Florida Marina Updates

Florida Marina Updates

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Manatees are slow moving and surface frequently, making them susceptible to injury from high-speed boat propellers. Photo: Patrick M. Rose, Save the Manatee Club

The St. Augustine Shipyard marina opens this month to provide mariners easy access to historic Old St. Augustine and the Atlantic. It accommodates boats up to 120 feet with more than 300 new slips. Dry storage handles boats up to 42-feet LOA weighing up to 35,000 pounds. Amenities include boat valet service, ship’s store and fuel, boat maintenance and repair service, free pump-outs, and a fish cleaning station. A pedestrian promenade with shops, restaurants and hotels is in the works. staugustineshipyard.com

The Yacht Club in Delray Beach will soon be a commercial marina. The 1960s yacht club gives way to a more contemporary nautical facility with 44 slips offering dockage up to 130 feet. Amenities include an Olympic swimming pool with tiki bar, free parking, a clubhouse, and full yacht services and maintenance. Accompanying residences offer waterfront living. theyachtclubatdelraybeach.com

Crandon Park Marina
Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park Marina. Photo: Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department

Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park Marina is newly improved. New charter boat docks, a seawall, and state-of-the-art access and security are welcome changes. An extended boardwalk, fender mooring piles, new power and water pedestals, and 10 new transient slips await visitors. New landscaping accentuates the enhancements. miamidade.gov/parks/crandon-marina.asp

Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key features a newly built marina, campground and boardwalk accessible only by boat. The beautiful 36-slip marina is limited to very shoal-draft boats since it has no entry channel and 2½ feet mean low tide. Daytime visits are free. Overnight stays with a campsite cost $20. Weekdays are quieter.
nps.gov/bisc/planyourvisit/elliottkey.html

Carolina Updates
A Coast Guard-established temporary safety zone on the ICW at Morehead City, North Carolina, at mile 203.7 remains until April 2015. Maintenance to U.S. 70 Fixed Bridge requires a construction barge needing clearance. Two-hour notification to a work supervisor is only needed for horizontal clearance of more than 40 feet.

South Carolina needs reports and photos during “king tides” to assess storm damage during its highest seasonal tides. This year’s remaining “king tides” occur September 6-12, October 6-11 and November 5-8. mycoast.org.

The Marina at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, now offers easier hiking and biking to the Atlantic Ocean and the ICW via a 21-mile trail and park network. The trails will connect ponds and waterfronts, new parks including dog parks and a YMCA. This scenic, safer pathway replaces three miles of congested sidewalks and side streets.

Look Out for Manatee
Laws mandate that cruisers slow down in manatee protection zones through November 15th. Watching for manatees in springs, rivers and Atlantic waters during warmer months should become a habit according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Mariners help prevent collisions if they wear polarized sunglasses, look for circles in the water’s surface, watch for manatee snouts, and adjust throttle near spotted manatees. myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/manatee/protection-zones. 

By Nancy Spraker, Southern Boating September 2014