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Old 10-28-2018, 06:29 PM   #1
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FL hurricane holes/marinas

We begin live-aboard life this December (2018). We will spend summers aboard in Northeast, and plan to arrive Key West (home port) early October, 2019. Planning ahead in the event of a hurricane. Given enough warning, we are considering heading to the Okeechobee Waterway.
1. Not sure if we will enter OWW from the west or east. Any thoughts?
2. Once in OWW, any suggestions re: hurricane holes or secure marinas?
All advice/experience appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:48 PM   #2
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FL hurricane holes/marinas

In the past FF here on the forum has rented out side tie slips on his very strong and well maintained dock on the OW during hurricane season. I used it last season and Irma came very close to the dock. While there was damage to the surrounding area, my boat was just fine. It requires special long lines to tie up to pilings set inland next to his house and good fender boards to protect the boat and his dock.

I suggest messaging him to see if he has any room and arranging a spot early. Fred can come across a little gruff but he is very fair and extremely knowledgeable.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:23 PM   #3
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If you haven't already, look into River Forest Yachting Center which has a good reputation for hurricane protection with a storage plan for members at both their Stuart and LaBelle locations, covering both sides of Lake O. It is a high-end way of ensuring protection but an option worth knowing about. While I've never stayed at either location, they looked impressive when I have passed by.
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:26 PM   #4
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Thanks, cardude01,
Where is FF located on the OWW?
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:39 PM   #5
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FL hurricane holes/marinas

Yes on the Okeechobee waterway near Riverforest Yachting Center. Itís a residential neighborhood with canals and private docks.

And yes, Riverforest is a very nice facility. But they canít store boats with a mast they told me, plus FF was way more reasonable.
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Old 10-28-2018, 08:48 PM   #6
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Depending on the size of your boat, you might also check with these guys. It's my understanding that they built a hurricane rated boat storage building last year. They are on the Caloosahatchee river above Fort Myers.

Sweetwater Landing Marina - Home

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Old 10-29-2018, 01:20 AM   #7
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How long will it take to get from Key West to the Okeechobee Waterway? The cone of death is only reasonably accurate about five days out. Even if you’re in the five day cone of death, there is a good chance it will go somewhere else. Unless the boat is pretty fast, I wouldn’t try to out run a hurricane.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:10 AM   #8
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Go make an offering at St Mary's Star of the Sea and just stay in Key West

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto | The Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea

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Old 10-29-2018, 07:19 AM   #9
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Suggest you do a little research into the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1928_Okeechobee_hurricane

While you might avoid the issue with storm surge, winds and rain can be quite ravaging. We moved to inland Florida on the St Johns a couple of years ago and at the time, I thought it would be relatively hurricane free. Well, after Hernine, Matthew and Irma, I know better. Each knocked out power for days and the rise in the river covered our relatively high dock by a foot. IMHO, there is nowhere in FL that is a hurricane hole.
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:31 AM   #10
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I misunderstood you; didn't realize you were planning on moving just before a hurricane. If it were me, I would move and haulout before you leave for the summer. I would calculate the difference in cost between dockage and caretaking versus haulout and storage. The FL summer sun is brutal on everything. Having the boat inside and protected will save some money. Finally, there is insurance to consider. You may be able to get a substantial premium reduction by storing your boat indoors during hurricane season.

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