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Crown31
Traveler


Joined: 07/15/16
Posts: 24
Loc: MARYLAND
Broadening my Horizons
      #1721482 - 01/31/17 08:14 PM (73.133.192.136)

Hello All and thanks again for all the great info on this forum. I've fallen in love with BVI and captained my first bareboat (Moorings 4000) this past October w/ another trip planned this August. Now, I know BVI is a great place for a green captain such as myself and so I don't want to overestimate my abilities, but my question is about the Florida Keys….

We're basically looking to put together a Guys Trip for about 5 days, someplace convenient to the East Coast, for late 2017/early 2018. To me the Florida Keys sounds like the place but I can't find much practical info on the sail/bareboat scene there (this forum has me spoiled I guess).

Can some of you on here help me relate what I might expect in the Keys as compared to the BVI? Sailing conditions, challenges, charters companies or anything else you can think of? Or maybe another online forum that may have more specific info for that area?

Thanks in advance!

--------------------
Brian


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706jim
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Joined: 01/11/12
Posts: 406
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: Crown31]
      #1721483 - 01/31/17 08:16 PM (216.211.84.204)

SHALLOW water!

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StormJib
Traveler


Joined: 11/30/14
Posts: 1041
Re: Broadening my Horizons: [Re: 706jim]
      #1721484 - 01/31/17 08:23 PM (50.191.95.8)

There are many reasons there are fleets on boats in the BVI and a few other places. You will find few boats in the keys and even in southern Florida. The cruising grounds are just not conducive to enjoyment for those on a short term charter.

The Dry Tortuga's are nice to visit. There is nothing out there but birds. We have done the Dry Tortuga's from Key West and Sarasota.

The more boats for the charter. The better the cruising grounds. I would use that as a seeing eye dog.


Here are some sample itineraries:

http://floridayachtandcharters.com/destinations/destination-key-west.html



Edited by StormJib (01/31/17 09:27 PM)


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Chriskal
Traveler


Joined: 11/14/12
Posts: 288
Loc: Kansas
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: Crown31]
      #1721495 - 01/31/17 09:36 PM (136.32.177.4)

Gulf side might be nice and would certainly be easy travel from the east coast. I haven't chartered there, but have boated a four amount in the cruising grounds serviced by these folks:

http://www.swfyachts.com/webpages/yachts.htm


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Crown31
Traveler


Joined: 07/15/16
Posts: 24
Loc: MARYLAND
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: Crown31]
      #1721531 - 02/01/17 09:06 AM (73.213.197.120)

Makes since about the Keys. I guess I should look at Bahamas? How would that compare to BVI?

Thanks again!

--------------------
Brian


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CptCook
Traveler


Joined: 03/16/06
Posts: 195
Loc: SW Florida
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: Crown31]
      #1721533 - 02/01/17 09:14 AM (71.3.164.236)

I believe the Moorings now has a base, maybe at the Miami Beach Marina? The sailing is much more challenging to me. Your navigation has to be pretty spot on. Outside the reef you have plenty of water, but in the Hawk Channel, wander 5 feet outside the channel and be aground. Outside the reef, the gulf stream flows north, sometimes pretty close to the reef. Add any NW clocking to NE wind to that and you can get a very lumpy ride. All of that said, it is beautiful. The bright turquoise water near shore to the deep indigo outside the reef. Marathon and Key West are always interesting..... You just have to be on your game...

--------------------
"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"


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hallucination
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Joined: 01/03/13
Posts: 956
Loc: annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: CptCook]
      #1721535 - 02/01/17 09:20 AM (68.134.8.106)

We are going out in a cat next week in the Keys. Have you looked at the charts? makes to Anegada passage look like a sleigh ride.

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StormJib
Traveler


Joined: 11/30/14
Posts: 1041
Re: Broadening my Horizons [Re: hallucination]
      #1721544 - 02/01/17 09:50 AM (50.191.95.8)

In both the keys and the Bahamas very good sailors run aground all the time. If you run aground on the falling tide. In most cases you are there where you stopped until the tide comes back up. If you are going to get on a plane and can make the reservations far enough in advance? There is nothing you will find easier than a direct flight to STT and a charter starting on St. Thomas. If the trip is short you may pay for some days some of the crew cannot use and it may be best to not go past St. John or Jost Van Dyke.

Even when we can drive to pick a boat up in Maine or The Chesapeake. The Virgin Islands are simply easier and more practical. The key is the entire industry and ecosystem set up to support visiting boat renters. The weather windows in the Bahamas are not 12 months and some think the season is only a very few months. Make sure you and your crew understand the weather you can experience during your charter period in the Bahamas.

St. Lucia and Grenada are two places great to experiment with real cruising. St. Vincent will join the list when the airport opens. Guadeloupe is fantastic for those that welcome French.

Edited by StormJib (02/01/17 11:27 AM)


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