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Thread: Two months in the Florida Keys

  1. #1

    Default Two months in the Florida Keys


    I'm a long time forum lurker, infrequent poster, and soon retired.

    I will be sailing and living aboard a Hunter 23.5 this coming January and February. I'm under no illusions, the boat is small to live aboard, it's more like we'll just be sleeping aboard. Fortunately the guy I'm doing this with has been doing so for the last eight winters. He trailers the boat down from Green Bay WI every winter (we cruise on Green Bay in the summers). Our base will be Marathon.

    Just wondering what insights and suggestions you guys might offer.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Sarasota, fl

    Default Re: Two months in the Florida Keys

    My concern would be AC. Although I am not sure about climate in the keys, the climate from my part of Florida much farther North, would be in insufferable without an AC system. I would even go so far as to say living on a boat without AC in Florida would lead to health problems.
    Marge: "You know, Homer, it's very easy to criticize."
    Homer: "Fun too."
    ---The Simpsons

  3. #3

    Default Re: Two months in the Florida Keys

    Thanks for the response. Is the heat at night a problem even in January and February? That's when we'll be there. During the day I'm told we'll be mostly ashore when not sailing. My experienced partner uses a folding bike to explore on during the day and spends evenings on the boat.

    I'm interested in what not to miss while there. I plan to do some snorkeling, perhaps some fishing, lots of exploring by boat and bike. Eating out a lot too.

    Thanks, again,

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Muncy, PA, USA

    Default Re: Two months in the Florida Keys

    I doubt that the lack of AC would be a problem in Jan/Feb. I'll be following this post with interest; we'd love to spend a couple weeks in the keys on our BlueJacket 28 some time. Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Oriental, NC USA

    Default Re: Two months in the Florida Keys

    We have cruised in the Keys in both summer and winter. In winter, heat is no problem in a boat at anchor. Same in the summer as long as you anchor in an area that is open to the night breeze and such places are easily found. Bug screens are required in some, but not all areas. What this means is that comfort on a boat in the Keys is OK as long as you are not tied up in a restricted marina. If I need to have AC on a boat, I'd as soon stay at home with the thermostat.

    There are some very useful guide books available on the Keys and it would be foolish not to have one. Marathon can get crowded and you will absolutely need two anchors to fit in. There are plenty of anchorages fit for such a small shallow boat where you may be all alone. Just looked at Marathon on google earth and it looks like they may be using mooring buoys now.

    Edited to add: We met Captain Frank Pappy in the late 70's and bought his boating guide to the Keys which is available in later editions. Good with photos of anchorages, entrances and passages. Current bible of east coast cruising is Claiborne Young's guides. We use his for other areas and expect that the one for the Keys is good also.
    Last edited by Tom Lathrop; 03-31-2013 at 02:10 PM.
    Tom L

  6. #6

    Default Re: Two months in the Florida Keys

    I've camped out on the beach in a tent on the Keys in September and never felt the need for AC. In fact, the car I drove at the time didn't have AC either, and I don't remember it being any worse than summertime anywhere else. In fact, summers were worse in North Florida (where I lived at the time) than in the Keys.

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