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Old 01-12-2018, 06:20 AM   #1
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Vessel Name: Gypsy Star
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Western FL Local Knowledge for Pine Island Please.

We are presently in Saint Petersburg on our 43 foot, 4 foot draft, trawler. After I give some talks at Eckerd College, we will be resuming our exploration of western Florida. I would appreciate some local knowledge about the eastern passage past Pine Island north of Fort Myers. The charts are not very clear about the channel depths. This year was my 11 th AICW transit and I like poking into skinny waters but, for planning purposes, I’d like to be sure we won’t find this route blocked at all tide levels.
Roger and Patsy
"Gypsy Star"
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #2
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Vessel Name: Irish Lady
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The east side of PI is very lightly traveled by cruising boats. 99.9 percent go down the ICW.

Let us know how you make out.
Irish Lady
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Currently in Cape May, NJ
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:18 AM   #3
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City: Punta Gorda, fl
Vessel Name: Escapade
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There is a marked channel that you can take. Better have a foot of tide and take it slow. What has happened to the depth after Irma I do not know.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #4
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dont do the eastern passage in that boat. that was the first advice my local charterr company gave me when i put my boat inservice with them.
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #5
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More like 99.99% stay in the channel. LOL I've seen a few run aground too outside.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:22 PM   #6
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Live on PI and agree with not attempt the east side passage. OK in a smaller boat but not with a 4' draft!
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:28 PM   #7
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City: Ft. Myers, FL
Vessel Name: Hannah Jane
Vessel Model: 2000 Grand Banks 42 Classic
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I took my 18 ft center console (CC) down the east side of PI and back up west side some years back. We've had a place on Little Gasparilla Island (north of Boca Grande) for over 20 years and I've taken the CC all over those waters.

Also chartered 3-4 35-45 ft sailboats out of Burnt Store Marina on Charlotte Harbor over the years plus a Grand Banks 42 out of Tarpon Point Marina (Cape Coral) 3 years ago.

I bought a used Grand Banks 42 a little over a year ago; she's berthed on the river in downtown Ft. Myers. I'd recommend that you forego the east side in a boat as large as yours. It's really a small boat channel.

There are plenty of places to explore and anchor out in Pine Island Sound and up towards the swing bridge going to Boca.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:42 PM   #8
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City: St. james city FL.
Vessel Name: White Pelican
Vessel Model: Marine Trader 34' sedan 1973
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I agree with staying on the ICW, been down Matlacha pass many times when
I had a pontoon boat. It is very narrow and twisty in spots and can get shallow. Will try it with my 34' MT some day, but would want ideal conditions.
Check Active Caption for anchorages down Pine Island sound, there
are many.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:20 PM   #9
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Not that you need more of the same, but I wouldn’t do it in a 4’ draft boat, either, unless you’re really looking for adventure.

Way too long ago to be relevant, but my dad & I did it in our 42’ that only needs about 3’ of water back in ‘95, and it was pretty sketchy. We bumped and pushed a few times, as I recall, but we may have had some rising tide in our pocket.

On a side note, was that you anchored in next to Marina Jack in Sarasota last weekend?
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Old 01-14-2018, 07:21 AM   #10
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Hi Roger:

I am curious if your speaking engagement at Eckerd regards your experiences as a Naval Architect, and if so, is it open to the public?

Thank you,
Pea Trombley
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:47 PM   #11
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Stay away from the east side of Pine Island. Especially in the winter when their is less water.
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