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 Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Southwest 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.Gulf 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.netLocated 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, FloridaPink Shell Beach Resort and MarinaTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.com
Fisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FLThe 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. Punta Gorda, Florida - a GREAT cruising destinationRegatta Pointe MarinaRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersThe 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, FlSt. Andrew's Marina

Archive For: West FL – 8 – ICW, Placida Harbor to Venice

  • Don Pedro Island Anchorage (Statute Mile 37, Western Florida ICW)

    The anchorage discussed below lies just off the Western Florida ICW’s trek through Lemon Bay, north of Gasparilla Island and south of Venice. We have always found this to be a pretty good overnight haven, except during full gales.

    We anchored a little further south than where the marker is located on the chart. We found 6 feet at low tide and good holding. No wakes as this is a “no wake” zone on the ICW. A great spot to anchor if you want to visit Don Pedro State Park which is easy to get to by dinghy.
    James Angel

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Don Pedro Island Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Don Pedro Island Anchorage

  • Englewood Beach Anchorage (Statute Mile 43.5)

    The anchor down spot referred to below by Captains Rick and Donna is listed in our Western Florida Anchorage Directory as the “Englewood Beach Anchorage. They are quite right in describing this spot as a “good anchorage.” In fact, it’s one of the best sheltered along this section of the Western Florida ICW, and there is a restaurant withing dinghy distance as well!

    There are no anchoring restrictions in lemon bay, except in the ICW. There is a good anchorage on the Lemon Bay side of Englewood Beach. To reach it, one bears right [southwest] after passing through [south of] the Tom Adams Bridge, leaving the ICW to your port. Stay in the middle of the channel, and head toward the moored and anchored boats off the mangrove island on your port side. Just past the moored boats there is a secure and safe anchorage. We live in North Port, and cruise Lemon Bay regularly.
    Fair Winds,
    Rick & Donna
    Reprinted from the MTOA List Serve, with permission of the authors
    Find out more about the MTOA at: http://www.mtoa.net/

    Good info, but there is nowhere to go ashore except the restaurant. So you can’t tie up there and go to the beach. Dockage is available at Chadwick Cove Marina adjacent to the restaurant (The White Elephant).
    Denny Botkin

    This is a good anchorage, but since we have a heavy Gulfstar 39 sailboat with a 5′ draft, we want to point out a shoaling area along the western (toward the Gulf) side of the ICW that you have to clear before getting into the deeper water of the anchorage. We have bumped over this bar a couple times, but during higher tides we’ve had no problem. We tend to favor the bridge side of the sandbar before heading into the anchorage and have had fewer problems with access in our sailboat. There is a strong tidal current so set a good anchor with some scope and chain.
    Mark Suby

    And, here’s some good navigational advice on how to gain entry to this anchorage with the best depths possible.

    Beware shoaling south of T. Adams Bridge along the west edge of the ICW. To avoid this shoal [when entering the Englewood Beach anchorage] that has formed further north than shown on the charts, turn toward the moored boats immediately after clearing the bridge (if southbound) and head directly toward the moored boats/mangrove. Note the additional shoaling north of the mooring field.
    Any boats carrying over 4 to 4 1/2 foot draft should avoid transitioning from the ICW at low tide – unless you have local knowledge. The best way to proceed from the bridge is to go directly toward and into the mooring field (idle speed, of course) from the bridge. Favor the south side after clearing the shoaling that parallels and is immediately adjacent to the ICW. Additional shoaling north of the mooring field extends from a point just west of the bridge almost to the docks on the western shore. If going to the White Elephant or to Chadwick Cove Marina, remain close to the docks on the western shore. Cutting the corner can put you hard aground.
    Having said that, the anchorage is protected quite nicely in virtually all weather conditions.
    Kindest Regards,
    “FAIRWINDS”

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Englewood Beach Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Englewood Beach Anchorage

  • No-Wake Zones on the Western Florida ICW, Between Sarasota and Fort Myers

    Below, I’ve copied a question and answer, taken from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list, in regards to no-wake zones that will slow an inside passage between Sarasota and Fort Myers. All who cruise the western shores of the Sunshine State will thank Captain Pickelmann for such a ready and useful answer!

    On the Gulf ICW between Sarasota and Fort Myers, what percent of the roughly 75 NM is speed restricted? I am charting a transit and it seems that I recall a significant portion of the stretch particularly from Sarasota to Punta Gorda is a slow zone.
    Dan Stephens
    Symmetry

    Dan,
    I’ve never actually measured it but there is a stretch of five miles or so between Sarasota and Venice that is a Minimum Wake Zone. Further on, there is another stretch of about five miles between the bottom of Lemon Bay and the Gasparilla Island bridge that is No Wake. There are other minor No Wake areas but they are pretty small. Really not a big deal.
    Regards,
    Randy Pickelmann

    A little less than 1/2 of the distance is wake restricted. A better choice would be to go outside until Boca Grand then go inside. The winds are easterly most of the time so the Gulf is flat.
    Ron Hoffman

    Be aware of the signs, many of them state a minimum wake outside of the ICW channel and 25 mph in the channel. Since very few trawlers go 25 you are able to continue at your normal cruising speed because you also will not be outside of the channel as this area is very shallow, only fishing boats and wave runners can navigate there. Also some of the bridges have changed names so if you have older charts they may not be correct. Enjoy your trip!
    Capt. Dana

    Caution required if deciding to go outside at Big Sarasota Pass, can be tricky if windy..
    Dennis McMurtry

  • Fishermens Wharf Marina Park (Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 57, Venice, FL)

    Cruisers making their way through the charming community of Venice, Florida have probably, for the last several years, noticed a series of docks and slips overlooking the northeastern shores of the Western Florida ICW, just northwest of the Hatchett Creek Bridge, and southeast of marker #4. Then, within the past two weeks, we received the two messages below, so we undertook some fairly extensive research concerning this facility and discovered it has been in a semi-open state for some time now; new docks have been constructed, but apparent permitting problems have prevented them from opening; the marina is accepting overnight transients at other, fixed piers which are currently open. The person I talked with said they “hoped” the necessary permits would be ready within the next several month.

    Hey, a note that the Fisherman’s Wharf Marina at marker 4 (right before the Hatchett Creek bridge heading south bound) is open. Good rates for overnite and not as much current as the inlet marina [Crows Nest Marina].
    Jane Smith

    Cruising News:
    Dockage in Venice is always a bit tight. We are now sitting at a nice new floating dock at the Marker 4 Grill. These docks have been here for about five years involved in a an obscure and complicated discussion of which I am not a party. Available dockage here is either at the Venice Yacht Club -appropriate reciprocal membership required- which is full up right now or at the Crow’s Nest which is a miserable place to put in except at slack tide. Marker 4 does not advertise but can be contacted by phone at 941-484-0344. Great location. Just across the bridge from downtown.
    N27 deg06.294
    W82deg26.736
    Fred Sorensen
    OA43

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fishermens Wharf Marina Park

  • Good Dining Reported at Royal Palm Marina (Statute Mile 46.5)

    Royal Palm Marina lines the eastern banks of the Western Florida ICW’s run through Lemon Bay, south of Venice. Sounds like some good eats here!

    Haven’t docked here yet, but the restaurant – Zeke’s – has excellent food. Very casual.
    The new dockmaster is friendly.
    Clyde

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Royal Palm Marina

  • Venice – Higel Park Anchorage (Statute Mile 58.5)

    Captain Sheena is quite right about the crowded conditions at the Venice – Higel Park Anchorage, which is, incidentally, located just south of the Venice Yacht Club. And, oh yes, the food at the nearby Crows Nets Marina and Restaurant is indeed OUTSTANDING!!!!

    This anchorage was packed with smaller vessels when we arrived in the evening. Although there were a few open spots depths and/or swing room was insufficient. We have a 38 foot catamaran. I would not recommend this anchorage to larger vessels. Spend the money to stay the night at The Crow’s Nest and enjoy the pub.
    Sheena

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Venice – Higel Park Anchorage

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

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

  • Shallow Spot on Lemon Bay/Western Florida ICW (near St. M. 40), 1/4/11

    The Western Florida ICW channel through Lemon Bay has always been notorious for shoaling along its edges. However, the shoaling discovered the hard way, described below, by Captain RB, calls for extra attention by ALL captains cruising this section of the Western florida ICW.
    We are establishing an SSECN Navigation Alert for this section of the Western Florida Waterway. Please follow the link below to open a Chart View page zoomed to this Alert!

    We ran on the inside to Cape Haze Marina and for the first time in over 30 years of boating I had to get commercial help (Tow Boat US) to get pulled off a sand bar. The spot is between 11 and 13 in Lemon Bay very near Stump Pass. A shoal is encroaching in the channel on the red [East] side. So definitely slow down and favor the green [western] side. I draw 5 feet and ran aground about 2 hours before high tide but there had been that Northern wind that was blowing that day and the 2 days prior. The tow boat driver (very nice) said that the day before he towed a 55, 46, & 39 footer from that same spot. So I don’t think I made a major error. Fortunately I knew I was in trouble and had slowed down and was out of gear so no apparent damage. The tow was $972 (13/ft plus 160/hr). Did not wish to spend the money but I am glad they were there as I was not getting of by myself and it took him a solid hour of pulling to get us to about 150 feet to the channel. Any way let your readers know so they can be prepared for this problem area.
    RB

    Came through this section on 1/31/11 at 13:30 with 0.8 ft tide. Stayed center channel and saw no less than 9 ft.
    John Vierra

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position on the Lemon Bay section of the Western Florida ICW

  • A Quick Look at Crows Nest Marina (Venice, FL, near St. M. 58.5)

    Crows Nest Marina lies just off the Western Florida ICW, on the eastern reaches of the Venice Pass channel. This facility is also home to one of the best restaurants in all of Florida.

    We stayed at Crow’s Nest and as your Cruising Guide said it proved to be rolly in the strong wind we had for 2 days. We “fendered up” and it was OK.
    RB

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Crows Nest Marina

  • Name Confusion at the “Circus Bridge” (Statute Mile 55)

    This is probably the third of fourth posting we’ve had here on the Cruisers’ Net concerning name confusion at this bridge which crosses the Western Florida ICW, near Venice, Florida. The “Federal Register,” which is supposed to be the determining document, lists this span as the “South Venice Bridge,” which we have seen it named elsewhere at the “Tamiami Trail Bridge.” But, according to other cruisers’ reports, Captain Schmitty is quite right in his note below when he says the bridge tenders here will only respond to a call for the “Circus Bridge.”

    12/14/10 this bridge responds to hailing “Circus Bridge”
    We got no response at all from repeated hails on South Venice or Tamiami Trail.
    Captain Schmitty

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For the South Venice/Tamiami Trail/Circus Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the South Venice/Tamiami Trail/Circus Bridge

  • Good Times at Crows Nest Marina (on Venice Pass, near St. M. 58.5)

    While I would personally only give the marina part of the Crows Nest operation an “average” rating, there is simply no argument that the adjacent restaurant is one of the FINEST in all of Florida. This culinary attraction is more than enough reason to coil your lines at this facility.
    To access Crows Net, leave the Western Florida ICW, at its intersection with Venice Pass. Cruise to the west, and Crows Nest will soon come abeam on the southern shores.

    We just stayed at Crows nest for 2 nights, Fabulous place, great staff, absolutely on e of the best Restaurants in Florida.
    If you’re a wine lover, then a star will be shining on you when you open up the wine list. Hundreds of incredible offerings from many parts of the world. we were lucky enough to be there when they had 40% off on Wines.
    I will go back to this place again and again !!!!!
    Capt Schmitty

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Crows Nest Marina

  • Venice – Higel Park Anchorage And Latest on Higel Park/Venice City Dock (Statute Mile 58.5)

    This little note from Captain Fred contains two gems of cruising info. First, he reports on the anchorage just east of the Venice Yacht Club, which we call the “Venice – Higel Park Anchorage,” AND the current situation at the Higel Park/City of Venice Public Docks. Those of you who have been following along on the Net’s “Western Florida Cruising News” section know there was a huge controversy here a few months ago when the city of Venice began disallowing overnight dockage at this city facility.
    Also, it’s worth noting that swinging room is TIGHT in the “Venice – Higel Park Anchorage.”

    Subject*: Venice Florida
    Last night we anchored in Venice on the west side of the Intracoastal in that little pocket just to the east of the Venice Yacht Club. It was a nice quiet evening. There were two boats at the public dock. About 18:00 a Towboat Us went by and I asked him what the situation was re: staying at the Higel Park docks overnight was. Answer was that the prohibition on overnight dockage did not seem to be enforced. Two days earlier I had called the City Of Venice and been informed that overnight at the anchorage on the west side by the YC or in Roberts Bay was OK but not at the dock at Higel Park.
    There you are with the latest.
    Fred Sorensen
    OA 43

    This is not a good anchorage primarily because it is right along the channel that leads to the Venice Yacht Club on one side and along a shoal on the other side. As Ron said, people anchor too close together due to the restricted swing room. Best choice for a stop in Venice is to spend a few bucks and stay at the Crows Nest or the Venice YC. Otherwise, just keep on going.
    Rick

    <a href=”http://www.CruisersNet.net/73-venice-higel-park-anchorage-2″><span style=”font-size: normal;”><strong>Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For The Venice – Higel Park Anchorage</strong></span></a>

  • Name Confusion on the “Circus bridge”/South Venice/ Tamiami Trail Bridge (St. Mile 55)

    Well, the bridge operators can certainly call it the “Circus Bridge,” and, since they do, this is how you should refer to the span when calling the bridge, BUT in the Federal Register, its the “South Venice Bridge.” Oh well, who reads the “Federal Register?”

    This bridge is called the “Circus bridge” and the tenders will correct you, if referred to otherwise. They are a bit touchy I guess.
    Rick Perry

    Claiborne – we travel this route often and for several years now (probably back to 2005-6) the bridge has been known as “Circus Bridge”. The Florida Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridge Schedule (this is a website item) now calls it the Tamiami Trail Bridge. We were last thru this bridge in late May of this year and it was Circus Bridge at that time. The current web page appears to be as of September 2010. Perhaps someone from the area will be able to provide up to date info. How about contacting the city of Venice or the County Offices??
    John N. Cover
    Hudson, Florida

    It was over 5 years ago that we hailed that bridge by the name in your cruising guide and were told that we should use “circus bridge” or risk not being answered. I marked our chart accordingly. Apparently the confusion still reigns.
    Duane Ising, IT

    Have been cruising through the area for over 30 years and have never heard of Circus Bridge, always was South Venice Bridge.
    Captain Walt Wagner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Bridge Directory Listing For the “Circus Bridge”

  • Venice Anchorage (Statute Mile 58)

    The anchor down spot we term the “Venice Anchorage” lies along the marked channel leading from the AICW to my friends at the Venice Yacht Club. It’s then only a short dinghy ride to the city dock at Hiegel Park (right beside the Venice Yacht Club). Overnight dockage is no longer allowed at this city pier, but you can still easily dinghy ashore here. Then, it’s only a walk of some four to five blocks to have dinner at wonderful Crows Nest Restaurant (at Crows Nest Marina). Trust me on this one, fellow cruisers, this one of the very best chow down spots in all of Florida!

    During cruising season, better get here early. This is a very crowded anchorage and people seem to drop the hook anywhere along the channel. I would not use this if other options exist. We were well secured one night and another boat anchored literally on top of our hook. As the tide turned, he came within inches of our boat several times during the night. Needless to say, it was a derelict craft and captain. Why bother?
    Ron

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Acnhorage Directory Listing For The Venice Anchorage

  • Good Words for Gasparilla Marina (Statute Mile 34)

    The entrance to Gasparilla Marina cuts east off the Western Florida ICW, immediately south of the Gasparilla Island bridge and causeway. This facility features a well sheltered harbor, and, judging from Captain Spagna’s message below, offers superior services.
    Also, besides their own on-site dining spot (described below) the Fisheries Restaurant is within easy walking distance. I can tell you from personal experience that the food here is superb!

    Admiral Deb and I give Gasparilla Marina our highest recommendation! We called via cell phone 2 days prior to arriving and talked to the Manager, Jeff. Jeff is ‘a prince among men’! We talked with him for several minutes about details of the marina and the surrounding points of interest. Jeff offered us the use of his car (a brand new Crown Vic) to go shopping when we got there. We’d never met him before! On arrival the staff was always very helpful, interested in our welfare and the welfare of our vessel. Their restaurant The Waterside Grill had indoor and outdoor seating, lots of large wide screen TVs and the staff was friendly and efficient. We stayed 7 days, 2/20/10 – 2/26/10, and ate 2 meals each day. The food there was far superior to the food at the local well known restaurant half a mile away. The showers were private room sized and clean. Wi-fi was fast with no connectivity problems while we were there. Easy in and out, wide fairways right on the gulf ICW.
    Lou Spagna, s/v Wu-Hsin

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

  • Royal Palm Marina (on Lemon Bay, south of Venice, near St. M. 46.5)

    New owners huh, sounds promising!

    We, and 5 other boats, spent the night of April 15 at the Royal Palm Marina. It is under new management and the new owners are bending over backwards to help cruisers. They have opened an on-site restaurant, all the facilities were very clean, and they even presented each captain with a bottle of Cabernet at check-in. The service was outstanding the whole time we were there.
    Chet Parham

    Chet
    Thank you for the kind words. Boating is all about having fun, seeing new places and meeting new people. We’re glad you had a good time and look forward to being your host again. To help anyone else who may be looking for us – we’re at ICW Mile Marker 30 in Englewood.
    Dale Wentzel

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

  • The Venice Water Nazi Lives, But Now He’s Driving A Cab

    Well, this is one of the most jaw dropping reports we’ve ever put up here on the Cruisers’ Net. Will this guy ever go away????!!!!

    We were stuck in Venice anchored in Roberts Bay in front of the expensive homes sharing their view when the Sheriff stopped by our boat to ask us a few questions. This was the first few days in March 2010 when those terrible north winds were blowing at over 30 knots, a front was on the way with expected cloud to water lightning, possible tornadoes and water spots which is what the Sheriff and I discussed. He was concerned for our safety and most helpful, even suggesting that we move over to the free dock and tie up to be a bit more secure. He said the city wouldn’t bother us considering the weather conditions. Well we moved to the free dock and it still has a sign limiting the time you can tie up there to 18 hours in a ten day period. Now as to why I’m writing this: The water Nazi still lives but is now driving a yellow cab! Here is what happened. We called a taxi to go down on Venice Avenue where we spent a few hundred dollars on meals and goodies to send to grandkids. When we returning to our boat in a cab, we were talking with the cab driver and we mentioned that the sheriff said we should tie up until the storm was over and the cabbie got real quiet (up until this part of the conversation he had been most friendly)until he dropped us off at Higel Park. Not 5 minutes after the cabbie left there was a siren and a police car pulled up and a fellow got out with a camera and proceeded to take a picture of the name on the stern of our boat. He didn’t say a word to us, just took the picture and left. So did we. We got the ‘H” out of there. The water nazi is still operating in Venice, now he is driving a yellow cab and he will still report you even after giving him a good tip. Wish I hadn’t given him that tip, would have felt a lot better if I had stiffed him!
    Total time at the dock? Less than 5 hours, no other boats present. Have to wonder what they are thinking at this point; no dockmaster, no mooring balls, just a beautiful city waiting to be explored and an ordinance that will keep some boaters from a wonderful experience and who loses? The city of Venice and their shopkeepers, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
    Please note, We love Venice! The people are great, the city is beautiful and that is the only negative we have ever experienced here. We are a shallow draft vessel and usually anchor in 2 to 3 feet of water in Roberts Bay. We shall return!
    Capt. Phil & Capt. Linda
    “BloMee” (Sailing Catamaran)

    I was surprised at the recent commotion about overnight tie up at Higel Park. We were run out of there years ago by a land cop. The “anchorage” off the Venice yacht club was full of derelict live aboards. Had an ugly confrontation with a waterski jerk who felt he owned Roberts Bay. Couldn’t reach the Sheriff or the Venice CG station with a 65 foot tall VHF antenna. We have avoided Venice for 10 ish years. Never met any of the “friendly”” great” people that Capt Phil talks about.
    Bill

    Would it have been considered out of line to ask him what the issue was and why the sirens and photo? I think most states have laws about when to use a siren and I don’t think they are to take photos. Did you get the name of the Sheriff that told you it would be okay to tie up?
    John Meirhofer

    VENICE IS LOOKING INTO A PAY DOCKING FACILITY
    Georg McCay

    We recently stayed at the dock in late Feb.& learned that the city was about to change the regs to 6 hrs. We also read via the Venice News as well as this site that there is a plan to put 14 moorings in the area where the derelict boats are now moored. We shall see when that happens. We agree with Capts.Phil & Linda that the city & its businesses are the ones who will lose out big time on this decision.
    Capts. Steven & Diane Koch

  • Free City Dock in Venice, Florida No Longer Available For Overnight Stays (near St. M. 58)

    For many years a couple of vessels have been able to tie up to the free city dock in Venice, Florida’s Hiegel Park, just next door to the Venice Yacht Club. Now, as you will read below, it looks like overnight dockage will no longer be allowed at this pier. Of course, vessels drawing 5 feet or less can always anchor off the park, and dinghy ashore. Check out these water’s entry in the Net’s “Western Florida Anchorage Directory” at:

    http://www.CruisersNet.net/73-venice-higel-park-anchorage-2

    Still, it’s a shame that the powers that be in Venice have chosen to discontinue this wonderful service to the cruising community. And, Venice needs all image improvement it can get, after being the former home of the “Venice Water Nazi.” Fortunately, this guy is now long retired, and only a very bad memory for cruisers!
    PLEASE be SURE to read Captain Bob Kunath’s note near the end of the message string below. It contains a letter from the Venice mayor!
    Please do note that some of the postings below are copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) Mail List, so I have only listed first names. As always, we heartily recommend the T&T list as a Cruisers’ Net adjunct, for those who pilot one of these trusty vessels!

    It would appear that free dockage in Venice, Florida is being done away with. That sucks. It made a great overnight stop.
    http://tinyurl.com/yga5v2k
    Brent

    That’s a shame, I stayed there in 2007 and again Monday night this week. It is not a fancy place but good to tie up to for a night and the price is right. Both times we have stayed there we have made the short walk to the
    Crows Nest for a meal, not an inexpensive outing. I guess in the future I’ll be anchoring off the ICW with dinner onboard. Before we left there yesterday morning a tree removal crew came in they told me they were to take out the pine trees along the dock the were also cutting the mangroves way back.
    Steve

    Below is a copy of a letter sent by a fellow cruiser to the mayor of Venice:

    Mr. Mayor:
    We cruise on our 36′ boat down through Venice every fall and back up every spring, always stopping in Venice at the free dock.
    While docked for a night or two, we always spend money in restaurants and a grocery store (cab-ride away). We’ve also spent money at a pharmacy and other stores.
    Now, with your city’s decision to end the free dock privilage, we no longer have a reason to stop in Venice rather than somewhere else, and our money will be spent elsewhere. Too bad. You had a “hook” that grabbed us and many other boaters, but you’ve let us get away.
    Wade

    It should also be noted that the city intends to build a paid mooring facility, which now becomes easier.
    Ted Stehle
    Good Times
    Regional Editor – Waterway Guide

    To the Venice City Council:
    I had the great pleasure to recently use the Venice Free Dock. It is a widely known facility and famous among many of the Great Loop Cruisers (members of the America’s Great Loop Cruising Association) and other groups that cruise these fine waters of the USA. I had looked forward to this stop and even brought in another cruiser that would have otherwise gone on down to Charlotte Harbor to stay at Burnt Store.
    This dock is nothing like a Marina with power, water and other services, but is more like an anchorage that many a cruiser loves. There are many cruisers that use marinas and seldom anchor out they will continue to use the marinas in the area. Cruisers use guides such as “Skipper Bob” where the Venice facility is listed as a place to go.
    This dock provides an access to Venice that might otherwise be missed. It provides many with the opportunity for some of us to walk the streets of Venice and enjoy the many places the city has to offer. It provides a great alternative to anchoring our, particularly in bad weather which was the case on the day we stopped there.
    It would be a loss to the City of Venice should this facility use change. Many a cruiser that stays there would not stop in Venice but find other places to stay. These types of facilities are common in other areas of the country and there are still a few in Florida. I’d sincerely ask that you consider keeping the dock available to those of us who would spend a night in your city.
    It is already posted as a place you can only stay one night and I’m sure that that keeps cruisers moving on and also into nearby Marinas after they find out how nice a city Venice is.
    Sincerely hoping you can keep something free.
    We love Venice
    Jim and Vaughn Quince
    Spring Lake , Michigan

    This is just another reason to bypass Venice and go outside. We have had numerous bad experiences going through Venice. We have been up and down the west coast about 5 times and would reccomend going outside.

    To the citizens and business owners of Venice,
    I have cruised America’s Great loop twice, and has found that Florida is the most unfriendly state in all my 12000 miles of cruising!
    Venice, in particular, ranks at the very top of the “unfriendly to boaters” list.
    First, Venice had the water Nazi, a overzealous water cop whose retirement was welcomed by all cruisers.
    Then Venice, is taking away their free dock.
    With a down economy, I fail to understand why the business owners of Venice would turn away a community of boaters, who on the average , have a very disposable income, are cruising on a very expensive boat, and spending thousands and thousands of dollars to do it.
    It’s a loss to the Venice economy. Cruisers will go elsewhere rather than visit an over priced community that does not want their money!
    You won’t be seeing my money in Venice!!
    Send those boaters here to Key Largo. We will welcome them.
    See you in Paradise! (but not venice)
    Captain Sterling

    Venice has always been tough to anchor in with my 40′ sloop. There generally is never any room in the anchorage.
    My two options have been the Crows Nest, or the City Dock. The Crows Nest has become very expensive, and the [city-Hegel Park] dock is closed so…
    I shall plan accordingly to stop someplace else. We did enjoy the restaurants and shopping in Venice. Too bad for the cruisers and town alike.
    Larry Annen

    Someone just wrote that Florida was an unfriendly state to boaters. I would venture to say that the people that you are referring to, the mayor, city council and the majority of residents of Venice are not native Floridians. They are the people that moved here from, in all probability, somewhere up north and they want to stop people from traveling through Venice and stopping at the park dock. They probably consider you people on boats as lower in status than they are, therefore they don’t want you there. My wife and I have been stopping at that dock since 1978 right up to last year. The only problem we ever had there was with the Venice Y.C., don’t even think they will sell you ice or gas, they seem like a bunch of snobs to me.
    It just seems to me that we will be skipping the Venice dock from now on, as well as the restaurants and stores.
    Too bad, that was a nice lay over from Tampa Bay to Lemon Bay.
    Bubba Gleaton

    More on Venice,
    We stopped in Venice at the Crows Nest with Sans Souci in 2004 when we did the Great Loop. We found that Venice is a terrific city, right on the Gulf, small in size yet large enough to offer plenty of reasons to stop and stay awhile. In fact, we liked it enough that we returned in 2007 and bought a house on the island; our back yard is the canal. Our evaluation of Venice has not changed since we’ve lived here, the city welcomes and thrives on winter visitors, including boaters.
    There has been bad press about Venice over the years, primarily relating to the enforcement of registration laws by a local officer who has now been retired for two years. The latest flap relates to the free dock, which the
    city is considering closing to overnight guests. That move appears to be in concert with a plan to establish a low-cost mooring field in Roberts Bay.
    It is probably worth noting that there are very few if any free overnight docks in Southern Florida. Whether you stay at one of the marinas or the free dock or proposed mooring field, you will likely find Venice to be one of your favorite stops.
    Many cruisers have been writing to the council and mayor. I invited him to respond and explain the circumstance and direction the city is headed. The following is his response:

    “Thanks for the invitation. I have replied briefly to some, but not all writers. Here, in brief, is our rationale.
    Thank you for your emails about the ‘free dock.’ We appreciate your visits to Venice and hope you will continue to visit. The dock will still be free, but not for over-nights.
    There are many reasons for Council’s decision, but, in essence, we are seeking a “dockmaster” for a new mooring field, to be modestly priced which is required by the state and which will provided pump out and other services to visiting boats. The free docking, without the showers, toilets, etc. was preventing our being able to obtain bids to be become “dockmaster.”
    We will always welcome you and hope you will return.
    Best wishes,
    Ed Martin, Mayor”

    Bob Kunath
    Cruising Editor, Waterway Guide

    All I can say it is pitiful.
    Charlie Schiear

  • Captain Pete Takes on the City of Sarasota (Anchoring Rights and 500 Foot Rule)

    OK, I’m going to be the first to admit I missed something here, and have come to this story a bit late in the game. HOWEVER, that does not diminish the fact that this is an important story for ANYONE interested in Florida anchoring rights.
    “Captain Pete” has found himself in a position whereby he was ticketed for being in violation of the Sarasota anchoring ordinances, probably the infamous “500 foot rule.” Shades of Dave Dumas and Marco Island, he has decided to use this incident as a way to take on the city of Sarasota’s (in our opinion) illegal anchoring regulations.
    Notice below that Captain Ken DeLacy, a prime mover in the pro-cruiser Sarasota anchoring issue, is requesting financial support for Captain Pete from the Cruising Community. As you will see, the “fund” is not yet finalized, but we will revise this message just as soon as those circumstances change. In the meantime, I strongly suggest everyone read the messages below, AND follow the link to the Tribune newspaper article!

    Here’s an update on my situation in Sarasota. I have hired an attorney, Joanne Foster to represent me in this matter. This is the same firm that challenged the city of Stuart Fl. and were sucessful in defending the man charged with an anchoring violation. She has entered a plea of not guilty on my behalf. We have requested a jury trial and it may end up in federal court. An article appeared today, jan 26 in the local newspaper, the Sarasota Herald Tribune (available online) about my case. also, I have been contacted by the NMMA, a boat industry group offering to help. I am overwhelmed at the positive messages and support I have been given by friends and strangers alike. It looks like my chances are good to win this and perhaps set an example to other cities that the law applies to everyone, and they ignore it at their peril. We will be doing updates here and at sarasota harbor google group as well and I appreciate everyones support. If you can help with my legal expenses that would be appreciated as well. If tou want to contact me at peteshaw998@yahoo.com I would be happy to talk
    Thanks
    Pete

    Today Pete had Joanne Foster, FL Board Cert. in Admiralty and Maritime Law, give our City attorney Fournier a phone call requesting a delay of the Feb 1st court arraignment. Foster is with the same Firm that successfully defeated the City of Stuart a couple of years ago when they also tried to enforce illegal local ordinances.
    Pete’s fight is our fight as well and as there will be costs associated with this battle I would like to request help from the group on this one. Some here have already offered money to fight this, and I wonder if anyone here has advice on setting up a fund.
    Keep in mind if the City insists on fighting the State on this they will be sued and all moneys invested will be returned.
    Thanks, and THANK YOU Pete!
    Ken

    Ken and everybody,
    Here we go! My attorney has sent to the court that enters a plea of NOT GUILTY in place of my appearance in court on Feb 1. The NMMA, a boat mfg. lobby has gotten in touch as well and they want to help, but they can’t help financially. Tomorrow, I send in my retainer to the law office for $500.00 to get the ball rolling. any financial help would be appreciated . There is an article in the Herald Trib today about me and if you look online you can read the comments people send in. feel free to add your own.
    Check it out.
    Thanks Pete

    Below is a link to the article Pete mention.
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100126/ARTICLE/1261059?p=3&tc=pg
    Ken

    Claiborne,
    I took a look at your article and I offer the below additional info for your reference.
    Where Pete was anchoring is the same spot he has been anchoring for years when he comes S. for the winter. I don’t think he intended on this happening, but he’s not regretting it either. He was not arrested but received a ticket to appear in court, no option to just pay a fine.
    Ok that’s it for the corrections. A fund has not been set up yet, and I don’t have the slightest idea how to even get started. Any advice?
    Ken

  • Marina Recommendation Between Fort Myers and Sarasota

    The following discussion is copied from the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association mailing list.

    We are having family Christmas holidays (with the twins!) near Rotonda between Ft Myers and Sarasota. Any recommendations for marinas to keep our boat for a couple of weeks or a month in this general areawould be appreciated.
    There seem to be a lot of choices and prices about $2+ daily and $12-16 monthly.
    Other advice appreciated……
    I have not done a mooring but this seems a possibility too.
    Thanks, Jim
    Have a great thanksgiving week……

    Palm Island Marina Engelwood / Cape Haze –Dockmaster Tim Lynch . Great People
    Flay Crosswell

    We have stayed at both Salty Sam’s in Ft. Myers Beach and Centennial in Ft. Myers for a month and liked them both. People also seem to like the Ft. Myers City Marina. There’s also a mooring field near
    Salty Sam’s but we haven’t stayed there.
    Bill & Jane Stone
    Loose Stones

    Jim We stayed at Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda last year great spot. left the boat and went to the east coast for the holidays Also some have stayed at Burnt Store Marina
    hope this helps
    Enjoy Thanksgiving
    Larry & Margie

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

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

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