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Old 12-14-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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Default Searching for used yacht 40-50' low hrs

New to the forum, also looking for home for our potential yacht in Ft Laud, maybe charter it out a bit, live aboard some mos.
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Old 12-14-2016, 06:48 PM   #2
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Living aboard in Lauderdale, in fact between Miami and Boca, is becoming more and more difficult. Key West and Canaveral are okay, but remote from Fort Lauderdale. There are plenty of berths along the canals through Pompano beach, with easy access to the Atlantic via Hillsboro Inlet. The other inlets along this section of the coast, with the exception of Lauderdale and Palm Beach, are strictly shallow draft and have some hellish currents. Even Hillsboro can run at 5 knots at times, but there is a nice swing basin on each side of the drawbridge. There are many berths available along The New River, but tight, blind turns and currents can make the trip along it a complete blasted nuisance in a large, deep keeler.

Picking a berth along the canals is best done by printing a hundred or so flyers and doing a letterbox drop around Lighthouse Point. We found 8 unadvertised berths to suit a 55' deep drafted sailing boat. Tip: before you make any committment, buy a hand held depth sounder from West Marine, take your dingy along the canals and sound the docks.

People will advertise deep water docks which are in reality only 4' deep, and have been partially filled in by next door's 50' power boat. Living aboard is another matter. In some areas local by-laws prevent living aboard. Then there is the cost. We searched long and hard, and did a letter box drop, and found a 60' dock @ 6' deep one end, 7'6" on the other. Cost was $750 per month or part thereof (Plus water and electricity), and the local authority prohibits even staying on your boat overnight. The fines for the dock's owner can be stiff also, if they allow people to stay on their boats.

Docks for boats less than 40' and with a 4'-ish draft are common and can be had for $300 or so.

My suggestion is to go to the Keys, or Canaveral, or berth the boat in the Bahamas. For example Marsh Harbour is free and is good holding, and is protected, and you can fly there from either Lauderdale or West Palm for less than the price of a decent meal. Also, what I think is the best deep water, and most protected, harbour in the Bahamas is at Great Harbour Cay. Its cheap, spectacular, well maintained, friendly and safe. And, live aboards are welcomed.

There is also Stuart on the St Lucie river. It's a great stretch of water, but again, you need a boat with a reasonably shallow draft.

There is always the gulf coast as well. St Petersburg is a bit expensive, but other places along the coast there are cheaper. However, the water is shallow, the storms are impressive and The Bahamas is a long way away. But as you are from naples, I guess you already know this.

Then there is the charter option. This comes with its own set of really tough conditions and deserves to be researched separately, before you buy your sailboat.

Hope this helps.

PS. There are a lot of boats for sale along the east coast of Florida. Happy hunting.
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