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Marco/Goodland to Islamorada

Old 05-20-2019, 01:59 PM
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Default Marco/Goodland to Islamorada

Hey guys looking for some advice here.

In early August the plan is to trailer the boat down from St Pete to the Marco area on a Friday evening, drop the boat in the water get some grub and spend the night, then wake up and head down to Islamorada early in the morning. Boat is a Calcutta 263.

Looking for recommendations:

Best place to drop boat in with parking for the truck and trailer for a week (if you think there is a better place to put in other than Marco or Goodland, please lets hear it)
Good place to stay the night
Good restaurant

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:19 PM
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Goodland is, imo, the place to launch from in that area - Calusa Island Marina has in the past had very good parking for a truck and trailer. Places to stay abound on Marco, and also plenty of places to eat. But my best recommendation for food would be Little Bar at Goodland. It's more "old Florida" , as Marco has become a haven for snowbirds and the prices and food reflect that. Have fun!
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:26 PM
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Why not run the boat down. I just made a similar trip two weeks ago. Left Apollo beach on Thursday am and stayed at The Boathouse in Marco, then got up Friday am and ran to Key West. Trip to Marco was only about 3 1/2 hours. Did it in a World Cat 230cc so I’m sure the Calcutta would be better. BTW nice boat, I’m still about a year out from going in the mold on mine.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FL-fisher View Post
Why not run the boat down. I just made a similar trip two weeks ago. Left Apollo beach on Thursday am and stayed at The Boathouse in Marco, then got up Friday am and ran to Key West. Trip to Marco was only about 3 1/2 hours. Did it in a World Cat 230cc so Iím sure the Calcutta would be better. BTW nice boat, Iím still about a year out from going in the mold on mine.
Thanks!

I have been considering that. The 3 1/2 to Marco, was that inter coastal or gulf side?
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Old 05-21-2019, 03:00 AM
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3.5 to Marco is definitely off shore. I frequently (this weekend included) run from the skyway to Cayo costa. If I can get in the gulf it is 2.5 hours from my house to Cayo costa. Marco is probably another 1.5 hours for me, I run mid 20's
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:23 AM
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3.5 to Marco sounds a bit optimistic to me....I was thinking it was a good 4.5-5 hour trip, unless it was really calm and you could run 30+ the whole way.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by scrapper01 View Post


Thanks!

I have been considering that. The 3 1/2 to Marco, was that inter coastal or gulf side?
We ran the outside. Stayed right off the beach (maybe 1 mile) and it is a beautiful ride. Cruise speed around 32-34 MPH. Met a buddy boat in Anna Maria and was probably closer to 3.75 hours. But for me, by the time I went and got my trailer, drove the boat to the ramp and loaded on the trailer then drove down to Marco and launched...Ö..It was just as quick to drive it and a hell of a lot more enjoyable (beer and Buffett)
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:21 AM
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I built a route on Navionics, it looks like the most efficient route I can make to Marco from my dock (a few miles north of Downtown) is 150 miles on the outside. I can legitimately cruise at 40 on a calm day, which would make the trip 4 hours. If I have to run at 30, now that is a 5 hour trip.

I wish it was easier to tell what the speed restricted areas are. I am trying to figure out how long the run would take if it is bad and I have to run the inter coastal all the way down.

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Old 05-21-2019, 11:41 AM
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Trailer down, trust me it'll be worth the time and effort. Last thing you want to do is get stuck 90 miles in some snotty weather. I'd rather spend the two and half hour drive from Marco trailering home.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by scrapper01 View Post
I built a route on Navionics, it looks like the most efficient route I can make to Marco from my dock (a few miles north of Downtown) is 150 miles on the outside. I can legitimately cruise at 40 on a calm day, which would make the trip 4 hours. If I have to run at 30, now that is a 5 hour trip.

I wish it was easier to tell what the speed restricted areas are. I am trying to figure out how long the run would take if it is bad and I have to run the inter coastal all the way down.

Do you have the 150's on your 263? 40 is a pretty good cruise.
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Old 05-21-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FL-fisher View Post
Do you have the 150's on your 263? 40 is a pretty good cruise.
Yes
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:05 AM
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It is 5 hours if I have to run the ICW to Cayo costa from my house. Biggest no wakes are around Venice and around little gasparilla.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by FL-fisher View Post
Why not run the boat down. I just made a similar trip two weeks ago. Left Apollo beach on Thursday am and stayed at The Boathouse in Marco, then got up Friday am and ran to Key West. Trip to Marco was only about 3 1/2 hours. Did it in a World Cat 230cc so Iím sure the Calcutta would be better. BTW nice boat, Iím still about a year out from going in the mold on mine.
what route did you take from Marco to Key West? I am making the trip early July and the charts are hard to figure out how to dip into key west.
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post


what route did you take from Marco to Key West? I am making the trip early July and the charts are hard to figure out how to dip into key west.
I've never done it myself, but would like to plan the same trip. Looks to me like its a straight 90 mile shot from Marco at approx heading 185 degrees.

If you mean how to get in once there, take a look at Google Earth - the route seems pretty apparent, but I'd love to hear from someone who knows.
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post


what route did you take from Marco to Key West? I am making the trip early July and the charts are hard to figure out how to dip into key west.
Straight line to Key West. Go in the North channel. Its marked well on the chartplotters. We stayed in Oceans Edge Resort/Marina. Nice place.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:00 AM
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I am hopefully leaving on Tuesday, if the wind lays down. From SWFL, I go NW Channel, as FL-fisher says, go around the bottom of Sunset Key to the harbor to stay at one of the marinas there. The first time I went there by boat it was the Key West Express, and that made me fall in love with that route. I just love going in around that little island and by the Ocean Key House and Pier House.
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Last edited by CurrentSea1; 05-23-2019 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tcijoe View Post
It is 5 hours if I have to run the ICW to Cayo costa from my house. Biggest no wakes are around Venice and around little gasparilla.
Traveling that no-wake zone south of Stump Pass along Gasparilla island is like watching paint dry.. Absolutely painful
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by cjlukens View Post


what route did you take from Marco to Key West? I am making the trip early July and the charts are hard to figure out how to dip into key west.
However you exit the Marco area, you need to be mindful of the shoaling around Cape Romono. I would not rely solely on charts for that--read the water and leave plenty of margin for error. Once you are clear of that area it is an easy, straight shot to Key West. I agree the paper charts are hard to read given all the info that is in that area. There are two ways into KW from the north, the North Channel and that Calda Channel. Both can be found on the Navionics Website https://webapp.navionics.com/?SID=na...key=scduCtcurN. I prefer the Calda Channel since it slightly closer (doesn't take you out of your way to the west), is less crowded, calmer, and more fun because of the twists and turns. But if you don't like to take the road less traveled, then come in through the North Channel. Have fun, we are heading down by boat from Ft Myers at the end of July.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:51 AM
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I've done that trip many times. Trailer 4:00am, Tampa to Goodland, launch at Calusa Island Marina. We would stop at the Cape and jump in the water, eat lunch and give the boat a rest. Would then head south to Duck Key. You will have to be mindful of the flats if you run south-east thru Florida Bay to go to Islamorada. You may want to find a route, like thru Hawks Channel then run north-east out front.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by LobsterMonster View Post
I've done that trip many times. Trailer 4:00am, Tampa to Goodland, launch at Calusa Island Marina. We would stop at the Cape and jump in the water, eat lunch and give the boat a rest. Would then head south to Duck Key. You will have to be mindful of the flats if you run south-east thru Florida Bay to go to Islamorada. You may want to find a route, like thru Hawks Channel then run north-east out front.
The flats running into Islamorada is the true definition of skinny water! we have seen 1.5ft in the channel! Don't get off plane!!
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