west coast suggestions

Discussion in 'Gulf Coast' started by Havana Shamrock, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    We'll be in the sarasota/tampa area feb- march checking out the area for marinas and was looking for advice and opinions on marinas south of sarasota. Amenities? general boating conditions? hows the west coast ICW? visit or stay there? how do the locals boat in these parts? etc any and all help appreciated.
     
  2. techmitch

    techmitch Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 1, 2008
    Chesapeake Bay, Middle River/Frog Mortar Creek MD.
    1999 270 DA
    Twin 4.3s W/Alpa I Gen II's
    "west coast suggestions" You scared me there for a minute with the title Joe.
     
  3. Todd320

    Todd320 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    818
    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    I’ve stayed at longboat Key Club moorings back in May, it was pretty nice, good restaurant, slips were well protected (transients are all the way on the inside, so no issues at all). Quite a distance to the main resort, but they will shuttle you down there, and back. It’s listed in dockwa, that is how I reserved. Not quite ‘south of Sarasota’ now that I look at the map but close. Passage Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay is one of my favorite spots, but you will see a few naturists off in the distance.
     
  4. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    Not sure where you want to go but Marco Island is nice. Has lots of amenities and is close to the Keys.
     
  5. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    I should explain a little more. Next fall we will be able to “snowbird” so we’re checking out FLA obviously I’ve been on the ICW on the east coast a little and I’ve been to Tampa on the west coast but never boated on the west coast.
    I see a lot of marinas have a no live aboard option. We’d like to spend time moving around the state before we settle on an area to purchase a land home. We’d like to be able to make the keys and have great anchorages to go to. we also need a place that will allow us to live on the boat for weeks at a time.
    Keep the info coming in thanks
     
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Sounds like fun research, there is a lot to see.

    When we bought our 47DB we kept it on the east coast (Aventura). By the second year we were going to the west coast almost every time we went to the boat.

    When we bought the current boat we had decided we wanted to have it on the west coast when it was in FL.

    One misperception about south Florida is that wintertime is prime boating season. In fact it is not. Granted the weather is outstanding during Dec, Jan, Feb, and March - the Atlantic can be brutal. The number of days during that period that you would want to go out into the Atlantic is limited. North to East winds are prevalent during that time, stick your nose out of the inlet and its very rough.

    Your option is cruising up and down the ICW, some great places but we got tired of the options pretty fast. If you are looking for a place to have the boat with fantastic weather during the winter - works great. If you are wanting to cruise to different places, take a look at the options. By the way - on your boat Miami to Palm beach on the ICW I am guessing you would open a dozen or more bridges - at least).

    We like the west coast because of the number of places to visit which all seem to be easy cruising 20-40 miles a day. Clearwater, St Petersburg (great downtown), Anna Marie Island, Longboat, Sarasota, Venice, Boca Grand, Captiva, Tarpon Point, Fort Meyers, Naples, and Marco Island.

    Easy run to the Keys. Guessing distance from Fort Meyers to Marathon is about the same as Fort Lauderdale to Marathon. The run from Fort Meyers is open water only.

    If the weather lets you outside - open water runs. If not, ICW as the backup.

    Assuming you would be flying in and out some. East coast has more options for flights, west coast is either Tampa or Fort Meyers. We liked Tampa for flying due to the number of flight choices we have, Fort Meyers only has 3-4 a day.

    There seems to be a line somewhere just north of Fort Meyers where the winter weather is different. Routinely it is warmer below that line than in the Tampa area. Cold air pushing down just doesn't make it as far.

    Would be happy to discuss on the phone if it is helpful. Send me an private message.
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  7. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Mark I may take you up on that. We’ll be visiting a CSR member who Just finished building in Sarasota and he’ll take us around the area a bit. The more I hear about the west coast the more it sounds inviting I have always maintained that we’re boating on the east coast so we can go to the Bahamas etc typical NYer! the gulf sounds like it’s not as much hustle and bustle. Well be in FLA 2 x in Feb and March (actually 3 if you count Miami boat show) on our research as my buddy sets to retire in June and we’re inseperable so he’s house hunting in the area where we will be boating.
    I’d like to see what the west coast ICW offers as far as stop overs, fuel stops and anchorages
     
  8. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    One other note - on the west coast just get comfortable with shallow water.

    When the depth finder shows 12-14 feet under the hull, you are in deep water. But its fine once you get used to is. We don't have any problems.
     
    Havana Shamrock likes this.
  9. Ididntdoit

    Ididntdoit Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 5, 2007
    Newport, RI
    300 Sundancer
    5.0MPI Bravo III
    Joe - Take a look at Snook Bight marina in Ft Myers Beach - nice spot - Cheryl and I love the east coast, so much that we haven't really given the west coast much of a chance......when we bring the boat back down we will undoubtedly spend a little more time there.....Mark is right on about winter boating in FLA - last feb we ran down the florida bay side of the keys as even hawks channel was kicked up.....always nice to have the option to run inside - the Bahamas are really a summer only thing (at least in our boat) while its true you can get a window in the fall/winter/early spring they are often short and unreliable.
     
    Havana Shamrock likes this.
  10. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Mark, after boating on the south shore of LI I was used to seeing 5’ or less then moved to the North shore and love the deep water..so I guess it’s back to watching the depth levels

    Mike I’m making a list of places and marinas form the advice here that we will drive the coast end of Feb and check out.
    Thanks
     
  11. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Two categories on your list: Visit and Keep the boat at.

    For example Long boat Key is a great visit, and a possibility to keep the boat at.

    South Seas - one of our all time favorite marinas - but don't think they have permanent dockage in the area that is the good part - if they do, it will be expensive.
     
  12. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Update: just returned from the East coast so far the wife likes,
    Stuart on the East and Tampa/Sarasota/to fort Meyers on the west.
    I’ve have learned that we’re not going to stay at one marina as we previously had thought but rather travel around FLA and experience it all.
    The East coast will be for the Bahamas trips and arriving and departing to/from New York
    The west we’ll visit our friends for a few weeks and do the Gulf/Keys then head North.
    Right now that’s the only plan we have.. thoughts?? Experiences?
     
  13. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    778
    Nov 6, 2006
    Cape Canaveral, Florida
    Sea Ray 18CC Laguna
    if it burns, it turns
    I know a Florida Captain who can show Martha the entire FLA state, the Bahamas, and the East Coast....you're allow to come if you want!....he's cheap too, if she asked

    Arrr !
     
  14. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Best response Capt... keep your bathing suit handy
     
  15. BOB TYSON

    BOB TYSON Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    214
    Oct 5, 2017
    sarasota, fl
    2005 460 Sundancer
    Cummins 480 CE
    As "new" cruisers we are learning about what is important to us in a marina. Marina Jacks, where we are docked, offers many pluses and a few minuses. The biggest advantage is downtown Sarasota is just across the street, and its a terrific place. The downside, mentioned by others, is the shallow water and shifting shoals. I will say it has been a minefield for me learning/adapting to the shallow waters. This also makes it difficult to get to the gulf without traveling an hour or more south or north in order to utilize "safer" avenues to the Gulf. No livaboards. However, I have stayed three weeks straight without incurring any issues. ITs expensive, but overall we think it is worth it. (One caveat: We have no experience with other marinas in Fl.). Just my two cents. Have fun!
     
  16. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I think your plan sounds awesome. It is a challenge on the West Coast to just pick one place.

    We are sitting at Longboat key this morning. Have been in Clearwater, St Pete, Anna Maria Island, and Longboat on this trip. Every place we stop is the admirals favorite.

    If you need to leave the boat to go back north, just find a place near either Tampa or Fort Meyers for the best flight options.
     
  17. carterchapman

    carterchapman Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2008
    Lake Chickamauga/Marietta, GA/Ft. Myers, FL
    2006 Sea Ray 58 DB
    MAN CRM V8-900s, Twin Disc Drives; Onan 21.5 Generator
    We have up to 10 flights a day RSW (Ft. Myers) to ATL. It is very convenient for us. $25 Uber ride to our condo or $28 ride to the boat.
     
  18. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    Yes the one thing we’re concerned about is where to leave the boat while running home for the holidays,etc.
    First question the wife had for each dock master was “Do you have security and good WiFi? (For the cameras)
    We don’t need the “resort” type marina but need to provision and take in some sights while we’re there.

    This will take a little planning as far as where we have to be and when so we can leave the boat for a few weeks at a time.
    I think we’ll take our time in Nov to move south and enjoy the sights we’re thinking we can stop in ports along the way and check the place out.
     
  19. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    When we moved south last fall we did so in stages. Got the boat to Charleston before Thanksgiving and left it there till mid December. Got it to Miami area before Christmas, left it came back right before New Years and went back to the West Coast.

    Rusty is a fantastic resource at identifying Marinas along the coast where it is good to leave a boat.
     
    Havana Shamrock likes this.
  20. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor GOLD Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island. N.Y.
    2005 500DB
    Furuno Tztouch2 12” MFD x2
    Furuno NXT radar
    Furuno Navpilot
    QSM11's,
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    That’s exactly what we where planning SC-Fla by New Years.
    I wasn’t kidding with Rusty when I said keep your suit handy
    That guy can move on the boat for a few months so I can drop crumbs as he points!!!! I’ll even make his drinks.
     

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