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Archive For: WEST FL – All Cruising News

  • More Good Words for Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway)

    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.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    Five Stars for Legacy Harbour and Cap’t Eric (Harbormaster) and his team. Always there to help you dock and to ensure your stay is what you expect. Cap’t Eric is a good source for referrals for yacht services that you may require during your stay and yacht maintenance if you need to leave your boat for an extended period of time. Historic Downtown Fort Myers with a variety of restaurants/entertainment venues and grocery store within walking distance add to the enjoyment of this location. You can enjoy a walk or bike ride down the palm lined streets and a tour of the Edison/Ford Estates.
    Bob Long

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

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

  • Praise for Dunedin Municipal Marina (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 139)

     We have always enjoyed a stay at Dunedin Municipal Marina. This facility is backed by a beautiful green park, which often hosts local shows and fairs, and one block farther on you will discover the downtown shopping district. Here, don’t dare miss Dining at Kelly’s Bistro. Yummmmmm!

    Dunedin Municipal Marina is convenient to restaurants & shopping, just a 2 block walk to the main downtown area. We liked it so much here we moved from Illinois to Dunedin while on the loop earlier this year.
    From Anclote Key follow the ICW south to G”7″, from Clearwater Inlet follow the ICW north to G”5″.
    Ron & Jan Matuska

    I agree Dunedin is really a nice town and they have a very good Mexican restaurant not far from the marina!
    Jim and Dale McGovern
    Aboard SweetPea

    The Dunedin Municipal Marina is excellent. Great staff and facilities at a good rate.
    Sea Potts

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dunedin Municipal Marina

  • Local Advice for Entering Glover Bight Anchorage, off the Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway

    Glover Bight Anchorage - Click for Chartview

    The entrance channel to the Glover Bight Anchorage also eventually leads to Tarpon Point Marina. If you have not been here for a few years, you’ll be amazed at the huge condos that now surround the dockage basin.

    This is a local spot for us..some words of caution about this anchorage. Stay on the west/northwest side of the bight..close as possible to the fuel docks/bar if you are drawing anything 4ft and over. Do NOT cut Red marker “8″ to go in or you will be on the ground. The SE corner of the bight is SHALLOW…talking knee deep.. The line between the deep water and the shallows is a narrow one and shifts.
    Best to enter this as if going to the fuel dock then turning out into the bay.
    Keeping in mind all of the above it is an excellent spot with quick easy access to the Gulf, the river, or ICW/Pine Island sound. Holding is good and the warning above [in an earlier posting] about strong SW winds is true and should be heeded. Tarpon Point marina has fair fuel prices but forget the “Chandlery” as you may get sticker shock should you choose to eat at the bar/restaurant.
    S/V Almost Somewhere

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Glover Bight Anchorage

    Click Here For The Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Tarpon Point Marina

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

  • Good Words for Turtle Cove Marina – Tarpon Springs, off the Anclote River

    Turtle Cove Marina - Click for Chartview

    Turtle Cove Marina is located off the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs channel, west of Marker #50. Detailed channel instructions are found in our Western Florida Marina Directory listing for this facility, linked below.

    We stayed at Turtle Cove after a rough night at Anclote Key (the winds were from the East). Having previously stayed at the City Docks with it’s strong current, I was pleased to find this sheltered marina with floating docks. The staff was very accommodating and the facilities were clean, the pool was great. Too many good restaurants to name within walking distance, but try Mama’s – you won’t be disappointed. I will definitely return to Turtle Cove.
    Cambren Davis

    I can only endorse Cambren’s remarks about Turtle Cove Marina.
    Our sailing club, Hudson Beach Yacht Club, has sponsored several weekend cruises to this marina. I took a “women-only” crew there in June. We have always received the best service and enjoyed the Tiki Hut, pool, and bar. The shower facilities are exceptionally clean!
    One tip: Try Rusty Bellies restaurant, just a 5 minute walk from the marina, for their good food and fun entertainment.
    Karin Glessner
    s/v Callystos

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Tarpon Springs and Spring Bayou

  • High Praise for Southwest Florida Yacht Charters, North Fort Myers, Florida

    Southwest Florida YachtsWe simply can’t praise our good friends, Barbara and Vic Hansen at Southwest Florida Yachts enough. Not only are these good people a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, but they also offer one of the best power and sail charter fleets in Florida, and all within easy cruising distance of the cruising rich waters of Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor. What’s not to like?

    We chartered numerous times with SW Florida Yacht Charters in Ft. Myers and they were superb. Boats were well maintained and the place is run very well. They are also having some great deals as they celebrate 25 years in
    the business.
    Marty and Jerry Richardson

    For more information about Southwest Florida Yachts and Florida Sailing & Cruising School visit http://www.swfyachts.com, http://www.flsailandcruiseschool.com, http://www.swfyachtsales.com Mailing Address: 3444 Marinatown Lane, N.W., N. Fort Myers, FL 33903. Telephone: 800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339, or email info@swfyachts.com

  • Florida “Sojourner’s Permit” Explained

    A couple of years ago, we published complete instructions here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net about what a Florida Sojourner’s Permit is, and why it was/is so important. Well, it’s time to refresh that information here as the fall, 2012 transient season gets underway.
    First, here is the message, which originally appeared on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum which prompted us to get off our duffs and bring this issue anew to the attention of the cruising community.

    If you plan on staying in Florida over 90 days, you need to consider getting a Sojourners permit. Most Florida tax collectors are not familiar with the program and when you go for yours, take along all the forms your will need. Permit is good for 11 months, cost us less than $125. Florida, as do all other states, limits the time you can spend there without registering your boat in their state.
    Go to http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/CruisingCenter2.html for more information.
    You should also refer to yourself as long-term cruiser, not live-aboard.
    Ron Matuska
    Dunedin, FL

    Now, why is it important to get a Sojourner’s Permit if you plan to have your vessel in Floridian waters longer than 90 days. There are at least two reasons, and one is referred to in Captain Ron’s message above.

    1. If your vessel is registered in another state besides Florida, you can operate in Floridian water for up to 90 days without a problem. HOWEVER, if your vessel is Federally Documented, and NOT ALSO state registered, you MUST register it with the state of Florida, or you may be ticketed immediately upon entering Floridian waters. Or, put another way, Federally Documented vessels MUST ALSO be state registered (either with Florida or another state), or you face the possibility of a ticket.
    By the way, it’s this onerous feature of Florida state law that used to allow the “Venice Water Nazi” to ticket boats coming and going in the city of Venice.
    If your vessel remains in Florida for longer than 90 days, even if it’s registered in another state, YOU MUST ALSO REGISTER IT IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA UNLESS YOU OBTAIN A SOJOURNER’S PERMIT! Conversely, iF you succeed in getting a Sojourner’s Permit in hand you will not have to fork over for a costly FL state registration (again, see below) for stays up to 11 months.
    My, my wasn’t that fun!

    2. With a Sojourner’s Permit, you will NOT be hassled to pay sales tax on your vessel. I know this sounds crazy, but if your boat has been owned out of state for less a year before being brought into Florida, and the state in which you purchased your vessel does not collect sales tax on purchases of pleasure boats, the Sunshine State will actually try to charge sales tax on your vessel’s purchase price, if you stay in Floridian waters longer than 90 days (without a Sojourner’s Permit). So, to avoid this ridiculous and expensive charge, get a Sojourner’s Permit. Again, crazy, I know!

    OK, so the above is why obtaining a Sojourner’s Permit is a really good idea. How does not obtain such a document?

    We are pleased to report that our good friend, Captain Mike Dickens at Paradise Yacht Sales and Service (Fernandina Beach, FL, http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/CruisingCenter2.html) provides what cruisers need to obtain one of these permits on his web site. Follow the links below.

    Sojourner’s Permit Form – http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/87244.pdf

    Sojourner’s Permit Instructions – http://www.paradiseyachtsales.net/Sojourner1.pdf

    Hopefully, along with a little cash, that’s all you will need to cruise tax free in the Sunshine State for up to 11 months. Of course, if any member of the cruising community has found out DIFFERENTLY, WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! Please send all your comments and accounts of your experiences directly to:

    Contact@CruisersNet.net

    Good luck and good cruising to all!

    Have question concerning this. Our boat is documented only as our state does not require a registration if doucumented. So this information says to aquire the Sojourner permit you need a copy of registration. What do we need to do for this? Thanks for any help on this.
    Susan Dawson S/V Colleen Mae

    In my original post I noted our Fl permit was good for 11 months. I am not sure if the period was related to when we purchased, Jan 2012, good until Dec 2012, or to some other criteria. You get the permits at a DMV / Tax collector office and in Florida, vehicle registrations end the month of your birthdate, and my birthmonth is December. Also, at the time we purchased the permit we were Illinois residents, our boat was registered in Delaware, and is USCG documented. We stayed in Florida from about Dec 1, 2011 until June 1, 2012. After cruising the east coast this summer, we left our boat in NJ for winter storage when we will continue north again.
    Ron Matuska

    And, here’s some valuable input from fellow nautical author, Captain John Kettlewell:

    Looking around at different county websites it is pretty clear that most say your boat must be state registered to get the Sojourner permit. Some states, like Massachusetts where I keep my boat, do not require state registration of documented vessels, so there is no real savings in hassle for me. I would have to first get a state registration before heading to Florida. In fact, I don’t believe Florida has any grace period for documented vessels–your boat has to be state registered somewhere to operate on Florida waters.

    From Manatee County here: http://www.taxcollector.com/contactapp/question_detail.cfm?question=498&category=3

    Yes, the State of Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers from another state issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90-days on recreational boats only. You can operate your out-of-state registered boat on Florida waterways without obtaining a Florida registration/decal.
    However, if you reside in Florida for more than 90-days, you must either title and register your boat in Florida or purchase a Sojourner registration (if you plan on taking the boat back to your home state).

    To obtain a Sojourner registration, you must:

    1. Provide a copy of the out-of-state registration showing the boat details, out of state # and owner names.
    2. Complete Form 87244 Application for Non-Titled Boat

    However, the sales tax thing is also clear. Many of us will not owe sales or use tax even if we have to register in Florida, unless we bought the boat within the last six months and/or we are Florida residents:

    http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/2009/gt800005.pdf

    Under most conditions, use tax and surtax are due on boats brought into Florida within 6 months from the date of purchase. However, use tax may be due upon importation into Florida, under either of the following conditions:

    • The boat belongs to a Florida resident; or
    • The boat belongs to a corporation for the use of a corporate officer or director who is a Florida resident or who owns, controls, or manages a dwelling in Florida.
    John J. Kettlewell

    By the way, for some of us with older boats (30 years or more) Florida has an antique boat registration that is very cheap. I believe you are exempted from most of the annual registration fee. More information here: http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/87243.pdf
    JJK

    I’m reading and rereading the words and am thoroughly confused. We live in NC, purchased our boat in NC, paid the sales tax on our boat to NC, and annually pay property tax on our boat. Our boat is a USCG documented vessel – NC does not require state registration on USCG documented vessels. We plan to visit FL this season but for less than 90 days. Do we need a Sojourner’s Permit? I’m still not sure about the answer to this question.
    BMasinton

    Claiborne answers:
    OK, I have an answer for that one. Since you will be in Florida for less than 90 days, you do NOT need a Sojourners Permit.
    HOWEVER, your troubles are not over. FLORIDA REQUIRES STATE REGISTRATION EVEN THOUGH YOUR BOAT IS FEDERALLY DOCUMENTED. You have three bad choices.
    1. You can not state register your vessel, and hope you don’t get stopped in Florida, knowing that if you are, you WILL be ticketed!
    2. You can register your boat with the state of Florida, which, I’m told, is an expensive proposition
    3. You can register your boat in NC, even though our state does not require state registration for Federally documented vessels. Florida WILL accept NC (or any other state) registration, BUT you must have your state registration papers aboard, and put the appropriate sticker on your boat’s bow.
    As I said, no really good alternative, but, for my money, I would pick #3.
    Don’t shoot the messenger. That’s my take on your situation!

    After receiving the first message below, there was some question whether the state of North Carolina would state register a Federally Documented vessel. Turns out “titling” and “registering” are two very different creatures, at least in the Tar Heel state, and, as you will read below, it IS possible to “register” a documented boat in NC.

    Hi again
    I checked the NC Web site for vessel registration (which I use for our dinghy registration) and it’s curious to note that the lead questions on the VL-1 form are this:

    1) Is this vessel documented by the US Coast Guard Yes or No (If Yes, vessel cannot be titled)
    2) Is this vessel 14′ or longer, or a personal watercraft Yes or No (If Yes, vessel must be titled)

    Registration must be a different process than titling Hmmm
    My answer to both of these questions is Yes guess I’ll give them a call on Monday
    BMasinton

    Hi Claiborne …
    Here’s what we just learned from NC Wildlife Resources Commission – both on their Web site (http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating.aspx) and by phone (1-800-628-3773). They will also take questions via email at
    vessels@ncwildlife.org.
    Actually the woman we spoke with chuckled and puzzled over why in the world we’d want to register our boat with NC if it’s already a USCG documented vessel! She did say that we couldn’t title the vessel – but if we wanted to pay $15 for 1 year (or $40 for 3 years), we needed to complete form VL1 (see link below), submit a copy of our USCG documentation paperwork, and they would get us registered.
    Here’s the link to the NC form VL1:
    http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Boating/documents/VL1Form.pdf
    So hopefully once that is done and we receive our registration number for NC, if we carry that paperwork and display our NC number on the bow of our boat, we won’t be pestered or ticketed by FL authorities – if we stay less than 90 days.
    By the way, we always carry our tax information on board.
    Is that your understanding, given this information?
    Thanks again for providing us your info – hopefully our follow-up will help others.
    Barb & Roy Masinton
    s/v Waterdog
    Oriental

    One suggestion to Captains Barb and Roy – see Captain Ted’s remarks below. Looks like it’s NOT a good idea to paint your NC registration numbers on your bow IF and only if your vessel is Federally documented!

    After reading some of this discussion last week I registered my documented vessel with North Carolina, we live in NewBern, for three years for a total of $60.00.
    We are heading to the Bahamas on the 15th but will bepassing through Flordia (very quickly).
    Newton Collyar
    S/V Bifrost

    Claiborne,
    You suggested putting registration numbers on a documented boat. That is against USCG documentation rules. Putting the registration STICKER on is OK, but not the state registration number on the bow.
    Second; some people get titling & registration mixed. If federally documented, that is your title. In that case, you CANNOT state TITLE, but you can state register a CG documented boat. The state will issue a reg number & sticker. You can use the reg number for paperwork but do not put it on the bow. The sticker should be sufficient for the water cops.
    Ted

    Yikes
    We’ve just reviewed the further post from Captain Ted and this may have answered our question of latest concern.
    We’re in the process of renewing our USCG certificate of documentation and there’s one paragraph on the form that states this:
    “If the vessel has been lost, sold, abandoned, destroyed, or placed under state numbering [and isn’t that what we’re about to request by registering our boat in NC?], the vessel owner must notify the National Vessel Documentation center in writing. If the Certificate of Documentation is available, it must be surrendered.”
    We did try to give the Documentation Center a call today (1-800-799-8362) to ask their advice, as we wish to retain our Certificate of Documentation – but they were closed for the holiday. We will call tomorrow. Meanwhile, we’ve not mailed a thing and won’t do so until we know for certain we are proceeding with our best interests in mind.
    Barb & Roy Masinton
    s/v Waterdog

    And, a very important final message from Captains Barb and Roy. As you will see, it IS possible to register their vessel in North Carolina, thereby avoiding having to register it in Florida, and STILL RETAIN their Federal Documentaton!

    Hi Claiborne and others!
    Here’s the next (and maybe last) installment in the search for answers to our sojourner’s permit questions. After talking today (10/9/12) to a documentation officer from the National Vessel Documentation Center in West Virginia (1-800-799-8362), she gave me the following advice and guidance: Yes, we can obtain a NC vessel registration number and not be in conflict with our Certificate of Documentation from the Coast Guard, provided we 1) do not title our vessel with NC, 2) do not affix any registration numbers or stickers to our vessel, 3) continue to follow all the rules applicable to a documented vessel. If we follow these 3 guidelines, we do not have to surrender our Certificate of Documentation. If we carry our NC registration paperwork on board while cruising in FL waters (for less than 90 days) we can demonstrate to officials that we have been responsible in paying fees to NC, and FL fees are not required and potential ticketing in FL will no longer be an issue. We are comfortable with this advice and look forward to our cruise down south this season.
    Thanks everyone for helping with answers and comments.
    Barb Masinton and Captain Roy
    s/v Waterdog

    Regarding the 90 days…
    is this 90 days per calender year?
    Lets say I enter Fl Dec 1st and leave for the Bahamas Jan 30. That’s 2 months. When I come back do I have 1 month or 2 left in my 90 days? And when I come back in the fall?
    How do they track your comings & goings? Do marinas like Fernandina Beach turn in reports to FWC? Bascule bridges?
    How heavy is the burden of proof of your entry into the state?
    Ted

  • Florida Marina Liveaboard Discussion

    For the last week or so, there has been a lively discussion on the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association forum (http://www.greatloop.org) about the issue of liveaboards, particularly as this issue relates to facilities in Florida. All of us at the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net are aware of the importance of this issue to the cruising community, and will soon make available a comprehensive, professionally researched list of marinas where liveaboards are welcome. Until that happy event, listen to what our fellow mariners have to say by following the link below! This discussion is just too lengthy to post in its entirety here.

    http://www.CruisersNet.net/florida-marina-liveaboard-discussion

  • “Report” from Matanzas Pass Entry Channel, Fort Myers Beach, FL

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Capt. Armstrong provides “‘nuf said” about the entry channel into Matanzas Pass where shoaling has drastically shifted the deep water. Click link below for a recent Navigation Alert posted on Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.

    Hi Claiborne,
    Lastest info on Matanzas Pass…don’t follow “red, right, returning”…safe to outside green markers #5 & #7, depths 8′ to 13′ on the tides.
    Capt. Art Armstrong
    State of the Art
    In God We Trust

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Matanzas Pass Channel Light #5

    Click Here To Read Earlier Comments about shoaling in This Area

  • Praise for South Seas Island Resort Marina, West Florida ICW, Mile 135

    South Seas Island Resort Marina is found at the western foot of the marked and charted channel running west between Western Florida ICW markers #38 and #39.

    Just visited this marina this last Saturday (Sept 15) with our Tartan 33, and found the experience to be thoroughly enjoyable. The Dockmaster and his staff here are among the most pleasant and helpful I’ve encountered anywhere (unlike at not-to-be-named marina a mile or so to the south). The facilities are first rate, the showers excellent (just walk right in… they provide towels, soap and shampoo!), and the grounds are tropical and very well tended. In all, a great experience. For any of you folks traveling with a boat club, be sure to negotiate club rates (maybe not in full season?). Yes, it’s a bit pricey atmosphere, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place to anyone. I don’t mind paying a bit more once in a while, especially if I think I’m getting my money’s worth. Easy access from the ICW, and Redfish Pass is right there for a good deep-water opening to the Gulf.
    Capt. Mike Smith

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For South Seas Island Resort Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South Seas Island Resort Marina

  • Cruising Southwestern Florida Coastline With a 5-foot Draft

    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

  • Report from Tierra Verde Marina, West Florida, Statute Mile 113

    Tierra Verde Marina is located directly on the Western Florida ICW, just west of the Pinellas Bayway Bridge, northwest of marker #22. This facility went through a major rebuilding only a year or so ago. Looks like the previous ownership did not survive that project.

    We stayed at the Tierra Verde marina for one night. We have a Sea Ray 390 Motor Yacht. We called ahead and they had folks waiting for us and brought us into one of the floating docks. They have both floating docks and fixed docks. Please take Caution, the marina provides little protection from the elements, specially the extremely fast current the rips through the areas from east to west. This combined with a strong easterly wind made for a interesting docking experience. Also because of the location of the marina, most of the night our boat was rocking from side to side.
    We arrived just before 5 and everyone vacated the facilities promptly at 5. We were told where we could obtain shore power. However, when we connected in, power was not available. Two other transit boats came in after hours and were not able to obtain shore power either. Talking with the boat broker on premises, a lot of the shore power hookups do not work. Why they parked us at one I have no idea.. but we were able to run the generator all night long. I was expecting a discount on the overnight fee due to this, but I was told none was available.
    From what I have learned, the marina has just changed hands to a new owners who is trying to make improvements…. The people working there are great… but I think it is a work in progress…..
    Roger Battistoni

    Last week I took on 240 gal of water contaminated gasoline from them. My well cared vessel with racors stopped engine damage but I still needed a tow in. And of course downtubes et cet to clear the water. They denied fuel contamination and did not offer any help whatsoever. I asked for the manager but my $1000 gas bill would not even get him off his golfcart.
    Buyer beware with this group. I will buy my fuel elsewhere.
    Red ariel

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

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  • Eye Witness Account of How Tropical Storm Isaac Impacted Riviera Dunes Marina (off Tampa Bay on Manatee River, Palmetto, FL)

    Riviera Dunes Marina Just off Tampa Bay Owned and Operated by BoatersAfter reading the account below, it makes my very proud that Riviera Dunes Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    From: “First Matey”
    Subject: Isaac Preparations and Riding Out of Storm
    We were tenants at Riviera Dunes Marina, Palmetto, FL, during the approach and passing of T/S Isaac. This marina has a reputation for being a great place to be during a storm because of its location five miles up the Manatee River off Tampa Bay (thus tidal surges have a lot of space to fill before getting too drastic etc.), but being there during this one was most revealing. Doc Craig, the marina manager, had his crew use lines that the marina owns, (three strand nylon with sizes for each size vessel) actually double line every vessel in the marina. See photo that shows owners lines and the white marina lines…

            
    The marina staff started several days before the storms forecasted arrival in accordance with marina storm preparation “SOP”. Several captains volunteered to help to make sure that all vessels were properly fendered, tied, and prepared for the storm. I have never seen this in my years of cruising, although it is such a great thing to offer, I am sure it exists in some other places. I understand this marina has a special offer to insure a slip during a storm for any captains who may want to insure a spot for the ultimate protection of this 360 protected marina harbor.
    As you know, Bradenton – Palmetto, did not get much of the storm effects. Actually the wind is blowing more today, Tuesday, August 28th than it did during the day the storm was to pass. None the less, no damage, no nicks, in fact all is well and in place.
    Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
    We are in love with this area up the Manatee. Palmetto is a slice of old Florida and Bradenton has all that one could want with a beautiful river walk park. It is just nice. And we actually enjoyed riding out Isaac here with the fine folks who run Riviera Dunes, especially their Dockmaster and marina manager, Doc Craig and his lovely wife Linda.
    Our prayers are with everyone who remains in the path of Isaac and hopefully all will fair without harm.
    Thanks for all you do Claiborne in getting good info out to all.
    “First Matey”

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

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  • Three Excellent Repair Recommendations for the Tampa Bay Region (Western Florida Coastline)

    Our sincere thanks to Skipper Sue and Capt. Warren for these recommendations. As I’ve often said, tips by fellow cruisers pointed towards talented and fair service professionals are worth several times their weight in gold!

    Dear Claiborne,
    I was cruising out of Bradenton, Fl recently and needed some quick air conditioning repairs and diesel engine repairs. As a result of some local recommendations and my own personal experience, I want to share and highly recommend these two resources.
    For my engine repairs, I learned of a young man named Jon Lynch who runs Florida Marine Power. I called Mr. Lynch and he responded quickly. The work took some time and Mr. Lynch stayed on board with us until 9:45PM until the work was completed and tested for satisfaction. His rates are fair also. What a fine young man. The point I want to make and let other cruisers know, is that I have never met such an honest and talented diesel technician. This skipper would like to highly recommend Florida Marine Power and Mr. Jon Lynch, telephone 941-545-8250. You will not be disappointed.
    Our air conditioning system repairs were met with equal responsiveness. We were told of “Brad’s Marine Air Conditioning” and a Mr. Brad Coats. Mr. Coats worked us into his schedule quickly, even though it meant coming by in the evening. He worked diligently and saved us a lot of money by repairing the compressor, rather than just selling us a new unit. I heard several skippers tell of how Brad had helped others saving money and keeping the crew cool and happy. Brad is located in St. Petersburg and covers down to Sarasota if necessary. His tele: 727-492-2622
    We’ve worked with a number of marine technicians, but these two are definitely stand outs !!
    Skipper Sue
    M/V WinSue

    I also have had wonderful service from Jon Lynch, who specializes in diesel engines, as well as general maintenance. He also works with a very talented electric tech – Eric Stammer, who can be reached via Jon Lynch.
    John Guthrie

    I would also highly recommend Patrick Halbert of Accelerated Yacht Services, Phone: (727) 656-0250
    Patrick’s a whiz at everything boats — from master woodworking to diesel repairs & repowering, and all categories in between. Also, reasonable, competitive rates.
    For Patrick’s bio, check out
    http://www.daviderdmanyachts.com/patrick_halbert.html
    Captain Paul Warren

  • Legacy Harbour Marina Designed for Storm Surge, Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway

    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.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    Legacy Harbour Marina in Ft. Meyers has also been designed for hurricane storm surges .. floating concrete docks on tall concrete posts.
    John
    m/v At Last

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

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  • “Venice Water Cop” Passes Away

    Retired FWC “Water Cop,” Tim Erickson, passed away recently, and I’m sure he will be missed by family and friends. Many cruisers had another name for this “Venice Water Cop,” but with his passing, perhaps we will not recall that moniker now.
    For many years Officer Erickson was known for his tenacious, “letter of the law” enforcement of Florida statutes which require state registration of vessels, even though they may be Federally documented.
    Several years ago, the SSECN was involved in an e-mail writing campaign to the Venice City Council, protesting Officer Erickson’s treatment of visiting cruisers. Turns out he was a state employee, and this protest went for naught.
    Erickson retired several years ago, and Venice waters have been free of his presence for some time now. And so, with Office Erickson’s passing, it is a sad end to an entirely sad affair.
    For the past several days, there has been a LIVELY discussion concerning Officer Erickson on the AGLCA forum. Many of those messages are copied below!

    Many Loopers through the years have stayed or planned to stay at the “free” city park dock in Venice, FL. That became a problem when a vigorous and tenacious Florida Fish and Wildlife officer began issuing tickets for alleged various wrongdoings by boaters passing through. The officer was Tim Erickson. Tim Erickson passed away on July 22, 2012 (http://tinyurl.com/8vl56gq).
    Bill

    Tim Erickson was certainly controversial if not infamous. He used to hang out every afternoon at the Crows Nest dock and the Venice free dock checking every boat for a Florida sticker, which is usually required after 90 days in the state. Probably earned the sate many dollars in registration fees, fines and sales tax dollars. But he caused many cruisers to bypass the best town on the gulf coast.
    I wrote about Venice and its beauty in this blog when we first moved there in 2007, and the subsequent firestorm that ensued in both this and the T&T blogs made front page in the Sarasota Herald and Venice papers. The Venice town council was barraged with complaints from cruisers.
    Shortly thereafter Tim made headlines again when he was the first to respond to a horrific crash on the gulf when a news helicopter clipped a race boat with fatalities. So all his press was not bad. About a year later he retired, removing the threat to cruisers wishing to stop at the Crows Nest dock, and also their restaurant, among the best in Florida. So, RIP Tim.
    Unfortunately, the Venice Council stopped overnight docking at the nearby free dock, one of the few (maybe the only) good free docks on the coast. They were anticipating a fee-based mooring field which has not yet been developed.
    Venice is still a great destination either to visit or live, there is free anchorage near the dock and other docking options
    Bob

    Bob,
    I had long, sometimes rather heated, discussions with Tim about this issue. I was not the only person to have these discussion by any means. As I remember Tim was sort of a “pilot program” on the tax and the transient boater issue. We sure don’t need to get that monster started here again in the forum. I don’t know that he issued many actual citations for a violation of the tax law, as a state officer I don’t know that he could unless there was a Florida law violation. No question that he ruffled some feathers………
    Tim was a very nice guy. As stated in his obit, he started a very popular children’s fishing program. I”ll certainly miss my friend.
    Sharkey

    Sharkey has it right.
    I’m sure that it was not Tim’s idea to “harass” cruisers visiting Venice, but simply following orders.
    I would think sales tax collection was the driver. Tim could not know or care about sales tax on boats, just whether or not it was registered in Florida if the boat was in the state 90 days. You generally need out-of-state fuel or marina receipts newer than 90 days to avoid citation.
    When cruisers cited by Tim or other officers visit the tax office to buy a Florida boat registration, they must show on newer boats whether or not sales tax equivalent to Florida’s rate was paid. You can’t get a Florida registration unless the sales tax question is resolved first. Most states with sales tax have a similar program. We see game wardens regularly walking the docks in Racine, taking note of boats with no WI registration stickers. If they are still there a few months later the same process ensues.
    Bob Kunath
    Sans Souci

  • Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina, Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway

    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.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!!

    We’ve had our 32 ft. sailboat at Legacy Harbour for 5 years and absolutely love the place. It’s in a great location, kept in wonderful condition and the staff are the best people in the world to work with. Lots of good restaurants within walking distance along with fun things going on in Ft. Myers. Just a good place to be.
    Mary Alice Kearly

    I could not agree more. Great staff, floating docks and close to downtown Ft Myers.
    Lee Harkness

    Not to mention the swimming pool and marina lounge and the chici hut. Especially nice in season with pot lucks and movie nights. Super friendly and very knowledgeable staff. If they refer you to any service personnel rest assured they have been vetted and are the best at their art in the area.
    John Wilson

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

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

  • Praise for Legacy Harbour Marina (Fort Myers Waterfront, on the Okeechobee Waterway)

    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.Well, of course, Legacy Harbour Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!!! The following comments are copied from the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association Forum

    After checking out 7 marinas in the area, we selected Legacy Harbour in Fort Myers for our spring “base”. What a great choice! It is about 15 miles up the Caloosahatchee -safe from all the TS Debby surge, yet just a half day cruise to fabulous anchorages at Captiva, Sanibel, etc. An easy drive to Naples, Marco, the Everglades and various nature reserves. The marina is clean, with floating docks, slip-side pump-outs, nice showers and laundry, work-out room, lounge and salt-water pool. AND the staff, led by Eric and Lana, are absolutely the best. We’ll be back!
    Breandon and Kathleen Isom

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

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  • Report from Three Rooker Bar Anchorage, Gulf ICW Statute Mile 147

    This West Florida anchorage lies near the northern tip of the Western Florida ICW, and just south of Anclote Key, Anclote River and Tarpon Springs.

    We have anchored here several times. As long as the winds are from the west, it really is not that bad of a place if you are looking for some seclusion and a great place to hang out for the day (or tender in to the islands). It should be noted, that there is A LOT of sea grass in the area, so be careful.
    Roger Battistoni

    On weekends very popular, great place.
    Edward Turner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For Three Rooker Bar

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  • Dredging in Hurricane Bay, Fort Myers, FL

    This west coast dredging operation is in Hurricane Bay, east of the Gulf Waterway in Fort Myers. Navigation of the Waterway should not be affected.

    FLORIDA-WEST COAST-FORT MYERS TO CHARLOTTE HARBOR AND WIGGINS PASS-HURRICANE BAY: Dredging Operations.
    Energy Resources, Inc. will commence dredging operations on or about the week of July 9, 2012. The project is dredging a 40’ wide channel from Port Carlos Mobile Home Park approximately ½ mile to the main channel in Hurricane Bay in south Fort Myers, Florida. This channel is approximately 0.9 mile northeast of the highway 865 bridge at Fort Myers Beach. The operations will be during daylight hours only. The Dredge “NATE” will monitor VHF FM channel 16 and will be supported by a small 24ft tender boat “Lucille”. The only floating pipeline that is in the channel will be directly adjacent to the dredge. The project is expected to be completed in 90 days. For further information contact Energy resources, Inc., Mr. Paul Reinhardt 636-532-9558. Chart 11427

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

  • Report from Hurricane Pass, Gulf Coast, North of Clearwater, FL

    Hurricane Pass, which intersects the Western Florida ICW between Dunedin and Anclote Key, was formed by a violent hurricane in 1921 resulting in a seaward cut dividing what is now called Honeymoon Island to the north and Caladesi Island to the south. Depths in this cut run 4 feet or less and, as Captain Battistoni reports, the channel shifts constantly. Our advice: avoid this inlet like the plague.

    Cruising News:
    Not sure if this is where I report this, however we have a 43 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht. I went through the hurricane pass which is a inlet to the ICW just north of clearwater. If you follow the markers you will run aground even during high tide as the markers have you going right through a large sandy landmass that is extending from the north. This was even during high tide. You have to go well south of the markers, and even when you do that we registered only .5 foot under the keel (and this was at high tide).
    Roger Battistoni

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