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Southern Winter Options for Northern Boaters

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by wotan98, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. wotan98

    wotan98 New Member

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    What are the principal advantages/disadvantages of moving a northern boat south (in order to use it all winter) to, say, Wrightsville Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head or Fort Lauderdale?
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Cold, cold, cold, paradise.

    Very simply, more cold weather over the winter the further north you are. NC and SC do have some cold periods.

    Now the further north the more likely it's drivable for you. However, if flying commercially, Fort Lauderdale is the easiest of the ones mentioned to fly in and out of and may even have the least expensive air travel.

    Now, your list is also in order of lowest cost to highest for dockage and other thing.

    Much depends on how much you'll use it, both the frequency and length of time. If you have the time and it's worth the cost to you then South Florida gives you access to a lot of great boating.
  3. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Beyond the endless canals and watering holes to tour in South Florida, Lauderdale is a launching ground for the Caribbean and fertile ground for getting any work done. I can't speak to the Carolina coast. I'm better versed on Western North Carolina. (and wishing I was there this time of year!)
  4. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Senior Member

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    For the USofA - Monroe County, Fla
    For the rest of us - Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
  5. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    If you re going to be able to come down often enough it is worth it. Downside is the cost: Fuel to bring it down plus a captain if you don’t have time.

    Dockage costs vary depending on where you go... higher in SoFl but you re close to the Bahamas.
  6. captainwjm

    captainwjm Senior member

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    Seems your question answers itself, move south to use in the winter. If your real question is how far is enough, then the answer depends on your tolerance for cold/cool weather. It snows in the Carolinas, but not in the Keys (I know the history of that one time, so let it go). Look up the term “snow birds” for further information.
  7. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

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    We have been thinking about Charleston for October/November and then south Fl for the rest of the winter.

    Not sure about how long we can be in each state though before we run in to tax issues.
  8. motoryachtlover

    motoryachtlover Senior Member

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    We have a home in Wrightsville and used to keep the boat in Charleston and know Hilton Head pretty well. I don’t think you will be satisfied with any of those for winter use. The rule of thumb I heard was one had to go to atleast as far as Stuart to get below most of the cold fronts. We spent 3 weeks in Miami last January and it is a gamble. By and large the weather was nice but it is hit and miss. The wind is the big issue. So when the wind is blowing you may be able to walk around in shorts but you most likely won’t be able to run the boat anywhere except in the ICW. Year before last we were on the west coast in January and it was pretty **** cold with a wind that blew hard enough to make being outside not enjoyable for the bulk of the trip. January is probably the worst month for boating in Florida but usually not a bust.

    Jhall I believe you can stay in SC for 3 months with no taxes due. Double check me on that.
  9. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    This is why Miami is so nice... even after a cold front and 20kts northelies you re not stuck in the ICW. You have the whole bay and the keys.

    I could never live north of Biscayne Bay. The ICW is just boring... house after house, food joint after food joint. Brown water and no anchorages

    Another snowbird option would be the JAX area. Some nice spots along the ICW plus the st Johns river.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Thank you Pascal. The Jax area and up river in the St Johns river is great during the cold. Stop by the springs and swim with the Manatees.
    Head all the way down (up river) to Sanford and take a shuttle to Disney World.
  12. CTdave

    CTdave Senior Member

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    Stuart FL! Yes I love the Keys and Ft. Lauderdale but at 55 years old, I can't take the crowds and hustle and bustle anymore. The airports are too **** busy too lol. Stuart has fun spots and Jupiter/Palm Beach aren't far but it's nice & peaceful with lots of waterside restaurants, big bays and sandbars where everyone has fun on weekends. As with any place in the USA, there are areas where you probably wouldn't want to walk down the street at 3 a.m. counting your money but they are far and few between.
    Flights into Palm Beach are SO EASY and hassle free.
  13. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    We wintered in Charleston a couple years ago now. Very nice city, and temps were "warm enough" (not the same thing as "warm"), comfortable... for us, since we had come from further north. JAX would be slightly warmer. FLL would be even warmer; in fact most of southeastern FL starting at about Cape Canaveral would be warmer.

    -Chris
  14. jhall767

    jhall767 Senior Member

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    I've been in Jacksonville in the winter twice - both times we got snow flurries!
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    It happens. And when it does, the rest of the state (and GOM) is cold also.
    The spring waters are the same temp year round and feels warm when it's cold outside.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    But the water remains warm enough so that you don’t have to winterize for these short cold spells
  17. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Yeah, they apparently had a more serious snow -- not just flurries -- in Charleston the winter we were there... but it happened in December I think, about a month before we arrived.

    -Chris

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