaYachts in N. Ft. Myers..but. we used other charter company in this areabefore we made our choice and they are definitely a 1st class operation.
    Chas & Bev

  • Thoughts on the Changing Seasons in Southwestern Florida

    Barb Hansen, author of the article below, is co-owner of Southwestern Florida Yachts in North Fort Myers, Florida. These good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and, by the way, one of the best charter operations in all of Florida!!!!

    View from the Marina
    Florida’s Four Seasons
    By Barb Hansen
    October 2010

    The full moon in late September this year was as big and as beautiful as it can be and it was accompanied by the most delicious breeze from the north, a harbinger of well-deserved, cooler weather for those of us who live in Southwest Florida.
    Now for at least nine months more the climate will be exceptionally good, proving again the area deserves its “paradise” title.
    This is the time of the year when I have to remind myself not to phone friends up north and brag about our weather, especially not when they’re getting cold fronts and, with autumn’s shorter days, must turn on their car lights at 4:30 p.m.
    People say Florida doesn’t have seasons. That’s incorrect.
    The temperature differential may not be as dramatic in Fort Myers as it is in Fort Wayne, but signs of seasonal change are just as unmistakable if you are tuned in to the sights and sounds of the subtropics.
    Winter is wonderful, of course. I think of it as the season of roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets and wood storks feeding on mud flat at low tide. Natives get chilly sometimes but those who know how cold it gets in other climes are comfortable and so grateful they are not shoveling snow. Personally, I like a wind chill of 75 degrees and break out the winter jacket when the temperature drops into the 60’s.
    By late March, the cold fronts seem to lose their punch and the flora and fauna of spring emerge. April and May are a special time of the year when tired, tiny tanagers and warblers hitch rides and a rest on your boat railing before flitting off in search of a berry tree on Sanibel Island. Our eyes and noses delight in the flowering trees — fragrant yellow frangipani, fire-red poinciana, lavender-blue jacaranda.
    Summer arrives with the first thunderstorm and the “full moon in June” as the saying goes. Shy cereus cactus flowers make their one-night-only appearances in June. Summer mornings are clear and clouds build throughout the day. On the water, the tarpon are rolling and a fishing frenzy ensues in the waters of Southwest Florida.
    Summer is relaxing on the flybridge, in the shade of a Bimini, with a cool drink in hand, watching a pod of dolphins circle in on their fresh fish entrée. This is the “low” season. Okay. Whatever.
    I love it here in Southwest Florida, as you can tell. Still, I’ve come to the point of view that no one place is perfect unless you make it so. I like to read and when I’m wrapped up in a great novel I don’t care where I am so long as the chair is comfortable. In fact, if it were snowing outside and I was close to a crackling fire, that would be just dandy.
    But dyed in the wool boaters logically migrate toward Florida (and they will leave their woolens behind). Snow skiers probably want to be close to the Rockies, High Sierras, or the Cascades. Surfers prefer the Pacific. We have traveled to all of those places and beyond, but as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”
    So maybe no one place is perfect but, like those snowbirds on the yacht pulpit, we can fly to some other place and suit our changing weather whims.
    As a Floridian who spent her first 20 years in the Midwest, I can tell you that I feel the change of seasons in the Sunshine State just as much as I did back in Indiana. Whatever the season, Florida suits me just fine.

    Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters, and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at info@swfyachts.com, phone 1-800-262-7939 or visit http://www.swfyachts.com/

  • Sanibel Island Marina

    Sounds like Captain Dale had a good experience at Sanibel Island Marina. This facility is found just a short hop south of the Sanibel Island Bridge.

    Spent three nights here in June. Coming from Stuart on the East Coast we wanted to stay close to one of the beaches. It is not easy to hoof it anywhere. Our slip mates broke out their dinghy and explored a great deal including the beach. All beach accesses require a 2 dollar per hour fee. They are dog friendly however.
    Gramma Dots restaurant at the marina was great but busy. We were part of the attraction as many patrons stopped to talk to us and snap photos.
    Each morning we were given a newspaper and warm blueberry muffins. The staff and esp dock master were some of the best. If you are looking for a quiet layover this is the place.
    Dale

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sanibel Island Marina

  • A Happy Experience at City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin (Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway)

    The City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin is one of the very best city owned and managed facilities I have ever reviewed. And, we are not just saying that because these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! Not only is the dockage secure and the staff as helpful as can be, but all downtown Fort Myers attractions and dining spots are within easy walking distance.

    We passed this marina on our way to Sanibel. About 30 min later we were hit by a ferocious thunderstorm, winds gusting 40 and us in a narrow winding channel for the first time. A call to Ft Myers sea tow confirmed the same all the way to Sanibel. We turned around and called the Ft Myers Yacht Basin, were talked in close then lost comms prob due to the constant lightning. As we passed the breakwater, I saw a lone figure waiting on the end of the dock in foul weather gear. He helped us dock in the height of the storm and we were tied up tight. Stayed the night. Staff were very helpful and friendly. As it was Sunday night, most of the restaurants and businesses were closed. Clean facility, nice laundry, great showers.
    Dale

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin

  • High Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers on the Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 135.5

    Legacy Harbour Marina is located along the Caloosahatchee’s southeasterly banks in the heart of downtown Fort Myers, southeast of flashing daybeacon 49.

    I heartily agree with the positive comments about Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers. We were part of a group of four boats from Solomons, MD that went south this past winter. Some of our group had visited Ft. Myers and vicinity by car the previous winter to check out potential places to stay and Legacy Harbour as well as Ft. Myers came out as top choice. All of the perks mentioned above are true. We arrived towards in early February just before it began to blow and blow and blow. Once there, we never left until heading back home across the lake. It was just too cold and windy. Apart from the amenities discussed above, the cruiser’s group there has potluck dinners each week. There was also a group dinner out each week to a new restaurant with those with cars driving those without. We were tied up on D dock, the outer breakwater and that was an experience when the winds were from the northwest across the river. Dave and his staff at Legacy Harbour really made everyone welcome and went out their way to help out. Another plus coming up in the installation of dockside pump outs for all the docks. D dock will probably be last on the list but, this amenty is really welcome. After checking out Naples and Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour would surely be our choice for a return visit.
    Curt Larsen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

  • Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers – on the Caloosahatchee River – Okeechobee Waterway St. M. 135.5)

    21 March to 13 April 2010.
    We chose Legacy over the nearby municipal marina as it had a reduced weekly rate, a rarity in this part of the world. Staying a second week, it was cheaper paying for a month although we pushed on after three weeks and it was still a bargain. I heartily agree with all of the superlatives previously posted
    Comparing it with the other marina which we visited by foot as it has a nice small marine store with a complete supply of local government charts, Legacy is within easier walking distance to a Publix. The municipal marina is closer to downtown which offers boutique-type shops, restaurants, a coffee house and a newly opened, well-stocked, dollar store. The Thursday farmer’s market is handy to both marinas.
    The big plus for us was metered electricity. Instead of paying up to $12/day for 30 amp service, our entire three-week stay amounted to $5.85, or $.30/day. For the first and only time, we were able to see exactly how much we were paying in excess of our actual usage.
    The fixed break-wall at municipal offers more protection from the swell from river traffic and wind blowing across the wide expanse of river. Legacy’s floating dock break-wall dampens it down but the entrance, open to the north, allows the swell to snake in. Finger dock slips are available extending from the break-wall that offer a nice view of the river but in stronger winds it’s an adventurous trip navigating to shore whilst dodging the odd wave breaking over the dock. We were on a floating dock closer in.
    Most of the cruisers we met at Legacy were repeat customers, coming back year after year to stay for a week or two like us, taking advantage of a reduced rate for a period shorter than a month.
    We made good use of the Fort Myers bus system as well as periodically renting cars for day trips. There is an Enterprise, Avis and Hertz nearby. All offered to pick us up and return us to the marina.
    A nearby restaurant, Sub & Pub, is unique and good value for money. Neither a submarine sandwich parlor nor a true pub, it offers daily home cooked specials – hearty portions at bargain prices – as well as regular fare. The relaxed, folksy decor was a welcome change from the restaurant chains. In the latter category, a Joe’s Crab Shack is located on the marina premises, replete with dancing waitresses and loud music. Still, it was hard to resist the odd visit as the irresistible odor of crab cakes and fish wafted over the marina each day!
    Austin Whitten

    I thoroughly agree with Mr. Wittens observations. Legacy Harbor is a great, and well managed, marina! The two downtown marinas do more to help each other help the boaters, than any others I am aware of. Job well done Dave!
    Leif Lustig,
    FMYB Dockmaster

    I heartily agree with the positive comments about Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Myers. We were part of a group of four boats from Solomons, MD that went south this past winter. Some of our group had visited Ft. Myers and vicinity by car the previous winter to check out potential places to stay and Legacy Harbour as well as Ft. Myers came out as top choice. All of the perks mentioned above are true. We arrived towards in early February just before it began to blow and blow and blow. Once there, we never left until heading back home across the lake. It was just too cold and windy. Apart from the ammenities discussed above, the cruiser’s group there has potluck dinners each week. There was also a group dinner out each week to a new retaurant with those with cars driving those without. We were tied up on D dock, the outer breakwater and that was an experience when the winds were from the northwest across the river. Dave and his staff at Legacy Harbour really made everyone welcome and went out their way to help out. Another plus coming up in the installation of dockside pump outs for all the docks. D dock will probably be last on the list but, this ammenty is really welcome. After checking out Naples and Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers and Legacy Harbour would surely be our choice for a return visit.
    Curt Larsen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

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

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