Slips are now available!! On the brand new Dock 5. For information please call (727) 893-7329 or 800 782 8350Southwest Florida YachtsTwin Dolphin Marina, 1000 1st Ave. West, Bradenton, Florida 34205-7852, 941.747.8300  -  fax 941.745.2831, e-mail: harbormaster@twindolphinmarina.com239 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.netPink 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
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 destinationThe Panama City Marina is located on the intercoastal Waterway one block from Downtown Panama City. The Panama City Marina is a newly renovated 240-slip marina facility designed for all classes of vesRegatta Pointe MarinaSt. Andrew's MarinaRiviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersThe 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.

Western FL Cruising News – ICW, Venice Pass to Anna Maria Island (Statute Mile 57 to 92)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-29-2009

PLEASE CAREFULLY READ OUR DISCLAIMER!

Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date

Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings

Contribute News

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 06-15-2008

Contribute News

Your Name Email Address Subject
Cruising News
Image Verification
Please enter the text from the image [ Refresh Image ] [ What's This? ]

Advice on Shoaling in Longboat Pass, near Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 85.

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-09-2014

Longboat Pass - Click for Chartview

Longboat Pass – Click for Chartview

Longboat Pass separates Longbeach and Bradenton Beach south of Tampa Bay near Statute Mile 85. The shoaling described is in the Longboat Pass channel, not the intersection with the Waterway. SSECN posted a Navigation Alert for this area in 2013: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=104390

FLORIDA- CHARLOTTE HARBOR TO TAMPA BAY – LONGBOAT PASS: Shoaling
Shoal exists across the entire channel of Longboat Pass reaching a minimum depth of 4 feet. Shoal begins at Longboat Pass DBN 1 (LLNR 21757) and continues to Longboat Pass Bascule Bridge. Mariners are advised to transit the area with extreme caution. Chart 11425 LNM 14/14

Claiborne, this is not a reply to your topics, but report on the gulf side entrance to longboat key bridge [Longboat Pass Bascule Bridge]. Stay away from the first green day marker. keep to the south and head for the first red and second green. once your through them it’s a straight shot to the bridge. If it is a sunny day and the water is clear, you can see the shallows by the first green. Another bit of advice is to not come out if the wind is piping up to 30 knots and anywhere from the southeast to the north west. The swells or waves can be rather large and the depth is not the best. If you draw over 5 feet, you most likely bump on the low part of the swells or waves. I went in and came out last week, quite an experience.
Nick

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

.

Report from Jewfish Key Anchorage, Western Florida Waterway Statute Mile 85

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 04-08-2014

Jewfish Key Anchorage – Click for Chartview

Jewfish Key South Side Anchorage – Click for Chartview

 

Here is a review of another Western Florida anchorage, this one just south of Longboat Pass, a few miles north of Sarasota. There are actually two anchorages behind Jewfish Key, one will be found on the deep water behind (to the southwest of) the long, private island southwest of flashing daybeacon #41, and the second is found on the tongue of charted 13-foot water stretching south into a cove hard by the village of Longbeach.

Near Longboat Key 27 degrees 26′ 12″N, 082 degrees 40′ 48.21″W. Of this two, I’d recommend this more than the other [Big McPherson Bayou] as there are restaurants, bars and a great beach for walking nearby. Good holding in sand with about 8′ at low tide. Watch for the tidal flow as it can get quirky with the change of tide.
Captain K

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Jewfish Key Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jewfish Key Anchorage

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Jewfish Key South Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jewfish Key South Anchorage

Report from New Pass, between Longboat and Lido Keys, Sarasota, FL, near Statute Mile 75

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-25-2014

New Pass - Click for Chartview

New Pass – Click for Chartview

New Pass is the northernmost of Sarasota’s two inlets, and this channel separates Longboat Key from Lido Key. It is spanned by a bascule bridge with a vertical clearance of 23ft.
IN SPITE OF CAPTAIN CONWAY’S INFO BELOW, WE SPECIFICALLY DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT ANY MARINER MAKE USE OF NEW PASS! This channel shoals faster than it can be dredged, and I have personally photographed a large sailcraft (several years ago) that foundered when it tried to navigate New Pass. You would be far better served to make use of Longboat Pass to the north, or, better yet, Venice Pass to the south.
If anyone has ignored this advice, and run New Pass recently, let us hear from you.

Sailed from St. Petersburg to Longboat Key. We took a bike ride over the New Pass bridge/channel. The bridge went up before we got over it and we saw a 40′ sailboat pass under. This tells me the depth is at least 4′ and probably 5-6″‘. I’m not sure of the tides at that time.
For a long time I avoided this pass due to a reputation as risky & too shallow. I think I call some folks down there & get their input. I think it’s worth a second look…
Mike Conway

Skipper Holiman confirms the reputation of risk for this channel:
I went out this pass in a 3 foot draft twin inboard cruiser in September 2001, right after Tropical Storm Gabrielle had passed by and blew all of the moored channel markers out of the channel. The wind was still up and there were breakers on the bars. Luckily the sun was right to read the water depth, but I pretty much decided I was never going to use this pass again in anything that it would hurt to run aground.
There is nothing that would make me attempt to go through this pass with my five foot draft sailboat.
R. Holiman

Last October I transited New Pass and found marker “mo(a)” intact, but was warned about a dredged channel with a rough heading of 60 degrees (shown on chart leading to bridge) that had shoaled. I found local traffic heading into New Pass by running parallel to beach roughly in area where NEW PASS is printed on charts [west of Lido Key] and I found small floating nav aids marking shallow passage leading around point to deep water in land pass. I recall wreck did appear on latest chart plotter chip and believe it to be further inside pass perhaps between marker 8 and 9. My boat drew 4′ without hitting.
Pete Colgan

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

Increased Shoaling and Local Advice on Big Sarasota Pass, Sarasota, FL – Western Florida Coastline

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-20-2014

Big Sarasota Pass - Click for Chartview

In the spring of 2013, we had a lengthy discussion on Big Sarasota Pass, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=111868. Now Captain Ray brings us valuable local knowledge.

I am a local, and the pass is more than just dicey these days. Over the past year…last week we sailed our Mariner 31 outside and back, drawing 3’10″, and saw 5’6″ at high tide. That’s down from 7′ only a few months ago. Be careful if you must come into Big Pass, pretend you are a large barge and make wide turns around the floating markers on your way in.
Captain Ray

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Big Sarasota Pass

Protected Anchorage in Otter-Lido Key, Gulf ICW, Sarasota, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 11-30-2013

Otter-Lido Key Anchorage - Click for Chartview

Otter-Lido Key Anchorage can be found southwest of unlighted daybeacon #7, on the approach channel leading to the Sarasota Yacht Club.

The wind in November has forced us to seek some protected anchorages and this is one of them. A distance off the waterway but easy to get to and quite protected from that persistent NE wind.
Jean Thomason

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Otter-Lido Key Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Otter-Lido Key Anchorag

Praise for Mooring Field at Marina Jacks, Sarasota, FL, Statute Mile 73

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 06-10-2013

Marina Jacks - Click for Chartview

Marina Operations/Marina Jacks abuts the east-northeastern shores, to the northeast of red unlighted daybeacon #8A in Sarasota Bay, in the heart of downtown Sarasota, Florida.

I love the mooring field, dink over to O’Learys Tiki Bar and walk to Marina Jacks from there. Short walk to downtown and lots to do there. Marina Jacks has the best showers anywhere, if they only had a pool it would be perfect.
Cambren Davis

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

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

Good Words for Bradenton Beach Marina, Gulf ICW Statute Mile 87

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 06-10-2013

Bradenton Beach Marina - Click for Chartview

Bradenton Beach Marina lies at the terminus of the charted, L-shaped channel cutting in from the Cortez Bridge’s southwestern corner in Bradenton Beach, FL

Stayed for two nights, had only planned staying one. Good solid marina, friendly staff, great location. Lots of restaurants nearby and cool free trolley on the island, great beach.
I would definitely stay again.
Cambren Davis

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

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bradenton Beach Marina

Report from Mooring Field at Marina Jacks, Sarasota, FL, Statute Mile 73

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 05-20-2013

Marina Jacks - Click for Chartview

Marina Operations/Marina Jacks abuts the east-northeastern shores, to the northeast of red unlighted daybeacon #8A in Sarasota Bay, in the heart of downtown Sarasota, Florida.
The mooring field, which is the subject of Captain Power’s report below, has been controversial, first, because it displaced a very popular anchorage, and secondly, some claim its cost benefit ratio to the city of Sarasota is very much a negative concept. On the other hand, there was a legitimate problem with abandoned and derelict vessels in the old anchorage.
Sarasota IS one of the Florida Pilot Mooring Field Program sites, so the regulations surrounding their mooring field are legal, at least according to Florida state law. Federal law is another matter entirely, but that’s another discussion for another day!

After much controversy in Sarasota, Marina Jacks opened its mooring ball field about a year ago. We recently used the field. The marina management, staff, and facilities are first rate. It is located right downtown with numerous restaurants nearby and a Whole Foods within easy walking distance. The only drawback is that out of the 35 balls, only 3 are set aside for transients. They do take reservations but you will have to move on if your ball is reserved before you want to leave. The daily rate is $20. You can still anchor outside of the field boundaries but it is a lengthy ride to the dinghy dock.
David S. Power
s/v Two If By Sea

The City of Sarasota just approved doubling the number of moorings. The article didn’t mention how many would be for visitors.
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130520/article/130529955
Dawn Moore

The REAL violation is that this entire program is a violation of the right of cruisers to anchor, as provided for in federal regulations. Every single cruiser who uses the balls in Florida’s mooring fields helps to justify this move by the state of Florida on behalf of well heeled waterfront property owners, leading ultimately to a total loss of our anchoring rights.
Sure, it doesn’t seem to mean much to take a ball, but when you support this sort of thing, you empower the bureaucrats who seek to remove our rights.
Think on that the next time anchoring outside the mooring field seems a bit too far for you.
Wally Moran

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

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

Update on Shoaling Reported at Longboat Pass (Inlet) Channel, north of Sarasota, FL, 5/17/13

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 05-17-2013

Longboat Pass - Click for Chartview

Captain Watson’s April 27th report confirms further shoaling in this area. Captain Briskman’s message from 12/2012 refers to the Longboat Pass (Inlet) channel, running between south Bradenton Beach and north Longbeach, allowing access from the Gulf of Mexico to Sarasota Bay.

April 30, 2013
I saw a nice sailboat go aground here on Saturday, April 27, 2013 attempting to enter the channel from the north between the MO(A) “LP” and Green 1. The chart shows plenty of depth there, but it is incorrect and that area is severely shoaled. To safely enter the pass from the north, the MO(A) “LP” should be treated as a green marker, or, in other words, when approaching from the north, round “LP” before heading toward the bridge. I understand that the channel is slated for dredging eventually.
John Watson

Cruising News:
Shoaling at Green Marker #1 in the approach to Longboat Key bridge from seaward. Shoal has moved south into channel. Stay well south of mark to find deeper water. I ran hard aground just past high tide with a 5′ draft.
Joel Briskman

May 17, 2013
You aren’t kidding, I ran aground even after reading this post. 4.5 draft not even low tide right in the channel. 3 ft waves slammed me across. Stay as far south in the channel as you possibly can at marker 1. The Bridge Tender was very nice though.
Cambren Davis

It would be nice if they would remark the channel with floating green buoys until the channel is dredged. I ran aground July 5th,2013 and we have a swing keel with a 3’5″ draft. We made it back to deep water and anchored as we damaged our rudder. Had to get towed in. The boatus tow boat was well right of the red markers coming in.
We were very luck all we did was damage our rudder.
Scott Taber

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Longboat Pass

Big Sarasota Pass Discussion

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 04-15-2013

The series of messages below are copied from “The Cruisers’ Forum” (http://www.cruisersforum.com/), an alternate information outlet highly recommended by everyone here at the SSECN!
If you are not familiar with Sarasota, this community actually has two inlets, Big (Sarasota) Pass and New Pass. Having sounded both many times over the years, I can say unequivocally that I do NOT recommend that cruising size craft use either seaward passage. Even with the info very thoughtfully provided by the Sarasota Yacht Club (see below), it’s a dicey proposition at best to run Big Pass. Don’t even think about trying New pass!
A FAR safer plan is to come inside or out into the briny blue via naturally deep Venice Pass to the south or Longboat Pass, just to the north. Some of you may very well have a different opinion about all of this, and we would very much like to hear from you. Please use the “Comment” function below, or follow the “Click Here to Contribute Cruising News” link on the upper, right of this, and all (except Chart View) SSECN pages.

A few weeks ago we called a local towing comp. for local knowledge. Fog offshore was very thick. My plan was to enter Sarasota Bay skipping Venice inlet and the company advised us to go further north to Longboat Pass. When I called the bridge tender, he said I will raise the bridge when I see your vessel………. How is he going to see the vessel if i cant see 50ft in front of the bow? As we turned east there it was a few yards away!!!
After a few days I am wondering if it safe to enter/exit BP. I scouted the inlet from the end of Lido Key and could not see any nav aids west of green 9. Are there nav aids showing the inlet? Controlling depth? I understand that under some conditions (NW, W or SW with strong wind) its not recommended to use the inlet/pass.
Thanks
Velero49

It’s a dicey pass. The Sarasota Sailing Squadron has some directions at their website, let me see…
here’tis
http://www.sarasotayachtclub.org/Visitor-Info/Navigational-Items-of-Interest/Big-Pass-Information-405.html
tamicatana

The “pass” at Big Pass moves around a lot, virtually with every heavy weather event, and shoals up very quickly. It would be very foolish to attempt that pass in anything but a very shaol draft yacht. Either come in at Venice and run the ICW or at Longboat Pass although the channel there has moved around a lot as well and does not match the channel that appears on most charts (see various NTM). Note that Longboat is a narrow channel and is subject to sharp, strong, currents. You’ll want to enter there at slack water. If you can’t see the bridge from the channel entrace mark due to fog, continue north and come into Tampa Bay through the Southwest Channel.
svHyLyte

We kept our boat on the West coast for two years. It draws 4 feet. Sarasota Pass was always a no go because of the shifting shoals. We used Longboat Pass on a regular basis whenever we entered the intercoastal. It does have considerable current and is quite narrow. The bridge tenders seem to think that a sailboat can approach closely and remain steady in the strong current before they open the bridge. We never followed their orders and held at least 100 yards from the bridge and told them we would approach quickly once the bridge began to open. Numerous times, we had powerboats cut in front of us or attempt to negotiate the small channel at the same time. They were completely clueless. We also experienced a very rude catamaran charter captain, who used the pass daily, try to intimidate us into moving closer before the bridge had begun to open. We had a very serious conversation once both of us passed through the cut. If you choose to use Longboat Pass, be your own captain, exercise caution and safety and you’ll be fine. Be prepared for other boats also making the transit. Good luck and good sailing.
rognvald

I sail a morgan 28 with a 4.5 draft and have come in and out Big Pass many times. You must check with the Sarasota yacht club, they maintain the bouy markers and are always moving. I have never seen less then 7ft, however it can become very narrow when the monster size boat with his noise high comes barreling through the Chanel with wakes 3-4ft high. As far as being able to moore up a nice spot is just north of the ringling bridge to the east, there is a fishing shop and a nice size cove that will protect from heavey north winds… From Sarasota Bay have fun sailing and hope to see ya around.
Autumns Wind

I am a local, and the pass is more than just dicey these days. Over the past year…last week we sailed our Mariner 31 outside and back, drawing 3’10″, and saw 5’6″ at high tide. That’s down from 7′ only a few months ago. Be careful if you must come into Big Pass, pretend you are a large barge and make wide turns around the floating markers on your way in.
Captain Ray

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

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Big Sarasota Pass

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

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

Praise for Longboat Key Club Moorings, Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 77.5, Sarasota, FL

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 03-20-2013

Step off deck at Longboat Key Club Moorings and come ashore to our Four-Diamond beachfront resort offering a private white-sand beach, 45 holes of challenging golf, the Island House Spa, six on-site restaurants, the award-winning Tennis Gardens and so much more.

Longboat Key Club Moorings - Click for Chartview

Longboat Key Club Moorings guards the western shores of Sarasota Bay, north of the city of Sarasota, and south of Longboat Pass. And, of course, these good people are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!

LBK Club Moorings is top notch facility! We wish we had planned to stay longer so we could have taken advantage of all they have to offer. Dennis Matthews’ (Director of Marina Operations) staff are all very helpful, friendly and go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. Facilities are 4Star, clean and very well manicured. Very accomodating shuttle service to St Armand’s Circle. Will definitely be back for a longer stay in the near future. Make your reservations in advance and request “H” dock for short stays (closest to facilities, pool, ship’s store).
The Kellys

Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Longboat Key Club Moorings

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Longboat Key Club Moorings

Don’t Dare Miss Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant New Jewfish Key Anchorages (Western Florida ICW Statute Mile 85)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-20-2013

Not only is the food really GOOD at Moores, but it is also located within sight of the excellent anchorages, just off the Western Florida ICW, behind Jewfish Key. Follow the links below to learn more about the nearby anchorages, but, at whichever place you drop the hook, don’t dare miss dinghying to Moore’s Stone Crab!

Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Longboat Key, FL – Great seafood (Oysters). Accessible by boat; located In the bight, east of G-ICW, just south of Longboat Pass, north of Sarasota Bay; overnight docking is free to patrons; no services. Can also anchor off the restaurant in a well-protected bight if you get there early; room for 8 – 10 boats; very busy with locals on weekends.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary

Best oysters in Sarasota. Sit at the bar with Barb; you can’t go wrong.
Whit Sibley

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Jewfish Key South Side Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Jewfish Key South Side Anchorage

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Jewfish Key Anchorage

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Jewfish Key Anchorage

Good Dining and Beer In Downtown Sarasota, Florida (off the Western Florida ICW at St. M. 73)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 03-04-2013

 Sounds like Darwin’s would be a great place to unwind and slake a healthy appetite after a long day on the water!

Darwin’s on 4th in Sarasota is a great upscale restaurant and brewery that just won several awards in Tampa. And the bonus is that right next door is the Blue Rooster, a blues bar serving southern foods, that has great bands 7 nights a week, including Sunday afternoons! Don’t miss this one, not far from Marina Jack’s!
Allan and Cheryl Goode

Actually this restaurant and all the great restaurants in downtown Sarasota are about a 10 minute walk from Marina Jacks (0.6 mile) so no taxi is necessary. Enjoy Barnacle Bills, Floribbean, Patricks, El Greco, Etc.
Chris Barlow

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Jacks/Marina Operations

Report and Comments on Bradenton Beach Anchorage (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 87)

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 01-11-2013

 The anchorage under discussion below lies just south of the Cortez Bridge, west of the ICW.
Two important notes need to be considered when evaluating this anchor down spot. First, successful entry can be very tricky for first-timers, AND the city of Bradenton Beach has twice tried to regulate this anchorage, first by creating a mooring field, and later by city registration of boats. Both attempts failed, but who knows what may happen here in the future!

I am writing this as I am anchored here today (the first time in four years). I have always found this to be a great anchorage due to the fact that it has just about everything for onshore that a cruising sailor would want. A beach, a fair number of good places to eat and drink, a free trolley to take you up and down the beach to get to West Marine and the grocery stores and other places to eat and drink (circle K convenience store is just a block away).
I have never had a problem navigating the pier entrance (draw 4 feet) but the first time I grounded when I tried to enter the anchorage directly off the ICW and hit the shoal. So go in as directed.
There are still some derelict boats, one is sunk. It is somewhat noisy mostly from the road traffic going over the bridge or pier fisherman. The anchorage is shallow and the charts do a fairly accurate job of showing the depth. Holding is mud and I have dragged a little bit is a 20 knot blow. As for the the winds out of the south east, this is a lot better than jewfish key anchorage. However, any winds coming from the south or northeast, above 20 knots, I would find another anchorage.
For the politics here, I had a conversation with a local town rep and they said the problem was not the cruising sailors, it was some of the local anchored live aboards that were creating some police issues and had some assorted conflicts amongst each other as well as some theft. The town was trying reduce those issues by putting in a mooring field…. . However, the town cannot do it as this is part of the ICW.
As far as I am concerned, people need a place to live and in this economy, this offers an economic refuge in relative paradise. But, people have to be responsible for their selves and their assets and respectful of others and the environment too. Unfortunately, because some people do not follow this, that cruisers and local live aboards suffer from this tide of regulation.
Brad

Yep, and complain about the junk boats and their owners and you will be labelled “politicaly incorrect” keep going, all of the rights of the hard working will be gifted to the non caring, layabout drug smoking forgiven , who will, take away all your fun and enjoyment. Proof of the pudding…
Dennis McMurtry

As a local, I regularly traverse this section of the ICW heading to/from Tampa Bay or the Manatee River. Seems that after the creation of the Marina Jack mooring field, some members of that “Floating Junk Flotilla” moved North. Cortez folks may be more tolerant, probably not over time.
Blake Whitney

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

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

High Praise for Marina Jacks, Sarasota, FL, Statute Mile 73)

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 12-24-2012

Everyone refers to the large, downtown Sarasota, Florida “city marina” as “Marina Jacks” but, in reality, that is the name of the on-site restaurant, and the maritime part of the operation is officially known as “Marina Operations.” For twenty years, I’ve never heard a single, fellow cruiser use this official moniker.
Whatever you call it, the food at Marina Jacks is certainly good, In March of 2012, I had the pleasure of speaking to the Sarasota Power Squadron, upstairs at Marina Jacks. A GOOD time was had by all, particularly yours truly!

We had just started exploring the Gulf Coast, the first fuel stop being Marina Jacks. Our experience was so pleasant that we decided to extend our stay (with 6 kids in tow this time). The dock manager (Sam), and deck hand who assisted us (Keith), were so welcoming that it was almost disconcerting to us New Yorker’s – being generally accustomed to a more “reserved” attitude at local marinas, yc’s and fuel docks. If you’re in the Sarasota area and looking for a very family friendly, spotlessly clean, & welcoming environment – Marina Jack’s is the place.
Paul & Hakuna Matata’s crew

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

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Marina Operations/Marina Jacks

Shallow Depths Encountered at Field Yacht Club (Sarasota, FL – Statute Mile 71)

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 12-09-2012

 Be sure to read all the remarks in both messages below before drawing any conclusions about the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. As you will see, there are many positive attributes reported, but depths are clearly a problem at this facility for some vessels.
I have had the good fortune to make presentations at the Field Club on many occasions over the years, and I have always been very impressed with the clubhouse and the greeting I received. As far as the wet slip dockage is concerned though, looks like it’s time for a dredging project!

Yesterday we went into the SFC at mid-tide. We have a 50′ Ocean Alexander with a 4′ draft. They were expecting us. In the channel approaching them, our depth finder was reading .2!! We continued very slowly into the marina
to our assigned slip. As we backed into the slip, we were churning up mud. We waited 3 hours for high tide and left. The marina had never warned us.
Mark & Allyn Callahan

After reading the above note, which originally appeared on the “GL” (Great Loop) Mail List, we e-mailed Captains Mar and Allyn, and asked for clarification as to whether the “SFC” was indeed the Field Yacht Club in southern Sarasota. We received the following affirmative reply:

Yes it is the Field Yacht Club in Sarasota. A beautiful Club but for us the approach was very thin and the slip we got would have been a problem at dead low, which was in the morning when we would have had to leave. Don’t want to take anything away from the Club and they were great let us wait for the tide to come up and then we left, no charges for Electric or the slip. Very accommodating.
Mark Callahan

Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Field Yacht Club

Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Field Yacht Club

Cruising Southwestern Florida Coastline With a 5-foot Draft

Posted by Claiborne Young | Posted on 09-17-2012

Here’s an interesting discussion, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum (an organization we continue to heartily endorse) about cruising the western coastline of the Sunshine State, between Sarasota and Captiva Island, with a 5-foot draft.
My experience having researched this coastline since 1992, which reflects the remarks below by Captains Gina and Chuck, is that 5-feet of draft will be fine for most marinas and many anchorages. There are some exceptions, and if your vessel has 6-feet of draft, it can start to get a bit tricky!
The message below from our good friend, Captain Chuck Baier, former General Manager for Waterway Guide, is particularly useful. Most (but not all) of the marinas he mentions as being too shallow are not even listed in the SSECN’s “Western Florida Marina Directory” as they are too small and shallow to really serve cruising size craft. Nevertheless, this is superb information!

My husband and I are chartering a 50′ Trawler for a week out of Sarasota. We are beginning to seriously look at various style trawlers available as we get closer to retiring and beginning a cruising lifestyle for awhile. My question is, as I am studying the waters in this area, Given the depths and tides, am wondering if we are going to have trouble getting in/out of marinas etc. with a draft of 5′ Any suggestions as to how best navigate this area and where to stay would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Mary

It shouldn’t be a problem. We made the trip from Cape Coral to Tarpon Springs and back last year. We draw 4 ft and our friends who traveled with us draws 5ft (a 53 ft Carver). Marinas were fine. South of Sarasota we stayed at Crows Nest (Venice) and Palm Island Marina. We did the whole trip inside via ICW (except for the section north of Tampa where the ICW ends) and didn’t have a problem. Between Sarasota and Captiva we did have to watch the tides through Lemon Bay as it can get skinny there.
Enjoy your trip. It’s a beautiful area. It’s been our cruising area for 15 years.
Gina
M/v Island Time
Cape Coral, Fl

Mary,
We traveled the entire west coast of Florida on several occasions with a 6 foot draft. There are some shallow areas but be sure and have
current charts and you won’t have any issues. Most marinas will be accessible to you. If you get to Sanibel, Adventures In Paradise Marina might be a problem. On Pine Island Sound, Four Winds Marina will be a no go and Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort will also be iffy. In Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda Marina and Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club are very shallow. In Lemon Bay, Stump Pass Marina is shallow and in Little Sarasota Bay, Turtle Beach Marina will be too shallow. In Sarasota, the problem marinas will be Sara Bay, Sarasota Cay Club and Cannon’s Marina. Some of these will be too small for you but might be considered for fuel stops. If in doubt, call ahead and ask. Other than that, pay attention to your charts and if the chart says it’s shallow it is. There will be plenty of available anchorages if you want to get away by yourselves.
Have a great trip.
Chuck Baier

Mary — We live in the city of Punta Gorda at the far northern end of Charlotte Harbor and sail our Ericson 38 sloop drawing 5’1″ throughout the waters you indicated. I would agree with the comments above with the added mention of northerly winds particularly in the winter months which result in lower than normally predicted tides. Come on up Charlotte Harbor to Punta Gorda for a visit to a really quaint, beautiful waterfront community.
Noel Hyde

We live in Punta Gorda and have a 35′ Compac, fully loaded we consider her a 5 foot draft. We have had no issues in this area along the coast line, nor have we had any with the ICW. There are areas that you have to watch the markers and aids to navigation in the ICW, but outside is “clear sailing” so they say. You should have no problems being you have major power, but like everyone mentioned above, follow your charts and if at all possible, get some local knowledge when going into a new marina or channel or canal. Relax and enjoy!
Lynda Leonard s/w Choctaw Brave

Careful attention to charts and the depth sounder will keep you out of trouble.

Most of the ICW is trouble free with 5’ if you stay in the channel. There are many places to go and some you cant but they are usually obvious. A week is not a very long time to explore the area. Sarasota is north of the middle of the SW Florida cruising area of Clearwater to Naples and the keys. You wont have time for the keys unless you want to do long days and short stops.
Going north, Marina Jack in Sarasota, St. Petersburg muni marina, and Clearwater beach are all easily accessible with the only trouble spot being near marker 40 near longboat pass. To the south Venice, Boca Grand, Cayo Costa anchorage (no marina), South Seas resort, ( entrance a little shallow) Ft Meyers, Ft Meyers beach and Naples are all different and interesting. Narrow or shallow entrances are common but should not be a problem with proper attention. Check for current information on this site as conditions do change from charted depths.
IMO for the best sample of area cruising go south, take your time and stay in the ICW. It is a shame to miss the St. Pete waterfront but you cant do everything in a week.
Bruce

Fortunately, most of the shoreline of the Gulf from Louisiana to Florida is soft albeit shallow. Keep one eye on the charts and the other on the tide tables. Frustrating as it ma be, sometimes the different tide charts seem to not agree. Live with it.
I have sailed the Gulf along Florida’s West coast for the past 14 years and have ‘found’ most of the shoals. I could have avoided them with little bit of caution but was able to free myself with no injury or damage and sailed away with minimal delay and another sailing story.
I think the Gulf coast has some of the best anchorages of anywhere I have been. Very well protected, plentiful and shallow. I don’t like to anchor in more than 8-10′ of water- too much work to haul the anchor and to figure swinging area.
Always FOR SAILtoo

Bridge Security Zones, Tampa Bay Area, August 25 to August 31

Posted by Larry Dorminy | Posted on 08-24-2012

The Coast Guard will enforce 15 temporary security zones around certain bridges on the waters of Pinellas County and Tampa Bay during the 2012 Republican National Convention. The security zones will be in effect from Sat. Aug. 25 at 12:01 p.m. until Fri. Aug.31 at 1:00 a.m. All vessels and boaters are prohibited from loitering, anchoring, stopping, or mooring on waters within 50 yards of the designated bridges, during the times and dates listed below. Please note the security zones will be enforced 24-hours daily for the Gandy Bridge, Howard Franklin Bridge, and Courtney
Campbell Causeway. However, expeditious transit through the security zones will be authorized.

Although much of the security plan is sensitive law enforcement information and cannot be released, visible measures will include waterside security zones, increased harbor patrols and increased inspections of merchant and recreational boats.

“Our multi-mission capabilities make the Coast Guard uniquely qualified as a leader in maritime homeland security,” said Capt. Sheryl Dickinson, Captain of the Port and commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “We will blend our capabilities with our maritime law enforcement partners to create a layered approach to RNC safety and security.”

Coast Guard security boats will work with local, state and federal enforcement partners to enforce permanent and temporary waterside security zones and patrol waterways throughout the Tampa Bay region. Violators are subject to a maximum penalty of six years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
http://coastguardnews.com/