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Old 04-26-2018, 11:40 PM   #1
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Charter week of July 4th SWFL

Hi folks - I am in process of firming up a charter through Chitwood for week of July 4th. It will be my family of 4 and one other family of 4. Cap Chitwood recommend the Selene 50 for two families.

Last year we chartered a 39 Powercat through SWFL Yachts. In fact, it was David Hughes boat "True Love" from this site. We visited Pink Shell, South Seas, Tween Waters and Boca Grande. We intended to anchor out in Cayo Costa, but it was early April and extremely windy, so we stuck to the marinas. We had a great time, so we are going to do it again, but we are bringing along some friends, so we need a bigger boat than SWFL offers. A few things I would like input on if you have any before we firm this up.

Chitwood requires a $10,000 security deposit to cover the deductible. I knew there would be a large deposit, but that was higher than I expected. It is a cash deposit, that he indicated will go into escrow. Just want some outside validation that 10K is not out of the ordinary and Chitwood is a well established business. I believe so, but would appreciate any input.

Anyone familiar with or previously charter the 50 selene from Chitwood? If so any comments on this particular boat for our intended use (see below)

We are planning to anchor in Pelican Bay @ Cayo Costa. The Selene has 5 ft draft. Based on some searching a looking at the charts, I think we will be able to get in there.

What is Pelican Bay like the week of July 4th is terms of crowds? Any significant risk we will not be able to secure a spot.

As of now our itinerary is:
Sat - Arrive at boat @ Marina Jacks. Get use to the boat around Egmont, AMI with a Captain. Spend the night at Bradenton Beach marina.
Sun - Cruise down to Pelican Bay for 2 nights at anchor
Mon - @Pelican Bay
Tues - @South Seas
Wed - @South Seas
Thurs - TBD - I would like to do Tween Waters, but I think it is too tight with a 5 ft draft. Any other recommendations for anchorage or marina?
Fri - Back to Marina Jacks
Sat - Depart boat
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwrose View Post
Hi folks - I am in process of firming up a charter through Chitwood for week of July 4th. It will be my family of 4 and one other family of 4. Cap Chitwood recommend the Selene 50 for two families.

Last year we chartered a 39 Powercat through SWFL Yachts. In fact, it was David Hughes boat "True Love" from this site. We visited Pink Shell, South Seas, Tween Waters and Boca Grande. We intended to anchor out in Cayo Costa, but it was early April and extremely windy, so we stuck to the marinas. We had a great time, so we are going to do it again, but we are bringing along some friends, so we need a bigger boat than SWFL offers. A few things I would like input on if you have any before we firm this up.

Chitwood requires a $10,000 security deposit to cover the deductible. I knew there would be a large deposit, but that was higher than I expected. It is a cash deposit, that he indicated will go into escrow. Just want some outside validation that 10K is not out of the ordinary and Chitwood is a well established business. I believe so, but would appreciate any input.

Anyone familiar with or previously charter the 50 selene from Chitwood? If so any comments on this particular boat for our intended use (see below)

We are planning to anchor in Pelican Bay @ Cayo Costa. The Selene has 5 ft draft. Based on some searching a looking at the charts, I think we will be able to get in there.

What is Pelican Bay like the week of July 4th is terms of crowds? Any significant risk we will not be able to secure a spot.

As of now our itinerary is:
Sat - Arrive at boat @ Marina Jacks. Get use to the boat around Egmont, AMI with a Captain. Spend the night at Bradenton Beach marina.
Sun - Cruise down to Pelican Bay for 2 nights at anchor
Mon - @Pelican Bay
Tues - @South Seas
Wed - @South Seas
Thurs - TBD - I would like to do Tween Waters, but I think it is too tight with a 5 ft draft. Any other recommendations for anchorage or marina?
Fri - Back to Marina Jacks
Sat - Depart boat
I know the boats and the captain very well, they are at my marina

Great boat, Great captain and in my opinion use to be a great company to charter from. The big issue is his new 10k deposit and the vague contract that goes with it. A friend had the same issue with them and he worked it out by modifying the contract so he was comfortable with how the deposit would be returned.

Also your plan looks great I can not answer about what PB looks like then as we are always at Marina Jacks on the 4th for all the festivities
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:27 AM   #3
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My advise would be to read the contract very closely. For that kind of $$$ it might be worth having an attorney review. I can’t blame Chitwood either as they have a lot of skin in the game. This assuming that it is a bare boat charter?
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:27 AM   #4
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My advise would be to read the contract very closely. For that kind of $$$ it might be worth having an attorney review. I canít blame Chitwood either as they have a lot of skin in the game. This assuming that it is a bare boat charter?
Agree but as far as I have seen they are all chartered the Selene's he does not own so he has an obligation to the owners
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:55 AM   #5
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I don't understand the attraction to South Seas and tween waters but while at south seas take the Lady Chadwick tour boat ride to Useppa island.
A shame that you will get to Egmont but not to St. Pete for fireworks.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:07 AM   #6
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You will have no problem getting in and out of Pelican Bay with a 5' draft. I go there several times a year and draw 4.5'. Follow ghe Active Captain notes on entering the bay and staying close to the North Shore coming in.

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Old 04-27-2018, 09:09 AM   #7
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Are you with a Captain for the whole time?

The entrance to pelican bay and the bay itself can be shallow but has deeper spots if you look carefully. People like to anchor right on top of you so arrive early and expect company. Five ft should be OK but check with your charter company for information on how the the channels have changed due to storms.

Cruising the west coast waterway require a constant eye on depth.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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I agree about Tween Waters. The hump in the channel going in would make it a little skimpy for a 5' draft. You may want to add a lunch stop at Cabbage Key to your itinerary. Ted is right about the entrance to Pelican Bay. Stay close the the north shore. Also, pick you anchoring area carefully. There are some places too shallow for a 5' draft. Pelican Bay is one of our favorite anchorages.
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwrose View Post
Hi folks - I am in process of firming up a charter through Chitwood for week of July 4th. It will be my family of 4 and one other family of 4. Cap Chitwood recommend the Selene 50 for two families.

Last year we chartered a 39 Powercat through SWFL Yachts. In fact, it was David Hughes boat "True Love" from this site. We visited Pink Shell, South Seas, Tween Waters and Boca Grande. We intended to anchor out in Cayo Costa, but it was early April and extremely windy, so we stuck to the marinas. We had a great time, so we are going to do it again, but we are bringing along some friends, so we need a bigger boat than SWFL offers. A few things I would like input on if you have any before we firm this up.

Chitwood requires a $10,000 security deposit to cover the deductible. I knew there would be a large deposit, but that was higher than I expected. It is a cash deposit, that he indicated will go into escrow. Just want some outside validation that 10K is not out of the ordinary and Chitwood is a well established business. I believe so, but would appreciate any input.

Anyone familiar with or previously charter the 50 selene from Chitwood? If so any comments on this particular boat for our intended use (see below)

We are planning to anchor in Pelican Bay @ Cayo Costa. The Selene has 5 ft draft. Based on some searching a looking at the charts, I think we will be able to get in there.

What is Pelican Bay like the week of July 4th is terms of crowds? Any significant risk we will not be able to secure a spot.

As of now our itinerary is:
Sat - Arrive at boat @ Marina Jacks. Get use to the boat around Egmont, AMI with a Captain. Spend the night at Bradenton Beach marina.
Sun - Cruise down to Pelican Bay for 2 nights at anchor
Mon - @Pelican Bay
Tues - @South Seas
Wed - @South Seas
Thurs - TBD - I would like to do Tween Waters, but I think it is too tight with a 5 ft draft. Any other recommendations for anchorage or marina?
Fri - Back to Marina Jacks
Sat - Depart boat

I have a boat on LB Key but new to the area. What is Egmont AMI?

If you are going south towards Cayo Costa why go north to Bradenton Beach marina? Not critiquing, just wondering.

Will you do any cruising outside or all in ICW?

We cruised to Tween Waters couple of years ago and it was pretty dang shallow getting in there. I draft 4í and was nervous, but Iím always nervous. Lol. I always see boats anchored out around Cabbage Key but have never stopped, but want to this summer. Maybe thatís an option?

We also plan to cruise that same area this summer, but probably in June.

Post some pics!
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:26 AM   #10
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Thanks for the insight on Chitwood. The 'contract' looks a bit thin, but it sounds like he is reputable, so I'll just roll with it. I certainly understand the boat owner is taking a risk chartering the boat, just did not expect the deductible to quite so high. I was thinking maybe half of that.

To clarify, "Egmont AMI" I intended to convey Egmont Key and Anna Maria Island-that general area. The past 5 summers we've trailered our 26 ft day boat down Anna Maria and have explored that area. We enjoy it, so I figured we would spend day 1 sharing that area with our friends and have a captain aboard to get use to the boat. Drop the captain off once we are comfortable with the boat and head south on Sunday. My wife and kids always want to get to a beach, so I figured Bradenton beach Marina puts us right on the beach vs. back to Marina Jacks for Sat night. I might adjust though, as we can stay at Marina Jacks for no charge since it is the homeport for the boat.

As far as South Seas and Tween Waters. We visited them last year and seemed quite nice and enjoyed both, though they are different. Kids enjoyed the pool at Tween Waters. I want to get some nights at anchor and Pelican Bay seems like a good choice.

We plan to run on the inside and Chitwood confirmed that is what he expects.

This is a bareboat charter. Will have a captain for day one to get oriented to the operation of the boat.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:40 AM   #11
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Ahh. Gotcha. Yeah Bradenton Beach is nice. Plus neat restaurants.

As you know Iím sure, that stretch of ICW from Sarasota Bay to AMI sure gets crowded! I bets itís nuts on a holiday weekend. Thatís where Healhustler and I recently got waked by a crazy impatient go fast powerboater in a narrow part of the channel where we couldnít take evasive action. Much fist shaking and radio cussing ensued.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I don't understand the attraction to South Seas and tween waters but while at south seas take the Lady Chadwick tour boat ride to Useppa island.
A shame that you will get to Egmont but not to St. Pete for fireworks.
St pete fireworks are amazing
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:38 PM   #13
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Ahh. Gotcha. Yeah Bradenton Beach is nice. Plus neat restaurants.

As you know Iím sure, that stretch of ICW from Sarasota Bay to AMI sure gets crowded! I bets itís nuts on a holiday weekend. Thatís where Healhustler and I recently got waked by a crazy impatient go fast powerboater in a narrow part of the channel where we couldnít take evasive action. Much fist shaking and radio cussing ensued.
Yes it does and that weekend with the offshore races can be nuts
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:25 PM   #14
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We love Pelican Bay and also like the bight off Ding Darling as another pleasant anchorage, 5ft no problem. Personally, if I want to go to South Seas or Tween Waters, I rather take a car and get rooms... cheaper and more convenient. There's a lot of great gunkholing to be done in SW Florida, which you can't do in a car! It gets hot that time of year' we chartered from Chitwood (GB 49MY) and now gone Jung (GB 46) in early June back when we lived in Texas. There wasn't many folks in any of the anchorages. On our own Hatteras, the weather was much nicer in spring.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:52 PM   #15
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Chitwood is reputable and has been around for decades. That doesn't mean they'll be there next week, however. The deposit is standard for them. The alternative would be for you to get insurance to cover any damage, non-owners insurance with them as a covered payee. That would entail a cost however and, if you don't own any boat, could be difficult to find.
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:53 PM   #16
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Tween waters to Marina Jacks is over 50 SM. Long day at trawler speed.
Edjmont on Tampa Bay? You’re going to run north a day then run south?
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:58 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the input. I am going to put more thought into our itinerary. Right now i have reservations at Bradenton Beach and South Seas. Boca Grande is booked already for the whole week. We will definitely spend some time at Pelican Bay. I'll stay away from Tween Waters with this vessel.

I have a policy through Boat US. I gave them a called about any ideas this 10K deposit and they did not have any. I searched a bit more around the web and found some liability policies for non-owners, but nothing that would insure this this 10K damage deposit. Seems like the big charter companies, like The Moorings, offer a damage waiver policy for a fee which seems like a good idea, since doing 10K of damage to a boat of this size is probably not that big of a stretch.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:28 AM   #18
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"St pete fireworks are amazing"

The downtown waterfront amenities aren't bad either.
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Old 04-29-2018, 04:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwrose View Post
Thanks for all the input. I am going to put more thought into our itinerary. Right now i have reservations at Bradenton Beach and South Seas. Boca Grande is booked already for the whole week. We will definitely spend some time at Pelican Bay. I'll stay away from Tween Waters with this vessel.

I have a policy through Boat US. I gave them a called about any ideas this 10K deposit and they did not have any. I searched a bit more around the web and found some liability policies for non-owners, but nothing that would insure this this 10K damage deposit. Seems like the big charter companies, like The Moorings, offer a damage waiver policy for a fee which seems like a good idea, since doing 10K of damage to a boat of this size is probably not that big of a stretch.

I gotta say, that $10k deposit would sure make me a cautious (nervous) charterer. I guess thatís why they do it, but Iíve chartered boats in the Bahamas before and the deductible was never that high.

We chartered with Cruise Abaco a couple of years and the deductible was $5000.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:47 AM   #20
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Hi folks - quick update and a question.

So upon reviewing the contract and further discussion with Captain Chitwood the deductible is actually $15,000 dollars on the policy. The 10K is the deposit, but I'm obligated up to the $15,000 if there is an incident. His insurance company will let me buy that down to $9,000 for $500, which does not seem worth it. I was thinking buying it down to 5K for $500 would be worth it, but they want some skin in the game I suppose. Seems like a lot of skin to me though.

I have one other option which is to Charter a 45 Jefferson from SWFL Yachts. $1,500 deductible. As stated previously we have two families of 4 for week. Is anyone familiar with the Jefferson 45 CPMY and have a point of view on if two families (kids are between 8 and 11) will be comfortable on this boat? The attraction to the Selene is comfort, particularly for my wife.

Oh the other little tidbit is the Chitwood charges $15 an hr for any generator usage above 70 hrs. I think I can stay close to that with our itinerary, but it will be July in SWFL!
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