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Old 09-01-2015, 03:27 PM   #1
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Planning Florida road trip

Hi
Me and the wife are planning a road trip to south Florida to get a feel of the marina options. Probably down the gulf side on down to the keys. We are currently houseboaters on a land locked lake. We are considering Florida retirement and just want to check out some marina's and boat options. Not looking for really up scale marina's just clean,friendly, and reasonable. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Also what would you guys recommend for just getting out for a day on a short trip with a captain aboard to get a feel for coastal water. I looked at some of the charters , just wondering if that was my only option.
Thanks
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:55 PM   #2
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Any reason for looking at the Gulf Coast - makes it harder to "do" the islands?
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:48 PM   #3
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Now that I think about it ,I'm not sure. We have always vacationed on the gulf, also like I said I have have never navigated open water, so I guess that big pond scared me,lol. Do you think there are better options on the east side?
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:50 PM   #4
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Gulf side is cheaper!
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:04 PM   #5
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Now that I think about it ,I'm not sure. We have always vacationed on the gulf, also like I said I have have never navigated open water, so I guess that big pond scared me,lol. Do you think there are better options on the east side?
Have a look at New Smyrna Beach up to Palm Coast as well.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:31 PM   #6
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We are on the east coast. SW Florida has better cruising. It is only 2 days across the canal to the east coast. So, location is no real problem. We like both, but plan to return to the west coast at some future time.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:21 PM   #7
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Might want to consider chartering a boat for a long weekend out of Fort Myers to get a feel for the cruising in this area. Swfyachts.com gets good reviews on TF. They may be able to set you up with a captained day charter if you prefer that. If marina touring, check out the Harbour at Cape Coral. Works well for me.

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Old 09-01-2015, 08:40 PM   #8
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Im currently docked North Fort Myers at Affordable Dockage Rates Liveaboard Marina North Fort Myers, Fort Myers, Cape Coral Florida
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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I love both coasts. Charlotte Harbor and Biscayne Bay both have great sheltered water cruising.

Bimini is only about fifty miles from Miami and the Florida Keys are easily accessible from both coasts.

Of course Miami has the best marine supply store.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:16 PM   #10
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We are on the east coast. SW Florida has better cruising. It is only 2 days across the canal to the east coast. So, location is no real problem. We like both, but plan to return to the west coast at some future time.
Where on the east coast of Florida are you guys?
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:17 PM   #11
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I love both coasts. Charlotte Harbor and Biscayne Bay both have great sheltered water cruising.

Bimini is only about fifty miles from Miami and the Florida Keys are easily accessible from both coasts.

Of course Miami has the best marine supply store.
And West End is only 56 miles from West Palm, then onto Spanish, Green Turtle, and all points south to Pete's Pub and back again!
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:20 PM   #12
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Higher quality of TF Membership over here on the Gulf, of course.

I 2nd the vote for SW Florida Yachts for Charter.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I love both coasts. Charlotte Harbor and Biscayne Bay both have great sheltered water cruising.

Bimini is only about fifty miles from Miami and the Florida Keys are easily accessible from both coasts.

Of course Miami has the best marine supply store.
Well, Parks, I happen to know that the best marine store on the east coast will ship (and even sometimes deliver) to the west coast.

Menzies, we are at the Fort Pierce City Marina.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
I love both coasts. Charlotte Harbor and Biscayne Bay both have great sheltered water cruising.

Bimini is only about fifty miles from Miami and the Florida Keys are easily accessible from both coasts.

Of course Miami has the best marine supply store.
All of central to Souther Florida is great we are in the Sarasota area

but Charlotte harbour area is great
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:42 PM   #15
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Well, Parks, I happen to know that the best marine store on the east coast will ship (and even sometimes deliver) to the west coast.

Menzies, we are at the Fort Pierce City Marina.
Ahah. That is out departure and entry port for the Abacos. In fact we called in there after the Miami show last February to look at a Selene that is for sale in there - Escapade I believe.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:09 AM   #16
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Plenty of smaller boat rentals around too, rent for 1/2 day and explore the areas by boat, you could do this in a few locations, but I agree with others in you would need to deside on what coast suits you, east is great for getting to the Bahama's, west if you will be dock bound most of the time. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:08 AM   #17
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There are a zillion marinas between CLW and Marco. I would not let that be the decision factor.
You will probably spend more time ashore so choose the town with regard to how you want to live first. A lot of houses have docks behind them, that is the FL boaters life.

The gulf ICW has many interesting cruising stops and will keep ypu busy for years. The keys and Bahamas are easily acessable. The Biscayne bay area has better water but the rest of east coast is just to much limited ICW for me.

Personally I find the St. Pete area best for me for many reasons.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:19 AM   #18
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January thru June we took the motor home and travel around down the gulf coast to the keys and up the east coast. We liked the middle upper or Florida on both sides. The main reason is there is less population and cities town seemed to be spread out more. This year we will spend more time investigating the northern areas more in depth. Last year ways a quick look to get a feel . The east side in land passage also appealed to us some what like the protect waters of the Puget sound.
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Old 09-04-2015, 07:33 AM   #19
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"Any reason for looking at the Gulf Coast - makes it harder to "do" the islands?"

Every cruiser I know , did the islands ONCE and never has any thought to return.

The big choice is your shore requirements. If you love entertainment and meals ashore you will be best in a city marina .

If you are happy aboard the further out places are less costly , far less traffic hassle all winter , and frequently have O'nite anchorages near by.

South of Port Orange on the east side there is very little in the way of anchorages.till past Miami.

The west coast has loads of great O'nite spots.

IF you are a real Pub Crawler , Key West is the spot.

Your use of the land will decide where you fit the beat.
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Old 09-04-2015, 08:34 AM   #20
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Every cruiser I know , did the islands ONCE and never has any thought to return.
I find that a strange comment, and certainly not my experience.
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