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Old 06-08-2005, 03:04 PM
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Default Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee


I'm thinking of running from Miami offshore north, then thru the Locks to Fort Myers, then offshore to Sarasota. Is this realistic in 1 day with a cruising speed of 40mph? Also are the locks easy for 2 people to handle on a 34' boat.
I closed on my SV 340 last week and everything went fine, now I just need to drive/fish it back to Texas. I was a little disappointed in the fuel burn(1.25 mpg in the low 30's with twin Verado's), but this was fishing with medium load.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

I've never done it but I don't see how it's possible in 1 day. Aren't there like 5 locks to go through on the Okeechobee Waterway? That must take a whole day right there. Also, I imagine the posted speed limits are much less than your proposed 40 MPH.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

It will take you all day to cross the Okeechobee waterway...
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Old 06-08-2005, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

Afishinado, is that "all day" 8 to 5 or 6am to 9pm? The locks are currently running every even hour. I estimated the mileage at appx 150 miles, so is the delay due to the lenght of time it takes in the locks or does the waterway have a lot of restricted speeds or what am I missing? thanks
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

My parents have done it quite a few times in their 44'. In fact they just got back from a Sarasota to North Carolina trip 2 weeks ago. They typically do it in 2 days with an over-night in Clewiston. If you need some additional info I can get you in touch with my father, just shoot me an email jdber94@comcast.net

I'd love to meet for lunch while your here in Sarasota.

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Old 06-08-2005, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

You can't do it it one day. Too many "idle" zones, "manatee" zones, "no wake" zones. Locking sometimes takes time because the lock tender will "batch" boats in order to save water. This time of year "T" storms start in mid Florida at 2:00 PM. And over the lake they are "doozies"!

Better run up from Havana II into the system and stay over in Cleweston (Rowland Martin's motel/marina is a good spot) and lock down the Caloosahatchee the next day. From there you pick going outside or up the ICW. Outside is much faster!

It's a fun trip the first two or three times!

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Old 06-08-2005, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

30 years ago you could do that trip in 1 day if you left early enough and kept moving. Today it will take you 2 days. Been there then and done it recently, & Capt flats is right.
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Old 06-08-2005, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

I did Ft. Pierce to Ft. Myers in 1 Day at 28mph cruise last summer. I think in depends on water level and traffic. We caught the locks when it was our turn at least 2 times, and the water level change required only a 1 long "lift". The lock going to the into the Okeechobee was wide open, so there was no delay. We totally suprised ourselves on the speed of our trip. Once again I think it was do the traffic going our way a few times and only 1 large water differential. You can call each station.
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Old 06-09-2005, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

I 've done it in one day running from Boynton Beach to Ft Myers. I stopped in Ft Myers the first nite. You are not going to be able to average 40mph.(slow zones).
I did it leaving the dock at 5:30am, got into Ft Myers in the late evening. Since you are coming from Miami, I suggest you run to Stuart, stay the nite, fuel up, then leave the next morning real early. Not sure if you can make Sarasota, but Captiva and Bradenton you can do! The locks are easily handled by 2 people! Just have enough line to feed and take up.
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Old 06-09-2005, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

Only thing I would add is that by planning on a couple of days you save yourself from the pressure of a timetable that I think is going to be difficult to make. Most of time when I do that sort of thing I end up screwing-up something and not saving any time in the process. Of course that may just be me. It's a fun trip, give yourself time to enjoy it!
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Lake Okeechobee Locks/Waterway and SeaVee

Running from Stuart to Sanibel/Captiva is a pretty full day. You may have to wait on a few locks and you can't run 40 mph in many areas. try to go on a weekday. I believe there are five locks on that trip. Bring large fenders to keep your boat off the sides of the locks while holding the ropes. Also, the sides of the locks are thick with slime. Your fenders will never come completely clean unless you have a way to clean them right away. Have a great trip.

Rob
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