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Old 04-18-2017, 10:18 AM   #1
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Marinas around Stuart or WPB?

I'm moving my boat to FL for the summer. Getting some stuff done in Stuart, and hope to cruise in the Bahamas this summer some if I can talk my wife into it.

Any marina recommendations in that area? Isn't WPB supposed to be a good crossing point to West End?

Would like something decent so the wife will like the marina and the surrounding area, but not too expensive because I'm kind of cheap.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:21 AM   #2
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I'm moving my boat to FL for the summer. Getting some stuff done in Stuart, and hope to cruise in the Bahamas this summer some if I can talk my wife into it.

Any marina recommendations in that area? Isn't WPB supposed to be a good crossing point to West End?

Would like something decent so the wife will like the marina and the surrounding area, but not too expensive because I'm kind of cheap.
A lot depends on what you and your wife like. West Palm itself is pretty much a no go right now between the restricted zone, the Presidential traffic, and other limitations that are severely limiting many local businesses every weekend. However, North Palm and Rivera Beach are great still. New Port Cove, Old Port Cove and North Palm Beach Marina, all under the same management, are excellent and are reasonably priced for the area.

The Palm Beach area has everything you could ever want in terms of amenities, from restaurants to art galleries to golf courses to shopping. However, it does have big city traffic issues and on weekends you may well find yourself delayed by the President's procession to the golf course.

While Fort Lauderdale is the center of all boating and has everything a boater could possibly want, Palm Beach marina prices are less expensive. I would still suggest treating yourself and your wife to a Miami and a Fort Lauderdale visit for a few days.

Just north of Palm Beach you get into Palm Beach Gardens and then Jupiter. Loggerhead Palm Beach Gardens is very accommodating for liveaboards. I note this since as you move further north to Stuart, Loggerhead Stuart, the last I knew, couldn't let anyone stay aboard beyond five days.

Stuart and St. Lucie area are hotbeds of boating activity. I don't know which marinas in the area have available space for an extended stay/liveaboard guest.

All the areas mentioned are convenient to West End and to the Bahamas as a whole with Palm Beach being closest, only about 60 nm from the Lake Worth Inlet to Old Bahama Bay. Miami is closest to Bimini. Fort Lauderdale in the middle and not quite as close but still close to both. I'd certainly recommend venturing beyond the closest points of the Bahamas though. Grand Bahama and Bimini are nice, but not the best the Bahamas have to offer. If going to Grand Bahama (West End), I would then try to go on to the Abacos from there. We just returned from a great time there. From Bimini I'd go on by Nassau to Harbour Island, North Eleuthera.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:58 PM   #3
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Marinas around Stuart or WPB?

Wow, thanks for the great info. We chartered in Abaco a few years ago. Thought it would be cool to go back on our boat. I've never been anywhere else in the Bahamas however so maybe I should try something new.

Would Indiantown Marina be a viable hurricane escape plan?
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Would you consider Fort Pierce?
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:12 PM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the great info. We chartered in Abaco a few years ago. Thought it would be cool to go back on our boat. I've never been anywhere else in the Bahamas however so maybe I should try something new.

Would Indiantown Marina be a viable hurricane escape plan?
Depends on where the hurricane hits. lol

New Port Cove and North Palm Beach both have hurricane slips. The City of Fort Lauderdale marinas are available for hurricanes.

How long is your boat?

Abacos are so nice though and near them you have Harbour Island and Eleuthera. So much depends on what you enjoy. The Abacos certainly have nice resorts. Exumas are further and have nice water but not much to excite you on land.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:08 PM   #6
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Would you consider Fort Pierce?


Sure. I'm sitting here in Fort Pierce right now in fact, waiting on them to unload the boat. Is there anything to do here? All I've seen are boat yards so far. Lol.

I did drive through a cute little area by the water on the way to the yard. Brick streets. Waterfront restaurants. Etc.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:10 PM   #7
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My boat is 41'. 12.5' beam. Petite.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
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Sure. I'm sitting here in Fort Pierce right now in fact, waiting on them to unload the boat. Is there anything to do here? All I've seen are boat yards so far. Lol.

I did drive through a cute little area by the water on the way to the yard. Brick streets. Waterfront restaurants. Etc.
Check out the City Marina. You're walking distance to a bunch of restaurants, the Saturday Farmers Market is top notch, you shouldn't be bored.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:18 PM   #9
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Sure. I'm sitting here in Fort Pierce right now in fact, waiting on them to unload the boat. Is there anything to do here? All I've seen are boat yards so far. Lol.

I did drive through a cute little area by the water on the way to the yard. Brick streets. Waterfront restaurants. Etc.
There are a lot of interesting things to do in Fort Pierce depending on your interests. Just a few:

Just walking downtown Fort Pierce is nice. Also check the local events calendar. Often something going on.

The Aquarium and Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit plus the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

Navy Seal Museum

Some beautiful parks and the Heathcoat Botanical Gardens. You could easily choose a different park every day.

County Historical Museum. Small but enjoyable.

There's a Vineyard and Winery

One of our favorites is the Backus Gallery. If art is your thing, then Art Mundo is worth a visit too.

Then some local cruising. Stuart, St.Lucie, wherever.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:39 PM   #10
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Check out the City Marina. You're walking distance to a bunch of restaurants, the Saturday Farmers Market is top notch, you shouldn't be bored.
If you are referring to the city dock in Stuart, I think that is day use only. Sunset bay Marina is nearby but at $2.75 a foot it is quite expensive. The monthly rate probably commensurate. Easy walk to town though and nice facility. We fled after a few days of bad weather and headed over to the Loggerhead marina across the river. It is listed at $1.80 / foot and with BoatUS even cheaper. It shares facilities with a yacht club and you can use all of the facilities. Great/showers, pool, and bar. The only thing you cannot access is the club house. A few restaurants nearby and a gas station for beer and snacks but nothing like Stuart proper. Last year it has loads of free slips.
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:56 PM   #11
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Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage in Stuart is nice. You can save some money by staying on a mooring ball ($160/week). Easy walk or free marina loaner bike into downtown.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:14 PM   #12
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If you are referring to the city dock in Stuart, I think that is day use only. Sunset bay Marina is nearby but at $2.75 a foot it is quite expensive. The monthly rate probably commensurate. Easy walk to town though and nice facility. We fled after a few days of bad weather and headed over to the Loggerhead marina across the river. It is listed at $1.80 / foot and with BoatUS even cheaper. It shares facilities with a yacht club and you can use all of the facilities. Great/showers, pool, and bar. The only thing you cannot access is the club house. A few restaurants nearby and a gas station for beer and snacks but nothing like Stuart proper. Last year it has loads of free slips.
I believe he was referring to the Riviera Beach City Marina which is very nice, but I don't know their limits on stays there.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:22 PM   #13
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Marinas around Stuart or WPB?

The City Marina has reasonable monthly dockage it looks like. I like this area! Hanging out at the jetty park area now and it's pretty laid back.
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A boat I was slobbering on earlier. Lots of hull to wax. . Isn't this some kind of Nordhavn?
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:31 PM   #14
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I stayed at Mariner Cay in the Manatee pocket a few years back. I liked it because it didn't feel like south Florida. Just another option.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #15
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The City Marina has reasonable monthly dockage it looks like. I like this area! Hanging out at the jetty park area now and it's pretty laid back...
Maybe you'll run into Don on Moonstruck. He keeps one of his boats there.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:02 PM   #16
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I lived down there for a while....isn't Riviera Beach kind of sketchy ? This was 12-15 years ago...but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable going for a walk or a jog in that area. Maybe its gotten better....West Palm did a great job improving its downtown area with its Citywalk development...so maybe Riviera Beach has as well.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:15 PM   #17
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I lived down there for a while....isn't Riviera Beach kind of sketchy ? This was 12-15 years ago...but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable going for a walk or a jog in that area. Maybe its gotten better....West Palm did a great job improving its downtown area with its Citywalk development...so maybe Riviera Beach has as well.
In areas it isn't the best. I'd personally select north of there at Old Port Cove or North Palm Beach. Riviera Beach has a lot of working boatyards as opposed to luxury marinas. Still some are nice. There has been a lot of development there and much more on the way. Rybovich just announced huge expansion plans. I've never felt unsafe in Riviera Beach, simply not the ambience of North Palm. On the other hand very convenient to West Palm. In West Palm you have the town docks and Palm Harbor and West Palm Municipal which is day use only. Palm Harbor and Palm Beach Town Docks are more expensive than the marinas we've discussed and very much in the middle of everything. Very close to Mar-a-Lago and the restricted area. Not the place to dock at this time.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:51 PM   #18
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If looking for somewhere to wait for a weather window to cross look at Sailfish.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #19
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When we first moved there we were lost and saw some guy loading a bunch of fishing rods into his Range Rover at the Palm Beach Yacht Club....we pulled in to ask him directions...and it was Jimmy Buffett !!
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:31 PM   #20
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Brought my boat back from Bahamas a few weeks ago to Ft. Pierce and its starting to grow on me (City Marina). Its cheaper and a day north of WPB if you want to cross there, but really only a couple extra hours crossing back over direct. One thing I liked about west palm was the anchorage right by the inlet if you wanted to save a few bucks for a few days its easy to do so.. in ft. pierce did not look like more than few spots to actually be on the hook nearby inside the inlet but I didn't look that hard. also per my earlier post I think Ft. Pierce Inlet is more susceptible to "bar crossing" conditions.
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