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Old 12-27-2021, 05:04 PM   #1
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Transiting West to East Florida - need advice!

Greetings! We need to bring our boat from Cape Coral, FL (west coast) to Ft. Lauderdale (east coast). I have run two voyage plans, one cutting through Everglades Natl. Park and going through Channel 5 cut (about 250 nm), the other going around Key West (about 450 nm). We'd like to stop each night. I am concerned about depth cutting across the park and for places to stay each night, either in a marina or at anchor, as we don't want to run at night. Any advice would be most appreciated. We have a 53' Grand Alaskan, draws about 5'6". We have a lot of boating experience, but are not familiar with the area, but will have a local, licensed captain aboard.
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Old 12-27-2021, 05:34 PM   #2
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I ran across from the Little Shark River along the park boundary toward Boot Key Harbor in my 4-foot draft GB42 standing on my tip toes a lot as the sounder indicated what looked like inches between my hull and the jagged bottom. Nuff said about you boat!
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Old 12-27-2021, 05:39 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 12-27-2021, 05:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Away Out View Post
Greetings! We need to bring our boat from Cape Coral, FL (west coast) to Ft. Lauderdale (east coast). I have run two voyage plans, one cutting through Everglades Natl. Park and going through Channel 5 cut (about 250 nm), the other going around Key West (about 450 nm). We'd like to stop each night. I am concerned about depth cutting across the park and for places to stay each night, either in a marina or at anchor, as we don't want to run at night. Any advice would be most appreciated. We have a 53' Grand Alaskan, draws about 5'6". We have a lot of boating experience, but are not familiar with the area, but will have a local, licensed captain aboard.
Wifey B: You'll make great alligator food.

Love playing in Everglades National Park in a RIB and I know those who like it with draft like yours, but not my idea of something to do for fun. It will be a slow, tedious trip. You can travel the 450 nm faster in all likelihood than the 250 nm and find a lot nicer marinas, although anchoring is good on both routes.

My opinion is make it easy on yourself and hit the Everglades another time, very slowly. Now others who like that route may disagree. Rgano describes the beeping with his 4' draft. Well, our Ribs have depth sounders too and we just look as we explore and a lot of shallow areas. Doesn't mean you can't work and find the depth you need, but just miss once and regrets ensue.
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Old 12-28-2021, 08:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Away Out View Post
Greetings! We need to bring our boat from Cape Coral, FL (west coast) to Ft. Lauderdale (east coast). I have run two voyage plans, one cutting through Everglades Natl. Park and going through Channel 5 cut (about 250 nm), the other going around Key West (about 450 nm). We'd like to stop each night. I am concerned about depth cutting across the park and for places to stay each night, either in a marina or at anchor, as we don't want to run at night. Any advice would be most appreciated. We have a 53' Grand Alaskan, draws about 5'6". We have a lot of boating experience, but are not familiar with the area, but will have a local, licensed captain aboard.

Do you mean you have to make your transit during the lock closure period on the Okeechobee Waterway?

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Old 12-29-2021, 01:27 AM   #6
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Greetings and Welcome!
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Old 12-29-2021, 07:30 AM   #7
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I agree, take the long way and enjoy the Keys. Why pass that up to save some miles but with much more stress.
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