Places to boatcation in the st pete area....

rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
Hey, did I just make up a new word????? Anyway, wife and I have traveled around a bit with different boats around FL- Sebastian Inlet (nice area, rained the whole trip) SW FL around Boca Grande, islands to the north and south of that inlet), St. Johns River. We typically are looking for quiet and not a lot of frills, nor has my wife been enthused about relying on staying on the hook for extended time....so.....my question are there any places in the range of Clearwater/St. Pete on the intercostal  that we can stay with the boat that would either have a slip or ramp near by that fit that bill?  Would use that as a base to travel around, would be on the water most of the time....looking for areas to pull up and watch the world go by. Access to the beaches would be ideal. East Central FL intercostal and to the south have a lot of really cool spoil islands that boaters and campers can use. Any suggestions or thoughts appreciated! I know this is Tiki's stomping ground. I ordered a book on the area but I guess the books just lack that local knowledge ......and also nice places near by for late afternoon dinner but looks like no shortage of that in this area...would be for a week stay in mid summer (yes, it's hot but I'm not up to my butt cheeks in snow right now). Oh, and I have a 270.

Comments

  • Handymans342Handymans342 ✭✭✭✭✭ Posts: 7,581Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Be glad to hang with you guys if I can ever get down there!
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 ✭✭✭✭✭ Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,431Member ✭✭✭✭✭

    Holy carp, Itza frikken sw fl travel log from a native... :D

    My two favorite spots that would answer your criteria would be:

    (#1 without a doubt) to launch at Sarasota City Islands' incredibly sweet ramp (near Mote Marine Aquarium and New Pass) where you can leave the boat/trailer safely and it has a free fresh water faucet to rinse the boat/trailer too(bring a hose). Then motor 3/4mi across the bay to the Hyatt resort marina $1.50ft nitely (politely mention that group rate)  and get a quiet/protected slip within 3 blocks of downtown. Easy access to the most awesome beaches, shopping and entertainment within mins The hyatt is a destination by itself. Not uber ritzy but really nice(the pool is AWESOME). A casual 20min run up to Longboat Pass is fun and worth doing(look for my 270 sunset run on youtube). Many of my pics of Tikihut on pristene beaches were taken up there. If you go up to LBK make sure to boat 1mi N at the SW corner of Cortez Bridge and tie up at the free floating docks on Bridge street pier at Bradenton Beach and stroll up to the beaches and see all the quaint stores and watering holes within a block of the pier. Great food and many beers/wine had there by our crew. Tie up and party on the sand bar at Longboat pass (or even sarasotas New pass) on any weekend. If in LB pass stop at Mar Vista for a plate full of calamari under the juniper trees.

    (#2) Gulfport municipal marina is well located, easy walking dist 3/4mi to the hidden old fl burg of artsy, laid back west St Petersburg neighborhood called Gulfport. Sort of has an early Key West lifestyle of cool small shops and eateries. They have a free day use dock that's good for relaxing and "people watching" when the weather cooperates. The marina has a decent ramp and very quiet floating docks inside a nicely protected basin. Access to the beaches is a nice 3mi run across Boca ciega bay to Pass-a-Grille and their sandy beaches. Plenty to explore there too.

    Sarasota has far more to offer but Gulfport is also fun.

    I've stayed at the Municipal marina in downtown St Pete well inside Tampa Bay but it doesn't have the same diversity of Gulfside beaches and atmosphere that we like. You need to launch at Gulfport or O'Neals Marina anyway and run 10mi around to the SPMM if you want that location.

    Also a consideration, but outside of your needs might be:

    Launch at mom n pop Eldreds Marina in Palmetto Fl and stay at Twin Dolphin marina in downtown Bradenton. Fun but B-town is less glamorous and it's not too close to the Gulf if that's what you seek. Nearby Riviera Dunes marina is really nice but a bit isolated.

    Placida and Palm Island Marina is how to experience the Boca Grande area but navigating skill is required and the runs are longer and it's more natural Florida. Cruisers like Pelican Cove but it's VERY remote in comparison to GP and SRQ.

    lastly, we had a nice experience last June at Pink Shell Resort in Ft Myers Beach, I launched in Placida and ran 40mi down the ICW but you might find a ramp closer. Their rates were $3.50ft but it was a cool resort with all the amenities and a free shuttle that ran the length of the island. Sanibel is right across the pass if the weather is agreeable.

    Google earth these spots and pull up the websites to see whats up when you visit.

    Hope that helps those looking for hidden treasure in my back yard. Aloha from the TikiHut.
    Mike

    A parting shot of Longboat Pass and one of the Hyatt basin....


    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    WOW,Mike thanks the info and you have offered many options and we might just well work through the list as best we can. We looked on active captain of the area and the best selections there seemed to be city marinas in Clearwater and Dunedin-I like the sound of your suggestions much better and will get to Exploring. As far as I can tell, there are many more options even with various tastes on the west coast than my back yard. As much time as we have spent over there, you'd think we would have moved! 
  • TikiHut2TikiHut2 ✭✭✭✭✭ Sarasota, FlPosts: 1,431Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hope you use the info and of course I added that post for any boater who runs across it to use as a foundation for enjoying the area around the SW Gulf side. There's other spots but imho that list is the icing on the cruising cake.

    We've scouted Dunedin and Clearwater, Tampa, Apollo beach and many others from Tarpon Springs to Naples but I judged ramps/parking/marina amenities/dock qualities/congested or unprotected anchorages or marina frontage/ marginal neighborhoods and nearby boating destinations (or the lack of them) and ruled almost all of them out for us.

    We've covered this area for decades and honestly Sarasota is THE spot to start from with plenty to discover or just stop and relax. Many of the Florida trailer boat or cruising clubs cover spots all around the state but look forward to their weekend stays at the Hyatt or Marina Jack in Sarasota for good reason.

    Good luck in your search and fair winds.  Hope we get to cross paths some day.
    Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg ✭✭✭✭✭ Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,970Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think Beer Can Island is the only place in Tampa Bay that is worth anchoring out at, but you have to be sure that you have 2 anchors.
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    why cable? Tides that strong?
  • Cableguy GregCableguy Greg ✭✭✭✭✭ Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 3,970Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Anytime that I have been there we threw an anchor off the bow, backed the boat into waist deep water then pulled an anchor from the stern to the beach. I am not a tidal boater, but I would have to say that is the reasoning behind the two anchors. Tiki would be better at answering that question...
    2008 280 Express Cruiser, 6.2MPI, B3, Pittsburgh, PA "Blue Ayes"
    Go Steelers!!!
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn mod Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,396Member, Moderator mod
    If I said I was coming down there at spring break, could we set up a Rinker Rendezvous!??  I'm betting we could get 10 Rinker boats! (if someone lets me and the family on theirs?)

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • TonyWalkerTonyWalker ✭✭✭ Palmetto, FLPosts: 744Member ✭✭✭
    DI, when is spring break.  If we can we will be part of the party.
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    We drove over to he west coast this weekend to check out a couple of spots- as the thread started, I was looking for areas north of Tampa Bay as it looks like a little quieter area. We were looking at Clearwater and also a little town of Dunedin. We were blown away with Dunedin and spoke with the dock master and they were very welcoming.  The harbor is well protected and plenty deep as there are some really large boats in there- not a real big marina and it's the cities and the cool part is right down town. Very artsy looking with some nice eateries, bars and an active weekend life it looks like. Even in the summer the dock master said there was stuff going on. Also, if things turn for the worse in the weather department, there is a hotel right there as well. When you travel north on the  ICW out of there, there are no wild inlets to navigate and you have a couple of sandbar type islands popular with boating that people camp on etc. We also explored the route over as there are some really steep bridges in this area and I found a route that basically is pretty flat. So, we are pretty excited to start planning this trip! I expect we will also travel to the south and check out some of the area that Tiki refers to as we will be there for a week.....really nice area!
  • Handymans342Handymans342 ✭✭✭✭✭ Posts: 7,581Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ras, why dont you drive the boat thru the ICW over to Tampa?
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn mod Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,396Member, Moderator mod
     TonyWalker said:
    DI, when is spring break.  If we can we will be part of the party.

    Spring break is March 28 - April 5.  I'd assumed you'd be the star of the party! ;) 

    Ras, I've been to Dunedin (by car of course) and definitely a nice town.  One of my favorite places on the way there from Tampa is the Dairy Kurl!  Anyone ever get a banana milkshake there??!  Oh man they have the best!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Handy- yes from there which is on the ICW I can motor down to the area that Tiki talked about above.....I drove by the Dairy Kurl (I think, ice scream shaped like a big ice cream cone? And why by car Tony, that's right in your area is it not? I can't wait to go there for a nice relaxing week....
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    oh, and I forgot to mention the dock fees are .90 cents per foot including power and they have hot showers etc! Sweet! Heck, I might just move there!
  • Handymans342Handymans342 ✭✭✭✭✭ Posts: 7,581Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ras, I meant from your house, thru the ICW and down to Tampa
  • rasburyrasbury ✭✭✭✭✭ Sanford, FLPosts: 5,450Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    cause I'm in Orlando!
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