Fort Myers/Sanibel Area

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mauler34Rod, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Mauler34Rod

    Mauler34Rod Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    106
    Aug 26, 2020
    Lake Michigan IL/IN
    2001 380 Sundancer, Raymarine radar, chart plotter and gps
    496 Mercruiser 8.1 w/ V Drives
    Hello all, spending some time with the family this week down in Ft. Myers. We are renting a 23’ Hurricane to spend the day on. Using Boat House in Cape Coral so have boat from 9-4pm. Any recommendations on where to cruise to? Anywhere you can beach or anchor to swim or hang on the beach for awhile? We have a 16 month old along with us so any ideas are appreciated. Tim
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  2. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    I did that exact thing a few years ago. Locals can help you with too many specifics, but I can tell you what we did.

    The little chart plotters on those rentals are crap so I brought my iPAD with Navionics and a good suction RAM mount. It was hard to see the screen, but it was OK.

    We went up to Sanibel . The winds were pretty high so it was slow going. But we got there. Those Hurricane deck boats are not sundancers LOL! We originally were going up to Captiva but my kidneys (and my wife's bad back) couldn't take any more pounding so we stopped at Sanibel north end on the inside. It was too rough to go out into theGulf side. We went into Castaways Marina to dock. DO NOT GO TO CASTAWAYS MARINA. Read that again. DO NOT. Its not a marina. It is a shitty dock in a cove that is mostly 6 inches deep. Sanibel was nice enough and we walked around and had a couple good meals and some beach time before heading back.

    The no wake zone (the miserable mile) is part of the route out of where you rent. Don't speed. The police are there and watching.

    Coming from the Great Lakes I was really surprised how shallow the water is virtually everywhere. There are no shortcuts you should take. Stay in the marked channels everywhere you go. Up here there is deep water outside of marked channels. Down in that Cape Coral area, its not the case.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  3. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Here is a picture of the "marina" LOL. There was another dock just like it that I am standing on taking the picture. Second picture is an internet one from the air of the same place.
    DSC_2740.JPG
    3f44ad1fdf36e0c64b920ced94ad7c19ec8da9cd79fe6d20769abb5fe8ab5cd7.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  4. Mauler34Rod

    Mauler34Rod Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    106
    Aug 26, 2020
    Lake Michigan IL/IN
    2001 380 Sundancer, Raymarine radar, chart plotter and gps
    496 Mercruiser 8.1 w/ V Drives
    Thanks for the tip, I brought my Navionics and a hand held VHF radio, but hoping not to have to use the later.
     
    Buckeye Boater likes this.
  5. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    OH yeah. I did the same. I brought my VHF. It got quite a bit of attention in the security screening of my carry on luggage. I thought it might be worse if it was in the checked luggage.
     
  6. nealtrombley

    nealtrombley Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    213
    Apr 7, 2016
    Sw Fl Ft myers
    1988 Sea Ray Laguna Sold!
    2002 Sea Ray 410 Dancer
    2002 Yamaha 250OX66
    twin Cats 350hp
    Not sure of your limitations as far as distance but you can never go wrong with Sanibel and Captiva inside or outside the water isn’t perfect right now but it’s getting better I know the temps this weekend were 74 degrees
    If you decide to go up river towards the lake downtown Fort Myers can be a great place restaurants nightlife etc. usually you can sneak into the Yacht Basin just let them know
     
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  7. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    If you were to head towards north towards Captiva, be careful. The channel is well marked (inside ICW) however for most of the way it is narrow. Boats of all sizes tend to run on plane. Even on an otherwise calm day high likelihood you will experience some rough, 3ft wakes.

    Following the river towards Fort Meyers would be fine. Go up towards the power plant to the Manatee statue.

    Other option is cross over towards Pink Shell, go up the channel over there.
     
    Mauler34Rod likes this.
  8. Packerbacker

    Packerbacker New Member

    6
    Sep 4, 2017
    N/a
    6.2
    From Boat House to Fort Myers Beach about an hour drive. Public dock on northeast corner. You have to go channel on back side of beach. Five minute walk to beach. Plenty of restaurants if you continue on down east side. Doc Fords, Nervous Nellies, Dixie Fish Co., Matanzas, etc.
     
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  9. Mauler34Rod

    Mauler34Rod Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    106
    Aug 26, 2020
    Lake Michigan IL/IN
    2001 380 Sundancer, Raymarine radar, chart plotter and gps
    496 Mercruiser 8.1 w/ V Drives
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and tips. We took a ride today up the inside of Sanibel & Captiva and stopped just north of North Captiva. Threw out the hook and hung out on the beach for a few hours. We had a wonderful day and yes many big boats running on plane and I can’t say I blame them. The Hurricane rental was a nice boat, but sure was missing our Ray in the chop. Here a pic of my 15 month old grandson. He loves to steer the boat. 7E059485-947D-4379-9D9A-C71333CC8776.jpeg
     
  10. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Glad you had a good cruise. I love that part of FL.

    We are headed into that area next week.
     
  11. OllieC

    OllieC Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 11, 2013
    MinniSoCold
    Sara Belle
    2005 Weekender 215
    Mercruiser 5.0 mpi, Bravo III
    Cool little restaurant the kids would like called The Bubble Room on Captiva. I believe there is a transient dock on the east side.
     
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  12. J.Wilt

    J.Wilt Active Member

    978
    Jan 29, 2010
    W. Mich. / Lake Michigan
    420 Sundancer 2005
    Cumming 6cta V Drives
    Highfield 310 , 20hp Suzuki
    We were just there a couple weeks ago, Bubble Room is really cool, then just a short walk to a nice beach on the west side of island and another restaurant called the Mucky Duck. We docked the boat at
    Jensen's Twin Palm Cottages & Marina Resort there are several docks that will accommodate boats up to 25’ for $35.
    McCarthy docks next to Jensen’s charge $40.
     
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  13. Blueone

    Blueone Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2007
    Lake Erie, Ohio
    2004 420 Sundancer
    Cummins 6CTA 450's
    Mucky Duck... is a must visit... and a great walk from the boat/marina
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
    OllieC, Mauler34Rod and J.Wilt like this.
  14. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Good intel on this thread. I just got back from the area. My brother bought a condo in Cape Coral with a deeded slip & covered boat lift. He then bought a 24' Polar walk around. We ran it over to Sanibel & anchored about 75' off shore with all the other boats. It was pretty calm. Had a great day & look forward to my next trip down there to check out some of these suggestions! 20210227_145821.jpg 20210227_145813.jpg 20210227_154002.jpg
     
  15. OllieC

    OllieC Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 11, 2013
    MinniSoCold
    Sara Belle
    2005 Weekender 215
    Mercruiser 5.0 mpi, Bravo III
    My family will be there March 20th-27th. We'll have to check out the Mucky Duck. I'm actually headed to Naples for business tomorrow - Wednesday, but I don't plan on exploring, just staying at the resort and entertain customers.
     
  16. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Love the beach pictures.

    We like the sandbars that show up in redfish inlet, those are fun to go out to on the dinghy.
     
    tdschafer likes this.
  17. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Couple of more pics heading back in the channel. Saw some pretty cool boats down there. 20210227_175453.jpg 20210227_175104.jpg 20210227_174954.jpg 20210227_174858.jpg
     
  18. Creekwood

    Creekwood Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 26, 2009
    Oakville and Georgian Bay, Ontario
    '97 330 Sundancer, Raymarine C80 suite with radar, Mercury 310 Hypalon w/8hp Yammie 2stk
    2X 454 carbs w/ vDrives
    Here are a few photo's from our trip. We had some fun despite the windy conditions. It really set my mind that I want to winter in Florida and be on the water (sorry guys, I know its full. We are not very large. We'll fit)

    In the last photo you can see one dolphin but there were two. The second you can barely see his gray back right below the swim ladder. He (or she) was going in and out of the prop wash for miles.

    DSC_2700.JPG 20150318_123551.jpg DSC_2729.JPG 20150318_151229.jpg DSC_2769.JPG
     
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  19. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Creekwood, you reminded me that I forgot to mention there were a couple dolphins swimming by the boats while we were on the beach. They were just meandering between the anchored boats. It was definitely a plus for selling my wife on relocating to this area. I'm with you, I want to winter in this here. There is nothing redeeming about winters in New York.
     
    Mauler34Rod likes this.
  20. swaterhouse

    swaterhouse Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    643
    Jan 7, 2015
    Mattapoisett, MA
    2008 58 DB
    MAN CRM 900
    If your ever in that position again and not in an idle speed zone you can speed up/slow down to that point where your making the biggest wake possible, if they are close enough they may ride your wake right up behind the boat. We had one run back from a Christmas eve lunch at Cabbage Key Inn that they jumped in our wake for a couple miles.
     
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