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jefndeb 03-07-2019 08:05 PM

Mainship 400 Charter to Dry Tortugas ..Anchorages

The boss and me are thinking a Mainship 400 is what we are going to wind up with..still looking though... so I have a bareboat charter set up in Key West for 3 or 4 days during Easter weekend. A suggested itinerary is 22 miles trip to Marquesas Key to overnight there...then off to Dry Tortugas to overnight..45 miles. then reverse for the trip back.

In doing some checking I dont really see any good anchorage spots in the Marquases key area...

Anybody think that part should be skipped?


Shrew 03-08-2019 10:53 AM

Key West - Marquesas Key: 22 mile (2.75 hrs*)
Marquesas Key - Dry Tortugas: 45 miles (5.625 hrs*)

Dry Tortugas - Key West: 67 miles (8.375 hrs*)

*Times based on 8 kts.

Not much time to do anything in 3-4 days.

Boat permits are required for all vessels entering in the park before any recreational activity. Even if you are not planning on visiting Fort Jefferson, a boat permit must be filed on Garden Key.

Keysdisease 03-08-2019 11:18 AM

Depends on what you want to do. The Marquesas are usually pretty quiet, not really a dive site, good flats fishing and plenty of birds, no "going ashore," just a usually quite and fairly deserted anchorage. To get into Mooney Harbor proper without local knowledge is not recommended. Other anchorages in the lee of the island can be a bit choppy, if those conditions prevail then maybe...

Up the channel to the NW of Boca Grande Key around R16 is a good anchorage. It is surrounded by flats that dry at low tide and has good 360 degree protection.

You should have the speed to bypass this stop with an early start if you choose. The Fort is pretty cool, the anchorage protected, but after 2 days it became a "been there done that" The diving is outstanding.


David Hughes 03-08-2019 08:40 PM

Iíd say you might be too early in the year to be able to rely on anchoring in the Marquesas. You want calm to light easterlies to anchor there. A NW would make it very bad. Donít even think about taking that boat into Mooney Harbor. We stop on the SW corner of the Marquesas and can day anchor about 50 feet off a tiny sand beach. A nice place to stop for a swim and a beer.

Dry Tortugas are fun for a day. As said above, nothing to do unless you are really into snorkeling.

As an alternate you might enjoy exploring the uninhabited Keys east of KW on the bayside. Places like Snipe and Marvin Key, and surrounding Jewfish Basin are pretty, isolated and calm...and only 3 hours from KW.


IntervaleII 03-08-2019 08:49 PM

A permit is not required for the Dry Tortugas, all you need to do is register and pay the $15.00 fee when you arrive. We just spent 10 days anchored there and have gone every year for the past 20 years. A great place to unwind.

Keysdisease 03-10-2019 10:53 AM

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When you get to Ft Jefferson one of the things you can do is

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