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    • Riviera Marina (southern Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor)

      The message below speaks for itself. I will only add that the author’s observations synchronize with my own!

      I just purchased your Cruising Guide to Western Florida. What a terrific resource!! We are residents of Punta Gorda, and Alligator Creek is our access to Charlotte Harbor. We are all too familiar with Riviara Marina (known to the locals as Barry’s), situated off Alligator Creek. Their half sunken boats crowd the channel accessing our canal system, and oil / sludge, which we presume is from the marina, routinely drifts into our canal. A fire several years ago destroyed the variety store as well as several of their docks and adjoining property docks. One can hardly call this a marina, although they do rent slips, mostly to local live-aboards. I suppose the boat yard could facilitate desperate boaters in need of hauling their boat for do-it-yourself repairs, but in my opinion they would be wise to seek other facilities. Much to the disappointment of local residents, the facility has survived the fire and more recently Hurricane Charlie (of course there wasn’t much there for the hurricane to destroy). It is an eyesore and a hazard to navigation and the environment.
      Name Witheld by Request

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

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    • Punta Gorda Cruising News (Charlotte Harbor)

      The beautiful new Laishley Park Marina is the forerunner of what will be a complete renovation of Laishley Park as is shown by the illustration below. Here are some quick tid-bits of cruising news about Punta Gorda. This charming communities occupies the southern shoreline at the intersection of Charlotte and the Peace River. It is WELL worth a visit by ALL cruisers! And, please try to patronize Laishley Park Marina. These good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

      East of the Hiway 41 bridge in Punta Gorda are new docks and anchorage. Laisley’s has a nice store for some boat repairs. They also help with `The Crab Shack’ a new fairly good restaurant that is a good addition to Punta Gorda.

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Laishley Park Marina

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

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    • Southwest Florida Yachts And Pine Island Sound – Charlotte Harbor Cruising Suggestions

      Southwest Florida YachtsBelow, I have copied a discussion from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) mail list, concerning the charter firm of Southwest Florida Yachts, headquartered in North Fort Myers, and cruising suggestions about the nearby waters (including Pine Island Sound and Charlotte Harbor). All these messages were originally sent as replies to a query on the T&T list. There’s lots of good cruising info here, and, let’s not the forget the good people at Southwestern Florida Yachts are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
      As usual with this many contributors, it was impractical to obtain individual permissions, so I have ommitted all names.

      Southwest Florida Yachts has been around a long time and has a good reputation. Some good stops in the nearby area during your charter would be:
      1. Ft. Myers Beach, with moorings and a public dinghy dock, then a short walk across the highway (crowded with hotels, restaurants and shops) to the large and very popular beach.
      2. Boca Grande, a small ritzy but quaint town on an island witha small anchorage area among the mangroves.
      3. Cayo Costa park, accessible only by boat, with a nice protected anchorage, and a long walk across the island to a secluded beach.
      4. Also Punta Gorda, St. Pete Beach, Sarasota, etc…..

      I have lived next door to Barb and Vic Hanson the owners of Southwest Florida Yachts for 9 years… they are great people and have never heard anything from them or anyone else negative about their charter boats or charter service.
      I have lived in the SW Florida area since 1959… it is absolutely great for cruising… favorite area Pelican Bay Anchorage… absoslutely one of the best places to anchor.

      We did Offshore Powerboat training aboard a chartered 42 GB with Southwest Florida Yachts a few years ago.
      There are lots of nice places to anchor nearby. You have the intracoastal going north and could also go east into Ochochobee. I’m sure SFY can point out a lot of places to go in the area.
      We actually made it down to the Keys and had two wonderful nights in Little Shark River at the Everglades.

      SW Florida Yachts have been around since forever, chartering both sail and power and I’ve never heard any knocks on them.
      The west coast of Florida is a great cruising location once you get used to the idea of shallow water. Great anchorages abound – you can be alone or in a crowd – you choose. Nice city marinas and several world-class resorts. We just took about 10 days and went south to Pine Island Sound where we spent several nights in Pelican Bay, at Cayo Costa Island (Met T&T listee Jay from “Sails” anchored there) followed by three nights at South Seas Plantation.
      Great cruise!

      They are good people… The boats are clean and in good repair… I recommend them highly… You will enjoy…
      But, this is skinny, skinny, water and there are thrills like the MiserableMile, etc. in store where local knowledge is invaluable… Just getting from the dock at SWY to the intercoastal is an interesting trip in it’s own right… Hire a captain for a couple of days, learn the waters and the idiosyncrasies of the buoys where the gulf waters cross the intercoastal waterway, eat lunch at Sanibel Island and see how the other half lives (very well), etc… Come back to the SWY dock the first night or two and eat/drink at the restaurant right there (very good), then go anchor out for a night or two, etc… Learning the ropes first will make your trip memorable and fun…

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    • Fishermens Village Yacht Basin (Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor)

      Fishermens Village Yacht Basin is one of two commercial marinas in Punta Gorda, the other being the city owned Laishley Park Municipal Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR). I’ve always been impressed with Fishermens Village, both with the marina and the adjacent shopping complex. I’ve had the good fortune to speak here on three different occasions, and the crowd has always been great.
      Of course, if you are a member of an FCYC Yacht Club, you might also want to consider the Isles Yacht Club in Punta Gorda, or the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club, just across the Peace River. Both are absolutely FIRST RATE clubs, with every amenity.

      Fishermen’s Village Yacht Basin in Punta Gorda has won the prestigious Marina of the Year Award for 2008. This award is given out by the trade magazine Marina Dock Age.
      There are two awards given out each year in a competition of over 17,000 marinas in the nation. The two Marina of the Year awards are for marinas with over 250 slips and for those under 250 slips. Fishermen’s Village Yacht Basin qualified for the latter award.
      Jim Branch, Harbormaster, stated that the award is based on a number of criteria including facility improvements, marketing, environmental responsibility and customer satisfaction. The marina was severely damaged by Hurricane Charley and rebuilt and improved. He felt that their emphasis on customer satisfaction and service was a significant factor in winning the award.
      The marina caters to visiting boat clubs. They even offer a discount based on the number of boats in the group. I can tell you first hand that they go out of their way to make your visit special. They will try to solve even the smallest of problems.
      Adjacent to the marina is the resort which includes many specialty shops and numerous restaurants. The City of Punta Gorda is improving the entire waterfront with parks. The downtown area has many new shops and restaurants also.
      Be sure to put this on your cruising schedule. The Harbormaster can be reached at 941-575-3056 for reservations.
      Gary Riss
      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fishermens Village Yacht Basin

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