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Old 11-27-2016, 08:14 AM   #1
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Melbourne, FL Liveaboard Marinas

Hello all - We are looking at a new job in Melbourne, FL and soliciting suggestions for good liveaboard marinas in the area. The job will be located near the airport (MLB) so we're looking for marinas within 30 miles or so. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:33 AM   #2
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Harbortown Marina at Merritt Island.
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Donsan - I didn't see anything on their website about liveaboards but they did mention "transient friendly". Is that the buzzword for liveaboard? The website states starting at $10.30 per foot but I didn't see any additional fees for liveaboards. I will give them a call. Do you know if there are any marinas that are a closer drive to Melbourne airport that are as nice?
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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There are a number of liveaboards. They do have a fee,not sure the amount. It is a clean marina and full service. Great spot for protection from major storms.


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Old 11-27-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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There is a marina off the Eau Gallie Causeway on the beach side. You might give the Waterline Marina a call. You might also want to look at Active Captain but there are not a lot of marinas in the area.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:27 AM   #6
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One other suggestion. I think it is a little more than 30 miles but you might want to consider Loggerhead in Vero Beach.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:50 AM   #7
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Also look at Cocoa Village in Cocoa village, excellent facility and location. There are two marinas with liveaboard in Port Canaveral. Closer to Melbourne than Vero Beach is Sebastian. Active Captain will give you information as will the cruising guides. Really depends where you want to be. Good luck.


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Old 11-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #8
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From the airport you are fairly equidistant between Melbourne and Eau Gallie. Melbourne Harbor Marina has liveaboards. Eau Gallie Boat Basin has liveaboards but typically full or near full. Waterline has liveaboards. Those are all within 10 minutes.

Of those mentioned above, Cocoa Village is about 35 minutes, Loggerhead Vero about 50 minutes, Harbortown about an hour and 15 minutes.

I'd start with the three that are ten minutes, then branch to those in the 30 minute range.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:56 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. The move would not be before late spring so I have time to call/visit some of these marinas. We would be moving from Maryland on the Chesapeake to Melbourne. We have a 35ft Luhrs Alura but would probably sell that here and find something more suitable for a liveaboard down there. This will be our first liveaboard so any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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Waterline Marina is your best bet. Very close to the airport and downtown. Rates are $10/ft. and an additional $125/mo. for liveaboards. I grew up in the Melbourne area...you are very fortunate to have a an opportunity to live there. I plan to return when I stop working.
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Old 12-17-2016, 04:38 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for all the wonderful replies. We've been cruising the Chesapeake Bay and river ways for a few years now and have become accustomed to what she has to offer. Can anyone help us out with what to expect from the cruising the Melbourne area? It looks like we'll have easy access to the ICW and should be able to get out to open ocean easily. Should we expect more boaters than we see on the Chesapeake? Is it a challenging area to cruise? We're both experienced scuba divers as well. Is there good diving close by we could do from our own boat?
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:03 PM   #12
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Well, you have the Indian River (aka ICW) and the Banana River. The ICW will take you up or down the coast. If you want to fish on the ocean, you will have to motor from your marina to the locks at Port Canaveral or head down to Fort Pierce. Quite frankly, there is not a whole lot of different things a working stiff can do on a weekend for cruising but if you have a couple weeks off, you could go down to Stuart, and cross the state via Lake O and hit the Gulf O'Mex. Another trip might be up to Jax and then down the St. Johns. And if like traffic, you can take the ICW to Miami and then head down to the Keys.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:12 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info Donsan. We've spent our boating lives on the Chesapeake and have grown very accustomed to the wide open bay and rivers. Most of the smaller creeks off the Patuxent here have plenty of depth to cruise. We have a 35 ft Luhrs Alura and very few areas here are "off-limits" to us due to depth. We've been reading more about the Melbourne area and looking at charts to get a better feel for what the boating will be like down there. Even though the Indian River is 1.5 wide much of it is too shallow to use. The Banana river looks like most of it is too shallow for boating. The creeks and small rivers that are connected to the Indian look like they have a narrow canal dredged into them. Are they usable or is it just for locals to get their boats to their waterfront homes? We have a dozen or more restaurants and bars on the water that we can boat to within 15 minutes. We've also got interesting towns/cities that we can get to within a few hours for a long weekend. Should we not expect that type of boating in Melbourne?
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:53 PM   #14
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We've also got interesting towns/cities that we can get to within a few hours for a long weekend. Should we not expect that type of boating in Melbourne?
If you're on or very near the ICW you can expect that and more. Much depends on your speed as well. Pull up AC and look at Melbourne then all the cities North and South and all the marinas. Just measure some mileages and you'll see what is available for a day cruise and what for a weekend.
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Old 12-18-2016, 03:09 PM   #15
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If your draft is under 42" you should be able to go a lot of places on the Indian River between Melbourne and Cocoa but south of Melbourne can troublesome and north of the SR 520 can also be an issue. Best to stay in the ICW channel there. When I lived in Rockledge, we had deep water off our dock. As BandB says, a lot will be determined by your speed. There are places to visit but nothing like the Chessie. Don't get me wrong. There is interesting boating there, specially, if you want to go outside and fish, but for cruising on a weekend, you will probably find yourself going to the same places after 4-5 weekend trips. If you can take a couple of weeks off, there are a lot places you can go.

Many of the creeks and small rivers have fixed bridges. The Barge Canal is deep and has an opening bridge so you can do a loop heading north from Melbourne on the ICW, taking the Barge Canal to the Cape locks and then heading back to Melbourne on the Banana River.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:43 AM   #16
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Thanks for the replies Donsan and B&B. We've spent a few days looking at charts and Active Captain. We typically do not stay at Marinas on the bay. We find creeks and coves to drop anchor and get away from the busy marinas and save money. Are there secluded places to drop anchor near Melbourne if we wanted to sleep out for the night? Also, you mentioned coming down the Banana river as a loop. All the charts we've looked at show it to be less than 3ft in most places. Can you find a path on the Banana river that is reliably 4ft?
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:33 AM   #17
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Thanks for the replies Donsan and B&B. We've spent a few days looking at charts and Active Captain. We typically do not stay at Marinas on the bay. We find creeks and coves to drop anchor and get away from the busy marinas and save money. Are there secluded places to drop anchor near Melbourne if we wanted to sleep out for the night? Also, you mentioned coming down the Banana river as a loop. All the charts we've looked at show it to be less than 3ft in most places. Can you find a path on the Banana river that is reliably 4ft?
The Banana River has a marked channel from just north of the SR 520 bridge down to Dragon Point where the two rivers merge. Sportfishers run it all the time. BTW, technically both the Banana River and Indian River are technically lagoons and not rivers.

All along the ICW, there are islands. These are from when the ICW was dredged back in the 50's and 60's. The islands south of Melbourne to almost Vero Beach are popular for overnighting. You do need to watch depth as the islands have somewhat washed away over time. Don't even think about going out to the ocean at Sebastian Inlet. I have done it several times but it is not a pleasurable experience even though the channel was dredged a few years ago. You might also consider overnighting in Cocoa south of SR 520 but there usually more than a few boats there and many are derelict. Might also consider overnighting in the Barge Canal although I have never seen anyone do it. Dragon Point around the Mathers Bridge used to be a good place for anchoring but I have heard there are boater/homeowner issues causing problems there and I am not up to date on the current situation.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:36 AM   #18
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. Don't even think about going out to the ocean at Sebastian Inlet. I have done it several times but it is not a pleasurable experience even though the channel was dredged a few years ago. .
Right boat, right experience, it's ok. However, this points out another consideration in location. If considering north of Melbourne vs. south, consider how frequently you would go outside and the time to the ocean. An important part of canal or ICW marinas and homes for those of us who go outside is the time it takes to the ocean, a combination of distance and bridges and locks. North of Melbourne moves you closer to Canaveral which is a major port of entry and where your only issue is staying out of the way of major vessels.
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:15 PM   #19
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I would suggest renting a place down there and bring your current boat down to cruise the area, that combination would give you more on-water movement. Known a few live-a-boards and they don't leave the dock very often, like a house you have many things placed all over and storing everything for cruising is a task.
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:13 PM   #20
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From the airport you are fairly equidistant between Melbourne and Eau Gallie. Melbourne Harbor Marina has liveaboards. Eau Gallie Boat Basin has liveaboards but typically full or near full. Waterline has liveaboards. Those are all within 10 minutes.

Of those mentioned above, Cocoa Village is about 35 minutes, Loggerhead Vero about 50 minutes, Harbortown about an hour and 15 minutes.

I'd start with the three that are ten minutes, then branch to those in the 30 minute range.
Melbourne Harbor limits the length of time yo can "Liveaboard"
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