Sailing from Daytona to St. Pete Florida Suggested Routes

Dec 26, 2020
10
Nordex Nord 12 pinellas
Hello! I have a 1989 Catalina 30 has a winged 4’ draft. What is the easiest / fastest / safest route to sail from Daytona to st Pete Florida. I heard cutting through marathon helps but I’m not certain. If you’ve made the trip before please share how you got through the keys specifically! Thanks!
 
May 27, 2004
1,699
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Unless you have an odd / oversized mast, the ICW to the Okeechobee Water Way,
to the Gulf ICW is the safest way to go.
I've done the trip six times.
Make sure you check the OWW web site for lock closures, OWW obstructions,
and lake water levels BEFORE you depart. And, just before (east of) Indiantown bridge,
there was a low hanging telephone wire that was a problem for some. It was supposed to be re-hung months ago, but be aware...
Let me know of other questions should you decide to go that route.
 
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SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,977
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
I also recommend the ICW/OWW/GICW combo. Coming across the state instead of around it is a cool experience to have. Lots of wildlife, gators, manatees, otters. Lake Okeechobee is a little boring, but you are across it in less than a day at 5.5 knots.

A little research is needed ahead of time. Check the hours that the locks are in operation, and plan the distances in between accordingly. There are dolphins (the tie up kind, not the Flipper kind) on either side of all the locks, so you can tie up just outside if you arrive late, and spend the night with no marina expense.

Roland Martin Marina in the southwest corner of the lake is an experience everyone should have once, though I don't know what marinas are like in Covid times.
 
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SFS

.
Aug 18, 2015
1,977
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
If the pool level is down (and you can call ACOE and ask specifically for the pool level in that stretch), you will have more than 49'. Both times we went under, we had 50'. The converse is true too of course. I started monitoring the pool level two days before transit.

A STRONG CAUTION ABOUT THAT BRIDGE: When you go under, be going DEAD slow, but not just to minimize damage if you hit. Be watching the (very dim) signal light. If it changes from green to red and your mast is not yet under the roadway, go FULL reverse. The road bed starts to drop the INSTANT the light changes. Don't ask me how I know.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,853
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
A STRONG CAUTION ABOUT THAT BRIDGE: When you go under, be going DEAD slow, but not just to minimize damage if you hit. Be watching the (very dim) signal light. If it changes from green to red and your mast is not yet under the roadway, go FULL reverse. The road bed starts to drop the INSTANT the light changes. Don't ask me how I know.
If that is the case, the best time to go under would be the crack of dawn in winter (or what counts for winter in FL), before the bridge has a chance to expand and sag.
 

Sailm8

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Feb 21, 2008
1,713
Hunter 29.5 Punta Gorda
A few years ago you could call Indiantown MArina and arrange to have some guys meet you and heel your boat to go under the bridge using water barrels on the rail. I heard the guy died and haven't heard if someone took over. They looked like godd 'ol boys but really knew their stuff. They had a log book with the stats of everyboat they tipped and knew exactly how to do it.
You can do it yourself with a few fat guys and swinging your boom out if you are just a little too tall.:biggrin:
 
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May 27, 2004
1,699
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Billy the "Boat Tipper" passed away a couple of years ago and I haven't heard of any one replacing him.
And while he knew his stuff, he was a foul mouthed 'Old Florida Cracker' !
RIP Billy.
 
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Jun 4, 2004
992
Hunter 410 Punta Gorda
The Waterway would be your fasest and apparently you can do it with your mast height. Second would be to sail down Biscayne Bay then into the Florida Straits. You would not need to go to Marathon as your draft is okay to go throuh the Straits. I can do neither and have to go thourgh Marathon. Enjoy the journey.
 
Dec 26, 2020
10
Nordex Nord 12 pinellas
The Waterway would be your fasest and apparently you can do it with your mast height. Second would be to sail down Biscayne Bay then into the Florida Straits. You would not need to go to Marathon as your draft is okay to go throuh the Straits. I can do neither and have to go thourgh Marathon. Enjoy the journey.
Yeah I am routing myself through the okeechobee I’m bringing 2 55 gal barrels just encase so I can tip myself with my buddy aboard to make the journey with me.
 
Dec 26, 2020
10
Nordex Nord 12 pinellas
The Waterway would be your fasest and apparently you can do it with your mast height. Second would be to sail down Biscayne Bay then into the Florida Straits. You would not need to go to Marathon as your draft is okay to go throuh the Straits. I can do neither and have to go thourgh Marathon. Enjoy the journey.
Thanks everyone for your responses & advise I appreciate it so much & look forward to the adventure! I’m going through the okeechobee:)
 
Nov 26, 2021
2
Hunter 45 Legend Daytona Beach
The Waterway would be your fasest and apparently you can do it with your mast height. Second would be to sail down Biscayne Bay then into the Florida Straits. You would not need to go to Marathon as your draft is okay to go throuh the Straits. I can do neither and have to go thourgh Marathon. Enjoy the journey.
I'm on a Hunter 45 Legend and need to bring her around next month from St Pete to Daytona. I would love to hear any tips or advice you can share, and a safe route would be incredible!
 
May 27, 2004
1,699
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
Your mast is too tall to go through the OWW without serious "tipping".
I did it once in a 45 foot/ 6.5' draft sloop. Billy was working then and it took 6, 55 gal drums and some 'body ballast' on the lee side to clear the RR bridge.
 
Nov 26, 2021
2
Hunter 45 Legend Daytona Beach
Your mast is too tall to go through the OWW without serious "tipping".
I did it once in a 45 foot/ 6.5' draft sloop. Billy was working then and it took 6, 55 gal drums and some 'body ballast' on the lee side to clear the RR bridge.
Yes, sadly the OWW is not an option with my 63' mast and 6'5 draft.