How do I do a Keys trip right?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by Allan Mckee, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Allan Mckee

    Allan Mckee New Member

    4
    Jul 7, 2020
    Jacksonville Florida
    99 270 sundancer
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    Hello everyone!
    Finally graduated to my first Sea Ray and couldn't be happier. I am looking to do a Key hopping experience but have no idea how to go about doing it. Any guidance?
    I have a 270 Sundancer w/generator.

    Thanks!
     
  2. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Little Palm is open... Got an email that Emmy Lou Harris is doing a sandbar performance this fall.

    Burdines is high on my list. Place back closer to Key Largo on the south side, Snapper's or something like that.

    Just remember "Keys time" - nothing happens fast.
     
    Allan Mckee likes this.
  3. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    New England & South Florida
    1976 17 Sport
    90hp Etec
    go down the inside - stop at gilberts then cut through to largo sound via adams cut and stay at marina del mar (or just stay in the sound at pennencamp) - from there hit one of the reefs (molassis, alligator etc) on your way to hawks cay - after a stay there hit looe key on your way to galeon in key west - say in hawks channel on the way home and cut back in at angelfish.....if you go back on the inside instead, faro blanco is a good stop - if you favor anchorages rodriguez key in key largo and bahia honda in the lower keys are good.....have fun!
     
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  4. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    Guess my first question is where are you? Trailering in, or running from somewhere (close)?
    Staying onboard for the whole trip? Adults only, or kids?
    Interests?
    Range? Avg Speed when moving?
    Welcome to cruising. So many options. Your boat will get you to places that a lot of us can't, or won't risk it.
    Go to Ebay or wherever and find a Florida Cruising Guide. It will help you with this trip, and many others around Florida.
    Oh, finally, when? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter will significantly impact your decisions.
    Have fun.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  5. Allan Mckee

    Allan Mckee New Member

    4
    Jul 7, 2020
    Jacksonville Florida
    99 270 sundancer
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    I'm in jax. Gonna trailer down to somewhere down there. Miami possibly. Going in August. Just me and my lady.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  6. El Capitan

    El Capitan Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2014
    Chicago IL./Vero Beach, Fl
    1970 SRV 180 w 2.5L Mercruiser.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
    120HP Mercruiser
    Ya better read up on the shutdown and short notice ordinances down there.

    Locals don’t take too kindly to damn Yankees invading their little paradise.

    Read some horror stories from this past weekend.
     
  7. Allan Mckee

    Allan Mckee New Member

    4
    Jul 7, 2020
    Jacksonville Florida
    99 270 sundancer
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    Not a yankee! Flogrown!
     
    Cocktail Time likes this.
  8. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    New England & South Florida
    1976 17 Sport
    90hp Etec
    look into launching and leaving your truck/trailer at harbortowne in ft lauderdale - safe and not too expensive......not a lot of safe places to leave your rig south of there
     
  9. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    By Miami, I assume you mean Homestead or at least Dinner Key.
    That time of year, weather is very important. I personally would go to Key Largo, put in, and have 2 plans. One for good approaching weather, and one for not so good. Research who is open, and give them a call to scope out the current situation. Or, stay away from all the marinas/dockside bars, and "rough" it. If you are swimming/snorkeling, shallow is better on the Atlantic side, unless you get pristine weather. Coves to anchor/camp in are better on the Gulf side. Both will require insect management. You will be rained on when you least expect it. You will have fun, if adventure is in your blood. Be aware, there is very little sand in the keys. That's coral, my friend. Bring an extra prop, but be careful. Do what everyone else is doing. Not many non-locals there right now. The wind and waves will always be bigger on the Atlantic side, but, alas, that's where the fun is.......Enjoy. I've done it from 20 footers to 80 footers.
     
    Cocktail Time likes this.
  10. Maky

    Maky Member

    37
    Jul 13, 2017
    Lake St. Clair
    2008 240 Sundancer
    Single 5.0
    You could trailer down to Key Largo and keep your rig at the Caribbean Club for 10 bucks a day
     
  11. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    New England & South Florida
    1976 17 Sport
    90hp Etec
    I wouldn't want to deal with upper keys traffic - plus hes over 8'5" wide - don't the keys have their own "rules" with regards to towing.....
     
    Allan Mckee likes this.
  12. Maky

    Maky Member

    37
    Jul 13, 2017
    Lake St. Clair
    2008 240 Sundancer
    Single 5.0
    Most of the heavy traffic usually starts just above Islamorada. As far as towing, regular oversize Florida rules apply. From what I gather those permits are available on-line
     
    Allan Mckee likes this.
  13. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    The old rule of thumb used to be drive down on Sunday, when everyone is going home, and leave on a Friday or Saturday, when everyone is arriving. These days, I'll bet it doesn't matter.
    I have left many a brain cell at the Caribbean Club. Family had property at Lake Surprise Estates.
     
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  14. ocgrant

    ocgrant Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    636
    Dec 31, 2006
    Miami / Ft Lauderdale
    H2O Therapy
    2006 Sundancer 48
    Novurania 460
    Yamaha EX-R
    Cummins QSC 540's
    Keys are too much drama. Drop in at Ft Lauderdale and just come to Bimini with us. Way better boating than the Keys. Only 2 hours away.
     
  15. Allan Mckee

    Allan Mckee New Member

    4
    Jul 7, 2020
    Jacksonville Florida
    99 270 sundancer
    454 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    I was actually thinking about that!
     
  16. ocgrant

    ocgrant Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    636
    Dec 31, 2006
    Miami / Ft Lauderdale
    H2O Therapy
    2006 Sundancer 48
    Novurania 460
    Yamaha EX-R
    Cummins QSC 540's
    Get your boat dialed in and make sure it can run on plane for 2 hours straight and you are good to go.
     
  17. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    On a good day, you'll see pontoon boats at the Big Game Club. On less good days, a 27 footer will turn around way before a 48 does. Pick yer sea. There are so many to choose from.
    And if going to Bimini, bring money and a passport. You'll need both.
     
  18. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Consider Black Point Marina (East of Homestead) to drop in at and leave your rig. That's at the North end of Card Sound which gives good access to either the South or North side of the Keys and multiple choices for weather.

    You could also consider Homestead Bayfront Marina (just North of Turkey Point Power Plant) but the channel out to the bay may present some issues.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
    370Dancer likes this.

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