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St. Augustine City Southern Mooring Field

Posted by admin | Posted on 04-10-2007

St. Augustine City Southern Anchorage
Statute Mile: 778.5
Lat/Lon: near 29 53.402 North/081 18.445 West
Location: along the Tolomato River’s western banks, south of the St. Augustine City Marina
Special Comment: BE SURE TO ANCHOR SOUTH OF A POINT ABEAM OF THE SANTA MARIA RESTAURANT AND DOCK; this long-popular anchorage was converted to a mooring field by the city of St. Augustine in the fall of 2010
Minimum Depth: 6 feet – typical 10-foot soundings
Swing Room: only limited by other vessels swinging at anchor on these waters
Foul Weather Protection: Fair; open to southern, northern and southeastern winds
Waste Pump-out Availability: A free pumpout boat is available for boats in the mooring field, and boats also anchored in the city limits for a fee of $5. For more information go to http://www.staugustinegovernment.com/visitors/municipal-marina.cfm

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Comments from the Cruisers' Net Community (18)

Stopped twice in Nov on the way south. Both times the mooring field was quite uncomfortable from sustained hi winds. Great town to visit but long term on a mooring would not be ideal.
xort

We are moored at St. Augustine right now, South of the bridge. The staff seems very nice. There is construction going on with the addition of considerably more floating concrete docks. This construction has not been an issue, just a bunch of construction guy working away. There are a couple close-in slips reserved for dinghies, which is great. One slip is labeled “hard dinghies”, but a couple hard dinghies dock in the other slip with no enforcement (didn’t see a “soft dinghies” sign, so ???). Keep in mind you need to be on a mooring ($20/day) to use these docks. Very nice on-shore facilities, even propane exchange.
Our only complaint: why didn’t someone in the Florida bureaucracy realize the stretch of river adjacent and through the mooring fields should be NO WAKE!
Glen Vetter

In regards Statute Mile 778 – this mooring field is managed by the St Augustine Municipal Marina
http://www.staugustinegovernment.com/visitors/municipal-marina.cfm
and although large, can get booked up during heavy times of cruisers heading north/south. It’s good to book early if possible. Very clean facilities, including showers, laundry, lounge. The dinghy dock is floating concrete and in excellent shape. Their facilities are right down town, great location. My only caution is that bikes that have been locked to their bike rack tend to disappear in the dark of the night. I believe they are working to address this issue with better lighting and cameras.
Best regards,
Michelle Bennett
s/v A La Mer

Mooring Field South of the Bridge of Lions: left there Friday, April 19 after two days. A Nor’easter was moving in, but the river was not as choppy as expected; rather calm. The dinghy dock is inside the Marina, protected, and close to the ramp leading to showers and Town. Plenty of room to tie up.
Bruce Franz
“Hemisphere Dancer”
Dickerson #19
The Journey is the Destination

We spent a week on a ball on the south side mooring field. It was very windy and the field was quite choppy. We had to use the marina launch instead of our dink when blowing and the launch has very limited hours. The floating dink dock seemed fine. Publix & west marine are over a mile away. Downtown st augustine is excellent, lots to see and do.
Capt Ed

The moorings are well maintained, and the fee ($15 or $20) includes full shower facilities, dinghy dockage (plenty of good space, water spigots, trash/recycling disposal). Totally safe.
Peter TenHaagen

Yes, we were told to pick up a mooring in the Salt Run #5, I think. Anyway, we told them we were a 6 ft draft and there was no way we could get even close to it. Probably no more than a few feet there We realized it just before we would have gone a ground. The moorings by the marina are very nice, $20 a night with all rights to the marina. You are right down town with all the activities and restaurants. The next time we went we anchored by the fort. it was great, no problem and saved the money.
Harry & Melinda Schell
S/V Sea Schell

Came through the bridge and went to the dock and signed in for a mooring ball. Good strong moorings. 4 days and strong 30 knot winds and very little swell.
Clean showers and laundry facilities and right in the downtown.
Terrible internet wifi. Can’t get it at the boat. Can pickup every other marina’s signal in the area but NOT St. Augustine City Marina’s. Only good if you physically go into the lounge. That sucks when you are 4 days stuck in the boat and can’t Skype, email,stream movies or work if you use your computer for work. If they ever fix this with a proper broadcast modem then this would be a great mooring field.
Mathany

We used the south mooring field at St.Augustine the weekend of April 1, 2012. We approached from the south, hailing the City Marina as we came under the high bridge just south of the San Sebastion River. The marina advised to stay in the ICW channel until abeam of specific day beacon due to shoaling and then gave precise guidance to our mooring ball. We had two very pleasant,secure, nights on the ball as a front passed through with severe thunderstorms, and were able to observe close up the ” Blessing of the Fleet”.
The mooring field to the north of Bridge of Lions did not have any observable shoaling problems.
We topped off diesel at the Inlet Marina and visited the Publix grocery.
Steve Kamp, S/V Carolina

St Augustine Municipal Marina will not accept credit card information over the phone (unlike 99% of the marinas out there). If one arrives between 1800 and 2030, one is expected to go alongside regardless of the current/weather or launch a dinghy to pay. If their launch operator collects payment, they will only accept cash and *exact change* is
demanded.
I was told their lawyers would not let them accept the CC info by phone. When I asked if I could pick up a mooring and pay in the morning, I was not too politely asked, “what motel would let you do that?”
The services may have changed at St Augustine, but the attitude hasn’t. We remain sheep for the shearing. And the no wake zone was not enforced while we were there.
Chris Waln

To Chris’s post above, I have witnessed many cruisers, sneaking in after dark, and tying up to docks, even taking power for the nite, and water, using all the facilities and then leaving in the morning and presumably not paying at all. Not to say that some of them may have called in the next day and paid over phone, we did that once, ourselves, paid by phone the next day, after calling and leaving message that we had tied to the dock the night before. But I am afraid these marina’s are seeing way too many people that aren’t always honest, and that’s why the rules are made as such, sometimes, it’s not all about us and our convenience, sometimes we need to think about wearing the shoe on the other foot. We do live in the modern age and we enjoy the conveniences we receive at some of the other marinas, that do allow pay by phone, but as I have heard many many times, a thoughtful guest, when a guest in Rome, will act and abide by the rules of Rome. Just a Thought!
Clay Taylor

Recent reports of shoaling at some of the moorings in the St. Augustine Mooring Field were confirmed by phone today, but according to the City Marina spokesperson, the shoaling is continuous and constantly changing. Currently there are moorings with as much as 15ft and some with 0ft. However, the moorings are always assigned and you would be assigned a mooring according to your draft. Thus the necessity to contact the City Marina at 904-825-1026 before picking up a mooring pendant.

We picked up a mooring in the southern field on April 2nd, 2012.
Approaching from the south, we turned into the mooring field just north of R “10″. The chart and plotter both showed good water but we hit bottom and turned back into the channel (we draw 4.5′). The dockmaster (channel 71) told me to stay in the channel until abeam the northern end of the field before turning in.
Be aware that the water taxi only runs every two hours on the even hours and the last chance to return to your boat is 6:00 pm. If your crew is threatening mutiny, there is a liquor store across from the fort.
The mooring fee is $21.20 per night.
Max Miller

Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 10:18:57 -0400 (EDT)
I was always in favor of a mooring field and some regulations as too many boaters left boats unattended for months making it the city’s problem…my days of boating have come down to a short boat ride to the fort, anchoring for 1-2 hrs, back to my marina and then drive to a restaurant for a nice lunch. I replaced my 40′ boat with a 22′ so I could do this with less work. Now comes the mooring field. Two days ago, the mooring field was 70% vacant so with the intent of sunning mysel for an hour I tied up to a mooring. I was willing to pay the $4 hr city dock rate, if asked. After a half hour their launch boat came by and in no uncertain terms I was told I would have to motor in to their dock, register, pay a $20 flat rate day fee or immediately vacate. Sure, I was wrong to steal time at their mooring but I like to play it safe with anchoring and the only choice I have is to anchor in the middle of the harbor or tuck into just adjacent to a spoil island just north of the fort in the middle of a small boat channel. I see no reason why the city can’t set aside a few moorings for hourly boats, have the smaller boats radio in for assignment, and pay the $4-$8 directly to the launch operator, exact change only.I’m really distressed over this whole situation and my love affair with the city is over.(Also for your info, to park a car costs $.25 for 10 minutes and the lots that have meters go to $8-$10 flat fee, 2 yrs ago, if you knew where to park, you could do so for nothing). For certain, this city is neither tourist or boater friendly on any level!!!
Les Glasser

The mooring field at St Augustine wasn’t there our last trip but was being talked about. We thought that it would be wonderful. The blows through there can get pretty rough and no more worries about anchors not holding, and boats drifting into others. 14 a day, isn’t bad. We will be Happy to pay for the mooring on our next trip down! Besides, if You stop in St Augustine 14 bucks will probably be the cheapest thing You purchase!
S/V Gemini

We pulled into Salt Run on the evening of the 20th of November and our first observation was “Wow, where did all the junk go?” Our second observation was that there were several lines of crab pots. Upon closer examination the crab pots were white mooring balls, very neatly identified as SR 1, etc. We coasted up to one, caught the painter, and soon had Carolina snugged in.
Around 5:20 pm we were hailed by a St. Augustine Marina employee who got us registered, suggested a ball that had better for our draft, and we paid our $14.00 fee for the night.
We were given a card identifying the ball and the date which gave us access to everything we would have had at the City Marina, other than water and electric.
We fully understand the controversy over anchoring rights in and around various Florida municipalities, but having experienced what St. Augustine has accomplished, are very satisfied with the product.
Steve and Sheila Kamp aboard S/V Carolina

We’re currently lying, in the south anchorage, to a single 35 lb. CQR with 3/8″ 3B chain. Our boat, a Baba 35, draws 6′ and has a modified full keel. So far we’ve had little difficulty with our ground tackle after several tide and wind changes. We do ride somewhat oddly with wind against current, but this is no different than other anchorages, in SC, GA, and FL, where the same situation has occurred. While dinghying through the anchorage, most boats are riding to a single anchor, with few exceptions.
Granted $10/day for a dinghy sticker is a little spendy, the facilities ashore are a plus, to say nothing of the city itself. Given there are no real alternatives to speak of, so it goes.
Rick Emerson

Overall, we much prefer the southern anchorage to the northern for room, some relief from swells from the inlet, and better access to the city marina. Note, however, that a shoal exists along a line from the R “12″ to the R “10A” and on to the R “10″, west of this line there is good depth for most boats (we draw 6′). Photos from the air show this bar clearly. We’ve seen two boats (one was a cat) try to run between the “10″ and “10A” at high tide and still take the bottom. The only way in or out is to pass north of R “10″.
Scenery is in the eye of the beholder – we have no problem with the surroundings. As to derelict boats, they are an unhappy fact of life here. We count about 6 in a very large, and busy, anchorage. Could be worse…

Anchoring in this area is not as scenic as north of Lions bridge and some of the boats look abandoned. Caution when exiting the anchorage, there is a shoal north and south of marker 10 less then 4 foot depth. Enter and exit the area from the north and to the west of red #10.

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