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Thread: Florida Boating...

  1. #1

    Smile Florida Boating...

    Anyone have any experience, stories, or other thoughts, on boating in Florida? I got a chance to see first hand neighborhoods with a "car in the front of the house on the street and a boat in a canal in the back" it was pretty cool!

    It is amazing how in Alaska we have a waiting list to get a boat slip and down in the states (Florida for one...) they advertise "slips available" all over the place and you even hear radio adds offering slips!

    No aluminum boats that I noticed, probably get so hot you would burn yourself on its metal???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Anchorage and Seward


    Quote Originally Posted by Myers View Post
    I got a chance to see first hand neighborhoods with a "car in the front of the house on the street and a boat in a canal in the back" it was pretty cool!
    You're missing the pool in the middle for the Florida "pool sandwich". LOL.

  3. #3
    Member russiarulez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    I rented a boat once in the Keys... Aside from the shady business and a crappy boat that couldn't even get up on step completely, the near-shore navigation there was a nightmare. In many places unless you're local and know your way around all the shallow areas (shallow as in 1 foot of water) it's really hard to go anywhere at high speed other than the major channels. Many of the secondary channels are accessible only at certain tide levels. If you ground yourself it's a big ***** fine. There are also many areas where you can't go in a motor boat (federal/state wildlife preserves or something) and you have to know where those places are, they are not always on the charts.

    I also did a guided jetski tour which was fun since I didn't have to worry about all of the above due to the guide being there.

    Don't forget that every year they have hurricanes. I stayed a couple nights at a friend's house that sits on a private beach with a dock/boat/jetski/etc, and he told me they have to rebuild the dock every few years due to hurricane damage and repair their house from flood/wind damage.
    He showed me marks on the walls where the water came up to. I didn't ask how much his homeowner insurance was...

  4. #4


    I spent quite a bit of time in the keys from Marathon to Key West growing up and gotta say it beats the fishing and boating here by a large margin. The shear number of species keeps it exciting and you can easily travel from town to town in a 20` CC. If you get back down there there are some decent bungalos on Little Torch Key on the Gulf side that offer docking and when you want to go offshore you just shoot under the bridge between Little Torch and Big Pine and you have a marina right there for bait/fuel/food. From Little Torch you follow the markers about 6 mi. out to open water. Really the only thing stopping you from going anywhere is the wind or gas $$. My Dad had a 26 Mako with punched out twin 350`s sitting in the canal behind the house and it was a go anywhere kinda I miss it. Funny you mention this...was talking to one of my buddies about doing this trip next year in the spring. We will be renting a 23` Mako CC w/150 Etec...should be a hoot!

  5. #5
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Did a trip on the "Nature Coast" of the Gulf of Mexico two years ago, out of Crystal River, FL. Very enjoyable, our guide had a degree in Wildlife Biology and we were really interested in all the info on the estuary, sea manatees, etc. and YES he really put us on the fish, very different than AK fishing, was in shallow water maybe 10 or so miles out in the mangroves, sight catching big redfish (channel bass) and a bunch of lesser fish species. Yep, we had about a 3 mile "no wake" zone going out and back in to protect the manatees and I suppose it might get annoying if you fished out of that harbor regularly, but sometimes a forced slowing-down is good for the mind and body. The tides in Florida are only a couple of feet so that made boating easier, but there was a lot of shallow water and without knowing it well you would really have to watch your charts and gps intently. We also did some snorkeling, and went to an area with fresh water springs coming into salt water, and swam in these deep pools with fresh water fish like bass and bluegills mixed in with sheepshead, sea trout, silver ocean catfish, jack cravelle, etc. Lots of new and different fish and environments there! Anyone wants to fish with the guy we went with, PM me and I'll tell you more...he had a nice 22' Carolina Skiff and several other boats. Caters to spin/cast/fly fishers without prejudice!

  6. #6


    Some teenagers from another country (they didn't know...) were squirting water from a water bottle into a manatee's mouth like it was a puppy, before the Park Ranger told them it wasn't allowed. They love fresh water to drink and will drink from anything, a kids water bottle, the water off an outboard, garden hose, whatever. They have no fear of boats or humans, plus they are really slow, so many you see have boat prop marks on them.

    I did some different type of traveling on boats down there, diner cruise, water taxi, tours, etc., some from one town to another. The scenery never got old, constantly looking at different boats, harbors, marinas, or restaurants along the trip. The closed cabin "good for Alaska" boat would certainly get warm inside without air conditioning. It would be a new adventure in boating, learning how to navigate the shallows and all the different areas one could go. Avoiding groundings and getting lost would be the biggest challenge!

    I noticed it's a tad warmer there than here, just a bit.


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