Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then north?

Discussion in 'Southeast' started by CLC3, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. CLC3

    CLC3 Member

    33
    Sep 9, 2012
    South Florida
    Sea Ray 370 Sundancer - 1997
    Garmin 5212 GPS w/ sounder
    Previous...
    Sea Ray 330 Sundancer - 1993
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4L MPI; V-drives; Genset
    Just bought a 1997 Sundancer 370 in Ft Myers and need to bring her home to Miami (Homestead Marina). Any tips or advice about the route alternatives of going across Lake Okeechobee to the east coast and then heading south (ICW or outside based on weather) vs. running south from Ft Myers, around the tip of the state to the keys and then north to the destination? I've had some "old salts" endorse both alternatives and I'm looking for more feedback to tip the scales.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  2. tdschafer

    tdschafer Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2009
    Long island , NY
    1997 330 sundancer
    twin 454's, Carb, V-Drives
    Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then no

    Robert (Shadow9999) has done that trip both ways running his boat from the gulf coast to NJ & back. I would send him a PM and get his advice.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Todd
     
  3. cod

    cod Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    720
    Nov 25, 2010
    Naples, Fl.
    2005 500 Sedan Bridge/
    Cummins QSM 11's/
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    Congrats on the new boat. I previously owned a 97' 370 and loved it..... I've done the trip both ways also and personally would go thru the keys if seas are favorable. Why not make a vacation out of it and stop at Marco Island, then Duck Key or even Key West if you want to venture further.
    Another thing to consider is the Okeechobee has been exceeding its capacity due to the rains and they have been letting the water flow into the gulf. I don't know how this affects navigation with currents and the locks(mainly the current as you approch the locks) but might be worth looking into. My dad lives in Ft. Myers and said the gulf right now is brown instead of the usual turquoise blue this time of year because of all the fresh water they released from the river.
    Either way, you'll have a great trip with a new to you vessel.....
     
  4. Big Island Lifer

    Big Island Lifer Active Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Minnesota
    '96 330 Formula SS
    For Sale '85 255 Amberjack
    Single 5.7
    Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then ...

    If the seas are calm head to the keys from Ft. Myers. You'll be there in a few hours and you can spend the night in key west.
     
  5. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    New boat, time, fuel... I would take the lake if the passage is good - check the website. I did it on day 1 of owning a 2.5 year old 2005 340. We bought it in W Palm and cruised home to Panama City, Fl (700 miles) in 4 days.
     
  6. sfl larry

    sfl larry New Member

    40
    Mar 3, 2013
    ft lauderdale
    340 sundancer 2004
    twin 8.1 s v drives
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    another alternative would be to truck it down allegator alley. a few hours after pickup it could be in yor marina for around 2-3k. when you consider the cost of gas for making that trip along with the simple fact that you dont really know how reliable your new used boat is it may end up saving you money and a headache....just my two cents
     
  7. bmac

    bmac Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Holbrook, NY
    2006 58 Sedan Bridge, Walker Bay Generation 390 RIB w/40hp Yamaha, 2014 Wellcraft 232 CC w/Yamaha
    MAN 900 CRM
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    I brought my 52Db homw from Sarasota this May and went through the Okeechobee Waterway. It's only one day across from Ft. Meyers and then another day South to Miami. I would imagine the time would be about the same going South. I think the Okeechobee is less scenic (and a LOT less fun) than going through the Keys, which I love. Also, my boat was filthy after going through the waterway and needed a good cleaning when we pulled into Ft. Pierce. If it were me, I'd go South through the Keys.
     
  8. CLC3

    CLC3 Member

    33
    Sep 9, 2012
    South Florida
    Sea Ray 370 Sundancer - 1997
    Garmin 5212 GPS w/ sounder
    Previous...
    Sea Ray 330 Sundancer - 1993
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4L MPI; V-drives; Genset
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    Hi all and thanks for the advice. This is to close the original inquiry with the facts of the trip.

    We chose the southern route... departed Ft. Myers Saturday morning and ran down to Marco island where we topped off the tanks. Then south and east to go around the shallows of Everglades National Park. We connected with the keys at Long Key in the early evening. It was a nice open-water run with some chop south of Cape Romano. Saturday night we anchored on the Gulf side of Lower Matecumbe Key and then made the run up to Homestead on Sunday. Except for dodging lots of lobster pot buoys along the way, it was a flawless and enjoyable journey.

    My pre-purchase excitement about the 370 DA now pales in comparison to the way I feel about it now. It's an ideal configuration for our family boating/cruising need in sunny south Florida. We look forward to many more good times in the years ahead. And, to active participation here seeking your further advice and contributing what I can as we become more familiar with the boat.

    Thanks again.

    Chip
     
  9. CLC3

    CLC3 Member

    33
    Sep 9, 2012
    South Florida
    Sea Ray 370 Sundancer - 1997
    Garmin 5212 GPS w/ sounder
    Previous...
    Sea Ray 330 Sundancer - 1993
    Twin Mercruiser 7.4L MPI; V-drives; Genset
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    I have to admit that there were times during the loooong southbound leg of the trip that I wondered if I'd made the right decision considering the open water segment and a new-to-me boat. It's really "big" out there and we only passed two north-bound boats in about a 70 mile south-bound leg of the trip. Mechanical condition of the boat is good and I had some serious PM done before departing (thorough mechanical check-out, new impellers, fluids, belts, etc.) so I was generally confident and, as it turned out, I did not experience any issues. But, it could have been a different story and much more complicated ending. The trucking alternative is a worthwhile consideration especially with an unfamiliar vessel. Wise words...

    Chip
     
  10. Hampton

    Hampton Air Defense Dept TECHNICAL Contributor

    Nov 26, 2006
    Panama City, Fl
    2008 44 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC-500's
    Straight Drives
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    Great trip! Congrats.
     
  11. papertrail

    papertrail New Member

    155
    May 5, 2009
    jacksonville, FL
    2000 290 AJ- SOLD
    5.0 mercruiser BIII
    Re: Ft. Myers to Miami - across the lake and down ICW or south to the keys, then nort

    I respectfully disagree! I understand your points but, assuming you have had the proper surveys, i say go for it! It would be a shame to pass up a good reason to take a trip like that.
     

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