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East coast or West coast for boating in Florida

John41John41 Member Posts: 102 ✭✭
I just got back from Florida yesterday. We went to Clearwater,St Petersburg,and Sarasota. Where is the best boating? Where do you do your boating?

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    J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Both! 1000 islands in the south west coast looks amazing... the keys are pretty awesome as well. 

    Not sure if there's anything to do on the water on the middle east coast...unless you like fishing..
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Gulf side 100%
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    In the keys you can do both but they call the Gulf sea "Florida bay" that far down.  

    Last June the Atlantic side was all 2 plus footers, i was glad i didn't take my rinker. The hydro sport 22 cc I had rented did mind it, it took lots of attention to make it ride smoothly for the passengers.  The bows of our rinkers have a negative slope, this looks cool but is prone to burying the bow when it gets sloppy.  The more off shore capable you get the more the bow angles upward(as well as more aggressive deadrise)  the better it cuts the wave and less shes likely to nose dive under a wave.  So in other words our rinkers would have pounded in those waves. 

    The bay side was smooth enough for badly coordinated people in canoes to paddle around.  I could cruise at 35 mph and relax.  

    Florida bay along the keys can get skinny in a hurry.  If you ground you're likely going to drag coral, not sand.  Up to date chart/nav is a must.  

    Not a lot of protected crusing ground down there so you can have days of bad weather on both sides.

    On the Atlantic side you're just a 10 to 20 min ride from great yellow tail!

    I forgot to mention if you don't like lots of boat traffic dont go around lobster season or mini season.  Winter also brings the snow bird crowds, i heard marathon bay gets stupid crowds.

    The currents around the bridges gets wicked.  







    Post edited by PickleRick on
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'd say the gulf areas also...there are lots of places to go for Sand bar get togethers, resturants and hotels for that matter to pull up to...city Marina's. I have been from duneiden to the far north of the protected ice to capteivae to the south. Sorry for the spelling. I'm 45 minutes from the East coast and know more about the west. For sure if your into fishing I'd think the east coast offers better fishing inshore as well as off shore.
    I wasn't to get down to the Biscayne bay bay  as I see a lot of you tubes that look really nice... 
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Don't knock the Gulf fishing!  Depends on what you like to catch lol.  

    You Florida guys are lucky as to get to the stream in the Carolinas it's gonna take 30+miles.
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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Looks nice around Miami too!
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    The water on the Atlantic around Miami looks much better than the areas up towards cocoa, Daytona, etc
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    RiverRat232RiverRat232 Member Posts: 596 ✭✭✭
    We prefer the Gulf side and typically boat around Anna Maria Island and Sarasota Bay. The Atlantic side has always seemed rougher and dirtier to us. There are a lot of other places we would like to explore, especially the Keys.
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    J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    The only thing I see boats doing on the East coast is traveling to somewhere North of FL or south of Miami .. no where to hang out right? 
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pretty much @J3ff...St Augustine is cool...nice marina Daytona Beach... New Smyrna a little south of there and then a long stretch of nothing until South fl...not that there is anything wrong with that. Out if new Smyrna it is 50 miles to the stream...it gets closer the further south...and I think your the same on the west coast to get to any deep water fishing...in the east coast all along the icw there are spoilt islands from dredging that some are set up for camping and hanging out...pretty quiet boating...I want to get further south around Miami...not sure about the 270 in the keys for other than marked channels...
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    J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    ah, even with the leaking I took mine to Nest Key (check it out) and to a few other places in "Florida Bay" - there's plenty of water for the 270 in the back country, yes it's about 1 foot of clearance in some places (which I'm not used to..being from the north east where there's at least 10 feet between the drive the bottom) but overall it's not that tight. Just takes a little to get used to running so close to the bottom.  :D  
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pay attention to the color of the water in the keys!  Plenty of room for yachts in the keys, a 270 would be great!  Lots of boats bigger than that out at the sand bars.  
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I could not run out of channel on plane unless I was familiar with the area. I can't afford to lose an out drive just because I'm in a hurry! And sand sand bars...I don't want to be the guy with his boat sitting in the sandbar when the tide goes out! I need an experienced boater to travel with...
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    I find, in the keys, so long as you give yourself 5 ft depth high tide clearance at the sand bars you're good.  Just make a mental note of the channel you came in before dropping and setting anchor. 

    So long as you are running an up to date nav system you're good.  Irma did deposit some sediments but its mostly in the canals which in marathon at least have been dredged.

    Vaca cut has a huge sand bar, follow the markers and you'll be ok.

    If water looks blue you're good. Water looks brown go around. 

    I want to take the 235, the little lady won't have it.

    Even in the summer, the slow season if you will, there are plenty of other boats to watch before you enter most areas. 

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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well, my wife is not getting in 5' of water and swimming to shore....I have a pretty nice blow up dingy but have yet to use it.  
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why would you want to go to shore at the sand bars? 
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    take the chairs.....put your feet in the water.....play some horse shoes....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IfZ4C44GZQ
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    J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Have been running all around in a jetski. Have been able to see the bottom at 30 ft down at some points. Makes it super easy to tell 8 ft deep vs 3ft deep... even up on plane.. 
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    But by the time you see 3', it's to late in our 270's!
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    J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,070 ✭✭✭✭✭
    oh you can see it real easy up ahead if it's that low... 
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    It will change color, drastically. Especially if there is sea grass and sea grass is everywhere . More so mid day than late evening/early morning.  

    Many of the sand bars are never out of the water at low tide.  There is a big one on the Atlantic side of vaca cut. 

    There are some little islands you could set up shop on.  Spots like that usually dont get crowds until lunch time weekdays.

    This is during summer, during lobster/mini lobster and winter there are many more boaters.  

    There are lots of channel markers.  The good spots to stop are off the markers.  The Atlantic side gets deep, the bay side does not!

    When in doubt follow another boat!  Just don't get too close to another boat fishing or cross their chum path. 
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