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Old 02-11-2019, 05:31 PM   #1
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Lake Okeechobee?

We are closing in on Ft Meyers and have to choose Lake O or go around the Keys. Would like to cross the Lake and stay a while in Stuart before the Bahamas. The lake has been fairly steady at 6.7, with some rain in the forecast. We draw 5.7 so would need a calm day.

Any experiences/advice? Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:53 PM   #2
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If you hit bottom do you just bump the keel or mangle props?
Does your draft measurement include warm, fresh water which is less dense than salt?
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:28 PM   #3
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You'd be missing a lot of very nice cruising grounds if you skipped the Keys, 10,000 Islands etc. . They also make a nice segue into island life. I take it you have some compelling personal reasons for needing to be in Stuart for awhile. ? And yes at 6.7 you'll be puckering as you cross the lake, though my guess is that a Seaton will have protected running gear, so nothing really bad can happen.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
You'd be missing a lot of very nice cruising grounds if you skipped the Keys, 10,000 Islands etc. . They also make a nice segue into island life. I take it you have some compelling personal reasons for needing to be in Stuart for awhile. ? And yes at 6.7 you'll be puckering as you cross the lake, though my guess is that a Seaton will have protected running gear, so nothing really bad can happen.
It is not the entire lake that is problematic, just the four miles or so in the channel going east from Clewiston. We transited five days ago when the lake had a minimum depth of 6.6 feet. We draft five feet. No touches. Once clear of the channel one can relax the rest of the way. Yes, some nice cruising will be missed by not going around the Keys. We had no desire to do so. If you do go across the lake, keep yours eyes peeled for the Honey Fitz, the former presidential yacht used by Truman through Nixon. It is named after JFK's grandfather. You will pass by her on the St. Lucie Canal about 20 miles west of Stuart. By the way, except for the boredom of the 28 miles crossing the lake itself, the trip is quite pleasant. Be sure to spend a night at Roland Martin Marina in Clewiston. Great tiki bar there. Courtesy car also.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies and information.

We measured draft from the waterline when on the hard at 5'10" and are now riding 4" below waterline in salt water. Stella has a full keel with props/rudder protection above bottom of keel.

We purchased the boat in Stuart and spent a month on maintenance, including a few weeks at Whiticar's South Yard. Highly recommend. We enjoyed the area and made some friends. Still need to do a few jobs before the Bahamas and Stuart has all the parts.

Also thinking of showing up, informally, at the Ft. Pierce get together later this month.
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