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Old 03-13-2017, 04:37 PM   #1
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Inside Florida keys

I plan on cruising from Biscayne Bay to Key West in a 44 ft trawler with 42" draft. Does anyone have any knowledge on if there are any problem areas including Dusenberry creek and Bowles Cut? Appreciate your help.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:56 PM   #2
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Terry. I draw 4 feet and have never had a problem except for lobster floats, I go oceanside from Marathon to KW.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:57 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. The only time we did that run was in an 18' bowrider (Ft. Lauderdale to Key West) so I can't comment as to logistics BUT it is a wonderful stretch of water. I'm jealous.
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Old 03-13-2017, 05:03 PM   #4
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Terry. I draw 4 feet and have never had a problem except for lobster floats, I go oceanside from Marathon to KW.


Thanks I appreciate comment. Looking at the charts I assume you go through Dusenberry creek and Bowles Cut. Seems like there is really one common route.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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Is this the back country route through Jewfish creek? Or the Hawk channel route? I've gone both at 3' draw and never felt concerned about depth.
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Old 03-13-2017, 07:40 PM   #6
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Went to down to Islamorada 2 weeks ago and back no problems with a 50 inch draft.

Can't really trust your charts...90 percent of the time they are pretty close, then other times they will be several feet off...maybe a bit of wind tide in some of the sounds.

Sometimes they can be as much as 5 to 15 feet different (rare) but usually deeper when this far off.

Many approaches to land such as bars and marinas have more water than the chart shows. There won't be a charted channel that may be 5 feet deep, but all the soundings around it are much less.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:12 PM   #7
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Is this the back country route through Jewfish creek? Or the Hawk channel route? I've gone both at 3' draw and never felt concerned about depth.


Back country through Jew fish. Have you gone all the way to key west?
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:14 PM   #8
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Hi Scott

The main marked channel is fairly accurate in my opinion however the wind and move some water out of the basins in the Everglades. I've fished that area for 60 years and have seen some strange tides that were effected by strong wind. Certain tides will effect the flow of water.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:15 PM   #9
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Went to down to Islamorada 2 weeks ago and back no problems with a 50 inch draft.

Can't really trust your charts...90 percent of the time they are pretty close, then other times they will be several feet off...maybe a bit of wind tide in some of the sounds.

Sometimes they can be as much as 5 to 15 feet different (rare) but usually deeper when this far off.

Many approaches to land such as bars and marinas have more water than the chart shows. There won't be a charted channel that may be 5 feet deep, but all the soundings around it are much less.


Great. Thanks for your comments. Gives me some comfort.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #10
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Terry. The backcountry route once past Marathon has had many of the markers blown away so I will either go ocean side (shorter) or Gulf side which are both well marked. My route is determined by the wind. I have gone backcountry all the way but only in twin outboard and ended up reading the water as I went once the markers with T U.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:46 PM   #11
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Back country through Jew fish. Have you gone all the way to key west?
Yes, a couple times all the way to KW. No problems. There is a remnant of the ICW inside on the back country, you don't want to follow that. From around Marathon west, pick your way to N of the reef line and you will be fine.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:57 PM   #12
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Terry. The backcountry route once past Marathon has had many of the markers blown away so I will either go ocean side (shorter) or Gulf side which are both well marked. My route is determined by the wind. I have gone backcountry all the way but only in twin outboard and ended up reading the water as I went once the markers with T U.


Thanks again.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:16 PM   #13
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No pictures .....

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Old 03-13-2017, 09:21 PM   #14
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:23 PM   #15
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Yes, a couple times all the way to KW. No problems. There is a remnant of the ICW inside on the back country, you don't want to follow that. From around Marathon west, pick your way to N of the reef line and you will be fine.


The charts still show a route that has StMiles. Looks pretty good except for one spot close to Big Spanish Key. Is this the route you said not to take? Is so why?
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:26 PM   #16
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Terry. The backcountry route once past Marathon has had many of the markers blown away so I will either go ocean side (shorter) or Gulf side which are both well marked. My route is determined by the wind. I have gone backcountry all the way but only in twin outboard and ended up reading the water as I went once the markers with T U.


I'm a bit confused. When you say Gulf Side and back country. Leaving from Marathon what's the difference.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:40 PM   #17
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From Marathon west to KW, you have three choices: Back country inside (old ICW), back country N of the reef line (aka gulf side) or Hawk channel, S of the keys. For four foot draw, from Marathon west if you want to go back country, go to the deep water just N of the islands and reefs. Like N of Content, Sawyer, etc. Then duck back in when you get close to KW. The old ICW inside back country is pretty much abandoned. Ok for outboards, maybe.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:51 PM   #18
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From Marathon west to KW, you have three choices: Back country inside (old ICW), back country N of the reef line (aka gulf side) or Hawk channel, S of the keys. For four foot draw, from Marathon west if you want to go back country, go to the deep water just N of the islands and reefs. Like N of Content, Sawyer, etc. Then duck back in when you get close to KW. The old ICW inside back country is pretty much abandoned. Ok for outboards, maybe.


Thanks. Clears it up.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #19
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For your boat I would either go Hawks Channel (south) or Gulf side (north) depending on wind. The old back country channel, very shallow has few markers remaining for the past 15 years.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:38 PM   #20
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My DeFever 48 had no issues with that run. Also keep in mind your talking about sand so so what if you bump, you'll just be scraping of some barnacles
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