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The Salty Southeast
Cruisers' Net
Cruisers Helping Cruisers

Update on Bradenton Beach Anchorage (Western Florida ICW, Statute Mile 87)

 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!

Bradenton Beach anchorage update: As of 5/12, the city has made no further blatant efforts to harass boaters. As a member of the “Mooring Committee” I can say that the city has no interest in really developing a boater friendly community.
Still, I recommend to everyone that, rather than avoid areas of “conflict ie. St Pete, St. Augustine, etc., they use these areas and RESIST (nicely, of course) the erosion of navigation rights.
As for the notion of the city “noticing the reduction of boating visitors and responding accordingly”, the city of B.B. would be quite happy if no one EVER anchored a boat in “their” waters.

I respectfully disagree with this assessment of Bradenton Beach. I kept two boats there for the better part of a year…the first a 24-foot sloop…then a 29-footer…A friend of mine protested the 15 dollar/year fee for using the mooring field.The mooring field was illegal but I think that the reason he fought it is the slow erosion of rights and I am glad now that he did. They backed down on advice from their lawyer and I think that even though 15 dollars/year for showers and dinghy dock is a small price to pay for a decent facility with access to free trolley up and down the whole island…I think that the costs would slowly have risen over time and a bad precedent set. Having said all that…I DO NOT think that they hate boaters and liveaboards here…especially now that some of the riff raff has cleared out. The depths are overall poor for bigger boats…the approach in front of the fishing pier is a sad joke…but there is a back door further south beyond the sand shoals you can come in from if you keep going south after coming thru the bridge from the north about 3/4 mile and then come back in…at a NW angle…All in all…this is a decent area to keep your boat for awhile…amenity-speaking…but not for more than a few months IMHO… case it wasn’t was BB city comission that backed down…on advice of their attorney and they dropped the $15/YEAR sticker fee…
Morgan R

Hi Morgan and all,
I did not say that B.B. “hates” boaters and liveaboards. I said that the city has no real interest in developing a boater friendly community. I base this on my own experience with the mooring committee and the council. My belief is that this is due to a lack of familiarity with the subject as well as a lack of funds to promote the area.
I approached the city about a year and a half ago with the idea of establishing a yacht club for the purpose of promoting the area to boaters and managing the amenities and dinghy dock and to provide assistance/info to visitors re. anchoring, sanitation, etc.
The city seemed receptive to the idea. They have strongly indicated that they would like the “anchorage community” to self regulate. This indicates, to me at least, that city has no real interest in reaching out… they would prefer that “we” do it.
As I could not find two other qualified people to willing hold the required offices to charter a legit club, as well as volunteer time to such, I abandoned the idea. I would be most happy to revisit the subject with the city if there is enough interest.
If the CITY were truly interested in reaching out to the boating community, I feel they would have made more/better effort to do so to date.
I urge any and all to visit B.B. as Anna Maria IS. has some nice things to offer cruisers.
Note: riff raff is in the eye of the beholder.
There are still a few boats that are derelict or nearly so.
If anyone in the local area is interested in organizing a fully chartered club, please contact me. My # is 512 903 4498
Very Sincerely,
Dr. W. W. Waldrope

Thank you for the info. Last time we came through we anchored on the East side of the ICW because we could not figure out how to get into the anchorage. We anchored without problem in about 10 feet of water. The ride to the dinghy dock was a little long and there were boat wakes to crash through. BB was a great place to visit and would gladly paid a fee for the shower and/or dinghy dock but free was good.
Frank Cushing

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

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