Four Things to Consider When Sailing in Florida

Do you love the watery type of adventure? If your idea of fun includes waves, water and sun, then Florida has got to be your destination. What would you like to do in the water? Swimming, sailing, fishing, diving, jet skiing, surfing ?›ƒ?ª?? With the intracoastal waterway, boating might be the state water sport. Florida has 1200 miles of coastline with excellent marinas from east to west. It is a boaters?›ƒ?ªƒ?› paradise.

Would you like to plan a sailing vacation in Florida? Many of my neighbors have experienced sailing off the coast of Florida. Following are four things to consider when planning your sailing trip.

1. Marinas. Florida does not lack in marinas. It seems that around every corner there is a marina to dock your boat. However, not all marinas are full-service. The Tampa Bay area (St. Pete, Clearwater) might be the most popular place for marinas. With a clear shot to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean blue waters, it is great place to reach small islands for the day, or spend the day fishing.

2. Boat Ramps. Many of the public parks, state parks, and marinas have boat ramps to launch your own boat. This isn?›ƒ?ªƒ?›t a concern if you are flying to Florida to rent a boat, but for those visiting from surrounding states, you may want to do a little research to find the best place to launch your boat. Most of the ramps are designed to allow for high and low tides and have places for long-term parking. Many of the public launch areas also have picnic areas and
Places to relax when not out on the boat.
3. Artificial Reefs. When you think of reefs, you think of the Caribbean, or the South Pacific (at least I do.) However, Florida has created artificial reefs by sinking old ships, cement blocks, etc. to create places for marine life to live. These make great places to sail to and go for a swim, or dive. Most of the artificial reefs you hear about are in the Florida Keys.

4. Waterfront restaurants. Sail to your favorite place to eat. Tampa Bay and St. Pete are ideal locations to tie up to a great restaurant. Miami is also surrounded by waterways where you can mosey up to a dockside restaurant and enjoy the evening.

Florida is one of those places that could be explored for a lifetime. With more than 4,500 islands, you could visit a different island every day for nearly 14 years. That may have just made my bucket list … now to get a boat for the adventure.


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