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Old 12-20-2018, 09:21 PM   #1
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Jacksonville - Metropolitan Park Marina

Splashing new build at Palatka. Then north on St Johns River to ICW. Considering putting in for a night at Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park Marina. Waterway Guide cautions about strong current. Would appreciate any feedback about this marina or others in Jax area.
Thank you
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:47 PM   #2
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Three nights free dockage and power, what's not to like!

I transit the area regularly, haven't see or heard of a current issue, especially since the marina will be empty right now and you can tuck right inside.

The Jacksonville Landing and River City Brewing are both limited due to Irma damage.

Once you hit the ICW are you heading north or south?

If south there are two good marina's at Jax Beach, Palm Cove and Beach Marine.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:45 AM   #3
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Jax docking

Thanks, Menzies,

1. Appreciate the helpful feedback. Boat is a new build and new to us in terms of handling , etc. Also, we have not cruised St. John's before, so just exercising caution.

2. Is there dock staff, btw? Several days ago I left phone messages with dock master and staff re: docking, but have not received return call. Perhaps on vacation due to holidays? Or simply dock w/o reservation.

3. Heading south to Key West. Thanks for Jax Beach marina suggestions.
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:17 AM   #4
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We’ve been there and current can be fast till you get inside. You’ll also be docking by yourself. Normally there isn’t a dock-master there other than for events. With a new build, I’d pass.

Have you considered Ortega Landing Marina? You’ll have help docking and it’s within 4 miles of the Met Park Marina. You’re also walking distance to a West Marine, Publix and several restaurants/drinking establishments.

Jacksonville FL Marina Slips, Ortega River Condos, Florida Condominiums for sale, Boat Docks, Duval County Real Estate Properties
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:28 AM   #5
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Ortega is a good choice and nice facility. MTOA and DeFever etc. hold rendevous there.

Depends how far out of Jax you want to be or just a place to stop. Its about 5nm by water and about 10 miles by land, but Uber is readily available.
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:34 AM   #6
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Splashing new build at Palatka. Then north on St Johns River to ICW. Considering putting in for a night at Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park Marina. Waterway Guide cautions about strong current. Would appreciate any feedback about this marina or others in Jax area.
Thank you
There is a muni dock at Palatka, no services, one at Green Cove Springs, water and power. The Active Capt info indicates a payment box for GCS, but it is not there. I tried to pay at City Hall & was referred to the box. The small cruise ships occasionally tie up, if they show up, you'll have to move. The management of the docks is very loose, not sure the City knows when the ships come. Not a big deal, the anchorage is easy.


2nd Larry's props for Ortega, great facility. EZ access, lots around, docking not an issue with barely perceptible current. High marks.


JAX Landing is in bad shape, with limited dockage, but there is a nice floating dock just downriver of the Acosta bridge that is a good free stop, no services. Stop on Friday and hit the craft/farmer's market under the bridge Sat. AM. It's marked no overnight but not enforced.

Metropolitan Park is a good stop, water & power, FREE. 3 night limit. If there is a game ("special activity") at the stadium, it is not free, and should be avoided, it can be a zoo. So check the events lists for the stadium. Yes, there is current, it can make docking challenging, but there is usually dock space on the long docks that lie parallel to the current and are less challenging. Aim for slack if it's intimidating, or tie off on the outside and move at slack. You're on your own, marina is not staffed, 1st come 1st served, very low key. There's nothing around; a nice park to walk, a brew pub 2 blocks away. Fire Museum is closed. Fire station on site is manned, so not totally isolated. It's a great place to spend a few nights stop over. We bike from there, but even with that, it's still rather isolated. There is a free working pumpout on the face dock, self serve. Not the best suction, but it works.

There's a free dock at the ICW intersection at Sisters Creek. Frequently full with cruisers who hog dock space. Current there, too, parallels docks.
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:44 PM   #7
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Thanks, all,
Not planning to spend time in Jax. Looking for convenient docking along way as we undertake our shakedown cruise to Key West. Depending upon when we actually are commissioned, we may spend our first night aboard in Palatka (Boathouse Marina) in order to practice docking, use of the boat's systems, etc. Today's heavy winds postponed sea trials, so schedule remains tentative. File under: "It's always something."
Good Season!
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:12 PM   #8
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Another satisfied Ortega landing customer. Lots of good options within walking distance.

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Old 12-21-2018, 09:42 PM   #9
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Thanks, O C Diver,
There appear to be a couple of low clearance bridges - Ortega River Bridge (9') and CSX Railroad bascule bridge (2"). Any problem with access?
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:01 PM   #10
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Thanks, O C Diver,
There appear to be a couple of low clearance bridges - Ortega River Bridge (9') and CSX Railroad bascule bridge (2"). Any problem with access?
The Ortega River Bridge is manned and VERY friendly to boaters. Just call them on Nine and the will have the bridge up for your arrival. The railway bridge is pretty much always open, though quite the frightening experience when first using as it overhangs the gap significantly. However if you are using the Ortega Landing Marina, that is before the railway bridge , so that bridge is not a factor.

BTW, watch out for crab pot buoys, there are lots on the approach to the river!

BTW2, what do you plan to cruise at?
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:14 PM   #11
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I just had another thought. Epping Forest yacht Club is a private marina on the east side of the river. Nice facility and club house. You might want to give them a call and ask what is available to you.
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Old 12-21-2018, 10:52 PM   #12
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Thanks, O C Diver,
There appear to be a couple of low clearance bridges - Ortega River Bridge (9') and CSX Railroad bascule bridge (2"). Any problem with access?
Normally getting bridge openings isn't an issue, but it never hurts to check Notices to Mariners or Waterway Guide. Sat for 4 hours going to Ortega while they worked on the train bridge during a scheduled closure. Ended up dock side downtown with a 40 something Nordhaven rafted off me. Great afternoon with new friends. Probably 40+ boats waiting on the bridge.

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Old 12-21-2018, 10:57 PM   #13
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Normally getting bridge openings isn't an issue, but it never hurts to check Notices to Mariners or Waterway Guide. Sat for 4 hours going to Ortega while they worked on the train bridge during a scheduled closure. Ended up dock side downtown with a 40 something Nordhaven rafted off me. Great afternoon with new friends. Probably 40+ boats waiting on the bridge.

Ted
Ted, I believe he is talking about the Ortega River Railway Bridge just West of the marina, not the one down town. That bridge is usually open

I think you are talking about the CSK bridge downtown.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:50 AM   #14
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Ted, I believe he is talking about the Ortega River Railway Bridge just West of the marina, not the one down town. That bridge is usually open

I think you are talking about the CSK bridge downtown.
Yes I was talking about the one downtown. The railroad bridge on the Ortega river is passed the marina and wouldn't require an opening unless you were going further up the Ortega river. The other bridge which is between the St Johns river and the marina opens on demand I believe.

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Old 12-22-2018, 08:04 AM   #15
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Also check the tides, riding the out going tide to the ICW preferred.
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:20 AM   #16
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I just had another thought. Epping Forest yacht Club is a private marina on the east side of the river. Nice facility and club house. You might want to give them a call and ask what is available to you.
Epping Forest has not been repaired since Hurricane Irma and is not accepting guests.

Ortega Landing and Ortega River Marina ( almost next door to each other) are both good stops and will assist you with docking.

Metro Park current can be fierce entering but no help docking ( it's free ) there is a face dock outside that is suitable for 50 -60 footers that is easy to tie to since you can always point into the current direction, just not sure you would want a new boat beating against a floating dock.

Many good anchoring options before downtown and would give you a good test of your anchor washdown system getting the mud off your chain.
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Old 12-22-2018, 10:09 PM   #17
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Thanks, all,

We may dock at Green Cove Springs second night. Mixed reviews from locals. We just need dock space and power (30amp). Any thoughts? Your comments are helpful and appreciated.

George
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:50 AM   #18
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I assume you are thinking of the small municipal floating dock adjacent to the park and pool in Green Cove Springs.

I have been there a couple of times with our sailing club. It has a special charm. I believe dockage is free but you must pay $5 or $6 dollars for the available 30amp service. No help docking but very little current. You must walk up to the Police station to check in and pay. Beer and chicken wings very near.

You have not shared details of your new ride but I don't think their 6 or 7 slips can handle over 11 or 12 foot beam or 5 foot draft.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:04 AM   #19
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We took a 32’ Grand Banks from, Satsuma which is south of Palataka, to JAX in a day. We got an early start but we also had an ebb the entire way. What’s your travel speed?

Doctors Lake, about 10 miles past GCS, could also be an option. They typically have the cheapest diesel (Valvtec) for the area and have good reviews.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:59 AM   #20
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I assume you are thinking of the small municipal floating dock adjacent to the park and pool in Green Cove Springs.

You have not shared details of your new ride but I don't think their 6 or 7 slips can handle over 11 or 12 foot beam or 5 foot draft.

We stopped at Green Cove Springs last month, stayed at the muni docks. There is a face dock about 70 ft, about 8 ft depth, 2 50A services, water. There is an adjacent slip with a finger pier that's about 30ft, the slip is just over 16 ft wide, we squeezed our 15'-8" beam into the slip. On the return trip we used the face dock. We were chased out by one of the American Cruise line small ships, they tie up to the face dock and pretty much monopolize the entire facility with their lines stretched across the slips. The anchorage is fine, about 8-9 ft of depth.The local liveaboards use the slips for dinghy access. There isn't any indication of when the cruise lines are scheduled, I visited City Hall & no mention was made of any reservation; it appears management of the facility is very low priority. For an overnight, if there's room, go for it. Delightful park there, food & drink easy walk.
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