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Old 03-22-2016, 04:08 PM   #1
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Salt or Fresh Water Marina

Scoping out marinas for next winter. In Fort Myers, it can be musical chairs. Figure out where you want to be; make commitments in August; or possibly be left with out a spot. Currently in a high tidal flow area which generated a lot of marine growth quickly. Would also prefer a marina where they don't feed the pelicans. I was told not to kill them for pooping on my boat.

Have the option to be in almost fresh water or salt within 5 miles of each other. Neither area has any measurable flow and both are protected nice marinas. There are other differences that offset, but not pertinent to the discussion. There is a premium to be paid for being behind a lock in fresh water. Somewhere between $3 and $4 per foot as power is billed differently.

If you had a choice, would you pay more for a fresh water marina?

Plan to be there for 5 months with cruising trips in salt water. If docking in fresh and cruising in Salt, would you worry about the effectiveness of the zinc anodes?

Ted
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #2
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Given all the reading I have been doing on anodes, I would switch to aluminum anodes in that situation.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:25 PM   #3
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Ted: I'd take the fresh water. Easier on the boat IMHO. And as Dave suggested, I'd go to Al anodes. Hobo's been spending hurricane season in brackish water. A few years ago we changed everything to Al. I've been watching the anodes as we cruise in salt water and all looks good.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:25 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. OC. One advantage of a FW marina is less growth on the hull therefore no need for monthly diver's bills. That would help offset the increase in rental $$.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:28 PM   #5
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Mr. OC. One advantage of a FW marina is less growth on the hull therefore no need for monthly diver's bills. That would help offset the increase in rental $$.
Monthly?! I guess there are some advantages to cold water and cool weather.
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Old 03-22-2016, 04:53 PM   #6
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I don't think it's going to make much of a difference overall. I would make the choice based on other things.
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Old 03-22-2016, 05:11 PM   #7
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Since we moved our boat to Essex on the Connecticut River from Oriental, NC last year, I have been amazed at the lack of bottom growth. Essex is right on the salt/fresh interface. Some weeks no salt, others all salt. Depends on the rainfall upstream I suppose.

With Connecticut's higher boat service prices on almost everything than in NC I will bet the semi monthly diver bill would be $100/mo. With the fresh/salt water I don't need it.

So I vote for fresh water.

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Old 03-22-2016, 05:14 PM   #8
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Definitely aluminum anodes.

Now to the real question. So, the element of this that would be important to me is having to lock through every time I wanted to use my boat. In Fort Lauderdale it's all about bridges. In your case, the Franklin Lock. You have to be back through the lock by 5:00 PM. Takes away a lot of summer afternoon usage. When the water level is up, the lock opens on demand so not too much worse than a bridge. However, when the water level is down then it goes to 4 times a day, then 3 times, then 2 times.

Everything else being equal, I'd go for convenience. Having to lock through twice any day I want to use the boat wouldn't appeal to me.
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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One could compromise with brackish waters.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #10
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Definitely aluminum anodes.

Now to the real question. So, the element of this that would be important to me is having to lock through every time I wanted to use my boat. In Fort Lauderdale it's all about bridges. In your case, the Franklin Lock. You have to be back through the lock by 5:00 PM. Takes away a lot of summer afternoon usage. When the water level is up, the lock opens on demand so not too much worse than a bridge. However, when the water level is down then it goes to 4 times a day, then 3 times, then 2 times.

Everything else being equal, I'd go for convenience. Having to lock through twice any day I want to use the boat wouldn't appeal to me.
Different lock. This is the Chiquita lock in Cape Coral . It's a single boat lock with no elevational change designed to keep saltwater out of the canals. Takes about 3 minutes to lock through. Open 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

Ted
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:20 PM   #11
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Different lock. This is the Chiquita lock in Cape Coral . It's a single boat lock with no elevational change designed to keep saltwater out of the canals. Takes about 3 minutes to lock through. Open 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

Ted
Ah....different lock.

I'm not familiar with it enough to know. Is that the one they've argued about taking down?
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:23 PM   #12
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With clarification of the lock in question I would go for fresh water.

But I would make sure the marina checked every boat for electrical safety. AC flowing back through the water probably wont hurt you in salt water but will most likely kill you in fresh water. I'd want confirmation that my boat is safe and that all the other boats are safe as well. Even if you don't jump in to check something there could be kids who do jump in, even if the marina prohibits swimming.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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If you had a choice, would you pay more for a fresh water marina?
Hell yes. Super hell yes. And covered please.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:36 PM   #14
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I only have experience with saltwater, but I can tell you a huge difference in growth rates exists due to current. Stagnant basin, moderate growth, easily handled. Slips in tidal current, pure friggin evil growth.

Fresh water is indeed a plus, but not sure it is a huge advantage of quiescent sea water. Especially if you have to deal with the hassle of lock in and out.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:40 PM   #15
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I dunno....since I first got aboard and went with Ted through the first lock on the Okeechobee Waterrway, Ted became fearless about locking through solo. When I asked him why, he said that he always finds plenty of eager line handlers whenever he arrives.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:43 PM   #16
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Ah....different lock.

I'm not familiar with it enough to know. Is that the one they've argued about taking down?
After a quick check, yes that's the one they are arguing about. Interestingly, the federal or state government made them put it in as they were worried about well water contamination from salt leaching into the aquifer. Now that most of Cape Coral has or is being switched to municipal water, it may no longer be an issue. Will be interesting to see if the feds or the state give them the permits (approval) to remove it.

If that happens the marina will be much saltier as it's just past the lock.

Ted
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:53 PM   #17
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I only have experience with saltwater, but I can tell you a huge difference in growth rates exists due to current. Stagnant basin, moderate growth, easily handled. Slips in tidal current, pure friggin evil growth.
That pretty much describes where I am now. After being there for 3 weeks, boat needed a major scrubbing. Couldn't do it in the slip because of the current. Went up to Cayo Costa state park and scrubbed for 2 hours to get her bottom and running gear clean.

Ted
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:37 PM   #18
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After a quick check, yes that's the one they are arguing about. Interestingly, the federal or state government made them put it in as they were worried about well water contamination from salt leaching into the aquifer. Now that most of Cape Coral has or is being switched to municipal water, it may no longer be an issue. Will be interesting to see if the feds or the state give them the permits (approval) to remove it.

If that happens the marina will be much saltier as it's just past the lock.

Ted
And apparently the CG did not want it removed. Some of those inside, including marinas are worried that they could somehow end up too shallow without a lot of continuous dredging. Who knows?
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:38 PM   #19
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That pretty much describes where I am now. After being there for 3 weeks, boat needed a major scrubbing. Couldn't do it in the slip because of the current. Went up to Cayo Costa state park and scrubbed for 2 hours to get her bottom and running gear clean.

Ted
Bottom cleaning for us. Every four weeks in the winter, three weeks in the summer.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:58 PM   #20
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Bottom cleaning for us. Every four weeks in the winter, three weeks in the summer.
Spent the winter of 2014 in the Marina just above the Lock (Marina at Cape Harbour). No growth to speak of in 2.5 months. At Matanzas Pass (Fort Myers Beach area) this year, I had barnacles growing on fender balls that were touching the water, after only 2 weeks!

Ted
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